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PERSONAL GROWTH RELATIONSHIPS THE DOSE

Let go of the people who don’t need you

Understand this! For better or for worse, you are the only essential person to yourself and anyone that harms you is an unnecessary load for your journey.

I’m sure you are familiar with the «unfriend» option in your social network. It is not uncommon for friendships and relationships to end this way because the common belief is that those who don’t exist in your social network don’t exist in your life.

It is a rather cold and impersonal way to break ties.

But if you «unfriend» people in the stupid virtual world, why don’t you do the same in real life? Stop carrying around baggage that trunks your personal growth.

And I’m not talking about knocking on doors telling people that they no longer have a place in your life. Not at all, it’s about prioritizing and not investing time and effort in those that don’t deserve it.

Let go of the people who don’t need you!

When you are no longer needed

It’s never easy to realize that you are no longer needed.

It hurts to know that you’ve lost that person’s respect, but if you stay in a selfish relationship that only serves the purposes of one of the parties involved, you lose your self-respect.

You need to differentiate between those who truly need and care about you, and those that long ago detached from your heart.

There are people who are there only when you are «paddling down stream» and things work out for them in some way. Or when they need a favor or something from you, or they need to be heard and «only you know how listen to them». Needless to say, you gotta be careful with these people.

It is good to show your support, love and understanding to others, but as long as there is reciprocity.

It’s a matter of exchange

Friendships as any other type of human relationships are based on a sincere exchange of emotions, thoughts, support, etc. If you don’t feel any of these being reciprocally fulfilled, don’t be afraid to put a limit to it. Again, it’s not about dismissing that relationship. It’s about speaking out the truth about how you feel.

«I am not comfortable doing this or that, because it only benefits you.» «I’ve noticed that you only show up when you need something from me, I thinks I deserve more than that.» «It’s not fair that you ditch the boat when we need to paddle up-stream.«

Speak up, the other person may need to hear this and it may just be what is needed to save that relationship.

Matter to those who matter

Yes you’ve left a lot of people behind along the way, friends, husbands, wives, loved ones. And there will be many more that won’t visit you in the hospital or make it to your funeral.

Don’t worry about it, this is what life is all about, moving forward, learning from past experiences, saving and cherishing what really matters, what feels your heart.

You are going to give your life for something. What will it be? A person who doesn’t need you anymore, a career, a sport, a hobby, fame, social status, wealth, a failed marriage, other people’s opinions. None of these things have lasting significance.

Matter to those who matter!

Let go of the people who don’t need you

There will be painful times when you find out that you are no longer needed or important to someone you care about. It takes time to heal these wounds but you have to keep in mind that the most import person in your life is yourself.

If you tried to save a friendship or a relationship or marriage but it failed, it’s because that person no longer needed you. Don’t be afraid to let go of the people who don’t need you.

Have a lighter mind and a heavier heart to fully enjoy life.

Second chances

Real life is not like your social network where you accumulate people. In real life the people who actually matter are few but are surely the best. If you don’t love or respect yourself you won’t be able to see and open the door to second chances.

Those who need you for real, will let you know in an honest way, without selfishness or blackmailing you. Because those who love you, respect you. And know how to establish that daily exchange where everyone wins and nobody looses.

If those who need you know how to be honest about it, you must reciprocate. Letting those around you know that you need them is not a sign of weakness. It is a powerful way of recognition, it lets them know that you don’t think of yourself as above them. It makes them feel useful, important and a key piece in your closest network of loved ones.

People over things

Us humans need many things to live: Money, food, clothes, shelter, leisure, freedom. But you must not forget that the most important things in this world are not «things» but people.

This is why it is so important to know how to recognize, take care of and nurture those that value you for who you are and not for what you may offer them. Let go of the people who don’t need you because they are an unnecessary load to your personal growth.

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PERSONAL GROWTH RELATIONSHIPS THE DOSE

MY LOVE – HATE RELATIONSHIP

I have a love – hate relationship!

Yes, I have a love – hate relationship… with uncertainty. I love it because I´m constantly surprised, and I hate it because not being in control is terrifying.

Life is constantly making sure I don’t fall into a comfort zone, and does a pretty good job at it, bringing me at times to the point of desperation.

But, little by little, with every answered prayer, I’m learning to trust that everything will work out for the best. And just as there are two sides to every story, there are two aspects in life that we choose to focus on in every circumstance we face.

Yes, you guessed it, the positive and the negative!

Focusing on the negative

Letting your negative thoughts run wild and take control requires no effort, it´s like letting a snowball roll down hill, it gets bigger with every turn smashing everything in its way until it crashes.

If you ask me, I´d say that sucks.

Focusing on the positive

Requires a great deal of effort, it is challenging, and rewarding and you get a feeling of accomplishment when you come out victorious.

That´s why I prefer it.

When does my love – hate relationship kick in?

When s#!t hits the fan and everything happens at once.

We´ve all been there. Sometimes everything seems to happen at the same time, and it´s almost impossible not to feel overwhelmed…

But please don´t lose faith, instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong, think about everything that could go right.

I want to share this that happened to me last week, I think it shows exactly the reason for my love – hate relationship  and why it´s better to focus on the possibilities and not on the roadblocks.

Background:

Lately my lifetime dream has waken up stronger than ever and at the same time I’ve had this feeling that a cycle at my day job has come to an end, making me restless, and unhappy, so I began looking for a new day job that would either pay more or give me the tools to make a living while fulfilling that dream, even if it meant applying for a lower level position.

Bad news?

On Feb 22, I read this email from my boss that was sent to me on Feb 19:


Email from boss


 

Although I was looking for a new job, receiving such an email was certainly worrisome and did not look like good news. (The meeting was rescheduled for next Monday so I don´t know what it is about, but I will keep you posted.)

That same night, in the middle of an argument, I was overwhelmed and frustrated, I wanted to quit, not to get fired.

I began doubting myself, what if I did not find another job soon enough? I even began questioning my feelings about… and then I remembered what the apostle Paul said:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

– Philippians 4:12

¨be content, not in a comfort zone¨

Rejection

Since this desire to live my dream has been so strong lately, I´ve been constantly planning, consulting, calculating, looking at all the angles I can think of, for the way to make it true, and like I said, even if it means applying for a lower position as long as it helps me get closer to my dream.

On Feb 22 I received this email in response to one of my applications.


rejection by overqualification email


I was getting frustrated! How could I not even land a position one level below my current one. I even told the hiring manager that I did not care about the title, all I wanted was the job, that´s how strongly I felt about this cycle coming to an end.

Doubt and negativity wanted to take over, I  could roll with it and crash or I could focus on a more positive outcome.

Possibilities

On the same day Feb 22, about one hour later, when I was calmer, I checked my personal email and I found this…


email from jeff


Seven months ago I came across this super cool position at a really nice startup and I was hired, but for reasons out of my control, I had to decline the offer at the last-minute. Seven months later they still wanted me.

It´s a matter of choice

We can choose what to focus on but in the end, no matter how much we plan, we will never have all the angles covered and no matter how much we try, the only thing we  have control over, is our attitude.

Planning is good, but we must leave room to improvise and control is also good, but to a certain degree (like controlling our temper when driving).

Watch this video about choice by Alan Watts (I´d love to take a class with this guy.)

Choose to focus on the positive, it attracts more of the good stuff.

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PERSONAL GROWTH THE DOSE

7 Steps to Successfully Shift Paradigms

A lesson from The Five Monkeys Experiment

A paradigm shift is not an easy thing to do, but is possible and well worth it. Most of us if not all are told or somehow taught that we must accept ourselves and others. Virtues and defects included, but there is a misconception of what defects are.

When things get rough in any human relationship, we’ll argue and even fight fueling our desire to be right and «win», by pointing out the other person’s «defects». We tag as defects everything that we dislike from them and we use those «defects» as our arsenal to win the war no matter the consequences.

How much are you willing to change/fix?

Defects vs Bad Habits

Let’s clear up this misconception and work out our differences.

What are Defects?

Defects are congenital disorders, medical conditions present at birth (Biology & Medicine definition used for this post’s purpose).

What are Bad Habits?

Bad habits are negative behavior or patterns, paradigms.

What are Paradigms?

Paradigms are learned behaviors that in most cases we haven’t willingly acquired. But have been transferred to us from generation to generation.

Different types of paradigms affect different areas of our lives. Some are personal, family related, social. We also have paradigms about our bodies, mind, finances, love, spirituality.

For example:

  • Walking away from conflict instead of facing it.
  • «Exploding» during an argument or heated discussion.
  • Blocking or un-friending people on social media because we disagree with them.

These are just some examples of negative «mental programs». That most of us have incorporated and transformed into bad habits through unconscious repetition.

How are Paradigms Born?

As mentioned, they are created through unconscious repetition. «The Five Monkeys Experiment«, a modern-day fable inspired by Stephenson (1966)Cultural Acquisition of a Specific Learned Response Among Rhesus Monkeys is a pretty accurate illustration of the birth of a paradigm .

The Five Monkeys Experiment

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage, and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.
Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, every time a monkey would start up the ladder, the others would pull it down and beat it up. After a time, no monkey would dare try climbing the ladder, no matter how great the temptation.

The scientists then decided to replace one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was start to climb the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beat him up.

After several beatings, the new monkey learned never to go up the ladder, even though there was no evident reason not to, aside from the beatings.

The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth monkey was changed, resulting in the same, before the fifth was finally replaced as well.

What was left was a group of five monkeys that – without ever having received a cold shower – continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.

If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up on all those who attempted to climb the ladder, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”

The Lesson:

«I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here…»

 

Have you ever heard the sayings «Like father like son» or «Like mother like daughter»? or «The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree»?

These sayings reinforce paradigms.

Can People Change?

Yes, people can change (shift paradigms) if they are willing to.

But before we can change, we must acknowledge said behavior and be willing to change it in order for us to evolve and become the best version of ourselves.

We also need to understand the following:

  • These «mental programs» were created by the people that we’ve lived with since the very moment we were born. Our parents, family, friends, teachers, etc.
  • Consciously or unconsciously, we gave them authority and validated them as sure and true.
  • There is a genetic and a social conditioning.
  • Paradigms inhabit our subconscious minds and are responsible for shaping our reality.
  • Paradigms as the habits they are, can be modified and changed however we please.

People do not resist change when they have a choice, people resist being changed. – Michael Basch

 7 Steps to Successfully Shift Paradigms (changing for the better)

The following are personally proven steps that you can also take if you want to modify a bad habit or negative behavior. Follow them and you will have great success stories to talk about.

  1. Examine yourself. Look for negative behaviors within yourself.
  2. Be humble. Accept when someone points a bad habit or negative behavior in you.
  3. Take note. Keep a journal of these mental programs.
  4. Meditate. Think about where have you seen those behaviors in the people you grew up with.
  5. Look for the root.  As paradigms are transferred from generation to generation, there is a root that has to be cut out before the change can begin.
  6. Seek help. While some behaviors may be easy to modify on your own, others may require professional help.
  7. Be patient. Remember that changing a habit takes time and effort, do not give in, because the rewards are worth the trouble.

If this was helpful, please comment and share.

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RELATIONSHIPS THE DOSE

You bring out the worst in me

«You bring out the worst in me.» Most likely you have said this to your spouse or partner or it has been said to you, but as much as we try not to, it is hard not to blame our loved one for everything that goes wrong in our relationships.

A few of days ago I received an email from one of my readers. She was telling me that after a few months separated from her loved one, they got back together. They were happier than ever and the topic of marriage had come up once or twice. But after an argument she could not go on with their dream of a happy family.

You bring out the worst in me

I asked why and her response was:

«He brings out the worst and the best in me, and that can’t be good.»

I couldn’t contain a smile from forming in my face. You see, I was on that same spot not long ago. So this gave me an opportunity to share my own experience and what I did to tackle the situation.

And now with her permission I share it with you because you might be facing something similar.

People have unrealistic views, ideas and expectations of what a relationship should be. Those views are either unrealistic good or unrealistic bad. Causing us not to seek a relationship wisely.

Another view, which is most common in people from failed marriages. Is that marriage is nothing but misery. Coming from a failed marriage myself, I was more inclined to that negative view. But I couldn’t be further from the truth. We all get a second chance to do things right.

When I faced relationship struggles again and was about to throw the towel one more time. I snapped out of it and realized that I was worth much more than another failed relationship. This time I wasn’t going down without a fight. I sat down and prayed asking for guidance from God and He answered in a very peculiar way (as usual between us). This time it was by popping  into my head this quote that I read somewhere.

«Spend time with people over the age of seventy and under the age of six»

So I gave it a try.

Spending time with children

I began to observe my daughter and my nephew with more attention than usual. Looking for something that I could learn from them. They spend a lot of time together and of course they come into conflict quite often.

What I observed that had been there all along but I never really paid attention to, was very interesting. Whenever there was conflict between them and argued. Instead of asking me or his parents to leave, they would take their iPad and sit on opposite sides of the couch. Trying not to put too much distance between them, until either one would find something that would be of interest or benefit to the other. Then they would use that as an excuse for an approach to express and smooth out their differences.

It was so simple! Instead of looking for reasons to remain separated, create a bigger gap that would yield to resentment, they would look for something that would bring them back together.

Spending time with much older couples

I asked for advise from my friends, but not from my closest friends. Their advise would be biased and they would tell me what in my anger and altered state I wanted to hear and that would feed my pride.

Instead I looked for my older friends, the ones that have been married for a long time. I asked them:

  • How did they deal with their struggles?
  • How do they deal with and fix their differences?

I wondered what could I learn from their experience…

These were specific questions with specific answers. Answers that would shine a light brighter than ranting to  friends that would agree with me. Because if I ask for advise from people who agree with me it would only feed my ego and my own desire to be right, then I would learn nothing.

My older wiser friends quoted quotes like:

«He who knows others is clever, but he who knows himself is enlightened» -Lao Tzu

That got me thinking… What better way to get to know myself, than getting closer to the person that «brings out the worst and the best in me.» ?

Could I be onto something here?…

When we argue with our spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, we get so hot-headed trying to win the argument and wanting to be right, that we forget about the love that we have for each other.

Why is it that being right is more important than the person we hold dearest to us? Why is it that winning has  more weight than what brought us together?

I began adding things up, I kept asking specific questions and each answer brought with it a new possibility. You see, I am not 18 anymore, I won’t go into a relationship just to see if it works, I’m in it with a purpose and to make it work.

Besides quoting quotes and disagreeing with me, my friends also recommended books like «Things I wish I’d known before we got married» by Gary Chapman. In it he makes several good points (I totally recommend it):

  • Every year there are over four million people in the United states alone, saying «I do«. To the question «Will you have this man to be your wedded husband?» or «Will you take this woman to be your wedded wife?» Almost all of these couples anticipate «living happily ever after«.
  • No one gets married hoping to be miserable or to make their spouse miserable. But the divorce rate  is around 50%.

«Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage, and failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship.»

  • There are two stages to romantic love. The first stage requires little effort, we are pushed along by euphoric feelings. We commonly call this stage «being in love». In this stage the couple does not have to work on the relationship. The second stage, when we find ourselves saying «Our differences seem so obvious now. Why didn’t I see them earlier?» We are completely different from each other, because each one of us is unique (we are like snow flakes). This stage is much more intentional and it requires work in order to keep emotional love alive.

Just like Gary Chapman said:

I wish someone had been there to tell me that what I was thinking and feeling was normal, that in fact there are two stages to romantic love and I had to make the transition. It would have saved me from years of marital struggle.

So, yes, the second stage requires work to keep emotional love alive, however, for those who make the effort to transition from stage one to stage two, the rewards are astounding.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. –Ephesians 5:25

Another book that my friends recommended is «The meaning of Marriage» by Timothy and Kathy Keller. And this is the reason why I couldn’t contain a smile when I read «he brings out the worst and the best in me.» It was a nice coincidence…

This is what I was reading from this book that same morning before reading that email.

«The challenge of marriage

Marriage brings into intimate contact two people more than any other possible human relationship. Which means that not only we have a relationship of absolute immediacy. But we have to deal with our partner’s respective virtues and defects.

When we get married, our partner is like a huge vehicle that impacts our hearts. Married life brings out the worst in us. But it is not responsible for our failures (although we may blame our partner for everything that goes wrong). The highlight is that we can not say that’s a bad thing. How will we be able to change for the better if we go into a relationship thinking we are already perfect?

Marriage has the power of truth, the necessary strength to manifest what we really are, defects included. How wonderful is it then that marriage also has the «power of love». An unrivaled power that reassure us and heals the deepest wounds of life.» –The meaning of Marriage

In conclusion

  • Don’t let your dreams of a happy marriage, be shattered in the real world of dirty dishes, unpaid bills, conflicting work schedules and crying babies. Through hard work and counseling you can go on to have the marriage that you dream of.- Paraphrasing Gary Chapman.
  • Bringing out the best in someone is good, but bring out their worse is better as it gives the couple an opportunity to grow together.
  • Every aspect of a relationship is about giving. So, instead of thinking «how can my partner make me a better person.» Try changing the approach to. How can I help my partner become the best version of themselves in the most loving way possible.
  • When facing a struggle, don’t rant to the friends that will agree with you. Instead seek advise from children, elders and people who disagree with you. Asking specific questions with specific answers to the problems you want to solve.
  • There are two stages to romantic love, the second requires work but if you decide to transition to it, the rewards are astounding.
  • These conclusions apply whether you are married or in a relationship towards marriage.

If this was helpful, please comment and share and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already done so.

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The 5 Love Languages

Without a doubt, love is the universal language, not just a chemical reaction in our brains. In his book «The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts«, Gary Chapman affirms that there are five general ways to express love.

In a world with such variety of beautiful people with so many different life perspectives, different beliefs, different nationalities and educational backgrounds, chances are that the way that you understand and express love is different from your loved one’s.

I had to learn this the hard way, but you don’t have to. I wish I’d known and understood The 5 Love Languages one year sooner… But is never too late to learn so I want to share this with you because your relationship may still have a chance.

Sometimes we don’t feel loved by our partners and it’s because we express love in the same way we feel loved instead of expressing it in the way that they feel loved.


The 5 Love Languages

 

Words of Affirmation

This language uses words to affirm other people. Actions may not always speak louder than words. For some of us unsolicited compliments mean the world. And hearing the words «I Love You» is important because the reasons behind that love send our spirits skyward. But insults will shatter our hearts and are not easily forgotten.

Spoken compliments or words of appreciation are very powerful communicators of love. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure and hearing encouraging words will inspire courage in us. Maybe you or your spouse have a sleeping potential waiting to hear some encouraging words that will help you conquer the world.

Acts of Service

For some people, actions do speak louder than words. Can doing the laundry really be an expression of love?Absolutely! lesson learned 😉

Anything we do to ease the burden on an «acts of service» person will go a long way. For them the words «Let me do that for you» speak louder than «I love you». Being lazy or procrastinating, breaking commitments and creating more work for them. Tells them that their feelings don’t matter. Just as much as insults shatter the heart of a  «Words of Affirmation» person. This doesn’t mean that you should become a servant out of guilt, the acts of service are acts of love.

Receiving Gifts

For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift. For them, receiving a gift means that their partner pays attention to them. It means that he/she took the time to look for the perfect gift that shows such attention. But don’t mistake this with materialism. Something as simple as a flower on their birthday could save your relationship.

The receiver of gifts thrives not on the gift itself. But on the love, thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. To them the perfect gift shows that they are known and cared for.

Not always the receiver of gifts expects a tangible material gift that can only be bought. Something that you make for them with your own two hands can have the same effect. Physical presence in time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give.

But the gift is a token, a symbol that says «look, he was thinking of me» or «she remembered me».

Quality Time

Nothing says «I Love You», like full undivided attention to some of us. Being there for this type of person is critical. But really being there, with the TV off, slow eating, the chores and tasks on standby. This makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. No cellphones, distractions, postponed dates or failure to listen. These can be specially hurtful.

This doesn’t mean «Netflix and Chill«. This is about taking a walk just the two of you and looking at each other while talking.

Quality time tells us that the other person is genuinely interested in what we have to say. In sharing our thoughts and feelings, it calls for sympathetic listening. And openness to understanding the other person’s desires. Advise will always be welcome but never in a condescending way.

Physical Touch

To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch. This language isn’t all about the bedroom. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder or face. All these show excitement, concern, care and love. While neglect and abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

The lifelines for the Physical Touch person are holding hands, kissing hugs and sex. these expressions are their primary love language.

Touch, hug and kiss each other before you leave the house and you get back, it will speak volumes.

If you are not feeling loved by your spouse or partner and that your relationship has no fix, share this post with them, sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss  the The 5 Love Languages, learn to understand each other’s needs. After all, being in a relationship is about learning from each other. Be open to the The 5 Love Languages and remember this African proverb:

However long the night… the dawn will break.

 

Which is your love language?

Share in the comments section below.

I am a «words of affirmation and quality time» type of person 😉 and you?