A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook recently, mocking people with different beliefs than his. I was disappointed but not surprised. This happens when you believe you are right — to support your position further, others who differ with you have to be wrong.
And it’s much easier to do when your beliefs are the same as a larger group because you’ve got the majority standing with you—power in numbers. Groupthink. It’s easy to criticize others when you feel little risk of retaliation.
Social bullying is wrong, harmful, and divisive.
But the perpetrator feels justified because they believe…
People typically shut down when someone talks for more than 40 seconds. I’d recently read that from Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, and this past weekend I had a firsthand experience of it.
My houseguest, someone I didn’t know very well, turned out to be quite the talker. As we sat together after dinner his verbal stream of consciousness washed over me, and I wondered when he might pause to take a breath. He didn’t.
I felt myself shutting down, losing interest not just in listening to him but also in saying anything. The nonstop talking continued at breakfast…
A few years ago, when I was dating the woman who’s now my wife, I cooked dinner in her home and was looking for a knife to chop vegetables. She said to try the top drawer near the stove. When I opened it, I found a knife all right—along with a hammer, screwdrivers, a tape measure, a chunk of string, a small tube of glue, and lots of other stuff.
Her house was tidy; everything arranged just so — the plants, the artwork, all the little touches. Every day, she made the bed, pillows arranged symmetrically. But when I opened…
“Never be afraid of the conversations you’re having. Be afraid of the conversations you’re not having.” — Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations
Have you ever struggled with saying what’s really on your mind? We all do. When we’re not being fully honest with others, it’s often because we:
However, problems occur when you don’t speak honestly:
A few months ago, I wrote a well-received article about using verbal aikido to avoid stupid arguments. Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that uses the principles of nonresistance to neutralize an opponent. The philosophy can be applied to resolving differences of opinion without being aggressive or defensive.
Too bad I wasn’t able to apply it when I got into a meltdown with my wife recently.
But I was reminded that, as relationships mature and move through the romantic phase into real life, debris from the past will come up at unexpected times. …
In Italy, you’ll find signs about face masks with 40 words in bureaucratic language. No smoking signs consist of 109 words of legal text, and simple toilet signs can be made up of 122 words. What reasons can we find for this in Italian society?
Among the novelties the Covid-19 pandemic has given us—in addition to face masks and awkward elbow bumps—is a variety of new signs instructing us how to behave. …
We live as if we are fully in control of our life. It’s a normal thing to do until something like the pandemic shows up, which, like anything unexpected, reminds us that we’re not in control as much as we might like to believe.
If Viktor Frankl were still alive, I bet he’d be smiling every time someone quotes him these days.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Viktor Frankl
Since we’ve all been administered the “stimulus,” how…
Here’s an instant personality test. Get your iPhone out and bring up the keyboard. Tap the emoji button and look to see what your most frequently used emoji is. It’s the one at the tippy-top of the list (unless you’re using an Android device, which will show your most recently used emoji, not your most frequently used emoji). This is the emoji you go to time and time again when communicating with others. And this byte-sized blip may say more about you than you think.
Words create our reality. Once we put them out there, we can’t take them back. Expressions like “I didn’t mean to say that” or “I was only kidding” come too late.
So why do couples get into needless arguments? Jeffery S. Smith, MD, writes in Psychology Today:
The cause of arguments and fights is a lack of mutual, empathic understanding. When empathy is not engaged, then people revert to a self-protective mode and become judgmental. The result is a bad feeling on both sides and no happy ending.
People want to be understood, not just heard.
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