Relationship and Communication

Language is a way of communicating and therefore is code for understanding. Our words convey information. Only the words used and the way in which the words are understood often do not match. This results in miscommunication and difficulty in the relationship.

Developing relationship means letting go of the things you cannot change. Maintain your sanity in the midst of relationship miscues by finding healthy alternatives.
When a non-response is seen as a choice of a person’s will, serious thought needs to be given to how you will respond. The hearing impairment may not be able to hear but there are things we can do to improve communication.

Likewise the child lost in play is not necessarily being disobedient or difficult. So also for the one involved in work, reading or even TV. Get his attention before speaking, form words distinctly, use a pleasant tone and do not disrespect his personhood. We are each self-determining and a lot of things vie for our time and attention.

Find the locus of control. You cannot change the behavior of another, only of yourself. The more you develop relationship with the non-compliant person, the greater your influence on him/her to want to change to please you. Continually ask, “Is what I am about to say or do going to draw us closer together or push us farther apart?” Change your approach. Look for solutions not faults.

There is a difference in asking someone to give up who she is for your preference and in asking that she acknowledge your position. If you cannot accept her point of view, please respect the person enough to refrain from ridicule or put-downs.
When things are seen as “Her fault”, then you think she needs to change.

If you see self as being right, the line is crossed into being the one who makes her change. When you demand someone change to please you, the line is crossed into controlling.

Bruised egos often fear their own value of being loveable. In self-protective defense they project suspicions onto the one they love. Fears are waylaid and healing comes through calm and open communication. Peace is regained through the realization that this independent individual with a multitude of choices is choosing relationship with you. Work on it.

Men and women see things differently and often take opposite routes to come to the same conclusion. The goal is for harmony in the long run. To be more objective, take yourself out of the middle. Listen to and respond to the words only and tease out presumed hidden agendas.

Sometimes we make our own complications and do not realize it. Stop looking for “what' or “something” or the fantasy life or the "but" in life. Responding with “that’s interesting” is a neutral, time-delaying, non-threatening response that does not destroy relationship.

P.S. Let us hear from you.


Making Sense of Contradictions

We are complicated individuals filled with contradictions. Anthony Robbins says we have a core need for certainty and uncertainty. And they operate both at the same time!

Our certainty need wants everything to flow along in the same predictable, secure, and comfortable routine. Even if that consistency is a rut. Our uncertainty need craves risk, change, variety and challenges.

No wonder relationships are so complicated. It is difficult enough to come to terms with this yin/yang in us, let alone rectify it with spouse, parents, children, co-workers, etc.

But I believe it can be done. With work. And time. And maturity.

Absolute truth vs. truisms. There are some absolute truths. Absolute truth includes the law of gravity (at least within earth's atmosphere) and the rotation of the earth around the sun with a pattern of day/night and seasons. I suggest intangible absolute truth includes the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), and that human wretchedness can be traced to the breaking of one or more of those laws.

There are truisms that apply to certain situations but not across the board to everything. This would include "Look before you leap” bookended by "He who hesitates is lost.” There is an element of truth in each. At times one needs to make a decision and go with it, while at other times deeper investigation is needed. What a conundrum.

Happiness is more internal than external. Ultimately happiness is a do-it-yourself job, but there are external contributors. Dr. William Glasser says that all human misery is the result of three things: 1) living under tyranny, 2) living in abject poverty, 3) debilitating sickness or 4) the inability to get along well with those people that are important to us. Although pain is inevitable; misery is optional.

Getting along well with those people that are important to us has a lot to do with locus of control. Namely, whose behavior can you control? The more we are in control of our own behavior - that includes thoughts thought and actions taken and emotions exuded - the less controlling we will be of others.

Conversely, the less we are in control of our own thoughts, actions and emotions; the more one will attempt to control others. This external control over others is attempted through complaining, blaming, guilting, criticizing, nagging, threatening and punishing.

Relationship building - and happiness - comes through supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, forgiving and negotiating.

Here are other contradictions: Acceptance does not mean approval. Forgiveness does not mean things do not need to be settled and rectified. Listening does not mean refraining from speaking. Trusting does not mean being naive.

Bottom line is, each person is unique and special and sees things from differing points of view. They often take opposite routes to come to the same conclusion. The goal in the long run is for harmony.

P.S. Don’t forget to connect with me.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”


Melding the Past and Present

In the interest of health I have taken to heart the advice to “eat chocolate”. Most afternoons I have two “Dove” morsels. The fragile foil wrapping envelopes not only a silky smooth confection but also terse sayings:
· You should charge for your great advice
· Daydreaming is free
· It’s okay to be fabulous AND flawed
· Chocolate won’t let you down
· You are exactly where you are supposed to be

What!? No, No, No, No, No! By this time in life I am supposed to have done that and been there and have this and…

Do you relate? Relax. Growth happens as it is nourished.

We are complicated individuals living in a complex world. In the vastness of this universe we seven-billion human beings live in community. What one does on this side of the planet affects those on the other side of the globe. Through an invisible cord we are inseparably connected – not only to one another – but also to a Higher Power, to generations past as well as passing the baton to future generations.
So yes, in the grand scheme of things, we really are exactly where we are supposed to be.

According to history books, the belief in Christopher Columbus’s day was that the world was flat? They could not see beyond the horizon of the sea and so assumed that was the end; a drop off into nothingness - or worse. Columbus proved that once you sail so far your vision expands to see and explore unknown horizons.

Check any science book. Our universe is ever expanding. Even with all the modern technology there is no way we can know all there is to know, or imagine the frontiers yet undiscovered.

A recent news article pronounced Einstein as being wrong. It seems that new evidence proves sound travels faster than light. Was Einstein’s theory wrong or was it incomplete? Were Leonardo da Vinci’s wild futuristic drawings wrong or did they need wisdom of a new generation to be implemented?

We are incomplete without each other. How things were seen at the time changes over time.

This concept applies to human relationships also. An embarrassing event later becomes a funny story to regale party goers. Repeated antics of irritating relatives become cherished family history. How much genius would be lost except for traumatic events that forced change? Time softens suffering as it lends itself to different perceptions.

So maybe you really are exactly where you are supposed to be. Lessons of the past become relevant as it is applied today. We retard our own growth through lack of self-love and self-nurture. It’s time to employ yet another “Dove” philosophy: “Take this moment. Enjoy it!”

Get in touch with your humanity – and theirs.

Thank you for your friendship, your business and your continued support. Let’s reach our goals together.


Your Relationship with God

There is something about the human condition that wants truth or consequences. This reality is evidenced in the outpouring of literature and movies with the theme of good vs. evil, including Star Wars, Zane Grey and Harry Potter. Good always wins in the end. It is not a matter of relativity. Some things are right. Some things are wrong.

America, our wonderful free-enterprise country was founded to promote the freedom of worship. Right and wrong, good and evil are moral facts, and without God, or a supreme being, no basis exists for morality. We are spiritual beings on a physical journey.

I love the Twelve-Step philosophy founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob and currently used by a numerous life-controlling self-help groups.

Step One: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. Any life-controlling issue can be inserted such as alcohol, drugs, food, anger, gambling, work, greed, pleasure, power or any compulsion. If you cannot think of a specific life-controlling issue, simple insert the word pride or stress.

Step Two: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. In striving for our self-evident truths of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” we can incorporate the antonyms of wellness such as careless, underhanded or unethical. Instead of wholeness we become divided, broken and unhappy. There is a source outside of our self that can bring restoration.

Step Three: We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. I love this concept. We do not have to understand the supernatural to enjoy the benefits. We do not have to know how God or faith or goal setting or positive attitude works, we just decide to give it a shot.

Someone reduced the three steps to a simple: I can’t. God can. I’ll let Him. These three steps are not magical but they are a mystery.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”