We Need to Talk

“We need to talk” are the most threatening four words in love and relationships. When you speak these four words to your partner his or her mind races wondering what he or she might have done wrong, when maybe all you wanted to do was to connect with your partner.

We need to talk
We need to talk

Important Conversations

Then there are the more important conversations about you not getting your needs met. More likely you’re apt to say, “We need to talk,” when something is amiss.

Sometimes your need to talk becomes so great because you’ve bottled something up inside for so long that’s it’s reached critical mass, and you explode at your partner as you release all that pent-up pressure. To prevent this from happening, you need a solid plan for uncomfortable communication.

Let’s face it, you love your partner and don’t want to do anything to hurt him or her. You don’t want to confront your partner about anything that he or she might think of as “no big deal” when it’s clearly something that’s important to you, so you decide to brush it away and try to tell yourself that, “Maybe it is no big deal.” And the pressure builds the more you try to squash your feelings in the best interest of the relationship.

By the way, chances are, you’re partner feels the same way and is doing the same thing.

This is the destructive dance which erodes and can lead to your relationship’s demise.

When either of you reaches that point of, “That’s all I can stands and I can’t stands no more!” and you or your partner explodes in a fit of rage, the other gets defensive, accusations and disrespect abounds and the war is on.

This is why you need a plan to express your needs or what is bothering you far before your angst reaches the boiling point; the sooner the better.

Before you start to execute the plan, practice your love mantra, “I love my partner. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt my partner and he (or she) loves me and wouldn’t intentionally do anything to hurt me. No matter what, we always desire the best for each other. We love each other.” You may need to repeat these words to yourself throughout the planning process, and you will want to have them ready to use during the potentially difficult conversation.

Review what’s bothering you. Try to reduce it to a single cohesive and definitive sentence (or as few sentences as possible). Then imagine what your highest and best outcome might be. I mean, if you could have all your dreams come true about this situation or concern, what would it look like?

Remind yourself of your partner’s best qualities, what he or she brings to your life that you would miss if he or she wasn’t in your life (you might like to start off a difficult conversation by first saying these things to your partner, so that he or she know you mean no harm and respect him or her for what he or she brings to the relationship which is highly valued by you).

Next, approach your partner about what might be an appropriate time to have a chat. You might want to avoid those four words, “We need to talk,” and maybe discuss with your partner what might be a more non-threatening way to ask to have a talk. Let him or her offer up the words that might be more appropriate.

Keep in mind that your partner may not be ready to have this conversation now, even though you might be feeling it’s getting close to urgent. Allow your partner the space to pick a time when they can focus on you, your concerns and your relationship.

Be certain to allow enough time for this conversation. How much time you’re thinking it’s going to take? Multiply that two-and-a-half times. Because most likely you’re thinking about how long it’s going to take to express your concerns, but you’re not allowing enough time for reaction and interaction.

Be prepared for this to be a two-way street. When you express your concerns, there’s a chance your partner will become defensive of having some concerns of their own that they will want to bring up during the conversations.

Find a way to sit during the conversation that is not confrontational. Sit beside each other (not across from each other), face each other and try to maintain eye contact. Do not attempt to have a difficult conversation while driving. This could be dangerous.

Express your concern as well as what it might look like if you could have it any way you want it, then allow your partner to figure out a way to give you what you need. You might be surprised that he or she can find a way to give you what you need in ways you may have never thought of.

Leave room for full expression of feelings, and try not to berate each other for fully expressing emotionally. There may be a pressure that has been building up over a period of time, and this is a good way to release it. Try to be open, not to take it too personally, be forgiving, and compassionate.

Be willing to compromise, like, this is what I want/this is what you want. Let’s find a win-win solution that can give us both what we are looking for.

If the conversation is tarrying on and is taking longer than you expected to reach a resolution, no problem. Agree to take a break, resume your loving relationship, maybe take a dinner break, or have a good night’s sleep, and pick it up again later.

There’s no need to adhere to the old adage, “Don’t go to bed angry,” and fight it out when your energy reserves are dwindling. This is not the best approach. Agree to lay down your weapons and let it simmer, then pick it up again later, when you both have the time and energy to honor each other and work through this process with your greatest capabilities.

There’s no need to rush through this, especially if you have the rest of your lives to think about.

You can do this and your love can thrive.

What do you want people to know about you?

How we perceive ourselves and how others perceive who we are can be two different things. There is so much of our life that’s spend inside our heads and our hearts, we just assume that this information kind of bubbles over enough that people get a sense of who you are.

We tend to see ourselves in 3D, while others only see an outline, our shadows, a 2D silhouette at best, when in reality we are far more than could ever be conceived of or explained in 3D.

People do not see who you are as a person, they only have access to a limited amount of data, which they measure with their own prejudices to draw a conclusion about who they think you are.

It’s certainly not enough for people to know what you do for a living. Often we are judged and categorized by our jobs, or job titles, which hardly indicates who you are as a person, but nonetheless, once someone has learned about your career, they automatically associate certain attributes to you, and once they’ve done that they don’t really care to know who you really are because they’ve already made up their mind about who you are.

Concerning what you do for a living, even though others have an idea of your functioning roll in what you do, they have no idea why you do what you do, or for whose benefit. Far more than what you do, you are a complex variety of skills, strengths, expertise, gifts and special abilities, as well as having a unique purpose and message that makes you who you really are.

People who have a high degree of efficiency in delivering their personal array or their true identity are identifiable and unlikely to be lost among the mob, tribe or community where they reside. Other people get a sense that there is something different about them (if they only knew, there’s something different about all of us).

Starting with what you do, or your job title, stop letting others define you by your title. Instead of saying what your title is, or what you do, interject some unique details about you, because I guarantee, as much as you do the same thing that everyone else does in your job, what you do is unique, because you bring something to the color and flavor of what you do that no one else can duplicate.

In order to adequately present who you are to someone else, you need to have a good working knowledge of who you are. You may not give this much thought, because no one knows you better than you do, and you just take yourself for granted. But put it into words and write it on paper, who you are.

What are your skills, strengths, expertise, gifts, special abilities, purpose and message?

Write them down.

Once you have your list ask yourself, which of these things do I want other people to understand about me and who I am?

Now, you’ve got something to work with. There’s a good chance that more than half of the things on this final list of what you’d like others to have an idea about you, they have no clue.

Once you have this list it’s on you to do the work of finding ways to expose these important facets of your life, otherwise people will only know you by what they see on the surface, like “He’s a stock broker, who cracks people up with his jokes.” when you are so much more than a broker with a good sense of humor, but if that’s all they see, then to them, that’s all you are. Additionally, they have likely made judgment calls based on their person prejudices based on you’re being a stock broker as well.

So, it’s up to you to find ways to let the real you shine through, if you want people to see you for more than what you appear to be on the surface.
If you don’t want anyone to know anything about you, and you’re more comfortable keeping yourself a secret, there’s nothing wrong with that. In this case, you need to be true to you and protect yourself in any way you see fit. These recommendations are not for you.

The idea of publicly declaring and defining who you are as an individual is only for those of you who have a desire to present yourself individually to your peers, and to separate yourself from the pack, for whatever reason.

Relationship Skills for a Better Life

Since you do not live in a vacuum, you are surrounded by a wide variety of people who add color and depth to your human experience, how you manage these people (or how they manage you) are based on your relationship skills.

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes from spousal, cohabitation, familial, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. Sometimes, family (our closest relationships) are the most difficult to manage.

Probably, the most important skill you can have in managing your relationships is communication. How adept or inept you are at demonstrating your communication skills can have a huge impact on the relationships you manage.

It’s pretty apparent if you possess pathetic communication skills. For instance, people constantly misunderstand what you’re trying to say, you are prone to get into heated debates (even though you may feel like you’re winning), and your emotions run high when you are talking to someone about something that is important to you (and more likely, not positive emotions). Is it any wonder people are less likely to want to be in your presence?

By building your relationship skills, you can develop deeper, more meaningful relationships, which promotes more success, abundance, and happiness in your life.

Some things you might consider in building your relationship skills might be,

When a conversation is heading into difficult territory, avoid bringing up the past. By staying current, you and the other participants are less likely to be defensive of fill like they’re being attacked.

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What might it look like from their point of view, having lived the life they’ve lived? Sticking to your guns, and not allowing someone to see, think of feel differently, only causes separation, while allowing people to be who they are creates more affinity.

Pay attention to what they’re saying. Use active listening skills by repeating what they’ve said in your own words to acknowledge them and let them know you’re understanding what they’re saying.

When somebody says something that is contrary to what you might believe, or you’re feeling criticized or challenged, don’t ready yourself for a battle. Try not to be so defensive, and respond with an affirmative, “Oh, that’s interesting.” And if they try to pick a fight, don’t let them drag you into destructive banter. Stay your ground and remain positive.

Give up the idea of winning and seek ways you can arrive at compromise. Finding a way to compromise means “everyone wins.” Avoid win/lose conversations or situations, and don’t settle for win/lose compromise where one party is making all the concessions. Make sure both parties give-in and both parties get some of the important things they wanted.

If the conversation is getting heated and emotions are rising, take a break. Agree to do something else for a pre-determined amount of time and return to the subject at hand, after taking a break, when you are refreshed and can revisit the topic with clear heads and hearts.

Blaming someone never accomplishes anything but causing more division. Find ways to take responsibility for whatever you can. This helps to relieve the pressure, plus it gives you more control, the more responsibility you take. Why? Because you’re the only one who can control you.

If you think things are getting away from you, then seek a coach, counselor or consultant who can advise and act as a mediator to break through any barriers you may be facing.

Make time to cultivate your relationships. Don’t let texting or social media be your only connection method. There’s nothing that compares to authentic face-to-face time. Create opportunities for more in-person conversation, leading to a deeper, more meaningful connection.

It’s not just enough to be in the presence of someone, like at a movie, or a conference. Make time for a little face-to-face interaction before, after, or during breaks to communicate and interconnect directly.

If you’re not in the habit of it, be bold enough to freak out your friends and family by calling them via voice phone (no texting allowed, here) for no other reason, just to say, “Hi,” without any agenda, other than to let them know you were thinking about him or her.

If someone is important to you, let them know, even if only in some small way. Send them a note, or some small token of your affection, thanking them for being a positive influence in your life. These people help give your life meaning.

If your relationship is built on a foundation of love, don’t be afraid to let them know, if not by words, then by touching them appropriately while communicating with them, or greet them with a light hug or some other appropriate gesture.

Communication and Connection

We are, all of us, ingredients of the human soup. There’s no formal step-by-step recipe, we’re just all lumped together into the boiling pot of life. How do you like that?

All of us are ingredients in different soups, all simmering throughout our lives, and some of us have many soups simmering throughout our days. There’s the home soup, the partner soup, the work soup, the travel soup, the school soup, the news soup, the friend soup, the shopping soup, the spiritual soup,  the community soup, the world soup… it goes on and on. You’re managing more soups that Campbell’s.

If we’re all going to be in this soup together, don’t you think we should find ways to interact with each other while we’re in the soup together?

No matter what kind of soup you’re in, your ability to effectively communicate with the other ingredients in the soup can lead to the creation of the best tasting and satisfying soup experience.

To better communicate with people, try not being rude. If you’re in the habit of interrupting or finishing sentences for someone, try letting them finish their own sentences. When you cut them off, they may be reluctant to re-engage and you may lose creating a connection with this person. Let your conversation be inviting and encouraging the other person to expound on their thoughts and reach even deeper in their relation to you. Not cutting off someone mid-sentence or thought, invites them to be more open, creating an environment for greater connection.

While you’re not interrupting, you might consider really making the effort to listen intently to what they’re saying and indicating you are listening by not only acknowledging you are listening, to verify by feeding what they are saying back to them. When you’re actively listening in this manner, you are less inclined to be thinking more about what you will say next. When you’re not actively listening, you may only be picking up key words and phrases and planning your response. Not listening intently could have you missing something of importance.

Don’t let your thoughts drift off or otherwise disconnect from the conversation. Even if you disagree with what the other person is saying, let them say their piece. Don’t take a defensive position and let them know you have respect for their point of view.

Try to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground by resisting the temptation of exaggerating opinions, circumstances of facts in an attempt to gain control or superiority when engaged in a difficult conversation. Don’t use exclusive hyperbole such as, “You never,” or, “You always.” Rarely, if ever, are these exaggerated claims ever true.

Seeking to affix blame onto someone else, only distracts from the ability to resolve or come to a logical conclusion in any circumstance, while setting the base tone of that conversation in a negative vibration from that point forward. You can only change or affect anything that you take responsibility for.

When you are conversing and potentially creating a connection with someone resist the temptation to reach into the past bringing up and breathing life into otherwise dead issues. Try to keep your conversation current, in the present tense. Anchoring people in the past is far from the integrous intention of focusing on the now. Often the past casts a haze on the clarity of what is transpiring today.

No one’s position has ever been converted by debate. So avoid this type of adversarial conversation at all costs. All debating does is to bolster and further solidify the other person’s position while promoting separation. Keeping the conversation open, honest and permeable fosters an environment where people are willing to let down their guards, and allow the conversation to reach a deeper level of connection. In this state, people are more vulnerable and may be more open to new ideas, or even question dogma.

Surrender any inclination you might have to win in any conversation. Always be open to the idea that your desire is to arrive at a mutually beneficial resolution without causing emotional distress. Honor what the other person has to say. Let your conversation be fueled by love and mutual respect, not the need to dominate the verbal exchange or to be the winner (which implies that the person you’re talking to is the loser).

In the event that things are getting emotionally charged, tense or heated, take a break. A brief time out can be appropriate and allow each of you to re-center yourselves. You don’t necessarily have to break exposure to each other completely (like leaving the room or taking a walk) as this might look like abandonment. Instead, think about offering to change the subject completely to something you both can enjoy taking about while agreeing to resume the difficult conversation following the brief recess. Approaching a difficult conversation after a break can help to let parties think more freely and openly when their emotions aren’t overriding their ability to effectively communicate or connect.

If you have differing points of view, honor the other person’s point of view. Think about it; don’t you want the other person to honor and respect your point of view? Of course, you do. So, doesn’t it just make so much sense to treat the person with whom you are trying to conversate or connect with the same respect? It’s up to you to set the proper environment of respect and potential connection. Certainly, you need to be able to express your opinion or offer you unique perspective or share your concerns, but do so motivated by love, not aggression.

I am regularly remembering the advice of Steven Covey, to “Always seek win-win,” (habit #4 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) in any conversation. By applying these methods of effectively communicating and connecting via earnest conversation, everyone wins, no matter what soup you’re in.

 

Communication in Difficult Circumstances

Since we are sharing our planet with other people, all of whom are on their own individual journeys, many, if not all of them, are dissimilar in many ways in comparison to you. If you have chosen to start thinking for yourself and separate yourself from the masses, then you are becoming even more unlike them. Yet, the fact remains, we are all here, doing the best we can with what we have and must find way to use our words to bless those around us.

No matter where you are in the river of life, you need to find ways to integrate and communicate and play well with others. You must navigate and maintain a variety of levels of relationships. The key in maintaining effective relationships is finding ways to communicate and connect with others in such a way as to thrive effectively among the landscape of this life. A landscape sprinkled with a wide variety of opportunities to interact and commune with others in your family, with your friends, community, while pursuing your vocation, delivering your message, while sharing your skills and abilities, giving your gifts and blessing others.

How you respond to those who will challenge you, berate or threaten you will depend on your ability to communicate well and choose your words wisely, or to refrain from speaking altogether in a moment that would not benefit from your spoken word.

Find ways to find a place of love and peace within yourself, regardless of facing insurmountable odds or managing difficult situation or people, while maintaining the wherewithal to control your emotions and words when others might have fallen to lesser vibrations of prideful conflict.

You will never be free from the emotional challenges that face others, but you can live and manage your life in such a way to minimize exposure to and the impact of these challenges. Try as you might, you will occasionally face situations where you find yourself in a difficult situation. In these moments, you might find some of these ideas helpful, such as

Firstly, avoiding the lure of defending yourself, your ideals or beliefs about certain emotionally charged subjects, like religion or politics. You are not here to defend your beliefs or challenge anyone else’s. You honor everyone’s right to find their own way, and expect the same respect in kind, that is all. Listen, if you like, but do not debate. Debating only widens the gap between polarities, only love closes the gap. If it conflict looks unavoidable, leave the room, or otherwise excuse yourself or find another place to be.

Don’t attempt to change another person’s point f view, do not challenge their belief system, this will only trigger their base emotions crating in them the need to bolster up and defend themselves in a fight or flight reaction. In the fight-fueled combat, things can get very dicey, dark and evil, for at the most instinctual level, they will defend their position or fight (even if metaphorically) with their life’s blood. Your battle is not on the playing field of others, your battles are fought within.

If someone is in the habit of presenting you with conflict or urging you to defend yourself, do not fall in their trap or challenge to a duel. Some people derive a sense of power by causing others to falter or destroying them altogether. They will do whatever they can to throw you off track. If this is the case, find ways to establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself from such predatory abuse.

Above all live a live of tolerance, understanding that everyone’s world revolves around their own individual perspective and beliefs about how the world is. None of us has all the answers and we all are at various stages among our own quest in the pursuit of freedom, happiness and truth. Bless everyone at whatever stage they are and love them regardless of where they are on their journey, or what destination it appears they are enroute to. Do not measure your stage in comparison to anyone else’s. Every journey is a journey of one.

See only the good aspects of others, even if they are challenging or threatening you. Remember that their approach to you is based on a life of programming that has resulted in this attitude or outburst. It is likely that they are harboring a deep, dark past, and withholding emotions that has caused a chain-reaction, displaying itself in a moment of weakness. Do not pity them, but honor them for making it this far, and hope they find better ways to express themselves in the future. If not, bless them anyway.

Remember there are no good people or evil people, everyone is only seeing as they can through the eyes of the man or woman they have become, which is based on so much programming and life experience in varying degrees of positivity and negativity, every moment of every day is a constant struggle for survival, especially for the greater portion of our population. Love them, where they are.

Know your limits, and look for clues that it’s time to look for an exit. Better to avoid a battle than engage in it. For what good is it to risk your reputation or your well being, or to damage someone else’s? You have a higher ideal and calling. It is better not to engage, unless it is completely unavoidable.

Avoid finding the need to assign blame when you find yourself in difficult situations, and be gracious and kind even when facing someone who is enraged. Let them express themselves, and if it’s too much to bear, just walk away, loving them as you do so.

Sometimes a light-hearted sense of humor can break the negative state of an adversary. Some people are gifted with this mechanism of knowing a funny thing to say that is non-threatening but breaks the negativity enough to cause the other person to make adjustments to their tactic, possibly abandoning the conflict altogether.

Surround yourself with supportive, positive people to help you keep an even equilibrium in your social surroundings.

Life is a journey. Try to make the best of it you can by getting along with those around you. People are watching you. You may be the inspiration for others to try to get along with others in their lives too.

Loving first is always the best approach to any potentially negative situation.

Organic Conversation

We are unique life forms on this planet, with the ability to conduct incredible internal processes of thinking and maintaining energetic connections and we are so blessed to be able to exchange thoughts and ideas with each other via interpersonal communication. While we are learning that everything living (and elemental, which does not appear to be alive) maintains an energetic communicative connection, we possess an expanded capability for maintaining connection and communication via language and conversational speech which increases our ability to have even more meaningful relationships.

The ability to converse one with another brings the world together, and when I meet someone from India in Las Vegas and we can easily communicate because we speak the same language, the idea that “it’s a small world after all” resonates so clearly in that moment.

So, doesn’t it make sense to use our skills of verbal communication as much as possible?

With the proliferation of cell phones and their ability to exchange texts and images, our ability to communicate via the spoken word is diminishing. It might be time to review what your cell phone use says about you and consider reaching out to others in the 3-D world, it doesn’t take much effort at all.

If you look up from your phone, you might be surprised to see the myriad of opportunities available to practice your gift and skills of conversation with another human being, even though the tendency is to look up from the phone and avoid connecting with another person, even if it means fake texting or communication via your phone (fubbing).

I mean, you could practice your skills of verbal communication with inanimate objects, like (and you might have to start there, or you already be talking to your) stuffed animals, trees or rocks but they’re unlikely to respond to you in conversation. If they do, that is a conversation of a different type we can talk about later. And while you can talk to your dog, cat or other pet, it is still unlikely you will be able to hone your skills of interactive communication much.

So, think about putting your phone away and look around. I was in line at the store yesterday, and everyone in line was on their phone except for a young man with an armload of spinach. I might not have even noticed the boy if I was engrossed in my phone waiting for my turn to pay the cashier for my groceries. It turns out he was an 11-year-old grandson, running errands for his grandmother so that he could earn money to get a new video game. When I mentioned that he and I were the only people in line without phones, he said the only reason he wasn’t on his was because it was in his pocket and his hands were full with spinach for his grandma.

You could spark a two-way communication with as little as a, “Hello,” spoken to another person, though you run the risk of being snubbed (or fubbed) if the person is on their cell phone. It can be difficult to break through to interactive verbal communication with someone who has developed a dependency with their phone.

How does this happen? It starts with having the basic need of feeling connected to other human beings, so we text someone, comment or post a status update on social media. When we get a response, view, like or share, a shot of Dopamine is administered to our nervous system which makes us feel good. The feel good part is good but the downside of Dopamine is that along with it comes a craving, a need to have more. This is how Cocaine, or any other addiction, works inside our physiology.

Thankfully, reaching out via interactive verbal communication does not carry with it the same addictive quality but does satisfy our need for connection, so it might be worth giving it a go. If you try it, you might like it.

Try taking advantage of the many opportunities you have each day to strike up an organic conversation with someone you pass by on the street, or have a bit of fun with the cashier at the checkout stand. I love watching the expression of cashiers who are surprised to have someone actually try to engage in a brief conversation while they are trying to conduct their business in a trance state. Often their job requires they greet you as part of their compulsory duties, little or no response is necessary or expected. It breaks them right out of their trance when you respond with a complete sentence, or better yet a question. Try this live, unrehearsed organic form of entertainment… plus you will have connected with someone (even if only briefly) and may have even lightened someone’s workload that day.

While it is difficult to compete with the addictive qualities of our electronic devices, finding healthy ways to reach out in organic conversation can help enrich the quality of your life and potentially have a positive impact on the life of someone else.

The key is in the doing of it. Simply decide to start small. Leave your phone in your car while you shop. It will be there when you get back. This is a good place to start, to see if it makes you more aware of the real world full of people looking to feel connection (not the superficial faux-connection offered by our electronic devices) and connect a little bit. Just see if you can make eye contact, smile and say, “Hi.” You can feel the connection, even if that’s all there is to it.

You can ramp up the intensity, if you dare, by finding something about them (or what’s in their basket) to comment or compliment them on. If they take the bait, now you’re exercising your ability to engage in organic conversation. Congratulations.

To increase the quality of your organic conversation, think about engaging the energy of your heart in the communication process. If you have a general feeling that you have concern and/or genuinely care about the person you are talking to, they will be able to feel it in your words. And if you can maintain eye contact and pause to intently listen to their words as they speak, this intensifies the connection even more.

All it takes is a little practice and, who knows? You may find yourself not bringing your cell phone to restaurants or meetings. The possibilities are endless.

We are the only life form on this planet with the ability to experience real connection in face to face interactions with organic conversation. Let’s not let technology take it away.

Truth and Consequences

Once you get to a point in your journey when you are attaining a level of personal integrity, you also begin to gain a desire to be open and honest – which is a good thing – but it doesn’t take long ‘til you find that telling the truth and being totally honest can come at a very high price.

Being totally honest is an authentic urge as you continue to grow as being true to yourself makes you want to be truthful to others also. One would think that since being brutally honest with yourself would indicate that being brutally honest with others would be just as effective. Yeah, not so much.

truth honesty consequences imagination sincerity

The more radically open and honest you are the fewer people will be attracted to you. Unless your goal is to completely isolate yourself from society, then you might consider tempering your honesty with a snippet from the Hippocratic Oath, “To do no harm.”

Otherwise, an unbridled purveyor of truth might be considered as arrogant, self-centered, antagonistic, whacked (crazy) and possibly deserving of being safely locked away in an asylum. To counter public opinion about the truth you desire to share, simply being considerate of others can be a highly effective approach when applied to communication that might otherwise be difficult or hurt someone’s feelings.

This is a skill wielded by the savvy therapist, to be able to challenge the patient with contrarian ideas in order to break a particular pattern, without approaching the idea from a full frontal attack. Some empathy in this situation will go a long way. Consider the person you’re involved in the conversation with, use a bit of imagination and try to put yourself in his or her shoes. How does it feel to be that person, in this moment, with respect to the life he/she has lived up to this point?

Keep in mind, you want to tell the truth without overawe and do no harm in the process.

Simply taking a moment to observe your breathing, connect with your heart, thoughtfully and purposefully setting the intention to effectively and sincerely communicate heart-to-heart prior to sharing will help to set the tone for a potentially abrasive interaction.

To avoid the pitfalls or consequences of being blunt, a more ‘round the bush approach may be a more affective tactic, especially if you would like to avoid alienation, desiring a more positive outcome.

As you become more open, honest and intimate your thoughts in a sincerely truthful manner, you find increasing feelings of satisfaction, joy and fulfillment from this advanced perspective. Your whole outlook begins to improve, as does your lifestyle, you live a healthier and enjoy a longer lifespan.

If you can learn how to honestly tell the truth with respect and honor for the life and perspective of the recipient, you will be respected as an authentic person who speaks with authority and integrity, while being kind and sensitive.

The more you do it, the less intimidated you are about sharing and the more courageous you become about intimating important details to others.

When your kindness predicates your sharing honestly, you come from a place of love and compassion and people with whom you are interacting feel as though you care about them, when the very same information would have been rejected and you shunned, without first setting your authentic intention.

Still, there will be times when even with the best intentions and efforts, your honesty will be rejected, but that says more about the state of the receiver than you. Some people cannot handle the truth and build protective walls around themselves to disallow any ideas that may seem incongruent to them.

Allow them to be where they are. After all, we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.

Maybe sometime in the future, they will be more receptive, depending on their life’s journey.

In the meantime, tell the truth, understand there will be consequences and minimize the negative ones.

In all honesty and love.

Let It Be

I remember a time when I was much more opinionated. Maybe that’s not correctly stated. I think what I meant to say was, there was a time when I felt as though more people should share the same opinions as me.

Even though I’ve always been quite tolerant, my evolution has me being even more tolerant these days, and my quality of life and happiness quotient is much higher than before.

Once you start allowing everyone to make their own way in the best way they can with the tools in their possession, you have the ability to let it be (breathe) and there is magic in the let-it-be mindset.

let it be mindset no need to engage in negativity

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship, a business meeting, classroom, church, boot camp, climbing the corporate ladder, on any team from sports to Navy Seals, etc… there is magic in being able to state your case and let it be.

I’ve come to realize that any situation can have thousands of different potential ways that the details can play out with just as many varied results and what I’ve found (from experience and experimentation) is everything always works out for the best; even if it looks like the most horrible thing one could ever imagine is happening; the resulting effects are beneficial (either for the individual or the greater community). It doesn’t mean that a particular act or circumstance is not wrong – it very well could be – but the result serves a purpose that is beneficial.

Some of our historical martyrs were tortured and suffered greatly, yet in the moment – as bad as it was – they knew their circumstance served a greater good.

There is a simple principle that you get what you give. That is to say, if you are not tolerant with others (allowing them to live their lives in the best way they can with the tools they possess) then how could you possibly expect them to allow you to make decisions in your best interest and live the life you desire?

Not gonna happen.

I’ve found that simply stating my position while being frank, honest and open, then backing away is highly effective, both for my own state of mind and is a better form of service to others. I usually ask permission, first, like, “Can I be perfectly honest and transparent, here?” (pause) “Would that be okay?” Then I wait until I get acknowledgement from everyone in the room (even if it’s only one other person), then I say what’s on my mind.

If I am challenged, I don’t enter into an argument to defend my position. My position is only my position. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong, it is only my opinion. It’s up to the other party (or parties) to figure out what to do with my statement – or not – whether to consider or ignore what I have to say. The more intellectual and savvy communicators may ask for clarification to better understand my position, which I will offer up to make certain that I am clearly heard (or understood). This method can add an exciting though-provoking opportunity to any boardroom or active conversation.

Taking the High Road

This is part of taking the high road. It’s about letting other people who are prone to strife and discourse to enjoy themselves and the level of discomfort that resonates with them, where they are at in their life’s journey today. It is always subject to change, though their dysfunction (wrong word) “communication style” may last a lifetime.

Give What You Want

It takes practice, but consider giving what you want, and either you will get what you give back, or the situation will change so that you can get what you give.

I work with many people and every day someone uses words like,

I don’t like…
I’m sick and tired of…
I hate it when…
I can’t believe…
I’m so upset because…

All which represent intolerance. They imply an I’m-right-you’re-wrong mindset. Why does anybody have to be right or wrong? If you could consider a more heart-centered approach to the same circumstances alternate responses could be,

I like that you found an idea that resonates with you.
You have a consistency of thought that is undeniable and could be envied by many.
I love it when you state your opinion with such emotion. You are very powerful.
I believe that what you believe is coming straight from your heart.
I’m at peace with allowing you to maintain your position and the way that you feel about it.

Be Open to Change

I am in the change business, and I deal mostly with people in transition. If you’re not open to the idea of change at the moment this will sound totally ridiculous to you (what am I saying? If you’re not open, you probably would not have read this far).

So, you are open. You’re like the many people who are making transitions in their lives, and the people around them may not like the change, so you will experience some resistance. By accepting that resistance will be part of your growth and that some struggle may be necessary to break through to be where you want to be, to enjoy the better life you know is waiting for you… Is it too much to ask that you give what you want?

If you want others to let you be, then maybe it’s time to allow others to be the way they are, where they are in the moment.

Move forward. Keep moving. Respectfully state your case, when appropriate or necessary then resume your forward movement, more mindful to allow the magic of

Let it be

Meet Miss Interpretation

I’m a communicator; it’s what I do.

How can something so simple, like stacking words in a certain order to convey one’s thoughts, be so complicated?

I can assemble a little 140-character text (laughing and giggling about how innovative, clever and humorous I’ve been in my word assembly) and press SEND.

Within moments, I receive a barrage of complaints, accusations and abbreviations, like OMG, WTF and/or blocked, unfriended, deleted or reported as spam.

Now, I feel bad because SHE reared her pretty head and stuck that cute little nose right in the middle of my attempt to reach out and communicate with others.

With a name like, “Interpretation,” you’d think she’d exert all her efforts in helping people understand what message I was trying to convey… BUT NO-o-o-o, she’s got to stretch, twist and garble it all so as to have the worst possible outcome.

Thats not what he meant to say Miss Interpretation misinterpretation

Little Miss Interpretation has been at this as long as I can remember. As a kid, I’d try to express myself to my parents and get sent to my room or punched in the face. I’ve said things (and been fairly adequately quoted) from the pulpit, stage, conference room, boardroom, classroom or office with the best intentions, only to have MI mess things up for me.

There I was, fully intent on effectively communicating when she walks in and gets everyone all riled up, offended, objecting and ranting about something that wasn’t even intended to be included in what I was talking about. How does she do it?

“That’s not what he meant to say.”

~ Miss Interpretation

She gets inside people’s head and rifles through all their personal belongings and grabs words, ideas and thoughts that still hold emotional charge from the past and waves it in front of their face:

“See this! Look at that! Remember this? What about that?”

A relentless barrage of old information that is highly charged with negative emotion, causing the individual to think that danger may be ahead.

A person can’t help but recoil in self-preservation and protect themselves from such a vicious attack, and…

Forget everything I’ve ever said before this moment.

Now, all attention is on this word – or phrase – that harkens to a time that may have been dangerous (or at the very least unpleasant) and now I (the messenger who used the word or phrase with the best of intentions) am an assailant.

How does she wield so much power over us? And I’m the first to admit, that even though I work hard on kicking her to the curb every time she tries to interrupt someone else’s monologue, I too, have fallen victim to her manipulative influence and subject to mounting up to do battle or cut-and-run.

She does seem to have access to all my personal baggage accumulated since birth, and she’ll use anything she can get her hands on to derail (initiating fight or flight response) an otherwise potentially meaningful exchange of information between two people.

Why does she do it?

I don’t know… I think it’s because she hangs out with that little child inside us and that’s how she gets her kicks. Or maybe her intentions are good; it’s just that in an effort to protect us from harm’s way, she sees everything as a potential threat… even when it may not be a threat at all.

Just words

Exchanged between two people

Looking for a home

in our hearts and minds

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

you cant handle the truthLet’s talk about truth…

What is truth? What does that mean to you?

How can you know whether something is true, or not?

When someone asserts an absolute, its easy to question the credibility of the messenger as well as the veracity of the message.

For anything to be true, it must be based on fact(s) and/or based in reality; though a truth could also be based on collective beliefs based on much less fact and/or reality as it is known. Truth can also be either subjective or objective.

The measure of truth highly depends on the information that is available for evaluating the prospective truth based on the perspective of the investigator.

In my own life, I have asserted many things as absolute truths based on my valuation of the material that was available at the time. Interestingly, I have lived long enough to discover that many of the things that I believed to be true, based on information that was available (or that I was fed) at the time, required reevaluation as new information came to light.

Truth in its highest form would be absolute, but who are we to assert that we could be the authority on anything? One truth about truth is, “seek and you will find.” As long as there is a quest for the truth with a desire to come to a particular outcome, some searcher, somewhere, sometime will derive the conclusion sought.

Yet, we are responsible to seek and maintain our own truths as we travel along this life’s journey; it is a sacred gift, not bestowed on other life forms on this planet. The key is to be open to the idea that truth is a moving target, ever evolving, as we observe, grow and gather information along our individual paths.

The truth, then, is as varied as we are; each of us determining our own truths from moment to moment.

What if someone does not ascribe to our idea of what is true about a particular idea or concept?

This is where one should practice the wisdom of decorum. If you maintain the belief that an idea that is true, yet it is clearly not accepted by the masses, you must proceed with caution and good judgment out of respect for your potential audience.

You are absolutely right What you believe is true Keep sharing your light with those who can hear youPeople are not able to hear any message or see anything without a proper sense of congruency to have an intellectual connection with your idea (cognitive dissonance).

Anytime someone shares an idea that I experience cognitive dissonance with, I say:

“Thank you for sharing. You are absolutely right. What you believe is true. Keep sharing your light with those who can hear you.”

If you cant think of anything positive to say repeat these words I see what you mean

If I can decipher enough congruency to get a grip on what they are trying to say form their perspective, and I am unable to find an appropriate positive or uplifting response, I simply say:

“I see what you mean.”

This allows my mind to consider understanding what the person is saying from their point of view at some time in the future.

It always amazes me, when I hear a concept – that upon the initial discovery of the idea – I find hard to believe; but, if I do not violently reject it and allow new information to be gathered and evaluated over time, the concept may begin to appear more credible. The new idea starts to become visible and possibly more credible than other ideas that I held closely previously. This concept may create a challenge for comprehension based on its conflict with old ideas in light of new information or discoveries, ergo anything is possible.

Keep an open mind. Don’t judge others for where they are, and do not overtly assert your ideas. Share openly but humbly, allowing your audience the opportunity to let your idea(s) sink in as they begin to collect more information, possibly challenging things that they once revered as absolute.

Debate is folly and overwhelm causes others to discard any value that your message might have.

Share compassionately; and don’t waste your efforts on those who cannot possibly comprehend what you are trying to say, but never stop… Those with the ears to hear will hear you.

I’m listening… Are you?