I think that more than anything else in the world, we are propelled through life by a desire to belong. We want to be a part of, to be considered good enough for, something larger than ourselves. We crave the connection.
When unfaithfulness destroys a connection to someone we love, we sometimes feel we do not belong to anyone or anywhere.
And conversely, when someone shuns us, lies to us, or betrays us on a monumental level, we are deeply hurt because the message is, at least in part, we don’t belong. We’re not as good as, maybe we’re not even good enough. Continue reading
Not too long ago I witnessed a full blown temper-tantrum by a boy who must have been about six. He yelled, he hit things and himself, he sprawled on the floor and kicked his feet. He cried crocodile tears worthy of a Daytime Emmy.
Many misunderstandings come not from what is said or done, but from what we tell ourselves about what is said or done. We can ask for what we want, and we can let it go and have time for something that makes us happy.
For all of his acting out, he got no response from anyone. After a bit, he got up off the floor and joined his mother standing about 10 feet away, who appeared to have passed the time by carefully considering several items for purchase, none of which went into her cart.
It was clear she expected him to use words to say what he wanted, or to express his disappointment at being denied what he wanted. Continue reading
Some people find it hard to give constructive criticism in a way that is effective, particularly to someone who is just learning a new skill.
When we offer both praise and criticism, sounding each clearly, yet beautifully, our words are powerful and effective.
It’s tempting to praise everything, or find fault with everything. Neither one is honest, but for different reasons.
Calling everything good, when it is not, is dishonest for obvious reasons. Doing so labels you as either ineffective or ignorant. Worse, most of us can at least intuitively sense when we’re not performing well, and when we’re told we’re doing better than we think we are, we correctly distrust the feedback as false and come to view the giver as uncommitted to our success. Continue reading