Posts Tagged ‘w4cy’

“20+ TIMES TO NOT SAY ANYTHING” Pt 1

There are so many times in our lives when we realize after the fact that it would have been in our best interest to have kept our thoughts to ourselves. Words are powerful and can make matters better or cause damage to others or get us into a whole lot of trouble. There is much wisdom in the old adage to “think before you speak”, sage advice for us to follow throughout our entire lives. The Bible tells us that there is a time to reap and a time to sow, a time to laugh and a time to cry. There is also a time to speak and a time to keep our mouths shut. Here are more than twenty such times:

1. When we are angry or upset. Emotions fuel our behavior including our choice of words. Intense emotions, such as anger, cloud rational thinking and oftentimes propels us to say hurtful or rude comments that may cause pain to the other party, damage our relationship with them, or get one or more of us in trouble. Give yourself time to calm down and cool off before speaking. Refer to the SWaT Strategy in my book, The Secret Side of Anger. Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

2. When we speak before knowing all of the facts. How often do we open our mouth before knowing all the details of what we are commenting on? We see a scratch on our car when coming out of the store and assume the person closest to it with the overflowing shopping cart is responsible for the damages. We immediately accuse them of wrongdoing. Doing so shows little regard for their feelings and zero interest in deciphering the truth. One only seeks a target for their ire. Therefore, make certain your brain is in gear before your mouth is in motion.

3. When you comment on an issue before verifying that it is true. Our political system is highly volatile, in part, due to accusations and assumptions being perpetrated by the media and others before fact checking to see if their information is correct. Misinformation, lies, assumptions can all lead to unnecessary drama and hardship. Make certain your source of information is accurate before commenting. “Those who seek the truth ask questions. Those who are uninterested form judgments.”~ Janet Pfeiffer

4. If your choice of words will hurt or offend the other party. It’s important to be truthful to one another even when we are not happy with them. However, one can politely state how they feel and do so while showing sensitivity towards the other. There are multiple ways of saying the same thing: choose the one most respectful. Imagine how you would feel if those same comments were directed at you. Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

5. If your words do not reflect Divine Love. Imagine how Jesus would have spoken to others. Will your words be reflective of His compassion and kindness? One need not believe in Jesus to follow His example of benevolence towards humanity. 1Corinthians: “Let all that you do (say) be done in love.” Temper your words with kindness, always.

6. When you are tempted to make light of a serious situation. Joking about that which is sinful, illegal, immoral, or painful to another is insensitive and in poor taste. We must always show reverence for that which is a violation of Divine or civil law or common decency. Compassion towards others enables us to refrain from minimizing another’s suffering. Sometimes we do so in an attempt to ease our own discomfort in the situation but to do so is insensitive to others.

7. When you would regret your words later. Once spoken, words cannot be retracted. Even an apology cannot erase the damage hurtful words can do for once released they can live inside the receiver’s mind for a lifetime. Said once; replayed for eternity. Therefore, carefully choose only those words that you would feel comfortable with knowing they will live on forever.

8. When you are tempted to use God’s Name in conjunction with an offensive comment. Society has pretty much deemed it acceptable to combine the Name of the Lord with profanity and along with phrases of disdain. To do so is an offense to the One who is Purity, Light, and Love. Unclean comments are an abomination to the Lord. The Third Commandment states “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Choose alternative phrases to express your displeasure.

9. If your words are misleading or convey the wrong impression. For someone to misrepresent themselves as something other than who they are is deceitful and wrong. In some cases, it can be illegal (such as an EMT misrepresenting themselves as a medical doctor). To make wrongful insinuations about another person or situation with the deliberate intent of misleading others is a poor reflection on your character as well as being unjust to the other party. Actions of this nature can be accompanied by serious consequences to yourself as well as others.

10. If the issue is none of your business. MYOB is great advice: mind your own business. How often do we feel compelled to comment on that which is not our concern? By intervening, we often contribute too much information or information that others may not need to know or should not know about, give inappropriate advice or make improper comments, or offend others by becoming involved in a private matter. Think twice before joining a conversation that you have not been invited into.

11. When you are tempted to outright lie. People lie for a variety of reasons: to protect themselves or another person, out of fear of being judged or condemned, to create drama or damage another person’s reputation. Take a moment and reconsider, for those who lie will eventually be revealed and suffer scars upon their character as well as have to face the consequences of their actions. Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding.”

12. If your words will damage another person’s reputation or cause them any unnecessary hardships. We all have dirt on one another – those little secrets that others think we don’t know about. And we all have things about ourselves we would like to keep private. We have a choice as to whether we share that information with others or allow it to remain confidential. Before revealing anything that could possibly cause anyone any harm, examine your motives. Is this absolutely necessary that I do so or is it in the best interest of all to allow said information to remain concealed?

Words can hurt or words can heal. There are times when it is far more intelligent and compassionate to remain silent. Think carefully before speaking. Next week, we’ll continue with even more occasions when it is better to not say anything at all.

ANGER: FIRE OR ICE?

It doesn’t take much to anger some people. Even the most innocent comments can cause some tempers to flare. Innocuous situations can be misinterpreted leading to screaming matches, cursing, or physical altercations. In an instant, violence can erupt where calm once existed and destruction of property, injury to one’s person, or psychological damage can occur. Patience, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion are replaced by personal entitlement and arrogance.

Consider this: recently a friend of mine named Sara had an encounter in a store with a unfamiliar woman. The woman’s shopping cart was blocking the isle so Sara, not knowing who the cart belonged to, moved it to the side. The owner became irate shouting that Sara had no right to touch her cart and should have asked before moving it. While I consider this a reasonable request, I do object to her method of inquiry. The woman’s purse was in the cart and she stated her concerned that someone could have taken it to which Sara replied with an attitude, “If you’re so worried about your purse maybe you shouldn’t have left it in the cart and walked away!” The banter escalated into cursing at which point Sara’s friend, Karen, stepped up stating arrogantly that if Sara had been white the woman never would have treated her this way. Sara concluded by cursing the woman out and leaving.
There is so much about this situation that was unfortunate. Certainly, had the woman not left her cart unattended blocking the aisle, none of this would have transpired. However, had Sara posed a simple request for the owner to identify herself, this issue could have been easily resolved by the person moving said cart herself. Regardless of Sara’s actions, the woman’s irate response was extremely rude and uncalled for. Rather than trying to diffuse things, each continued to escalate the situation. Sara’s sarcastic retort resulted in a tirade of profanity. As if that were not enough, Karen added more fire by turning this into a racial incident. (There was no evidence what-so-ever that race was a factor.) More profanity spewed by Sara at the other woman before exiting the store finally brought this event to a close. Fortunately for everyone, it did not become physical, resulting in injury and/or possible arrest.

There are several reasons why people respond this way:

1. Entitlement Mindset: Those with a sense of entitlement feel as though they are above others; that ordinary rules of common courtesy don’t apply to them; and that if they have been wronged in the past they now have a free pass to walk around with a chip on their shoulder.

2. Responsibility Evaders: They fail to take personal responsibility. Sara was quick to point out the mistakes of the other woman without taking ownership for her own actions. If one person acts poorly it does not justify the other responding likewise. Remember the old adage: two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that Karen turned this into a racial issue, when there was no indication it was, is additional proof that neither was holding themselves accountable for escalating the situation. Making this incident about skin color, of which Sara has no control, alleviates her of being responsible simply by default. (“I did not choose my skin color, therefore I’m not responsible for racial discrimination nor my reaction to it.”) This irrational thought process is invalid both in a legal sense as well as on a spiritual level.

3. Power Hungry: There are those who thrive on drama and the sense of power it affords them when they incite it. There is a sense of power and control over the incident and the individuals involved. They know how to push buttons and evoke the desired response. This is a form of bullying that results from low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity.

4. Justice Seekers: One who perceives that prejudice has occurred feels the need for immediate justice and to restore a sense of fairness and balance to the relationship. A bruised ego, one who takes personal offense to another person’s actions, is propelled into the “fight” mode as a means of self-protection.

In summary, in any given situation, we can act like accelerants and add more fuel to the already dangerous fire. Or we can be as ice, calming and soothing, preventing any damage from occurring.
Alternative Responses:

1. Always be polite and respectful towards others regardless of their behavior. Your actions are a reflection of who you are. Be authentic to your inherent nature – love.

2. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Someone may be having a bad day or misinterpreted something you said or did. Make allowances whenever possible and give others a chance to redeem themselves.

3. Acknowledge their feelings and experience. There experience is valid to them and without recognition it is very difficult to move forward peacefully. Everyone seeks validation.

4. Offer an apology for anything that may have offended the other person. An apology is a powerful tool illustrating one’s sensitivity to the other person’s feelings or situation. It is not always an admission of guilt as many believe.

5. Practice diffusing statements such as “I’d like to discuss this so we can get the issue resolved.” “If we could both remain calm that would be really helpful.” “I’m interested in what you have to say.”

6. Be sincere in your desire to resolve the issue quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties.

7. Whatever you say or do, make certain it emanates from a place of kindness, respect, concern, and fairness for all parties.

Even the most innocent situations can turn ugly in an instant. Each of us has the ability to accelerate a heated situation by adding more fire to it through inciteful words or threatening actions or arrogant attitudes. Or we can extinguish the flames by adding ice: sincerity, respect, helpful suggestions, accountability, and fairness.
Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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ALTERNATIVE RESPONSES TO ANGER

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we’d like. When situations take an unfavorable turn, we become upset, frustrated, or angry. When others don’t agree with us, live their life the way we think they should, or act in a manner we find disturbing, anger is a typical response. With the exception a few extreme circumstance, an angry reaction rarely improves the situation or endears us to the other party.
For the most part, humans have very strong opinions about how life should be, how others should behave, and about what circumstances should occur and how they should eventually conclude. We expect a certain outcome that aligns with our beliefs or with the efforts we put forth. When situations don’t progress or end according to our plans we experience angst as to how the outcome will affect us and/or those we care about. For example, the recent presidential election has a portion of the country frightened and angry about what the future holds with our new president. Unpredictable weather on our wedding day causes concern for the overall success and enjoyment of our special day.

In another regard, we are quick to complain when an individual is not behaving way we want them to or the way we think they should be. This anger evolves when we label and judge people based on our criteria of what we believe to be right regarding their attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, life-style choices, etc. A harsh assessment of the other party leads to harsh feelings as well. (Thoughts create feelings.)
When anger arises in these areas it’s an indication that frustration or fear is lurking beneath: frustration that we cannot control our circumstances and fear as to how that situation will impact us and those around us.

Anger also arises from hurt: if someone criticizes the way we look we may take personal offense. Their perceived cruelty and lack of regard for our feelings is disconcerting. We feel disrespected and our natural defenses take over, fueling the need to correct them, put them in their place or retaliate with an even more hurtful comment teaching them that we will not tolerate their ill-mannered behaviors.
In each of the above examples, anger gives us the momentary feeling of power in a situation where we feel we have lost authority. However, any person or situation that can cause us to react in a manner not beneficial to us actually has more clout that we do. Thoughtful consideration of what feelings and reply are most advantageous actually restores our authentic power.

Consider the following alternatives to anger:

Compassion: a compassionate response can be the perfect solution to anger. Compassion consists of both understanding and empathy. We can view the individual whose behavior we find unacceptable from a place of understanding. Each person has a right to live life according to their beliefs, dreams, needs, etc. If someone is struggling or acting inappropriately, rather than becoming irate because they are not living up to my ideals, I can remove the “shoulds” (unspoken expectations) and in my heart grant them permission to have the experience they are engaging in, knowing that it is a necessary part of their life’s journey. If they are struggling, lost, or in pain, I can choose to feel compassion or sadness for their suffering, hoping that they soon pass through their current challenge to a more joyful place. Being patient and always treating them with kindness (which may include setting some reasonable boundaries) during this time are all components of being compassionate. Choosing this alternative response softens one’s heart and prevents anger from manifesting.

Humor* is another powerful tool for diffusing anger. We take life far too seriously. We take personal offense to what others are saying or doing rather than remaining emotionally detached. After all, their behavior is a reflection of their internal environment and has nothing at all to do with me. We become agitated when things don’t go according to our plans yet in reality a life that conforms precisely to our dictates teaches us nothing. We worry and obsess over that which we have no control over or that which in reality is relatively unimportant. (Ten year rule: will this matter in ten years? Will I even remember it? If not, then it’s not important now.) Humor puts any serious situation into its proper perspective. It diffuses fear and angst; it acts as a protective barrier to emotional pain as we recognize that what is transpiring has nothing at all to do with me; and it makes light of that which in reality has no significant value.

So when others behave badly, find it in your heart to forgive them for their indiscretions rather that judge them. When life hands you the exact opposite of what you requested, make light of it. After all, this life is only temporary so why get so bend out of shape when it doesn’t conform to your ideals? Rain on your wedding day? Break out the umbrellas and boots and dance in the puddles!

*Just a note of caution: humor is not intended to be directed at the other party. One can find humor in the situation or make light of their own reaction or behavior. Humor must never direct it at the other person. To do so is disrespectful and may very well make the situation far worse than it is.

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
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+