Can You See How Family Drama Could Be Absolutely Draining?

Danny

Can You See How Family Drama Could Be Absolutely Draining?

In many instances you cannot kick family to the curb, although I’m sure many of us have wished we could!  The old saying “you don’t pick your family…” is true, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a door mat.

I don’t have nor have I ever had much family drama.  When I say this I am referring to my immediate family.  Of course there is the occasional soap opera segment, but for the larger picture of my life my sister, mom and dad and myself have all gotten along my peas and carrots.  I do understand this isn’t how it is for some people and I feel for the position in which they find themselves.

If someone is causing me drama over and over, I will simply eliminate them from my inner circle; I don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with drama.  “I’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there…”

This isn’t always the case when it comes to family though.  So how do I believe is the best way to deal with family drama?  I’m not sure and all I can do is speculate, but I’ve witnessed the wrong way to do it.  I believe the wrong way to do it is to allow their drama to completely consume you or to drag you in every single time.  I would play my part as I would if I were playing a character in a play.  I would become the person I needed to be when I was around them, dish out some love and let anything and everything said roll off like water off a duck’s back.

I do this in my work environment.  I am around a lot of people who want to gossip around the water cooler.  I don’t participate, but I don’t tell them to shut up.  I just go about my business and don’t allow myself to get caught up in their shenanigans.   I think it takes a lot of discipline to disallow yourself from getting caught up in drama.  You must practice.  And even the best have a little drama stick to their shirt when they walk out, but it is at that moment that you brush off that drama and go about your business.

I’ve also witnessed a common mistake which is to always be the mediator.  This position in the drama dynamic carries the most burden in my opinion.  If siblings are not getting along and you take the position of being the one constantly listening to both sides independently and then trying to help them work things out, then plan on carrying all of their drama and burden around with you for a long time.  Maybe it is time to redefine your role in their relationship, meaning, stop getting in the middle and let them deal with it.

I also see a common mistake of not setting boundaries.  You cannot allow conversations to always revolve around the drama and it is important to set boundaries.  “I am not going to discuss XYZ any longer.  If you want to talk about ______, then you need to call him/her and talk to them.  Don’t call me any more to talk about them.”  And stick to your stance!  Hang up if you have to.  If you disengage from allowing them to consume conversations they will eventually get the point and your life will be a little less dramatized.

I also think it is okay to take time away from people; even family.  Family drama can become totally toxic and spoil your energy.  He said, she said…”can you believe what she did?”….”oh my god, he said what?”…and the worst “what do you think I should do?”.  All of these are designed to drag you back in.  What if you took a week-long break from it all?  How would no drama for 1 week impact your attitude?

I am just thinking out loud and of course am no psychologist so take my words as a different perspective perhaps.  I hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Danny

Sometimes I Only See My Perspective, Which Is A Problem

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Danny

Sometimes I Only See My Perspective, Which Is A Problem

I try to be open-minded, but I will be honest and admit that when it comes to getting things done I want them done my way if I am going to be involved in the process.  If you come and ask me for advice I’ll explain to you what I would do, but then it’s on you as to what you decide.  But if I’m going to be involved in helping you then I’ll expect you to follow my plan.

Guess what?  It doesn’t always end as I plan.  Imagine that.

Here’s why I am the way I am.  I am a thinker.  I am a planner.  I exhaust all possibilities and work through the decision tree like a beaver chewing through wood.  By the time I’ve developed a plan I have made sure that the plan is well thought out, is thorough and most importantly, will work.

I train entire divisions and my plan and strategy works if the group I’m working with will implement the process I’ve developed; and it works to perfection.  There’s not one single detail of my plan that happened by accident.  The groups that stick to the plan experience growth.  Those that do not continue to struggle.

Here’s the big issue: I have to be flexible enough to allow each group to own the process in their own, unique way.  This way the process becomes theirs, not mine, and they own it completely.  I have to be malleable in my thinking to allow them to bend and mold things to their thoughts and actions.  This isn’t always easy for me.

My first thought is “I’ve put all this work to developing this system, just work the system as it stands!”  But that isn’t how life works.  People want to make something their own and if my mind is rigid, then the training will be less effective.

I think many people think like this as it relates to opinions and beliefs.  “I believe XXX, why can’t they just see things the way I see things?”  I experience this quite often in religion.  “I believe in Jesus and if you don’t believe Jesus is the answer then I’m not going to associate with you.”  Or, “I believe in Allah and if you don’t believe like me then…”.   And I don’t think I even need to bring up politics.

The point is as open-minded as I like to say I am, I find myself being judgmental and closed-minded quite often.  It seems that what I say out of my mouth sounds good, especially when I type it on a blog.  But what happens in my mind is often less open than I’d like to admit.

By habit we naturally want to say what we know we should say; possibly even what others want to hear.

I sense that I am going down the rabbit hole so I’ll get back to my point.  When we are rigid in our perspective and closed to having our opinions moved, then I think we rob ourselves of the opportunity to learn and grow.  Of course we should stick to our core principles, but we should approach life open and ready to learn.

I think it was Mark Twain who said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”  When we realize how big the world is and how many varying cultures, opinions and views there are, then we begin to realize that we might be narrow-minded.

So right now I am going to begin my reformation be admitting to myself and the world that I think I’m actually much more narrow-minded than I would care to admit.  But I’m set on changing that.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Danny

Here Are A Few Of My Crazy Random Thoughts…

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Danny

Here Are A Few Of My Crazy Random Thoughts…

 

  1. Ulcerative Colitis has robbed me of eating fried chicken and that makes me really sad.  I love(d) fried chicken.
  2. I love the World Cup and I hate that England lost yesterday.  I had hoped they would win and have a chance to break the 1966 drought.
  3. I love my job.  I’m in Jacksonville, NC this week which is about as far east as you can be in NC.  The downside is when I leave today at 5:00pm, I’ll have a 3 1/2 hour drive home.
  4. I’ll buy Starbucks if there isn’t a Dunkin close by, but nothing and I mean nothing compares to Dunkin!
  5. I think if I ever had the opportunity to see the Great Pyramid that I might cry.
  6. For some reason I’ve noticed I feel better about my day when I get into a clean car with shiny tires in the morning.  When I see how clean my car looks it makes me feel really good about driving to work.  Why do you think that is?
  7. I am lodging in a Hilton this week and all other hotels pale in comparison.  I’m afraid to go back to Fairfield or Hampton after this trip.
  8. I need some ocean time in my near future!!  Maybe I’ll flood you guys with some ocean photos Saturday and Sunday?!!
  9. Here are a few of my favorite things:  my wife, the color blue, sour candy, an organized work space with everything in its spot, Bentley’s tail (it’s curly), bacon, road trips, great customer service.
  10. Do you ever think about how others might perceive you if they ever knew what you thought about on a regular basis?  Sometimes my mind is like a 3-ring circus.  Crazy thoughts come to my brain and sometimes, yes, I laugh out loud at myself.

That’s enough.  Hope you enjoy your Thursday!

Danny

Does the Lack of Consideration Make You A Bad Person?

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Danny

Does the Lack of Consideration Make You A Bad Person?

I really try to always be aware of how my actions impact others.  I try to be quiet early in the mornings when others are asleep in the house.  I don’t play my music loud when I know others might not like my choices.  I try to pick up after myself so as to not create a mess for someone else to clean up.

In a general sense I simply try to always take other people into consideration when living my life.

I don’t think others do this.  Or at least I don’t think many others live in this way.

Of course I’m not perfect, but I am at minimum aware that I’m not the only human being on the planet.  I wonder if I am alone in my observation or have you noticed this as well where you live?  It seems to me that there are a lot of people who are so completely consumed with what they are doing that they simply don’t take the time to think about others.

I am in Jacksonville, NC and someone in the room beside mine was slamming cabinets or drawers at 5 am.  Now at 3 pm I wouldn’t care, but at 5 am this person might as well have been banging a gong!  How can this person not have enough self-awareness to think that slamming drawers would bother other people in other rooms?

Another observation is when people are walking and texting, while looking down at their phone, and they expect you to move out of their way.  They are completely oblivious to any other human on the planet, never look up, don’t pay attention to where they are walking and basically walk through people.  I find this incredibly inconsiderate.

Or maybe it is just me?  I do see some people showing consideration and displaying a solid set of manners.  Unfortunately I see a huge gap in manners in younger people when it comes to social interaction.  It seems as though the modern parent just didn’t ingrain the necessity of being considerate, thinking of others and using manners.

Many behavioral psychologists state that people are more narcissistic now than at any other time in history.  To some degree I blame social media and the mobile device.  People are living more online now and pay less attention to what is going on in the real world.  What is amazing is how quickly the mobile device has changed our behavior.  In less than 10 years the mobile device has completely changed how the modern world functions.  It has changed how we shop.  It has changed how businesses advertise.  It has changed how we interact with one another.  It has completely changed our expectations of nearly everything around us.

We want things faster, faster and even faster.   We focus more on ourselves and less on how our decisions and actions impact those around us.

I’m not sure it makes people bad people, but it is annoying when others seem to more concerned with anything they are doing than how their actions impact my life.  Or, like I said earlier, maybe it’s just me.  Hope you have a great Wednesday.

Danny

Surround Yourself With People Who Deserve Your Love

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Danny

On Friday evening Evelina and I will be at the beach house and I’ll be sitting at the ocean staring and contemplating life; it is truly one of my favorite places to spend time.  It is as if the ocean is a natural purger of all the junk that accumulates in my mind when I am inland.

I heard a theory that humans are drawn to the ocean because of evolution and our origins related to water.  It makes a little sense to me considering the fact that we are composed of mostly H2O and my life feels more complete when I am on the sea.

At any rate, I have been thinking about friends lately and how so few people carefully construct their friend group in order to surround themselves with supportive, positive and caring people.  I see many people who allow anyone in their lives regardless of their mindset and I don’t agree with letting just anyone in the inner circle.

I believe we all must be incredibly protective of anyone we allow close to us.  Our confidants MUST be supportive, challenging, loving in the truest sense of the word, wise, etc.  When we lower our standards we run the risk of allowing in manipulators, narcissists, liars and worse!

In short, protect your inner circle and surround yourself with people who DESERVE your friendship and love.  Happy Tuesday!

Danny

What Is the Difference Between Judging and Being Judgmental?

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Danny

What is the difference between judging and being judgmental?

There is a major difference between judging and being judgmental and I think it is important for more people to begin using their skill of judging.

Each day of our lives we are put in a position to which we must judge.  Webster’s Dictionary defines judging as: to form an opinion or conclude about or assess.  We meet new people and we must judge whether or not the person is safe; are they going to harm me?  We must judge people if for no other reason than to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I have heard many people exclaim “judging is bad!”.  I completely disagree.  It is my belief that judging is necessary and is a skill which needs to be honed and developed.  If more people used their skill of judging they might find themselves involved in fewer bad situations.

“Don’t judge” is terrible advice and is a phrase that is so overused today that people begin to open themselves up to whatever or whomever happens down the trail.  The more appropriate phrase should be “Don’t be judgmental”.  Being judgmental infers a level of judging people from a moral standpoint or standing in a place of superiority while making said moral or critical disparagement.

It is being judgmental that we must avoid, not judging.  I like to think of judging as a way of comparing others to what we expect of good humans to keep ourselves safe and surrounded by those we can trust and those who will help us better ourselves.

Being judgmental is standing on one’s high horse while looking down on others while displaying overly-critical points-of-view or opinions.

For instance, I meet new people every day in my line of work.  On occasion I’ll meet a person and my sensors go off.  For some reason the person just doesn’t seem trustworthy.  I immediately think to myself to keep this person at arm’s length until I get a better feel for why my “don’t trust” alarms are ringing.   I am comparing them to my experiences in life and how I’ve learned people should act, respond and speak.  In this way judging is a form of discernment; a way for me to filter others and protect myself in the short-term until I get a better sense of the situation or person.

On the other hand, I meet the same person and they light up a cigarette.  As I’m standing there I just cannot believe this person would smoke and my internal conversation goes something like this…

“Don’t they know how bad smoking is for their body?  How intelligent could this person be to continue to smoke knowing they are killing themselves?  I’ll bet they are selfish too.  I wonder what his wife thinks about his smoking and his selfishness?  He probably smokes in his car with his kids.  Good grief what a terrible person this guy must be.”

We have all committed the act of being judgmental and all have had this kind of internal conversation about someone at some point.  Being judgmental is dangerous.  We put ourselves on the pedestal as the jury and look down on someone else while forming an overly-critical opinion.

As we live our lives I suggest we all hone the skill of discernment (judging) and reduce our inclination of being judgmental.

We must protect ourselves and keep our circles tight and secure.  But we shouldn’t allow our beliefs to create a mentality of superiority.  That’s how I see it.  Hope you have a great Thursday!

Danny

The Beach Life Is the Life For Me

Danny

The beach life is the life for me…

A while back I wrote a post in which I stated I was leaning more toward becoming a mountain person versus a beach person.  I was wrong.

The long-standing issue has been my battle with heat and its impact on my MS symptoms.  In the last few months my symptoms have been nearly nonexistent (knock on wood) which reinvigorated my love for the shore.  Naples reminded me how much I love the ocean.

Evelina and I are headed to the beach house in Cherry Grove, S.C. weekend after next for a couple of relaxing days and I am excited like a kid at Christmas.  There is a small town north of the house called Southport that has a quaint fishing village feel with plenty of boutiques, restaurants and a ferry.  There’s also a town near the village where my dad grew up called Oak Island and I have so many great memories from my childhood.

Image result for southport ncWhen I was a kid we owned a Volkswagen Van and my family would visit Myrtle Beach for vacation.  We would always pitch tents at a campground which is the ultimate awesome adventure for a 10-year-old.  On our last day we would pack up and head to Oak Island for the day.  My dad would tell stories about the island most of which I pass on to Evelina every time we visit.  I love the place.

I am so happy to be able to enjoy the heat and the shore again.  At any rate, I hope everyone has a great Tuesday.  I am spending some time with work friends today and then headed back to Charlotte for the 4th celebration.

Danny

A Quick Update For Those Who Are Interested

Danny

A Quick Update For Those Who Are Interested…

I visited another doctor last week to get a second opinion on my Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis and to get a stronger course of treatment.  This doc is a top digestive physician in the U.S. and he prescribed a medication that I began last night which should get all of my symptoms under control.  It should also allow me to return to a relatively normal eating regimen.

Over the last few weeks I have attempted to add new foods to my diet, but each time I do I develop stomach spasms or digestive issues which causes tremendous pain.  Because of this I have been sticking to mashed potatoes, turkey or chicken, green beans, Nugo bars, water, eggs and grits.  I have 1 cup of 1/2 caf coffee in the morning.  The doctor believes the new medication should allow me to begin eating normally again which is something I am excited about experiencing.

There is one huge downside to all of this and it is a development that hit me out of left field.  I had 5 polyps removed during my procedure back in April and all 5 were pre-cancerous which has my doctor on alert.  According to him there is an outside chance that they have to remove the part of my colon that has the inflammation.  This would solve the UC and cancer problems, but I would live without a large part of my colon.  I’m not overly excited about the possibility although he assures me I would live a normal life.

The idea that I could be facing a cancer battle isn’t appealing to say the least.  Any time a doctor uses the big “C” word they have my full attention, especially as it relates to the colon.  At any rate, Evelina and I are withholding any reaction until we have more info from my next procedure which will allow the doctor to get a better idea of what is going on.

Until then I’ll keep taking this one pill each morning and hope for the best!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday…

Danny

The Best Thing You Can Do Is To Unplug From Technology

Danny

The Best Thing You Can Do Is To Unplug From Technology…

Back in January I made a simple decision for my own sanity-I unplugged from Facebook and Twitter.  I had become worn out from the feeling that I was bombarded with news and updates of negativity.  I had grown tired of getting roped in to conversations about politics that led to arguments which resulted in adding to my stress level.  Because of the inundation of negativity I stopped using social media completely.

I didn’t have a plan, but figured I would eventually use Facebook like I use salt; a little dab here, another pinch there.  What I found after a while was that I didn’t miss it at all and my quality of life increased.

Next on my list was unplugging from news.  I had grown tired of wrestling with the dilemma of trust.  I didn’t know which news sources were reporting “news” accurately (I surmised none of them) therefore I decided to eliminate them all.

I went cold turkey on eliminating social media and news for over 8 weeks and then added in infrequent use since the end of March.

I don’t add many pictures to Facebook.  I don’t comment a lot.  I don’t follow people.  I unfollowed almost every page to clean up my feed so that I only get posts from people I care about.

So what are my impressions and thoughts after nearly 4 months of minimal social media and even less news?  My quality of life has skyrocketed!  I no longer feel overwhelmed.  I no longer view the world as negatively as I had before.  I am paying more attention to the real world around me.  I spend less time looking at my device when I’m out in public.

In short, I feel happier and less stressed.

My belief is that so much information creates a false impression.  The inundation of information makes people believe that crime and doom are waiting on every corner.  The negative news reporting makes us feel as though there is no good in the world.  News sources report death, destruction, corruption and crime so powerfully that it creates in us a false perception when the truth is that crime per capita in the U.S. is at a 40-year low according to the FBI data crimes department.

Now that I am paying attention to the real world I am noticing that there are a lot of good people in the world.  Sure you see some inconsiderate individuals also, but for the most part people are decent.  For the most part people are normal.

I highly recommend you unplug completely for a while and allow your mind to reset.  I believe you will find your stress level will go down and your mental quality of life will increase.

Try it.  You might find that you actually enjoy the real world.

Danny

Is There More To WordPress Than Just Blogging?

DannyIs There More To WordPress Than Just Blogging?

A common misconception that bloggers on WordPress.com make is they misunderstand what this platform is all about.  They make the mistake of believing that all that is required is to produce an epic saga and people will flock to their page to read the wonders found within.  What they quickly realize is WordPress.com is much, much more than a one-sided relationship.

Jason at Harsh Reality taught me this lesson a few years back and taught me the “key” to comprehending WordPress.com and I’m here to pass it along to you.

WordPress.com in its basic form is a social media platform just like Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.  At its heart is the function of connecting and interacting and it is much different from WordPress.org.  WP.com requires, for those who wish to grow, interpersonal synergy and without synergy, the relationship withers and dies.

This is why I have implored my friends here are WP.com to reach out to others; find people who think the way you think, believe what you believe.  It’s the reciprocal action of friendship that drives the blood flow of this platform and unless you understand this simple concept, your page will flounder.

Once Jason explained the social media aspect of WP my page was off and running and I believe yours will also.  Take the time to connect.  Build synergy.  Build relationships.  Give more than you take.  Reblog other pages.  Help someone without being asked for help.  Read.  Like.  Comment.  Connect.  Care.

These are the keys to the WP kingdom.

Danny