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4 posts from March 2012

March 30, 2012

Because You Can Doesn't Mean It’s Okay

IStock_00harrassmentallBecause your employees don't say anything when you grope them--doesn't mean your groping isn't sexual assault.   Your blatant disregard for another person’s body is a tragic abuse of power.

Because you can have an affair and not get caught—doesn’t make having an affair okay. Your affair harms your partner’s soul.

Because your partner is too afraid to leave you -- doesn’t mean it’s okay to treat them with contempt.  Your entitlement is cold and out of line.

Because your wife stays out of desperation, while you continue to cheat -- doesn’t mean your selfishness is okay.  Your cheating is burning your house down.

Because so many other people are “doing it”—doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it.

Because, out of fear, people don’t set limits on your rage -- doesn’t mean you have the right to bully.  Your rage is abusive.

Because you can get away with being mean, critical and controlling—doesn’t mean it’s okay to be mean and controlling.  Your control tells those around you that they’re not enough.

Because others cower to your anger and intimidation—doesn’t make it okay that you instill fear.  Your intimidation breaks relationships and breeds another generation of bullies.

Because your husband is afraid of your outbursts—doesn’t make it okay that you act out of control.  Your reactivity keeps those around you walking on eggshells.

Because your children think you can do no wrong—doesn’t make it okay to act as though you are God.  Your grandiosity shows your children they don’t matter.

Because there’s a saying that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”—doesn’t mean that what goes on behind closed doors doesn’t hurt.  Your “free pass” is a false justification that will take its toll on your family and your life.

Too many human beings are behaving in less than humane ways.  We hurt, intimidate, cheat, lie and on and on without taking the time to truly look at the damage these behaviors cause—not only to those around us, but to ourselves, as well.  When we are out of integrity, it impacts our world and us.  Just because we got away with something doesn’t make it okay that we did it.  Just because your spouse never found out about your affair—doesn’t mean it was a harmless act. 

We are what we do...and what we do impacts and influences us.  The more we act without integrity, the more we begin to see ourselves as having no integrity.  Soon it becomes easier and easier to do things we never thought we would do.  Soon we begin to surround ourselves with unprincipled people so we don’t feel so bad...or out of place.  These new people behave without integrity and we, as a group, pull one another down and then condone it so we all feel better. 

Don’t fool yourself.  You are what you do—regardless of how you rationalize, justify or explain it.  If you lie—you’re untrustworthy.  If you cheat—you harm.  If you rage—you instill fear.  The behavior, responses or actions of others do not alter this equation.  Figure out who you want to be in this world and then step behind that vision.  Stop thinking that if others agree, stay silent or simply never find out, your actions are okay.  Deep down you know better than that…we all do.

Challenge: Look at the excuses you make for in-excusable behaviors.  Stop excusing them and start mending them.  Refuse to give yourself the green light to behave out of integrity.  It doesn’t matter whether or not everyone else is doing those behaviors.  If they’re hurtful, stop doing them.  Take the high road and stop excusing poor behavior.

 







March 26, 2012

Women And Relationships: Cleaning Up The Toxicity

IStock_0cattywomenallI’m often shocked at the way women can treat one another.  It seems as though we can be one another’s greatest support or worst enemy.  When we like someone, there’s nothing we won’t do for them.  When we don’t like someone—well, it can get very ugly. 

Far too many women can be catty, mean and vindictive if we don’t like a person.  It’s as though we got stuck in our Junior High persona and forgot to mature and grow up.  We talk poorly about how other women dress, how they talk, who they date, how they walk, how they live their lives and on and on. 

Sometimes our cattiness is about our own insecurities; other times we gossip and trash-talk other women as a way of connecting to the women in front of us.  Some of us get vindictive when we feel we’ve been wronged, while others of us are just doing what we know.  Because cattiness is so common, many women are unconscious of the impact of cattiness on others. 

Bad mouthing another person helps us feel better about ourselves in the moment.  When others join us in this, we feel a sense of belonging and perhaps even popularity.  We forget, however, that while we may feel good cutting down someone else, the person we’re cutting down feels like sh*t.  Most of us can look back and remember being on the other side of gossip, cattiness or mean-spirited behavior.  When you’re the one on the receiving end of it, it is anything but connecting or fun—it’s a miserable place to be.

Continue reading "Women And Relationships: Cleaning Up The Toxicity" »

March 14, 2012

Reasons It’s Vital To Speak Up In Relationships

IStock_00silencemallToo often, too many people stay silent in response to mistreatment or upset.  Regardless of whether the other person is your partner, spouse or friend, speaking up about issues that are bothering you is vital to healthy relationships. 

Below are five reasons why speaking up is so important:

1.    Silence often leads to resentment. When we stay silent about things that bother us, those upsets often turn into resentments.  The more we stifle our upsets, the more resentful we get about the person’s poor treatment of us.  As a result, our anger and upset will often come out sideways (passive-aggressive) or through angry outbursts and blow-ups.
2.    Resentment rots out relationships. Countless unspoken upsets lead to a natural buildup of a wall of resentments.  Eventually too many resentments erode relationships.
3.    Solution is impossible without conversation. If you stay silent about an issue, it makes it impossible to resolve that issue or your negative feelings about it.  You cannot blame other people for not changing their behavior if you haven’t spoken about it to them.

Continue reading "Reasons It’s Vital To Speak Up In Relationships" »

March 09, 2012

Why Take The High Road?…And By The Way, What Is The High Road Exactly?

IStock_0grounded womanll(2)Across the world people struggle in difficult conversations, times of upset, painful discoveries etc.  When people become upset or angry they often want to lash out, seek revenge, shut down or explode.  Saying calm, cool and collected as the saying goes, is often the last thing humans want to do when hurt or upset.

Sometimes people lash out for the sole purpose of causing the other person pain so they “get” what it feels like to be hurt.  Other times the lashing out is simply a knee-jerk reaction.  Regardless, though, of why human beings lash out when hurt, I’m sure all of us can understand the pull to want to do so.  After all, who can’t understand the desire to yell, scream and rage at your spouse for having an affair with your best friend? I totally understand wanting to do that and more!

…And, I also know—that freaking out on a spouse because of an affair, or on a friend in response to them saying mean things, or to a co-worker for putting your job in jeopardy—is not going to serve you.  The last thing you want to do is make life harder for yourself by reacting in the extremes.  When you’re able to respond to life’s most difficult circumstances with grace, calm and strength, you will feel better and heal faster.  The bottom-line when it comes to handling life’s most difficult moments is to always remember to take the high road—even when those around you are behaving atrociously.

Below are five reasons to take the high road:
1.     When you respond to hurtful behavior by acting like a crazy person--people will see you as a crazy person.  When you respond with integrity—others begin to look at the other person as though they are the unhealthy one.
2.    When you freak out in response to someone else’s freak out—that person ignores your message and simply thinks, “You think I’m crazy—look at you.”  Your poor behavior gets in the way of them seeing their own poor behavior. 
3.    When you’re able to act with calm and integrity in the face of someone else’s hurtful behavior, it feels empowering, healthy and internally strong.
4.    When you can stay calm in the most difficult of moments, you avoid the “reactivity hangover”.  There’s no shame, self-hatred, regret or embarrassment about what you did.  You can hold your head high and feel good about you.
5.    When you stoop to the other person’s level you are off.  Take the high road knowing that the poor behavior of others is NOT a green light for your own poor behavior.

Taking the high road means to act with integrity at all times—not just the good times, happy times or respectful times.  Harming another physically, spiritually or emotionally is out of integrity—even in response to an affair, lies or manipulations.  Don’t stoop to some else’s level and claim your behavior is okay.  Stay respectful, set limits, take care of yourself and then decide how you’re going to intervene in such a way that you’re respectful of yourself and the humanity of the other person.  Avoid the awful feeling “reactivity hangover” and remember that although seeking revenge or going off on the person may feel great in the moment—that feeling seldom lasts forever.

Challenge:  If you’re struggling with someone else’s hurtful behavior, pull back, breathe, calm your heart rate down and dare to take the high road.  Refuse to act like an out of control raging person.  Settle yourself and respond with calm, strength and grace.  You will feel better for it and can hold your head high under the most difficult of circumstances.

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