84 posts categorized "PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY"

September 25, 2012

Five Reasons To STOP Your Reactivity

IStock_00angry womenlReactivity is far too common today.  Someone feels slighted and they fall apart or attack the person whom they think slighted them.  Another person feels wounded and they respond by blurting out the one thing they’re sure will hit the offender like a ton of bricks.  Yet another person discovers their partner had an affair and they make it their mission to make their partner, their partner’s lover and the lover’s family pay for the betrayal. 

It’s time to stop the reactivity.  If we cannot contain ourselves when life throws us a curve ball, then we are in for a very bumpy ride.  Life throws us curve balls.  People make mistakes that cause other people pain.  Men and women alike will be hurt, disappointed, upset and frustrated by one another from now until the end of time.  It benefits all of us when we can handle these life incidents without flipping out, hurting back, collapsing or getting hysterical.  Remaining grounded and calm in even the most difficult of times will help the difficult times be less difficult.  Staying calm while also setting limits and having our own back during these times will also speed up any healing that needs to happen.

When it comes to reactivity, it’s best to leave it out of your life.  Below are five reasons to stop the reactivity.  Take note:
1.    Reactivity is a thoughtless act.  Anytime we just give in to our knee-jerk reaction, we are not thinking.  That is a child-like response to an adult problem.  Children can’t solve adult problems.
2.    Reactivity results in you looking like the crazy person.  Regardless of what the other person did or didn’t do, when we start responding in the extreme, we look like the crazy one.  When we look crazy, the other person looks like the good guy—even when they’re not.

Continue reading "Five Reasons To STOP Your Reactivity" »

August 28, 2012

Do No Harm: A Silly Platitude or a Much-Needed Guideline?

IStock_0womanandangrybossallIn my experience, both in the world and in my practice, one of the core places where men and women struggle is in the way they respond to conflict and upset.  Far too often, both men and women deal with upset by responding in the extreme.  They often yell, scream and control or they silence, placate and over-accommodate.  Naturally none of these moves is particularly helpful and all of them are often harmful.  Sometimes the person is the victim of harm (due to silently accepting poor treatment) and sometimes the person is the perpetrator of the harm (by aggressively responding to poor treatment).

I’m currently leading a teleclass titled “Finding Your GPS” (Grounded Powerful Strength).  A GPS is about walking in the world differently and at its core is the principle of Do No Harm.  Handling upset and conflict without doing harm seems almost unheard of today.  Whether it’s countries at war, politicians fighting during an election, couples trying to heal from an affair or bosses reprimanding their employees, people have given themselves the green light to harm one another.  It’s as though, in the heat of the moment, “anything goes.” 

Below are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

•    Politicians bad-mouthing one another for the purpose of increasing their chances of getting elected.
•    Spouses yelling, screaming, name-calling and even throwing things due to discovering an affair.
•    Countries hunting a leader down and killing him in retaliation for that leader killing others.
•    Friends bad-mouthing one another in response to gossip.
•    and on and on…

Continue reading "Do No Harm: A Silly Platitude or a Much-Needed Guideline? " »

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. 

Continue reading "Taking Ownership Of Your Life" »

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 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.

January 17, 2012

Resentment In Relationships: Are Others To Blame For Your Resentment?

IStock_0bullyingallResentments creep up in relationships all the time.  You’re resentful that your partner works all the time.  You’re resentful that your boss gave your co-worker a raise, but not you.  You feel resentment at your parents for the way they raised you and now expect you to take care of them.  You’re resentful that your children take advantage of you…and on and on.

The truth is that resentments can grow at an absurd rate if you’re not careful.  I say if YOU are not careful…because YOU are the only one responsible for your resentments.  Your resentments are not the fault of other people. 

Take that in for a minute…your resentments are not because of other people or their behavior. 

I realize that when you read the above statements it may be a bit difficult to take in, and even more difficult to actually believe.  You may believe that your feeling resentful at someone is, in fact, because of the other person’s behavior and therefore your resentments are the other person’s fault.  You may also feel very righteous about this. 

Continue reading "Resentment In Relationships: Are Others To Blame For Your Resentment?" »

August 16, 2011

Why so Many Relationships are Failing…and What to do About it

IStock_00distantcoupleSmall(2) With so many divorces, failed dating relationships and increasing friends with benefit couplings it’s a wonder any couples survive.  So what’s the magic that makes one relationship work while ten others fail? Is it karma, luck of the draw or plain old coincidence that leads one relationship to succeed while another fails? 

The truth is—it’s none of these.

Successful relationships happen when two healthy people decide to bring their best selves to the relationship.

With the daily pressures of finances, work, children etc., it becomes all too easy to allow relationships to take a back seat. It’s common for individuals to get lazy, take their partner for granted and to continue to think and act like a single person while in a committed relationship.  A bad day at work, leads to snapping at home.  Financial strains lead to shutting down and tuning loved ones out.  Children acting out lead to working longer hours outside the home to avoid the chaos.  Slowly but surely these pressures create greater distance between couples who spend so much time trying to bring their best selves to the office that they have nothing left to bring home.

Continue reading "Why so Many Relationships are Failing…and What to do About it" »

July 13, 2011

Do Your Friends/Coworkers/Partners Act Mean? How To Handle Mean Behavior

IStock_00contemptll There are countless examples in our world of courageous people doing extremely caring acts.  These people help our world be a better place and for that I thank them immensely.  Unfortunately though, there are also people in our world who just plain act mean.  These people tend to tear others down, make fun of people, do cruel things, and in general have little insight or in some cases, concern about how they hurt others. 

There are a thousand reasons why someone may turn into a mean person including family trauma, upbringing, poor self-esteem, nature etc.  Regardless of why, below are a few things to note about people who have a tendency to be mean:

1.    They have often been either treated poorly themselves or been falsely empowered to behave however they’d like with little if any consequences.
2.    They often don’t like themselves anymore than they like others.
3.    They elevate themselves by putting others down.
4.    They will continue to be meaning to those who allow it.
5.    They surround themselves with like-minded people or with followers who will do their bidding.  They also grow meaner when they have an audience who laughs or encourages their hurtful comments, jokes etc.
6.    They are often oblivious of the impact their behavior has on others or simply don’t care about the impact.

The points above are only for you to be able to not take their offensive behaviors personally.  Their behavior is about them and not about you although I realize their actions may impact you.  Regardless of whether you are on the receiving end of their nastiness or a witness to it, know it’s not about the person being attacked—it’s about the person doing the attacking.  Below are several tips for stopping meanness and/or minimally not encouraging it or helping it to grow:

1.    Don’t egg them on by laughing at mean-spirited comments, tasteless jokes or heartless teasing.
2.    Know that your silence to their meanness sends them the message that you’re okay with them being mean.

Continue reading "Do Your Friends/Coworkers/Partners Act Mean? How To Handle Mean Behavior " »

June 27, 2011

8 THINGS I TRY TO LIVE BY (Inspired by Andrea Lee)

IStock_0eyesallBelow is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

I just read an article by Andrea Lee about 8 things she tries to live by.  It got me thinking about what my 8 things were.  Here’s what I came up with.  I challenge you to do the same…and please do share.
1.    Practice what I preach:  If I teach it, I better live it.  Although I’m human and will continue to have my slips and imperfect moments, by and large, I do my best to follow my own advice when it comes to relationships.
2.    Do no harm: It’s important to me that I do no harm to others and do not allow others to do harm to me.  If I’m angry, I do my best to speak that anger from a centered, grounded place and respect the humanity of the person I’m speaking to.  I hold others to that same expectation.
3.    Be authentic: It’s important to me that people trust that I will give them honest feedback if they ask.  I believe feedback is a gift when we are courageous enough to give it and receive it.  I hold those in my inner circle accountable for giving me authentic feedback as well.  Telling me what I want to hear is not helpful to me.  Telling me what I need to hear—that’s helpful (even if it’s tough to hear it).
4.    Laugh: I love a good sense of humor and try to incorporate that into my everyday life.  I have no problem laughing at myself and enjoy being around people who can do the same (please laugh with me, however, not at me). I’d rather laugh than cry and love to be around people who can lighten things up without hurting others in the process.
5.    I prefer to talk about myself rather than gossip about others:  I don’t find gossip to be helpful to me or the people I’m talking about so I try my best to avoid it.  When I slip, I feel yuck inside.  When others slip, I try to re-direct the conversation to them or me and away from others. 
6.    Say it straight: If I’m upset about something, I will tell you directly.  I don’t like having to guess why someone might be upset with me and don’t want others to have to do the same.  I want to know what’s really going on with others and expect them to tell me and vice versa.  I believe this level of honesty often deepens relationships rather than damaging them.
7.    Be supportive: If someone in my life is unhappy about something (career, money, living situation), I believe it’s my job to hear them and do what I can to make things better.  If I want to move for example, I would like my family to help explore that option with me rather than squash it.  I want to make sure I do the same for them.  Keeping my loved ones stuck in an unhappy situation is not helpful to them or me so I try to look for solutions, not roadblocks.
8.    Live in integrity: To the best of my ability, I try to do the right thing in even the most difficult of moments.  I believe that implicit in silence is acceptance and I do my best not to accept the unacceptable (in a respectful way).  I believe in standing up, not backing down to the poor treatment of others or myself.  The bystander phenomenon drives me crazy and I wish we could count on one another to help protect one another.
8 PLUS 1, because I can’t keep it to just 8…
9.    Self-growth: I realize that the more work I do on myself, the more work I have to do.  I’m committed to continually trying to become a better, wiser more self-actualized person/parent/partner/friend in my journey in life.

Challenge: Take some time to think about what your “8 things you try to live by” principles are and send them along.  I’d love to hear some…plus it’s an interesting exercise in clarity.  Good Luck!

June 14, 2011

Lessons to Learn From the Fall of Three Powerful Men

IStock_0threesomeall Too many women are wooed by money, fame and power.  Add a man to any of these and they serve as an almost irresistable aphrodisiac to countless women.  What is going on with so many women when it comes to men?  It seems that men, money, fame and power leave far too many women blinded.  In some cases, women are blinded by men period.  What is up?

There are several lessons to learn from the recent falls of these powerful men and I pray that women reading this truly take these lessons to heart.
1.    Respect yourself.  If you don’t have enough self-respect to see yourself as an equal to any man—and yes these men as well—then no man will treat you as an equal.  Don’t try to dress provocatively to get a man’s attention—it cheapens you.  Don’t tell him what you think he wants to hear—you will lose yourself. And, don’t sleep with him in order to keep him—he’s a louse if he would leave because you wouldn’t sleep with him. If having a man in your life is your goal, trust me you are aiming far too low.
2.    If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s a duck.  These men and many more like them, had glaring red flags regarding their treatment of women.  Several women came forward over the years stating that Arnold sexually assaulted, groped or sexually harassed them.  Dominic Strauss-Kahn was known for his “womanizing” which is the least of his offenses.  Weiner reports, "My wife has known about some of these online relationships since before we were married".  Dare to see what’s right in front of you and don’t try to dress it up to be something different—it’s not.
3.    You will not change him.  Women start relationships with men who are known “players”, flirts, partiers etc., thinking they will be the one to change him.  This is crazy thinking.  For one thing why in the world would you want to be with a guy who has a history of playing women, getting drunk all the time or flirting with your friends? Women—listen up:  The men are showing and telling you who they are as men from the moment you first meet them.  Often they do this with a figurative gigantic neon sign—open your eyes and read it, don’t try to find the white out and change it.
4.    Respect other women. Don’t be so desperate for the attention of men that you go after another woman’s partner.  Please, if he’s willing to cheat on his girlfriend or wife you better know that he’d be willing to cheat on you as well. If he likes you that much then he wouldn’t be sneaking around with you…even if you were his housekeeper. Never allow yourself to be with another woman’s husband/paramour—you deserve better than that and so does she.

Women are pivotal to the process of change in our world. One vital change we need is for the treatment of women to be more respectful, less sexualized and less violent.  This shift can only happen when we, as women first and foremost respect ourselves.  

Challenge: Have the courage to learn from the fall of these three men: respect yourself, don’t wear blinders, respect other women and don’t think you can change a man.

NOTE: For another perspective on this read http://tinyurl.com/5t9z8qv from my Straight Talk 4 Women blog

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