“Behind every criticism is a veiled wish.”
—Esther Perel, Belgian psychotherapist
Image from Unsplash by ahi ismail
How do you feel when you are criticized?
How often is your immediate response to defend yourself or perhaps go on the offense and attack others?
Explore a few recent interactions in which you were criticized for something you did or didn’t do.
Dig deeper into the thoughts and emotions of that person to see if there was a hidden desire or veiled wish below their barbed message. What did they secretly want that was not communicated in an acceptable way?
How might you shift your perspective and translate the harshness of their words into simple requests that would have a higher probability of acceptance?
A few books that can help your relationship skills are Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, Crucial Conversations, and Crucial Confrontations.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this post with your email address and I will be pleased to send you a copy of my one page Communication Toolbox.
“When the eyes say one thing and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 17th Century American essayist, philosopher, and poet
Image from Unsplash by Austin Human
There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri’s sobriquet, “The Show Me State.”
The slogan, although not official, is commonly used throughout the state and is on Missouri’s license plates.
The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s Congressman, Willard Duncan Vandiver. In an 1899 speech, he declared:
“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquences neither convict nor satisfy me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”
How and in what ways can you be more of a practiced person who relies far more on the language of the eyes and not just those of the tongue?
“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.”
—Carl Sandburg, 20th Century American poet, 3-time Pulitzer Prize winner
Today’s quote does a great job of describing many of us over the last year. From my view, I’ve seen a bit more hippos with a large dose of mudslinging, highlighted particularly in the media.
Emotions have been running wild like roller coasters — leaving many of us sick to our stomachs, dizzy, and wanting to throw up.
What has your ride been like in your personal and professional communities? What has been your soaring-to-wallowing ratio over these many months, and how have these events influenced who you have become through this process?
How can and will you be more of a soaring eagle moving forward? How might you teach and support a few hippos in your world who want to fly?
“Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you’re alive.”
Image from Unsplash by Aliyah Janous
On Veteran’s Day in November, My wife and I were very moved by a news anchor describing an army nurse called to serve our country in World War II. Now 101 years old, this extraordinary woman came from a family in which most members also served in the military.
This normally stoic and forceful news anchor was moved to tears as he shared many heart-warming aspects of her life of generosity, contribution, and service.
Where and how are you currently moved to tears regarding various aspects of your world? How can you more fully see these moisture-filled expressions of emotion as a source of greater aliveness and strength?
“Worry is interest on money never borrowed.”
Image from Unsplash by Ben With
Imagine you had a financial crisis. Instead of asking family or friends for assistance, you found a local loan shark, and borrowed money at a crazy interest rate that compounded daily until the debt was repaid.
Unfortunately, the intention to repay the loan quickly was overtaken by other life events, and the debt and your level of worry and fear continued to grow.
Hopefully, you are only aware of such events from movies or TV shows, but we can all feel the tension and relate to these character’s predicaments.
Where in your life are you currently worried about the interest on a loan you never borrowed? Consider looking up Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping to see if these easy methods of self-soothing might help.
“Feelings are much like waves. We can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which ones to surf.”
Image from Flickr by Alain Bachellier
One of the greatest freedoms each of us has is the freedom to make choices on a daily basis. Examine your day closely. How many choices did you make intentionally, and how many by default, without thinking?
This examination along with its increased self-awareness will likely have you notice the accompanying feeling about what you are doing, and perhaps with whom you associate.
Today’s quote points us in the direction of actually choosing our perceptions, and thus our feelings, to catch only the waves we most desire.
Consider using a journal to capture your feelings as you surf through your day. How can you choose far more ideal waves that will give you the best rides of your life?
“You don’t protect your heart by acting like you don’t have one.”
— Author unknown
Image from abc.net.au
In my school days, I would often hear the phrase “Big boys don’t cry,” on the playground and in school. Being tough and strong were qualities associated with being a male in our society, even at an early age.
To achieve this outward persona, many boys began building shells—even fortresses—around themselves, so they could never be hurt, and never show what many considered the ultimate shame for a man: weakness.
Although this strategy may have provided some degree of protection against life’s bumps and bruises, it also imprisoned these boys in a world of limited connection. They were often removed from daily experiences of joy, happiness, and fulfilling relationships.
Should you see that you tend to use this strategy to protect your heart, take particular note of what it may be costing you as part of the fullest experience of life.
Consider reading the work of Brene Brown in such books as Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection, to move yourself to what she refers to as a “guide to a wholehearted life.”