ABC’s of Life Series — Day 7 Letter G : Give Others Grace To Grow

ABC’s of Life

Day 7 Letter G

Give Others Some Grace To Grow

We believe we would react to situations in particular ways or that we would behave differently than someone else until we are placed in the other person’s shoes. Once we put those shoes on that were once worn by someone else; we not only have new shoes, but a new pair of new glasses too.

Those who accept us where we are despite any decisions we are making at the time; are giving us grace to grow. These are those people who no matter where we are or what we do in our lives; they love us anyway. They do not judge us, because they understand. They listen, they advise, and they care.

The concept of allowing one grace to grow is a concept that many should grasp. Once grasped, one will find themselves no longer in a position that they feel “above” someone for making better life decisions. They will not utter phrases such as: “I can’t believe they ___” “I would never”, “He/She shouldn’t ____” You won’t believe what ____ did now” etc.

I have observed that when I utter phrases like those mentioned above; I am quickly served a piece of humble pie. When I can’t understand people, their lifestyle, behavior, and their decisions I am often given a situation shortly after; where I can. It may not be an identical situation, but it is a situation that allows me to comprehend where they were at that time, and what they were thinking. Or better yet, a situation where I can relate to their emotions.

I have written often about the fact that we are all given the same lessons throughout our lives and that the lesson plans slightly differ. One may experience grief through the lost of a parent, another through the loss of a child. One may experience adultery through their parents, or through a marriage of their own. Nonetheless, the emotional processes are the same.

No matter the format of the lesson, the lessons eventually produce the same results. We will all face temptations, and struggles. We will have to find a place and time at which we will have to forgive ourselves and each other.

We will all feel: neglect, abandonment, taken for granted, mistreated, disliked, unloved, and many other emotions at some point in our lives. The lessons differ, but the emotions are the same.

Grace is essential to provide for others; because we all need it to grow. Those who accept us despite our choices have allowed us grace to grow. Those who watch us make a mistake but love us anyway, are one of a kind. 

For Today: Find someone in your  life that has a situation that you can’t or couldn’t at one point  understand. Analyze what emotions that person may have been feeling at that time, and compare it to a situation in your life where you experienced the same emotions. 

 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

The Mathematical Formula For Destructive Relationships

All relationships have the potential to be hazardous, abusive,  and destructive. The destruction begins gradually and at times it will not end until  long after the relationship itself has ended. It just depends on how long we allow the destruction to occur before stepping up to the board and balancing out the equation.

Just as in mathematical equations that become difficult; we should simplify difficult relationships in our lives too. Simplifying can mean counseling, creating a positive change in the relationship, eliminating irritants, or in some cases simply leaving the relationship and moving forward.

Destructive relationships can be hard to spot initially. Over time the signs become more obvious, especially as we begin to see what was once a bright flower wither and fade away. Once we see the first sign of a destructive relationship, the others signs and symptoms arrive shortly after. Or so it seems.

Signs of a Destructive Relationship:

Non-trustworthy partners seem to be a dime a dozen these days. The breaking of trust is the beginning of a destructive relationship. Once trust is broken; it is time to break out the hard hats. The wrecking crew has arrived.

If two people can not trust one another the relationship officially becomes classified as a destructive relationship. The person that can’t trust suffers, and as a result the person that can’t be trusted does too. This is not healthy for either party.

Recovery from broken trust is possible if correction occurs, and it is sincere and genuine. This typically means that there will not be repeat offenses. If there are repeat offenses there may be a bigger problem. There could be a compulsive liar in the picture. If so, there are ways to break the liar down. Once you break them down and all truth becomes visible, options can be weighed out and recovery is absolutely possible. Until then, brace yourself for the other phases of a destructive relationship.

Internal Damage leaves us holding on to things that leave us felling lost, hopeless, sad, or broken. These feelings can be overwhelming and cause panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depressions, and sometimes paranoia. Internal damage can make true forgiveness seem impossible.

External Damage is when one will begin to notice things around them breaking. Whether on purpose or by accident; everything begins to break down internally and externally. This typically happens after a few incidents have occurred that created internal damage or conflict.

Withdrawn from normal activities is a symptom of a destructive relationship.  One may withdraw from friends, family,  and activities. They will isolate themselves with their partner and display signs of social avoidance. This needs attention particularly if the withdrawing from others is not for legitimate reasons. Sometimes, people grow up and apart. It doesn’t necessarily mean one is withdrawn.

 

Excessive Weight gain or loss is another sign that someone is in a destructive relationship. Sometimes people who are suffering emotionally will eat or starve their way to feeling in control of something. Food becomes a replacement for those gaining weight. For those in a destructive relationship that are losing weight, I have found that they starve themselves strictly to feel in control of something in their life since other areas are lacking self-control.

Control is a common characteristic seen in one or both parties involved in destructive relationships. Controlling people have the same patterns across the board, and they will often come off as very well liked socially. If they tell you where to go, what to do, who to talk to, what to wear, or how to act; they may just have control issues. If both parties are insecure and have controls issue, there could be a few Doomsday’s ahead.

Psychological Abuse occurs when one belittles another’s achievements or lack there of. Psychological abuse can be any type of mind game; from name calling to threats of suicide. One may also manipulate their partner into forgiving or at least trying to. Someone who is psychologically abusing their partner may also threaten suicide when their partner decides to leave them. If the person being abused speaks of suicide, their words ought not be taken lightly. 

Psychological abuse can be any of the following phrases (to name a few):

I said NO! You can’t wear that! Nobody cares what you think! Nobody cares about you! You don’t matter! Who are you talking to? Who’s calling here? You can’t talk to “them” ! This is MY house! I pay the bills! You are LAZY! You are worthless! Get out! I don’t need you! I never loved you! You are ugly! You are fat! I hate you!

These words can be devastating, and often lead to violence. If you are in a violent relationship leave immediately. There are shelters across the country that house men, women, and children in violent situations who are looking for relief.

Violence is not healthy in any relationship. Violence can be hitting, throwing, smacking, cornering, or intimidating another person. Violence often follows psychological abuse.

Depression is usually the last phase before one begins to receive a reality check as to where their relationship has been; where it is, and the direction it is heading. Depression can be life threatening and one suffering from depression should seek help from a certified medical professional. There are some self-help techniques for depression, and ways to fight depression. However, talking to a counselor is always a good idea. It is nice to have an outsider help us reduce difficult equations.

When things become broken inwardly and outwardly in any relationship; getting out is the only way to avoid having only bits and pieces yourself left. Repairs are much easier when something is only partially broke, than when no longer running at all.

 © Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Recovering From Lies In relationships

When we are in a relationship that has experienced betrayal; recovering from that betrayal can be quite a challenge. The severity of the betrayal will play a huge part in the recovery process. Is this person sorry? How do we know if a person is truly sorry? Most importantly, will they do it again?

There are ways to recover if the person who has deceived you is ready. The unfortunate part is that the recovery is some-what dependent on the other person’s ability to face themselves and be honest. They must want a change for a change to even be an option. They must lay all of the truth on the table.

Although recovery for the liar begins by their purging of information, they have to tell everything as though they have entered a confession booth. If you feel like there is more to the story you are probably right. So make sure you follow the proper steps when confronting a liar. 

(Click here for more about confronting liars)

If they don’t want to stop their behavior we are simply beating a dead horse and it is no longer worth our time trying. The best way we can recover is to let go of the person. It would be too difficult to maintain respect for ourselves if we surround ourselves with people who do not respect us.

If the truth is not fully revealed; there will always be problems. And at that point we must walk away. It is the only way to make a full recovery and let the past be the past. It is also the only way to keep something from replaying in your head constantly. 

For signs that your partner is dishonest or hiding something click here.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Teaching Your Kid To Lie?

I have always said:

“If we ever want to know the truth about something we must simply ask a young child.”

 

Children naturally tell the truth until taught to do otherwise. They say exactly what is on their mind and exactly what they feel. From temper tantrums to screaming their feelings or simply talking, children have a way of not holding back on their thoughts and feelings.

A young child will tell us if we got a bad hair cut, or if our shoes aren’t working with our attire. They will tell us if we have gained or lost weight, as well as how mom and dad really are. Unless children are being trained to be emotionally dishonest they will most generally tell the truth.

With children being as honest as they are it leaves one to wonder how lying begins.

What creates a liar? And how do we as a society create less liars and instead create more acceptance for others and their emotions?

As people we are taught at a young age to be emotionally dishonest with ourselves. We are told to say please and thank you whether we mean it or not. We are forced to say that we are feeling fine when that may not actually be the case. We are taught not to voice our opinions and at other times told to speak up. All of these things we are taught; when once upon a time we had the ability to be emotionally honest with ourselves and the world around us.

Because we train children and each other to be emotionally dishonest we have more or less created a world of liars. We wonder why people hide from their emotions, and why they lie to themselves. We wonder why people are not honest with people in their lives. When in reality, everyone is just doing what they were taught and told to do.

When we expect someone to think like us, feel like us, and react like we would we are merely creating a person who is afraid to be who they are. This causes a person to build walls and become distant. This puts a gap in the relationship, and is the beginning of not knowing that person anymore. That person begins to find friends and people in the world that accepts him/her as he/she is. They surround themselves with people who make them feel at ease. Somewhere that they do not need to wear a mask. A place where they can simply be themselves.

I will hear parents ask or say: “Who is this child?”, “What happened to him/her?”  “I didn’t raise him/her that way!” and a series of other questions or statements  when they realize their child has become a manipulative lying teenager. People making these statements are often unaware of their contribution in making that child be emotionally dishonest with himself/herself. Once emotional honesty vs. emotional dishonesty is approached by that parent, it will be easier for that parent to not only cope, but also correct the behavior in the child before it carries over into that child’s adulthood.

Once we grasp the concept of emotional honesty and the benefits of it, it becomes easier to see situations more clearly. 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Be Careful Who You Choose

We must be careful who we choose  as friends,  partners, companions or spouses.   

If they lie to others in front of you, they will lie to you too.

If they talk about others in front of you, they will talk about you too.

If they steal in front of you, they will steal from you too.

If they disrespect others in front of you, they will disrespect you too.

If they hide who they are from others, they will hide from you too.

If they cheat on someone to be with you, they will cheat on you too.

If they blame others for their problems, someday they will blame you.

Watch their actions and hear their words. Then decide what kind of company you would like to keep. What we watch them do to others, is often what they will someday do to us. How they speak of others is how they do or will eventually speak of us. It has proven to be true in many situations.  

If they aren’t treating others the way you would want to be treated, it may be a flag. Perhaps they are putting up a front for you? It may be time to question a few things.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are You Leaving a Legacy, Or a Liability?

As parents we all want what is best for our children. However, what some parents fail to realize in terms of co-dependent children is that they are no longer leaving a legacy, but yet, a liability.

By leaving a legacy one must raise self-sufficient children. They should be children capable of making their own wise and practical decisions upon adulthood. They should be children who feel compelled to do more with their life than the previous generation. And most importantly, they should be emotionally healthy children who feel they can be who they are, not who we imagined or wanted them to be.

Examples:

Just because we have run the family business, doesn’t mean we should expect our children to take over someday. They will likely have plans of their own.

Just because we played a particular sport and excelled, doesn’t mean we should force our children to play it if they have no interest.

Just because they dream the impossible, doesn’t mean we should squash their dreams.

Our job is to encourage their successes, and help guide them when they encounter failure. It is to teach them how to handle their own relationships vs., being a dictator for their relationships. Our job is tough, but to raise healthy children with the ability to maintain healthy adult relationships, we must push them to do well. We must teach them to put forth effort. We must help them learn to look at the big picture.

Signs of leaving a liability:

The adult child comes to you for every one of life’s hurdles.

The adult child now expects the parent to take care of financial responsibilities.

The adult child now expects parents to bail them out.

The adult child now has no insight.

The adult child now has dependency issues aside from their relationship with their parents. Most likely chemical dependencies.

The adult child is now angry.

The adult child, will then likely leave another liability for their children. And the trend continues. However, there are ways to avoid leaving a liability. And there are proven ways to leave a legacy. Proven ways to leave a legacy are as follows:

Encourage and comfort your children.

Listen to their feelings and respect that they have their own minds, and opinions.

Do not try to control who they are, better yet guide them to where they should be.

Allow them to suffer consequences of their actions. They need tough love. They have their own friends to be best friends with.

And most importantly, practice what you preach. Be a good role model.

I once heard a saying from a parent that said : Well I guess if I was your best friend, and you loved me all the time; then I wouldn’t be a very good parent. And I agree with that statement. There will be times our children do not agree with our decisions in parenting. There will be times they do not understand our reasoning and we find ourselves saying what we once heard: Someday you will understand….when you have kids of your own.

These days I see more parents trying to be best buddies with their kids. They are there to rescue them from situations the kids/adult children put themselves into. Rather than showing tough love so lessons can be learned, they throw them preserver after preserver.

Tough love is absolutely the hardest step for people to take in any forms of relationships. But without it, we leave a liability. We should be leaving a legacy instead. We should be allowing our children to live their own life, and a life that they are proud of. An honest life, and a life with an abundance of good people with direction.

Are you leaving a legacy or a liability? Are you teaching bad habits? Or are you setting a good example instead? The quote that children learn what they live, has much insight. What are your children learning from you?

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Signs & Symptoms of Communication Breakdown

Communication is essential for all relationships to function properly.

When communication breakdown begins, the relationship begins to suffer and the fate of the relationship enters an unknown zone. The outcome is often determined by the people involved, as well as their ability to communicate effectively until all the issues at hand are resolved.

There are many signs to communication breakdown that may need an intervention. If you find yourself struggling in a relationship facing these issues, find help.

Whether you stay or go is up to you, however, if communication doesn’t improve someone will likely be going over time.

Types of Communication Breakdown:

Stonewalling- This is when a partner is non responsive when conflict arrives. They refuse to interact at all. Stonewalling is a person’s way to protect themselves and their environment. It gives them a sense of control. Unfortunately, it gets the relationship nowhere near resolution, and often brings even more frustration to the one whom is willing to talk and communicate.

Root: The biggest reason for stonewalling in communication breakdown is guilt.

Body language: Arms are crossed and he/she refuses to make eye contact. Or, he/she walks away and refuses to communicate further. Responses are short, and usually consist of “I don’t know”.

Defensiveness This is when the person takes away from the issue at hand, and turns it around. This person often tries to find fault in someone else, rather than taking responsibility for his or her own actions. Defensiveness will even cause the one seeking the help to look for how it would help their partner, rather than themselves.

Root: Defensiveness stems from fear. Fear of truth, and fear of disappointment.

Body Language: This is usually when one begins to make erratic faces and waves his or her hands or arms in the air. The emotions of this person can be quite unpredictable at times.

Denial Denial can take us to places we never thought we would be. When one is in denial they can not hear what others try to tell them, nor can they see it. Denial is a combination of stonewalling and defensiveness. In both cases, one refuses to admit the issues. Without admittance there is no acceptance. And without acceptance, there is no change.

Root: Insecurities, low self-esteem, and fear of rejection fuels denial.

Body Language: The most common expression from one in denial is usually the person ignoring the issues. The moving hands or arms flaring, along with the statements such as “whatever” or “OK” are also pretty common. When in denial, everything going on in that person’s life is the fault of everyone else.

Secretiveness Secretive people are usually very quiet. They are often the best listeners, but offer the least amount of information about their personal lives in terms of general conversation. Secret keepers are often image conscience, and prefer everyone to think that life is perfect. They too, are in denial and fear facing reality.

The key factor in discovering a secretive person is this: If they do not ask you many questions, it is usually because they do not want questions asked. They usually seem to be intrigued by what others have to say when in conversation, and are notorious for gossiping.

Root: Poor self-image and fear of abandonment promotes secretiveness.

Body Language: Calm and relaxed. The secretive person appears to have it all together. They want the world to believe that they have everything under control.

If you are in a romantic relationship where these behaviors occur seek help. Statistics have proven that once a relationship loses the ability to maintain effective communication, it becomes toxic and/or abusive.

If we can’t communicate properly, emotions will run high and things will escalate. This is a fact. We may not be able to help your partner or change them, but we can help ourselves and change our situation.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are They Truly Sorry?

We are all human and we all make mistakes. In some cases it hinders relationships and apologies are necessary. But how do we know if someone is truly sorry for their actions?

Admittance – Without admitting what we have done wrong we remain in a state of denial. While in denial, it is impossible to break the cycle. If your partner has admitted their wrong doings, you are heading in the right direction.

Apologetic – Anyone can apologize and say what people want to hear. When wondering how sorry a person is, ask yourself how sincere the apology was. Or was there even an apology? No apology is denial of the behavior and a guarantee that those emotions that prompted you to read this, will resurface again until the cycle is broken.

Actions – After admitting a wrongdoing and apologizing it is important to put words into action. At this stage the apologetic person should be taking large strides to correct his/her issues. This should be something seen regularly vs. something seen for the few days following a disagreement. Although we may slip up when making changes and revert to old behaviors from time to time, when someone is truly sorry you will see more days of effort than you will days of the old behavior.

Change – When a person is truly apologetic, change is noticeable. There are no gray areas. This person has not only admitted it and apologized, but he/she is actively trying to help himself/herself. Whether it be by reading materials pertaining to the issues, or receiving counseling for his/her problems the changes should be noticeable.

Accept – Someone that is truly sorry can take the heat, and will acknowledge what they have done along with accepting the repercussions. They will suggest ways to mend fences, and admit that they guided the relationship to this position. They will accept any emotions they have caused those they have hurt as though they were their own. They will be understanding, compassionate, and patient.

“Until people decide with the right intentions to change for themselves,

….. change is impossible.”

The Act Of Trust

Trust is easily given by most of us in relationships, but often taken for granted. Once it has become violated, the violator may often wonder how to regain that trust. There are three things you can do to regain someone’s trust. All be it the relationship will never be as pure as it once was, but the relationship can possibly be salvaged vs. burning bridges.

Actions – Our actions will be the most important tool in earning back someone’s trust. You must be genuine. There is no need to put on a show, you will only be wasting your time and looking foolish in the process. Actions are important because when trust is broken, words do not matter. Although our words may express our thoughts, our actions reveal them.

Change – If trust is violated, there is often a deeper reason than that relationship alone. It is not only important to take responsibility for our actions that have caused someone not to trust us, but we must make changes if that person is someone that we really want in our life, that we love. Change must be immediate, and you must be ready. Otherwise, the person you have offended will see it as a front, and you will only do more damage.

Time – Time heals almost all wounds. When trust is broken, there is no time limit as to how long it takes to earn back trust. That’s the unfortunate part. If you are wanting forgiveness do not ask things such as how long, or when they can forgive you. This will push them further away. As they heal over time, be sincere and compassionate. Most importantly, be willing to take some heat! Odds are, it is well deserved.

Relationships are a lot of work but the good ones are worth it. No matter what the situation is that has caused the mistrust, it can be restored in most cases over time. It could take days, weeks, months, or years, but if you want it bad enough and can prove you love the person and are worth it, it can be restored.

The #1 mistake people make when trying to regain trust or restore a relationship, is giving up.

What Controlling People Really Want

I have studied controlling behavior for quite some time.  I find the psychological patterns that accompany it quite intriguing. After observing and analyzing a case these last few days,  I figured out what it is controlling people really want in a partner/relationship.

What a controlling person really wants is someone weak.  They attract nothing but weak people in almost every aspect of their life. They prefer someone who is more of a follower.  Someone they feel that they can help in some way. They want someone to stroke their ego, someone to cater to them. They want a puppet on a string.

In the beginning of the relationship they will appear to be a giver. But once they are settled they take, and take, and take. And then once in a while, they give. To their partner anyway. To the world in most cases, they come off as laid back, easy going, driven, and focused. However behind close doors, they are verbally abusive and at times physically abusive.

What the victim doesn’t see often times is that they are in fact a victim. Their weak mindedness, fragility, low self-esteem, and brokenness will allow their mind and heart to believe this person is their rescuer. “They will take care of me!” “It’s the fairy tale!” And it will be fabulous in the eyes of the victim while the victim remains in that state of weakness.

Controlling people thrive in co-dependent relationships. As do the weak minded initially.

I have come to a conclusion as to why the relationship that would be labeled as controlling, often ends. It isn’t only because of control. It is because the victim, gains strength over time. The victim begins to find their voice. Once this happens, the victim walks away. The relationship is finished. The controller then attracts another weak person, and the trend continues. It is when the weak become strong, that it ends. If a controlling person had their way, they would never end a bad relationship. If they ended it they may have to face themselves.

If you are in a controlling relationship, find your voice and use it. Stop the abuse, before it stops you!

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.