Posts Tagged ‘radio’

THE 12 YEA’S OF CHRISTMAS: “GETTING ALONG WITH FAMILY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Is world peace really possible? Maybe, but peace begins within, then extends into the home before it can reach global proportions. Sadly, the holidays, proclaimed the most wonderful time of the year, are more realistically the most stressful, bringing out the worst in people rather than the true spirit of love and generosity.

Most Christian families dream of a traditional Hallmark Christmas: perfectly wrapped gifts hidden beneath an impeccably decorated tree; the aromatic scents of sumptuous food baking in the oven; colored lights that magically twinkle to the sounds of traditional Christmas carols; and family members enjoying the company of loved ones seated around the dining room table.
Yet for many, the most wonderful time of the year is actually comprised of arguing, fighting, stubbornness, resentments, rifts, and personality clashes. The very messages of peace, love and kindness are buried among arrogant egos. Not having a perfect family does not mean families cannot share a joyful holiday season together. People can learn to get along with family members they are not particularly fond of or who are difficult or dramatic. Simply follow my “12 YEA’S OF CHRISTMAS” plan.

1. Minimize your time together. There is no hard and fast rule stating that we must spend all of our time, or even a full day, with our loved ones. Too much time together can lead to drama: people getting on each other’s nerves or increasing the risk that someone may say or do something offensive, thereby setting off a series of heated conflict. Instead of a long drawn-out holiday dinner, plan a 2 hour brunch instead. Less time = less risk.

2. Be prepared. Plan ahead how you’re going to interact with one another, especially those who may potentially create drama. Going blindly into a possible dramatic situation can leave one feeling unprepared for whatever chaos may ensue. Just as one knows exactly what to do in the event of a kitchen fire, one must also be prepared for any inappropriate behavior from family. The better prepared, the more effective one can be in minimizing any damage and returning the situation to a joyful celebration. If Aunt Harriet criticizes everyone and everything, enlist the aid of other family members to remind her that today is a day of joy and any unfavorable remarks of any kind are momentarily banned.

3. Focus on the good. Find something about those challenging members that you like, admire or respect or perhaps a fond memory you have of them. Use this as your opening conversation. For those less-than-favorite-but-must-socialize-with family members, remind yourself that every person has something favorable about them. Keeping in mind that thoughts determine our feelings which ultimately dictate how we treat one another, be certain to form an positive thought about the individual before engaging with them. Begin your interaction on an affirmative note: perhaps offer them a compliment. The person who initiates the conversation sets the tone. And remember, every family member has value and adds value to the overall dynamics of the day.

4. Remind yourself of the message. The holiday season is about love (aka kindness). Fill everyone’s stockings with kindness. Go out of your way, for just this day, to be kind to everyone, especially those who are the most difficult. Vow to bring out the best in everyone at the gathering. Put aside your dislike of them as best you can and be the example of true generosity. Feelings and behaviors are contagious and you can be an inspiration for others to follow your lead. Be a leader. Help your grandmother hang up her coat; offer to set or clear the table for the host; spend time taking with your moody nephew.

5. Refrain from judging and labeling. Every person has personal issues, you and I included. Separate their behavior from who they are intrinsically (children of God). Their poor conduct s is reflective of whatever is troubling them. Don’t take personal offense. Be compassionate and understanding. Look beyond the outward behavior to the intrinsic goodness of who they are. Repeat after me: “They are worried/stressed/hurting but they are my family. Their behavior does not apply to me. Sometimes even I misbehave. Therefore I will respond with compassion.”

6. Practice introspection. Ask yourself, “Why do I allow their behavior to bother me? What is it within me that needs to heal so that this will no longer be an issue for me?” Only when we look within and question our own reactions and reasons behind them do we have the ability to truly enjoy our family. If my cousin overeats, why is that an issue for me? Once I am able to find the answer to that question, their eating habits will no longer bother me and I am free to simply enjoy their company.

7. Establish a commonality. Particularly with those who pose the greatest challenge to us, finding common ground provides somewhat of a bond between us. Two women who are mothers, men who share a love of professional sports – these are areas where people can relate to one another, thus providing a deeper understanding of the other. And understanding leads to trust, the very building block for strong relationships. If Aunt Joan made the deserts, tell her you found a great new recipe that you’d like her opinion on.

8. Avoid sensitive or controversial topics. Use humor whenever necessary to diffuse tension. One can thoughtfully redirect the conversation should it enter the “danger” zone of a highly volatile topic. “Let’s not discuss my credit card debt tonight, Uncle Harry. Let’s talk about your last vacation. Was it fun?” Or, the shift can be more discreet. If a sensitive issue comes up, redirect it by saying, “Oh before I forget, I wanted to let you know that next week I have a doctor’s appointment and I need someone to watch the kids for me. Is that possible?” From that point, you can easily continue on less controversial matters.

9. Set limits and boundaries. No one needs to be subjected to offensive or inappropriate behaviors, not matter how understanding or patient they are. If cousin Joe is drinking excessively, one can certainly tell him (politely but firmly) that he has had enough to drink and offer him coffee or a soft drink as an alternative. Keep in mind, that boundaries must be fair and reasonable and only put into place if the so-called offense is serious enough to warrant it.

10. Practice forgiveness. Forgive the insensitive remarks, mistakes, and lack of finesse. Let things roll off your back. We need not actively address each and every incident that does not meet our standards of appropriate behavior. If someone comments that my dress is unflattering on my body type, I need not make an issue out of it. I can ignore it, let it roll of my back, and chalk it up to a thoughtless comment. To confront the party at that moment could create a scene that could certainly ruin the holiday for myself and others. If necessary, if it is important enough, I can address it at a later date.

11. Love vicariously. Keep in mind that the person you label difficult is probably loved by someone you love. Treat them kindly out of respect for the other party. Think about how you would feel if your child was behaving badly and others spoke unkindly about him or worse, treated him as such. Would that not be painful for you as well? Even if I may not be fond of my son’s wife, he loves her and I love him. Therefore out of love and respect for him, I treat her as if she is special to me, for indirectly she is.

12. Remember your authentic nature is love. To be anything less than love to anyone else will create conflict and dis-ease within you. Be true to yourself; be gracious, generous, and kind at all times. Remember, too, that karma is always at work. What you send out will be returned to you. But more importantly, you will be judged by God. Be an example of His goodness in this world, especially to your family, for He always repays our kindness.

We all have obnoxious, self-centered, opinionated people in our families, including ourselves. We could choose to avoid them from Nov. to Jan. or we could argue our way through the holidays. However, there is no honor in either. To make a concerted effort to peacefully and lovingly engage with our diverse family members enables us to test our full potential of being the spiritual creations we are; to live our Divine beliefs and practice the true message of the holidays which is love and peace, goodwill to all mankind. Take the time to incorporate the 12 YEA’S OF CHRISTMAS into your holiday season, regardless of your specific religious beliefs. You can have harmony in your home for the holidays.

“We cannot be a world at peace until we are first a people of peace.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer

PEACE ON EARTH. GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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ASSUME, ACCUSE, ASK

At some point in almost every person’s life, we have made false assumptions about another or blamed an innocent party for something they were not responsible for. Needless to say, both of these behaviors can lead to hurt feelings, people being offended and outraged or an angry defensive response from the targeted party. In some cases, it can prove extremely damaging to the relationship to the extent that an estrangement may occur or the offended party may seek retaliation of some sort.

Assumptions can be of a damaging, neutral or affirmative nature. Let’s examine each one:
There have been times when we have all assumed the worst about another person, particularly if it’s someone we don’t care for. You and your brother have never really gotten along with each other. He lent you his car over the weekend and a few days later discovered that the bumper was damaged. He assumes you are the one who is responsible since it was most recently in your possession. Without inquiring as to whether or not you have any knowledge of what happened, he automatically blames you. Regardless of the truth, he has declared you the guilty party and any investigation on his part is subsequently vacated. An incident such as this can be the catalyst that ends an already fragile brotherly bond.

A neutral assumption might look something like this: I presume that you will pick me up from work today as you have every day so far this week rather than ask you directly if you will be there as anticipated. While the assumption is neither favorable nor unfavorable, it can have a negative impact on the relationship should the other party fall to show up, not realizing that you were anticipating such. You feel disappointed or hurt by their actions; they are annoyed that you failed to ask them. While probably not serious enough to destroy the relationship, it can cause hard feelings that need to be addressed and resolved.

There are also times when we may make an affirmative assumption as well. Though less common, they often occur when someone we care about appears to be involved in an unsavory incident, for example. Imagine if someone witnesses a child doing drugs who bears a striking resemblance to your son and informs you of such. You become defensive and initially assume this person is only making these accusations because she dislikes your child, is a gossip, or wants to hurt your family. Negative assumption of the neighbor followed by an affirmative assumption of our child: you respond, “That can’t be possible. My son would never do drugs.” Wishing to believe the best about someone you care deeply about propels you to draw a positive conclusion without having any data to prove or disprove your theory. You look no further than your love for him and belief in your child’s innocence. You have formed an affirmative assumption.

As for accusations: when others accuse or blame us for something me may or may not have done, we feel as though we are under attack and our natural reaction to defend ourselves quickly goes into effect. Our anger escalates as we feel we are not being treated fairly. One serious accusation, regardless of its validity, can lead to a permanently damaged reputation and/or put the individual at serious risk. Consider accusations of sexual improprieties as an example. A person can lose their job without any proof of wrongdoing, can find themselves under investigation for a serious crime, and/or face the scorn and possible expulsion from their family. Accusations of any degree need to be given careful consideration before engaging them as they can have devastating consequences for the alleged offender.

In the case of a less serious personal interaction with another party where some matter has gone wrong and we are accused of being the sole party at fault, we naturally become agitated. Our perception is that the other party sees themselves as blameless, without having any accountability at all for what has transpired between them. Rarely when more than one person is involved does the fault lie with only one. Only when each party takes full ownership for their feelings, words, and behaviors can positive change occur. Personal responsibility is where our authentic power lies: our ability to choose (how we think, feel and behave).If my actions are problematic, I can choose to act in a different way, thereby effecting a different outcome. However, when I accuse and blame others I hold them fully accountable and in essence relinquish my power, thereby having no authority to effectively impact the situation.

When the tables are turned and we are the ones accusing or blaming others we fail to hold ourselves accountable on some level for the conditions around us: our financial struggles, our marital issues, joblessness or homelessness, poor health, lack of strong friendships, etc. We render ourselves powerless as we believe our circumstances are the result of some outside force rather than our own volition. Keep in mind, too, that powerlessness is one of the very foundations of anger.

Those who assume operate from a place of arrogance or indifference (to truth). When we make an assumption about an individual, in essence we are claiming to know without asking. “I possess superior intelligence, having the ability to assimilate information randomly. Therefore, I need not initiate in the inquiry process. I also have psychic abilities and can discern the motives behind your actions. I instinctively know that ‘why’ behind the ‘what’.” Assumers have no regard for truth. They only seek to support their own agenda; that is, they form a belief based on their feelings of those involved, collect all data to verify their claims, and avoid anything that may disprove their beliefs.

One would have little regard for a doctor who assumes to know what is ailing you. We would fully expect that they ask questions to uncover precisely what is causing you distress so that they may accurately diagnose and treat the condition. Anything less from them would be irresponsible and possible cause for legal action.

A police officer never assumes that the person holding the gun is the one who fired it, causing injury or death to a bystander. As obvious as it may appear, a responsible officer proceeds with an investigation, questioning anyone and everyone who may have any possible information that would lead to the prosecution of the rightful party.

Even in our judicial system, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. A prudent attorney will gather as much proof as possible to accurately locate and convict the person responsible for the crime and to protect the innocent party from a conviction.

Both assumptions and accusations are disrespectful to the other party as they show little interest in knowing the truth about them. Those who are truth seekers ask questions. They refrain from judging others or forming conclusions about a situation without first obtaining as much information about it or the individual as possible. They concern themselves with not having a scapegoat to hold accountable but rather for uncovering the facts so they can best address and resolve whatever the issue at hand is.

A fair minded person would never accuse or assume for fear of being grossly mistaken. One who is truly concerned about the well-being of others asks questions to be certain they know all of the facts before reaching a conclusion and deciding what steps to take next. It is the way in which each of us wants to be treated. As Ghandi so eloquently stated, “I must first be the change I want to see in others.” The Golden Rule instructs us to “Treat others as we wish to be treated.” The Bible commands us to “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Therefore, be respectful of others as you would expect them to be of you. Refrain from assuming, accusing, and blaming. Ask questions instead. Be a seeker of truth. And only when you have obtained as much accurate information as possible, draw s just conclusion.

Q: “Those who seek the truth ask questions. Those who fear or are uninterested in the truth make assumptions or accusations. Always be a seeker of truth.”

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://ow.ly/OADTf
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THE WHY’S WAY TO NEUTRALIZE ANGER

If I told you that there was one simple word that could prevent anger from arising would you be interested in discovering what that word is? Or in the event that anger showed up without warning, this same word could easily subdue it and restore your sense of calm? Would you utilize this information to create a happier life for yourself? Of course you would! Well, there is one simple magic word that can do just that, and the word is “WHY”.
People often get angry without a deep understanding of the cause. Some have short fuses and every small incident seems to irritate them. In areas where the average person might not give the event a second thought, others fly off the handle. When asked why they are angry, oftentimes they have no rational explanation. “I don’t know – some things just bother me a lot.” In the case of observing another person become upset over something we deem to be a non issue, we may make such statements as, “You’re acting like a fool!” or “You have no reason to be angry.”

Ours is an angry planet and sadly, not only do people refuse to take responsibility for their ire, but in many instances fail to have to clear understanding of why the anger emerged initially. Taking a moment to inquire “Why” from different perspectives can truly be enlightening by providing much insight into one’s feelings and underlying issues behind the rage. Consider the following scenarios where “why” can neutralize or prevent anger from manifesting.

Dealing with one’s own anger:
Imagine you’re in a situation that triggers your anger. You ordered a gift for your husband’s birthday making sure there was ample time for it to arrive by his special day. However, the package was a week late and when you opened it you realized they had send the wrong item. You are livid and immediately call customer service, proceeding to rant on the woman hired to assist you. Even one who’s trained and paid to deal with irate customers is not deserving of your wrath. She assures you that the correct item will be mailed promptly and offers to send you a return shipping label to make the return process easier for you. For your inconvenience, she is authorized to give you a 10% gift certificate off of your next purchase. Your anger begins to subside as you offer her an apology for your rudeness. Damage done and corrected. However, wouldn’t it have been wiser to not become so agitated from the get go?

By utilizing the “why” question, one can avoid an angry outburst such as described. Upon the first inkling of annoyance, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I so upset? Why am I allowing this relatively insignificant incident to cause me so much grief?” The answers might be something like, “This company/worker is inept. This is no way to run a business. I am frustrated and feel that as a paying customer they don’t value my business. That’s rude and disrespectful of me and that makes me mad!”

The why challenges me to look within myself for the answers rather than blame others and hold them accountable for how I feel. Are my feelings valid? Are my perceptions of the company/workers fair and reasonable? Are my expectations (of perfection on their part) unrealistic? Am I being too harsh and judgmental? What does my anger afford me? Do I think I need it in order to rectify the situation? Can I achieve the same results or better by taking a different approach, perhaps one of logic and reason?

Authentic power comes from one’s ability and willingness to look at themselves, to question their feelings, actions, motives, objectives, etc. The why begins the process of self-awareness and self-awareness is the beginning of personal growth. This process may reveal that I am being unfair in my expectations and assessments of those involved, that I am demanding too much. Or perhaps I’m too sensitive and take things personally when in reality I was not being targeted by anyone. My willingness to make the necessary adjustments will diffuse my current anger and prevent it from manifesting in similar future situations.

Dealing with an angry person (as an observer):
If you are dealing with someone who is outraged over an incident that does not involve you, asking the why question can help them come to a deeper understanding of precisely why they are reacting to said event with anger. Similar in nature to the questions one asks themselves, begin by asking why are they upset? Why do they allow this incident to become problematic for them? Does it change the situation? Will it make things better for them? What’s fascinating about questioning others rather than telling them what to do (“Don’t be angry!”) is that it challenges them to discover their truth on their own. Most people do not respond well to others who impose demands or suggestions on them. However, when one comes to this realization of their own volition, the impact is far greater and more meaningful. Again, challenging them to think about their feelings and the why behind them enables them to better understand themselves, examine if their response is warranted and advantageous for them and those around them, and to possibly make wiser choices in the moment or in the future.

Here’s an example: Recently my friend took her dog to the vet for an unusual skin infection. The vet diagnosed it and ordered a treatment plan. Since it was highly contagious, my friend needed treatment as well. Wanting to ensure that the procedure was meticulously carried out, she inquired as to how long the healing process would take, when she and her dog would no longer be contagious, and if there was a chance of a reoccurrence. The doctor was unable to give precise answers cue to the nature of the condition but did so in more generalized terms. She became furious and demanded more specifics which he could not supply. I inquired of her, “Why is this an issue for you? Why did you speak to him that? Why did you react that way? Why do you feel the way you do?”

She confided that she was scared that the condition would not be resolved within a reasonable period of time and that she or her pet could possible infect others if still contagious. She also worried that if the infection returned, it would cause more damage to their health and add to her already high expenses.

Having a deeper understanding of her why’s, her fears and sense of powerlessness, we were able to look more closely at them and find somewhat reasonable solutions for each. We contact another vet, did research online, and contacted the drug manufactures. In doing so, she felt more in control of her health and her pet’s and subsequently her anger subsided. She began to trust that as time progressed answers would become more apparent and that not everything could be revealed at the precise time she desired. She overcame her fear by building trust (in herself and her vet) and patience in the process. She’ll be able to reference this process in future circumstances.

Dealing with an angry person (if you are a target):
There are times when each of us has been the target of someone else’s anger. At times, we are aware that we may have said or done something inappropriate that preceded their reaction. I may have been late meeting my sister at the restaurant for dinner or perhaps I shared one of her secrets with a coworker when she had specifically instructed me to keep the information confidential. There are also incidences where we are clueless as to why their anger is being directed at us. In any event, the why question can bring greater clarity to the situation.

“Why are you angry with me? Is there something I said or did that offended you?” “Why did you react that way when I told you I couldn’t help you move on Saturday?” “Why is my attitude a problem for you?” “Why does the way I live my life bother you?” Be forewarned, that if you ask a question you must be willing to listen to the answer, even if you don’t understand or agree with it.

Without the why it is easy to become defensive when someone is angry with us or when we see them acting out in a hostile manner. Why provides an understanding of what caused the anger to surface and understanding opens the door to compassion. When I realize that the other party is worried about the safety of their child and are emotionally drained, then it comes as no surprise that they have little tolerance for any distractions. When one imposes their anger on me and through the why I come to realize that this is all they know from growing up in a home with parents who used yelling and threats as a means of communication and discipline, then I understand that they are only utilizing what they have learned. Practicing patience with them while they discover a more appropriate way of expressing themselves makes our relationship tolerable.

If you are a child being told by your parents that you cannot do something you’d like to do, asking why can better help you to understand the motives behind their response. Perhaps the situation is too dangerous or there isn’t enough time or money to do so. Disappointment may remain but anger will be less likely to surface. If your child behaves in a way that you find appalling, a simple, “Why did you do that?” rather than responding with an angry “You’re grounded!” can provide insights into your child’s thought process, helping to provide clarity behind their actions. This can be a catalyst for a meaningful discussion.

Likewise, when our political or church leaders make decisions that impact us that we are not in agreement with, oftentimes we react with outrage. However, inquiring why can better help us understand the reasoning behind their actions. We may still not agree with their decisions but may better understand their rationale for doing so. And in some cases, their response can provide an open debate to ultimately find better solutions.
In any event, why is a powerful and wise response to anger in general. As I previously stated, why provides understanding and understanding leads to compassion – a perfect means to neutralize anger.

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://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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