Don’t Mind What Other People Think About You

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

As with feelings and attitudes, we must own our own thoughts. Our thoughts have much bearing on our emotional growth. Not all emotional disturbance comes from thinking, but it does play a vital part. (In reality, our emotions affect our thinking more than the other way around because feeling is primary, and thinking is secondary. But this isn’t about theories of psychology. Let’s just say that emotions and thought affect each other, and both must be owned.)

Our thinking affects how we respond to people and situations. We notice that we can have thoughts that make us move away from relationship. We may think, “They would never like me anyway, so I won’t call.” This is an example of thinking oneself into isolation. We must own all thinking that prevents interpersonal relating. Condemning thoughts about others always hurts us. We must own our critical thinking and confess it.

At the same time, we can’t be responsible for the thoughts of others. If...

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Seven Ways to Disrespect Your Significant Other

Uncategorized Aug 22, 2020

Building boundaries in dating situations means that a couple needs to know that their feelings, needs, and freedom are respected. When someone is uncomfortable in a sexual situation, or is hurt by a sarcastic remark, or becomes angry with a broken promise, that is a signal that something is going on. The other person needs to take those feelings seriously. The couple needs to talk about what triggered this, and solve the problem.

Disrespect may come out in several ways, and it usually involves some violation of freedom in one of seven ways:

1. Dominating: The other person won’t hear “no” from her date. When he disagrees, she intimidates, threatens, or rages. She is offended by her date’s freedom to choose. For example, a woman may want her boyfriend to spend lots of time with her. When he tells her he’d prefer to do other things, she may disrespect his freedom by becoming angry and telling him their relationship will be jeopardized.

2. Withdrawal: One...

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Don't Let Someone's Guilt Influence Your Decisions

Uncategorized Aug 21, 2020

When it comes to making decisions, one of the things we experience is guilt. When you choose to do something for yourself, or make any kind of decision-based on your conviction that it is the right thing to do, you may sometimes feel as if you have done something bad because of people’s adverse reactions.

I had one experience along these lines when a friend put his elderly mother in an assisted care facility. His family had been helping her in many ways as she got up in years. Although she was relatively healthy, the burden was getting to be too much for any of them. The situation had reached the point where their family life could not continue intact if she were not where she could get the kind of help they could not provide.

When my friend told his mother of their decision, she ranted at him with enough guilt messages to weigh down several families. “After all I’ve done for you.” She began, and it went on from there. “Just send me away to die!”...

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The Bad Habit That Destroys Relationships

Uncategorized Aug 21, 2020

Playing fair will destroy every relationship in your life.

Fair is giving good things to others as long as they give good things to us. Then if they fail us in some way, we respond “fairly.” We give it right back to them, either at the moment or soon thereafter. Either our words or our actions say, “That’s not fair. Therefore, I am not going to do good to you any more. In fact, I’m going to give you exactly what you’re giving me. Then you can see how it feels.”

The problem is that operating by the principle of playing fair, all it takes for any relationship to go sour is for one person not to perform, then the other one will do the same. There is an interlocking dependency: the other person must be good so I can be good. In this kind of dynamic, we need the other person to be loving in order for us to love them, or to behave maturely in order for us to behave maturely toward them. And no one ever performs perfectly, so that is why all it...

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You are Not Responsible for Your Significant Other

Uncategorized Aug 21, 2020

When you marry someone, you take on the burden of loving your spouse deeply and caring for him or her as for no other. You care about how you affect your spouse; you care about your spouse’s welfare and feelings. If one spouse feels no sense of responsibility to the other, this spouse is, in effect, trying to live married life as a single person. On the other hand, you can’t cross the line of responsibility. You need to avoid taking ownership for your mate’s life.

The law of responsibility in marriage is this: We are responsible to each other, but not for each other. The word burden indicates a backbreaking boulder, such as a financial, health, or emotional crisis.

Spouses actively support each other when one is carrying an overwhelming burden. The term load, however, indicates one’s daily responsibilities of life. This includes one’s feelings, attitudes, values, and handling of life’s everyday difficulties....

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Why Self Help Isn't a Real Concept

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2020

Self-help is an oxymoron. If we have a problem in something we can't do, then to think that we are going to be the solution when we are the problem is kinda goofy. It's sorta like your car is out of gas, and you're gonna tell it to get some self-gas. That just doesn't work.

Everything we know about a closed system is that it deteriorates, and it runs out of energy, and it runs out of the ways to do things well. To use an example, leave your toddlers at home for the weekend and tell them to get some self-discipline. How do you think that's gonna work out for you?

So, what you see with high-performers, every high-performer, truly high-performer, they have people that speak into their lives and that support them and that help them through struggles, and give them wisdom, and give them feedback, and give them coaching. You take even the athletes. If you look at Michael Phelps, who won more gold medals than anybody, what do you look at? You look at his picture where he's had a coach...

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Don't Get Caught in the Triangulation Trap

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2020

You’re probably familiar with the term “triangulation” as it relates to issues in communication. Let’s break down what it really does and how it affects our relationships.

Triangulation sets up something called the “Victim-Persecutor-Rescuer Triad.” It works like this. Let’s say you have some issue with me, maybe even for a good reason. So, you give me some feedback, or disagree with me, or do something that I either don’t like or don’t want to hear. In any case, I feel like an innocent “Victim” and feel like you are somehow hurting me unfairly, in my mind seeing you as the “Persecutor.” Then, instead of talking through the slight, or the issue, directly with you, I take my hurt feelings and go to a sympathetic third person, and I gripe about you. I do not say to them, “He mentioned this to me, I am sure to help me, and I would like to get your perspective on it as well to see what you think ......

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Immature People Ask Life to Meet Their Demands

Uncategorized Aug 19, 2020

I know a man who runs the a big telecommunications company. He is a transcendent character, and a transcendent leader. To him, life, leadership, and business are all about the “bigger things.” One day, I asked him how he practices his values in his company.

“Well,” he said, “I just believe that businesses succeed when the people are becoming the best that they can be and learn how to come together to be the best that they can be together. So, at the beginning of the year, I always take my team of direct reports on a retreat and we begin with a few questions. The first is ‘What would we like to see happen in the next year?’ That gets us to our vision, and the goals. And we came up with a major one. We said we wanted to do so well that the whole company would stop and want to knowhow we did it. Pretty audacious, to say the least, that kind of goal.

“But, everyone has goals. It is the next steps that count. We then ask ourselves these...

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The 4 Connections That Influence Your Life The Most

Uncategorized Aug 19, 2020

Have you ever gone into a restaurant to meet a friend, sat down and had them say, “So, where are you?”

Funny question if you think about it. “I am sitting right here, you idiot. Where do you think I am?”

But you don’t respond that way because you know that is not what they are really asking. They are asking something say much more profound: “Where are you, the real you? Your heart, mind and soul? The internal you?” They are asking, “How are you doing? How is your existence?”

Interesting that they use the word “where.” As if inside of you, you are in a “place," a space. But, the reality is that is true. You are somewhere inside, just like your phone is located somewhere at all times, and as we have seen, that “somewhere” is in relation to its network. It’s connection.

So here is the inescapable reality: our heart, mind and soul is always somewhere. You exist. You can’t get around it. And...

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When Suffering Helps and When Suffering Hurts

Uncategorized Aug 18, 2020

Suffering can be good. It can take us to places where one more season of “comfort” cannot. But suffering can also be terrible.

Destructive suffering inflicts evil on a person’s heart and soul and is totally outside God’s desire. Although God can bring good out of the experience, the experience itself is no good at all. But there is also therapeutic suffering or “growth suffering.”

So the first thing to do is to distinguish between the destructive and the “growth” sufferings.

Good Pain

Some suffering does have value and produces growth. I call this good pain. We all have coping mechanisms that cover up pain, help us deal with fear, cope with relational inabilities and help us hold it all together. Trials and suffering push those mechanisms past the breaking point so we find out where we need to grow. Then true spiritual growth begins at deeper levels and we are healed. Righteousness and character take the place of coping.

This kind of...

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