The Value of a Good Friend
This month we have heard how Buddy Franklin has been coping (or not coping) with depression and how the Sydney Swans has come out to support him. Personally, I think Buddy Franklin is a brave and courageous individual for having taken this step because it is not always easy to ask people for help when things are getting you down.
Many people who have been down this path have shared with me about how alone they felt and how lonely they are. People need people and the people who have people (meaning good support from those around them) are the luckiest people in the world.
With the advent of social media news is flashed round the globe faster than the speed of light and very often people don’t have the time to really sit and listen with someone, they don’t take the time to be still and t really shower themselves with the luxury of really getting to know and understand the other person. All too often the focus is on the sensationalism of the moment.
Personally, I am not privy to the depth of Buddy Franklin’s despair or what his needs are, however, I do understand how much it helps to have someone listen to how you’re feeling and to give you a little time. Very often the sad person is not looking to have the listener “kiss it and make it all better” but to just listen, to really listen and when this happens the talker feels better because someone has taken the time to listen, to make that time all about the talker and not about the listener. To just listen and really hear what the talker has to say and to hear what is not being said can be really powerful.
For many people, it’s not always easy to listen without judgment with the subsequent apportionment of evaluation about the talker. How often have you heard someone say – you want to watch out for so and so because once they bail you up …?
It’s not always convenient to just stop and chat and when you find yourself in this situation all you really need to do is to explain your current situation briefly and then make a time when you have more time to really give to that person. Sometimes you might like to explain this by saying something like … and this will give us the opportunity to have a really good talk. This way the talker will feel heard and you, the listener, will have the chance to be more relaxed and give the talker the time she needs to be heard.
Once many people came from larger families or they lived in a village where there were people who had time to stop and chat however the days of the extended family have gone for many westerners and we need to find a substitute for that family time, that old uncle or gran who often had more time to just listen.
Sometimes just talking about a problem or something that is an issue for you is all that’s needed. When someone has been able to slow down and talk, very often a way forward will come to that person – it’s as though by actually verbalising the concern, it has somehow makes everything clearer.
Many people tend to really stew over an issue in their head which can lead to lack of sleep, poor eating habits and generally dysfunctioning bodies and minds. This can mean they become irritable and unsocial or it may mean they resort to some external substance to “make the problem go away” and so the downward spiral is propelled to the bottom of the abyss. When this behaviour goes on for a long time, it can also lead to chronic illness.
Once at the bottom of the abyss, many people then continue doing things which only exacerbate the problem and their people support falls away because the people in their lives who really care are at their wits end and feel the need to protect themselves – after they have stuff going on as well.
So where to from here?
The talker is often crying out for help the only way she knows how. Next time you see someone who needs a bit of help, a shoulder or an ear, just ask them if they are OK and make the time to really listen, to share, to be and I wonder what you will notice first – maybe a sense of peace, maybe a sense of giving, maybe a glimmer of hope, maybe a way forward.
I remember when we were kids, my mum used to tell us about
||a wise old owl who sat on an oak
the more he heard
the less he spoke
the less he spoke, the more he heard
oh, why can’t we be like that wise old bird
Let me know when you’re ready to explore this – I’d love to hear from you http://www.marghobby.com.au/free-coaching-session/
Until next time
A few weeks ago I went to a seminar where an actor was talking about the power of being in the moment, of being in the zone and it really came home to me how powerful that gift can be.
Why is this important – what’s the big deal – you might ask.
Let me ask you – have you ever found yourself in the situation where you’re talking to someone and they’re doing something else while they assure you they ARE listening to you? How did that experience leave you feeling at that moment?
I know this has happened to me on numerous occasions and I was left with the feeling the other person didn’t really care, I felt discounted and walked away.
When I’m having a conversation with someone, be it a friend, my husband, a client or whomever, I like to think I’m giving them my full attention because whatever they are telling me is important to them. They want to be heard. They want to feel they have been understood and when all this happens the relationship takes on a new dimension because the trust level between the two people has been raised. The energy flow increases and, I have found with my husband especially, the relationship is enriched. I guess I’ve had longer to practise with him! Making time for someone is a precious gift and when you do this, the bond between you is made stronger.
Many people find themselves alone at times and even more people are lonely. It’s the lonely people who are missing out on the benefit of this gift and some people will do extraordinary things just to be noticed. I often wonder how things could be different if someone were to really give them some special time and to share the gift of being there, in the moment, with them.
What does this look like – how would I recognise the situation – you may ask yourself.
Let’s say you’re on a date with someone you have recently met. This person hasn’t really swept you off your feet, but, hey, it’s early days yet and you want to get to know him a bit better before you really make up your mind whether to take things further or not. While you’re talking to him he suddenly decides it’s time to check his email and then he takes a phone call – well that happens, you say to yourself – perhaps it was important. Then he’s off the phone and your conversation resumes – you start to chat again but he is pre-occupied, looking around the room and constantly looking over your shoulder. Then you ask him a question – thinking this might bring him back to the lunch table – only to be totally let down when he responds with some totally “off the planet” type answer and you just know he hasn’t heard a word you said. How does that leave you feeling?
I have a friend who is really very unwell and yesterday I went to see her in hospital. We’d arranged I would pop over and give her a foot massage. When I arrived there were a number of people in the room and she asked them all to leave so I could give her the massage. By doing this, she gave herself the opportunity of being totally in the moment, to enjoy the moment, the touch and the chat that always goes with something like that and when I left I felt I had been given a precious gift, I felt even closer to her and I was left with the understanding of what a truly gracious lady she is. This is her legacy to the world.
How do we create these magic moments? Well, as I see it, it’s all about focus. You get what you focus on so why not focus on what you want.
When I have a client come to see me, my whole focus is on the client – it’s all about the client, it’s all about listening t what is being said and what is not being said, it’ about honouring and respecting that other person’s world, really seeing where they’re coming from, what it is they want and why they feel they don’t have it already.
How do you do this – this time together is all about them. Whatever is happening in my world has nothing to do with what they are telling me and I direct my question around their topic, what’s important to them, to explore it further and deeper. When you find yourself in the situation that the time is not appropriate, make a special time for that person so they have the luxury of your undivided attention and that way everyone wins.
This has the effect of valuing the other person and really championing them. After all, who knows who they know and your current interaction with the person before you could lead you to someone who really presses your buttons, it could lead to a greater understanding of the issues facing the person in front of you and it could just give that person an experience to remember.
While listening recently to an interview with a dating coach when he was relaying his experience of internet dating he told the story about meeting this lady and after some initial chatting on the phone he took her out to a restaurant. He said he felt a bit let down because she had clearly lied about somethings, including her weight, obviously to make her seem more attractive than she saw herself. However, as he explained, he felt he had seen a different side of her during their telephone chats and it was his responsibility to make the experience of the date really work, an experience where they would enjoy the experience and he made the evening all about her.
So what if – what if next time when you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are getting a raw deal, you took the lead and turned everything around to make the experience all about the other person, I wonder who will be left with the greatest gift.
Remember, when you love yourself enough, that feeling will be projected onto others and reflected back to you.
Let me know when you’re ready to explore this – I’d love to hear from you http://www.marghobby.com.au/free-coaching-session/
Until next time
Why are you here?
Have you come for a purpose?
I think we all come for a purpose, we all have work to do and gifts to leave, to share and enjoy.
I have just read Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life – How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis. One of the questions he puts to the reader at the end is
Where has life blessed you, given you a gift? And what have you done with that gift? How have you accepted the responsibility that goes with it?
WOW is that powerful or is THAT powerful?
We all have our own gift to share and I feel we all have a responsibility to share that gift and to teach others the value that gift brings.
Now I’m thinking about my sister-in-law – she and my brother have 4 adult children, each of whom is now making their own way in life.
My sister-in-law is a home-maker. She used to live in northern NSW where she had a beautiful garden over acres of land. The garden was a real credit to her and one of her passions.
Her other passion is her children. Sister-in-law is also a primary school teacher which gives her an outlet for her gift. However, I feel her real gift has been bestowed on her own children, all of whom present to the world as being well-balanced, responsible young people who, in turn, love their families and are now sharing that same gift.
It’s the gift of love – a love that nurtures and supports, empowers and promotes understanding and acceptance. The members of that arm of the family are all different from each other and the rest of the world – as we all are and yet there is that feeling of being home when I’m around them and I see it when others are in their midst as well.
Why is all this important – how can it help me, you might ask.
While we all have our hurdles in life to negotiate, I feel having a safe and supportive home (base or whatever you may call it) is a healthy positive and essential component of wellbeing. We need this to give us the space to recharge our batteries, to heal our wounds and to recover from life’s challenges we all face on a daily basis.
Being able to have a safe environment in which we can share our losses, our challenges, our knock-backs and whatever else, gives us the opportunity to regroup, to rebuild and get up when we’re knocked down, to get out of bed the next day and have another go.
When we have purpose in life, we are on a mission, we have direction, a reason to get up and have another go, to make our contribution to the world and to leave an awesome legacy.
And how do we go about all this? What do we do, who do we need to be?
When we know what it is we want, we have something to focus on and since we all get what we focus on, it makes sense to focus on what we want.
And the question is –
Who do you need to be, to do what you need to do so you can have what you want?
Let me know when you’re ready to explore this – I’d love to hear from you.
A little ray of sunshine can really make a difference.
As I sit here sipping my tea the sun is shining and it occurred to me how light I felt. The energy from the sun can really make a world of difference to how we feel … inside.
Recently I had some tests done which revealed my Vitamin D was low and this meant a visit to the GP to have the situation remedied. I thought I was doing OK and getting enough sunshine since I go walking and other stuff outside, however it seems my efforts were not enough. Things change as we age and sometimes for the better and sometimes not so. We need to take care of ourselves.
After the first dose of Vitamin D I felt super-charged – and that’s just how I feel this morning with the sun shining on my window and bringing warmth and the promise of Spring. Even my husband’s canaries understand what this is all about and he proudly announced to me the other day that he has one “grand-birdie” in the nest already.
The energy the sun provides is a true gift and it’s this energy I wanted to touch on today.
When we feel good about ourselves we want to spread the good around – whatever that means to you.
For me, this is an ideal time to toss aside the dreariness of winter, a time for regeneration and moving forward. That could mean it’s time to clean up your house, your bad habits or just get your tax done. Basically it’s time to get off the couch and take care of yourself.
What does it take to be happy, to love yourself enough to really be the person you know you deserve to be? For some it may be a massage and for some it may be a new relationship, for others it could be a time to really assess where you are right now and clean out those dark and energy-draining states of mind some of us have from time to time. You are no doubt more than well aware that we store all those negative things in our bodies and when they have been stored for too long they can manifest into big black holes bringing their own downsides with them.
Now that it’s Spring and the sun is shining, let’s get rid of all that stuff that sucks the energy from our being and reward ourselves with a gift of promise and possibility, a gift of love and laughter, an opportunity to really make a contribution and grow within ourselves and truly be the person we were put on this earth to be. Time is running out and we have work to do.
I’d be glad to hear your views and remember – be kind to yourself – you are the best friend you have.
It all comes down to two things, namely – who are you being and what do you want?
Let’s suppose your idea of a great relationship means you have trust, honesty, integrity, respect and love, perhaps – sensational. These are all values. So let’s take a closer look.
What does it mean to have these values? What are your rules around each of these values? Are your rules around trust, for example, the same as the other person in your relationship? Are you both on the same page? Does trust mean the same to you as it does to the other person? We all have our own rules around our values.
Then what about the other values – honesty, for example. Would it be OK with you if your version of honesty was not exactly the same for the other person? Does being honest just mean you are honest some of the time or all of the time and then there are varying degrees of honesty. Does this mean it’s OK to cheat on the other person just as long as the other person doesn’t ask or find out? After all, you haven’t actually told him that you are cheating on him and he hasn’t asked! Or does it mean that you respect both yourself and the other person’s world to the extent that you would own up to your situation and be honest with him?
The point is that unless you are both on the same page with your values, when your values are violated this leads to resentment, mistrust, discontent and sometimes worse. It is not long before there is all out war.
We see this on a grander scale with the relationship between nations, companies, co-workers, families, coupled – in fact with any two entities that function together there must be some common values, sometimes called ground rules.
How these rules are implemented depends on the entities involved. Nations have trading agreements or some other agreement to ensure the success of their relationship. Corporate bodies have contracts and so on.
The same thing happens with coupled – there is a common agreement about what the couple actually wants in life. While usually this is not in the form of a formal written legal document, basically it comes about by each of the people involved working towards a common goal and demonstrating respect and consideration for the other person’s world. This can be called love. The success or otherwise of the relationship usually depends on how much discussion has taken place over some of the more vital deal breakers before committing to a relationship. For example, are children important to both parties or only one or neither? It’s too late to send them back after the event!
Of course this is not the only issue that could arise and there are times when things happen that couldn’t have been foreseen and in those circumstances, the success or otherwise of any relationship will be tested.
These views are very simplistically stated and I am aware life is often more complicated. However it’s the issue of values and how they impact on our lives that is really the point.
How do you see your relationship – first with yourself and then with others? After all, if it’s not in you, how can you share what you don’t have already?
I’d be glad to hear your views and remember – be kind to yourself – you are the best friend you have.
A relationship is the way two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected, an emotional and sexual association between two people, the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave towards each other – Readers Digest Word Power Dictionary.
A relationship between two people is basically about how we get on with each other and they generally work best when each person’s needs are being met.
I was thinking about this yesterday when my husband and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary with a glass of champus and a plate of King George whiting which he caught.
So what is it that makes it work?
Over the years we have both done different things and, in some respects, we are as different as chalk and cheese and yet, deep down, we have a common goal and a common set of values. Everyone’s values are going to be different. When some common ground can be established and each person trusts and respects the other person’s values, it works – well it works for us.
The bit that always amazes me is how all this happened in the first place because it was all at the unconscious level. It has only been in later years when I have been doing so much study on the subject that I can appreciate how clever the unconscious mind can be – thank you unconscious mind for taking care of us.
More recently I was witness to a different type of relationship – a situation where two people were connected by a mutual umbrella. Person A had occupied an executive position on the Committee and had not taken the necessary responsibility for her outcome. Now Person B is in that position on the Committee Person A has, seemingly, made various attempts to get her own way over some issues. The point is, there wouldn’t be an issue had Person A taken appropriate action at the appropriate time and accepted responsibility for her outcome. Instead she has chosen a negative and unresourceful course of action which has not helped her reputation nor her cause.
Why is all this stuff important anyway?
When our values have been violated we feel cheated and hard done by. When our needs have been met (and some of those needs will be to have our values honoured), we are happy, we feel fulfilled and satisfied – in short, all is right with the world. When people respect our values we feel worthy and ur self-esteem is high – all is right with the world.
On the counterside, when we feel our values have been violated and we feel cheated and robbed many people stew over this for ages, sometimes for a lifetime. Negative emotions are withheld in our body and eventually the body reacts in some way – usually with an illness of some description. This is the unconscious mind’s way of telling you to take some time out, take care of yourself, honour yourself or you may really have something to be upset about.
Five steps to getting on top of your situation so you can turn it around
- Step back and be aware of what is happening. Being aware is the most crucial step because until one is aware, one is not able to be effective with a way forward.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Sometimes this is not easy especially when the ego steps in and pushes the need to justify the actions taken.
- As yourself –
- What do I really want here?
- What will it look like, feel like and sound like when I have it?
- Until these questions have been answered there is no way of knowing when the goal has been achieved. If you don’t know what you want – how will you know when you’ve got it? Maybe you have it already and you just don’t know it!
- Ask yourself –
- When I have achieved my goal, what will it give me
- What will it enable me to do?
- Who will I be?
- One last question for yourself – what is the first step you are going to take to get you where you want to be/what you want. When will you do that – after all a goal without a deadline is just a dream.
I’d be glad to hear your views and remember – be kind to yourself – you are the best friend you have.
When we hear the words “sabotage” or “saboteur” most of us will conjure up some image of an evil person out to gain a personal advantage over another and yet we do it to ourselves all too often. We generally sabotage our efforts unintentionally and at the unconscious level. When we think about how we do this in our relationships it is something that takes place over a period of time and often resulting in heartache and disaster.
Next time we meet someone new, they might accept these sabotaging behaviours at first and some people may actually be attracted to them. However, over time, these very same sabotaging behaviours that were once attractive become intolerable and the upset party leaves the relationship, usually citing reasons that have little to do with what was really going on.
Because the saboteurs don’t do what they do with conscious awareness they are frequently confused and have no clue what happened. Then they meet someone new, go out and do the same thing all over again.
It can be humbling and sometimes a huge relief for the saboteur to learn there is hope and to learn it may be something they can change about themselves to bring an end to the cycle of torment and heartache. When the saboteur finds the courage to tackle this problem head on, the rewards can be transformational.
So, let’s take a quick look at what some of these behaviours might be and how they come about.
When we come into the world we are like a blank canvas. However, all too quickly, we learn negative childhood patterns of behaviour to get what we want and when the child brings these behavioural patterns into the adult relationship the icing comes off the cake. We learn these behavioural patterns from our parents and other role models in our childhood and, unless these behaviours are dealt with, we bring them to our relationships.
Many people believe their relationships fail because they didn’t choose the right person or they should have done something differently. It’s often easier to look for a reason outside of ourselves which means we blame someone else. When we choose to be truly responsible for the results we get we will take a look inside ourselves.
Have you ever found yourself or someone you know complaining about their partner and say something like – No matter what I do, I can’t win or, perhaps no-one has a long-term relationship anymore.
It’s not easy to face up to the fact that it may be you who is sabotaging the relationship just as it’s not always easy for your partner to tell you that what you’re doing is getting up his nose. When this happens the relationship becomes toxic and what was once tolerated, evolves into an emotionally allergic reaction in the partner of the saboteur.
It is a brave person who accepts this responsibility and when you continually find yourself in failing relationships, you have to wonder if it is you.
Sabotaging behaviours can be many and varied and you can be sure the behaviours will be tainted with some or all of the following –
- They are not intended to create the damage or upsets they do
- The negative impact on a relationship evolves over time
- They may often be subtly hidden and expressed as a different issue in the relationship
- They may be more tolerated at the outset of the relationship and become toxic over time
- When the untoward behaviour is challenged the saboteur partner may be offended or become self-righteous.
So let’s take a look at what this may look like. Here are some common sabotaging behaviours which, over time, evolve into disrepair and result in the end of the relationship.
Insecurity – anxiety, possessiveness and jealousy are sure signs of insecurity. Fear of an anticipated loss will cause the saboteur to resort to detrimental behaviour. New partners of anxious people may initially be attracted to their need for reassurance. These people are called Rescuers. Rescuers get their needs of the ego met when they come to the aid of the saboteur. Eventually the Rescuer begins to feel hopeless because he is not able to sustain this behaviour – to be the white knight and take care of the insure person. This works both ways of course and is never gender specific.
The end result is the partner of the saboteur begins to feel invalidated and useless – so they leave to find greener pastures.
Needing to Control – My Way or the Highway – these controlling people feel compelled to micromanage everything. This happens not only in their relationship but can also be carried over to a work situation. Sometimes people adopt this course of action through fear of being controlled by others. Initially they may come across as being very kind, however, over time their behaviour becomes suffocating. Thy can become dictatorial and make life hell for the other person.
The need to win – at any cost. Working through this can open your eyes to your winning partner and, being aware of what is happening, can give you some peace of mind. However the endless battles that ensue will eventually destroy any relationship.
Pessimism – the Negative Nellie. We are not born pessimistic – this is a learned behaviour. While many people may have done it tough, some people look on it as a badge of honour. These people only ever see the downside of everything.
Winnie the Pooh and his eternally sad friend, Eeyore, are a classic example of this. The fact is the dripping tap will eventually wear away the stone and sooner or later the positive minded person will decide he or she has had enough.
Addictions – these are aggressive and competitive lovers. They are self-destructive seductions masquerading as desirable behaviours and they lull people away from the straight and narrow, the values and beliefs that maintain the viability of relationships. Addictive behaviours can have their appeal at the outset, however, over time the addicts slowly withdraw that passion that attracted the partner initially and transfer that passion to something else. It is important to understand addictions can not only be substances but also relationships, material possessions or ideologies. At the end of the day the journey of the addict ends in irrecoverable loss.
Breaking Trust – Betrayal is the most damaging of all the sabotaging behaviours. People who habitually fail to honour their word break hearts and destroy faith. Trust is the foundation of everything that really matters and when it’s gone – it’s gone.
So why do people pursue these destructive courses of action? Why do people get into relationships with these sabotaging people.
Generally someone will be attracted to a saboteur initially to fulfil a need. However when the saboteur’s behaviour becomes unbearable, the partner will leave in order to survive. Leaving may not mean leave the house but you can be sure it will mean leave the relationship.
The good news is that these sabotaging behaviours can be healed if the saboteur is genuinely committed and brave enough to be totally honest with him/herself and take on the responsibility for the sought after outcome. The reward will be a greater feeling of confidence and the ability to succeed in every relationship they pursue.
The 7 step blueprint that will show you how to overcome those sabotaging behaviours.
- Awareness is key. By just being aware means you are ready to take the next step.
- Find the root cause. Once this has been discovered, you are in a position to address and eradicate the issue.
- Locate the triggers – those things that set off your sabotaging behaviour. When you can recognise your triggers you’re half way there.
- Know when you’re strong and know when you’re more vulnerable – those triggers have a way of going off when you’re tired, hungry or just out of sorts.
- The person is not their behaviour. When you know what sets you off, stop and take a breath. Do something else. Have a vision of who you want to be and focus on the future.
- Get an accountability partner – hire a coach. Having someone to keep you accountable and support you is like gold – no more: it’s like a diamond and we all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
- Stay focussed – be patient with yourself. The person you have chosen to become is still emerging and the old you will want to test you every so often. With practice comes mastery.
And remember – you always get what you focus on so focus on what you want.
Love to hear your views.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering ad dancing in the breeze
Loneliness can be a curse and can easily happen to anyone, possibly more in today’s environment when people are so busy rushing hither and thither with work commitments, social commitments and no time for anyone.
It is a state of disconnect, a time when you feel quite sad and, if left to fester, loneliness can lead to depression. It can happen in the winter when people spend more time indoors, it can happen when a loved one has passes away or just goes away. Many women feel a sense of loneliness when their kids leave home and they find themselves without a purpose.
What do we do when we’re lonely? This is the real question.
Some people cling on to whomever they can. I see lots of women fulfilling this need, the need to be needed, by making themselves too available for babysitting and over-giving to their children like Sam and Sally.
Sam and Sally are in their 60s and drive a long distance to work in a factory just so they can give money to their children. While there is nothing wrong with giving money to your children, it is important to consider whose needs are being fulfilled. Sometimes by over-helping, the effect is to stifle the growth of the children and take away their drive to achieve their full potential and thus do them a dis-service. This is not unlike the person who helped a butterfly come out of its cacoon by peeling away the layers to free it. The butterfly needs to fight its way out of the cacoon so its wings are fully developed and it can fly and look beautiful.
Loneliness can also happen when a new partner comes on the scene and there is a rift between the parent and her children: she initially spends a lot of time with the new partner and the children suffer a disconnect, then something happens with the new partner and he’s gone, leaving the parent disconnected from everyone.
Loneliness can happen inside a relationship when each person becomes so involved in their own stuff they forget about the other person, they just don’t have the time to chat and really connect, they stop doing those little things that say “I love you”.
Loneliness is not being alone. There is a massive difference. Someone can live in the most crowded city on earth and still be lonely. Being alone, for some people, is a time when they re-charge their batteries, a time to be still and soak up the silence, a time to just be.
Loneliness is a destructive state of mind and can lead to depression and more: a time when people become disconnected and lose their sense of purpose. When this happens people do different things: some people become very needy and hang on to others, almost suffocating them and taking them over with the result they push away the very people with whom they want to connect. Some people behave in ways that put others off; they are needy in other ways like having to attract undue attention to themselves in a way that turns people away from them. This could be by having to be the first person to grab something, whether it be the front seat or a jar of jam, a piece of cake, they may insist on having to watch a particular program on the TV and when they don’t get their way, they throw a “wobbly” like a two year old. It could be they become pushy by having to grab an item at a sale while not really needing the item, they just need to be first, they may become an alcoholic and make a spectacle of themselves at a party, or perhaps an illicit drug is their preference.
Whatever they do, they are doing it to say “Hey, look at me, what about me”, just like Sarah. Now Sarah has a chronic illness and while she has certain needs that have to be met, she is a lonely old lady. One of the things she did was to ring people late at night on the phone just to talk with them. Some of these people were busy people who need their sleep and while they understood her need to connect, they really didn’t take too kindly to being disturbed at midnight.
Then there was Michelle who always has to talk very loudly, always has to know everyone’s private business and is totally focussed on Michelle. She will often demand to know something that is none of her business and will ask a question in a very loud voice when there are other people around putting the other person on the spot.
The actions lonely people take tend to push the very people who are important to them away and thus increase their loneliness.
One of my old neighbours was a really a really lovely person and a bit of a surrogate mum to a number of people however she was also very lonely. Her husband was a bit older than she was and had begun to show signs of dementia, her children had grown and were busy with their own lives and this lady just loved to chat. That’s fine; however, in her chatting she would unconsciously reveal other people’s private business – well if that doesn’t put you on guard!! Her actions were unconscious and while she meant well with her chat, she pushed people away. Sadly she has now gone totally within and sits in a chair with her in a nursing home just waiting for God.
We hear on the media how various types of dementia are on the increase. While some of this may be attributed to various causes such an environment, food additives, etc., loneliness and loss of purpose cannot be discounted.
Five Tips to Overcome Loneliness Right Now
- Join a club or organisation where you can meet like-minded people and enjoy various activities. The U3A (University of the Third Age) is one such organisation.
- Get Started and Get Active – this will get you out and about, increase your blood flow and oxygenate your brain. Activities could include a walking group. There are plenty around. Recently I was at a birthday party where the guest of honour said she was so glad she formed the group because she never dreamt she would have so many friends to celebrate with.
- Make the first move. Remember your friends. One of the strategies I do is to circulate round my friends and make a point of catching up at least once a year – birthdays are a good time. I subscribe to Birthday Alarm www.birthdayalarm.com and they send an email a couple of days before so I can either send a card and/or make a time for a lunch catch-up. This lets the other person know you are thinking of them and opens the door for the friendship to be enhanced
- Become a Volunteer. This is an excellent way of giving back to community and allows you the opportunity to give the most precious gift of all – your time.
Love to hear your views.
Time is the only thing we can never get back. We talk about spending time, wasting time, marking time, time management, killing time, doing time, saving time and juggling time, to name a few. Time is extremely precious.
In the Sunday paper last weekend there was a story about a lady with three sons and not long to live. She wanted to have whatever precious time she has left to spend with her family.
None of us knows when our time will be up – this is a lottery. My sister was only 57 when she passed away, leaving two gorgeous daughters. My dad is 93 and lives in an aged care facility. Sometimes I think he wishes his time had come and, yet he’s still with us and bides his time waiting for the football season to start up again.
When I was made redundant at 59 I celebrated – I felt the time had come for me to really enjoy the fruits of my labours. For over 40 years I spent time in the workforce with a paid job and now I wanted to use my time for study, to learn how I might be able to help others. I also spend my time making contribution of some of my time to community which I enjoy and pursing my recreational interests. In addition, I am able to spend some time with family and to visit them interstate.
A little while ago I was talking to this lady who told me she sets aside one hour a day to spend time with her little son before her daughter and husband come home.
Setting aside time for someone else is very special and in doing so it is really important to also be totally present in the moment, otherwise it is not quality time. How do you feel when you are having coffee with someone, their phone rings and they just have to answer it? Who does that leave you feeling?
A while ago I invited some people around to celebrate my husband’s birthday and while they were here some of them wanted to watch the television. If the television was so compelling they could have stayed at home. Those people were not present in the moment insofar as celebrating my husband’s birthday was concerned.
More recently there was an article in the paper about little kids acting out – it turns out mum was spending more time on the phone than being present in the moment with her kids and they were doing their best to get her attention.
How many people are on the phone while driving their cars? Time may be precious to them and so they choose to multi-skill by attending to business on the phone while driving the car – how present are they in the moment – the moment of driving the car and paying attention to what is happening along the way. I wonder how they feel should the unforgettable occur – where they cut someone else’s time short.
Time with a loved one is a necessary component for a lasting relationship too. While I know it’s easy to come home after a hard day at the office and just relax in front of the TV, that can quickly become a habit which could harm your relationship unless managed appropriately and set some time aside for your mate. This could be after the evening meal when the kids are in bed or it may be on Sunday morning. Some people like to go away for the weekend just to spend some quality time with each other and away from domestic distractions.
So who are you sharing some of your special time with and when you do, is it quality time?
If you find yourself running out of time and there’s just not enough time left at the end of the day, perhaps you might like to take a look at exactly how you’re spending that precious time.
Love to hear your views.
Being assertive is about expressing your feelings, thoughts or wishes and, at the same time, having respect for the other person. Being assertive is NOT about being aggressive.
So, let me ask you – do you consider yourself to be assertive? Or, are you just like many of us who, from time to time, give in too quickly just for a quiet life – after all, how many times do you have to say “No” before the other person gets the message? And then – at what cost? There is always a cost.
Lack of assertion is found everywhere – at work, at home, in business and more specifically, in our relationships. It can lead to our feeling the victim, meaning we have allowed the other person to call the shots. Sometimes this may serve us and/or the issue is not of sufficient importance for it to matter to us. What I am talking about is the times when it does matter to us and yet we still give in.
Some of us have been “trained” to be “nice”. When we were kids I remember mum telling my sister and me we should give in and let our brother have his way – because he was only little. What do you think that level of thinking could lead and at what cost?
The point is – where does it stop? Who gets to dictate when we give in and let the other person have his/her way – we do. More importantly – why?
The other day I was listening to an interview with a psychotherapist and marriage counsellor who expressed the view that many women didn’t believe they deserved to get their own way and many others were afraid of the anticipated loss and being left, resulting in immediate loneliness that followed – in other words, they, like most of us who allow ourselves to be compromised, settled for short-term gain with the inevitable long-term pain.
What do you do when you find yourself giving in too early and/or allowing yourself to be compromised?
It’s about being aware, after all there is a mind-body connection involved here. Just take the time to notice what happens to you. What happens at that moment of compromise, when you give in just for a quiet life?
I, for instance, used to find myself tensing up and then my protective shield would go up and a feeling of resentment would flood my total being. I internalised the negative emotion towards the other person and pushed them away. I would find myself straining to be “nice” to them and all the while through gritted teeth.
Interestingly, anger and resentment can lead to chronic disease, especially when you get really good at it and do it over a long period of time. That could be one of the costs I was talking about.
Now, what does that do for your relationship?
How could you handle a potential conflict so you served your relationship, enhanced it, made the bond between you stronger and everyone gets to win?
Love to hear your views.