Sunday, February 21, 2010

Random Q and A with Jaie

Q.  How do you “not engage” with someone attempting to smear your good name?
A.  Well, for starters, people are entitled to their own opinions and it really isn’t your job to get out there and make sure people only think positive of you.  Next, it takes a lot and I mean a LOT of your energy playing tit for tat in name calling matches.  If you really think about how you feel when you’re doing it, you’ll really find it feels awful.  It’s bad enough someone else is immature and resorting to name calling and character assassination but adding to that by fighting back just reduces you to their level.  So, I’m not saying its easy not to engage but like my father always told me, “Sometimes you have to be the bigger man and walk away.”  Not to end it there…more food for thought, if someone else has resorted to name calling and smear campaigns on line, think about how much pain and misery they must really be in (despite appearances).  Do you really want to add to that?  Be careful with your answer.  You don’t need to add insult to injury.  If people need to believe in that drama, that’s their problem.  If you feel a statement is such that you must “clear your name,” address the facts and only the facts and don’t get emotionally involved in tearing apart the perpetrator.

Q. How can you hold a space of positive thinking when everyone around you is so negative and causing pain for you?
A.  The simple answer—Set Boundaries and hold them firmly.  Sometimes we can’t help having toxic people in our lives.  They can be family or friends and even co-workers.  But, people will only do to you what you allow them to do.  Set boundaries, tell them what you will and will not tolerate and if they refuse to respect your boundaries, either you need to leave or you need to ask them to leave.  I once had a  very toxic loved one in my home.  I was trying to help this family member because they asked.  However, when they got into my home, they decided they were going to manipulate and force me into taking care of them when they were capable at some level of making better choices and helping themselves.  In a short time, the sanctuary that was my home became a toxic miserable environment that affected all the other members of my family.  I spoke to this person and set clear boundaries.  This person trampled them.  So, I asked them to leave and not return until they could respect the boundaries set.  That was not easy and this person made it incredibly difficult but enabling their bad behavior was not an option, it was a high-price I was unable and mostly, unwilling to pay.

Q.  My boyfriend is always busy, never spends any time with me and despite continually discussing this with him, this never changes or only changes temporarily.  What do I do?
A.  Well, first of all, you need to let your boyfriend be who he is.  If he is unwilling to make more time for you, any guilt or manipulation you throw at him to force him to comply and love you on your terms isn’t really going to mean as much as if he did it on his own, right?  So, stop trying to change who he is and decide what it is that you really want to do that does not involve forcing him to change.  Can you accept him for who he is?  Can you find your own hobbies to engage in?  Is there a reason, that you have validated with him, that causes him to put everyone else first?  Are you just insecure in the relationship?  Maybe he’s not close enough to the type of man you really need.  So, forcing him to change to meet your ideal is wrong and won’t work.  You have decisions to make and discussions to have.  Be open, be honest and decide what is right for you even if that means letting go.  You see, we do not have the power to change other people and do not have the right to manipulate them.  However, we do have the right and the power to adjust and change the way we react and respond to situations.

Q.  My boyfriend drinks a lot.  I love him so much and can’t imagine not having him in my life but I cannot deal with the alcoholism.  He says horrible things whenever  he drinks and he must drink until drunk every time. What can I do?
A.  Well, what you do depends on how educated you are willing to become concerning alcoholism.  Rule number one, it’s not your job to make excuses for, fix or remedy any consequences for your boyfriend’s alcoholism.  If you are doing any of these things or other classic characteristics of a co-dependent (doing things to feel needed) you should stop, get yourself into Al-Anon and understand alcoholism.  Al-Anon has an online website where you can download pamphlets and order books.  I suggest you do get educated, that you stop any enabling behavior and that you realize, the alcoholism is not about you, it’s about your boyfriend.  You must set boundaries and be really clear about what you’re willing to deal with and what you aren’t willing to deal with and do not waiver.

Q.  I was up for a promotion and someone else got it.  I’m so angry that this other person got the job and I didn’t.  I feel horrible because I know I was qualified and more so than the other candidate.  I’m angry and I feel bad, what can I do?
A.  Realize first and foremost that it just wasn’t the right job for you.  It’s possible you didn’t interview well but making a mistake isn’t a huge problem.  Think over your interview, what might you  have said differently to demonstrate you matched the job?  Perhaps you can do some more homework prior to the next interview…practice interviewing with a friend.  Just don’t take the fact that someone else got the job as a personal rejection.  It’s not personal.  As the Desiderata poem reads, in essence, there will always be those with skills greater and lesser than you…that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that you are better than anyone else.  If you lack skills, get out there and attain those skills.  Don’t use a job rejection as a personal “you rejection” because that just means you are beating yourself up for being you and you deserve better than that.  The right job match will come along if you are open for it and willing to do the homework to get it.

Q.  I can’t ever seem to say no.  As a result, I end up doing things for everyone else with no time for me.  When I say no, I feel guilty and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  What can I do?
A.  There is nothing wrong with helping out friends and family.  However, if it comes to a point where they are pushing more and more of their life loads onto you to carry, that isn’t right.  It’s not right of them to ask and its not right of you to step in and rescue them.  So, start rescuing yourself.  Start small.  Find a small insignificant thing to say no to.  You don’t have to give an excuse, just simply say, I’m sorry –I’m not going to be able to do that as I have other plans.  Leave it at that.   If you continually say yes because you feel good being needed and depended upon, work on finding something that makes you feel good that does not involve being needed by others.  Work on feeling good just existing with no outside influence.  Guilt is a useless emotion--don't give into those feelings for not doing things that others should do for themselves.

Q.  I’ve been single for a long time.  I just know I’m going to be single forever.  What can I do?  I’ve tried everything to meet someone else and nothing is happening.  I’m so discouraged.
A.  Within the question lies your answer.  With so much focus on what you lack and being alone coupled with feeling bad about it, you are emphasizing to the universe “alone” and attaching a strong emotion to it.  I suggest to you that you think more positive and attach to your positive thoughts happy emotion and more faith that the love of your life is, in fact, coming your way as soon as they take care of their own business.  At the same time, put yourself out there where you can meet people.  Join a club, go to parks, the beach, coffee shops and other places where people congregate.  Hold in your mind a positive view of the significant other you want…imagine her and her qualities and smile every time you think of that image…feel good about the possibility of joining hearts with someone truly wonderful and pick up a hobby or two in the mean-time.  You’ll be in a more positive frame diverting any chance for negative thoughts into something more creative.  What you think about and give emotional emphasis to, you most definitely attract.  So, make better use of your thoughts.

Each of the above Q and A’s above represents a perspective with an answer that involves only changing your point of view.  It’s not rocket science and only takes a small effort to change your perspective.  Everything depends on your motivation and how you look at your situation.  Also involved is your own inner fears and filters built from your own experience.  If the response you are getting to life is the same every time and you have become frustrated by that, stop doing the same things you’ve always done and start doing things differently.  Try a positive approach, get yourself educated and ready/willing to accept in life what it is you truly want.  See outcomes in terms of what you can control (namely - only you and your thoughts---be really clear about that) and put your energy and focus there.  You cannot control others and that’s really not your job anyway.  Your job is to find happiness and serenity or even love in a chaotic world.  You need to think positive if you want to really get there and you need to do things differently.  Take baby steps if you have to but take steps.  It’s worth it.  You’re worth it.  Many blessings to you!

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