Friday, August 26, 2016

Judgmental? Critical of Others?

Judgmental? Critical of Others?

Often our thinking and speaking patterns are habitual.

Are you used to criticizing others? Do you look at someone you meet for the first time and find fault with what they are wearing? Their speech? Their actions?

Some reasons we are critical:
1.     Competition is the name of our game. We are only good if we are better than others so we put others down in order to make ourselves feel good.
2.     It’s just a habit we learned as kids, and we continue to think that way.
3.     Being opinionated is a family pattern.
4.     We are caught up in black and white—right and wrong--thinking.
5.     We believe everyone around us should think and be exactly like we do.

Ways to change our thinking patterns:
1.     Practice cooperating with others rather than competing with them. When we cooperate, everyone wins.
2.     Change our habits. When a critical thought comes into my head, I picture a STOP sign and find a positive thought.
3.     Let’s keep our family opinions, but accentuate the positive ones.
4.     There are many shades of gray in people. Get rid of the black and white. If we listen and learn about the people around us, I guarantee we’ll find something good.
5.     The world would be very dull if we all thought alike. Enjoy the differences around you. Celebrate them, and others will celebrate you.

If you are someone who always finds the good in people, you will probably continue to do so. Positive energy flows through you, keeping you peaceful and upbeat.

Where are you on the judgmental thinking scale?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sadness vs. Happiness

The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. Carl Jung

I found this quote one day and it stopped me short. I love to be happy, and I never want the sad times. Maybe I want only half the picture. Maybe I need to experience the sad times in order to enjoy the happy times.

I have a friend who had a daughter die in infancy. Her adult son just passed away, and yet she can find the positive in her situation.

“I am lonely for both my children, but I have the hope of being with them again in the next life.”

“I am very sad—devastated, of course. I have moments where I completely lose it and have to take to my bed for a few hours. But I have my precious memories to keep me going, and they seem to out weigh the sadness."

Sometimes our thoughts run ‘a muck.’ My thinking can put me in a funk that can cause me to isolate and sink into a cloud of depression.

How do I get out? Can I be as strong as my friend?

1.   Get enough sleep.
          In order to find happiness, I can’t get over tired. 
2.   Eat healthy foods.
Everyone has their own wisdom of the body. Use your wisdom to keep yourself feeling well.
3.   Exercise.
Physical activity drives my life. If I want to feel good, I need to exercise. I sleep better at night. I have more energy if I work out. My life is just all around better.
4.   Do something peaceful.
Many different things bring me peace. Music, reading, watching the sunset, sitting by a camp fire, watching the snow sift out of the sky. I love the time-out concept. It’s all for the best when I just let myself float for a little while.
5.   Brain storm the positive things in life.
I periodically make myself a list of the good things in my world. I have to change it fairly often because my circumstances change. I love counting my blessings. They seem to multiply when I do.
6.   Think positively.
          With my brain storming list, I can create mantras.

My life is good. What about yours?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Engaging People

One night when I sat at dinner with a group of friends, the discussion turned to the characteristics of likeable people. I listened, evaluating myself to see how many of their criteria I could see myself meeting.

Likeable people don’t push themselves forward. They are interested in others and focus on what’s going on with the person they’re engaged with. In other words, they listen. They can talk about themselves, but don’t make an issue of spilling all their problems at the beginning of a conversation.

Amiable people can be counted on to help out if there are problems. Dependable people are usually consistent in their behaviors as well as their actions. They aren’t really moody, and won’t ‘fly off the handle’ at the drop of a hat.’ You know they will be even tempered.

Engaging people don’t judge others. They don’t go in for fault-finding. They consistently look for the positives in their friends and acquaintances, and others around them. I personally like this characteristic because I know these people are positive about others so they’ll also be positive about me. These people feel ‘safe’ to talk to.

Open people are willing to share what’s happening in their lives. This gives them a genuineness that I can relate to. If others don’t share with me, then I’m suspect to share with them. I wonder what they are hiding.

Work and Play
It’s always great to find a happy mix of work and play in life. Engaging people can connect with others through work and play.

How do you stack up to this unscientific list according to my dinner group? What would you add to their list?