Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

5 QUALITIES OF NON VIOLENT FIGHTING

When individuals disagree on a subject matter, whether it’s politics, religion, home projects, budgeting issues or such, very often the discussion escalates into a full-blown fight. Tensions rise as each side tries to convince the other that their beliefs or ways of doing something are more valid that the others, that they are right on their position. In my conflict resolution training program, I stress the importance of refraining from using the terms right or wrong. To do so indicates an insecurity that needs strengthening by proving oneself superior over another. The vast majority of issues we disagree on are not matters of right or wrong: they are simply issues of perception, preference, or opinion. Only issues of morality or fact can be deemed accurate or false. To recommend that people refrain from debating certain topics that they disagree on is unnecessary. Debates can be beneficial on so many levels such as enabling both sides to learn something new, to entertain the possibility that there is some validity to what the other is saying, to hone their communication and listening strategies, as well as learning tolerance and acceptance.

So how can two people strongly disagree on a topic and discuss it without having it escalate into verbal violence or aggression? There are five key strategies one must employ.

Confidence: When an individual feels strongly that their beliefs, ideas, feelings or ways of living life are valid, they are able to submit compelling facts to support their side. They are strong and secure in their position and comfortable with what they are presenting to support their side. Confidence does not feel threatened by those who disagree as they feel that no matter how strongly the other party feels about their position, a poised person can hold their ground and not acquiesce to their ways. Confidence, a belief in one’s abilities, enables the person to listen open-mindedly without fear of how the other might react or respond to them, nor what opinion the other person may form about them. Good, bad, or indifferent, confidence says, “I’m fine with whatever the outcome of our conversation is.”

They are also interested in sharing their thoughts without the need to convert the other party to their ways nor show them the error of theirs. There is no competition; only shared dialogue.

Those who are insecure or uncertain present a weak perspective easily crushed by the other side. In this instance, they feel at a disadvantage and may easily resort to yelling, raging, insults, criticisms, threats, demeaning comments and so on in order to intimidate the other party to back off, thus giving the illusion that they won. However, one who is secure in their beliefs creates a win-win situation for all, allowing the other side to maintain their dignity and beliefs as well.

Assertive: One who is assertive is gifted with a strong sense of self, a belief that they are capable of handling themselves well in any given situation. Regardless of the nature of the disagreement, an assertive person cares deeply about the well-being of their opponent with no interest in degrading them by proving them to be error. Differences are viewed as assets rather than obstacles and a lively debate is welcomed. Comfortable with taking the initiative, they are highly focused on finding common ground with the other party and are adept at directing the conversation on a positive course. If one party veers off on a tangent, they can readily bring them back into focus. If the other party becomes irate or hostile, they are well-equipped to set some boundaries and diffuse the incident. Assertives have a quiet air of inner strength and confidence about them; they neither rant nor yell nor threaten nor belittle. Their tone of voice is steady, strong and clear. They are leaders with viable skills and concern that keep a potentially volatile situation calm and productive.

Respectful: Respect is a treatment that we all seek yet few actually know the meaning of the word. To respect means to value. All human beings want to be treated with dignity and respect, as though they matter. Reverence does not have to be earned – it is a God-given right of every person ever born into this world. Yet some seem to believe that they have the authority to designate who has greater worth than another. If this is the mindset of one who engages in an oppositional discussion then there is sure to be frustration, anger, and hostility from the other side. It is critical to view the other person as worthy as yourself, to begin the discussion on an equal playing field so that no one feels greater or less than the other. This simple message, that you matter as much as I do, enables the other party to lower their defenses and trust you in the sense that you have their best interest at heart as you do your own. Even though I may vehemently disagree with your position, even though I may not understand it, a respectful individual recognizes that their beliefs are equally as valid to them as mine are to me. Being polite in that one simple regard dictates the nature and course of the conversation and keeps it on a positive and constructive note.

Fair-minded: One of humanities basic needs is to be treated fairly. This involves providing sufficient time for the other person to present their side; to listen without criticizing or interrupting; to refrain from making fun of or trying to disprove their points. Finding some valid points sends the message that you recognize the legitimacy of what they are saying even if you do not agree with it. Being fair means commenting on the issues, not criticizing the person (attack the issues not the individual).

If the discussion is one what needs a resolution, a fair-minded person will seek some sort of compromise. Their desire to make certain the other party is satisfied with the outcome is critically important to them. They will typically reassure them by making certain their needs are being met first and/or giving them more than they are expecting or entitled to. They fully embrace the belief that it is better to give than to receive and that it is in giving that we receive the most.

Solution-oriented: Not every disagreement will be resolved nor are they meant to be. Sometimes a debate is simply a sharing of ideas, beliefs, feelings or position. You will never convince a Republican to join the Democratic party or vice versa. Nor should we. It is in our differences that we find growth and expansion.

However, in those situations where an agreement is imperative, it is key to begin the conversation with the end goal in mind. What are we seeking to accomplish? What absolutely needs to take place in order for this issue to be put to rest at the satisfaction of both parties? Having a clear goal enables one to lay out a straightforward plan of action to achieve those goals. They are not sidetracked by superfluous facts or opinions, they avoid blame and finger-pointed, and they stay focused on finding a solution. They listen to all sides and take into consideration all perspectives and suggestions in addition to keeping the process short and sweet.

It’s critically important to enter into any discussion with a positive and open mind. Seek to listen, to learn, to understand, and to care about. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, take a moment and practice the SWaT Strategy: STOP the conversation, WALK away to emotionally disconnect, and TALK yourself calm. When you have regained your composure, return with the intent to have a successful and productive conversation. Utilize the 5 Qualities – confidence, assertive, respectful, fair-minded, and solution-oriented – and you fill discover a simple path to having a non-violent fight.

Ephesians 4:2 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”

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WHY YOU NEED TO CHANGE

People become defensive at the thought of someone telling them or implying that they must change. “I am who I am; take it or leave it” is often the response. “I’m not changing for anyone. Except me for who I am or don’t be in my life.” While many view these comments as signs of self-confidence – that one does not rely on the approval of others to determine their worth or that they are perfectly content with themselves exactly as they are – in truth this attitude is typically a cover-up for fear. “If I change then I am admitting there is something wrong with me. If I change, then others are controlling who I am and/or dictating who I become.” Neither option is appealing but rather quite disturbing. To admit one’s flaws can further damage one’s compromised sense of self. Giving in to the demands of others relinquishes one’s free will (freedom of choice) to another. Yet if we examine the need to change who we are in greater detail, we’ll see that neither need be the case.

First, let me state that we all need to change. Just as we periodically change our clothing when it no longer fits or becomes frayed or soiled, we also need to occasionally amend such things as our belief systems, methods of performing certain tasks, our ways of thinking or how we experience the world. Yet change without confidence in self is extremely difficult. One would not embark on a new career if they did not feel secure that they were qualified to do their new job well and/or that the switch would ultimately be beneficial to them. One must believe undeniably in their own abilities and fortitude before comfortably engaging in any life adjustments.

Secondly, it is important to note that before making any alterations in one’s self, one must fully know who they are. You are God’s sacred child, an expression of His Love manifest in physical form. The very nature of who you are is love: kindness, compassion, courage, forgiveness, justice, generosity, and so on. This is the you that you need to know intimately. Understand, too, that one is unable to change their intrinsic self. Like the color of your eyes, who you are is preordained by the Almighty and will remain intact for the duration of your existence. And it need not change for it is perfection in (human) form.

Thirdly, like your clothing or hairstyle, what needs to change from time to time are your attitudes and actions – the way you think and behave. Keep in mind that both of these are learned and serve a purpose in the moment. Keep in mind, too, that negative attitudes and like actions lead to difficulties in life. When we entertain positive thoughts they are followed by positive behaves as well and we reap the rewards of our choices.

Those attitudes and actions that need modification (or elimination) are those that do not support one’s authentic self. When we don’t outwardly express our true nature we create internal conflict for ourselves (“I’m a nice guy but I sometimes treat others poorly.”) We deceive ourselves by not acknowledging that our actions do not accurately reflect the goodness of who we are. There are times, too, when we recognize the contradiction but feel powerless over it. “Why am I hesitant to speak up? I’m not afraid of what others may think of me.” This leads to internal discontent and stress.

Our incongruent actions also cause confusion for those we are interacting with. They cannot fully know who we are if in fact we are acting out in a contradictory manner (being hurtful, sarcastic, lazy, mean-spirited, etc.) when they have already witnessed the goodness within us. This makes them question our trustworthiness, not knowing when we will contradict our nature with opposite behaviors. Lack of trust weakens the very foundation of any relationship and impedes its ability to grow and survive. If I am an intelligent person but I make ignorant choices, or give little regard to the decisions I make, then others begin to doubt my judgment, and my reputation as well as my relationship with them suffers.

Fourthly, the willingness to change means one is accepting enough of themselves to realize they need improvement in certain aspects of their life; that they are not fully comfortable of the way they are living; that they are a proverbial work in progress and are continually seeking to grow and improve. Like a worker who takes continuing education classes to always be up on the latest changes in their field so that they can be the best employee on the job, so is this same approach necessary to succeed in life. Someone once said, “Be content with what you have but never be content with who you are.”
In truth, we are continually modifying our behaviors in many different circumstances. A casual dresser wears formal attire to the wedding of a best friend as requested by the bride and groom; one who is shy takes command of the stage when performing; one who readily speaks their mind remains silent in order to protect someone’s feelings. We do this subconsciously without hesitation. Therefore the real issue is not so much a resistance to change but rather when it appears at the request or demand of another.

Fifthly, changing for others can be an indication of concern for their well-being. We speak to adults in one particular way yet if we encounter someone with a hearing impairment or a learning disability, we adjust how we interact with them by making certain that we speak in a way they can relate to. If my husband requests that I take my shoes off before entering the house so that I don’t track pollen in on my shoes that could cause him respiratory distress, as a loving wife I would gladly accommodate him. He is not asking that I change who I am but rather that I modify my actions in order to make life more comfortable for him. And if I asked him to be a little more quiet around the house from time to time rather than always expressing the boisterous person he is, I would hope that his love for me is great enough to do so. Call it love or concern or consideration or respect: life is a series of interactions with others and the more thoughtfulness we extend to others the easier our relationships, and ultimately our lives, will be. Of course, all of these requests and adjustments must be fair and reasonable.

Resistance to change causes the same rigidity that can make a stiff tree snap in a strong wind. Those that are willing to bend to accommodate the wind remain intact. Humans who adopt an attitude that they will not change for anyone are fearful of relinquishing who they are for the satisfaction of another. Resistance to change in general can be an indication of one who lives in denial of their unhealthy attitudes, actions, lifestyles, relationships and so on. Low self esteem prevents them from recognizing their imperfections and lack of courage or self-love prevents them from making the necessary improvements.

Even though we deny it, we all expect others to change for us in some way, shape or form. Spouses must be willing to accommodate their partner’s needs; family members must take into consideration what matters to other members and make the necessary adjustments (such as in meal preparations); coworkers need to modify the way they speak with and interact with others on the job to be more professional, and so on. The willingness to put another’s preferences above our own when necessary is thoughtful, courageous, respectful, and unselfish. Those are the very characteristics that we all seek in friendships, intimate relationships, and those we work with and interact with socially. Therefore we must be willing to extend those courteousies to others first.

Again, I am not suggesting one changes who they are intrinsically for in that regard we are all perfect. I am recommending that changing one’s attitudes and actions are not only necessary but vital to one’s success in life. Remember, too, that authentic change must be voluntary. Forced change is coercion or compliance and will never be lasting nor create a healthy, happy life.

Never settle for being the way you act; always seeking to learn, to grow, and to improve so that you may have the life God created you to have. When your outward attitudes and actions align with your intrinsic nature you will find inner peace and contentment.

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire: if you don’t change it you won’t get very far in life.”

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

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P~R~E ANGER: PREVENT, REDUCE, ELIMINATE

You’ve heard me say in previous shows that anger is a normal, healthy, and in many cases a useful emotion. While some may believe that the feeling itself is wrong or bad, it’s not. It is the way we choose to express it and use it determines if it becomes a positive force in our lives to bring about beneficial change or a destructive force which makes matters worse for us or for those around us. Anger is nothing more than a warning sign that something is wrong according to our standards and beliefs: something violates our moral code of ethics, perhaps we witness an injustice occurring, or maybe someone or something poses a threat to us or someone else, and so on. Each of these alerts us that we must take appropriate action in order to restore balance, fairness, and safety to those affected. Once we understand the purpose of the anger showing up in our life we can relinquish it and focus 100% of our energy on the solution to whatever the issue is – to correcting that which needs fixing or is not working properly.

But what if I told you that there was a way you could prevent yourself from becoming angry from the get go? Or that you could radically reduce the amount of times you get angry and the severity of it? What if there was a way to completely eliminate anger from your life altogether? But if anger is truly useful, would it even be advantageous to never feel it again? I will tell you that you can do all three: prevent, reduce, and/or eliminate anger from your life without any harmful repercussions. Here’s how P~R~E Anger works:

PREVENT: Like the flu, it makes more sense to prevent getting sick than waiting until you are infected and then seek treatment. The first step in preventing anger from manifesting is to identify your triggers. Keeping in mind that there is a significant difference between root (internal) causes and triggers (outside events or people), awareness is the first key in recognizing those situations or individuals that elicit displeasure in us. Traffic, rude people, stressful situations, political conversation, criticism and so forth can all create feelings within us that are uncomfortable, distressing, and irritating. Therefore, whenever possible, avoid your stimulants. One would never knowingly walk through poison ivy but would circumvent it if given the opportunity. Doing so is both smart and self-loving. Care enough about yourself to only allow into your life that which enriches your life.

Granted, there are certain situations and/or people that we cannot easily avoid. Your boss, mother-in-law, unexpected traffic due to heavy volume, construction or accidents, medical emergencies – these are unpredictable or inevitable experiences that for a variety of reasons we must endure. Therefore, if you cannot circumvent your triggers, create a plan of action for when they show up. Know beforehand exactly how you will deal with each should you find yourself in that position. For example, if your boss likes to discuss baseball, knowing that you both support rival teams, and he continually points out how much better his team is than yours (trying to elicit a reaction from you), plan ahead to divert the conversation to another topic, explaining to him that you will not engage in this discussion for the following reasons. Or you can simply refuse to respond when he initiates the conversation or reply with a dispassionate comment. (Ex: simply state, “OK” and move on.)

REDUCE: Since all emotions originate from our thoughts, it is actually quite simple to dramatically reduce the amount of anger we experience along with its frequency, intensity, and duration. In any given situation, we form a thought about what is occurring, how it will impact us or those around us, and how we feel about it. What determines if we are ok with what is happening or not is based on the value we assign to it. Every issue is neutral in origin. It only carries the worth that we give it. If I view rising taxes as necessary to improve the quality of my life, then I am reasonably comfortable with it. However, if I believe politicians are misappropriating funds for their own personal gains, then I become irate. A reassessment of my thought process can alleviate any anguish I am experiencing. “There are many expenses that I’m unaware of that are contributing in part to the rise in my tax bill. Some of these are certainly necessary. Perhaps only a small portion is misused.” In this example, my anger might not completely subside but will be significantly reduced.

Also, a change in one’s perception (thought process) can easily reduce the number of times one becomes upset. Rain on the weekend that interferes with our outdoor plans can easily anger even the most accommodating person. However, rather than view the weather as the culprit to a ruined weekend, one can be grateful that the rain is replenishing the water sheds as well as appreciate the opportunity to engage in a fun indoor activity instead. Our internal dialogue, what we say to ourselves, determines how a situation impacts us. Two people can have the identical experience: one is at peace with it while the other is fuming. The only difference is their perception and willingness to reassess it to find its value. Once a positive value is assigned to a person or experience, anger cannot manifest because the experience or person is seen as an affirmative opportunity or blessing. Consider that when a difference of opinion arises, it can be viewed as annoying, that the other party is attacking my integrity, my level of intelligence or authority. Or, I can view conflict as opportunity to learn new ideas or to find new ways of doing thing better. Same experience, different perception, different emotions.

Take inventory of those issues that trigger your ire. Reassess them for their importance or relevance in your life. This will reduce the frequency. Should anger arise, pay careful attention to your internal dialogue. Change your thoughts, change your words, and your feelings will automatically follow suit. The intensity and duration of your upset will significantly decline.

ELIMINATE: If it were possible to completely eliminate anger, would that be beneficial or not? Before answering that question, let’s examine if it is even probable. Knowing that anger is a symptom of a deeper rooted cause, if we could initially identify the actual emotion we are experiencing before it converts to anger, then yes, we can eliminate it completely. However, this involves constant awareness of our surroundings, what is transpiring, and how we are being affected by it. In that regard, we can monitor how each event is impacting us at various levels from onset to completion. For example, if my best friend and I are discussing our diets, of which we are each subscribed to one radically different from the other’s, and she begins to comment unfavorably about my food choices, my attentiveness to my reaction to her comments immediately dictates that I am offended by her comments as they are attacking my level of intelligence. It is insulting to infer that I am not qualified to determine on my own what works best for me. This upset clearly indicates that I am hurt by her assessment of me. If I immediately address my hurt, and heal that by reminding myself that her comments may actually be her way of expressing her love for me, then I am more comfortable with her advice, thwarting any anger that may arise from my hurt feelings.

One can also train themselves to remain emotionally detached from their surroundings. Medical personnel working in a hospital’s ER do so. When a critical patient arrives, they do not allow themselves to become distressed but rather logically assess the situation and apply the proper care. In order to provide critical treatment they must remain emotionally neutral and respond only using their logical, rational brain. This takes great awareness and restraint on their part.

SUMMARY: Is it reasonable to think that any person could be so acutely aware of their inner self that anger would never surface? I believe that we have the potential to do so. But the greater question would be is it advantageous to eliminate anger from our lives entirely? I think not as it is a powerful and important emotion that serves a distinct purpose. Therefore, my recommendation would be to practice preventing and reducing the amount, intensity, and duration of anger in your life. Get to root of it, (hurt, fear, frustration), heal it and the anger never manifests. And in doing so, you will create more space for deeper joy, happiness, and inner peace.

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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