5 posts from June 2012

June 28, 2012

Don't Avoid Them, Talk About Them: The Art Of Talking About "Hot" Topics

IStock_0politicsllI think it’s a shame that people have such a difficult time talking about their beliefs pertaining to politics, abortion, religion and other “hot button” topics.  It seems silly to me that grown adults have to ban tough issues from their conversations because they can’t manage to keep those conversations respectful.  These conversations can be enlightening, educational and, yes, connecting…if we knew how to have them.  The reason people struggle with talking about tough issues is because what they are doing is not really talking – it’s arguing.  They argue the issues, try to convince the other person to think like they think and go to extreme measures to be heard.  All of these moves, however, are distancing and make any true conversation near impossible. 

A recent political example of going to extremes happened to me earlier today when I stepped out of my car and walked past a table with a poster of President Obama bearing the word “Impeach” at the bottom of the poster.  My first thought was, “Wow that’s a little extreme.”  The woman behind the table waved and asked me to come over.  I politely declined and went in to get lunch.  As I was driving away, I noticed the picture of President Obama on the poster now had an Adolf Hitler mustache in addition to the word “Impeach.”  When I saw this, I felt a lot of anger that this person was trying to imply that President Obama was like Hitler.  Really?  Isn’t that a bit dishonoring of all the Jews who lost their lives as a result of Hitler’s atrocities?  To equate how our President is running our country to the way Hitler purposefully killed countless Jews is so extreme and over the top that it is offensive.  This extreme message led me to think of all the things that go awry with people when it comes to sharing our thoughts and beliefs on things we feel strongly about.

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June 20, 2012

Tired Of Feeling Like Others Aren’t Listening? 5 Tips To Being Heard

IStock_0couplearguingllThere are few things more frustrating in relationships than not being heard.  I’m not talking about having others literally hear your words and regurgitate what you said; I’m talking about really hearing you.  For women, in particular, being heard is one of the most important things they want in their relationships.  Women want to feel as though the people in their lives get them—even if they disagree with them.

Because this issue is so paramount for women, they can often almost desperately go after the often-elusive quest to be heard with a vengeance.  When this happens, women end up repeating their message again and again and again (I.e. You never listen to me. You’re still not listening to me. You don’t listen.)  They can repeatedly bring up past issues any time a new pain surfaces that shows any resemblance to a past pain they don’t feel was heard or resolved (I.e. “You never show me any kind of affection. Even on our wedding day you couldn’t hold my hand for more than a minute. Today, I tell you I’m sad and need a hug and you rigidly stand there and do nothing”). Some women will resort to crying repeatedly and almost begging the person to hear them.  Whatever the mode of choice, the results are almost always the same—the other person just doesn’t get it.

In order to reverse this incredibly frustrating dynamic, women have to change their moves.  The onus is on the women to change simply because they’re the ones in the most pain AND they’re the only ones they have control of.  They cannot control whether others listen; they can control, however, how they speak. Below are 5 tips to increasing your chance of being heard:

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June 17, 2012

A Wish For Fathers This Father’s Day

IStock_0fathersonhuggingXSmallWishing all the dads across the world a wonderful Father’s Day. 
My wish for all of you:
•    May you experience the joy in your children like never before;
•    May you laugh hard with them, enjoy their company and make them a priority in your world.
•    May you realize that your greatest gift to them is your presence not your money and become their greatest anchor versus their biggest “provider”.
•    May you teach your sons to be thoughtful, caring AND strong so they become great men, fathers and husbands one day too.
•    May you teach your daughters to love themselves enough to know they deserve to be treated well and to accept nothing less from men or women.
•    May you experience the joy of your children looking up to you, admiring you and aspiring to be you, not just because you’re their dad but because you are a good man.
•    May you feel the warmth of you wife’s love as she admires the man you are.
•    May looking at your children, your family and your life bring a smile of pride and contentment to your face.
•    And most of all, may you be surrounded by people who love you, cherish you and are psyched to have you in their lives.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the great dads in the world…you make our world a better place.  May this Father’s Day bring you much joy, a lot of love and fantastic family moments that stay with you forever.



June 13, 2012

It's The Little Things: Five Ways To Bring Life Back Into Your Relationship

IStock_0complimentSmallThe smallest things are often what make the biggest impact in relationships. Unfortunately, it’s the smallest things that often get dropped.  With the hectic schedules of most people these days, we often forget to add tender sprinkles into our relationships.  We get caught up in finishing that big project, taking our children to endless practices/events, answering e-mails, playing on our phones, doing chores and on and on.  What we forget are the important things.  We forget the glue that keeps our relationships strong.  Here is the glue:
1.    Laugh often: There is nothing more connecting than a good belly laugh.  The moment you and a friend or loved one laugh, you can feel an instant closeness.  Look for the humor in things—even the difficult things.  Life doesn’t have to be so serious.  Learn to lighten up and find your humor again.
2.    Smile: No one likes to be around a wet blanket, it truly gets old.  If you’re a pessimist and constantly complaining, whining or pouting, retrain your brain.  Put a smile on your face and meet people with a positive greeting.  “Fake it ‘till you make it” as they say and soon your smile will come more naturally.  If you’re not normally a downer, simply remember to smile more and greet people in a way that shows them you’re psyched to see them.

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June 05, 2012

Taking Ownership Of Your Life

IStock_0arms strechedllI can’t tell you how many women talk about being trapped in their jobs, marriages, friendships and…lives.  Far too many women feel powerless to change their current situations and end up sacrificing their souls and losing themselves as a result of staying stuck.  These women often take a victim position to their miserable situations, saying things like:
•    “There’s nothing I can do, so I might as well just accept things as they are.”
•    “I’m stuck—what am I going to do with two kids and no job?”
•    “I have to keep my job, especially with this economy, even if my boss is a jerk.  I   don’t have any choice.”
•    “My father always puts me down and calls me names, that’s just who he is.  He’s in his seventies, so I’m not going to say something now.”

These are just a sampling of the many things women say when they feel stuck.  Regardless of the wording they use, though, the sentiment is always the same: “I’m miserable and I can’t do anything about it.”  Too many women give up even thinking about trying to change their situations and instead try to learn to live with them.  If they have children, they don’t want to rock the boat too much or they fear they will tip it over and end up in divorce.  If they need the income, they don’t want to do or say anything that may remotely result in their boss being upset.  If they stay at home, running the household and caring for the children, they don’t even want to think about standing up for themselves in any real way that might upset the status quo of their marriage. 

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