Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019.
Arthur Brooks, economist and author of Love Your Enemies estimates that seven percent of the population profits from contempt. Contempt is how we feel when we view others as invaluable, incapable, and irresponsible. This is exactly the opposite of compassion.
Contempt-mongers make their living by using conflict as a weapon. They have honed the art of stoking division, emphasizing differences, inviting fear, and normalizing the degradation of anyone who gets in their way.
Conflict was never approved for use as a weapon.
Conflict is a natural consequence of diversity. Diversity is a natural and wonderful part of this world we live in. The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy.
Conflict has been approved as a viable energy source for creating something amazing.
Compassion is the mechanism for harnessing the positive potential in conflict.
So what’s up with the seven percent?
- Ignorance; we don’t know and don’t want to know about those other people
- Greed; compassion threatens our personal stockpile of stuff
- Fear; I don’t know what would happen, but it’s probably bad
- Upbringing; it’s how I was raised
- Us vs. Them; we are right, they are different, they need to be eliminated
- It pays off; contempt-mongering gets me what I want
The good news!
93% of the world prefers compassion.
Who is your role model in the 93%? Will you give them a shout out on this post?
I recently accompanied my mother to a doctor’s appointment. We spent an hour in the waiting room and witnessed something that is all too common in patient care and impacts everything from satisfaction to the reputation of the practice itself.
I desperately wanted to rescue the billing representative during her interaction with a patient. If I could have slipped her a script using the ORPO template we teach in our Compassion Mindset course, it would have said,
Mis-communicable diseases are illnesses passed from person to person through miscommunication. That’s because miscommunication infects people with negativity; inferiority, guilt, shame, and fear. Forget the basic cases of not understanding each other. I’m talking about getting hooked, and the next thing you know, you’re under the weather.
Everybody has borders they want to protect. Nothing wrong with that. We all build walls to protect those borders. That’s normal.
The problem is, most of us claim borders and build walls that are a cover up for the real issues. These smoke screens serve the purpose of helping us feel justified, but aren’t effective in the long run because of the sacrifices they require.
In Part 1 I outlined three of the six smokescreens we use to justify building a wall. Here are the other three.
This is the second part in my series called New Year, New Default Settings. In my previous post I shared my new year’s decision to reset some of my default settings that were holding me back. The first one was from “I’m the only one” to “I’m not alone.”
The second default I am resetting is,
Who is responsible? vs. We are in this together
Do you live with silent “inhibitors” in your life, those ingrained beliefs about what you should or shouldn’t do? “Work before play,” “Don’t have too much fun, “Never take credit.” Over time, without even realizing it, these inhibitors infect our lives and can really hold us back.
That’s why I am so grateful for the Ten Permissions given to me by Taibi Kahler, award-winning psychologist, developer of the Process Communication Model (PCM®), and a father-figure/mentor for me. Permission is one of the most important and valuable gifts we can give ourselves and others. These have helped me through many stuck points and sleepless nights. I’d like to share them with you.
I’m delighted to announce the launch of my new blog, Conflict Without Casualties, on PsychCentral, one of the world’s most visited sites for mental health and wellness resources.
The Conflict Without Casualties Blog will focus on helping people:
- Unlock the positive potential in conflict.
- Transform their relationship with conflict through the practice of Compassionate Accountability.
- Achieve greater effectiveness, happiness, and satisfaction.
I post once a week on Tuesdays. Check it out, tell a friend, and if you have topic ideas for me to write about, I’d love your input.
One more step to help build cultures of Compassionate Accountability one person at a time. Will you join us?
Buy the book and get a free Drama Resilience Assessment.
The need to feel justified is one of the strongest, most intoxicating and uniquely human conditions. It’s amazing how far we will go to get that fix, how hard we will work to prove we were right about something or someone. How hard do you defend your version of what happened in a “he said, she said” argument? When you send an email and the other person doesn’t remember getting it, how much energy do you spend trying to prove that you sent it and that they are in the wrong?
If you believe women are equal,
If you value freedom of expression,
If you care that children develop personal responsibility,
If you want people to embrace their potential,
If you want the world to blame less, cower less, and hurt each other less,
then stop using the phrases, “Make you feel,” and “Make me feel.”
Every time you say one of these phrases, you are reinforcing a myth that humans are not responsible for their emotions. The myths that anyone can make me feel good or bad, or that I can make someone else feel good or bad, are the fuel for victimization, persecution, and discrimination.
If you value freedom of expression and tell someone, “You hurt my feelings when you said that,” you are a feelings hypocrite.
If you think children should develop personal responsibility and you tell them, “How did that make you feel when Johnny bullied you?” you are a feelings hypocrite.
If you believe women are equal, and you suggest a man can, “Disrespect you by making you feel bad,” you are a feelings hypocrite.
We can influence, but not control what others do. Ultimately, we only have control of our our response. And that response starts with taking full responsibility for our emotions. Nobody caused them and nobody can own them except for me.
Taking full responsibility for our emotions in no way condones other people’s behavior. What it does, however, is set us free from being defined by someone else’s behavior. This is a fundamental first step for emotional intelligence.
Want to go deeper? Here are four posts I’ve written about this topic.
Defeat the myths and open yourself up to a new level of effectiveness in relationships by attending an LOD or PCM seminar today.