This was first published on ksl.com
I have a teenager who I am struggling to have a relationship with. She is making bad choices, which is making me overly controlling, and this is driving a wedge between us. I don’t feel that she respects me and is openly rude. I want to feel closer to her, but my questioning and trying to connect just makes her angry at me. She is almost 18, so I don’t have much more time with her in my home. I really want to repair our relationship. Do you have any advice on how?
You can build a stronger, more loving and respectful relationship with your teen and have more influence on her, if you will let go of your fears and expectations, and become a safer space of love, support and respect for her.
Sometimes instead of providing guidance and leadership we just create power struggles and our relationships become full of anger, punishment and fear. When we parent from fear we tend to be overly controlling too. This type of parenting quickly makes you the enemy and pushes your child toward their friends for support.
What your child needs from you is loving leadership. This is guidance with respect and it is more about empowering and encourageing them to be successful, than forcing them to do what you want.
Think about your relationship with your friends or coworkers. If you showed up in these relationships focused on control and getting these people to be the way you want them to be, these people wouldn’t like you either. Of course parenting is different and requires stewardship, teaching and guiding, but this can be done from a place of respect and love, and you will have more influence on your child when you have a safer relationship of mutual respect.
To be a loving leader parent you must remove the fears that cause you to be controlling, angry or critical, and you must change your parenting mindset to one of support and encouragement. Here are 8 steps to help you:
You can do this.
Conquer dating discouragement
This was first published on ksl.com
I've met a guy who I am crazy about and we have been on two dates. I don't expect a third date because I haven't heard from him since. How can I truly find a way to recognize my value in the face of rejection? Do I just continue to trust the classroom and hope eventually I find a fulfilling and meaningful relationship? Any advice you can give me would be gratefully received. Could you write about how your techniques can specifically be applied to dating? I'm sure there are enough single readers out there who would benefit.
Dating is a fear-inducing experience, and rejection is an unavoidable part of the experience. Constant rejection can be hard on your self-worth and create discouragement and disappointment about life in general. (I know this because I was a single adult myself only five years ago.)
There is no other activity, except maybe looking for a job or selling something, that brings as many opportunities to experience our two deepest darkest fears: the fear of failure — the fear that we might not be good enough; and the fear of loss — the fear that our life won’t be good enough.
The good news is you can lessen these fears and actually enjoy dating and meeting people. Dating doesn’t have to be scary or painful if you can change the way you see yourself and life, and adopt a more fearless mindset. Making this change starts by understanding two inaccurate perceptions about yourself and life that create our fear. Let me explain both of them and how to change them.
1. You think your value as a human being can change. You fear rejection because you think — at the subconscious level — that what other people think of you affects your value as a person. This means if they don’t like you, you must not have much value. You also subconsciously think your value is based on things like your appearance, performance and property. This makes you compare yourself to others and feel constantly afraid you aren’t quite good enough. But this idea is only belief or perspective; it isn't truth.
You can change your perspective and adopt another idea as truth instead. This new mindset will make you feel better about yourself and help you create better relationships. The mindset I recommend says, your value as a human being is unchangeable, infinite and absolute. It is not based on your appearance, performance or property and is not affected by what anyone thinks of you. You also have the same intrinsic value as every other soul on the planet and this value never ever changes for any of us.
Adopting this mindset would mean just because a few people aren’t interested in dating you doesn’t change your value as a person and it doesn't diminish your life in any way. You are the same good person on your right journey through life whether they like you or not.
You can choose to let rejection crush your self-esteem if you want to, but you don’t have to. You can choose to see yourself as bulletproof and trust that no person and no experience can diminish you. You can choose to trust that your value isn’t on the line and therefore, there is nothing to fear.
You can experience rejection as nothing more than a sign that that person wasn’t the right one for you and it doesn’t matter which one of you realized that first. The truth is still the same: this person is the wrong one. And, you really don’t want a relationship with the wrong person anyway, so you aren’t losing anything. You are fine without the wrong person in your life.
This will take some practice to adopt, but it will change how you feel.
2. You think your life journey can be ruined or thrown off track. This is the second inaccurate belief causing you trouble. You subconsciously believe that life is chaotic, random and meaningless and that other people can literally ruin your journey or make it less than it “should” be.
Again, this is just a belief, idea or perspective; it isn’t truth. You could choose to believe you are on the planet to learn and grow, life is a classroom and the universe is a wise teacher that works with your agency to cocreate with you the perfect classroom for you. If you trusted the universe like this, you would believe it’s literally conspiring to bless, educate and improve you with every experience that happens. Every experience you have is here to serve your growth. Everything has meaning and is here for a reason — at least this is a perspective option you could choose if you want to.
This mindset would mean that if a relationship with a specific person is your perfect classroom right now that relationship will happen. If it’s not your perfect classroom it won’t happen and either way your journey will be the right one for you that will most help you to learn and grow best. If you are single right now there is a reason for that. If you are married it’s because that classroom serves you most right now. That is the reason all things happen.
Every experience is a lesson and your value — as an irreplaceable, incomparable, unique human soul — never changes. Every dating experience serves you with perfect lessons that bless your life and teach you things, but none of them affect your value.
You are going to need to internalize these principles though, so they can change how you feel about every aspect of the dating adventure. I have a Fearless Dating Reading Assignment you can download from my website, and I recommend you do it and read it three times a day. Or you can record yourself reading it on your phone and listen to it three times a day. If you want to really supercharge it, have some classical music playing in the background.
Then, the more you consciously choose to trust that your value isn’t changeable and your journey is always safe, perfect and right on track, choosing to see everything as a lesson, the more confident and happy you will become. This will also make you more and more attractive to others.
Choose to stay optimistic that the right person is coming your way and will arrive right on time when it will serve you most. Until then, be happy in the here and now. Buddha said, “It is your resistance to what is, that causes your suffering.”
Embrace “what is” (your current situation) as your perfect experience right now and have fun there. This will also draw people toward you and make your life more fulfilling.
Also, as much as you can choose to focus on edifying others, encouraging and lifting them and making friends — and stop worrying about yourself and your fears — this will also help with your fear.
I know dating can be discouraging and disappointing, but every day you get to choose if you will focus on what’s wrong and feel lonely and depressed, or count your blessing, trust the universe and make today fun and happy. Focus on gratitude and choose happy!
You can do this.
This was first published on KSL.COM
I was told recently that I come across as arrogant and unfriendly, but this feedback came from a really successful person I always thought was arrogant and unfriendly herself. I think I have an intimidation problem around really successful or beautiful people. I tend to pull back because I don’t feel comfortable talking to them. I also avoid them and am quick to judge these people and find fault with them. I think my whole family does this. They like to rip down arrogant, rich or beautiful people. This isn’t who I want to be though. Any advice to help me change?
First, understand you are not choosing this behavior consciously. Your subconscious programming (that you got from your family and your past experiences) is causing you to react to certain people with fear. The first step to changing this is just recognizing it consciously when it happens, so you have a choice.
One of my favorite things Viktor Frankl said was, “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.”
Becoming more mindful and paying attention to your reactions, thoughts and behavior is something that will require practice and patience, but you can do it and you can change your programming. I help people do it every day, but it takes commitment and work. I’ll give you some principles and tips to help you do this.
Here are a few principles of human behavior I want you to understand and watch for in yourself and others. When you understand these you will understand people and yourself at a whole new level.
Principle 1: Everyone on the planet battles a fear of failure (a fear they might not be good enough) every day.
Principle 2: We all project this fear of failure onto other people. This means we usually assume they don’t like us or think we’re good enough either. At the subconscious level we are pretty sure other people see us as badly as we see ourselves.
Principle 3: Both principle 1 and 2 are just perspectives or ideas that exist in our heads. They aren't real, but we believe them and this belief drives our emotions and behavior.
Principle 4: When we believe we aren’t good enough and other people won’t like us, we subconsciously look for faults in the other people so we can see them as worse than us. We do this to make ourselves feel better, but it doesn't work for long. In the end we don't like ourselves for being this unloving. The more intimidated we feel towards someone the more we will tend to judge them.
I call this behavior the Shame and Blame game (because it rhymes and is easy to remember). The more fear of failure (shame) you have, the more you will subconsciously criticize (blame) or find fault in others.
We may have watched too much TV and we now think there has to be a good guy and a bad guy in every situation. We would obviously prefer not be the bad guy, so we constantly look for faults in others so we can cast them as the bad guy. We think if we can cast anyone else as worse than us, that would make us the good one. Watch yourself for this behavior right after you make a mistake or someone criticizes you and triggers your shame. Your first reaction will be to blame someone else.
When you subconsciously see the other person as the bad one, you will also see them as a threat and not feel safe with them. This could make you pull back, be unfriendly or avoid these people. This happens often with people whose assets (appearance, performance, money, car etc.) trigger your fear of failure because you feel less than in those areas.
When you react to any person with fear, you aren’t capable of love in that moment (because you can’t do love and fear at the same time). In a fear state you won’t ever come across very warm, friendly or likable. I am pretty sure this is what is happening to you.
I see this pattern starting for many of us in high school. Because you feel you are less than the popular kids, you feel threatened by them. Because of this you aren’t as friendly towards them and hence they don’t like you and make you part of their group. The truth is not that they don’t think you aren’t good enough for them, the truth is you think you aren’t good enough for them. Your intimidation makes you behave in a way makes friendship impossible.
You can solve all these problems by changing the way you see human value so you feel safer around people and show up with more love. In my book Choosing Clarity I explain exactly how to do this in detail, but I’ll give you some of the steps right now.
I believe these popular, intimidating people may be in your life to teach you to love at a deeper level. Their job in your classroom might be to trigger your fears and show you the limits of your love and the power of your fear. If you see them this way (as a class on love) you can rise to the challenge and shine all over them with your love!
You can do this.
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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.