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

Deliberately Setting Myself Up To Improve

dayspa-1

Image by samuelalove via Flickr

Self-care is about improving life, not harm.  Even though it includes doing things we don’t enjoy and sometimes hurt, it doesn’t harm us.

That’s a useful meter-stick when we wonder about something in our life.  Is this harming us?  Including people.  Do I feel better about myself when I’m with them?  Do they help me become a better person?  A better friend to myself?  Or, do they turn me toward things that harm me?

When thinking about our days activities, our choice of employment, things we put in our body, put them by this “No-Harm Meter-Stick” and see how they measure.

A deliberate check-point in my life is consistent with a deliberate goal.  …”I want to be  healthy.  Is this improving my health?”  “I want to have good self-esteem.  Does this improve my self-esteem?”  And the journey is consistent with the beginning and the end.  If the goals for the moment isn’t consistent with our big picture goals than they might not be the goals we want.  Like putting substances in our body that feel good for the moment but harm our life.  There are innumerable examples of this but you get the picture.

Questions:  What checks you when you need it?  What has been useful to remind you in this area or that to be friendly to yourself?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip – Deliberately set up feedback in your life to let you know that you are a friend to yourself.

See blog-Post:  “You” Are The Best Gift

The Growing Process Shifts From Shame and Fear to Friendship

Hello Friends.  Tonight ends our pilot run of the self-care workshop series.  Whoop!  Thank you for your support.  Very much.  The growing process, when in the company that we have here, shifts the experience form one of fear and shame to one of …well this:  friendship, with you and with our own selves.

One of our participants was kind enough to send me his recap,

Some of the points that were most important to me were:

  1. Going toward our temperament/the languages we use,
  2. Invest in your bank,
  3. Going against your intuition,
  4. The energy balance as illustrated by the triangle diagram,
  5. It doesn’t always feel good to perform self-care.
  6. categories in the bio…model and how they interrelate, i.e. biopsychosocial model.  (Smile.)

Pretty good! Huh?

This was written after our second week.  After tonight, we can add,

  1. Accountability for our flawed self doesn’t mean blame or fault.
  2. Our flaws become part of our opportunity for growth and personal presence.
  3. Self-awareness is a tool for,
  1. Understanding our agendas,
  2. Bettering our sense of presence,
  3. Freedom that is ours independent of our effort, morals, or any human quality
  4. A freedom that we want to fight for with everything we’ve got to preserve.  I.e., a freedom we can lose.
  • Using the biospychosocial model as a tool for,
    1. Understanding where our emotions and behaviors are coming from
    2. Understanding where emotions and behaviors of others are coming from – such as STIGMA

    I wish I had another summary from one of our participants rather than my own.  I can make this so much more complicated than it is!  I am learning.  I am flawed.  I am accountable.  I am not blamed.  I am in the company of friends, including myself!  Whoop!

    If I get another summary though from “someone,” I’ll pass it on for your perusal and comments.

    Again, thank you and until tomorrow…!  Keep on.

    I’ve heard, “It Never Hurts to Ask”

    It never hurts to ask and what I learned from Honda

    Honda stojan

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    I am a believer in Honda.  They’ve won me over with their automatic doors, convenience in just about any way they can, but mostly because of their Starbucks coffee, fresh-baked cookies and 10% discounts.  “Ten percent?,” you ask.  Well, not so easy as that.  We have to ask.  Ask nicely.

    Honda has, if not taught me, reinforced my once shaky belief that if you ask for something, you’re more likely to get it.  Sounds obvious but how often we don’t.  We don’t ask.  What are the barriers?  Flip it and we wonder what helps us ask?

    We bring out our biopsychosocial model again.  (Hear the whip-ahhh! as it comes out of our pocket?!)

    Question:  What do you find when you break it down?

    Those barriers or the helps we have in other areas of our life, including with our own friend, Me.

    Self-Care Tip #277 – If you want to change something, ask.  Including when it’s about yourself from yourself.

    Choose Back! …As Long As Life Chooses You.

    A Girl On A Footbridge

    Image by jyryk58 via Flickr

    Self-Care Tip #241 – As long as life chooses you, it is your right to choose back – so do.

    Although I am not a geriatric psychiatrist, I have still been given the pleasure of serving a “golden” few.  What has impressed me has been their willingness to start over.

    Starting over takes courage and humility whether it is deliberate or not.  Sometimes fear dances between the lines of all the emotions and intentions. But still, wouldn’t you agree that it takes courage and humility to negotiate fear?

    (Enters Hans.)  Hans was seventy-three years old.  He had struggled with brain illness on and off he thinks since he was at least twelve.  There were big spaces of time when his disease exacerbated, and he largely suffered.  But he chose, at this age, to try again for improved brain health.

    Is there a time when we start thinking, don’t keep trying to start over?  Maybe in the dying process.  In case you don’t know, the dying process is a specific term.  It means the time when a person is facing impending death.

    This area of medicine is not my specialty but I imagine at some point we want to stop with that starting over process, give up, but not in a hopeless way.  In a way that says,

    I can stop trying for new anything and sit in the space of what I already have in me…

    …Which hopefully includes all the ingredients and interrelations of life.

    But how far before that point in life do we consider starting over reasonable?  I’ve heard of kids being told they’re too young to ride a bike, or cut with a knife, or understand the dinner conversation.  No one bobs their head at that.  But find a seventy-three year old who believes that after a lifetime of perceived failure by onlookers or themselves, who still says,

    Now let’s give this another go,

    …and if it hasn’t been said, it’s been thought,

    give it over already!  You’ve hit your seventy-times-seven chances!

    It’s like they’re shopping in the teen-ware.  We blink our eyes and angle our heads.  Even the thought of starting over as a real option feels indiscreet.

    (Enters Hans.)  Hans is seventy-three.  He is starting over.  Humbly and with courage, he pursues brain health in the face of stigma.

    I think I had celebrated my six birthday when my dad asked me if I felt any different from how I felt when I was five.

    Yes!  I feel older!

     Then he asked me how old I thought he was.  When I answered some enormous number like, “twenty-two!” he asked,

    Does forty-four seem old to you?  

    Of course it did!  But I had an intuition that if he was old, than he’d die, so I said a definitive,

    NO!  Daddy you’re still young!  You aren’t old!

    Now, almost that same age myself, I am in awe of him and the others in their golden or not so golden years (Enters Hans) who believe that as long as life chooses them, they will choose back.  It is their freedom.

    Questions:  When all your senses don’t sense pleasure in life, or you feel old and useless, or you feel that you’ve failed too many times, how do you choose to start over?  Who has inspired you and what did they do?  Please tell me your story.

    Your Bridge Between Choosing and Being Chosen By Guilt

    INNOCENCE/GUILT

    Image by ~fyrfli~ via Flickr

    Self-Care Tip #227 – Find out about your bridge between choosing and being chosen by guilt.

    Guilt.

    Sometimes we think people who do wrong should feel guilt.  But how many of us improve ourselves or others in response to guilt?  And because this is a self-care blog (wink), I have tooled around with what it is all about and if it is a positive self-service.  In my meanderings I remembered, Schadenfreude.  (Isn’t that a marvelous Americanized German word?!)

    Schadenfreude is different from guilt, although often in the same company.  It is a natural response in which we find pleasure at observing another’s demise or suffering.  I speculate that when we see someone feeling guilty and suffering from that guilt, even against our better natures we experience a degree of Schadenfreude, i.e. pleasure.  Because we moralize things, we responsibly feel shame when insight dawns on Schadenfreude, but “it just is.”  It is a part of who we are in this time of humankind’s history.

    However would we go so far as to say that we want people to feel guilty when they do wrong because of the motivating reward that Schadenfreude has on us?  For example, Mom is disciplining her children and just won’t stop until someone cries.  I remember hearing jokes about this in mommy groups when my kids were a bit younger.  …Mom thinks silently,

    I’m suffering so I want to see you suffer.

    Even though we maturely and grandly empathize (the counterpart to Schadenfreude) with the kids, there is a simultaneous “secret Schadenfreude” (a private feeling) that goes on at their failure.  The blend of both can be confusing.

    As we continue to travel the bridge between voluntary and involuntary, we are learning more about how choice remains regardless which side we are looking at.  For example, if guilt and Schadenfreude are so natural, so biological, so reflexive, we look for our choice.

    Cathy wrote on the blog-post, Choosing Perspective,

    I become trapped in my own guilt. Yes it is about perspective but what to do when even changing your perspective provides no relief, only a different source of constraint?

    Questions:  I can’t help but wonder what you think about this?  Where and what is your bridge between choosing and being chosen by guilt and other negative emotions?  How do you choose when guilt and other negative emotions come involuntarily and inappropriately to context?  Please tell me your story.

    Self-Care Is About More Than “Me”

    Self-Care Tip #208 – If for no other reason, get friendly with yourself simply to survive and you’ll see what that means later.

    my self care reminders

    Image by CatrinaZ via Flickr

    It is not unusual to think of “selfish-care” when we hear “self-care.”  I can imagine children gripping their mother’s skirts more tightly, husbands pulling their helpmate’s hands away from this influence, church-folk sniffing over rejections to service-calls or friends personalizing the way their phone doesn’t ring as much as it used to.  This is a natural response, although it is a false perception.  Think – feeling suffocated by her penance, he’s wearing a martyr’s cross or she’s giving to us from victimhood.  Those are the times we would rather not receive the gifts of time, person or anything dripping with that kind of guilt and implied debt. This kind of service comes from someone impoverished, giving on credit.

    I’ve been known to say, “We can’t give what we don’t have.”  Or as Jasmine said,

    You can’t give someone a ride if you’re all out of gas!

    So when is self-care selfish?  To be true to what self-care is, I’d say almost never.  However, because the question comes from such an intuitive fear in any of us, “never” can’t be an entirely fair answer.  To answer it best though, we need to turn it over and go back to trying to discover why we wanted self-care first.  What brought us here?  Jacqui said it well in yesterday’s post-comments:

    Ditto about ‘self-care boot camp’. I may steal that one. You’ve given me permission to be selfish if need be. It’s all about self-preservation.

    Sometimes we are reduced to self-preservation.  It has an intensity to it, a survival mode of live or die, which may be appropriate to a desperate condition in life.   Many of us know what that feels like.  So in this context, self-care is in part about survival.  Alright.  But is survival a selfish need?  Are we worth that little?  Does the life in us hold value only at that level?

    rejuvenation.self.care.logo

    Image by guttersnipe.76 via Flickr

    You hear the clomping my words are making and can follow that I answer, no.  Survival has far reaching significance.  I matter.  You matter.  We have value beyond our own selves and Me booting up to live better also ripples over those same infinite number of connections.

    I am confident that if for no other reason than getting friendly with yourself simply to survive, you will still see at least some of what more that means later.  Self-care is about more than Me.

    Question:  When do you think self-care is selfish?  Why do you think self-care is not?  Please tell me your story.