Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.~Anne Wilson Schaef
For the past few months I’ve been training for races I’m running this summer. Before I signed up, I had never run more than a few blocks without stopping. I’d just never gotten into it.
I’m not really sure why, but I’ve always wanted to run a trail race. Plus a triathlon is on my Nothing’s Impossible List, so why not start with the part I’m no good at?
I headed out to buy some good shoes. The owner offered me advice and ideas about how to begin running and what sort of training plan to follow.
What’s funny is that I figured there couldn’t be much to it. Instead I realized that I was a young babe in an old woods. There was a lot to running, and I didn’t know what I was in for.
I’m so thankful I opened up to that shop owner, because now I have all sorts of things to help me succeed. I was a little embarrassed to admit I was trying something new (that’s one of my ego’s trouble spots — I always want to look like an expert), but by doing so, I probably saved myself a whole bunch of misery, injury and wasted time.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.~Bryant H. McGill
Some acquaintances and I were hiking together in a new spot. Everywhere we turned there were things to behold — falcons perched, coyotes hunting, altars built — it was an experience I can’t wait to repeat.
Since we were all fairly new friends, we all had plenty to tell each other. There was very little silence, even in such an awe-inspiring place. When I got home I realized that I didn’t remember a lot of what was said. I was embarrassed to admit it, but it seemed I had forgotten to listen.
I’ve been told many times that I’m a good listener; in fact, many people open up to me for just that reason. Maybe it was because I was tired, or maybe I was just out of practice (working alone will do that to you) but I decided to revisit some of the things I draw on to listen well. Here are four tips on how to listen:
Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.~Indira Gandhi
I hate to admit it, but I am not good at letting things go. A few days ago I stared getting worked up about a disagreement a good friend and I had. It replayed in my head; the hurt in my heart flared up again.
The worst part? It happened more than a year ago, and it’s been resolved. If she knew I still harbored these feelings, she’d probably be upset. After all, weren’t we past that?
It used to be that I would forgive and forget immediately, but I realized that I wasn’t truly forgiving people; I was simply using the technique of denial.
So instead, I swung to the other end of the pendulum, where I couldn’t seem to let go, even if I’d said I’d forgiven.
The benefits of letting go of a grudge aren’t all just in your head. Forgiveness leads to healthier relationships, less anxiety, lower blood pressure, fewer depression symptoms and less risk of substance abuse.
With all of this in mind, I set out to make an effort to forgive in a healthy way and quit walking around with the weight of all those grudges.
Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living. It is the beginning place, the foundation upon which more can be built. Where trust is, love can flourish.~Barbara Smith
My husband and I have been considering buying a house but knew we had some hurdles that might make it unlikely. We contacted a loan officer who worked with us and gave us a positive opinion. We were absolutely thrilled and started looking at homes.
It turned out, however, that he’d processed some incorrect information and we might not be able to get a loan this year after all.
To say we were bummed out would be an understatement. Both of us tried to see the positive side but couldn’t seem to shake our disappointment.
Neither of us wanted to talk about it, but finally I brought it up.
If you don’t? Someone’s going to get whacked in the face, really hard. That’s not going to promote communication.
Most people spend a lot of time just trying to work up the courage to have a difficult conversation with someone. This is a tough space, isn’t it?
No one likes to initiate a conversation in which they know that they need to communicate that there’s a conflict between them.
After you’ve checked to make sure that you’re not manipulating the work when you decide to speak your truth, here are a few guidelines to more successfully throw that ball so that someone else can catch it.
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.~Swedish Proverb
A couple of months ago, I made the decision to end my financial dependence on my mother.
I had on eighty-four cents in my bank account, no place to live and the only income I had was from a part time job and a couple of freelance projects.
Though the timing may have been a bit dramatic, there was a sense of urgency in my decision. I was desperate to free myself from the cycle of repeatedly leaving home only to return with my tail between my legs and no money to speak of.
Have you ever had the experience while talking to someone where the person is really not listening to you? They act like they are but it is obvious that they aren’t. The ironic part is that they probably think they are communicating with you but on some level you just feel that you weren’t heard at all.
Communication is something we all engage in on a daily basis but due to the pace of our lives, conversations become just formalities. It is like when you go to the store and the cashier asks you: “how are you?” It’s as if she was on cruise control as opposed to really being interested in how you are doing.
Living mindfully isn’t limited to meditation, but can also be applied to effective communication in our daily interactions with other people. This article takes a look at 10 effective communication tips using the principles of mindfulness.
This article applies also to those not currently in a relationship.
My husband and I had a fight over the weekend – on our date night, of all nights. We rarely fight, so when emotions escalated to shouting, I knew something had to change. I had to change. There was something to be learned here.
The thing about when couples bicker is that both people feel that they are right. Both people feel that their point of view is rightfully justified. So we try to make the other person understand. When we are arguing, what we are essentially trying to do is to show the other person our side – to show them that we are right (and they are wrong).
After all was said and done, underneath the problem on the surface, what we were really fighting for was to feel appreciated and validated. We, each in our own indirect way, were trying to let the other person acknowledge us, and to value what we contribute. But sometimes, we can be so stubborn.
If you dissect all the fights we’ve had in the past with our significant others, and through observing our friends, I think the desire to feel appreciated and recognized is a common theme.
What’s interesting is that in the heat of “battle”, when we are so consumed with wanting the other person to see our side, we become blind to recognizing the other person’s point of view – which is equally valid and understandable. It’s like trying to put out fire with more fire, you will just end up with a bigger fire.