What Was I Thinking?!?

Oops! I did it again.

Despite all the facts staring me in the face, I chose to set up a meeting time with my ever delinquent friend. I knew, from past experience, she would be late. I knew, as usual, she would come rushing in 15 or 20 minutes late with another exciting story about what happened to her this time. And, like always, the story was about things that were “out of her control”. Continue reading

Sometimes It’s Not Very Nice to be Nice

Are you hurting people by being nice to them? Sometimes it’s not very nice to be nice.

You don’t mean to hurt others, but you are when you give them mixed messages. And one of the biggest mixed messages is when your behavior doesn’t match the reality of the situation.

The Not So Nice Visit

For example, you need extra time for yourself tonight. But your friend stops by and wants to chat. You have asked her to call before she drops by to see you, but she didn’t. You want to “be nice” so you let her in and spent a couple hours talking. Not very nice.

Since your words and behavior don’t match you just taught her to disregard what you say. You have just trained her, through your actions, to stop by anytime she wants.  So she will. You save up bad feelings towards her and start resenting her. Not nice.

You gave away your extra time that you needed for yourself.  Now, because you discounted what you need, you will not get the extra time to rest or study or take care of yourself. Soooo not nice.

The Not So Nice Mom

Your son has been so excited to go to the upcoming concert.  He worked hard to save up money to buy a ticket. And it wasn’t cheap. You let him know ahead of time that if he wanted to go to the concert he would have to get his two school projects done beforehand.

Here it is, the night before the concert and  his school work isn’t done.  In fact, for the last week and a half, he has spent time with his friends, playing video games instead of doing schoolwork. (He made other choices than to do his schoolwork.)

But, you want to “be nice“.   After you scolding and him promising to get it done this week , you let him go to the concert.  Not very nice.

If you think that, just this once, it’s okay to bend a bit – think again. You just gave away a learning opportunity him that would teach him about cause and effect. Commitments and follow through.

But, instead you let him go. You have taught him that it’s okay for him to make promises and not be accountable for his behavior.  You set him up for a rude awakening when he gets out in the real world.  You weren’t bending, you were hurting him. Not so nice.

You showed him, he can’t count on you. He can’t trust his mom. you say one thing but do another. Since when does wanting your kid to be happy, or to like you, have more importance than being a good, responsible, trustworthy parent?  By your actions, you are shaping his personality and character. And what you just did to him is not very nice.

So, next time you think of doing something because “you want to be nice” think it over. Sometimes it’s not very nice to be nice.

Book Chapter: The Push-Me, Pull-You Dance

Here is The Push-Me Pull-You Dance, one of the Three Most Damaging Relationship Dances. The fear of abandonment is the driving force this dance. I first identified this dance while working with couples to improve their relationship. Whenever we would get on track, one of them would make a move in this dance, and suddenly, his or her partner would fall to pieces.

Because being left is such a primal fear, many people regress or take action without thinking when faced with the threat of abandonment. Once you understand the moves in this dance, you can be free of these highly manipulative, unconscious moves.

(I recommend you PRINT out this long chapter and highlight the behaviors you have used in the past. People who change fastest are those who identify their damaging patterns and review that information three times over a three week period. Go for it! You can stop falling into these dances, if choose to do the work.)

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Book Chapter: The Dance of Drama

Here is The Dance of Drama, the #1 most destructive of The Three Most Damaging Relationship Dances. Over-giving, feeling used, being driven by guilt or anxiety, feeling helpless or resentful…these are all signs you have been pulled into this powerful dance.

If you don’t know how people play this dance, you will get sucked in over and over again. Once you see how it works, you will be surprised how easy it is to avoid it. You will stop picking people who use you. Your relationships will becomes balanced, respectful and kind.

(I recommend you PRINT out this long chapter and highlight the behaviors you have used in the past. People who change fastest are those who identify their damaging patterns and review that information three times over a three week period. Go for it! You can stop falling into these dances, if choose to do the work.)

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Book Chapter: The Six Biggest Mistakes

Every way you interact with others is a boundary style. Some of these ways of interacting create harmony and success. Others create problems. Most people (and please don’t be like most people) have no idea what style they are using or how they come across to others. They just blindly plow ahead. Glad when it works. And clueless when it doesn’t.

Here you will learn The Six Biggest Mistakes. These are The Six Boundary Problem Styles that create upset, pain and frustration. Once you learn to think about boundary styles, you can better choices for your relationship success at home and work, with family, friends and strangers.

(I recommend you PRINT out this long chapter and highlight the behaviors you have used in the past. People who change fastest are those who identify their damaging patterns and review that information three times over a three week period. Go for it! You can stop falling into these dances, if choose to do the work.)

Continue reading