Category Archives: Respect

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Comfort comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and dispositions, interests and abilities.

pink, yellow and green cut flowers

Happy Mother’s Day.

Comfort means Mama.

Comfort helps us master life at every stage, from potty-training and tying shoelaces, to making friends and doing homework, through awkward growth spurts and leaving home.  She can whip up a meal in a hurry, even if it’s take-out, and she doesn’t mind setting an extra place at the table for a friend. She knows just by looking at us when we’ve had a bad day or we’re coming down with a cold. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Respect

Living Like a Puppet on a String

Ever instinctively know that someone is trying to control you, but you can’t put your finger on it?

rows of knobs on an audio recording mixing console

When someone is trying to control all aspects of your life, it’s time to persist in speaking your own mind and acting on your reality

You feel you’re being manipulated, but you’re not sure how it is happening?

Here’s a quick checklist to confirm your suspicions.

Manipulators pull your strings when they:

  • Believe their opinions, wants and dreams are more important than your own.
  • Believe they have the right to tell you who you are, what to think, feel and do.
  • Expect you to read their minds and know and meet their needs, without their ever voicing them.
  • Inflict verbal violence when you don’t do exactly what they want you to do.
  • Give backhanded compliments, when they give them at all, and manage to point out some flaw or short-coming at the same time.
  • Criticize your opinions and ideas, usually in front of others.
  • Constantly challenge your perception of your reality. For instance, you say you’re hungry. You’re told you are not.
  • Blame you or others whenever something goes wrong.
  • Expect you to change plans or make accommodations to suit them.

Manipulators are controlling and disrespectful because of hurts they have experienced in life and still carry around inside them. Knowing this is no reason to accept their behavior. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Respect

How to Give Comfort in Tragedy

One of the hardest things we are ever called to do is to comfort someone who is experiencing tragedy.

Following a fire truck on the way to an emergency

When tragedy strikes a loved one, we can bring comfort with the right words and actions.

Generally, we do a much better job of rallying around the bereaved after someone dies than we do supporting someone who has suffered a debilitating and permanent injury.

Secretly we’re thinking, OMG, I’m so glad I’m not you. Better you than me. At the end of this uncomfortable visit I can walk out of here and put your terrible life out of my mind for a while. And if it’s too terrible, I can move on to other friends, I’m not stuck like you.

Sometimes, standing at the side of the hospital bed, we’re tongue-tied. Or, we blurt something out only to recoil in embarrassment for having inserted a foot in our mouth. Even worse, sometimes we speak and blithely go on, happily ignorant of the fact that we have caused more pain. In all of these cases, we have just widened the gulf that now separates us, the unaffected, from the person whose not-so-bad-up-to-now life has changed forever.

Before you find yourself standing in the hospital room of a double amputee saying, “I’m sorry for your loss,” check out these seven phrases that bring comfort in a time of tragedy. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Respect