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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.

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.

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