Monthly Archives: May 2017

2 Effective Tips For Understanding People

 

Multi-ethnic friends at bar's balcony

Have you ever felt like criticizing someone?

Giving them a piece of your mind?

They are so “difficult” to deal with …

I recently spoke with someone who went through a very difficult time in her life.

She suffered abuse, which on its own was terrible but also had to deal with the rejection and criticism which almost drove her to suicide.

10 years later, the story still bought tears to her eyes.

The truth is none of us will ever know how we will react under any circumstance. Before you say anything, take a minute to put yourself in the person’s shoes and consider how you will want to be treated.

Choose to be a voice of encouragement, making efforts to understand people, and bringing the best out of them.

On several occasions you will refrain from judging people if only you imagine yourself in the person’s shoes.

If you think back, you most likely will remember a time someone reached out to you with a kind gesture that warmed your heart.

Most times these gestures are unexpected and does not warrant a favor in return.

We live in a world where people suffer loss, endure abuse,  live in poverty or with depression.  Often times they react out of their pain…

Someone you work with may even be going through a difficult situation, endeavoring to hold up strong.

Wondering what you can do?  Below are practical perspective shifting thoughts.

1. Make an effort to understand:  An act of kindness could be as simple as accommodating someone’s “annoying”  behavior, you really do not know what is really going on in their lives.

I once read a story of a man on the New York subway, it was early in the morning and every one was enjoying a quiet peaceful ride until this man and his 3 boys came on-board.

The children were quite restless and their father did not make any effort to check them.

At some point, one of the passengers got tired of the noise and chaos the children were making and was about to give the father his candid opinion.

He decided to start by asking where their mother was, the man took a deep breath and responded that she died that morning and they just left the hospital.

That response completely changed the other passenger’s perspective, the children were not really noisy after all. You really do not know what the person next to you, and an act of kindness might be as simple as being more accommodating.

Would your perspective change if you can have a sneak peek into what your colleague’s life really looks like? Knowing the pain she is enduring and what she is really dealing with?

Choose to be patient with people, things are not really the way they look most times.

2. Reach Out To People With Kindness : Extend a hand of kindness to someone in need.  It could even be something as simple as buying a cup of coffee for someone. Make it your goal to put a smile on someone’s lips this week, you never know, you may be providing someone with a reason to live. Focus on adding value to people.

Though it sounds really simple choosing to enrich other people is very gratifying and transformational (it changes you to be a stronger and more compassionate person)

4 Effective Ways To Deal With Difficult People

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We all have those people in our lives. The ones who are just really difficult to love. They might have an annoying habit that grates our nerves. Or maybe they have a negative attitude all the time, or are never respectful of our time or space. Whatever reason you have for considering that person difficult, here are a few tips on how to love them anyway.

Remember your own faults

None of us like to admit that we are probably difficult to love in some way. Maybe we have our own annoying habits that grate on other people’s nerves. We all have our unloveable moments, so when you are in that situation with your difficult person, take a breath and remember that you have your own moments of difficulty.

Try to understand their back story

Everyone has a back story, no one became who they are today overnight. If your difficult person isn’t all that close to you, try to find out where they come from. Did they have a difficult childhood? Did they just go through a painful divorce? Do they suffer from a mental health condition? Knowing more about what you are dealing with can help you navigate the best way to love that person, through the difficulty.

Speak up

Sometimes people do things that annoy us, and they never know about it, because we are too polite to say anything. If someone is doing something that is disrespectful or annoying, say something. It doesn’t have to be a fight, you can lovingly say “Listen, I love spending time with you, and I need you to know that when you do ______________ (insert annoying thing here) it really makes me feel disrespected”.

Make a choice

This sounds so simple, but often we don’t make the choice to love someone. We let them earn love, by being beneficial to us in some way, however love shouldn’t have to be earned. It is a gift best freely given. So in those moments of difficulty, take a moment and decide to love them anyway. Think about it, you want to be loved through your difficulty, so choose to love your difficult person through all the mess.

Practical Strategies To A Strong Self-Esteem

Young girl in a white sweater drinking tea with lemon

The greatest place to be in life is to have peace inside and be content with who you are. Finding out your great worth and realizing there is not another YOU, is such a freeing discovery.

Embracing your uniqueness, rather than focusing on your flaws can set you on a course for positive living. Not liking who you are and always comparing yourself to others is a miserable way to live. Of course we all have areas in our lives we need to refine and work on, but like yourself in the process and don’t be so hard on yourself.

You know, God made you exactly the way He wanted you to be and likes you just the way you are…actually, He loves you just the way you are! My favorite scripture is Psalm 139:13-14 (NLT), “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” How can you not feel special after reading that?! There’s no one like you — you are one of a kind! You are marvelously made! I heard someone once say, “God don’t make no junk!” You are valuable and need to grab hold of that truth, because the truth will set you free!

Become aware of the way you think and speak about yourself, and if it’s not kind…change it. If you are struggling with poor self-image, like I did for many years, begin to speak positive affirmations over your life. You believe your words more than any other person, so I encourage you to make a list of all your good traits, strengths, abilities, and talents and go over them:

“I am beautiful.” “I am smart.” “I am caring.” “I am strong.” “I am a hard worker.” And the list goes on and on.

Whatever negative words have been spoken over you by others or yourself, release them and let them go today – never to have a hold on you again!

Be free to be you and be happy being you! When you’re content and at peace with who you are, others are drawn to you. No one wants to be around someone who is negative and constantly down on themselves. Be a light wherever you go…people follow light!

I encourage you to go look in the mirror today and say, “YOU ARE AWESOME and I LOVE YOU!” You may feel silly doing it, but mean it when you say it…and smile!

There’s a whole world out there waiting for your greatness — now go shine!

Ready, Set Goal!

 

Tips & Tricks keyboard key. FingerMy son and I were driving in the car when he reached over and turned off the radio.

He took a deep breath and said, “Mom I think I want to be an engineer when I grow up.” I smiled and stated that he could be whatever he wants to be if he sets his mind to it.

This conversation sparked the idea of how important it is for parents to not only encourage their children’s passions and dreams but also to set goals or plans to achieve them.

Setting goals is such an important element to raising a well-rounded child.

It gives them the skills, know-how and confidence to reach towards something that is important to them.

It is also a very useful skill that will most likely carry over into adulthood. Goal setting teaches our children to push themselves and break out of their comfort zones.

It also allows them to try new things and devise a plan to accomplish this goal.

Here are a few tips on how to teach your children to set a goal and achieve it:

1) Be Specific

Make sure your child sets a specific goal. For instance, if they set the goal to be a good student, encourage them to get a little more detailed. Having a goal to get straight A’s would be a good example of a specific goal.

2) Short-Term Goals and Long-Term Goals

It is also important to explain the differences and benefits of having both short-term goals and long-term goals.

Examples of short-term goals are: getting a good grade on a test, making a new friend, learning a new hobby, or saving their allowance to buy a small toy.

Examples of long-term goals are: getting perfect attendance all year, saving up for a new bike, performing in a school play, or learning how to play an instrument.

Helping your child to set short-term goals will not only be good practice for planning and achieving their long-term goals, but it will also assist with their self-esteem building and confidence when setting larger goals.

Teaching your children to set long-term goals will assist them with focus and motivation to keep moving towards their long-term goal vs instant gratification.

3) Plan On It!

Teaching your children to plan small steps towards their goals, will help them to stay focused and on track.

Breaking down goals into smaller steps will also help your child visualize the necessary effort and expected time it will take to achieve their goal.

A fun way to incorporate a plan for their goal is to make a Goal Chart.

This is a fun activity that you and your child can do together, and this can also assist in helping your child set an expected timeline for their goal.

 

4)  Fail-Forward

Fail Forward is a phrase we don’t use enough.

My father always told me that there is no such thing as failure as long as you learned something from your unexpected outcome and didn’t give up.

He explained that failure wasn’t a setback, but rather a step forward to achieve eventual success. You need to learn from each supposed “setback” and apply these lessons to your next opportunity.

For example, if your child sets a goal to be on the football team and he doesn’t make the team; encourage him to continue training for tryout next year or try out for another school activity that interests him.

By doing this, you are ensuring your child is not discouraged from trying new things and explain to them that sometimes when we don’t achieve the particular goal in mind, we can either work harder to achieve this goal or in some cases, a new opportunity may present itself.

By putting yourself out there and trying new things; new opportunities can arise. The important lesson is to continue learning and moving forward.

3) Be Flexible

As parents, it is important that you help your child realize that although a plan is now in place to achieve their goal, sometimes there will be obstacles or challenges along the way that they may not expect.

Let them know that there is more than one way to achieve a goal and when an obstacle presents itself, not to be discouraged, but rather open to the possibility of another way to achieve their goal.

Allow your child to think of a new solution or plan if confronted with an obstacle.

It is important that we help our kids and have open communication, but give your child the chance to brainstorm before assisting.

This will help with the development of their problem-solving skills and confidence.

 

4) Praise Them

Let your child know how proud you are of them as they move towards their goal as well as when they accomplish it.

Positive-reinforcement and recognition of achievements can go a long way with a child’s growing self-esteem, giving them the confidence to try new things.

 

Remember it’s not just the achievement of the goal that is important; it’s what your child learns and gains along the way that helps them grow!

 

Photo credits: dreamtime