Archive for July, 2019

July 27, 2019

Being civil

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Thursday

Being civil doesn’t cost much:

• Say please and thank you a lot – this may help you get over any feelings of entitlement if you have any.

• Return calls, respond to emails, do what you say you are going to do – this may help others trust you more than they already do and it may do some repair if they don’t.

• Be nice to people and you will usually get their cooperation – really, does anyone enjoy working with unpleasant people?

• Don’t exaggerate or lie to get the best deal or the lowest price – you may save a little cash or cut a deal but lose your integrity, and once you go down that road there’s no knowing what compromises you will make.

• Listen more than you talk and you may actually learn something new – regarding everyone as your potential teacher despite age or rank or wealth can be very refreshing.

• Clean up after yourself – making life easier for others will probably make it easier for you, too.

• Look for ways to serve rather than to be served – and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the tables may turn in your favor.

• Be on time for appointments. This is about respecting other people’s time. Most friends will accommodate the occasional lapse and most people understand that there are variables beyond your control but do all you can to be on time. It’s the civil thing to do.

(By the way, it’s always a letter to self, first)

July 24, 2019

Response to yesterday’s column

by Rod Smith

“I have been married for many years and husband has recently become a cell phone addict. He watches series, movies, YouTube videos. I do what keeps me smiling. I am passionate about: education, health, and wellness. I teach, I keep fit, I do voluntary work and socialize with wise people who I can learn from so I can impart knowledge. I strive to be the best version of myself by being absolutely sincere and caring by giving to all those who need comforting, love and care. I am sad for my children who will not see their dad as a role model to look up to. Your articles inspire me tremendously. Anonymous”

Thank you for your honesty. Your letter reflects your inner-resolve to not allow what has captured your husband to also derail you. This is part of your process of “differentiation of self” and I commend you for it. You express no contempt for your husband and for this too, I commend you. I am reminded of James Framo, a renowned family therapist who commented in a training video, “When a person gives up expecting much from life he falls in love with things.” Let’s hope your husband will escape the prison of the small screen and join you in your beautiful journey.

July 9, 2019

Shaped by what we accommodate…..

by Rod Smith

Allow others to speak down to you and you will begin to look down on yourself. You will begin to see yourself through their lens and even begin to agree with them.

Allow others to speak ill of you and you will begin to hide and avoid people and believe their disrespect is somehow deserved. You will begin to carry a sense of shame that’s difficult to shed.  

Allow others to lie to you, and then on top of that make excuses for them, and you will begin to fumble with what it true and what is not and soon you will be unable to tell the difference. You will begin to question your judgment and sanity about even insignificant matters.

Firmly, kindly address those who choose to treat you poorly, knowing you will ruffle feathers or rock the boat.

Use “I” statements. Define yourself; not others. Don’t go into detail.

People who treat others in the ways I have described – power-hungry people – love an argument. They will bully you into seeing just how wrong you are and how much you’ve misunderstood them.

Relationships are not about winning or losing and you know that.

They don’t.

Do not be afraid to walk away from ANY relationship that does not hold you in highest regard. Life is far too short and already far too difficult to have to bear the added burden of accommodating another person’s unresolved power-issues.