This was first published on KSL.COM
I am seriously overwhelmed and burned out, and I admit I complain about it more than I should. My spouse says she is tired of my childish drama about my problems and my discouragement. But is it drama if I really feel down and discouraged, and my life really is hard? She says I have a victim story that I’m stuck in, but this isn’t a story, my life really has been hard. That is truth, so I don’t think it’s a story. I’m not stuck either, I’m just going through a really rough time and I want people to cut me some slack. How can I handle my feelings about my life in a more mature way, though that won’t incite criticism or be seen as drama?
I have no doubt your journey has been a rough one, and in some ways your trials justify a pity party and some complaining. The problem is you can't live there. Too much complaining about your troubles tends to make people lose respect for you and not like your company. They might feel sorry for you and give you sympathy love, but it won’t be the kind of love you are really after. Pity isn’t love.
It sounds to me like you haven’t had an opportunity to learn how to process emotions and consciously choose your mindset in a healthy way. Most people haven’t learned these skills, because they didn’t have parents who knew them and they don’t teach this stuff in school or church. The bottom line is, you can’t do better until you know better. So you just need some new skills.
You are also fighting your subconscious programming, which you adopted accidentally when you were just a small child. Many of your subconscious beliefs are fear-based and inaccurate, and they drive very immature behavior. Neuroscientists tell us 95 percent of our choices we make subconsciously. This means you are on autopilot most of the time and just reacting to life, not consciously choosing your behavior, which is why it might not be good.
Let me show you the difference between mature adult responses to life and emotions, and the childish reactions that are probably in your subconscious programming. You can test yourself on these and see how mature you show up:
1) Do you take things personally that really aren’t about you?
When a family member is unhappy, children assumes it’s their fault. When someone doesn’t like the food they made, they assume it’s personal and they aren’t good enough themselves. If someone disagrees with their opinion, they assume they aren’t valued.
If a family member is unhappy, mature adults care, but they also know it’s not their responsibility to fix it, because it’s out of their control. If someone doesn’t like the food they made, they realize it’s about the food, not about them. Adults don’t attach their value to their opinions, so they don’t take it personally if you disagree with them.
2) Do you feel jealous or threatened by other people’s successes?
A child sees a win for others as a loss for them. If mom says she is proud of a sibling, they assume she isn’t proud of them. A child is always watching to make sure things are fair and they aren’t getting less than anyone else.
Mature adults aren't jealous of others, because they see the universe as abundant, and a win for someone else doesn’t mean a loss for them. Adults aren't keeping score or expecting the universe to be fair. They understand they will always get their perfect classroom, and others will get theirs. They know life isn’t fair, but it is a wise teacher who knows what it’s doing.
3) Are you personally responsible for your emotions?
Children blame their emotions on events or other people. They think they can’t help feeling overwhelmed, angry or jealous. They think other people can make them sad. They also let emotions take over and become bigger and bigger. They can’t see that focusing on them and expressing them can make them worse. They haven't learned how to own responsiblity for any emotion. They don't get that every feeling is something you are choosing to feel.
Mature adults know they are responsible for how they choose to feel in every situation. They may get triggered and feel overwhelmed, angry or jealous, but they quickly realize being overwhelmed, angry or jealous is a choice. They can see when expressing emotion would just make it bigger and more painful. They don’t stuff emotions or suppress them either. They process through them, seeing the situation accurately and consciously choose how they want to feel and deal with this moment. Mature adults know that no one can make them feel anything. They can see that choosing suffering or misery doesn’t do any good.
4) Are you trusting the journey and being responsible for your part in a problem?
Children have temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want. They cry and yell and blame. They want things to be fair. They want to be in control of a situation and they feel “hard done by” when they don’t get the experience they wanted. They also like to blame others when things go wrong. (Well, he started it and I only hit back.) They don’t take responsibility for their part.
Mature adults don't resist “what is” but instead understand this exact situation is the right one to serve them and educate them in some way. They understand yelling and cursing (though it might feel good for a minute) doesn’t change anything and only makes them look immature. They let go of trying to control things they can’t control. They trust God and the universe know what they are doing. They know a victim mentality and feeling “hard done by” does no good and isn’t accurate. They embrace "what is" and look for the lessons in everything. They take personal responsibility for their part in every problem. They know they co-create their journey with the universe. They also understand if they are responsible, then they have power to change it. This might mean choosing to leave an abusive relationship, stepping up and changing their habits, or getting some professional help.
5) When you get offended, can you see being offended is a choice?
Children think being upset, hurt or offended by another is out of their control. They think having hurt feelings is a real wound. A child also thinks forgiving is hard and takes a long time.
Mature adults understand that offenses are just lessons and opportunities to stretch, love bigger and trust God (or the universe) at a deeper level. They know an offense doesn’t actually wound them, change their value or mean anything. It’s just a lesson and an opportunity to grow. They know forgiving is easy, as soon as you trust the classroom and see the experience as here to serve you.
6) Do you look for solutions to problems or just complain about them?
Children just like to complain to get sympathy. If they actually fixed the problem they wouldn’t have this great victim story and the pity love that comes with it. They would have to give that up and be strong and fine, which would mean less attention.
A mature adult knows that being respected is the foundation of real love. It’s hard to respect someone who has chosen weakness as a way to get validation. An adult would rather be strong and whole and focus on serving other people than be seen as weak and sad.
Now let's get real:
The reality is that we all behave like a child at times (myself included) because we are all functioning from our subconscious programming that was set in place when we were a child (most before we were 7 years old).
We all have to work to grow up every day. We must be committed to stepping back and looking at emotions, reactions and behavior honestly. Was that behavior childish? Was that who I really want to be? How could I trust the journey more and let go of anger, disappointment, self-pity, grudges and offenses? How could I take responsiblty for that behavior?
Make a commitment to upskill yourself this year and find a coach, counselor, class or seminar to help you break through the subconscious programming that is driving your bad behavior. There are lots of resources out there to help you, but the first (most important) step is owning that you need some better skills and tools. Drop the ego and the fear around asking for help. Asking for help is not weakness. Not asking for help because you are afraid of looking bad is weakness.
We are hosting a two-day Be Fearless seminar in January to help you break through the fears and problems that have held you back. We also offer private life coaching that might really help. Visit our website.
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
This was first published on ksl.com
"Recently I watched a person who I’m close to and care about, treat another person I care about very badly. It made me so angry.
I found myself getting more and more angry the more I thought about it. I finally decided I had to say something because it was wrong and if no one else was going to speak up, I needed to.
I put them in their place, and I admit I might have been a little harsh, but I felt right about it. Now people are saying I shouldn’t have said anything.
So, I’m wondering, what would say is the right thing to do? Should we speak up and defend others when they are mistreated or should we just stay quiet?"
The answer is…it depends.
It depends on a number of important factors, but before I give those factors to you, I want to make sure you understand that most people believe there are only two ways to respond to mistreatment. They are...
1) You allow the bad behavior to go on (and even allow yourself or other people to get walked on) because you are afraid it would be unkind or mean to speak up.
In this case you may be overly selfless, but also feel you are being nice and loving. People often refer to themselves as too nice here, but usually it is about feeling scared of hurting others. You would rather be mistreated and be a doormat, than speak up and risk hurting another person’s feelings or have them not like you.
2) You speak up and defend yourself and other people, because it is more important to be strong and right, than nice or loving.
In this case you tend to be overly selfish and strong, but sometimes too harsh and unkind. You feel OK about this because you see the other person as a threat to you or others.
People may say you are blunt, but it is more than just being strong enough to be honest, because it often comes from ego and even enjoyment in being right. You may think it’s better to err on the side of harsh and mean, than to be a doormat.
Think about those two options for a minute. Do you subconsciously believe these are your only two options? I’d like to introduce you to a third option.
3) I call this “the middle way” and you basically take the loving (from the 'weaker perspective) and the strong (from the 'mean' perspective) and putting them together. You learn to be both strong and loving at the same time.
This approach means speaking up, but doing it in a validating, kind, uplifting way that honors the value of both parties at the same time.
In order to find the "middle way" you must learn to quiet your fear and come from a space of trust and love instead.
This middle way may be foreign territory to you though, if you never had a parent or role model who behaved like this. You may need some coaching or to get some people skills in order to master it.
Here are 6 factors that should be in place if you are going to speak up or defend against mistreatment the right way:
My answer is YES, you should speak up if you can speak up, with the 6 factors above guiding you. If you aren't the right person or can’t do it the right way, then you should stay quiet until you can.
It means in cases where you value the relationship with this other person, and want to have a healthy one relationship, you might check your anger and ego at the door first, so you don’t destroy the relationship.
Kimberly Giles is the president of www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
This was first published on KSL.COM
I have a co-worker I’m worried about. She is really down after some major setbacks in her life and she is joking about death in a way that makes me worried she might kill herself. I try to be friendly and supportive, but I don’t know what I should say or do. I can’t find the right words and I don’t want to overstep or offend her. What should I do?
There are 117 people who die by suicide every day in our country. In Utah, we lose one person every 15 hours, and the truth is that almost everyone goes through a time in their life when they think about ending it. This means, it is highly likely there is someone around you right now who is at risk for suicide. If we all understood the signs and how to respond, we could make a meaningful difference.
Research indicates that 80 percent of suicidal people make their intentions known to others beforehand and hope someone will reach out and help. These signals may include making a joke or off-hand comment about suicide. If you pick up on any unusual comment or behavior, you must act on it using the steps below.
You may also want to share this article with friends and family because it would make a huge difference if everyone was educated about what to do if you suspect suicide. This is as important as knowing CPR or any other first aid skill because it can save lives.
Here are some simple steps for what to do if you suspect suicide, from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
There is always uncertainty around the decision to die by suicide, and when someone reaches out in love and support, most people respond and are open to other options for dealing with their pain. If there is someone who cares enough to reach out, there is always hope.
Please don’t ignore the signs — you truly can make a difference.
You can do this.
Read some more great information on suicide prevention on the Crisis Center Website
Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach, speaker and people skills expert.
How do I stop being so shy and teach my children not to be so shy? I’m afraid of people and most situations and my children have picked up on this and are afraid too. Please help!!!!
The good news is scientists have found the gene for shyness. They would have found it sooner but it was hiding behind some other genes.
But I do have some good advice on this one.
The first crucial step in helping someone change their behavior is making them feel unconditionally loved and accepted for who they are now.
Make sure your child knows it’s OK to feel shy. It happens to everyone, and there is nothing wrong with him. There are actually some interesting advantages to being shy.
Shy people are usually more polite and considerate to others. They tend to pay more attention to things, because they aren’t as busy talking. Shy people may create better friendships, because they go for quality, not quantity. Shy people can be better at working independently and solving problems on their own. They may also be smarter, because they think things through more before they act.
Here are a few things you can do (and do with your children) to help you overcome fear of social interactions:
When going somewhere new, talk to your child and prepare him ahead of time. Talk about the anxiety he might feel and what he might feel afraid of. Talk about ways he can cope with his fears and calm himself down. If you are the shy person, you can think these things through and even journal about them. Write out some options for handling situations you think may happen
Plan some safe and successful social interactions. Plan lots of social events with familiar people as often as you can. This will build confidence for branching out to new settings with new people.
Learn some more social skills. You may want to find a coach or counselor who can teach you some communication and relationship skills. Knowing exactly how to respond to different situations gives you a lot of confidence. Visualize using these skills, practice, and role play with them at home. Practice how you would introduce yourself and start conversations. These are things your children also need to learn, so share what you learn with them.
Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a great book to teach you some of these skills. Carnegie recommends strategies like asking questions and letting other people do the majority of the talking. This makes people feel important and like you. Teaching children these techniques will empower them to handle social situations too.
Model healthy social behaviors yourself. Shyness is a highly genetic trait. You must show your child good social skills by example. If you avoid social situations or are nervous around people, you are teaching your child to fear people. Get some professional help with your own self-esteem and people skills if necessary.
Never criticize your child or embarrass them in public or around their peers. When they make a mistake, help them understand mistakes don't define them. We all make mistakes. They may have made a bad choice, but they are not a bad person. Mistakes are just lessons and nothing to be afraid of. Teach them to see life as a classroom (where we are learning, but our value isn’t in question) not a test (where everything counts on your grade). This one mind-set change will help a lot.
Teach your child that what other people think of him doesn’t matter. People are usually not paying attention to others anyway. They are focused on themselves. Help him understand that other people’s opinions can’t change or hurt him. They don’t mean anything.
Teach creative problem solving. Don’t solve problems for your child. Ask questions and empower him to figure out the answers on his own.
Let your child change slowly. Change is a process and happens slowly, step by step. Help your child to set small goals and make a little progress each week. Let him decide what those goals might be. Encourage things like talking to one new person today.
Visualization is a great way to practice social behavior. He can practice handling social situations differently in his head. Teach your child to practice in his mind until he is ready to try it for real.
The best way to encourage another person to change is by encouragement. Tell your child often how confident and capable he is. If you tell him he is strong and brave, he will believe you.
I would strongly recommend some coaching or counseling to help you overcome your social anxiety. It is an easy fix with a professional who knows how to help. After you get your fears under control, you will be able to teach your children a better way of feeling and responding to life. We also have lots of free resources on our website to help you overcome fear. They would really help too.
You can do this.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
Help! I read your article about Not Being a Drama Queen and I have a small business full of women that are driving me crazy with drama and fighting. They are constantly against each other and offending each other. I tried to talk with them but it is getting so out of control. Please help me get them back on track and focused on work. Thank you. I am one stressed-out boss.
As the boss, you need to think about creating a more positive corporate culture at work. Corporate culture is not just for big companies by the way, it exists in every company (of every size) whether you officially have one or not. If you don’t define a corporate culture, you will inadvertently create one that is based on you and your employees’ subconscious tendencies, attitudes and reactions. It sounds like the culture you have now is a negative, critical and angry one.
I recommend that you take some time and define your core values and principles on paper. Decide what kind of positive atmosphere you want to create at work. How do you want people to be treated? How do you want conflicts handled? What kind of behavior do you expect from your employees toward each other?
I believe that if you hire people, buy from people, sell to people or serve people (or deal with any other human beings at any level at all) in your business, you need a defined corporate culture that includes policies about people and how they are to be treated, both customers and co-workers.
The way employees treat each other is an often overlooked aspect of business. Most of our policies tend to focus on the delivery of the goods and services. They are more about processes than relationships and behavior. If you will expand your policies to include attitude, communication and interaction with each other, it will create better working environment and more productivity. Studies have shown that the average employee wastes around 2.5 hours a week dealing with office drama and people problems. If you taught your people better relationships skills and made policies about the human behavior part of your company culture, you could increase productivity and make work better for everyone.
We find companies that encourage (and even provide) opportunities for personal growth and development, improving relationship skills or executive coaching, just do better on every level. They are more successful, make more money and retain employees much longer. Investing in coaching, training, seminars or workshops for your people has a huge return on investment.
In the meantime, work on defining your core values and policies around human behavior. Then, put them up where everyone will see them, talk about them often, and live them by example. You may also need to start hiring people that believe in these values and are committed to living them. Make sure following the company’s core values and codes of human behavior are part of each person’s job description and that dishonoring the core values may lead to losing their job.
Here are some questions and suggestions to get you started creating a better corporate culture in your small business:
1. What are the principles and core values that are important to you at work? Here are some ideas: do you value honesty, compassion, work ethic, personal responsibility, respect, creativity, optimism, service, integrity or tolerance? Make a list of all the core values that are important to you.
2. Take an honest inventory of your own behavior and attitudes. Are you living the core values yourself? How can you lead by example and walk the walk, not just talk the talk? Make some specific commitments to improve your own behavior.
3. How do you believe people should be treated at work? What policies could you create to encourage that kind of treatment? Many of the companies I work with use policies like the following:
5. Do you have a policy about honoring commitments and doing what you say you’re going to do? What should this policy include so everyone is accountable for their own performance. What is your procedure for handling poor performance? Make sure you have one.
6. Do you listen to others? Will you take the time to hear their opinions and show them they are valued? Is this important to you? We think this is one of the most important things you can do as the boss. If you are willing to listen to your people they will feel valued and respected, and they will work harder.
7. Are you on time and do you respect others? Is being on time or treating people right a company value? You could institute a program where employees can submit names of other employees who are doing a great job or treating them right for a reward. Encourage good behavior by rewarding and recognizing it.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. I encourage you to start defining policies, procedures, and core values for your small company right away and start instituting them by living them yourself. If you struggle trying to figure out what your policies should be or are struggling to live them yourself, you may want to hire an executive coach or consultant to help you. You may also consider bringing in some outside people skills training for your employees, sometimes people respond better to outside expert.
Start there and let me know how it goes.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and an executive coach and corporate trainer.
This article was first published on KSL.com
I am, admittedly, a drama queen. I overreact to things and am even prone to temper tantrum-like behavior. I get offended easily and am almost always mad, sad or upset about something. What is wrong with me? Can you give me any advice that would help me not feel this way? I know these upset feelings are having a negative effect on my marriage, and I really want to change.
I’m going to give it to you straight if that’s OK. You are basically psychologically immature. You let your subconscious programing and your emotions drive. It’s not your fault though. You were probably never taught another way of being, and you have been doing the best you could with what you knew. You may have had a parent who was the same way (reactive, easily offended or emotionally defensive).
Some people were lucky enough to have psychologically mature parents who taught them how to think situations through accurately and logically, and talk about feelings in a respectful way, but I would guess you didn’t get that.
The good news is that you change and learn to handle your life with more wisdom, compassion and mindfulness, but it is going to take some work. I would also strongly suggest getting some professional help. A guide who knows how to get you there would make changing a lot easier.
Tal Ben-Shahar, an author and lecturer at Harvard University and the author of the book "Being Happy," says psychological maturity has three components.
Go through this process before you react to anything:
The path to eliminating the inner drama queen lies in seeing situations more accurately and learning to respond with more maturity, love, wisdom, honesty and compassion. It lies in learning to communicate better with more understanding and respect for yourself and others.
Even if you have never learned to do this, it’s not too late to change.
You can do it.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is the author of the book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach and professional speaker on people skills.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
My biggest complaint about my family and my job is a lack of appreciation. My spouse and children completely take for granted everything I do for them. They just assume I will always do everything for them, and my needs don’t seem to matter. I feel the same way at work too. I do more than anyone else, yet people act like I’m not important. Is it me? What can I do to feel more appreciated for all I do and give? All I want is my sacrifices to be noticed and appreciated.
The real question here is "Do they really not appreciate you, or do you just not feel appreciated?"
If you have insecurities and low self-esteem, no matter what they do or say, it won’t be enough to fill your empty bucket. You will never feel appreciated. The truth is, other people cannot convince you that you have value. When I hear you say “All I want is my sacrifices to be noticed and appreciated,” I think what you are really saying is that you need your value validated. You need someone to fill your bucket, and that means it is probably empty. This tells me you are coming from a place of low self-esteem.
The problem is, the only person who can fill your bucket and keep it full is you. If you continue to make other people responsible for your self-esteem and filling your bucket, which basically has a hole in it because of your negative beliefs about yourself, they will resent it and this will feel a lot like un-appreciation.
If I am wrong and you already have good self-esteem and the people in your life still don’t appreciate you, then one of two things is happening. Either you are surrounded (on all sides) by people who are selfish and focused their needs, which is highly unlikely. Or you are still giving and serving with a (possibly subconscious) sense of neediness, entitlement or obligation behind it, and this is making people ungrateful.
For example, if you feel entitled to gratitude and expect something back from your gifts, this makes your gifts about getting what you need, not giving to them and no one appreciates these kinds of gifts.
Since I’m not sure what is happening in your situation, I’m going to tell you how to solve all these problems. If you will work on these six things, I promise the people in your life will respond with more gratitude.
I promise, the fastest way to change other people is to change yourself. When you change YOU, and choose to live from love instead of fear and lack, they cannot respond to you the way the same way. Give more love to yourself and others, focus less on your fear, and this situation will change.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular speaker on people skills www.speakerkimgiles.com
First published on KSL.COM
I have a really difficult mother-in-law, who continually disrespects my wife and I and our ability to parent our children. She often manipulates us with guilt to get us to do what she wants us to do, yet nothing we ever do is good enough either. When my wife has tried to talk to her mom about her behavior it blows up and she ends up mad at us. Whenever my wife and I fight my wife also runs to her mom with all the details, which is making the situation even worse. I am hoping you have some advice on the in-law topic that would be helpful to me and many others who have in-law challenges.
I think it might serve us all to get some clarity on the problem and define some rules of engagement for everyone to follow.
Most of these mother-in-law relationship problems are created because the mother-in-law is suffering from a fear of loss. This is the fear of losing out, missing out, being mistreated or being taken from at some level. Many women feel like they are literally losing their child (a child who has the been the focus of their attention for many years) when the child marries. The mother-in-law may get controlling, needy and selfish in an effort to hold on, stay involved and feel a sense of importance in your life. They may subconsciously see the spouse as a threat and try to undermine the relationship (this could be a conscious effort, but it could also happen subconsciously.) Most of these women are trying to be good, loving people, but their fear is making them needy and selfish and they are missing your needs.
The problem with trying to talk to a person (who is suffering from this much fear) about their behavior, is they will only see it as an attack. If you can’t talk to her about the issues, then you must work on the tips below for you (including enforcing strong boundaries) and hope she gets it after a while. Or you could share this article with her and ask her for some other specific ways you could treat her better. Focus on how you can treat her better because you want to improve your relationship, and hope that she sees the wisdom in treating you better too.
Your mother-in-law is not a bad person though, she is just a scared person. What she needs is reassurance, validation, appreciation and to know that she is important and valued, and the good news is, you can give her these things without letting her control your life. You must enforce strong, resolute, but loving, boundaries with her and then let her process through any anger or drama she choses to experience about your boundaries on her own. You cannot feel guilty about it. The less you join in the drama, the more pointless the drama will become for her.
Here are some simple relationship rules for all married people and mothers-in-law to live by.
For all mothers-in-law:
How to be a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law:
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a life coach and speaker.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
I have a tendency to let people guilt me into doing things I don’t want to do. My mother for instance. I can’t say no to her or maybe the problem is she won’t accept no. She always comes up with logic to counter everything I say. In the end, I always give in and do what she wants. I am just too nice? Do you have any advice for me?
Your problem is not that you are too nice. Your problem is that you are weak and afraid of what others think of you. This isn’t a “nice” problem, it's a fear problem. You are so afraid of looking bad, mean or selfish that you put other people’s wants and needs ahead of yours. You are overly selfless, and yes that’s a big problem.
When you consistently sacrifice yourself for others, everyone ends up happy and liking you, except yourself.
The problem is that most of you think you only have two choices when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. Option one is to say NO and hurt or disappoint the other person, who then might think less of you (or think you are selfish) which is really terrifying to those of you who already fear you aren’t good enough. This option also feels like you are valuing yourself over the other person, which feels wrong.
Option two is to betray yourself (and value the other person more than yourself) and give the other person what they want. This option feels safer because even though you aren’t happy, you are at least assured the other person likes and approves of you. This option feels more righteous and loving, but at the same time it leaves you feeling taken from.
The good news is there is a third option (one that many people don’t know exists). Instead of being strong and selfish, or loving and weak, you can learn to be strong and loving at the same time. In this place you accurately value yourself and the other person the same amount. You can clearly see everyone's needs as worthy of being honored, yours and theirs. In this place you strike a healthy balance between standing up for yourself and honoring your needs, and sacrificing to serve, love or give to others. If you want to be emotionally happy and healthy you must have this balance.
If you don’t have a healthy balance between giving and receiving there will be problems in your relationships. You may start to resent the people you constantly sacrifice for and they will stop appreciating your sacrifices, because they will take them for granted. You will also have low self-esteem (if you are overly selfless) because you are constantly giving power to the idea that other people are more important than you.
In order to fix this tendency to betray yourself, you must embrace some new principles of truth around your value and life. Read the following often:
Principle 1: What other people think of me is irrelevant. I am the same me no matter what they think. Their opinion doesn't affect or change my value. I have the same infinite, absolute value whether they like me and my decisions or not. I do not need their approval. I just love them and myself where we are.
Principle 2: I teach people how to treat me by how I treat myself. I honor my own needs because I want other people to honor them. If I always put others' needs first, I am literally teaching them that my needs are not important. I believe all human beings have the same value and we are all equally important.
Principle 3: If I disrespect myself and allow people to push me around, they won’t respect me. Weakness is never respected. I may think my sacrifice and love will win their approval, but do I really want approval at the cost of respect? In the end, I will create what I feared. Even though I give them their way, they will think less of me anyway. If I make sure my own needs are met, people will respect me for it.
Principle 4: It is not selfish to take care of my own needs. The Bible says to love your neighbor “as” yourself, not “instead” of yourself. This means I am just as valuable and important as everyone else. When I honor my own needs I demonstrate to the world that all people deserve to be honored and respected. No one is more important than anyone else. My needs and wants should take precedence over others about half the time. This is not selfish, it’s healthy.
Principle 5: If I don’t love myself first, I am not really capable of giving love to others. If I don't value myself, I basically have an empty bucket, which makes me needy all the time. From this place I really have nothing to give others. When I give to others from this place, my gifts have strings attached because I need something (approval) back. From this place all my loving behavior is driven by my need to get validation. That is not love. Real love can only happen when I experience the same amount of love for myself as I feel toward the other person. When I love myself I can give from a full bucket and people will feel this and appreciate my gifts much more.
Using these principles of truth to guide you, I recommend that you redefine your boundaries and write some rules for yourself about when you are going to say YES and when you are going to say NO. Here is an example:
I give to others often, I also say NO to other people’s requests if doing what they want would:
— Make me resent them for asking
— Make me feel taken from
— Force me to miss something that’s important to me
— Push me over the edge of sanity.
This is the loving thing for all concerned. I do not need to hold fear around how others will feel when I say no. I know it is the right thing for me, and that is enough. I will tell them with love that I can’t do it (without having to explain why). In the end, they will respect me for my strength and love.
Taking the time to write on paper exactly how you are going to feel and behave the next time your mother tries to guilt you into giving in will really help. If she won't take your loving no for an answer, say, “Mom, is there anything else I could do to show you I love and respect you, if I can’t do this?” See if there is another way to show her you love her — something that works for you.
It is really hard when you have someone in your life who is overly selfish and doesn’t honor your needs, and there may be times you have to let her be mad at you and process her frustration. She is the one choosing to be bothered, and that isn't any of your business. Let her be mad without letting it affect your self-esteem. Remember that just because she is choosing to feel upset, doesn’t mean you were wrong to say NO. Her opinion and feelings don’t affect your value.
If you really struggle with this problem, I would highly recommend seeking out some professional help with fear and rebuilding self-esteem. It would make a big difference.
You can do this.
This article was first published on KSL.COM
I have some friends who complain constantly about their problems but get offended if I give them any advice on fixing what’s wrong. Do they just want to stay where they are? Should I just listen? Is that a good friend? Or is there anything else I can do to get them to listen to me and make changes? Maybe I’m giving advice the wrong way?
We all know people we would like to advice, change, or help, but we must handle these situations the right way or people will get offnded, turn a deaf ear or even passive aggressively dig further into their bad behavior.
To give advice the right way you must understand a few basic principles of human behavior. These principles will help you to understand why people react negatively to advice and how you can create a safe space for advice that won’t offend.
This is great information for parents, managers and leaders.
Principle 1: Remember everyone on the planet is battling a deep core fear of failure (a fear that they aren’t good enough), and this fear causes a great deal of pain.
We also have subconscious programs which encourage us to avoid anything that might trigger this fear. We are never excited about conversations around our need to change because they obviously mean we aren’t good enough now. The more subconscious fear of failure a person has, the less open they are to advice. This is unfortunate because they are the ones who need the advice most, but this is still how it works.
When people have good self-esteem they can handle feedback without pain or fear, but most people don’t have good self-esteem.
Principle 2: People will not be open to advice or changing themselves until they first feel fully accepted as they are right now.
If they don’t feel accepted now, they will insist on staying where they are until you do. Don’t be discouraged by this. You can fully accept someone as they are right now (even with behaviors you don’t like) and create a safe space where they will be more open to changing. You just have to focus on their intrinsic worth and remember it matters more than their current behavior. Never lose sight of the truth, that they are a one of a kind, irreplaceable being with the same value as you. Loving them unconditionally must come first. Once they feel your love they will be more open to your influence.
Principle 3: Listening to them and validating them — honoring and respecting their right to be who they are — is what most people need most.
Listening to someone validates their intrinsic worth. Listening without giving advice is a great gift and remember being an active listener is more than just nodding and repeating what they say. A good listener is also a good question-asker. You can often help someone figure out what they need to change on their own by just asking questions that help them look at the problem from different perspectives. The most powerful way to help another person is to empower them to help themselves.
Principle 4: The person to whom this challenge belongs — the one who is in the class — is the only one entitled to inspiration about his or her situation.
You may have been in a similar situation but that doesn’t mean your right answer is the right answer for them. They are the only one who will know which path is their perfect journey, so don’t forget this and presume to know better.
As a life coach, I have learned most people already know the answers to their problems, they just don’t trust themselves. They are hoping we will tell them what they already know to quiet their fears of being wrong. Don't let them use you as a crutch. It doesn't serve them. Keep asking questions about what they think and feel until they own their inner truth. This technique also leaves room for their inner guidance to direct them. All the answers they need God and the universe will provide. If they aren’t getting the answer yet, they may not be ready for it, or they may still have lessons to learn in this place.
When they are ready and if you are the right teacher for this lesson, you may feel prompted to share and give advice, but make sure you use the fifth principle first.
Principle 5: Always ask permission before you share your story, give advice, make suggestions or tell someone what you think.
This makes a person feel honored and respected, and it means they really are open to hear you. Never tell another person anything unless you have asked permission to go there first.
A permission question may sound like:
If they say no, respect that. Respecting how they feel this time will build a relationship of trust where they will be more likely to trust you next time. Parents, your teens will feel respected when you honor their "no" and they will respect you more back.
Principle 6: Use more "I" statements than "you" statements. People tend to get offended when you start with "you do this" or "you have a tendency to ..." It goes over much better when you say "I have found that when I …” Speak to what you personally know and feel instead of making statements about them.
Principle 7: Focus more on future behavior than past behavior. People get defensive and frustrated when you talk about their past bad behavior because they can’t change it. Instead, focus on their future behavior because that they have control over. “Would you consider in the future, moving forward, working on … ?” “Do you think moving forward it might help to … ?” Also notice how phrasing suggestions as questions delivers them in a softer way.
Principle 8: Base any advice you give on principles of truth. Here are some basic truths which help people to see themselves and their situation more accurately. Most people know these, but they forget them in times of crisis when they are emotional or scared.
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.