Conflict

How to Have the Best Five Minutes of Your Life!

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Last week I posted and article about how we filter things we hear. I‘ve included the link here for you to read: The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard! And we actually filter everything that comes to us as adults. We see, hear, touch, taste and smell through filters that are deep seeded in our brains. There is nothing wrong with us, but it is important to recognize that we have these filters.

We see smoke and we think fire. We see ice and we think cold. It is automatic. In some cases it can be a great filter. For example when we see a fire, we think hot and could cause damage. This is a good filter designed to keep us safe and free of harm.

On the other hand, I will use a very bad stereotype. Many people see a blond woman and immediately think she may be the typical “Dumb Blond”. This is not such a good filter. I have met many extremely intelligent blonds and many not so smart brunettes. This filter serves no good purpose. Both come from our past and are there because someone told us something or we experienced an event that made us believe it to be true.

Our input filters are in place to keep us safe but they also work to develop and support our biases. Consider all fire has the potential to burn and cause damage. We know this to be true and we have evidence to support such a belief. Consider all blonds are dumb. We know this not to be true but the bias and stereotype remains and the filter for both stays in place.

Now think of what life would be like if we didn’t have all of those filters. Intelligence alone will keep us safe. We will continue to avoid harmful things because we know this via intellectual reasoning, But if we could remove the rest…

Life Through the Eyes of a Child

Children have no filters. These are developed over time and education. They don’t realize that the stove is hot until they experience it. I mean they actually have to touch a hot stove and from there, they KNOW what hot means.

Imagine how they view the world… With no filters to stereotype things, events or people, everything is new and in question. A child approaches any thing, person or situation with curiosity and no internal filtering system. If a problem is presented, the child will find a way around or over. There is nothing too big for them to tackle. If food is on the counter a child will stack chairs, tables, toys, move furniture or use a broom handle, but they will attempt to get the food they see and want. No problem, I’ll get to it.

Sure it may not work perfectly the first attempt, but the child will press on undaunted until they succeed. With no filters they are fearless and full of the newness the world has to offer. What a great way to venture through life!

The Wonder of Life

As a child we have this great sense of adventure. We go from one thing to the next with as much excitement as we can muster. Play time is for learning a new skill and children relish in the activities presented to them. Imagination runs wild with thoughts of what can be done with an over-sized corrugated box. Forget the toys, let’s make a fort out of the box and play a game with it.

It is incredible to watch children play with the smallest and most meaningless items while having a great time. Without filters everything looks interesting.

We have this same potential as adults. Adults are given situations which we find to be curious, but the frequency in which they occur seem to be far less often. And the reason for this is our filters. We have chosen to block out the excitement of experience and move through life as efficiently as possible without wonder and curiosity.

Our adult filters provide us an expectation of what is about to happen or take place. We use this to tool to fill that childhood void with adult style meaning that shields us from the full wonder of what actually takes place in the world. Our filters wrap us in a cocoon insulating us from the present of the present. By that I mean we are given the gift of life each day, but by not being present to the world around us, we lose the value of the gift over and over again.

The Best Five Minutes of Your Life!

It is possible that the best five minutes of your life begin now. By forcing yourself to remove your internal filters, you too can get back to that childish view of life. Every experience can be new, exciting and fresh. Consider that you have no idea of what is about to happen and simply enjoy being wherever and with whom ever you may be. Strip away the filters and get back to seeing what happens next.

The old saying goes: No matter how big and tough you are, when a two year old hands you a toy cell phone, you say “hello!” And why not, the child wants to play the game of life. As adults we are too busy fighting from one issue to the next. The reality is, we are playing the game too. The difference is that we are annoyed by so much of what “happens” to us. Nothing really happens to us, it just happens. What we make it into, now that’s a different story.

I have been told, “I have some bad news for you”. The truth is, all you have is news, it is neither good nor bad. I challenge you to begin the next five minutes filter free. Listen to what is said, see what is really there if you expect nothing what you get may be quite a nice surprise!

Think of how conversation with your significant other could be without expectation. What would dialogue with your children be like if you were present and without pretense. Every thing we do in life can have that new and exciting feel if we can step back and remove filters and expectations. Every five minutes has the potential to be the best five minutes of your life!

If you still don’t believe me, try planning a romantic evening with your partner. Remove your filters and expectation and ask them for the same. Make each event for the evening filter free. Look at the conversations and actions as if they are the first time you are viewing them. Get present to what’s there as you experience the evening as the first time you were on a date. Be curious and explore each other without the cumbersome filters we all have in our lives. Commit to making every five minutes on the date the best five minutes of your life. Se where this takes you and let me know what you experience. I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty hot to me!

Speaking of “hot”, Jay Simcic has his latest book out now and I highly recommend it for all of our readers. Here’s the link to find it on Amazon.com: Mancode Secrets Revealed. It covers many of the insights we fail to address in our daily relationships,. The reviews of this book have been positive and very strong. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Heard!

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Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard”? Of course you have. And not only have you heard it said, it is more than likely that you have said it as well. And at the time it may have been appropriate, but I want to challenge the thought behind the message.

We have a very interesting listening mechanism built into us human beings. From an early age we are programed to hear things in ways that fit into our reality. In other words, if it doesn’t make sense to us, we sometimes belittle it or change it into something else. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” is just a saying to get us into the normality that we feel comfortable with. Moreover, rather than clear up what was just said or have an open dialogue, we cut off all further conversation.

In his latest book Mancode Secrets Revealed, Jay Simcic covers this in great detail. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you pick it up at Amazon.com through the Kindle Store. It’s worth the read.

It explains that we seem to filter everything we hear through what we already know. By doing so, it is very limiting in how and what we learn. And just imagine what it means to our relationships…

Did You Hear That?

Since being in a relationship is emotional, we have our antenna up in order to catch the deeper meaning of the communications within them. Additionally, in a relationship we filter what we hear by how previous relationships have played out over time. We will hear something and reference how it was delivered before and convert the message directly to the “good” or “bad” of the prior situation. But the messages, although worded similarly could be miles apart from each other.

For instance, Ray and his former girlfriend Sarah had an argument that led to the ending of their relationship. Ray had gone out for the evening with some of his college buddies. They watched football and drank beer. One of the guys named Gary met a girl and went home with her. This particular guy was dating Sarah’s best friend. Some how, Sarah discovered Gary’s infidelity and shared it with her girlfriend. This of course, ended that relationship.

When Sarah confronted Ray about the incident, she demanded to know why did nothing to prevent Gary from going home with the other woman. Ray said he was helpless to prevent it and didn’t even know Gary had left with a woman until after he was gone. Sarah was angry hurt about what happened to her girlfriend and was taking it out on Ray. Over and over she would say, “You’re just like him” and “All men are the same”. Ray was not able to convince Sarah of his innocence and the relationship ended soon after.

From that point on, Ray was hyper sensitive to those two phrases, “You’re just like him” and “All men are the same”. When they were originally said by Sarah, the delivery was hostile, through yelling and a heated argument. And yet they never left Ray’s memory.

In his new relationship Ray’s girlfriend would often joke that “All men are the same”. And at first Ray was defensive about the statement. When he realized she was saying it in jest, Ray understood but didn’t like her use of the phrase. It was harmless but the memory was still rather painful. He always had to caution himself when his new girlfriend would use similar phrases in joking.

The Wrong Word in the Right Ear…

From time to time a phrase or saying may incite feelings that are not common with the statement. At these times it is important to dig into where the feeling come from and when they originated. Getting to the bottom of it will help with the feelings of today.

Remember, we listen through our programming filters and try to make the statements of today fit into what we know of days gone by. Try to work through what’s there and don’t be afraid to ask a question in order to have the statement put another way that will assist in getting past it.

There may not be any reason to get upset with the way someone said a particular phrase. Put one way and it may be the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, re-worded and it may open up something to be explored.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out and if anything opens up for you.

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Did she cheat?–Marriage Conflict Resolution Strategies

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Marriage Conflict ResolutionBelow is a story of conflict in a marriage based on a true story.  Think about how you would handle it if you were in one of these people’s shoes…

You’ve been married for 4 years.  You and your husband work and you both work hard.  You’re both very compatible, don’t fight or have major issues and you trust each other.  You trust each other fully.

You’ve both ran into some hard times lately.  Your husband was running two businesses.  Both were impacted by the economic recession  and one failed.  The other weathered the storm and he’s been working long hours to get it back to where it needs to be.  You’ve had a couple of tragedies in the family where people close to you have passed away.  And to top that off, your one girlfriend who is your best friend moves away to take the job of her dreams.

You both spend time together in the evening – watch TV, chat, engage in some sort of companionship.  The conversations you have with your husband are not deep, open your heart type conversations.  They are very surface level.  You’ve both been through a lot and are very exhausted with those types of conversations between each other.

Your husband doesn’t have many friends but the ones he does have are guys.  You have several other friends and most of them are guys.  Your husband doesn’t mind because…

He Trusts You 100%.

Recently an old high school friend (guy) moves nearby.  He contacts you and you get to know each other again.  You share phone calls daily and sometimes email back and forth.  He’s single, decent looking and loves to go out and do things.

The time you’ve been spending together has been very nice.  You’ve been enjoying yourself and feel like you can talk to him.

Your husband knows about this new guy, we’ll call him John.  He’s ok with the situation because he trusts you.

You’ve started to go out more with John.  Sometimes you go to parks with him and buddies and other times you’ll meet him and friends at the bar for drinks.  While you’re out with John your husband is working on his business.  You rarely meet John alone but your husband has indicated that he’s a little worried about your relationship with John.  He’s never been worried about a relationship you’ve had with another guy until now.

Your husband is concerned because he doesn’t want to lose you and feels like nothing is wrong between you.  But he has something going on about John.  You’re lucky enough that your husband let you know his feelings.  He doesn’t want to act jealous or tell you who to be friends with so he made his feelings clear and said he’s ok with whatever you do.

He did add that if you cheat on him he WILL leave you.

Since then, John has asked you to go on a lake outing with his and your friends.  You think it would fun to take your little niece with you.  Your husband can’t go and is stuck working.

You’re considering going…

What Should You Do?

As you can see this is a tough situation to be in.  The husband trusts his wife but he’s having jealous type feelings about this relationship.  He doesn’t want to say things that will make his wife feel stifled or caged in their relationship.  He knows his work schedule is very busy and he doesn’t have as much time as he’d like to spend with his wife and wants her to have fun anyway.

He’s given into the relationship because of his value to his wife’s well being.  But he has concerns.

Here’s what I think should happen.  The husband has already let his wife know his feelings.

The first question that comes to my mind is why hasn’t the husband had an opportunity to meet this friend?  Why hasn’t the wife set up a few situations where they could all get to know each other?

To quell that question I would recommend they all get together on regular occasions. It would give John an opportunity to see the wife and her husband together and it would allow the husband to get acquainted with John.

If the the husband’s feelings continue after a few meetings I would suggest that he sit down with his wife first and address his concerns with her.  He has these feelings.  Yes he’s responsible for how he feels and the only way to let them go is to be with them.  He can do that by talking about them, where they come from, and why he thinks he has them with his wife.  She truly may not be having an affair starting and it could be all in her husband’s mind.  The only way to deal with it is to get it out in the open.

If her husband keeps his feelings under wraps he may find himself looking for and finding evidence (falsely) that his wife is having an affair.  Remember, we as humans have a survival mechanism that has us need to be right.  We’ll look for evidence that proves are point.  We’ll go far and wide to find information that makes us right, even if it’s unrelated.

If the husband doesn’t get his concerns addressed until he is ok with the situation then it’s a disaster waiting to happen no matter what the wife is doing with John (innocent or not).

It’s highly critical that both the husband and wife are honest and authentic about their feelings and actions toward each other and toward John.

As always this situation should be able to be handled with an…

Open and Honest Communication.

Let me know what you would do in this situation and leave a comment below.  If you have a scenario or situation you would like for us to address, tell us in the comment section and we’ll be sure to address it.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

PS- If you haven’t picked up Bobby’s book called @$$holes to Zipper heads – A to Z Guide for Choosing a Man you may want to grab it now.  It’s one of the best playbooks on how to choose a man I’ve read.  I’ll be handing it to my daughter when she’s ready.   Go get it, you’ll love it.

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The One Thing That Can Fix Your Relationship

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Take a moment and think about the one thing that could impact your relationships more than anything else. Thoughts of intimacy, sex, money may bubble to the surface. We all have different ideas of what makes a good relationship and what could make it better. I have heard women complain about not enough sex and too much sex. I have heard men complain about the same thing. Women often talk about lack of romance but don’t know how to get it from their men. Men say that romance never gets them any where with their women. And goes on and on. The complaints without solutions. Before long all we have is a complaint department with a “Take A Number” rotating sign. And just like in a department store when the clerk yells, “Next”, it does not mean that anything will get resolved. But you do get to voice your complaint.

So what is that one thing that will improve your relationship? It can be an elusive little thing. Fix one thing and another pops up. Solve one problem and another arises. But there is a magic bullet that can make the impact your searching for. And it will work in every situation, every time.

The Set Up…

Take a look at Mary and Steve, they are a married couple with no children. Both have careers, dreams and goals. They seem to be happy and enjoy life with each other. However, Mary had recently taken note that intimacy and sex had not been as frequent. Steve had been working a lot lately, coming home tired and many times he would shower and go straight to bed. He was spending more time away from Mary than ever in their married life.

Rather than talk with Steve she shared it with her girlfriend Amy. Over lunch the two of them rambled on about how men should and should not behave. They discussed what could possibly be “wrong” with Steve. Mary and Amy became convinced that Steve was either no longer interested in the marriage or was cheating with someone else.

The two women left the lunch date satisfied that they had gotten to the bottom of the “problem” but unhappy with what they now believed to be true.

On the other hand…

Steve had been pushing for a big promotion at work and was keeping a secret from Mary. This was an exciting time but the hours were wearing on him. He knew if this promotion came through, they could buy a house and start a family. He couldn’t wait to tell Mary, but he wasn’t going to spring it on her until he knew for sure. Steve was very proud of Mary because she didn’t put any pressure on him. She was so understanding when he came home tired and went right to bed. She was a great wife and he would be so happy to tell her the news when it finally happened!

Does This Sound Familiar?

Steve and Mary are exactly like every couple. They have things going on in their lives and for one reason or another, signals get crossed or misinterpreted. In this case, Steve is working hard to provide a better living and ultimately purchase a home and start a family. His excitement is what keeps him pushing forward. Mary misreads what is happening and validates her thoughts with a close girlfriend. Steve’s long hours and Mary’s interpretations will eventually bring them to battle. Worse yet, there was never really a problem.

We have a great ability to read into a situation that does not fit our reality. In this case, lack of intimacy was not the normal course. It led to thought of infidelity. This was shared and validated by a third party and now we have a huge problem where one never really existed.

The Magic Bullet…

So again, what’s that one thing that will improve your relationship?

If Mary had just talked to Steve and not let it get to the point of wild thoughts, there may have been a different outcome. If Steve had shared with Mary that his workload was going to greatly increase for a while, she may have understood. But when they both remain quite and refuse to discuss what going on, nothing can be resolved. The missing conversation is the Magic Bullet. A simple conversation can change just about anything. Find out what going on, don’t assume. Share openly and request the same from your partner., Talk it over and get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Don’t hide the truth and don’t hide from it.

Conversation is a funny relationship tool. When two people are openly sharing, there is very little that we see as problematic. Take the beginning of a relationship, people talk for hours, they are happy with the dialogue and never want it to end. As time goes on, we talk less. We seem to get comfortable knowing everything. So when an issue crops up, don’t hide from it. Talk like you did at the beginning of the relationship. Get curious and ASK! When you get your answer, you may be pleasantly surprised.

The tools of conversation are what we try to assist with here at RLA. We are passionate about the dialogue. We learn everyday from our relationships and our readers and we hope this benefits each of you. To get more informed and hone your skills, I highly Recommend Jay Simcic’s latest book Mancode Secrets Revealed. In it, Jay covers many of the things in this article but dives far deeper into the meanings and feelings behind what we do. One reader shared that this book not only helped her relationship, it has given her new tools to deal with friends, family and work associates. Check it out at the provided link. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

So, until next time keep this Magic Bullet handy for all relationship situations. Let me know how it goes. We want to hear your success stories.

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Avoid Arguments About Your In-laws By Taking Responsibility

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couple crisisXSmallImagine Sally comes home from work, her husband Jack is sitting on the coach reading a book. 

Sally mentions to Jack, “My mom and dad wanted to know if they could come and stay with us for two weeks.  I hope you don’t mind but I told them it would be fine.”

Jack puts down his book and glares at Sally. 

“You told them it would be fine without talking to me first?”

“What does it matter, you would have said yes anyway.”

“That’s not the point. You never give me the courtesy of asking first and always assume that it’s ok.  It’s BS and I don’t like it.”

“Whatever!”

Jack leaves the house and doesn’t come back for hours.  When he does come home Sally smells alcohol on his breath. 

They don’t speak for the next day and a half.  And when Sally’s parents arrive Jack is cold, standoffish, and doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of them.

What’s going on in this situation?  Why does Sally find that it’s ok to allow her parents to come over without first checking with Jack?  Why does Jack get so upset when Sally invites her parents over?

There are several issues at work here.  There are tons of things you can speculate on.

Maybe Sally just wants to spend time with her family.  Maybe Jack feels like a 2nd class citizen and has no say in his own house.  Maybe Sally doesn’t like it when Jack treats her and her family the way he does.

As you can see, there are many avenues that can be taken.  The question becomes, if you’re in a similar situation how could you handle it?  How would I coach these two people toward resolution.

The first thing I would do is help both Jack and Sally realize that they control their own emotions.  Jack didn’t make Sally mad and Sally didn’t make Jack mad.  They did it all on their own.  They need to be RESPONSIBLE for their own actions, feelings and emotions.

You see, often times we blame others and say that they “made us feel that way”.  It’s all BS and is our human mechanism for not being responsible.  The why of it all I’ll discuss some other time.  For now I’d like you to consider that we all do it as a learned survival mechanism. 

How would YOU coach Jack and Sally in their relationship?

In this case I would suggest to Sally that she first ask Jack what is going on in his mind when she invites her parents over.  I would suggest that Sally let Jack vent, talk, and get anything he needs to say out on the table until he feels understood by Sally.  It’s critical that Sally understands where Jack is coming from and leaves him with the feeling of being understood.

I would recommend that Jack do the same for Sally.  Ask her why she doesn’t feel like it’s necessary to check with him first.  What gets her upset when he goes out and has a few drinks after an argument.  He should allow her to talk, vent, and say anything she needs to.  Jack should leave Sally feeling as if he understand her completely. 

They both should listen openly and without judgment.  They should listen with out agenda except to fully understand the other person.  When they do that and they are honest about their feelings and thoughts, more than likely the will have new openings for action to take toward their relationship specifically in this area of life.  They will gain a new found connectedness and relatedness toward each other and handle the situation different next time.

Everything that I mentioned here is totally hypothetical yet probably fits your life in some way.  I’m sure in some area you can apply what I’ve talked about here.  When you can see that, be honest about seeing that and then talk to your partner about those things, that’s when your relationship will grow exponentially. 

And that reminds me about Bobby’s new book that is out on Amazon Kindle.  He covers many aspects of dealing with and choosing a man.  One of the principles I’ve talked about here, specifically taking responsibility for yourself, is covered extensively and I think you would get a lot from it.  I’d like to you to get a copy for yourself and read it and tell me what you think either as an Amazon review or here on the blog.  The book is called @$$holes to Zipperheads – A to Z Guide For Choosing A Man and you can pick up on Amazon today.

As always,

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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