Posts Tagged ‘interview’

How to Start and/or Stop an Argument

Being a part of any relationship for a period of time affords an individual the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t with each respective person. I may be able to discuss politics with Uncle Joe but Aunt Sue? Never! He’s open minded to other people’s views and enjoys a lively debate. Aunt Sue, on the other hand, is opinionated, is a right-fighter (one who always has to be right as Dr. Phil refers to them), and becomes nasty with those who disagree with her. I can joke around with my husband and refer to him as my “hairless honey” but my friend Steve is very sensitive about his lack of locks.

One of my favorite topics to discuss is God. I’m madly in love with Him and like a teenage who’s fallen in love for the first time, I can’t stop thinking and talking about Him. But try to have a discussion about our Lord with a defensive non believer and you may be in for a rough ride. (I learned that lesson the hard way on facebook – some of them can get down-right ugly!)

We all know what topics we can discuss with certain people and which ones to avoid. We also know what turns a harmless discussion into a vicious argument. (A disagreement is not synonymous with argument by the way. The first is simply a difference of opinion. The latter engenders hostility and sometimes aggression.) Granted, there are those who love the drama – they seek out opportunities to incite a good fight. I’m not one of them. While I enjoy a good debate, I abhor arguing and will do my best to avoid it. Then, too, there are some who engage in a discussion and wonder why every conversation results in quarreling and hurt feelings. “People are so sensitive! Everything you say they take the wrong way.” They fail to recognize their own contributions to the contamination of the dialogue.

Here are some surefire tips to convert any conversation into an argument:
• Know what issues the other party is sensitive to or passionate about. Engage one of those topics for discussion.
• Know what to say or do to provoke them, being certain to push their buttons whenever possible.
• Infuse a hefty dose of criticism, sarcasm, and insults. Insert a few expletives and round it off with a threat or two for good measure.
• Always be right. Never admit to being mistaken about anything.
• Be as arrogant and close minded as possible. Never listen to or consider the other person’s position.
• Exaggerate and embellish whenever possible. This will certainly destroy your credibility.

If you would prefer to keep things civil, try the following:
• Refuse to engage in highly sensitive or provoking topics. Don’t initiate or participate in them regardless of how much the other party persists.
• Stay out of other people’s business. If it does not concern you do not be concerned.
• If necessary, walk away before the conversation turns nasty.
• Remain open and respectful of the other person’s position. Acknowledge their feelings, beliefs, and needs even if you don’t understand or agree with them.
• Be sensitive and kind but firm when necessary. When speaking, be crystal clear and judiciously concise.
• Carefully choose your words, tone of voice, and attitude. Always consider how they would sound to you if the other party said them.
• If the situation becomes heated, know what to say or do to calm things down. A simple validation is often enough. “I can see how important this issue is to you.”
• Don’t take personal offense to what the other party is saying. Their behavior mirrors their inner self and is in no way a reflection of you.

Discussions are a vital aspect of every healthy relationship and enable individuals to acquire greater knowledge of one another, the issue at hand, to find resolution whenever necessary. They also serve as a means to strengthen the rapport between all parties. With a few simple techniques and a bit of restraint, anyone can keep a dialogue civil and productive.

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The Surprising Cause of Stress, Part 1

Today is “tax day”. For millions of American tax payers it is probably their least favorite time of the year, propelling them into a state of duress and anxiety. For a business owner such as myself the task of gathering all of my receipts and itemizing my expenses is time consuming and definitely not on my list of top ten favorite any things. A highly qualified CPA makes the process of filing much easier for me… that is, until we hit a snag between banking protocol and IRS regulations concerning IRA rollovers which seem to contradict one another. Feeling helpless against a powerful government agency that has the authority to make life a living hell is, to say the least, a bit unnerving. However, the worst case scenario is not going to land me in jail or deplete my retirement savings.

A recent poll shared by WPLJ Radio posed this question to women across America: “What is your biggest problem?” A whopping 35% responded: “men”. Since dealing with problems are stressful, is it safe to deduce that stress is caused by men? (Only kidding, guys! I’m actually on your side. Don’t listen to these women – you are not, I repeat not, the problem nor are you responsible for their stress.) Stress is actually less complicated than one may believe. Like anger, it is only a symptom of a deeper issue. And like anger, there can be thousands of triggers but only two root causes. Stress, a state of being characterized by feelings of physical, emotional, or mental tension, is actually rooted in fear and frustration. Let’s take a look at each one:

Fear: feelings of worry, anxiety, concern, and apprehension all contribute to feeling stressed out. We worry about finding a good job, moving to another city, losing our spouse or being alone. Each time we anticipate a negative circumstance we generate feelings of uncertainty. And fear of the unknown is one of life’s greatest causes of distress. Do you struggle with What If Syndrome? What if I get lost? What if my husband gets cancer? What if the plane crashes and I die? What if my child doesn’t get into the college of his choice? Or what if he does and I can’t afford the tuition? We project the worst possible outcome and proceed to worry over things that may never manifest.

Fear is a lack of trust in a situation, another person, ourselves or God: in a situation – we feel unsafe, such as sky diving for the first time. This is a dangerous hobby. I could be seriously injured; with other people – a person is perceived as a threat to my security and well-being. A jealous co worker has the potential to get me fired; in ourselves – we lack confidence in our abilities to handle whatever situations life presents to us. I could never survive the loss of a child; and most importantly a lack of trust in God – if He really is a loving God, why do bad things keep happening to me? I pray for healing every day and still I suffer with chronic back pain.

The way to overcome fear is two-fold. On a practical level: by building our self-confidence, in part, by reminding ourselves of everything we have faced, survived, and overcome thus far in life. On a spiritual level: through our faith in God, knowing that He never promised us that life would be easy or fair, only that He would never abandon us, that whatever we truly needed (not wanted) would be provided for us, and that if we followed His directive we would reap abundant blessings. Just look around you. It’s all ready there.

Frustration: feelings of anxiety derived from the need to control a situation or individual. When people don’t behave in a manner I deem appropriate, when they won’t comply with my wishes or demands, or when a situation does not proceed as I anticipated, I feel helpless and powerless. Being out of control causes anxiety within me as I realize something or someone else is determining the outcome of this situation and/or possibly my life. I do not trust anyone enough to give them power and authority over me. I do not have confidence that they have my best interest at heart.

When I realize that control is an illusion (I have zero control over situations and/or others) and recognize that whatever enters my life is ultimately there for my higher good*, then I do not need to have the final say in how life reveals itself to me. I can relax and be more at ease, knowing that I have full dominion over how I maximize every experience I participate in. I choose how I think, feel, react to, and utilize each and every occurrence. I can transform any perceived negative into a positive simply by my internal choices and how I express them.

People and events that contradict my ideals will always be a part of my life. By addressing the underlying causes of stress and living a faith-based life coupled with the wisdom to fully embrace every situation I experience, I can approach each day with greater peace and composure thereby significantly reducing the amount of stress that enters my life. And a peace-filled lifestyle supports a joy-filled existence.

* “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
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Why Your Body Needs You to Forgive

I’m blessed to have parents who, early-on in life, instilled in me the importance of forgiveness. “They didn’t mean what they said.” “Your friend is probably just having a bad day.” My mom was, and still is, one who always saw the best in people and chose compassion over anger. So it has always felt very natural for me to let go of unpleasant feelings I’ve had towards those who have been hurtful or offensive. Throughout my life, this practice has served me well. However, there have been several occasions when I have failed miserably at extending mercy to others and have paid a hefty price for my arrogance. On two specific occasions, my body fiercely rebelled against my repressed anger and landed me in the hospital for surgery.
In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, Dr. Bernie Siegel states that “One’s life and one’s health are inseparable. Genes do not make the decisions. Our internal environment does. You internalize anger and it destroys you. Self-induced healing is not an accident.” Our body reflects our internal mood. It is in essence a messenger for our emotional and spiritual selves.

How can forgiveness protect our physical health?
1. Forgiveness lowers stress levels and the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. For years, doctors have warned us that the number one cause of disease is stress. Therefore, lowing anxiety through forgiveness helps to preserve our physiological well-being.
2. It’s not only Cheerios that are good for the heart. So is forgiveness. Those who are more empathetic and compassionate have lower heart rates.
3. Having a forgiving heart may lower both emotional and physical pain. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that those suffering from chronic back pain and chose to let go of their anger experienced lower levels of pain. Less stress (tension) = less pain. Makes perfect sense to me.
4. We all know that anger, stress, fear, etc. can raise blood pressure. Letting go can have the reverse effect.
5. Holding on to grudges can take years off your life. People who choose the path of forgiveness tend to live longer and healthier lives. They are typically happier, more serene, empathetic rather than judgmental, hopeful and agreeable – all affirmative mental characteristics that translate into positive physical benefits.

Medical research has shown that non forgiveness can negatively impact our cardiovascular and nervous systems and that by extending mercy to others those affects can be reversed. Like most life skills, forgiveness can be taught and absolutely must be practiced. Research has revealed that the benefits are significant and long term. Perhaps that’s just one of the reasons the Lord instructs us to forgive – to protect the one and only physical body we’ve been given for this lifetime.

Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Whether on an emotional or physical level holding onto grudges is just plain unhealthy. It is you, not the other party, who suffers. And don’t you deserve so much better than that? Let it go. You will not only improve your physical health but you will rediscover inner peace as well.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

If you or anyone you know needs help forgiving, visit www.FromGodWithLove.net for a very inspiring video.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://www.iheart.com/talk/show/53-Anger-911-Radio/
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