Archive for October 18th, 2022

October 18, 2022

Healthy responses to unhealthy prompts….

by Rod Smith

Healthy retorts to unhealthy prompts. These are not direct quotations. They encapsulate what I have heard from healthy people:

  • No, I do not feel as anxious as you do about this – it’s not helpful if we are both immobilized. (Wife to husband over a business failure.)
  • This is a conversation it seems you need to have without me – your adult sons and daughters want time alone with you. I understand completely. (Man to his wife in a second marriage.)
  • Your accomplishments at school are yours. When you are doing well I will not take the credit. When you are doing poorly I will not feel as if I am to blame. You already have everything you need (from me) to be a superior student. What do you need to change about your work habits? Start there. No, I will not speak to your teacher. You are perfectly capable of doing that for yourself. Your teacher is not responsible for your performance – you are. (Parent to son of 15.)
  • I am very uncomfortable speaking about people who are not present unless you are full of praise for them. Gossip is not at all good for friendships. (Friend to friend.)
October 18, 2022

Free gifts

by Rod Smith

Free gifts we can give to everyone we encounter – intimate or casual:

We can give each other room to move, freedom, space, permission to be different, and separate. No permission is required given that all people are already free. It seems some do not know it or believe it.

We can offer each other a positive attitude, a can-do spirit, an approach to problems and requests with a cooperative, and creative drive. We have all had the draining experience of legitimate requests meeting unnecessary resistance.

We can give each other the benefit of the doubt, the stance that assumes no malice when things don’t run according to plan. An air of suspicion can kill any relationship, casual or intimate.

We can offer each other a listening ear before leaping to conclusions. It’s discouraging to talk to someone who is not listening or who has decided he or she already knows what you want to say.

We can offer each other hospitality, a welcome, an attitude that says “you are welcome in my life and I am glad you are here.”

We can offer each other genuine respect, validation, empathy and challenge. Subtle forms of rejection or superiority or condescension are easy to detect and deny any welcome we may try to pretend.