Monday, February 25, 2008

Manipulation and Control

When you talk about self esteem killers and covert forms of psychological abuse, these two topics have got to be as toxic as they come. Please let me preface my comments and say that if you are experiencing one or both of these, please seek out the appropriate form of help for yourself. That is most important. The lasting effects on someones mind, body and heart are so devastating that you can be very deeply or partially invested in a relationship without even knowing it. A manipulators objective is to get other's to do what they want with little or no regard being shown. No honesty, respect, sensitivity or concern for the way these destructive and manipulative behaviors will impact the lives of others. This negativity produces anxiety, guilt, blame, criticism, low self esteem and low self worth. A constant daily barrage of attacks like these are responsible for symbolically crushing the gentle spirits of others. In a family where the abuse is learned, children can only live and reflect these terrible teachings. A-B-C- AWARENESS BREEDS CONSCIOUSNESS! If manipulation is alive, active and unwell in your life, please take the necessary steps to navigate your way out of this devastating and demoralizing situation. NEVER- take anyone's guilt. Become the Victor while moving through being a victim. Learning the skills and techniques of positive responses to negative people is a very effective tool to be used against these very cruel and insidious attacks.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Children: They ARE Our Future

When I think of all the special training, practical experiences, wisdom and umpty ump degrees we need to compete in the business world, I ask why isn't it the same for having children? So many times when talking to parents do I hear how much conflict the family is in and the turmoil they are having with their children. With us being the models for children to follow, there seems to be a disconnect about what and how the children are receiving our messages. In many ways we are seeing reflected back to us our spoken/unspoken words and attitudes. We, as adults, hold up a mirror for them to see their choices made and behaviors chosen. In every instance we need to take the opportunity to teach, not criticize. Many times it is like picking low hanging fruit in the moment. There are some strategies I believe which can begin to shift our thinking to a higher level of consciousness:

Never disapprove of who a child is, disapprove of what they do.
Seek first to understand so you can be clearly understood.
Never punish, that is counterproductive--use healthy discipline
which teaches new ways of thinking. REMEMBER: Positive
discipline looks for solutions, punishment looks for blame.
Always be looking for ways to give praise--children respond so well to it.
Instruct them as to "what" you want, not what you "don't" want.
Know how children develop.
Adults must maintain self control: The biggest reason for low self
esteem in children is lack of self control in adults.
Build healthy relationships with your children.

I know there are no absolutes for how to positively impact each child, however, the more we learn about proper child development the more fun we can have along the way. I hope these
strategies will be helpful and remember to give yourself an "adult time out" to get centered, as you are doing without a doubt one of the hardest, most difficult, thankless jobs out there.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Ten Things I Want For You Are

As a Coach, I have a very committed sense of dedication to my clients. I realize there are certain parts of our development which are key to living a happy, balanced, quality filled life. What I would like to share with you are the very requests I have had with former clients and what I would ask of new clients. As people begin to grow into the person they either want or need to be, I am of the strong belief these will serve as either a springboard or cornerstones for your life.

1. Know and understand what your core beliefs are.
2. Tell yourself "First" the absolute unvarnished truth.
3. Start living your authentic life.
4. Have healthy self messages of "I".
5. Develop a high level sense of self worth.
6. Become a role model for others to follow.
7. Get in touch with your feelings.
8. Set very definitive and non-moveable boundaries.
9. Be a great listener while you communicate effectively.
10. Either restore, have, or keep your integrity while you role model that for others.

If your life is out of sync in any of these areas, this would serve as a mirror to hold up, to become a reflection of work needing to accomplish.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Relationships: How is yours?

Relationships can be sticky situations, right? What are your abilities for understanding, communicating, listening and being considerate of the other person? Too many times our judgements, attitudes and behaviors get right in the middle of people who profess to care about one another. Sometimes we need to take our own "time out" and realize the importance of asking ourselves the tough and difficult questions about where your relationship stands. Do you perceive the other person in a negative light? Do you compromise your wants, wishes and needs to "keep the peace"? How adept are you in "negotiating" in all areas of your life? Or, do you have "bargaining" strategies to get what you want? Having to tolerate people, situations and life isn't the best decision as it eventually becomes a train wreck of major proportion. Dr. Phil put it very succinctly when he says, "If the cost of being "half" a couple means you have to give up "all" of who you are, then isn't the price you are paying way too much?

So many times our own actions, reactions, words and gestures will create the very hardships our relationships will experience. We come to blame the other person who is "reacting" to things we have just said or done. If your message being sent has an air of manipulation, control, judgements or disdain, just to name a few, then you have the makings of an all out and out battle.

Dr. Graydon Goss, Md says, "There are three major areas we call triggers which have strong tendencies to start so many of the conflicts between people, and they are:"
Accusations: These are well intentional statements or questions that are meant to express hurt, but instead imply blame. Hurts are inevitable and as much as we try to avoid them we just don't. These accusations are expressions of anger instead of hurt. "You never pay any attention to me", instead of "I'm feeling lonely." "Why can't you ever be on time?", instead of "I am feeling impatient and have been worried." We all have the tendency to make it about somebody else instead of an expression of self.
INVALIDATIONS: This is when we imply someone's feelings are wrong, misguided, inappropriate etc. "You shouldn't feel that way." These are and can be very subtle however, they really hurt. Feelings are very real, believe it or not. Anger generally precedes hurt and that goes to the bone. Be careful. Acknowledge others feelings and offer to help if you can.
PHONY FACTS: These are opinions and (mis) perceptions expressed as though they are fact."
"I was born in PA." That is a fact. "Your Mother treats you like a child." That is an opinion. These will always invite disagreements, rebuttal or defensiveness. People will usally feel attacked this way. Is this what you want to create in your life?

All three of these triggers are well intentioned but ineffective attempts to communicate. Accusations--hurtful substitutes for expressions of feelings.
Invalidations--hurtful substitutes for expressions concern.
Phony facts--hurtful substitutes for expressions of information.

Let's learn more effective ways to communicate.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Goals For Positive Living

A common recurring theme I have experienced through Coaching, has been about maintaining a healthy, positive attitude. When I am asked, "how do I do that", or "what can I do to be more positive", believe it or not there are ways to strategize accomplishing this. When I hear the operative words, "how and what", it tells me that my client is ready to move forward and do the work.

By recognizing and accepting the personal responsibility of developing ourselves to our fullest potential, we will restore balance to all of our lives, starting with us. It is the sense of self respect we bring to all of our relationships, because the very relationship we have with ourself will be the same one we will have with others.
Here is a list of methods we can choose from today to begin to bring about a positive air to our living.
  • Be kind! Be kind! And Be kind!
  • Be an example to others.
  • Be sensitive and exercise better judgement.
  • Be a non-participant of gossip.
  • Be mindful of "your business" only.
  • Become approachable.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Always get more information before making decisions.
  • Let's not attempt to read the minds of others. Stay out of their heads.
  • Earn each others trust and respect.
  • Avoid sarcasm AND criticism.
  • Acknowledge people doing the right thing.
  • Take a sincere interest in others.
  • Look where you can give sincere compliments to others daily.

Every journey begins with the first step, as we all have heard through our lives. Developing a positive attitude of gratitude will keep us from developing "Psychoschlorosis", as Zig Ziglar would say. What is it? Hardening of the attitudes. Yes--it is a manufactured word, however our hearts and minds do not know anything different than what we teach it. Realize what you have to be grateful for and YES-this all has to do with positive thinking. Will positive thinking let me do anything? Absolutely not. BUT-it will let me do everything better then negative thinking will. Remember the 10 two letter words of success: "If it is to be, it is up to me".

Have a Great Day!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

How Happy Are You?

As relayed to me from a coaching client this past year, this comes to us from a Oprah show on determining the amount of happiness we all are experiencing. It is a short five question excerise which you will score your answers, to determine where you are on the "Happiness" continuumm. The questions are very generic, however your answers will be very specific. Here we go:

Your grading key will be from 1-7. One being "not much in agreement" with seven being "very much in agreement." Be careful to focus only on what you are reading and refrain from going to the answer scale. We want this to be an absolute, unvarnished reflection of your truth about yourself. Let's proceed........

1. In most ways, my life is close to ideal.

2. The conditions of my life are excellent.

3. I am satisfied with my life.

4. So far, I have gotten the important things in life.

5. If I could live my life over again, I would change almost nothing.


Let's see how you did. 31-35--Extremely Satisfied

15 and Below-----Dissatisfied

In Between-------So very much work to be done

What I found interesting, the happiest person on the show panel of guests was the funeral home owner of 35 years. The person scoring the lowest was the one looking to "be" the happiest. We all need to look at the very energy we are using each day. Let's determine if we are creating positive or negative attributes to our life and people around us. When I reflect back to clients who have worked beyond their life situations and have evolved, it helped me to look at the word C.O.A.C.H. and give it an acronym: " Changing Our Attitudes Creates Happiness". Take time to reflect on you, while giving "you" what you need. Be a great day.