First published on KSL.COM
In this edition of LIFEadvice I want to explain human behavior in a very simple way so I'm dividing all humans into two general categories: Fear of Failure Dominant people and Fear of Loss Dominant people.
You can decide which you are and what the others around you might be. Understanding their type and yours may help you better understand your relationship dynamics.
Fear of Failure Dominant people
You might be considered people pleasers. You might care too much what others think of you and you may be prone to being too selfless and even sacrificing your own needs to make others happy. You might not speak your truth or address problems often because you don't like conflict. You may also dislike being judged or criticized and might see yourself as less than others at times.
You feel safe in a relationship where you feel validated and aren't experiencing harsh criticism or judgment. If you want to have a successful relationship with a Fear of Failure dominant person, compliment them often and be careful about how you deliver negative feedback. Some of you are more unbalanced (in a fear state) and may have more of these qualities, while others are more balanced (less afraid) and only have minimal people-pleasing tendencies. However, you may still be more this type person than the other.
Fear of Loss Dominant people
You may be strong and opinionated people. You're great at boundaries and taking care of yourself and are more mindful about protecting yourself, your time, your preferences and your views from other people. You may not as much care what others think of you. In an unbalanced (triggered state) you may be selfish, critical or defensive. You're more likely to speak your truth and get what you want and dislike being taken from or mistreated. You may be more prone to notice faults in people or institutions and point them out. You might become arrogant or controlling in an unbalanced state and may accidentally talk down to others. Some of you may be more unbalanced (in a fear state) and possess these qualities to the extreme, while others could be more balanced (less afraid) and only have minimal tendencies. But again, you may still be more this type person than the other.
Can you tell which one you might lean toward? Can you tell which one your significant other, friends or family members might be?
The benefit of understanding these two types of human behaviors lies in knowing what your unbalanced, worst behavior could look like. Then, you can watch for that bad behavior, catch it in action and choose better behavior. Can you own some of the negative behavior tendencies in your type? Can you see they might show up when you feel unsafe, criticized, insulted or mistreated?
Understanding these two types may also help you not take other people’s behavior personally and helps you allow them to be who they are. Here are the three dynamics that might show up in relationships and how to navigate them:
One person is Fear of Failure dominant and the other is Fear of Loss dominant:
The Fear of Failure person might be slightly intimidated or even scared of the Fear of Loss person and their strengths. They might feel threatened by how opinionated and judgmental the Fear of Loss person is. Expect the Fear of Loss person to be critical and opinionated at times and try not to get offended when they disagree with you or say you're doing something wrong. Choose to see they are trying to help you and don’t mean to offend — even when they may seem like a "know-it-all" at times. When they disagree with you or insist on control over a situation, you get to decide how much it means to you to hold your ground. This gives the Fear of Failure person the chance to practice being stronger and having good boundaries. The Fear of Loss person can sometimes teach the Fear of Failure person a lot about strength, confidence and boundaries.
Generally, in these relationships, the Fear of Loss person might make more of the decisions. The Fear of Loss person might make the Fear of Failure person feel safe with validation. The Fear of Failure person might need more verbal validation than a Fear of Loss person would, so it may not occur to them to give that much. But the Fear of Failure person needs to know the good the other person sees in them and may need to hear it often. This will make the Fear of Failure person feel safer and may create more confidence in them.
The Fear of Failure person can make the Fear of Loss person feel safe in the relationship by giving them time and freedom to do the things they love to do. Also, when possible, the Fear of Failure person should let the Fear of Loss person have control over things they don’t care about. Choose your battles on the things that really matter.
Both people are Fear of Loss dominant:
These relationships can sometimes be confrontational because both parties may have strong opinions and preferences, and neither is quick to back down. There can be a lot of conflict and you both must learn to divide your world up and let each person be in control of some things. You will have to choose your battles carefully and learn to compromise. You also need to be aware of the mistreatment triggers each of you may have and avoid them. If both parties are balanced (and have fewer triggers), these relationships can be productive, cooperative and positive. But if one or both parties are unbalanced and easily triggered, then conflict can rule the day, every day.
These people need to work on trusting the journey and seeing every situation as one meant to teach them something. This will help them step back from conflict and figure out how to behave at their best.
Both people are Fear of Failure dominant:
These relationships are usually easy. Both parties tend toward pleasing the other and the only real problem may come up when both are unbalanced and trying to get validation from the other. Because both may have empty buckets and might be focused on getting validation and not giving it, there could be times when no one gets what they need. Both need to work on their own self-esteem and choose to see all humans as having the same exact value if they want this relationship to thrive.
I hope this helps you understand the dynamics in some of your relationships and how you may improve them. If you understand the other person’s fear triggers and how to make them feel safe, then any relationship can thrive.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is a human behavior expert and speaker. You can find your dominant fear on the Clarity Assessment or the 12 Shapes Survey.
First published on KSL.COM
I have a hard time being with my siblings and their spouses. We don’t have the money they have and we admit we are pretty jealous of the lives they lead compared to ours. It is hard being the ones who make the least amount of money in the family and can’t keep up with them all. They keep planning things like trips that we can’t afford. It’s becoming so bothersome, I am starting to pull away from them all. All my friend’s lives are significantly easier than ours too. Do you have any advice on how to handle these feelings of jealousy and that life is unfair?
If you look behind the jealousy, you may see this is a fear of loss problem. Some of my readers still question this simplified system around the two core fears, but after 18 years in personal development, I promise it makes understanding and changing human behavior easier.
Fear of loss is the feeling you get whenever you aren’t getting (or didn’t get) what you wanted from life. You might feel taken from, robbed or treated unfairly. If you get a more difficult journey than your friends, you may perceive it as a loss. But it’s only a loss if it does you wrong, hurts you or takes away what you should have had. This may feel like a loss to you because you assume you could have had (or should have had) something better. That assumption is the key to changing your jealousy.
Should you have had something else? Could you have had something better? Is your life journey ruined or off track from where it might have been? Is life supposed to be fair?
I encourage you to play with some different perspectives and assumptions and see if it changes how you feel. I believe how we feel is totally dependent on how we look at it and perspective is easy to change — even when you can’t change the situation. Here are a couple of ideas that might help you feel better about your journey:
1. Everyone deals with challenges in life. Some people whose lives look easy from the outside may actually be challenging on the inside, though they might be good at hiding it. Those whose lives really are "easy" might be experiencing ease right now, but their challenges might still be coming. Life is a classroom and the purpose of the whole thing is to learn and grow. We can’t grow when things are easy. Challenges, setbacks, loss, and unfairness are all parts of this educational experience. Try to remember that this is not a shopping excursion, a contest to get the most toys or a sightseeing trip. This life is a school and if we keep that in mind, then it may change our expectation and keeps our viewpoint more accurate.
2. The Buddha reportedly said, “It is your resistance to 'what is' that causes your suffering.” What I believe he meant by that is if you expect life to meet your expectations and give you whatever you want, then you're going to be disappointed.
If you keep resisting what you're getting by being upset about it, then you're likely going to suffer. If you're tired of the way this feels, then you can choose to believe that the universe is a wise teacher constantly conspiring to bless you with wisdom and educate you. Trust that the universe will only bring you experiences that serve you. This means there is no loss and no unfairness because you are always getting what is exactly perfect for you. If you're getting your perfect classroom experience then there is no loss.
You also have to give up comparing your journey with everyone else’s. Remember, they're in a different classroom and they're learning completely different lessons than you are. You only have two perspective options when it comes to your journey: You can compare, be jealous and resist “what is," which may make you suffer, or you can accept “what is” and even have gratitude for it, which may create peace and make you suffer less. How do you want to live?
3. Buddha also said it's your craving (for what you want, but don’t have) and your aversion (toward what you have that you don’t want) that make up your resistance to “what is” and cause your suffering. I recommend you get out some paper and make a list of everything you don’t have that you wish you did. Make another list of everything you have but wish you didn’t. Then, make a list of everything you are grateful you don’t have and all the things you're grateful you do have. Then, sit and look at all of these lists. All of these together make up the true nature of life. Every moment you are alive you have all four of these in play, and you always will. Your happiness depends on your focus. If you choose to focus on what you're grateful for, then you could be happy all the time.
4. Make a new rule against comparing yourself with other people. There's no level where comparing yourself to others serves you. Be consistent in choosing to believe that each of us is getting the perfect classroom journey meant for us. Also, remember life is a package deal and each life path comes with some blessings and some trials. If you had another person’s blessings, then you would also have to take their trials, and trust me, you don’t want them.
5. Carefully choose your thoughts. Choose to think only positive, loving thoughts about yourself and other people. In doing this, you're choosing abundance and blessings for everyone. Choose to see the world as abundant and overflowing with enough for all. Every time a jealous thought pops up in your head, try choosing gratitude instead. Gratitude is one of the most positive emotions you can choose. When you live from a place of gratitude, you are accepting love from the universe and opening the door to receive more.
Also, remember that there are many people on this planet who would give anything for your life and would be jealous of you. It’s all about perspective. Count every blessing and trust the universe that everything that happens to you is happening for you.
You can do this.
Coach Kim Giles is a sought after human behavior expert who speaks to groups on improving people skills. Get a free Worksheet to help you fight fear of loss and have less jealousy here.
This was first published on KSL.COM
My husband has a tendency to use sarcasm and teasing with our young children. Our daughter is not, in my opinion, thriving with the teasing and sarcasm because she takes what he says literally. If her dad says, “Clean up your toys, or I will throw them all away," then our daughter drops to the floor in tears and upset. She gets upset because she doesn’t know the difference between sarcasm and reality, and it causes her a lot distress. When this happens I come to her defense and get bothered with my husband’s behavior and we end up fighting about it. Do you agree this behavior is a problem? How can I explain to my husband why he needs to change how he talks to her? I worry about his relationship with our kids and I appreciate any advice.
The dictionary defines sarcasm as “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt; a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark." Obviously, this isn’t positive.
Sarcastic comments — though oftentimes humorous — can also be passive-aggressive, mean, cutting and often uncomfortable to the people receiving them. Sarcasm can be the “wit that wounds” and children can’t see the humor in it or understand it until they're older.
In an article for Psychology Today, Signe Whitson writes, “Sarcasm relies on a type of subtlety that most children under the age of 8 do not pick up on. While the majority of adult communication occurs non-verbally through gestures, body languages and tone of voice, children are much more apt to interpret words literally and to miss or disregard non-verbal cues.”
Whitson says sarcasm, when used repeatedly, is a form of verbal abuse.
“It is a passive aggressive behavior in which the speaker expresses covert hostilities in sugarcoated, 'humorous' ways,” she said.
Many kids don’t have the maturity or confidence to handle sarcasm or teasing well. It is critical that we think about a child’s comprehension level and their emotional needs before we use sarcasm or tease them. You may have to communicate differently with each of your children and mindfully choose words that validate, educate and encourage them.
Think about each child in your home and ask yourself the following questions:
You can be funny all you want, but if you do it at the expense of other people, they may not feel safe with you and may end up not liking you. This would be unfortunate with your kids.
My best advice is to slow down and pause before saying anything. Think about why you want to say what you are about to say. Is it love-motivated? Does it really need to be said? Does it meet this specific child’s needs? Take the time to figure out what each of your children need from you and decide how you should change the way you communicate to accomplish this.
If you are living with a sarcastic person, here are a couple of suggestions for dealing with them:
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of www.claritypointcoaching.com and you can take her free Clarity Assessment on her website. It is the first step to understanding human behavior and becoming your best self.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.