Monday, August 30, 2010
When I went to my 30th High School Reunion in E. St. Louis, Il. Our football coach talked about a young man who was inspired to leave the city after hearing the coach tell his players there was a bigger world than ESL.
I laughed to myself. I didn't need him or anyone else to tell me I could leave. I have planned to move to Evanston, IL in the fourth grade and my classmates still recall the day I told them all. They couldn't believe it then, and can't believe I've been gone for over 25 years. The majority of them still live in the area.
I have always had a sense of wonder and freedom. I still have that and I am now ready to move to Atlanta. I know there is something great waiting there for me to discover. Something only I can bring out of the marvelous city. A vibe, a feeling, an awareness.
It is my turn, and although I don't have all the answers at least I know I'll take my share of chances. This is a line from a Diana Ross song made for the movie "My Turn." I love that movie and the soundtrack even more.
It is my turn and I am ready if I don't get to go.
We need to listen and accept what we hear. If he says he isn't ready. He isn't ready and we have to let it be. Forcing a situation is never the answer and usually will lead to heartache.
People tell you who they are all the time. Listen!
He doesn't want to figure it out. He just wants me to trust again. It doesn't work like that. So we have little mini-blow-ups when he does something that seems suspicious. He spends to much energy trying to project his wrongs on me. To me, it is all a waste of time. He needs to just come clean and be the man he claims he wants to be.
I was ready to press charges against the boy, but my daughter did not want that. She wanted to try to talk to him to resolve the issue because she wanted to have no animosity against the boy. "It shouldn't have happened. I don't want to be walking around mad at people."
I was so proud of her. She confronted him and initiated making peace with him. I would much have rather pressed charges. He needs to learn he is not to hit girls. Especially, if she didn't hit you first.
I feel proud to have raised a compassionate child. She will be the better for her actions. I am sure she taught him a thing or two, in more ways than one.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
She has matured greatly and I appreciate her warm ways and true expressions of love. She is smart and capable. She loves acting and singing and want to be a star. She already is in my eyes.
Happy Birthday dear!
What was even more amazing is that each time I rebuffed him, he actually got quiet and moved on to the next thing. Before? We would still be mad at each other.
I have made up my mind I will not argue with him. I refuse to allow anyone to dictate my responses. He really was the last person I needed to deal with and I feel I have done this successfully. I just refused to take his actions personally, even when it was obvious he was directing his jacked up attitude towards me.
What really felt good is I was able to say exactly what was on my mind without disrespect or reservation and he listened because he knew I was right. It won't be long before he stops trying to ignite a fire under me. I love the fact we allow each other the room to be who we are.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
- Does he believe woman was born to serve and service man?
- Does he "own" her?
- Is he born to give her orders?
- Is she supposed to obey him?
- Is woman innately dumb? Without opinions worth listening to.
- What are his attitudes about shared responsibilities, about decision making, household and child-rearing chores, job-holding and how the money is used?
- if dinner isn't on the table at 6:02, will he help or hit?
- How secure is he? Is he so insecure that he's go to devalue his mate in order to inflate his ego?
- Does he make a show of being supersecure, taking command of situations and people? The woman in his life--does she feel that as long as she's nearly perfect, everything will be all right? What will happen if she's herself? What is he like when he's angry? When he hears a differing viewpoint?
- What is know about violence in his family? Ask, are you afraid too?
Many women do not know their husbands family history. He may not be willing to tell you that his dad beat his mom every night. Women need to know that no one has the right to abuse another person. Everyone has the right to develop into the person they are meant to be, to make changes and decisions about their own lives. We all have the right to our own thoughts and feelings and to learn new ways of thinking and behaving.
If you are in a bad situation, know this:
- I do not cause another person's violent behavior.
- I do not like or want to be beaten.
- I do not have to take it.
- I am an important human being.
- I deserve to be treated with respect.
- I do have power over my own life.
- I can use my power to take good care of myself.
- I can decide what is best for me.
- I can make changes in my life if I want to.
- I am not alone; I can ask others for help.
- I am worth working for and changing for.
- I deserve a safe and healthy life.
- I have the right to live in the safety and calm of a violence free home
- I have the right to personal happiness without interference.I have the right to live in my own house without being molested or injured.
These are the signs to watch out for. The danger signals can be determined by learning about a man's attitudes about himself, about women, about the marriage relationship, about what ideal sex would be like, what turn him on, what turns him off, and whether the violence or use of force play a part. If a man and woman cannot talk about their goals and expectations before marriage, they are bound to have anger later. Verbal warnings about beatings should not be ignored. You should calmly inquire, "What do you mean by that?" If you abused in the relationship before you get married, you can be sure it will continue after you marry.
- Does your partner try to control your behavior, your phone conversations, your contact with your friends or family?
- Does he refuse to allow you outside the home, even to work?
- Does he try to isolate you in any way?
- Do you need his permission before doing anything such as buying food, or writing checks?
- Does he dictate what you wear, what you say?
- If your partner drinks too much, does he take out his frustrations on your in an abusive manner?
- is your partner overly critical of everything about you?
- Does he constantly say negative things about you like "You're stupid, incompetent, you can't do anything right?"
- Does he punish you and tell you that he beats you for your own good or to keep you in line?"
- Is your partner insanely jealous? Does he accuse you of things you never did?
- Did you or your partner witness or experience physical abuse as a child?"
- Are you afraid, unsure of what will happen when he comes home?
- Are you living in a constant state of fear and anxiety, walking on eggshells because he is so erratic yo never know what to expect?
- Are you trying to be perfect to avoid a verbal or physical fight?
- Do you avoid seeing people and/or going to work because you don't want anyone to know about your injuries?
- Are you fighting to save a relationship and family but losing yourself in the process?
- Are you afraid that if you stay in the situation you may be killed?
If you said "Yes" to ANY of these questions, think seriously about your relationship. it is possible that you are in a battering situation.
I was an emotionally abused child. I was also physically abused. (That is a different blog.)
Both parents abused me emotionally and they felt they were doing it for my own good.
"We must renounce the lie that emotional abuse prepares children for a hard life in a tough world. I've met some people who were prepared for a hard life that way--I met them while they were doing life."
Yes, abuse of any kind for any reason seldom has the effect that some thinks it should. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected for who they are. Oftentimes, parents emotionally abuse their children because they were, but most times they do it because it comes easier than actually finding out who the child is and helping mold them into the person they seem to be developing.
Parents who abuse their children emotionally are leaving scars that often do not heal. People seldom forget being called stupid, or being told they will never amount to anything. Parents who do this will say, "I said those things hoping you would not be those things." It doesn't work like that. Negative reinforcement usually brings about some sort of negative manifestation of the self. Especially if it is your primary caretakers telling you this things about you. They are the people who are supposed to know you best. They reared you.
The problem is they do not know you and they are destroying you before you can completely develop. This is the problem with emotional abuse. It causes shame and guilt feelings when most often all the child is doing is trying to find their place in the world.
Be positive with your children and spouse. Elevate them, love them, respect them.
- Listening--is the ability to hear what is being said and get the message behind the words. Developing the ability to encourage more information and to successfully understand what is being said. "I hear you saying you are not pleased with your assignment. Could be please tell me exactly what parts of the assignment bother you?"
- Speaking Clearly and directly--Develop the ability to deliver a clear statement with no hidden messages. We must understand our own feelings and motivations in order to clarify and send direct messages.
- Verbal and nonverbal congruence--develop the ability to support verbal statements with nonverbal behaviors that deliver the same message. (The look on your face should match what you say."
- Setting limits--Develop the ability to set priorities and refuse to spend time on things and people that interfere with those priorities.
- Making requests--Develop the ability to ask clearly, persistently and persuasively for the ting we want.
- Managing conflict--Develop the ability to sort through the facts, behaviors and feelings of a difficult situation. In managing conflict it is especially important to separate facts from assumptions and present feelings from prior history. Managing conflict is a two-way communication process, and the sender of the message should always wait to hear the perceptions and feelings of the recipient. The next step is to move on to what we want the other person to do.
- Negotiating--Develop the ability to give and take. Negotiating requires entering situations with a clear idea of what you want and what you don't ant, as well as paying attention to the needs, concerns and interests of the other party.
- Motivating--Develop the ability to assess what is important to the people around you. Praise, reward, compliments, money, recognition, visibility and feedback are all excellent motivators. It takes observation and assessment to choose the one that best meets the needs of all. The best motivator is to catch people doing the right thing. We are so used to only responding to negative actions, that when someone does something right we tend to ignore them. When we praise them for what they have done right, they are likely to behave in a positive manner again.
People skills can be taught, identified, analyzed, learned and mastered. Practice makes perfect.
He also said if you have something really important to convey, do it on paper because men are more visual than women.
All this was great. I am always looking for ways to improve the communication between men and women. We have been at odds for centuries. It is time for us to utilize whatever means necessary to break the habit of bashing each other. More and more science is revealing that because men and women are different, we need to respect the differences and learn to discover each other instead of resenting the opposite sex for not being like us.
Men and women are different. It is what it is.
The next important goal for your group is to discover the use of constructive feedback in small group interaction. Feedback is reporting to an individual the kind of impressions he is making on you or reporting your reactions to him. Constructive feedback is rarely effectively used on the value of honesty. Children are taught their homes and schools that it is bad to lie about their behavior. Stealing, lying, cheating, and other dishonest acts are denounced in every aspect of life. Yet, all of us are guilty of a great deal of dishonestly in interpersonal relationships all the time. (Since children are often very aware of this it makes the learning of the value of honesty very complex.) We rarely express our honest feelings toward others in home or in school. Often this involves simply avoiding the expression of reactions which we feel would be detrimental to others or ourselves. Often it involves what we call "little white lies" when we tell people something positive or reassuring rather than be direct, honest, or critical.
People often feel threatened by the introduction of feedback exercises. The notion that people will be hurt by criticism is very prevalent. Yet, think of how many people you know who have goo intention but irritate, embarrass, or behave in ways which diminish their effectiveness. The range of operating efficiently and productively in many areas of life is seriously hampered if we never have a chance to become are of our impact on others. Most of us are quite capable of improving our styles of interpersonal communication and becoming much more effective as people-parents, teachers, students, whatever, when we really become aware of our impact on others.
Before going on to an exercise designed to give and receive feedback to others in the group, it is useful to think about destructive versus constructive feedback. Feedback is destructive when it is given only to hurt or to express hostility without any goal of improving the communication between people. it may be also destructive when only derogatory or extremely critical statements are given without any balance or positive evaluation.
Principles of Constructive Use of Feedback
Feedback is useful to a person when:
- It describes what he is doing rather than placing a value on it. Example: "When you yell at me it makes me feel like not talking to you anymore." Rather than: "It's awful of you to yell at me."
- It is specific rather than general.
- It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about.
- It is well-timed.
- it is asked for rather than imposed.
- it is checked to insure clear communication.
Feedback--whether it is given or received--can be carried out most effectively by using the four communication skills described above. Here are some examples. Paraphrasing: "Did I understand you to say that you do not agree with the current pan?" Behavior description: "This is the third time you've asked that. Can you say more about your question?" Describing own feelings: "I felt antagonistic toward your laughing." Perception -checking: "You seem to feel very strongly abou the point you were making."
Some rules for effective feedback are useful. It should be given with the following guidelines in mind:
- Noncoercive. Feedback should be given so that it dows not demand that the recipient change his behavior.
- Consideration. Feedback should be given after a careful assessment has been made of the feelings of the recipients. This does not mean you should avoid showing anger (for example) to the other. It means the other should be ready to deal productively with it. Sometimes the giver of feedback will have to wait for a time when he is able to present his feelings clearly and the other is ready to listen.
- Descriptive. Feedback should involve a clear report of the facts rather than the reasons why things happened as they did.
- Recency. Feedback should be given close to the time of the events causing reaction.
- Changeability. Feedback should be given about behavior that can be changed. For example, it is not very helpful to tell some that the color of his eyes bothers you.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In a behavior description you should report specific observable behaviors of the other without evaluating them and without making inferences about the other person's motives, attitudes, or personality. As you develop skill in describing behavior you will become a better observer of the behaviors of others. You may find that there is sometimes little observable evidence to support our conclusion of others.
The objectives in describing behavior is to provide the other person with a clear picture of the specific behavior to which you are responding. In addition, you will usually need to communicate additional information concerning nature of your response. Behavior description is often used in conjunction with one of the other communication skills. When you describe those specific behaviors that have prompted a perception check or description of your own feelings, you will usually increase the other person's understanding of you and also help him to become aware of the effect of his own actions. A behavior description is often useful in accompanying a perception check. For example, "you have brought up the issue of gum-chewing three times this afternoon. Does that mean you feel strongly about it?"
If you and another person want to communicate clearly and improve your relationship, the behavior description can be a valuable skill. Each of you will become more aware of your impact on the other and you will both achieve a clearer picture of your own actions.
Describing your own feelings helps others to understand how you feel so that they can respond to you with greater efficacy. although feelings get expressed in many different ways, usually people make no attempt to describe or identify directly the feelings themselves. When you merely express your feelings, the other person must try to infer your emotional state from a variety of cues. Since these cues are often ambiguous or even contradictory, the likelihood of misperception is great. When you directly describe your own feelings, however, the chance of misinterpretation and resultant action based on false assumptions are decreased.
Dissatisfaction and hostile feelings often indicate that faulty communication and misunderstanding have occurred. When these feelings arise, you and the other person should discuss how each sees the situation or the relationship. In this way, you may discover that your feelings come from misperceptions of the situation or misunderstandings of the motives of the other person. More accurate communication should cause the hostile feelings to abate. On the other hand, if your feeling of rejection are a response to the actions of the other person, he may want to change this own behavior. This desire for change is particularly likely if the other becomes aware that his actions are arousing feelings i you or others that he does not intend. In this case, you have helped him to reduce his "blind area" by providing him with a description of your own feelings.
There are strong norms in our culture against expressing emotions openly and also again acknowledging that you perceive the other to be experiencing the description of feelings the most difficult of the skills presented here. They often ask for guideline regarding the appropriate times to describe your feelings. One of the best criteria, with regard to negative feelings at least, is to ask yourself whether you are going to harbor anxious or resentful feelings against the other. You should share your feelings when you feel that you will be uncomfortable if you do not.
The aim in describing your own feelings is to provide the other with accurate information about your emotional state. It should not be an effort to coerce the other into changing his annoying actions so that you will not feel as you do. Do not threaten the other with your feelings. By reporting your inner state, you are providing information that is necessary if the two of you are to understand each other and improve your relationship.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
A second basic skill for understanding the other person is checking with him to make sure that you understand his feelings. This skill complements paraphrasing in that it focuses on the affective aspects of the message rather than ideas. To check you perception of the other's feelings, you describe what you perceive to be his feelings. This description should tentatively identify the other's feelings without expressing approval or disapproval of the feelings and without attempting to interpret or explain the causes of the feelings. Checking the feelings of another conveys this message: "This is how I understand your feelings. Am I accurate?
Understanding the feelings of others is a difficult task. Emotional states express themselves simultaneously in words and in nonverbal behavior such as body movements and physiological changes. Quite often the nonverbal cues are the only accurate source of information available for understanding the other's feelings. Instead of resting your fist inference about the meaning of these ambiguous cues' perception-checking allow you to verify your assumptions about the emotions the other person is experiencing. An additional benefit of perception-checking is that it conveys the idea that you want to understand the other as a person. Thus it has potential for improving interpersonal relations as well as increasing clarity of communication.
Paraphrasing if a way of checking with the other person to be sure that you understand his idea or suggestion as he intended it. Any means of revealing your understanding of the other person's comment constitutes a paraphrase. The objective is to provide information to the other person so that he can determine whether you understand his message as he intends it.
Person newly introduced to the idea of paraphrasing frequently take it too literally and incorrectly assume that their task is merely to translate the other person's statement into different words. This can lead to "word-swapping," which does little to improve understanding. People ask if an effective paraphrase should be more specific or more general than the original comment. The answer is that either maybe an appropriate way to convey your understanding.
Paraphrasing has potential for increasing the accuracy of communication because it allows the speaker to assess the listener's understanding. If the speaker thinks he has been misunderstood, he can provide additional information to clarify his meaning. In addition, paraphrasing allows the listener to convey his interest in the other person. Thus, the paraphrase serves to enhance interpersonal relations as well as the clarification of communication.
Well here are the six steps to solving problems:
1. Defind the problem-Get a clear idea of what the problem really is. Oftentimes, we don't really understand the issue at hand.
2. Generate possible solutions-You hear people say, after making a stupid decision, "Well, I thought I had no other choice." People limit themselves when it comes to possible solutions to the problems of their lives when in fact there are usually at least four or five solutions that are viable.
3. Evaluate the solutions-Take time to figure out if the solution will be a win/win for all involved.
4. Making the decision-After going over the possiblities, one solution may stick out more than another. If you are still having trouble with the solution, rework it until one clearly seems to be the answer.
5. Determine the implementation-Figure out how you are going to execute your solution. Figure out who is going to do what and follow up until it is done.
6. Assessing the success-Is the problem solved? Are you satisfied with the solution?
Taking the time to use these steps will make a difference when problems arise.
If you want to win at something, do not give up. This is the only reason my husband and I are still married. We want to win at this marriage thing. Neither one of us want divorce as a part of our legacy. We would rather fight than switch and because of that our bond has grown deeper and stronger with every storm that hits us.
The other day my husband laid on top of me and said, "How does it feel to be a failure?" With a puzzled look on my face I asked, "What are you talking about?" "You've been unsuccessful at trying to get rid of me for over 25 years. I'd say you are a big failure." We laughed and gut laugh and enjoyed each others company.
We are winning because we are making the choice. Not because we have some magic going on, or we know some secret method. We are in the trenches, fighting to good fight everyday. That's how you do it. hold on for the good.
The other day he shaved all the hair off his face. He has only done it one of other time in the 25 years I've known him. I love his face that way and when he looked at me I felt a warm throb in my chest area. It was an amazing feeling. I felt like I wanted to be close to him. It turned me on.
Needless to say, the fire has not died for us. We are very lucky considering our past. I know there are people out there somewhere who are sure one of us has killed the other. But that is not the case. We are still giving what we can to each other and making the best out of what we have managed to savage of our relationship throughout our journey together.
I am proud of us. I really am.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Many folk love to blame other people for their unhappiness. To find out that they too have caused much of their own suffering sends some into hiding. This is not the answer. The answer to clean up your act. Accept responsibility for your actions and face yourself and your life head.
Instead of running from the life you've created, recognized just like you created the bad, you can also create a good life for yourself. Learn to love you and you will get the love you desire.
I learned that in marriage a lot of what we verbalize tends to be negative. When is the last time you told your spouse how wonderful they are? When was the last time you congratulated them, or even given them a positive nod?
We must learn when to say what we think needs to be said and understand that how we say it matters the most. In our marriages, we must make the committment to uplift and encourage as much as we can. Marriage is a long-term operation. If we develop the habit of verbalizing every slight, we will create a hostile in the environment we need to find the most peace, our homes.
Think before you speak, or just don't speak at all. Sometimes saying nothing speaks louder than any words ever could.
Try it. Try living off less, eating less, talking less, buying less. You just may discover you have more time for the things that really matter in life.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Get involved in some sort of community activity. Everyone benefits from what one does.
I have a great opportunity that will make it possible for me to transition out of this state for good. I am ready to do something different.
Monday, August 9, 2010
When I was in the 1oth grade, I wrote an essay about what I thought success meant. I basically said the same as about. I have been successful all my life because I have always held myself to an extremely high standard.
Be committed to being successful.
At 48 years old, I've learned that vision is one of the most effective ways to getting closer to what you desire. I visualize myself one day awaking to a full time writing position. Whether it is writing for others or myself. I see myself sitting at my desk doing what I love most.
Open you eyes, shut them and dream.
This is so true. It is my desire to be the best I can be that has allowed me to realize my goals and dreams.
Desire, dream, achieve!
Louis Parker, Jr. was one of them. I asked him, "Louis, where was I? I don't feel like I know anyone." He said, "Wanda, you were quiet. If no one said anything to you, you didn't say anything to them. We saw you in class, passing in the halls, and the school dances."
I must admit I felt a little empty inside, but I soon got over it. I didn't have time for them in high school. So many of them seemed as immature as they were. I thought I was grown and carried myself that way. Yes, there are drawbacks to feeling this way. One being, I don't have many friends, and I definitely don't have 30 year old friends that I have kept in contact with.
I just didn't need high school to define me like so many of them did. They are still holding on to high school glory, whereas I knew the best time of my life was not then. I knew there was nothing like being an adult who took full responsibility for their actions. I couldn't wait to be a "grown up."
Now, that I am, I relish in it. This is the best time of my life. Even though I am 60 pounds heavier than I was in high school, I heard repeatedly how I looked the same. That was a good feeling, especially since so many had changed so drastically.
I like where I am right now in life. I was right to stay to myself and follow the promptings of my soul.
One of my classmates asked me if I had thought about coming back home. I asked, "What would I do?" He seemed shocked, but it was a valid question. The area is more depressed than it was 30 years ago, it most definitely has less to offer to me. I didn't see a future there back then and I definitely don't see one now.