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“The pen is mightier than the sword” were first written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play Cardinal Richelieu.
After this week I’ve realized that words definitely have power: Information is a weighty weapon. Wield it wisely.
On this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, I explore communication and more on the subject of Personal Development.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Brandon Bruchard’s “The Charged Life”. How to Have Difficult Conversations is one that caught my eye. In hindsight I wish that I’d had listened to this a few weeks ago. I had to have a hard conversation with my husband, which is often the case, and the advice he gives about how to approach conversations would have been helpful.
As you can see, in Brandon’s own words, he understands the title that I’ve given this post:
Information is a weighty weapon. Wield it wisely.
Don’t enter the conversation with your current emotions.
When you’re upset or want someone to change, it’s easy to enter the conversation in a bad emotional place. Don’t do that. Remember, conversations are a 50-50 game; it’s as much about the other person as it is you. Take a breather, get perspective, and always enter a tough conversation with humility and kindness.
Begin with the end in mind.
How do you want the other person to feel at the end of the conversation? What do you want them to believe or do? How do you want to feel and be perceived? Keep your answers in mind, and you’ll be more intentional and effective during the conversation.
Use the XYZ pattern for making requests.
Say something like, “I saw or heard you do X, I felt Y and my request is Z”. The pattern ends with a request to talk openly about what you saw and felt. Asking permission to talk about it says you’re open and non-accusatory.
Be more patient.
When you are sharing bad news or delivering a difficult message, take it s-l-o-w. Be patient and allow the other person to feel, to speak, to let your message sink in. Don’t dump your feelings out on them or seek a hasty resolution. Almost all problems in difficult conversations come because someone is impatient. Breathe. If the relationship is important, then it’s important to be patient.
Sounds like pretty good advice, right?
I think overall there is never a good time to have a hard conversation.
Don’t they always say you should never talk about money and politics with your friends? Anyway, for the most part I handle the finances of our family without my husband having to worry about things, but when something comes up there really is never a good time to have a conversation about it. I’m sure this is the case for most other couples as well.
The Catch 22 situation that comes up is that if I talk to my husband about finances on a work day he stresses out because he’s usually just gotten home from work and is “doing all he can to provide for the family”. If I talk to him about it on a vacation day it seems to make him think about work and it ruins his vacation day.
At least now, when I do have to talk to my husband I have some ideas about making what still will be a difficult conversation a little better.
What’s your hardest conversations you have to have?
I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and Amazon Prime shows, but did you know that you can watch college courses online? Ones from Yale and Stanford and Berkeley? You can!
This week I started to watch Intro to Psychology. I know it sounds like a strange video for a stay at home mom to start watching, but in the information curation process for my Mommy’s Mid-Life Quest in full effect, I’ve become fascinated with the way the brain works.
The Psych 110 course is going to cover some of that later on in the series so if you have a chance to check it out I would watch the videos.
If you could sit in on any college course, what class would you want to “take”?
Although talking usually isn’t something I mention on these posts, I thought this week I’d add something about a conversation a friend of mine and I had. She’s a newly acquired mentor of mine and we were talking about The Mirror Challenge. If you haven’t heard of this challenge it’s one where you look at yourself in a mirror (or on camera on your phone) and tell yourself a handful of good things about yourself.
When was the last time you praised yourself openly? I can’t seriously remember and for me that seems like such a shame! As a stay at home mom those instances are far and few between. Even when they are said aloud usually I just brush them off and get embarrassed. For me, “You’re a great mom” is something I expect my own mom to tell me, right?
So anyway, back to the Mirror challenge.
It’s a chance for you to be your own cheerleader as I told my friend. It sounds like an easy thing, but in reality you look in the mirror all the time, but you don’t ever do it with the intention of talking to yourself.
In my reality, all I can think of is the Stuart Smiley skit from the 1980s. I feel extremely uncomfortable and nerdy doing it the way that he comes off in this skit:
Now as silly as this skit seems, and as silly as it was for Michael Jordan in his hay-day to participate in this skit, truly the words that they both say make an impact. We see an updated and more serious version of this it in the movie THE HELP when the Nanny/Housekeeper tells the daughter:
So Monday I started this challenge and what I can see already that words are definitely a weighty weapon when it comes to self affirmations.
The kids were upstairs and so was hubby and I turned my camera on, turned it so I could see the “selfie version” of myself on the screen and I ran into a lot of issues!
- I couldn’t figure out more than two things to say to myself.
- Saying them made me extremely uncomfortable!
Have you tried The Mirror Challenge? If so, how did it go? If you haven’t, would you want to do it with me?
If the above things weren’t enough, I’ve been busy enough to recently download a copy of How To Live In The Now: Achieve Awareness, Growth and Inner Peace in Your Life (Personal Empowerment Book 1).
Instantly I found the great quote from Neville Berkowitz:
Isn’t that a great one? It leaves me wanting to search as far and wide as I can to improve myself.
Have you ever wanted to explore self-improvement or personal development?
Click for more What’s Up? Wednesday Posts.