Tag Archives: communication

Dog Eat Dog

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Dog Eat Dog

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.

Like most animals, a dog will attack another dog when it feels threatened. Out of fear, people turn on one another. They fight for position, power, and validation. They reason out their undignified actions and justify their shady behavior. Leaving behind collateral damage, many people will do whatever it takes to make it to the top of their field. However, there are people out there who do not just look out for themselves; people who desire to be good at something but are not willing to take advantage of others. It is in the heart of most people to act out of integrity. Maybe we should start asking ourselves how can we protect others and still achieve our goals?

Being narcissistic by nature, we are typically self-serving. “What do I get out of this?” “What personal gain or benefit is there for me?” In the midst of pursuing life, liberty, and happiness  we must come face to face with worth and value. This includes our societal view, personal view, and world view. Insecurities stem from poor self image. It is not modesty or humility. This actually comes from negative self perception. First we must come to a healthy understanding of, “I am important.” Second, we must deal with the value of life in general and understand that “Other people are important.”  The conflict arises when we don’t know how to serve the needs of others while also attending to our own.

It becomes essential for us to push past the uncomfortably that comes from communicating about what is going on inside of us.
We do not have the right to blame others for our choices. Even in the face of peer pressure, ultimately we are responsible for our actions. Owning our decisions also allows for us to have grace to make mistakes. Doing this while living with other impephect people can be trying at times. It can be a lot of work, however, the benefits for everyone is tremendous.

Having children I see first hand the effects of egocentric behavior:

“Me first.”

“No me!”

“Hey, what about me?!?”

“Me, me, me!!!”

As our children grow, my husband and I are consciously teaching them how to take personal responsibility for their choices, including their actions. We are guiding them to operate in self-control. We teach them to tell themselves what to do and not try to control other people. We are instilling values for freedom and individuality. We are purposefully cultivating the celebration of each other. We want them to appreciate being in relationship with powerful people while also recognizing they are a powerful person themselves. The “I am better than you” mentality, or the “You are better than me,” has got to go. We use the phrase, “I am amazing just the way I am,” and “My best is good enough.” We want them to know that while we as people can always hone our craft and develop as people we can also be okay with where we are in process.

My husband and myself intentionally highlight the harms of comparing ourselves to others. We seek to remove jealousy between our children and others by focusing on gratefulness, building self-confidence, and a nurturing a personal  relationship with God rather than a religion full of rules. Our hope is that as our kids grow and mature they will get their identity from Him and not from what they believe others think about them.

As adults we need courage and wisdom to engage in “Brave Communication”. We need to risk rejection and let others know what is going on in our hearts as well as in our heads. We’ve got to get real. The security of being known takes vulnerability. It takes honesty; beginning with ourselves. It takes work. It can be hard, time consuming, and exhausting, yet, it is tremendously rewarding. What we fail to recognize is it takes just as much energy to bury our feelings as it does to deal with them.

In the midst of this we need to be careful not to tell others about them. This is called judgement. We assume we know the why’s and the motives of others, so we shove our judgements down their throat. We use deductive reasoning, we read body language, we listen to both verbal cues, and watch for non-verbal communications. All in all, we take the information we have gathered and observed, and after we process it we arrogantly think we know the heart and mind of someone else. We usually do not ask clarifying questions because they are awkward and uncomfortable. Instead we project on them our perspective, paradigm, and personal filters.

Growing in identity is the most important thing we can do as people. When we spend time with God we learn about His nature and character. We have nothing to prove to anyone. We don’t have to listen to introspective criticisms. We can ask Him what He thinks about us. Then we can either continue to believe a lie about ourselves as in the movie Freedom Writers, or we can change patterns, gain confidence, and prosper in life. Others may try to drag you back down like crabs in a barrel because it exposed the deep insecurities in their own hearts. Despite this we can learn to celebrate the success of others with sincere joy and also position ourselves to achieve our greatest potential.

Hopefully, as we grow in the knowledge of who we are, we will create a safe place for others to do the same. May we inspire people to be confident without becoming prideful. May we learn to be more assertive as that is where we have the most to gain. We do not have to become aggressive and run rough shod over others. We do not need to be passive and sacrifice our hearts or play martyrs either. Most certainly, we must be very conscious of becoming passive aggressive. We can’t pretend everything is okay when it isn’t: “I have no needs, no wants, and no dreams and only others are important”. Then we talk behind each others backs. We make sarcastic, cutting comments, and we undermine the core of relationships in general.

We get so concerned we will be taken advantage of. We do not wait until something occurs to a deal with a situation. We sabotage our success before we begin.  We are so afraid we will not get recognition that we draw negative attention to ourselves. We are so worried we will not get what we think we deserve that we rob ourselves from receiving honor when it is due. We get so wrapped up in others mishandling the relationship we don’t actually put forth the effort to have one.

Serving the vision of others can keep us in a place of humility. We do not all have to be missionaries to take care of one other. We just need to make people matter. We can do this by putting our money where our mouth is, our time where our social injustice passion is, or by tending to the needs and desires of another. Learning how to put people first, not exploit others for personal gain, and not live in a constant state of self-protection, takes self-respect. As a defense mechanism people hoard money, food, or random items. This is a sign of a wrong core belief. It is caused from a root of an unsafe psychological perspective. To counter this behavior in our children, we have adopted the philosophy of giving out of who we are. We choose to be generous no matter what. It does not come out of overflow and it is especially not used to manipulate.

What do you really want and what are you willing to do to get it? Blending dreams with vision is vital. Wisdom, rational, and faith are required to see the magnificent become reality. Being intentional about the direction you are headed in life and enjoying the journey in the meantime will make your traveling much more pleasant. It will also keep you focused, allow for you to navigate the turbulent waters of life, and get calibrated if you veer off course.

Don’t get me wrong. I want it all. The thing is, what I am willing to sacrifice to get it? Unlike Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization which is self seeking, self-serving, and self-focused, this way of life seeks first what is right, what is true, and the betterment of mankind. This is when we will truly get what is ours, others get theirs and more. Wholeness will manifest as you are satisfied mind, body, and soul. Being a leader is about serving not demanding. As in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” your wants will be met in the most unexpected way, because who you are will not go unnoticed.

We have the ability as humans to change our patterns of behavior. We have the ability to change how we have gone about things in the past and we have the ability to make different choices from now on. We can go from dog eat dog, to becoming companions who know how to live with strong and powerful beings.

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Filtered!

Filtered!
Is it what we have been smoking or the filter we are using that causes misunderstandings?

I have wrote several blogs by now. Each of which has their own unique subject matter. I have written poems, stream of conscious thoughts, and stories from my life and lives of those around me. It is fascinating to hear how people interpret my words. They have filtered what I have written through their own individual paradigms, and some have blown smoke rings (and even fire) in return.

What I find intriguing is during this process I am attempting to convey the pure content in my heart with words. This is one filter. The next filter is how people read my words and the meanings they attach to them according to their world view. My very thoughts, feelings, and written dialect (or at least people’s interpretations of them) become subject to those inhaling it, making it their own.

According to what others think, believe, and may or may not have experienced, they will filter what they read, hear, and perceive. This is why relationships are so important. This is why discussion is vital, two way communication that allows clarification to surface. This is why it is paramount to keep ourselves from jumping to conclusions….there might be a cliff we don’t know about.

This is also when judgements are so damaging and narrow minds interfere with perceptions. This is when broken, infected places in the heart are poked and prodded and breakdown in communication inevitably happens.

It is essential to renew our minds to see through the lenses of others. We tend to get hung up on verbiage rather than seeking the heart of a matter. When we do this we end up criticizing those who are not like us. We take their words personally and attack their character. We fail to objectively argue ideas.

This is why objectively managing our own filter is so critical. People who are looking for good will find it. Those that look for evil, see it everywhere. What we focus on will be highlighted. However, there is such a bigger picture than our narcissistic view. Just like in the movie Inception, even our own perception of our own inner world can be so limited, so subjective.

Those who go through anger management are taught to articulate their frustrations rather than giving into their rage. Our emotions are simply another filter. They themselves are neither good nor bad. It is what we do with them that brings them to life.

Intuitive people have a special gift. They easily make assumptions. It gives us quick access to insight, allowing us to make judgements about situations in someone else’s life. We can surmise who, what, when, where, and why with natural ability. Yet, as intuitive as people can be, even they can project their imagination into the equation, and misinterpret the information they are discerning the most. Again this is why relationship and communication is so vital.

I understand the more I blog the more people will connect with what I have to say. More people are going to relate to experiences I have had in life. And more people are going to misinterpret what I am saying. The more popular one becomes the more misunderstandings there are about that person. It is common to spread rumors about people you do not know personally and have no vested interest in their well-being. Does that mean I should not share my stories? Should I live in fear and hide my heart? Should I feel the need to over explain my every word so as to avoid misinterpretation and misunderstanding? Or should I just simply put myself out there the best I can, knowing how perfectly imperphect I am, letting that simply be more than okay?!

This blog is not a tabloid. I am not trying to exploit myself or those I care about. This is not a gossip column for my stalkers to relish over. This is not so people can use my words against me or to harm those I care about. The opinions of people who do not like us should not matter. They will have nothing uplifting, encouraging or inspiring to say anyway. What they say and think about us says more about them than it does about us. It is those we hold in high regard, those we are accountable to, those who give us constructive criticism through love… those are the ones we must trust. We need not seek approval from others anyhow. Our identity and approval should always come out of our relationship God first.

This is a place of healing, for me and, hopefully, for others. This is an outlet for me to reach an audience I may never otherwise come in contact with. I understand I am a little raw. I am very transparent. I am being extremely vulnerable. Through this I aspire to bring hope to others. I seek to move people to forgive, to let go of their fears, and to dream again. I am determined to get people out of perphectionism and into in a place of joy!

Recommendations:

Battlefield Of The Mind

Interpersonal Communication


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