Author / Patty Adams

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Why Can’t You Apologize: Book Review, Part 2

Hello Lovelies,

Yesterday’s blog post got quite a reaction from folks. Thank you all for  your lovely emails and notes. Yes I apologized to my acquaintance,  yes it was accepted and in time  healing (whatever that looks like) will emerge. For me the beauty of the apology was that it freed me to see things very differently and let go. I’m calling it a success!

Today as promised, I want to share another piece of  Harriet Lerner’s book, Why Can’t You Apologize? that struck a cord with me.  That piece surrounds that crazy feeling we as men and women have when someone just won’t apologize no matter what. It’s almost as if it is in their DNA and it can drive one crazy.

This is where Lerner’s wise counsel shines through. She reminds us:

“People’s sense of self-worth is pivotal to their ability to look clearly at the hurt they’ve caused. The more solid one’s sense of self-regard, the more likely that that person can feel empathy and compassion for the hurt party, and apologize from an authentic center”.

And this:

“No individual will feel accountable and genuinely remorseful-no matter how well you communicate-if doing so threatens to define him or her in an unacceptable or intolerable way. The other person’s willingness to own  up to harmful deeds has nothing to do with how much she or he does or doesn’t love you.”

Lerner goes onto remind us that the capacity to take responsibility, feel empathy and remorse , and offer a meaningful apology is related to how much self-love and self-respect that particular person has available. And we can’t give it to another person; they can only claim that themselves.

Powerful, right? It’s so easy to take it on, second guess ourselves,  and think it’s all about us. It’s so easy to beat ourselves and the other person up. But instead, it’s a lot more helpful to remember that it’s really about a person’s own self-love and self-respect. If on some level a person can’t apologize for their actions,  Lerner reminds us that it may be their shame taking over as a coping mechanism.

So what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear.

Business & Life Change Fashion, Career, Business & Life Forgiveness Inspiration

Why Can’t You Apologize? A Book Review, Part 1

Dear Readers,

I have been reading the most amazing new book by esteemed author Harriet Lerner (who wrote  amidst others,  best sellers The Dance of Anger, The Dance of Intimacy) entitled ,

Why Won’t You Apologize: Healing Big Betrayals and Every Day Hurts. 

Can I just say the book was everything I hoped for and also way more?

As one might expect the book walks the reader through what is a true vs psuedo (i.e. in current pop cultue the “fake apology”), all the ways we humans frequently ruin an apology, relationship -busting apologies, etc  and much, much more.

There were three important things that I learned in this book. The first of which I will share today: I needed to lovingly apologize to someone important to me.

On some level, I probably bought the book thinking it would validate my thinking:  how that person owed me an apology and how they screwed up a conversation.  Instead what happened was this: I realized how wrong and inconsiderate I had been, how I owed that person an apology and how I screwed our conversation up. Not one of the lessons of what I was expecting but that’s in part why I loved the book so much. It lovingly and respectfully changed my thinking.  Talk about the proverbial “aha moment”, making it well worth the purchase.

So with the wise counsel of the book and with great care, I  unequivocally apologized. No excuses. No “I am sorry that you feel that way” nonsense. No, “I am sorry ; it happened because I was doing/thinking/believing this nonsense. Just a heartfelt unequivocal apology. I have no idea how that will all shake out and I won’t pressure this person to forgive me but darn if it doesn’t feel like a big personal growth spurt at the age of 57.

Further it’s a great reminder that if we continue to work on our scars, bumps and lumps, we are never stuck.

With Love,

Patty

Ps. This is not a sponsored post. Should you be interested, you can find the book on Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/Why-Wont-You-Apologize-Betrayals-ebook/dp/B01CO349DY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491302717&sr=8-1&keywords=why+can%27t+you+apologize:

 

Fashion, Career, Business & Life

Happy International Woman’s Day

Happy International Woman’s Day!

Today’s a day filled with protests, shopping boycotts and the like. I get it. These are strange times and in some ways things seem to be returning to dark ages. Sheesh, all I can think of is, how did we get here?

As I’m working hard not to be discouraged by the constant acrimony that is out there,  today I’m celebrating International Woman’s Day in the following way:

  • being mindful of the many wonderful women and grandchildren of all ages  who have graced my life;
  • being mindful of how lucky I am to have these amazing woman in my life; and
  • telling these beautiful women how lucky I am to have them surround me in good times and in bad and making sure they know that I am always there for them;
  • being mindful that, as the Sioux Indians remind us life is both giving and receiving.

The picture here (an oldie) is one of my amazing step-mom who even after my Dad’s death remains an incredibly important woman in my life. She has been there for me through thick and thin and do I ever feel blessed.

I wish you a heart-filled day celebrating all the wonderful women in your life.

Much love,

Patty

 

 

The Bystander Effect, in which the likelihood of someone responding to a situation decreases as the number of people witnessing the situation increases.
Business Business & Life Career Career and Business Change Fashion, Career, Business & Life Inspiration Wellness

Will You Standby Or Will You Act? The ByStander Effect

Hello Dear Readers,

 

I hope this finds you well.  It’s been a bit quiet on this front and here’s why.

Recently I was confronted with a very serious ethical matter necessitating that I take action. This action has cost me thousands of dollars in legal fees,  loss of what I thought were authentic colleagues , etc.

What has struck me is people’s reactions and comments to the situation. Those reactions/comments have included everything from:

  • Just ignore it
  • What are you trying to get out of it
  • Run
  • Keep me out of it
  • Not your/my problem
  • Oh well
  • I’m staying for the check
  • Pretend it never happened
  • Just sue , get paid a bunch of money, shut up about it and move on.

As those of you with a conscience might imagine, I’ve been rather shocked by the above reactions. Like you, I’m not wired that way.

Curious as to the above cowardice, I did  a little digging and uncovered a rather disturbing phenomena called,

“THE BYSTANDER EFFECT”

The Bystander Effect is explained well here by Dr. Lenhert :

In social psychology there is a concept called the Bystander Effect, in which the likelihood of someone responding to a situation decreases as the number of people witnessing the situation increases.

This diffusion of responsibility that happens when more than one person witnesses the same injustice on the one hand is somewhat understandable (people seem to think someone else will deal with the problem, or if others are not reacting they shouldn’t either) but at the same time baffling and disturbing.  It seems counterintuitive to think the more people are available to help another human being when they need it, the less likely that person is to actually be helped.

Rather disturbing right?  But think about it. We see this bystander effect often in sexual harassment cases, college sexual assault investigations, politics and countless other situations.

How sad it is that others avoid personal responsibility and look to others to right a wrong. Where is the sense of personal and societal responsibility? How does one live with oneself? Is a title/paycheck really worth one’s integrity or reputation?

So inspired in large part by my lunch with Gretchen Carlson (formerly of Fox News), I’ve decided to do something brave, true and hard. It’s not popular and several others (with the exception of one)  have chosen to turn the other way and predictably, shoot the messenger.   I’m actually quite sad for them as I don’t believe this will end well for any of them.

But you know what?  I am “putting my right shoes on” and pressing on.  I’m not going to be bullied out of  doing the right thing.  Doing the right thing is more important than money to me.  I’ve chosen not to stand by and let others be duped, careers and  reputations be destroyed or worse.  I will speak the truth.  My silence can’t be bought.  (Surprising coming out of a lawyer -eh?)  Stay tuned.

As I watch the marches and the protests across our great nation, I am encouraged that others are getting “their right shoes on” and are no longer willing to be bystanders either.

Will you stand up for what is right and true in your profession and/or life or will you be a “bystander” too?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

You're in a rut, stuck, feeling discouraged. Like you've lost your power. We've all been there, right? When you're in this place, what do you do?
Business Career Career/Job Related Blogs Change Fashion, Career, Business & Life Inspiration Inspirational Themed Blogs Jobs Life Networking Personal Growth Recruiter Relationship Related Blogs

5 Steps To Taking Your Power Back

You’re in a rut, stuck, feeling discouraged. Maybe even numb or fearful. We’ve all been there, right? I know I have. Last spring I had the worst writer’s block and couldn’t find my way out.  It was awful!

When you’re in this place, what do you do?

Plain and simple-you’ve got to take your power back. Whatever’s haunting you, scaring you, keeping you stuck… you’ve got to face it head and grab your power.  But exactly how do you do that?

FIVE STEPS TO TAKING YOUR POWER BACK

 

  1. Make A Decision: Sounds cheeky, right? Well, hang on and don’t skip this part. Remember that the situation remains in your life  until you decide to make a difference. That’s the thing that most people miss. The real power is in the decision folks. Sure, what you decide is important in the long run but it’s the decision itself that gets you unstuck.
  2. Put your Support Team in Place: Yes, yes, yes, this sounds all touchy-feely but take me at my word and just do it. Whether you call it your “squad”,  advisory board, circle of mentors, lawyers or your book club, make them aware of your decision and ask them to hold you accountable to that decision. Life inevitably throws us curves; our responsibility is to plan in advance for them and a support team helps us do them.
  3. Write your ideal scenario:  Often times when we feel stuck in our job, circumstance,  relationship, we can’t see the forest through the trees. When this happens to me, I feel like I’m in quick-sand and every step is a total slog. I’ve found the best way out of that gunk is to write my perfect scenario of the situation.
  4. Ask yourself the following:

How do I want it to look?

 What are the baby steps I might need to take in the future to get there?

 How do I want to feel in this scenario?

(For me, this last question is the most important.)

You will find that for the above to work authentically, you must give these questions rigorous thought and real work. Go deep and then write it down.

    4.  Find The Authentic Thought Leaders: Once you’ve written your ideal scenario, then it’s time to look outside of yourself. Who are the thought leaders on this issue? Who’s doing it differently, how are they doing it and why? Do they act out of integrity or are they a fraud? How can you work their ideas into your ideal scenario? Some of my thought leaders I turn to are:

Elon Musk: Innovator of all Innovators

Founder of Medtronic, Philanthropist, Authentic Leader: Bill George

Gretchen Carlson

Sarah Young: Author & Inspirational Writer

5. Harness The Power of LinkedIn: People ask me all the time, what’s the best online venue to network or get new ideas. Yes, I’m a Twitter junkie for news but LinkedIn is my go to. Despite its lousy customer service, LinkedIn’s power and reach never fail me. Take a class and learn how to really use it to your advantage.

As so many of us struggle with this, I’ll be writing more on this topic in the future.

So I ask you, what do you do to take your power back? What’s worked and what hasn’t? Let’s help each other, shall we?

xo,

Patty

The Year of the Purge - Part 2: Let me be clear: I am only purging those who have behaved in such dysfunctional/non-productive ways and have made no attempt to clear the air or apologize. And mostly, I am purging "stuff" that no longer serves me.
Clothes Inspiration Spirituality Stress Wellness

2017: Year Of The Purge: Part 2

Hello! Wow, did last week’s  blog post on 2017 purging ever strike a chord. It seems  that I am not the only one that needs to purge things and people from my life!

Interestingly, I received all sorts of emails from folks asking me not to purge them. Oh sheesh, no worries there!

Let me be clear: I am only purging those who have behaved in such dysfunctional/non-productive ways and have made no attempt to clear the air or apologize. And mostly, I am purging “stuff” that no longer serves me.

I also received many more emails and messages and folks who were of the same mindset. Maybe this nasty election did us all in. The acrimony was beyond!

In any event, one of the questions that I’ve repeatedly gotten  from readers is this:

How do you get rid of stuff so easily?”

Well for one I’ve moved alot which makes it easy. But mostly I adopt the following question:

“Do I really,  really love it?”

If the answer is no, it’s donated, consigned to my favorite consignment store, To Be Continued, or give it to someone I love.

I ignore the silly “rules” about whether I’ve worn it or not in the last year. I have things in my closet that I haven’t worn in over a year but because I love them so much, know that I will wear them again.

So I’m curious, what works for you when you need to purge stuff?

With love,

Patty Comeford Adams, JD

 

Have you been making assumptions without facts? Here's why that spells trouble.
Forgiveness Inspiration Kindness Life relationships Self Help Wellness

Making Assumptions Without Facts? Think Again.

Assumptions are very dangerous things, especially in our personal lives. Assumptions get people in trouble daily and when combined with misinformation,  are frankly downright disrespectful. They manifest as accusations, unkind words and often gossip.

Think I am alone in that belief? Not so much. author don Miguel Ruiz, in his well-regarded best seller puts it this way:

“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
― Miguel RuizThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

And this:

The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth! We invent a whole story that’s only truth for us, but we believe it. One assumption leads to another assumption; we jump to conclusions, and we take our story very personally. Then we blame others and react by sending emotional poison with our word. (Emphasis added).

That said, I recognize everyone has a bad day, a bad week and forgiveness is often in order. But perhaps the next time you are tempted to make assumptions, you might want to communicate, ask questions if appropriate, apologize and promise to do better the next time.

ps…This post in no way was inspired by family members near or far. xo

With love,

Patty Comeford Adams

CEO, YOURENEVERSTUCK.COM

I'm officially declaring the 2017 the year of the PERSONAL PURGE. Want to join me? Read on.
Change Inspiration Kindness Life Self Care Self Help Stuck Success

2017 : THE YEAR OF THE PURGE

Hello Lovelies~

I’m officially declaring the 2017 the year of the PERSONAL PURGE. Want to join me?  Read on.

Early last summer, while we were in Jackson Hole,  I came to the painful realization that certain people I had in my personal life were either ripping me off, not reciprocating, causing trouble in close relationships, not doing their job, treating those I love with disrespect, or gossiping etc etc. Ouch, right?

Some of these are people were people I loved and cared for immensely, entertained in my home, did work for me or ones I mistakenly considered friends. Double ouch.

But as the old saying goes, “Once shame on you. Twice shame on me”. So shame on them and shame on me -but no more!

So with that wisdom, here is some straight talk on what I am purging in 2017:

 

  1. Personal One-sided Relationships:

    If I have shown up for you and you don’t bother to show up for me and I have expressed that concern and you did nothing. Then sorry— our friendship is probably doomed.  Friendships mean the world  to me. My women friends have saved me over and over again whether it be the loss of my parents, moving, sale of a business or what-not. I take them seriously. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but what I do know is this: I am a fiercely loyal friend, I show up for you. Also, I straight talk with you and expect you to straight talk with me.

  2. Gossip-mongers: 

    If you spend connecting with people by gossiping about them, it’s pretty simple. I am sad for you. And I am purging you.

  3. Victims: 

    If you run around to acquaintances/friends/business associates playing the victim, all I can say is this: Everyone knows what you are up to and nobody respects you. I spoke my truth recently to  a man who has left his wife in the lurch. His response was to be a victim and blame it all on her. Quite telling, mais oui?

  4. Takers: 

    Related to #1, if all you do is take from me and my family (money, our possessions, our time) and don’t give back to the world or others, you are gone. As the Judge that I worked for all through law school used to say, “Patty, you don’t have to be smart to be a criminal”. Enough said.

  5. Abusers: 

    If you mess with my family, people I love and care about, my authentic friends, you too are gone.

  6. Clothes and More Clothes:  

    I have purged my closet to its core. Truth be told, much of this was the result of losing 20 pounds (10 0f which are back) when I was so sick this summer but does it ever feel good to get rid of stuff !   Getting rid of stuff  is often painful for all of us.  In this case it wasn’t because I donated much of it to my dear blogger/friend/social worker extraordinaire Susan Kanoff Andrews and her amazing blog and new and widely popular charity, Uncommon Threads.

But the real magic in all of this is that one I purged the above, wonderful things happened. A new home. New loving friendships. New possibilities. All of this purging is so liberating. I feel so very free and have so much more time for those I love and love me.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

 

A big thank you to Jeanne Comeford,  Cathy Comeford, my husband, Jessica Adams, Jocelyn Vodnick, Carolyn Brown,  Tonia Maloney, Kelly Richardson,  Rebecca Bond, bff Patty Hamm (pictured above), book maven Andrea Katz @grtthoughts, and Twitter sweetheart Sharon Antonio. Last but not least, a thank you to my adorable granddaughters and grandsons who give me strength and hope every day. No, I’m not your biological grandma but I sure am blessed to have you in my life and I love you to the moon and back. xoxo.

My meeting with Gretchen Carlson - You're Never Stuck
Business & Life

The Most Interesting Lunch of My Career

Hello Lovelies~

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! 

I hope your holidays were as fabulous as you are and most importantly you were able to grab some quiet time for reflection and “white space”.

Mine was a hectic one with an unexpected move (a flood), business travel,   great family time and all sorts of other wonderful chaos but guess what? As always, the good Lord helped me through it all and had my back big time.

Nonetheless 2016 went out with a bang. I attribute that to the most interesting business lunch of my entire professional life.

WHO IT  WAS WITH:

I had lunch with Gretchen Carlson. Yes, you read that right. As part of a recruiting initiative, I flew to New York and had lunch with Gretchen Carlson, the uber talented, former Fox News Anchor who stood up to  the infamous Roger Ailes and entire the Fox News machine.

If you follow me on Twitter @Instagram @youreneverstuck, you probably saw many of my followers asking how we met.

HOW WE MET:

Gretchen and I, both former Minnesotans and fellow authors began a relationship on  Twitter about eight months ago. Like most relationships, it grew from there. So on a freezing cold New York day, I flew to New York and we met “in real life” (IRL) for lunch.

Gretchen was humble and gracious without a bitter bone in her body.  She is role model, shining light for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and women everywhere.

My meeting with Gretchen Carlson - You're Never Stuck
CLICK TO FOLLOW GRETCHEN ON TWITTER

 

Please join me in following her on Twitter @GretchenCarlson, watching her return to the airwaves The Today Show at NBC, and reading her soon to be published book. 

Fashion, Career, Business & Life

Learnings on Grief

Hello Readers! I’m so sorry it’s been so darn long. Life is never a dull moment around here~a good thing!   Lots and lots of change and blessings in my life (all of it exciting which I will share in a new post shortly) but today, I wanted to share some of my own learnings on grief.

As many of you know our family has sustained some significant lossesl and thus significant grief, over the last 5+ years. My (now) husband lost his amazing wife of 42 years in a car crash and he almost didn’t survive himself. We lost our “remarkable-in every -way” 43 year old  daughter-in-law to metastatic breast cancer and  our 45 year old former son-in-law out of the blue.  We lost our  28 year-old nephew to diabetes and we lost our over-photographed rescue dog, #theColonel, totally unexpectedly. We’ve watched our children and grandchildren loose pets and dreams. Grief has been handed to all of us here in the Adams family in over abundance.

Here’s where I found myself: I was  a new wife ( now a wife of  a whole 3 years) , a new “step-mom” (my husband’s 6 children are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s so it’s more about being Dad’s wife) to children suffering grief, a new grandmother to 13 beautiful grandchildren (Did I mention that they call me PattyCakes?) and bam!, the above happened. Needless to say,  I was woefully ill- prepared.

So today I share some of my learnings and my mis-steps here with you. If they resonate great and if not, as usual go on and toss them

1. Some families/children handle grief privately not on social media. They may want and need privacy, not Facebook posts. I’ve been guilty of this one myself, have rethought that and changed my Facebook ways. Think about it, if you lost a parent/spouse would you want to be unexpectedly jolted by a Facebook post? I’m not in anyway saying not to share memories , pay tributes on birthdays, etc. That’s totally appropriate and appreciated. But before posting, think and be wise.

Learning:  Put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic. 

      2.  Most children don’t want to be called their “father or mother’s daughter”.  They want to be and are their own person. They may be even hurt by such well-meaning but unhelpful comments. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love their Dad and Mom.  They merely want to be recognized as their own person. Totally understandable, right?

Learning: Choose your well-intended words wisely.

      3.  Each person/child grieves differently based on their relationship with their parent/sibling/spouse. Assumptions should not be made. That doesn’t mean that they don’t love the heck of out their Dad, Mom, sibling or former spouse.

Learning: Give everyone some breathing room.

        4.  Not everyone wants to talk about it. If they don’t, don’t take offense. It typically means that their grief may have subsided and/or they prefer to talk to their friends or counsellors.  When they do talk, I can assure that  it will break your heart into a million pieces. It will also warm your heart and you will be bursting with pride. You will know that their Dad/Mom wherever they are, are immensely proud of them at that very moment.

Learning: Let them come to you.

5.  I’m Christian and one of the things that drives me crazy is when faith-based folks of any kind tell kids “It happened for a reason”. I know you mean well.  Please don’t do that to grieving children or adults. It’s insensitive and gives Christianity and other faiths a bad name.

And atheists/agnostics/whatever, you are in the hot-seat here too!   Just because a sibling/parent was an agnostic or whatever, don’t you assume/profess that to children either. It’s equally as bad! Again, let them be their own person.

Learning: Don’t foist your faith or non-faith beliefs on grieving children.

I know you’ve sustained many great losses yourself. My heart goes out to you. I’m curious what learnings you’ve learned around loss and particularly watching children grieve. I hope you’ll share with our readers below so that we all may continue to learn and grow.

With Love,

Patty

Ps. When I post topics on family, my husband always reads them before-hand. I want to get the tone and content right. This is another way I try to foster empathy 🙂

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