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How Demanding Are You Of Your Partner?

rp_319628280_150_150.jpgDo you treat your partner like anybody else you know or are you less patient and more demanding?  Do you have higher expectations of him or her?  Are you sarcastic and critical of him or her? Honestly would you like to hang around you if were your partner?

Dear partner, to put the shoe on the other foot, why don’t you treat me like happyoldercoupleyou treat other people, your friends, other family members?  You are very likeable and courteous with people who come to our door or who you meet on the street.  I hear you having long conversations on the phone but you never tell me these things that you talk about.  I feel left out of the loop and that I often am the last person to find out something if I ever find out at all (even if it includes me).

not.talkI would love to have coffee with someone and find out how their day went and with whom I could share my troubles, no matter how small.  I am not seeking to blame someone and I only want to receive a little compassion for my troubles.  Life can be very lonely when you spend it this way day after day….

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Should You Judge A Book By Its Cover? What Do You Think Is More Important? Looks? Or Personality??

Drp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifo you realize we learn to like certain skin colors, hair types, body shapes, heights, and to discriminate between them.  To me, my mommy was beautiful and my grandmas were a “sight for my sore eyes,”  although they were older and heavier than my mother.  My BFF, who I met in first grade, was not judged by me on the basis of her physical size but on how much fun we had when we were together.  I had a cousin the same age as I was and I often got hand me downs from her as she (although my age) was “bigger” than me.  We have to be taught to see these differences as significant.  The standards of beauty and handsomeness can vary quite strikingly from culture to culture and have you looked at wedding pictures and seen that there is a man for every woman and a woman for every man.

I was having a discussion with my daughter-in-law and discovered that an actress that I considered to be no beauty was considered very attractive by my daughter-in-law.  Also men and women focus on different parts of the anatomy when they try to decide if a woman is beautiful and/or and a man is a potential  “chick magnet.”  Haven’t you ever heard a discussion about what physically attracts a man to a woman: her boobs, her butt, her legs, her hair color, or whatever.

Remember the saying, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.”  Doesn’t seem to face-partsmatter now.  It used to be what attracted a woman to a man was his profession or his ability to be able to support her in the style she was or would like to become accustomed to.   At mid-life or latter some men look for a younger woman sometimes even young enough to be their daughter.  Then there women who are “cougars” and seek younger men.  Ever hear the terms, “sugar daddy”or “trophy wife”?

There is one particular cable news channel that is often on at my house and one of the recurring “experts” I became acquainted with was so ugly, I didn’t like to look at him; however he was very knowledgeable and had a very credible life history to support his road to being this “expert.”  All of a sudden one day as I was listening to him, I realized he no longer was bad looking to me.  His looks didn’t change but my attitude toward them had.

rp_5798468679_59ea50286a_m.jpgI came to realize that I had been selling other people short when I concentrated on their looks instead of their personality, knowledge, and abilities.  I also I noticed I was selling myself short too when I dressed to impress and probably could not afford it instead of wearing something flattering and comfortable so I could be comfortable being me.  I don’t mean that looks don’t count.  You can go too far in this direction to the point of being offensive.

I had planned to post on the fact that the cable news channel had only impossibly beautiful women in at least distracting (if not very conservative) clothes, dangerously high heels, high maintenance hairstyles, and glamorous makeup that required that these women show up early for work in order to attain this look.  Also of course, the men who had the same jobs were often not necessarily tall, athletic, and youthful and wore more comfortable, less revealing, clothes.  I then realized I was judging these women on how they looked but in a negative way.  They didn’t deserve that either.  They invested a lot of time and money into looking the way they did and should not be judged for trying so hard.

Conversation Stopper: People Are Rude Because Other People Are Too Polite To Call Them On It

Arp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifre some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite?  Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves?  Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it.  They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.

What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it.  It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t.  Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGeverybody looked to see who was coming in.  The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?”  It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked.  It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group.  This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply.  I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.

rp_7510823738_6616ac3a63_m.jpgSometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return.  Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience.  People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.

Stay Involved, Don’t Opt Out

rp_Feelings.jpgSocial interaction is crucial to children learning language.  Watching a video or listening to an auditory version is not enough.  Are children becoming autistic because people in our world are becoming less and less involved?  What about a good old fashioned conversation or a satisfying read?  Being unable to interact with others is a very real problem and I can see the day when children have virtual play dates?  How removed from reality is this?  Will we all sit home and rely on clouds and the internet to keep us in touch?  Will the ethers be doing our talking?  It will no longer be necessary to read or write as computers will communicate for us just by talking and ultimately will thoughts and images not words be used to share ideas?

 rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpg This just started out as a blog about how children need human contact to learn and ultimately to thrive.  Scarey isn’t it?  For example, someday people will not sign their names, not just because they did not learn cursive writing; but because reading and writing are no longer considered necessary.  We have done this since the dawn of the machine age and eliminating the human factor in creating things that we need and use.  Is it possible we are also eliminating the good vibrations that many skilled, dedicated craftsmen and craftswomen put into their work.

Flowers Versus Weeds. How Were You Raised? What Are You Raising?

rp_8150559597_f6b72c73b6_m.jpgIt all depends on your point of view.
The problem is that in your garden you may have been taught to see certain plants as weeds and which should be “weeded” out and others as flowers which should be cultivated.  Many people when they plant their gardens expect to get flowers but the truth is that when you plant a seed, you may get not get what you expected which is someone like you and you don’t know how to cultivate them.  How do you handle this mystery seed as a disappointment or as a wonderful new discovery  if you got what you were hoping for.  Why take it out on the plant, because you have to learn new cultivating  techniques and, for example, provide different amounts of water, different amounts of sunshine or shade, and different kinds and amounts of plant food as well as protection from different types of insect infestation.  Some require  more space than others or grow taller and block the sun getting to other plants and/or your view of them.  You can look on this as a pleasant surprise or as a serious disappointment and/or you might learn new things about growing different “plants”.

rp_300px-Drill.jpgThe famous Kennedy family had their developmentally disabled daughter unsuccessfully operated on to deal with her unconventional behavior and then institutionalized her because they couldn’t cope with her unfortunate behavior changes after surgery and her perceived inability to benefit (they thought) no longer from family life with the other children.  Could she who was seen as an unfortunate weed that needed to be changed been raised successfully (at least for her if not for them) in the in the Kennedy family compound? They felt that they couldn’t cope with her behavior and poor ability to comprehend and benefit from what was going on around her.  It was an unfortunate decision and at the time, they didn’t know that the operation would not help her, but injury her further.

Did you get what you individually needed to grow and flourish as the flower that you actually  were or were you treated unfortunately as an unwanted weed? Also what were your parents considered to be by their parents, teachers, and even peers?  Flowers or weeds? and how were they raised? you-are-exactly-who-you-are-suppose-to-beTaking account of the differences as well as the similarities is important in raising your own off spring or the children you have contact with, students, nieces and nephews,  etc. .  Consider such happenings  as a pleasant  surprise and  as a splendid way to learn new things and see life from a different point of view and not as dealing with an unwanted pest and, at best, as at least an inconvenience to have such a child and set them the child up for the rest of his or her life to be seen as a failure or to be at the least second best when compared with a sibling or or siblings who might more meet your expectations and fit your style of dealing with life itself.

Take Your Own Advice! Nobody Else Can Use It So Well!

 

Road Rage As An Example

Road Rage As An Example

(Short;  but not too sweet.)

Do you ever listen to what you say to others?  Did you ever try to take your own advice?  What kind of advice you give can be very self-revealing.  Carefully done it is like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself reflected there, not someone else.

What are the problems that you see others as having that bother you the most?  Could it be very revealing to list them and see if you often have them too?  Make a list of the things that bother you the most.  Put them somewhere where you can look at them.  Either inside a cupboard door or the bathroom cabinet door  or out on a mirror where you will get a chance to look at it every day.

Ever hear someone say, “I don’t see why someone should do something or something should be done about that?, ” and it is clearly descriptive of what the person them-self needs to do or have done.

Don’t let yourself read this with a self-satisfied smirk as you apply it to someone else and forget who this is really about!  “You!”  Whose behavior can you really change?  “Yours!”

Mine is to tell the truth, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do, as I fear and think that I can’t handle rejection.  Why do we reject others, when we don’t want to be rejected ourselves?

“Merry Christmas” Or “Mary’s Christmas”?

familykidpictureHave we forgotten one major participant in the Christmas story?

Over the years I have been attracted to signs, symbols, and works of art having to do with Mary the Mother of Jesus in spite of the fact that I was raised a Protestant not a Catholic.   Not only have I found such things for my own personal collection, but I have also created such things as my own personal works of art.  I have read many books about the creation of nuns (the Brides of Christ) and have enjoyed many songs and much poetry about the Madonna, the Virgin Mary.

It was fascinating to learn that many of the songs of the Lutheran  church (a Protestant church) as well as its liturgy came from the Catholic church as they were originally written in Latin, the language of the Catholic Church.

Wasn’t Mother Mary a major participant in the Christmas story about Jesus’s birth along with God the Father?  Joseph was Mary’s husband, not Jesus’s actual father, although he functioned as Jesus’s father on this earth.

Jesus has been called the son of God and the son of man.  Wasn’t he actually the son of Mary, a woman and a virgin?  Women are the major participants in the birth of children as they carry them as they grow and develop from a fertilized egg to a tiny infant who is ready to be born and eat, breath, and grow on their own.

 

 

 

If You Go, You Usually Have To Come Back Again

rp_23219947_8c2cef7e59_m.jpgIf you go you usually have got to come back and take up the reins again. Most trips aren’t one way.  It seems often you can’t have one without the other.  Haven’t you noticed it often seems to take longer to get to a new place then it takes to go back?  Why is it we often focus only on the front part of a journey and when it is time to go back, we say wishfully I wish I didn’t have to go back.

Does the trip going home wear you out more or the trip getting there?  In my mind’s eye I can see the exhausted mother and father standing just inside the door with bags and suitcases and parcels all around them on the floor where they have just dropped them.  Think of the dirty laundry that has to be done and the work, school. and church or other social schedules that have to be resumed.

laughing_catFor example, what about a shopping trip to the mall or the home supply store?  Where do we put the stuff that we get?  When do we start the project (and finish it) that we got the things for?  What about when we get the credit card statement and have to start making the payments?  What if the clothes or shoes don’t fit and we find out that we overly optimistic about this  What if we got lumber or something else that needs to be the right width or length and we discovered we had mis-measured?

Don’t we always find going shopping rewarding as we get to see and think about all the things that are available out there.  Are our eyes bigger than our stomachs?  Have we bit off more than we can chew?   How about when you have a party at your house and have to clean up all the mess afterwards.?

Remember when you go, you have to come back!  Makes sense doesn’t it?  It usually is no laughing matter!

Do You Let Others Make You Feel Bad When You Have Done Nothing Wrong?

rp_291253057_150_150.jpgDo you let others make you feel bad when you have done nothing wrong.  Some people call this a “guilt trip” but this is more complicated. Some people thrive on the fact that they can make other people feel bad so they can get what they want from them.  Some people make “their living” by manipulating others into doing what they want them to do.  It is also known as the game of “Gotcha  Ya!”  Why feel responsible for your own behavior when you can make others feel guilty for doubting you.  Some of us have a “guilty conscience” which is easily manipulated even when we have done nothing wrong.  This lets other people who don’t really care about your feelings get away with “murder”.

This works especially well when you can get an innocent person to doubt that he or she  (who you know will get the blame) did the right thing?  Do you know that you have to have a conscience in order to to be manipulated in this way.  I don’t know if knowing this is happening will make you feel better when it happens to you; but it should.

Yes, it is a scam and the person perpetuating this scam will continue to do this to you or other ones that you love until they no longer can get away with it.  This usually never happens because they usually can get people to feel a shadow of a doubt that something is going on here.  Worse comes to worse these people will move on to other people if they can no longer get away with this with you , your friends, or family.

Stop Letting Others Manipulate You.

Stop Letting Others Manipulate You.

The People Of The Lie Are Excellant Manipulators Because they Have No Conscience

The People Of The Lie Are Excellant Manipulators Because they Have No Conscience

They often rely on the fact that you will not check the facts and that the other people involved in the scheme don’t know you and/or that you won’t contact them to check things out.  Lying is usually not a problem for these manipulators.  If you can be fooled this way then you deserve to be scammed.  At the very least, it will not cost you much to bail them out or make something right so that they or the person they are lying about won’t have to suffer.  They believe in spreading the “wealth” and they are just helping it along.  And the better they are at this game the less likely they will get caught.

They really don’t like people to get to know them well and may or may not move on when they think that somebody might get onto their game.  You may notice that they seem to know more about you than you do about them.  They are always moving around, trying to get a new job, and when they ask for help you may not have heard from them in a awhile and not have known what they have been doing.  They can find you easy enough but you have difficulty finding them as their addresses, jobs, and phones may have changed or be cut off.  You are never sure of the “facts” and you often known how or with whom you can check them.  You are often an “open book” and they can easily find you and check up on you.  One I knew had the gall to find their phone number and to call some friends of ours to check up on us “on a fact? finding mission.”.

rp_291253057_150_150.jpgThe biggest price besides maybe money is that you feel “bad” whenever this happens to you and they attempt to make you feel bad when there is no reason for you to feel bad and every reason to doubt them and not feel bad.  They also may get your family and friends to sympathize with them and believe you did something wrong too.

I would apologize to Robin Williams; but I can’t since he has passed away.  However, in this picture, he has that “look” like he is signaling to you that you have done something naughty and that you should be at least a little bit ashamed.