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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:

 

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.

Reinventing Yourself
Inspiration

Reinventing Yourself

Reinventing oneself is something that is pondered at least once in every lifetime. With comparison everywhere, it’s often difficult to not consider what you should or could be. But is that really the reason you want to create a new you? Of course it isn’t. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst reasons you could give yourself to inspire a little reinventing of who you are or who you want to become. As I mentioned in my previous post on comparison (link above), we can’t keep wanting things we either cannot have or longing for things to be different. But sometimes the very real reality is that we need to spend a little time soul searching and deciding if a little reinvention is right.

The point of this post is not to tell anyone what to do. It’s not to say that everyone needs to reinvent themselves. And it’s definitely not suggesting that without reinvention, you can’t be successful or happy. Instead, this post is more of a guideline and inspirational post sharing some of the things I changed in my life about myself and how I took some time to reevaluate who I was becoming before deciding that reinventing myself was something I needed.

Reinventing Myself Was Not The Easy Road

And by not easy I mean, the soul searching, every dirty detail exposed, harsh reality and truth I had to face – hard. There were two big areas I wanted to change when I really looked at my life and today I am sharing with you what they were and how I made just a few changes to reinvent me.

I was happy but not full of joy.

For many years I considered myself to be successful in all ways. I was relatively happy with my law career and I was happy with my family and friends. However when I decided that my life was lacking a few things and I was going to have to overhaul, I realized that I was not full of joy.   Practicing law did not bring me joy. I liked that I was making very good money but money wasn’t all that mattered to me. My relationships were good but not what I believed my “happily ever after” would be.  My faith was present but not deep.

This “joy deficit” was the first place I needed to target before I could fully become who I wanted to be. After realy looking at my goals for my life and noting where I was on the path to reaching them, I realized that there were people I would need to remove from my life (for various reasons) and that maybe the career I was in wasn’t really right for me. I also began a deeper walk in my faith which has not been easy but has been worth the effort.

I was fit but not healthy.

Now when I use the word “healthy” here I don’t mean that I was sickly or that I was in any way ill. Healthy means a myriad of things and in this particular case I mean that I was in a place where I considered myself physically fit  but that I was not setting myself up for health success down the road. Although I have never been (and in truth, likely will never be) a person who watches every calorie or how many times I hit the gym, I wanted to become at least a little more health conscious. When I really evaluated how I was taking care of myself,  I realized that starting yoga and continuing pilates would be beneficial to not just my body but also my mind. I also realized that I felt better choosing the “healthier” options when I ate and stopped using food as a crutch. By changing just a few things I was able to feel better about myself and even began to see the results in the mirror.

In the end, life is what you make it. You can read a thousand quotes about change or inspiration on Pinterest but until you decide to really look inside yourself, you may never know just what you can be. Not everyone needs to change their career to be happy, not everyone will benefit from taking a yoga class. But my goal here at YNS has always been to share my own experiences and that if I can help even one person, I have succeeded in making the world a happier place.

But what about you? Are you going through changes in your life? What has been the biggest help in reinventing yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments here and be sure to follow along on Twitter to get the latest in fashion, beauty, career and inspiration from youreneverstuck.com!

Until next time,

Cashmere

Inspiration

Happy Easter Lovelies

Happiest of Easter to you all!

I so hope this Easter day finds you feasting with family and loved ones and your heart full of joy.

While I don’t often write about my faith, today I make an exception. For me today is not about “the outfit of the day” (“ootd”), the latest accessory or the Easter Bunny. (But he is cute, and he brings chocolate. But that’s not the bigger picture here.) It’s about my faith. I know many in this world feel that Christians are or have become hypocrites, judgmental and inflexible. And sometimes, it’s hard to disagree. But in my view those people don’t really reflect true Christianity. Christianity is quite simple: love God, love people.

Here are a few things that  I’ve experienced through my Christian faith:

  • a peace that surpasses all understanding: This peace is not absolute and ebbs and flows but I find when I come back to my faith in the Lord, it always returns. And as I mentioned in my previous post on anxiety, I’ve found Sarah Young’s devotionals to be of enormous comfort.
  • a reason for being: I also mentioned in my post on what not to say to someone who is depressed, that the holidays are an uncomfortable time. Finding a way to do for others can be both inspiring and soul soothing.
  • a faithful companion: People will let you down but without question, the Lord will not. Yes, bad things happen in this world but to attribute them to God is a convenient easy-out.
  • relationship not religion: For a long time I thought Christianity was about religion. Ha! How wrong!  But based upon the way some discuss Christianity, it’s easy to see how the confusion happens.

Easter quote

So today, I wish you all these things and so much more and a very Happy Easter.

Easter

Comparison
Inspiration

That Thief of Joy: Comparison

Hello Lovelies. I recently read an amazing article on Huffington Post on comparison, entitled “Confronting the Deep Middle“. Wow, did it strike a cord with me!  The article challenges us women to start talking more honestly about what we confront in midlife and to stop being secretive. Yes, I truly believe that you’re never stuck but that doesn’t mean the path is always easy and that we don’t struggle! So given this is a blog primarily geared toward midlife, I thought I’d discuss honestly about a midlife pitfall that many of us struggle with.

COMPARISON

Sheesh, it’s everywhere without us even realizing it! Someone brilliant once pointed out , “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How’s that for nailing it?   I’ve always prided myself on avoiding this little thief. When I ran my company, I refused to allow myself or  my employees compare us to the competition. I just didn’t go there and adopted an  abundance mindset. In other words, my mindset was that if our competitors did well, so would we.

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