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The little lies we tell

If you have a problem with “Tell the truth, even if it hurts”, then know that what you’re essentially saying is that it’s okay for people to lie to you, as long as the lie appeals to your ego and sense of worth.

If you want to build a relationship based on false beliefs and miscommunication, then lying to a person because it makes them feel better — or makes you feel better about yourself — is an excellent way to accomplish this.

Not only is this not an open or honest way to communicate, it is one of the reasons why so many friendships and marriages fail. Because rather than truly address and resolve issues, friends or couples choose to cover them up with “little white lies.”

Originally published January 16, 2014

Silent support isn’t supportive

  • “I liked that shop, it’s too bad they closed.”
  • “That was a great website, I wonder why it went offline.”
  • “I really like that artist, I wonder why they don’t make art anymore.”

Silent support isn’t supportive.

Support can be anything from kind words & encouragement, positive feedback, to patronage & purchases. If you like or appreciate something, take the time to express it.

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The value in difficult people

 

In the same way that the hardest lessons we learn in life are often the most valuable, so, too, are the difficult people we meet along the way.

Even the unfriendliest and most challenging person we cross paths with has something of value to teach us about ourselves.

Sometimes we need to learn patience. Sometimes it’s self-discipline. Sometimes it’s to not let other people have so much control over our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Whatever it may be, the people we find particularly challenging are valuable because they can instantly highlight weaknesses in our self-control. They can trigger us to think, act, or behave in such a way that isn’t congruent with the type of person we want to be.

But every experience we have in life — whether we choose to label it as “good” or “bad” — is an opportunity for growth. And every encounter we have with difficult people provides us with an opportunity to identify the things we need to work on in order to close the gaps between the person we are and the person we want to be.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Victor Frankl

A key to surviving experiences with difficult people — without being brought to the brink of behaving badly — is to remember that we may not always know what to do, but we can always choose the type of person we want to be.

And, with practice, we can choose to refuse to let others cause us to act in a way that is in direct conflict with the person we picture ourselves as.

And we can create the frame of mind necessary to do this by choosing to see the value in the negative people we encounter in life by actively using our experiences with them in such a way that we become not bitter, but better.

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Originally Published on: Jul 14, 2015 @ 06:42

Resist the urge to always explain yourself

The fact is – for any number of reasons that are often beyond our control – people don’t always see us in the same way we see ourselves.

While it’s natural to care about how you are perceived, it is an exercise in futility to try to explain yourself or justify your actions to everyone who doesn’t get you. Not only is this often a waste of time, it will likely make you seem insecure on top of everything else.

People will often draw conclusions about others based on what they imagine or guess to be true rather than what actually is. They may even presume to know what motivates a person or declare with confidence that they know why that person took a specific course of action. When, in fact, these conclusions can paint a picture that doesn’t at all reflect reality. And that’s OK.

It is perfectly acceptable to ignore the fact that other people have the wrong impression of you. Because, with few exceptions, what other people think about you will have absolutely no impact on your life unless you choose to let it.

When you truly know who you are, it won’t matter so much that other people don’t. What matters is focusing on who you want to be and what you wish to accomplish with your life regardless of those who don’t get you, what you’re doing, or what you wish to do.

It is not your job

If someone who doesn’t know you has an inaccurate perception of who you are, it is not your job to correct them.

In some situations, explaining yourself may be helpful, but the occasions when people who could not care less about you make misinformed, misguided, or snap judgements about you are rarely those times.

Lifeguarding

Every lifeguard is trained to understand that the deceptive thing about drowning is that it doesn’t look like what most people imagine. The same thing often applies to depression.

Just because a person isn’t flailing their arms in the water doesn’t mean they’re not drowning. And just because a person smiles doesn’t mean they’re not battling depression.

Accept yourself

No one cares about your insecurities & imperfections more than you do. The more that you accept & become comfortable with yourself – as you are – the less others will notice or care about the things that once seemed like such a big deal to you.

Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence

Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence.

If someone has done or is doing something that you appreciate, respect, or admire, take the time to acknowledge it in a meaningful way. It is an extremely easy and effective action that amplifies good feelings & positivity and helps to ensure that the things you appreciate continue.

Lessons Learned from The Path Less Traveled by Zero Dean

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Lessons Learned from The Path Less Traveled by Zero Dean

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