Wednesday, September 18

Responding, Not Reacting, Part II, Revisited 9/18/13

        Hi everyone,

I just got in.  Seeing friends kept me out of the house this evening.  Lately, I've been quite the socialite. Sleeping in, tomorrow is on tap.  My body needs rest.

Responding, Not Reacting to Emotionally Charged Conversations

       When I'm engaged in a difference with someone, I know my wisdom is limited. I don't know what's right in every given situation.  During these times, I've grateful for the acronym: THINK.  When immersed in a difficult conversation with another, I ask, "are my comments and behavior Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary and Kind?"

       In the heat of an emotionally charged conversation, it easy to
let it rip---------- using the icepick of hateful, harmful words, to dig at the vulnerabilities of another person's soul.  The problem with using such words is that we can't take them back, even if we apologize.  The damage is done. For years, if not decades, comments said in a moment of haste continue to strike their mark, crippling not only the intended victim, but the relationship as well.  Talking in such a way has no appeal for me.  I prefer responding rather than reacting to the negativity I encounter. Fortunately, difficult, emotionally-laden moments are few and far between.

       I've found that when I'm invested in an outcome, I may not want to hear what another person who disagrees with me, says.  If I'm not keeping an open mind, I may not listen to a comment that impedes my agenda.  Not a good way to live, I know.  I can always grow and learn.

       I'm just one person on this earth.  I'm open to everyone, as long as they are respectful, and are courteous in expressing their views.  Also, empathy does not mean agreement.  It simply means we are connecting to the cares and needs expressed by another.

      Although I don't have to take abuse, I want to make sure that I don't dish it out either. Cold, snide comments, sarcasm (which means to peel away flesh, in Latin). and shaming others doesn't serve anyone. I don't like being shamed by others.  One way I uphold the dignity of others is by listening. My  spiritual strength---relying upon God's power---permits me to be receptive and loving, even to those who oppose me.

      I don't care to be unkind and unloving when listening to someone who upsets me.  Anger and bitterness don't meet my need for serenity.  I will have nothing to do with the corrosive power they can have upon my soul.  I like how the healthy principles I've learned over the years fit together, helping me to get along with others.  I'm thankful that they bridge the gap between the strength of my personal healthy principles and the family in which I grew. As a child, children didn't have a voice. They were to be seen and not heard, My feelings were irrelevant, if they differed from adult authority figures.

      I'm glad that I now express my voice; but it is just as good to sit listen and be patient with others.We want to stay engaged with those we whom we disagree. When we treat others respectfully, we often get heard----we many not get our way. But there's something valuable about this process. We're showing dignity to our fellowman and we're making the world a bit better, one relationship at a time. We are able to know the vastness of our feelings without being controlled by them. Fearful control of others is replaced by faith in healthier, life-affirming principles, like THINK.

My Gratitudes: 
1. I invested in myself by meeting with friends who have plenty of common sense and wisdom.
2. I'm thankful for slowing down and absorbing all that I received yesterday, on the cellular level.
3. I'm look forward to the rest of this year. I can't wait to see how God wants to use it for my healing, growth, abundance and happiness.

How About You?
What are your gratitudes?  It would be great hearing from you.  I enjoy the community, fellowship and connection we share when you post your gratitudes.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

You're right about sarcasm not serving anyone. Also, passive-aggressiveness is something that I've noticed in the work place that can have a very negative effect on workplace morale/interactions.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Thursday night I am grateful that...

1. After a 13 hour work day, a 30-minute power nap, and then co-hosting six friends for music, snacks and discussion, I found some energy to write...

2. Shelled, salted pistachio nuts are still one of God's and man's finest creations...

3. I can look forward to a much slower and lighter work day tomorrow, and the chance to dive into my aqua-workout at the gym.

Carl H said...

On this Saturday night, now early Sunday morning, I am grateful...

1. To have jumper cables handy this morning to jump start my van BEFORE the morning deluge/downpour. Also grateful I have learned how to extend grace to myself for leaving the keys in the ignition last night, and in the ON position! Forgetful but not catastrophic.

2. I was not in any of the four, rain-related, fender-benders I saw on 580, 24 and 680 during my late morning drive to Moms.

3. To have a productive day of care-giving and grocery shopping.

4. To watch an older film; a political drama, "The Ides of March," with George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. It reminded me of the importance of fidelity, honesty, integrity, and how selling our soul for power, position or fame will always come back to haunt you.

5. Quality time to share with my wife about our respective days, our wants, needs and hopes.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.