4 posts from October 2011

October 26, 2011

“Be The Person You Wish To Be In A Relationship With” LMB

IStock_0changellMany people have heard Ghandi’s famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  This quote has influenced my work with individuals and couples a great deal.  The adaptation I’ve made to this quote in my practice is, “Be the person you wish to be in a relationship with.”  Too often people are so busy trying to change their partner’s behavior that they forget to look at their own.

In relationships -- at work, home or out in the world -- it behooves each of us to act as we wish others would act with us.  If we want to have relationships that are honest, cherishing and respectful, then we’re responsible for being honest, cherishing and respectful.  Sometimes, in our upset, we forget that we are still responsible for our actions.  Likewise, we can forget that our partner also deserves a caring, loving partner just as we do.  We can get so focused on what we want that we forget that we’re responsible for giving, too.  We are each responsible for asking for what we want and for giving what we wish to get.  Missing either aspect of this requirement will negatively impact our relationships.

This concept is true across the board in all of our relationships.  In parenting, if you don’t want your children to yell and be disrespectful to you, then don’t you yell and be disrespectful to them.  If at work, you want your co-workers to give you space to talk at meetings and honor your ideas, then you should give them room to speak and honor their ideas.  In romance, if you want your partner to share, talk respectfully and treat you with high regard, then you must do the same.  If you don’t have the desire, energy, or patience to behave with others as you are asking them to behave with you, then don’t ask it of them. 

If you choose to not give it—you don’t have the right to ask for it. 

It’s time to shift your focus from analyzing the behaviors of others to looking at your own.  Pay attention to the way you behave in relationships and work to become the person you wish to work for, live with or be friends with.  When you’re clean on your end and behaving the way you want others to behave, you will be on stronger footing to create change.  Get yourself in check before you start trying to get everyone else in check.

Challenge: Take a moment and look at the way you are in your relationships across the board.  Honestly ask yourself if you would want to have you as a boss or friend, parent or lover?  If there’s a relationship you struggle with, look at your part in that struggle.  Would you want to be with you?

October 18, 2011

The Curse and Seduction of Being Right

IStock_0beingrightlMany people struggle with the curse of being right.  When people struggle with being right it feels as if you’re constantly in an argument about the “facts.”  Sometimes it can feel as if you’re talking with a lawyer instead of a friend or partner.  For example, you might ask your partner to lower their voice and they respond with, “My voice isn’t loud.  I was just being passionate.”  Or perhaps you start to tell a story about work and say, “When I left home at 8 a.m.…” and your partner quickly butts in and corrects you with, “Well, actually you left after 8 a.m.”  Whatever the circumstances are, you feel as if you’re in an endless battle.  All you want to do is share your thoughts or make a request, yet the other person is busy checking your facts instead of listening to your message.

Needless to say, if you’ve ever been on the other side of this dynamic, it can be incredibly frustrating.  If you’re the one constantly “correcting” or arguing the facts, then you can be incredibly frustrating. 

Stop correcting and start listening.

Being around someone who is constantly telling others how they’re wrong blocks intimacy and connection.  Ironically though, many people get caught in the being right trap...because being right is seductive.  After all, people think, isn’t it important to have the right facts?  If my partner says he’s angry that I was late for our dinner on Saturday and I know we went out on Friday—shouldn’t I correct him and tell him I was late on Friday, not Saturday?  After all, I’m right—I happen to know for a fact that we went out on Friday because Saturday was our son’s soccer game and we ate dinner on the road while driving to his game.  Shouldn’t I correct him when I know I’m right?


Continue reading "The Curse and Seduction of Being Right" »

October 10, 2011

Keep Your Focus on You and Watch Your World Change

IStock_0eyesallTime and again I watch men and women constantly pointing their fingers at the other person.  They spend all their time and energy trying to change what the other person is doing.  Both men and women believe that if the other person would just be kinder, talk more, stop raging, complaining, controlling or (fill in the blank) then everything else would be fine.  They then spend the next ten years trying to get their partner to make those changes. 

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this seldom -- if ever -- works.

Trying to change another person will never work.  In fact, it can’t work.  It can’t work because no one has the power to change someone else.  We can ask, plead, beg, bully, rage, try to force them to do what we want them to do, yet in the end they get to decide.  In the end, they decide what they will do and how they will do it.  No amount of pleading or screaming will change the fact that they choose their behaviors.

And, likewise, no one can make you change either.  Only you have the power to change yourself.  Only you decide what you will or won’t do.  Even if your partner is bullying you, raging and in your face threatening you—ultimately you still decide.  You decide if you will cower, give in, stand your ground, stay, go and everything in between.  You decide.

Continue reading "Keep Your Focus on You and Watch Your World Change" »

October 04, 2011

The Girl Effect

Girl_Effect_Logo_3 On behalf of the Girl Effect project, this post is written for all the girls throughout the world who have been kept down by men, women, nations and our world. 

Young girls, throughout our world, are crying for our help.  They’re begging for our help.  Their bodies are being sold, beaten and raped.  These girls have no say.  Young girls are being forced to marry men twice -- even three times -- their age.  Some girls are only eight years old when they are given to an older man as a wife.  He rapes this young child under the license of marriage.  Fathers give their precious little girls away for many reasons: to settle a debt, buy a cow, make amends for their own poor behavior, because they view girls as their property to do with as they please and on and on.

The treatment of girls as a commodity is happening in my world.  The ongoing abuse of young females—and, indeed, females of all ages-- is happening in your world.  The violence, degradation and abuse of females is destroying our world.  These abuses are happening today and are tragically effecting our tomorrow. 

Continue reading "The Girl Effect" »

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