Let Him “Save Face” Because it is Friendly To Yourself

Your argument is invalid.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve argued, here’s what I want to ask you today:

Are you getting what you want?

That argument we had, knowing the pristine rightness of our position, knowing we have taken the fall so many times for reasons as loaded, knowing we’ve been disadvantaged, our pearls were trampled and we knew and we argued because we thought we finally should.  Was it friendly to Me?  Choosing to argue.  (There we’ve already passed up the victim role and claimed accountability for the argument.  We chose it.)

The question is what is most friendly to Me?  To be right?  Hm.  What will we do with the rightness?  Sleep with it at night?  Will it clean our house?  Will we get anything for it?  Will it take us on vacation?  What ever the argument was about.

Most of us think we are right.  Now what?

Ellen had argued.  Not aggressively.  There was no volume or matter flying about.  It was short but potent.  A bit nuclear if you must know.  She was so in the right.  If she were a tooth, she’d be the brightest whitest one in the mouth.  Pearly white.  An incisor perhaps.  She gained ground but lost her goal.  Now, neither of them got what they wanted.  They just got what any one gets when they argue.  Lonely.

Mass General put out a great guideline to conflict resolution I’ve reference below if you want to peruse …or tattoo it to your arm.

Basically, if you want to get something, let the other person save face.  You ain’t getting much by being right.  Think about what is friendly to yourself and remember that friendly is not what is easy, natural or desired many times.  It is what improves you and gets you what you really want in the big picture.

If you can’t do this even though you are deliberately trying, it may be that it is a symptom of brain illness and needs medical care.

So how am I doing in our argument?  Smile.  Are you getting what you want?  Have you ever been mid-stride argument and been able to change the direction of your projection?  Have you ever been able to stop yourself once you started and chose to be friendly with yourself rather than just right?  How?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip:  You guessed it.  Let him save face.

Related Articles:

Find the Best Route To Your Destination:  Conflict Resolution

How to win Arguments

The Gift of Desperation

Life (23/365)

LIFE

Misty sounded relieved,

Yes.  That’s it.

She had just realized that life isn’t fair.  Sure.  She knew that before, but she just realized what she knew.  Don’t we all love that moment when our senses join up – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, emotion, intellect, spiritual and the rest.  That is a lot to coördinate after all and sometimes some of them don’t make the train.

Misty was a single mom of three.  Her ex-husband was what she called, “Disney-Dad,” and her kids relished their time with him.  Misty complained that she didn’t get to spend the special times with her kids.  She mainly took care of them, but missed out on irresponsible fun.  She was sure her kids wouldn’t look back and think of her like they would their father.  She was getting angrier about it all the time, ruminating about it and it was getting in the way of her ability to connect with others and feel pleasure.  There it was in front of her blocking her from seeing her kids even, let alone herself.

Then after weeks of this along with medication and talk therapy, she told me,

Yes.  That’s it.  Life is not fair.  There are many other things in my life that aren’t fair either and if I look for them, I could spend my whole day every day counting them off.  

It broke my heart a bit to hear her and see her there.  Humble like that; she would I think affect you the same way.  So real.

Yesterday, Carl D’Agostino replied to our post about growing our understanding of our choices beautifully.

…we wait until we are at our wit’s end before we seek assistance…. considering reaching out as personal failure or inadequacy re: our own self-esteem…. Foolishly we wait until our way just is not working anymore. That is why AA calls this a gift: the gift of desperation. …For many, the depths into which we have succumbed are now found not to be so deep at all and in fact, ladders are readily available if we use them in recovery. 

Ah Carl.  Say it again.

The gift of desperation.

Too good.  Don’t you think?

Questions:  Have you ever received the gift of desperation?  What did it bring you?  Where did it take you?  What did it do to you?  Do you still have it?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Celebrate your gift of desperation.

Our Embrace With Our Powerlessness Stabilizes More Than Our Power

In our growing familiarity with our fears about medication therapies, we are getting to know about control and identity.  Separate those in hopes that will help us bring them together later.

            I don’t want to lose control of my choices to the control of medication.

sugar_frosted

Image by sillydog via Flickr

Jane had pocks on her face from childhood acne.  Kids had bullied her.  She learned to fight.  Jane’s mother had a boyfriend who victimized Jane.  She fought harder.  Not against her mom or her mother’s boyfriend, but against kids.  Jane left her mother’s home when she was fourteen and lived between friend’s houses.  Her story continued to develop.  Jane learned to really fight.  She bloodied herself to get control and she still had her teeth.

Jane had sold marijuana for five years when I saw her.  She had used one to two bowls a day since she was twelve.  It was one of the first things that had given her a sense of control.  Emotions sparking, nerves peeled back and exposed, dilated eyes, afraid and shaking; Marijuana took the peaks and filled in the valleys.

And what brought Jane in to my clinic?  This scraping, scratching survivor?  Weeping, Jane’s pocks folded as her face scrunched up.  Thirty-one years old and she was not in control.  Jane was suspicious of everyone who crossed her path, she couldn’t concentrate and just suffered an at fault motor-vehicle accident when she was ticketed for carrying marijuana.  Jane awaited her trial.

Reader, you see the push-me pull-me in the room.  Was Jane ever in control?  Are any of us?  Our embrace with our powerlessness stabilizes us more than our power.  This was the time in Jane’s life where she was available for help.  This was one of the best times of her life, even if she didn’t know it.  It is the surrender of all that we are, controlled and uncontrolled, to our Higher Power that stabilizes us.  Control comes from the outside in.

But being a friend to ourself isn’t about control.  It is about putting ourselves immediately and ultimately in the care of Love.   What does Love want for us?  To be good to ourselves.

We offer medication therapy (and sobriety) not to put us in control or to take away control.  Assuredly some of our goals will happen.  But still, we offer medication therapy when the benefits outweigh the risks to “Me.”  When it is friendly.  Not to erode us.  See blog-post, Self-Care Works You, Pushes You, Tires You Out Until You Are Happily Spent On Your Friend – You.

Over the past two days, we have asked a lot of questions and gotten insightful, perceptive, inspired and intuitive answers with power to connect us and point toward healing.  We will continue to explore these questions and these answers, as they will continue to influence our relationship with and ability to befriend “Me.”  For today, however, I will bank these Q & A pages and pause Jane’s story.  I send you into blog-post, Are Your Meds Safe?

 

Presence – What is Turning In You?

How the pages turn slowly in life

Image by Nina Matthews Photography via Flickr

It’s summer break already and that means more Mom-time for the kids,… and a few other things.  But if there’s more Mom-time for the kids, we all know what there is more of for Mom.  These things come together and equal more spending-money-time combined with less work-time.  This can’t be without consequence.

I’m thinking stress, memory-makers, lots of kissing marshmellow-cheeks and tears to show.  Always tears.  The kids cry of course but if I do, its all,

Mom!  Oh NO!  Mom!  Stop crying!  Agh.  I can’t stand it when you do that!

Lots of exclamation points are involved.  I’m thinking this summer will have some of that because some days are stressful and painful.  Others are just too beautiful to leave unstained with tears to sign my name by.  Get ready kids!

Tonight, this is what I have.

I am licking my finger and turning a page.  I feel the book as the page slowly fights the air to pass over.  I haven’t seen the other side yet but the way the page lifts up and toward me, I know that this part is significant in itself.  Lick my finger, press it down and sweep up.  Up and passing over, just.  The page is turning and so are we.

Question:  What is turning in your life?

Self-Care Tip #280 – Pay attention to what is turning in you.

We Try Knowing We Will Fail. The Wonderful Journey Of Flawed People.

The t-shirt

Image by plαdys via Flickr

It’s 9:23 PM and our little kids are still awake!  They’ve cried.  They’ve laughed.  We’ve cuddled.  We’ve spanked.  They’ve taken two showers and brushed their teeth twice.  We ate several times.

I was riding my bike, watching a movie, (I love that!), and my daughters were taking turns coming in to complain, wet me with their tears, snuggle, hold me; you get it.  My exercise and my movie were peppered with refreshing breaks.  Sitting on the couch chair nearby with my five-year old during one of these intermissions, holding her, I was able to say,

It’s okay.  

I was able to do this because I was the one in the casita getting pumped up and my husband was the one in the house herding children to bed.  He had the tough job that turns me into a turnip and I had this.

You can do it.  You can try again.  You can try again, even if you are trying for the one-hundredth time.  You try and you try and you try again because that’s what makes our lives beautiful.  The trying part mostly.  Not the arrival.  

And that’s when I grabbed her and held on.  I suddenly felt so blessed.  From this off-night, I was given the reminder that the trying part of life is where it is at.

It’s 9:33 PM and I think they’re asleep.  Sigh.  Tonight was awesome.

We are flawed people.  We try, knowing we will fail.  Who does that?!  Why would anyone do that to themselves!?  Smile.  Ah.  Sounds wonderful.

Questions:  How is your journey?  Have you been enjoying your failures lately?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip #273  – Enjoy your failures.

Finalé – Me Again. Everything Starts and Ends With Me – Even Emotions and Behaviors.

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious – Emotions shared
  2. Our own Emotional Junk – Emotions hidden
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea – Small conscious self and BIG unconscious self
  5. Biopsychosocial Model – Biological, Psychological, Social selves
  6. Me! 
  7. Finalé – Me Again.  Everything Starts and Ends With Me – Even Emotions and Behaviors.  (Today’s post.)

We have covered in our series that emotions are contagious.  We know that if we take care of our own first, we might not be as “susceptible” to negative “contagion” in turn and perhaps, be more available to giving and receiving positive “emotion-contagion.”  Further, we hope that if we do this, we might be able to choose to be with people we love even if they don’t do their own self-care.  We can have that connection without personalizing what isn’t about us.  Sigh.  That is nice, isn’t it?  Then …out at sea (away from our narrative for a day,) we talked about the pleasure in engaging with what bits of biology are directly available to us and the relationship we maintain with the big expanse of our unconscious biology.  We reviewed our biopsychosocial model as a tool, and then restated the simplicity in looking for and at Me to discover where emotions and behaviors come from.

Today we leave Rob and meet Iva for our Finalé.

Mother and daughter

Image by Video4net via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #272 – Look!  Me Again!

Iva was crying.  Things could not go on as they were.  It must stop!  The tension and recurring emotional crisis’ between her and her daughter were cancerous to her family.

Iva was trying.  She’d come a long long way.  On antidepressants now, exercising three to five times a week, down twenty pounds and into her honey-moon clothes from many many years ago.  She felt so much better about herself.  She was no longer yelling at every stressor, she felt pleasure again and liked being with her kids, including her daughter… when her daughter wasn’t throwing fits.  However, her daughter was “fits-ing” one to three times a day still.  Iva felt like she had lost control as a parent and gave a lot of blame to her little girl.  This is why Iva came in.  Something wasn’t right about that.  It was evading her, however, what that something was.

To be clear, “little” in this case meant four years old.  Four years old and they could hardly be with each other.  Iva trembled thinking about the teen years ahead.  Iva wondered how a four-year old could drum up so much drama and wield so much power.

Why didn’t she listen?  Why did her daughter make her resort to spanking and punishments to get obedience?  Why did she whine all the time?  

Crying again, Iva was still able to break this down as to where her emotions and behaviors were coming from and specifically keep it about “Me.”  That was our job as we crunched this together.

Emotions shared – Iva had negative emotions that her four-year old was susceptible to?

Emotions hidden – Iva hadn’t gone towards her own something or other?  Maybe she didn’t even realize the negative emotions she felt toward her daughter in the first place to go towards them and see what was there.

small conscious self and BIG unconscious self – Iva had an opportunity to play, work, know and own this little portion of what made her who she was.  The BIG unconscious self she was doing well taking care of with her basic needs – time with her Higher Power, medication compliant, exercise, sleep, diet, water and so on.

Biological, Psychological, Social selves – (A whole bunch of stuff you’ll have to read the previous blog-posts on!  Awesome paradigm.)

And then, finally, Me.  In the space between her and her daughter, Iva had forgotten that it was about Me.  Iva was putting a lot of blame on her little girl.  That’s a lot of pressure for a child to shoulder.  It is not appropriate for a parent to shame her child this way.  This isn’t a moral statement unless we make it one.  It just is.  It-is-not-appropriate.  That’s all.  Iva circled back around and saw herself there.  Her Me.

Iva left thinking things were looking up.

Questions:  Even in your most difficult relationships, how do you own your emotions and behaviors?  Or is there a reason for them outside of yourself?  Please tell me your story.

The Pleasure That Should Be Ours In Emotional Health

Cup of coffee with whipped cream

Image via Wikipedia

Some time, I’d like to come back to our bullying series as there is still some help to be had for us.  However, today, my cherubs are asleep and it’s only seven PM.  My feet are up.  I’m sitting by lots of beauty colored in varied hues of sunset, shadow and dusk.  Tonight will be short.  I will let today end and indulge the coming together of these things.  (I am even drinking reheated coffee with lots of whipped cream!)

What I have thought of to share with you my friends, as I’ve enjoyed its friendly work on me today, is the pleasure that should be ours in emotional health.

Bad things will come.  We will have anger, lower communication and such.  We will wish we hadn’t pushed the call button on the phone by accident when yelling.  BUT.  But (“Mommy you said a potty word!”).  But it will pass.  It will not define our day or our perception of self.  We won’t catastrophize and we will trust ourselves to show love and mercy to Me in our weakness.  This is a pleasure to experience.  This is what comes when we have brain health.

If this is what has always been your reality, well great.  BUT.  But (“Mommy!  Why did you say that?).  But, many of us know what it is to crave for days when we can say that the blow-ups, outs and ins don’t blot out the sun.  They shouldn’t.  The pleasure comes with health.  Go for it!  You are worth it.  You were made to feel pleasure.

Questions:  When was it that you realized that your emotions and behaviors didn’t rule you or someone you love any more?  What did/does that mean to you?  Please tell me your story.

(Ah!  There goes the last of the sun and the trees are now silhouettes.)

Self-Care Tip #257 – Go for the pleasure of trusting yourself to respond with healthy emotions and behaviors.