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They Think Their Issue is Your Issue

clear interaction May 02, 2016

People have issues with you. Ironically, the more character you have, the more issues people likely have with you.

But never forget whose issues they are. It is their issue with you. And keep in mind, they really believe it is your issue.

Your choice is to take on other people's issues with you or let them have them.

Many people have a preconception and expectation of how you need to be. This is usually based on what role they believe you should take with them. People have unconscious contracts and expectations regarding how you need to be in relation to them.

Or, the way you are just may be threatening to them. Perhaps you are doing something outside their comfort zone.

The only way to clearly interact with others is to do what your heart calls you to do. And chances are your heart's call for action may conflict with their expectation.

So if you follow your heart, you will likely disappoint some people. They may even feel betrayed. But whose life is it, anyway?

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Clear Advice

clear interaction Oct 23, 2013

Family, friends, parents, and colleagues tend to give advice or suggestions to the people that they care about. However, most offer advice based on what they would do if they were in that person’s situation.

The problem is they are not that person. What is good for them may not be good for the person they are giving the advice to. The advisee has his own life path, values, and dreams that are likely quite different from the adviser.

So if you want to give clear advice, first consider who the person is that you are giving the advice to. What is important to him? What is the trajectory of his life path? What is right for him? What does he want?

In order to do this, you have to put your own values, beliefs, and personality aside for a moment and consider the person you are advising. It is asking, “Who is this person?”

And, “What is he wanting or needing to experience in this situation?” Then you can offer information, ideas, and resources that act as...

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Keep Inviting People

clear interaction Feb 15, 2013

People do not like being told what to do. Yet we want to share things with them. Why not invite them? An invitation is one of the clearest and powerful ways to lead and interact with other human beings.

Invitation works really well if you tell them what you are going to do and then invite them to join you. For example, “I am going to the free concert in the park tomorrow, would you like to join me?”

While this seems very simple, it keeps things incredibly clear. It first lets them know where you stand and what you are going to do, and secondly, invites them to be a part of it.

It transforms an interaction that could be perceived as controlling into an invitation. It also takes the confusion and indecisiveness out of the interaction. So you’re not asking each other, “What do you want to do?  I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

There is just not a lot the invitee can do to make this anything but a clear and positive experience....

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Don't Get Shifted

clear interaction May 22, 2012

You come back from lunch and your coworker is going through your desk. You walk over and ask him what he's doing.

“Oh, our committee needed those color dry erase markers that you have for our presentation. Since you are at lunch, I figured you wouldn't mind if I borrowed them."

You feel violated and respond,  "Actually I do mind. Please never go through my desk again. If you need to borrow something, just ask me.”

He says, "Really? I thought we were beyond that,” and walks away hurt and dejected. You feel bad. You just got shifted.

Shifting the blame is when someone violates or hurts you and then shifts the blame back to you. My question is, “Who violated who?" Almost all sexual abuse and domestic violence employs blame-shifting.

My made-up example may seem obvious, but when it catches you off guard in the moment and is perpetrated by a skilled shifter, it can be difficult to detect.

Your coworker asks you to stop by her desk and tell her...

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Who Are You Protecting?

clear interaction Feb 02, 2011

Who is threatened by your success? Who gets scared when you let yourself shine? Do you crawl back in your box when you see the frightened look on their face?

Intellectually, we know that we are not doing anyone any favors by protecting them. Holding yourself back for another person to feel safe is obviously not good for either person. You need to break free, and they need to be pushed out of their comfort zone.

So why do we keep protecting other people? It is an emotional issue that goes deep. The primary charge likely occurred in childhood- typically from an insecure parent being threatened by the beauty of your being.

When you were young, you needed the acceptance of your parent(s) for survival. The risk of being awesome and beautiful was too high.

So you molded yourself into something that was palatable for your parent(s) and the rest of your family. You learned to fit in. You learned to not rock the boat.

But you are not a child anymore. You are not reliant on your parent for...

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Folding Over the Envelope

clear interaction Jun 06, 2010

You can walk through life open or shut down. So how can you stay open and vulnerable without being taken advantage of or setting yourself up for the slaughter?

The best skill I have come across for this was taught to me by Bart Anderson. He called it "folding over the envelope".

We tend to view our relationships as "all or nothing". We tend to share every part of ourselves or no part at all.

Folding over the envelope starts with walking open and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

When someone betrays you or demonstrates a lack of integrity, you simply "fold-over" that part of your relationship. All the other aspects of your relationship can remain open.

Say you lend someone $20. It is agreed that he will pay you back next Friday when he gets paid. Friday comes and goes and you hear nothing from him. He never pays you back.

A few months later he asks to borrow money again. You respond, "Sorry but that aspect of our relationship is no longer available to you."

But... this...

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Trust People to Be Who They Are

clear interaction Oct 30, 2009

We are determined to change people. We want people to be who we think they should be. We want people to be who we need them to be.

It doesn't seem to matter to us if it is something that they want to be. It doesn't even seem to matter if it is something they are able to be.

Yet when they turn out to not be who we needed them to be, we feel hurt and betrayed. We are disappointed over and over again.

What if we trusted people to be who they are?

We if we discovered who they are? If we went beyond our preconceptions and who we needed them to be, and honestly looked at who they are? Then, we did not count on them changing.

Rather we asked ourselves is this someone (the way they are) that I want to interact with. Then is this person (the way they are) someone I can count on? Is this someone (the way they are) that I want to spend time with my kids. They either are, or they're not.

We might even want to test them. We might share something personal about ourselves and watch what they...

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