It’s time for a magic minute. Today’s tip shows us the key to those special relationships that we hope will last a very long time, if not forever. If you adopt the tip for yourself, good things will nearly always follow.
For John O’Brien, his hope was that we may care enough to love enough to share enough to let others become what they can be; but how do we do this at home, at work, and in the context of our other important relationships? Consider the following strategies. They may or may not work equally well for all of us; but they are definitely worth considering.
Cooperation: Emphasize a helpful, supportive approach to all of your relationships and activities with other people.
Bertrand Russell said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” You likely will want to set your sights a little less grandly than redeeming mankind; but you nonetheless get the idea. Cooperation is definitely the way to go and helping others is one of the best ways to get there. What’s more, Charles Dudley promises added benefits for you if you are helpful and supportive with other people, “It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Now, that certainly sounds like the real deal, don’t you think?
Loyalty: Emphasize accommodating to the special needs and interests of people and facilitating the resolution of problems.
It’s easy here to see how that benefits other people which, of course, is the point. At the same time, though, you also benefit. Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “The most absolute authority is that which penetrates into a man’s innermost being and concerns itself no less with his will than with his actions.” Sure, if you accommodate to other people and help them work things out, you will feel better about who you are and what you do. It’s like Josiah Royce pointed out, “Unless you can find some sort of loyalty, you cannot find unity and peace in your active living.”
Caring: Emphasize concern for and interest in the activities, successes, and problems of other people.
Maxwell Maltz expressed it this way, “Take the trouble to stop and think of the other person’s feelings, his viewpoints, his desires and needs. Think more of what the other fellow wants, and how he must feel.” The message is simple. Take time to care; and remember Fred A. Allen’s words, “It is probably not love that makes the world go around, but rather those mutually supportive alliances through which partners recognize their dependence on each other for the achievement of shared and private goals.”
1. Be cooperative.
This means you work well with others and are there to help as appropriate, when needed.
2. Be loyal.
This means you hang in there with the ups and downs and are supportive of and with others when there is internal or external conflict or criticism.
3. Be caring and concerned.
This means that you stay involved and interested in the successes stresses and challenges of others.
4. Be engaged and sharing.
This means that you regularly talk and interact with others.
5. Be respectful.
This means you listen patiently and carefully whenever others are talking, telling you about something, or trying to express their ideas or feelings.
6. Be trusting.
This means you do not get into blaming, accusing, or threatening others.
Now you know so there you go.
1. Be Accepting
This means you are okay with me as is, with no interest in trying to change me.
2. Be Affectionate
This means you find opportunities to be warm and close with me.
3. Be Ambitious
This means you are always on the outlook for chances to improve our lives.
4. Be Assertive
This means you speak up about what you want and need.
5. Be Attractive
This means you work to be someone I want to be with and do things with.
6. Be Considerate
This means you care about my feelings, interests and needs.
There is a space between you and me where the balance is just about right, but if the balance gets out of balance, all is not well. That’s true whether you are my child, my partner, my employer, or just someone who wants and needs my attention. In this episode of Audio Tidbits, I give some thought and attention to this balance.
Do you know someone who is proud of being his or her own person? By that, they mean that the social rules and customs that apply to most of us just don’t apply to them. They think that conforming and predictability are for everyone else but not for them. They are their own person and others will just have to deal with it. Let’s think about how that might work out over time. Press play and join me.
Do you see a committed relationship in your future or perhaps a renewed commitment to an ongoing relationship? If so, you may do well to listen and consider if you are actually ready to commit.
How often do you find yourself close to others who are having an emotional meltdown? They may be uncomfortably anxious. They may be irrationally angry. They may be alarmingly depressed. More likely, they are just far enough into their meltdown to cause you discomfort and concern. What to do? Please listen and consider a tip that will help you get past the episode and will certainly help the meltdowner.
It’s not altogether true that respect isn’t optional, at least for some people. For you though, respecting some folks and not others, being respectful only now and then are never options. Why? Please listen and see if you agree.
So far, you have developed a wide range of understanding and skills to assess families at risk. You have studied the behavior and attitudes of family members and have thought about stress, depression, value problems, and other personal issues. Your learning has included identifying specific signs of risk and seeing how they are experienced by family members. You now have a good feel for people, families, and their problems.
You also have learned about assessing how people get along. You are able to focus on relationships, communication, problem solving, and decision making. Additionally, you now know how to use some tools and shortcuts to determine the risk level for your family.
It is now time to bring your understanding and skills together. In this episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast, I bring you an extended narrative of a family at risk. As you will see, the people in the narrative behave and reflect attitudes that are sometimes helpful and sometimes very risky. Your challenge is to identify the elements of risk, understand how bad outcomes follow from actions and events, and assess the risk for the family.
The narrative is divided into seven sections reflecting critical periods in the life of the family. The underlying events are true. This is the way it really happened. Many of the details and descriptions have been changed to protect the family’s anonymity.
Were this a fictional family, all the motivations, events, and details would have been carefully crafted to answer all of your questions and to eliminate all gaps and inconsistencies. Real life is not so neat. You will need to use your developing insight and skills to fill in the gaps, understand the inconsistencies, and to somehow make sense of life in the real world.
Be safe, be well, and may you and yours enjoy being one big happy family.
This episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast brings you Part 4 of Just One Big Unhappy Family. If you combine this episode with the first three, you will have all of the tools you need to assess your family’s level of risk and will better understand the why and what of family risk. In this episode, I focus specifically on Getting Along Risk. I think you will see how this type of risk fits with Individual, Marital and Parent risk to establish the level of jeopardy the family is experiencing. Thank you for the time you are spending to better understand your family’s functioning. I sincerely hope it helps you and yours.
In Part 3 of Just One Big Unhappy Family, the discussion shifts to how to recognize when things are happening in your family that foretell problems and increased risk. You learn to assess individual, marriage and parenting risk and see how those risks evolve and escolate. Your ability to understand risk and malfunction continue their development from Parts 1 and 2. Please listen and thoughtfully consider how you and your family are relating and loving together.
Warning: This episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast contains significant violence and strong language so is not suitable for children or for teens or adults who are sensitive to family violence or strong language.
Our discussion of family malfunction moves to a new dimension extended from the last episode: Just One Big Unhappy Family. The vignettes in this episode follow one family over thirty years or so and track the evolution of its malfunction. You see that problems unattended become a dysfunctional life style that leads to places few would choose to go. The illustrations are based on real people and on a real family. The best that can be said is that everyone survived. I hope you find the half hour or so it takes to listen is a good investment of your time and compassionate emotions.
If what you see is one big happy family, there may be many reasons and explanations, not that any of these are necessary. Happy is normally its own accounting. If what you see is one big unhappy family, there are only a few likely reasons, and explanations totally depend on who you ask. Emotional distress, psychological and interpersonal malfunction and unhealthy family environments typically have their base in only a limited number of problems and issues. Being able to spot these problems and issues is the key to helping your family avoid even more devastating unhappiness. In this episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast, I share with you a series of vignettes that illustrate the range of mental health and interpersonal issues unhappy families commonly experience. I am simply assuming that you know enough to find qualified help if any of these signs of serious difficulty show up in your family.
Sure, Marc has a few tips for you to make a difference to people who make a difference to you, tips to relate to others with style, all the time, on purpose. As usual, he is spot on. For me, though, I think you will find the best part of his podcast today if you stay tuned for the fairies.