Posted in Dating, Life, Relationships

Confrontation

confrontation

[ kon-fruh n-tey-shuh n, -fruhn- ]

|

noun

  1. an act of confronting.
  2. the state of being confronted.
  3. a meeting of persons face to face.
  4. an open conflict of opposing ideas, forces, etc.
  5. a bringing together of ideas, themes, etc., for comparison.
  6. a technique used in group therapy, as in encounter groups, in which one is forced to recognize one’s shortcomings and their possible consequences.

 

Confrontation has been given a very bad rap in our culture.  Confrontation has such a bad rap that people tend to avoid it all together.  This can be very dangerous.  To explain the dangers of confrontation, we must first fully understand what it means and put it in context.  Contrary to popular belief, CONFRONTATION ≠ FIGHT.  In layman’s terms, confrontation is a meeting of the minds that hold opposing views, it’s not a fight/argument.  It can be a debate… but it’s not necessarily that either.

“Can a confrontation turn into a fight?”

Absolutely! In fact, it is a common occurrence for a number of reasons but the square root of all confrontations giving way to fights is simply because of lack of communication.  Confrontation, is a form of communication where one party is expressing their point of view to another party who has an opposing point of view.   

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When one party suppresses their point of view in hopes the other party will “come around,” the relationship is set on a collision course.  One party becomes continually disappointed by the other party’s ambivalence or indifference.  It’s like putting all your junk in the junk closet and closing the door until finally that last bit of junk causes the door to bust open and all the junk comes tumbling out.  At that point everything (emotionally) including the kitchen sink comes out and causes significant and sometimes permanent damage or irreparable damage to the relationship dynamic.  So…

“How do we avoid a fight?”

The best way to avoid a fight, is to engage in confrontation within a reasonable amount of time.  Expressing your point of view (respectfully) in the moment or within a reasonable amount of time lets all parties know where you stand.  Assumption during a confrontation is like throwing water on a grease fire, so it’s best to avoid assuming anything.  See something, say something!  State the facts.

“When you do _____, I feel like _____ and I don’t like it.”

Making a simple declaration of your point of view sets the tone, it sets boundaries, and it also leaves very little room for the other party to continue on oblivious to where you stand on the issue at hand.   It also starts a dialogue which is an avenue to understanding.

Naturally what we are discussing here is not (unfortunately) a cure all, but weeding out what causes a molehill to become a mountain yields healthier relationship dynamics and a more positive life experience.  It’s easier to call something out as it is happening than to indict a party with a list of repeat offenses that they were not even aware were offenses because if you call someone out on “always doing _____” they will feel blindsided and get defensive which increases the chances of causing a fight.

“Be Prepared to Disagree”

Fear of confrontation also stems from a fear of rejection.  Will they still like me?  We cannot convince everyone to see things our way.  Everyone is different.  Everyone processes things differently: values, priorities, beliefs, and philosophies.  Sometimes after a confrontation we have to accept that we will have to agree to disagree.  Confrontation is not about convincing someone to agree with you.  It’s about stating your point of view and defining your values and boundaries in the process.  This is important because a gauge of conduct is created.  If both parties mutually respect each other’s point of view, they learn how to work through their opposing views respectfully thus keeping the relationship dynamic intact.  Agreeing to disagree forges mutual respect because both parties feel valued when their points of view are heard despite the opposition: that is what we want in a relationship dynamic.  We want to feel valued and to feel heard.  Unfortunately, feeling valued and heard does not mean that everyone will agree.  But is that really such a bad thing?

Confrontation can be healthy and successful without fighting if we get enough courage to communicate and not sweep it under the rug.  Also, a resolution is possible, so long as both parties understand that the confrontation is not about persuasion.  Confrontation is about expression of opposing point of views.  When all the cards are on the table, it is easier for both parties to navigate through the relationship dynamic without damaging it.

Are you comfortable with confrontation?  If not, don’t worry.  It’s a skill, like learning how to write.  You don’t have to be the best at it, but it is a vital and effective communication tool.  Would you like to learn more?  I’d love to hear from you!  Be Well!

Posted in Life

Quick Thought: Move! Don’t Leave.

While listening to a sermon today, the speaker had said something really profound:

Some people interpret ‘move’ to mean ‘leave.’  To move – as in the context of “moving” differently yields change.  No one particularly likes change.  Why?  Because change feels like loss.  And therefore, we can experience adversity.

This adversity has very little to do with us or anything that we have done, per say.  It has to do with the selfish part of others who would like for you to remain the same for their own comfort.

Comfort Zones Kill!  Here’s the Top 7 on the Comfort Zone Hit List:

  1. Faith
  2. Hopes
  3. Dreams
  4. Creativity
  5. Positivity
  6. Progression
  7. Finding True Life Purpose

 

At risk of digression, I would like to leave you with this thought:  One thing about our Universe, is that it is constantly moving.  It is the natural order of things.  Even when you are asleep, your thoughts are constantly moving and creating motion pictures in your mind:  we call them dreams.  Waking life is no different!  We are constantly moving! Nothing stays the same!  Moving does not necessarily mean leaving.  One must move differently to attain goals.  It’s called discipline.   Discipline does yield change, which is not loss, but an improvement from your original circumstance.  It can be a lonely road, at first (times), but with faith and perseverance, the transformation yields reward beyond you wildest dreams!  Can you think of anything you would like to move toward?  Can you think of anything you fear of leaving?

 

Drop a comment or E-mail if this post speaks to you!

Posted in Life

Adulting: feeling left out

Photo By RJ Guerrero
Photo By RJ Guerrero

Adulting can be quite the challenge!   As we evolve, define ourselves, and discover what drives us, it can have a profound effect on our lifestyles.  In turn, our priorities, values, and responsibilities may change drastically in comparison to some of our friends and companions.   Adjusting to new roles and responsibilities may consequently onset feelings of being left out of the group.  Sometimes, these feelings may fester and take a severe negative toll on relationships.   Things like marriage, children, careers, education, or perhaps a loved one falling ill, can shift the relationship dynamic.  While it may seem out of whack, and people feeling neglected, it’s about perspective and recognizing different stages of life warrant recognition, understanding and adjustment.

 

Recognition

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Photo BY RJ Guerrero

Any one of those major life stages will be a lifestyle game changer.  No amount of nostalgia will change that.  Recognizing that things have changed, allowing some time to adjust, and communicating makes all the difference.  Comparing how hectic our lives are in comparison to another to justify our position in the shift of the relationship dynamic is not the way.  It breeds contempt.  Acknowledging that things have changed and we are still feeling our way around until we get the hang of marriage, or children, or that promotion, or grad school or succumbing to having to cope with caring for someone who is ill is ALL taxing.   Pointing that our circumstance is far more challenging that someone else’s, diminishes their experience and causes a major disconnect.  Rather, explaining our experience and asking about the experience of others keeps the platform of communication in tact and the possibility of maintaining support and a sounding board remains.

Understanding

 

unnamedIt may sound redundant, but EVERYONE’S LIFE PATH IS DIFFERENT.  Our life paths may be similar at times, but still, different.  Our backgrounds, levels of understanding, and perspective will be different.  At best, similar… definitely not the same.  Therefore, making assumptions of what someone else is going through and judging by the way you perceive it – without taking the time to let them express what is happening in their life will most likely breed contempt and yield fights and fall-outs.  Taking some time to understand what is happening and making the effort to “meet our loved ones where they are” can go a long way and perhaps yield reciprocation.

Adjustment

beige wooden heart hole
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rejection is the square root of feeling left out.  Just because things have changed and perhaps time becomes an issue or frequency in spending time together may be an issue:  maybe a new person has entered the dynamic and it upset the pecking order… that doesn’t mean there is one less seat at the round table.  Perhaps it may take a little longer for the time and attention that was once abundant prior to the change in dynamic, a good way to compensate is to max out on the quality time we get when we get it.  Make sure our encounters are genuine, positive, and supportive of each other.  Certainly, any relationship of any sort will have its ups and downs and there will be times where the only way we can make it through a rough patch is adjusting our settings, our boundaries, etc…  what we needed out of a relationship at 7 is worlds away from what we need at 27, 37 or 47… Lack of communication can turn a crack into a chasm.  Good friends are hard to come by: fight like hell to keep them!

Til’ Next Time!

Posted in Life

Random Conversations: Everything Sucks Right Now

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a man in his mid to late 30s.   He said he couldn’t stand people and most of them were horrible – particularly the people he socially interacted with (dated) in his community.  He went on for quite a while.  I let him release what he had pent up inside.  He said he longed for the days of his 20s because he was single; he is currently the only single person among his immediate age group both personally and professionally.

adult dark depressed face
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He said if ever he did get married, it be out of obligation, or just to “fit in;” but in reality, it just wasn’t something he ever aspired to do.  I asked him, “what is it that you aspire to do?”  He said he didn’t know.  All he knew was that his best years were gone.  He didn’t think past his 20s and those were the “Glory Days.”  I was silent for a moment.  Then I said asked him: “is that what you have decided?” and he said to me, “what do you mean?”  I responded, “how could you know that your 20s were your ‘Glory Days’ when you have the whole rest of your life to live?”  He was quiet.  “Well, everything sucks right now,” he grumbled.  I said this to him:

Perhaps things seem to suck right now because things are changing.  Nothing ever stays the same.  When you find yourself in a situation where everything has changed around you and you are longing for the past, the only direction you can go before going forward is inward.  Life is full of possibilities, but how can you see the possibilities before you when you are looking behind you and glamorizing the past?

Change feels like loss for many and as a result many tend to avoid change until they are forced to, and by that time, change is involuntary and more painful than it needs to be.  The past appears more appealing thus facilitating a stagnant feeling of despair and isolation.  It does not have to be that way.  There is a way out.  We are not created to remain the same, but to evolve throughout this journey we call life one day at a time, person at a time, experience at a time.

CORINTHIANS 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, felt like a child, reasoned like a child: when I became a man, I put from me childish ways.

Things do change and that is beyond our control.  Also, things can be more fulfilling in ways one couldn’t have dreamed possible.  Whether we savor a moment or not, it will pass… as we grow older, we will have to redefine ourselves at each juncture:  as teens, young adults, adults, seniors and elderly….  All very distinct experiences in which one cannot carry the previous mind set and consciousness into the succeeding experience…

Posted in Life

Signs You Need a Digital Detox

dig·it·al de·tox

noun

informal
  1. a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
    “break free of your devices and go on a digital detox”

YES!  It’s a thing!  It may sound bizarre that anyone would need a digital detox, but social media can be quite addicting in the physiological sense of the word.  It has been scientifically proven there is a relationship with production of dopamine and social media approval/interaction.

“Dopamine, Smartphones and You: A battle for your time”  is a Harvard study conducted by Trevor Haynes who describes how likes from a social media post produces the same high as gambling or illicit drugs.  Because we get a dopamine hit from the likes, it’s easy to see how we can get caught up in what’s called a feedback loop.   Naturally we all want to do what feels good as much as possible.

what-does-dopamine-do-in-the-brain-and-what-is-its-function-1

And naturally, too much of anything is bad for you.  You take too many vitamins (which are good for you) at one time, it could lead you to the ER getting your stomach pumped.  So… everything *including use of social media should be used in moderation: but how much is too much!?!?!  Let’s look at five signs you need a digital detox.

        1. Constantly Story Watching

We all have an account we follow that encompasses the fabulous life.  Whether it’s the ambiguously employed jet setting it girl wearing an outfit that costs the price of a brand new mid-sized sedan, the guy that looks like He-Man in the flesh posting his workouts or the inspirational yogi doing her Namaste thing at a temple in Bali. Shout out to to Kellie Paxian.

Yoga-in-Bali.-Shutterstock
Yoga in Bali. (Shutterstock)

Living the life so vicariously that your own life is lackluster or you have stopped living your own life because you are watching these folks on daily on demand is dangerous because you may begin to compare your life to theirs which can lead you down a road to depression.

       2.  Upset When Someone Doesn’t Like Your Picture

Back in the day… It was MySpace’s Top 8 what was the demise of friendships!

lihtf7lbguh01If you constantly find yourself in a “stop walking and use both thumbs”type of text exchange over who is in a picture, or if you didn’t answer a phone call or text but liked or commented on someone’s post.  It’s probably time to put your account on time out.  It could be you were ignoring the person, OR it could also be you were so wrapped up in your social media you didn’t notice your real friends wanted to talk or hang out in real life.  It sounds silly on paper, but just as people vied for the number 1 spot in the Myspace Top 8 back in the day… People are vying for those likes and that audience in the story.  In any event, if your arguments are stemming from that direction, you may want to unplug before your real life relationships are compromised. P.S. I miss you Tom!

      3.  When You Are Reading Too Much Into Posts

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Granted, many people do mistake social media as a personal diary proceeding to rant, rave, vent, air out dirty laundry and out others’ business.  Perhaps that would build a good case as to why one would assume a meme or a post is some sort of indirect jab at them.  However, if you find yourself scrolling through your timeline and landing on a meme that is generally funny but you cannot shake the feeling it was aimed at you: may be time to forfeit the virtual reality for actual reality and reconnect with your loved ones in person and in real time.  You get no where fast with passive aggressiveness and spending too much time on web being passive aggressive is a breeding ground for all things negative and ultimately bring you down.

4.  Excessive Scrolling and Posting

three person holding smartphones
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We all do it!  Yes that’s true.  However, if you are glued to your device during work/school hours, in the presence of family and friends or at the dinner table without coming up for air, that is a major indication that you go swept up in the feedback loop and you may have to bail on the social media until you get your bearings and are able to function in reality and virtual reality without neglecting your responsibilities and your loved ones.  While social media has become an extension of our existence, you can gauge whether your use of social media is illicit by those who spend the most time with you.  If you have gotten a verbal warning or written up at work because it,…well this one goes out to you.  Detox…  immediately!

     5.  Negative Feedback Loop Ruins Your Day

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Photo by Elias Tucker

Some posts may be hits and some, not so much… but if a post falls below your like average, and you find yourself feeling the way you would feel if you got rejected by someone you have the hots for, then it is a very clear indication you need to take a break from it all and cultivate organic interactions for a few days.

 

Posted in Life

Summer Reading: NLP

Poolside, beach side, or picnic in the park, a good book goes a long way while you soak up some sun rays and get your Vitamin D on.  Reading books are great for many, many reasons like improving your mood, improving your patience, and improving your vocabulary.  Depending on the book genre, you can improve yourself and your world view or personal philosophy.

My penchant for non fiction and self improvement books inspired me to share this interesting book I read.

NLP has untapped potential for treating individual problems…  It has metamorphosed into an all-purpose self-improvement program and technology. – Time magazine

NLP  I have heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and wanted to know more.  NLP does sound quite scifi-esque but it is really about learning how people formulate thoughts and to discover and learn your own personal thought process.  This is so valuable because this book can help equip you with the tools to exercise those negative thought processes that may create obstacles in areas of your life.  This is definitely a must read because there is a wealth of information, techniques and tools that can really essentially change your life.

I think it’s safe to say that we all commit self on self crime and very rarely can we articulate or express why we exhibit negative behaviors or have negative thoughts about ourselves.  This book is a guide for an introspective journey to explore this uncharted area.  The area where your “demons hide.”  I definitely recommend it because it really helps to understand yourself and others and it also can help strengthen your relationships.

 

 

Posted in Life

That Space Between

Breaking up isn’t so hard to do.  Moving forward can be hard to do because of the displacement of routine.  The adjustment period can cause panic and relationship recidivism (don’t go back).  Familiarity is the enemy in this context, for sure.

person inside vehicle during day
Photo by Shukhrat Umarov 

Post break up, there’s this phase I like to call relationship purgatory (at least, I imagine this is what purgatory might feel like).  It’s over.  It’s for the best; and yet, your emotions may still be high, you may still be mad, hurt, annoyed, sad, etc.  You have a whole mosh pit of feelings percolating while attempting to go about your day. The agony, for real!

Back in the day “out of sight, out of mind” technique was quite effective. Nowadays, not so much (thanks, social media)!  How does one get through the… “space between” EX and Next? Trust me, it’s a real thing, Dave Matthews Band will tell ya! There are some effective techniques however, they may be challenging for the weak willed.

NO Contact

cell phone in hands
Photo by Kaboompics

 

The no contact rule is usually invoked when engaged in full on yo-yo make up to break up relationship dynamics.  In this specific scenario, if everything has been said and done…  there is nothing more to provide besides dead air.  Reiterating all the transgressions and how it made you feel will yield nothing good.  Might I suggest writing a no holds barred letter to release all the toxicity

and pain, reading it, and burning it.  I know, I know it sounds a bit 80’s movie cliché, but still cathartic nonetheless.  Not to mention, you spare yourself from dousing salt on your wounds by an encore confrontation.

If no contact is not an option, minimizing contact to a need be basis is the next best thing.  Some of you may have children or pets in common or work together etc.  Keep it to bare minimum, and stay on the topic at hand.  It’s hard, but it’s possible and effective.

Start a Journal

person holding empty book near pen and shears with a cup of tea
Photo by rawpixel

Writing down how you feel each day is great for personal growth and it’s an excellent way to get into your own head to assess and reflect on the relationship dynamic.  Starting a journal  is self-discovery in print.  You’ll get to know more about yourself and what makes you tick.  That’s super important because the most important relationship you can have with another human being is yourself.  You must love yourself.  Understand yourself and nurture yourself when needed.  Getting to really know who you are gives you a better understanding of your wants and needs which is extremely important in this experience we call life.  This is where your threshold for bullshit will be revealed.  This is where your boundaries or lack thereof will be exposed.

Work Out

sport fitness run shoe
Photo by Pixabay

I know, I know.  Working is not always fun, but it has many benefits. Aside from looking great and slimming down, those endorphins fight depression and make you feel good.  You feel accomplished and full of energy.  Whether you are lifting or you are chasing a runner’s high, working out is a tremendous help to fill the gap.  With so many fitness classes out there, you are bound to like at least one!  What a way to transition out of the old familiar routine when you were coupled up.  You can meet new people and instead of sweating the small stuff, you sweat out the bad stuff and get a new and improved figure while you’re at it!

Update Your Look

Not sound vain, or anything, but a nice appearance makes you feel good.   If you cannot afford to go on a shopping spree, that’s cool.  Update your hair, or brows or nails… take your pick.  However brazen or subtle the update, it can be a good boost out of that relationship purgatory space.  A sprinkle of confidence and positivity goes a long way,…  it’s good to have while navigating through that space between Ex and Next.

person holding hair trimmer
Photo by Stefan Lorentz 

ONE MORE THING:  Spend time with your friends — I mean really spend time with your friends. Take the time to hang out and curb the relationship talk.  Go out and do stuff and make it about them and not the final episode of your relationship.  Allow your friends to support you through this time by introducing some fun in your life.  Flying solo could stink, particularly if you were out of practice because you were in a long-term relationship but it doesn’t have to ALL the time.

Posted in Life

Three Reasons You Should Volunteer

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Feed your soul

Volunteering is good for the soul.  As individuals, we all have unique talents and expertise in one area or another.  Displaying our talents and expertise allows us the opportunity to contribute to our community.  You’re making a difference, by helping to make others feel good which makes you feel good too!  That’s huge!

Self development

What a way to hone in on individual growth! Volunteering with an organization is a great way to enhance your outlook and world view.  You learn more about the community you serve, and you also learn more about yourself in the process.  We are creatures of evolution (most of us any way).  The experience can help shape a better version of yourself.  Who knows?  You may discover a new talent.  Be your best self!

Make some friends

Volunteering is a great way to meet people from all walks of life.   Often times, people form solid lasting bonds with each other through the volunteering experience.  We all could use genuine connections with others that are positive and motivating.  After a certain age, we get set in our ways and we all claim it’s so hard to meet genuine, nice folks… perhaps it is because they are out doing their part in making the world a better place…  It’s just a theory.  If you test it out, be sure to come back let me know!

Posted in Life

TO BREED OR NOT TO BREED: the dreaded question.

There are so many reasons why a woman can find herself old enough to run for president and not yet ready to have a baby.  The top three reasons are relationship status, career, or health.

With the stay at home family model as common as, say a griffin or unicorn in our society, we are all the breadwinners pulling the same amount of long hours and dealing with insurmountable stressors that may not be equivalent but definitely relative to our daily disposition and capabilities.  There is no such thing as a part time mom even when you work full time.Most-90s-tastic-Got-Milk-Ads

Women spend the majority of their child bearing years establishing themselves with education and their careers these days.  Those fortunate enough to meet their partners early on may have the advantage to having children, but the single career woman may have to pay attention to how many times she hits snooze on that biological clock!

While there are so many options nowadays, many of them are costly.  To freeze your eggs will run you about the cost of a Honda Civic the first year and then you’d have to pay annually for daycare of your mini mes to keep them on ice.   Thereafter, ensues throwing the dice on whether the eggs survive the thaw.  Lots to consider, here.

Hitting snooze after 35 comes with an enormous amount of pressure from just about everyone like family, medical providers, and family…  (I said family twice: intentionally).  It’s almost as if you have a shelf life, like a gallon of milk that’s about to expire.  I have anxiety just thinking about it!

alarm alarm clock analog analogue
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First and foremost, the most important question one should ask herself is, “am I doing this because I was told I am supposed to do it before it is too late?  Or am I doing this because this is what I want at this time in my life?”  Also, if it doesn’t happen naturally or through IVF, there are so many children in this world who need loving parents and a home.  Adopting can be a less expensive alternative.  Perhaps even fostering a child for a while may be something to consider before adopting outright.

When you’re being told your biological clock sounds like the drum line in a marching band, remember that you have plenty of options and making life altering decisions because you are being pressured to isn’t the healthiest or most rewarding approach to anything in life.  Definitely do your research and make the decision on your own terms.  Below are some links to check out, if you’re interested in getting an over view of options.  If you have anything to add, please get on the soap box!



7 things every woman should know before freezing her eggs
ADOPT FROM THE UNITED STATES
Posted in Life

When to Say “When”

beverage break breakfast caffeine
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s difficult to draw the line at what is acceptable or intolerable when you have let a loved one carry on for a (long) while. We can put up with a person’s behavior or a relationship dynamic by deciding that this is just part of their personality.  Often times we adjust ourselves and our behaviors – we may even adjust the amount of time we spend with the person to be able to function in the dysfunction.

Small doses, please.

Or some of us may even confuse putting up with certain things as a display of love.   This can lead to what is called the Martyr Complex.  The ever dutiful, loving, loyal ride or die who will eventually die trying to gain affirmation and approval and feeling hurt and let down along the way.

“The more you suffer shows them that you really care, right? Yeah!“ – OFFSPRING SELF ESTEEM

One of the biggest dilemmas we can face in relationship dynamics when to stay or walk away. Everyone is different and therefore toleration levels may vary from person to person.  One thing may be a complete deal breaker to one person while the very same thing may not be such a big deal to another.  That threshold of when to say when needs to be gauged on an individual level.  When that threshold is gauged and it is reached, it’s time to disengage.

6 warning signs are:

  1. Feeling drained
  2. Feel used
  3. Feeling tired
  4. Feeling afraid of expressing how you feel
  5. Feeling afraid of saying no
  6. Being passive to maintain a peaceful environment

If at least two of these warning signs resonate with you, perhaps it is time to identify where the line is and assess whether your loved one has crossed it so you do not continue to deplete yourself.  It may sound scary at face value, but honestly, it would hurt a lot less and take a lot less energy than to carry on in such a relationship dynamic.  Feeling like you might be getting there or you may be there already?   Let’s chat.

Thoughts?  I’m all ears.  Drop me line!