4 posts from December 2012

December 31, 2012

What I Learned in 2012

IStock_0NewyearsllThis past year, I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing clients, colleagues, entrepreneurs and the like.  I am incredibly grateful for all I have learned from them and with them.  Below are twenty of my key “take-aways” from this past year.  I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and hope that you all have learned a great many things in 2012 as well.
1.    I learned that a little act of kindness goes a long way; I feel better for giving and the receiver feels better for the kindness.
2.    I learned that sometimes I am my own best friend or my own worst enemy…I prefer to be my own best friend.
3.    I learned that even when I am at my wit’s end with my family…that I am truly blessed to have them.
4.    I’ve learned that not everyone is blessed with family and that loss can leave its mark on a person’s soul.
5.    I learned that really bad things can happen to really good people.
6.    I’ve learned that really good people can do really hurtful things.
7.    I’ve learned that, in order to make friends, you have to be a friend.
8.    I’ve learned that being vulnerable often leads to closeness -- not judgment -- when done with the right people.
9.    I’ve learned that the new year is a great time to reflect and start anew.
10.    I’ve also learned that any day of the year is a great time to reflect and start anew.

Continue reading "What I Learned in 2012" »

December 18, 2012

What I Know…The Sandy Hook Tragedy

IStock_0babywithtearllI know that 26 families just had their world ripped apart because of the violent act of one 20-year-old young man.
I know that twenty children, -- none older than seven years of age -- had their lives taken in the blink of an eye.
I know that six brave adults were killed trying to save the lives of many.
I know that we cannot always rely on others to protect us.

I know that people are looking for answers and there are no simple answers.
I know that in our search for solutions to these senseless killings that there are many problems to solve: gun control, bullying, mental health care options, better and more thorough mental health care coverage with insurance companies, cultural violence, gaming violence, family issues, various types of abuse and on and on.
I also know that it will take a very long time to solve or even make a big dent in any of these issues.

And I know we have to start somewhere.

I know that change starts with the individual…with you, with me and with every single man, woman and child in our world.
I know that kindness starts with a smile.
I know that inclusion helps others feel a sense of belonging.
And I know it takes a lot of courage to go against the masses.
I know anything short of that, won’t be enough.

Continue reading " What I Know…The Sandy Hook Tragedy" »

December 11, 2012

Stop Being Dismissive in Your Relationships…NOW

IStock_0eyerollingallDismissiveness seems to be a common problem in relationships, although if you were to ask people if they see themselves as dismissive, many would say no. When people minimize, ignore or defend against someone else’s feelings, upsets or concerns, they are being dismissive. The underlying message with dismissiveness is, “That’s a silly thing to think/worry/be upset about—move on.” Some people will directly say this, while others are a bit savvier with how they send this message. Regardless of whether a person directly or covertly dismisses someone, dismissiveness is toxic to relationships.

Below are 10 statements and behaviors that are red flags for dismissiveness. Read all of these carefully and avoid using them in your relationships.
1.    “You’re too sensitive.”
2.    “Stop making such a big deal out of things.”
3.    “Just relax.”
4.     “You’re/we’re/things are just fine.”
5.    “There are more important things than this...really.”
6.    “So what? You have your health don’t you?”
7.    “I don’t see what the problem is—would you just let it go?”
8.    Rolling your eyes.
9.    Ignoring or shutting down the conversation.
10.    Getting defensive about complaints about you.

Continue reading "Stop Being Dismissive in Your Relationships…NOW" »

December 04, 2012

Assumptions and How They Hurt Relationships

IStock_0pensivewomanllPeople make assumptions about other people all the time.  We assume we know what others are really thinking, why they’re doing the things they’re doing and what they really mean, rather than what they say they mean.  The problem with making assumptions is that we almost always assume the negative.

Too often we jump to a conclusion that is not only wrong, but also often hurtful.  For example, if our children are not responding to us, we quickly assume that they’re rude and disrespectful.  If our partner is quiet and sullen, we assume they’re mad at us, relationally inept or impossible to talk with.  If a parent gives us feedback, we assume it’s because all they see in us is the negative.  Seldom do we assume positive intentions.

In everyday life we make assumptions all the time about other people.  Although there may be times when our assumptions are correct, the reality is that, more often than not, they are incorrect…and strongly negatively slanted.  For example, my friend Steve told me about a time when his child was gushing blood from his head and needed to get to the hospital fast.  Steve got his son in the car and went as fast as he could to the hospital.  On the way, he had to pass a car going incredibly slowly.  The driver of the other car proceeded to honk, give my friend the finger and yell a few choice words at him.  Steve felt bad that the guy was so mad and wished he could tell him why he had to get in front of him.  I remember thinking at the time about all the cars I’ve been annoyed with that I assumed were just obnoxious people driving selfishly…hmmm.  While I’m sure not all of them were driving a loved one to the hospital, I don’t know how many people were caught in a bad day, were afraid of losing their jobs, just found out their partner had an affair and on and on.

Continue reading "Assumptions and How They Hurt Relationships" »

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