All posts by Sara Galyon

About Sara Galyon

Sara is a writer, youth minister, wife, mother and underfunded world traveler. She has two boys, a fellow youth minister husband, and a passion for sharing ways that just might make someone’s life better.

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 Tips For Building A Blended Family

blended family

Merging families is tough work. My husband recently found himself the stepfather of two boys, and the parenting learning curve was steep for him. The US census reports that around 1300 new stepfamilies are forming each day. If you find yourself in a blended family situation maybe some of these tips can help you out.

1. People don’t blend:

I personally am not a fan of the name “blended family”, as it implies you can throw a bunch of people together, blend them up and make a polished finished product. This is almost never true, outside of television and movies. It’s important to recognize that there may not be a perfect finished product right after the vows are spoken, because people aren’t fruit you can throw in a blender. People need time, forgiveness, and patience to learn to adapt in a new family situation.

A better analogy, one used in Ron L. Deal’s book “The Smart Step-Family” is that of a slow-cooker. A slow cooker doesn’t immediately take apart the attributes of one ingredient and put it with those of another, it allows time to mix the different flavors of the ingredients into one dish, while still retaining the separate ingredients’ own character and flavors. Let your family be individuals, celebrate them for who they are, and don’t expect them to lose that to be part of a new family.

2. Parents parent, Step-Parents support:

This may be hard to take in at first, but if parenting standards aren’t set by the biological parent of a child, then you can set yourself up for disaster. Step-parents should support the parent’s decision, even when they disagree, and disagreements should be discussed privately, to present a unified parenting team in front of kids. It’s hard to come into a parenting situation as an outsider, especially because every parent/child relationship has flaws. Remember, relationships aren’t created in a day, and parent/child relationships won’t change overnight, even if you have the best ideas on how to change them.

3. Patience is Key

As with the slow cooker analogy, patience is the key to a successful stepfamily. Studies show that it takes an average of 7 years for a family to hit the “honeymoon” stage most couples experience when they start out in marriage. Have realistic expectations, if your family finds that sweet spot earlier, celebrate! If not, just keep working at it, remembering that people, especially family, are always worth the wait.

4 Important Tips For Understanding People

Multi-ethnic friends at bar's balcony

 

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 gets 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.

4 Important Reasons To Keep A Journal

confidence journal

Editor’s note:  Are you a woman who desire to start keeping a journal? Confidence Journal For Career Women is a great journal any woman would benefit from. It provides daily action tips and encouragement, that will motivate you to move from where you are to where you want to be. Grab your copy here! Not sure if you should keep a journal? Check out this practical article by Sara Gaylon.

Gone are the days of our youth with tiny locks and dear diary entries. Or are they? Keeping a journal as an adult can have many benefits to your mind and soul.  Here are a few of the great results of keeping a journal.

1. Achieving Goals

Goals mean very little if you don’t tell someone about them, even if that someone is yourself in your journal. We tend to keep a running list in our heads of all the things we want to accomplish, but writing them down helps us take that first step of prioritizing what is important. After prioritizing a journal helps you keep up with your progress on your goals, and seeing progress is a great emotional boost towards accomplishing those goals.

2. Strengthening Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is something we often overlook in our personal development, more often we focus on skills we have that are marketable. However learning to process our own emotions, a natural byproduct of journaling, helps to increase that emotional intelligence, allowing us to become more empathetic to the feelings of others. Who wouldn’t see that as a marketable skill?

3. Self Discipline

Forming habits are hard, but beginning the process of journaling is a great way to start one habit in your life. Setting time aside each day to journal can begin that process of habit formation and self-discipline. Beginning one habit can carry over into other areas of your life, eating well, exercising, meditation etc. Gotta start somewhere right?

4. Practicing Gratitude

We live in an amazingly negative culture. The media tells us that we need more and more, because what we have isn’t good enough. Including gratitude notes in your journal reminds you of all of the great things you have right now. This practice of intentionally looking at the blessings in your life puts your brain on a positive cycle, as the brain struggles to focus on the positive and the negative at the same time. So use journaling to retrain your brain to thought of gratitude, and see if that doesn’t make a difference in your attitude!

Photo credit: Mofoluwaso Illevbare

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