Is Controversy YOUR new Normal?

Every. Single. Day. There it is, right there in the headlines; a major controversial theme for the day, which can sometimes take over the news and media for weeks. Saints vs. Rams, Native American vs. Catholic teens, Wall funding vs. Congress, Kavenough vs. Ford, the list could go on for days on end. It has become such a normal part of our daily living, daily news, and daily conversations that I am very concerned for our marriages, our newlyweds, our premarital couples, our young adults, and our future leaders!

The constant controversy we are faced with on a regular basis from companies, groups, National sports leagues, and well-renowned organizations has become the new normal, and nothing can be more damaging toward creating peace and unity! If this has become the ‘norm’ in media, in TV reality shows, in the press, and all over social media- how in the world could families refrain from making this the norm in their own homes and in their most precious and valued relationships with loved ones, spouses, and especially with their children?

This new acceptable form of daily conflict seems innocent, and unavoidable at times; but what is happening is, ‘MEDIA’ is taking ‘clips’ of happenings, or small segments of words or phrases spoken, and developing a negative story out of it; creating perspectives that would sometimes, and often, be non-existent if the ENTIRE message, or ENTIRE video, or ALL the facts were presented, to begin with.

Our controversial culture is wreaking havoc in the subconscious minds of everyone! We literally have become immune to acts of controversial behaviors assuming everyone will adapt and it will be fully acceptable!

This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

DON’T LET THIS NORMALIZATION OF CONFLICT BE YOURS TOO!!

Even one of the fruits of the spirit in the Bible states having forbearance, which means, don’t have resistance, don’t challenge and push for things, have self-control. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. …

If every day we brought a ‘new’ problem to the table within our family or in our workplace, or in our community, everyone would be in discord, major dysfunction, and a breakdown of love and trust would diminish!

When an environment is a never-ending pool of different perspectives, different opinions, and arguments, there is conflict continually. Successful families and companies have positive flowing relationships when they can create an atmosphere that promotes positivity, results, praise, respect, and admiration. The following guidelines are helpful to create unity within groups, teams, partnerships, and families:

  • There is kindness; even expressed when providing constructive criticism. We don’t ‘bash’ the child or spouse or employee, we express our discord with ‘choices’ or ‘behaviors’.
  • There are boundaries and rules, and they are conveyed as to what and how they should be followed; if homes have no children; spouses express preferences to each other and each partner works hard to conform to their partner’s desires in an effort to please each other.
  • There are consequences for not complying to boundaries that everyone agreed to in a family; or set forth by the leader, parent, President, or top authority figure. Without adequate consequences, there would be chaos, and no one would have any reason to adhere to the boundaries, much less comply.
  • There is respect. Not everyone will agree, or like all the boundaries, rules, or laws put into place; but under the leadership or parental units, or companies where people have hatred, or a deep dislike, or a strong disagreement; it is the mature responsibility of those individuals to understand this very important principle: If you don’t like the management, you have a few choices: leave the company/family/relationship/group, move out or away from your current authority submitting yourself to new leadership or management, or you rise up to be the leader yourself! But if you remain in the situation, and your way of dealing with it is to badger, criticize, complain, cause dissension, disrupt others peace, you have caused strong negative energies to take over within you, and it wreaks havoc to all those around you. Why engage in actions to yourself and others that cause thoughts and emotions to suffer?

If you are in a family, group or company that argues and has a lot of dysfunction and problems, you have a few choices.

You can stay in the situation (hoping it changes; trying to change it- which often creates constant resistance and lowers everyone’s energy vibrations and emotions! Unless all parties can communicate effectively or seek counseling) Problem rarely gets resolved

Leave the situation (get a new job, move out, or ignore and distance yourself from the problem or person) -problem remains

Argue, or try to ‘WIN’ (a useless, virtually never successful effort) lowers emotional state & problem remains.

In all the above remedies: problem remains. Division, discouragement, bitterness, resentment, blame, negative emotions, hard-spiritedness, dissension, and discord are all results of staying insistent on getting your way.

Compromise is where two parties both ‘step off’ of certain desires, and ‘allow’ for some unwanted things. The keyword here: BOTH parties must give & take.

The only time a person should stand their ground is if a choice is made without their consent- against their will or against their desire- that person afflicted should not be held accountable in any way (financially or otherwise) because someone else made a wrong choice. Example: Son breaks family TV when he threw a ball in the house. Mom thinks the parents should replace it, describing the incident as an accident. Dad, on the other hand, feels the Son should relinquish his allowance, seek new neighbors yards to cut for money, and do whatever else it takes to buy a new TV.

Would the parents replacing the TV be teaching the child how life works? If the parents were not in the child’s life in 5 years, the same scenario happened in college, would the child feel like ‘all’ the roommates should chip in to recover the cost of a TV… since, after all, it WAS an accident? Or, would the child have grown up realizing that we are all responsible for our mistakes- purposeful and accidental mistakes?

Love wins. Patience endures. Kindness calms. Thoughtfulness encourages. Non-resistance compromises.

Sometimes we must come to the realization that we can’t keep trying to have our expectations met, it is so emotionally draining.

Sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Letting go of trying so hard to make a point can be energizing. If someone has a different value system, your point is mute anyway.

Sometimes, it is best to do the following when a difficult person says or does something against our better wishes:

  • Pause.
  • Shake our head. (release that negative feeling!)
  • Realize that sometimes the other person resisting our decision is based solely on their own fears or levels of insecurities.

Each day does not have to include drama. Be a drama-diffuser. Here are the best ways to reduce drama, cease potential arguments- and keep positive flowing energy at work and at home.

A person has a critical argument or comment:

Your Response: That’s interesting.

A person has a negative statement or complaint:

Your Response: What are your ideas to fix that?

A person is going on and on with Blame…blame…blame:

Your Response: What are your plans moving forward since you can’t change the past?

A person has a project or something unreasonable for you to do:

Response: My answer is no, but I’m willing to compromise with the idea to ____________________.

Try hard not to let our present day culture that has developed a ‘normalcy’ to drama and conflict, be your method of everyday operation as well! The Nations leaders may not be in constant unity, but our relationships, families, and workplaces can be!!

Be happy within yourself, and kindness will flow. Be content and grateful, and appreciation will come naturally. Be a person with no expectations, and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Don’t take things personally. Don’t assume. Always honor your word. And always, do your very best. ~The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

Less conflict = more peace!🤗✌

Life & Relationship Coach,

Annalisa O’Toole

askannalisa.com

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I love my partner, but they’re making me crazy!

Are you in that love – hate relationship that is having constant conflict? Are you in emotional turmoil most of the time over this relationship? Do you miss the romantic spark you once felt? Maybe you are getting along, but you feel it’s only because you don’t speak up about your feelings, for fear it will develop into an argument. Whatever your relationship problem, there is hope for a positive future. There is good news about this, and also bad news.

The good news is, you DESERVE to have your needs met. You are worthy to be heard and feel understood. You are valuable, and your feelings do matter. You can have a blissful, romantic, fun, friendship and companion who meets your needs and rocks your world. So, that’s all the good news. Moving on to the not-so-good part…

In order to experience positive, flowing, fun, non-combative, friendship and romance, you have to understand this very important belief and absorb this belief into your deepest counsciousness. You must accept and agree with this belief. For some, this may be shocking. For other’s it may be just what the Doctor ordered. Many people will have a hard time accepting this belief as a serious truth. Here is the first step in positive relationships:

~Never allow your need for affection or affirmation; nor your fear of being alone to over ride your ability to prevent emotional connection to someone who does not meet your needs.~

Interestingly enough, the first step in qualifying someone for dating exclusively, is learning as much about them as you can. I had a close friend once who would meet someone interesting, and upon my asking how that new friendship was going, he replied, “oh, she wasn’t my model number!”

Habits and Behaviors that occur during dating (good or bad in your view) will usually multiply upon living together or in marriage. Evaluation should be the mission during infatuation! To clearly establish if someone meets the preferences that align with your needs (or not) indicates you are confident with your own personal path. How could being physically attracted to someone just majically work if you haven’t figured out your own course for life? Maybe you haven’t settled on a career path- or you’ve decided on taking 3 months to hike and sight-see Europe, wouldn’t it be great to know that a person would support your goals or aspirations? If your dream is to live and work in a foriegn city for a year- or do an internship in a busy city, but your love interest is passionate on a farm in the mountains living off-grid, you may need to reconsider getting serious. Geographical incompatibilities are just one area, there are of course, many other preferrences of people to learn about! Having clarity for yourself and knowing what your deepest values and needs would be from a partner, speaks volumes for your confidence level. Relationships have a higher success rate if individuals allow theirself time to become friends and establish a deep understanding of each others inner charachter before becoming emotionally connected. It’s important to understand though, that it’s not our job to mold or change someone so our needs are met. The right emotionally balanced and mature person should meet your needs naturally- for the most part- because they love you.

Individuals who can clearly state what they like, what they don’t like, and have courage and confidence to speak up for their needs, are much more likely to be satisfied in a realtionship, versus someone unable to speak up for what they want. Many times people can not speak up for what they need because they don’t even know! You can’t expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself enough to have a plan for your life! How would you know if someone WOULD fit along side you and your mission- if you don’t even know what it is yet?

Once you’ve discovered your calling, you can gage so easily, (when you’re attracted to someone and you begin talking)- if there could be a potential connection that develops. You would know because a potential dating partner should respond to your interests with enthusiasm, supportive gestures, helpful ideas and be your biggest fan.

If you are in a relationship where your personal needs are not met, and you have expressed what they are (and they are reasonable, doable, and not crazy, costly, immoral or illegal!) then you may need to reconsider how long you plan to stay in an uncomfortable relationship that is constantly resistant to meeting your needs.
Maybe, your needs are not about you. In other words, you’re desiring change in your partner because that change will somehow be more pleasant to you. In your partners life, however, their behavior is comfortable. The change you seek is considered your ‘preference’ (not a personal need) and is in conflict with your partner’s ‘preference’. Here’s a common Example: You prefer no alcohol. Your partner drinks. This can cause serious lifestyle conflicts. The only way a couple with these differing values could grow in a positive way, is for one or the other to “give up” their preference, and honor their word, consistantly. So either the non-drinker accepts the drinker -and all the lifestyle choices that go along with that (over-indulgence with drinking from time to time, spending extra money on alcohol, socially partaking, etc) or, the drinker quits and goes along with lifestyle choices supporting the sobriety. There is no grey area here- unless both people remain in their preferred lifestyle choice; which would mean breaking up or divorcing; or staying together with constant conflict.

Another example is a couple who is unequally yoked spiritually. One is an avid church goer, one is not. But if one person continues to try and judge or change their partner due to the difference (could be either partner here) it doesn’t feel good- one feels resistance on a consistant basis. However, if both parties agree on the situation, it can be a non-issue. If they can not agree- it means resistance continues; or to avoid resistance on a consistant basis- one partner decides they do not want to live with that resistance over a vast difference in values. The only way to live with a partner having a different value or lifestyle choice is to accept it- and make no resistance over it, or determine that value is unacceptable to you, to the point of it being completely unbearable – and get out of the relationship.

Before getting out, (if thats your decision) it is a good idea to express to your partner what your very serious ‘need or preference’ is and express that the future of staying together depends on it. Someone who loves you and wants to be with you, someone who respects you and your lifestyle, will either comply, or choose their preference over you. But, respectfully accept this, because this means at least they have clarity for what they value and need.

Positive relationships will have situations that feel resistance, but they shouldn’t be continual. If resistance continues, over the same differences for long periods of time; it simply means someone, after agreeing to a solution, has broken their word. It is important to know if you are someone who can continue forgiving and restarting new committments, or if this is unbearable.

Counseling can help individuals- if a person is consistant to seek guidance.

Remember this…

~The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results~

Know yourself, know your needs. Honoring yourself is vital before you can successfully unite with someone in an exclusive relationship. And, never try changing people. Inspire them by sharing your convictions- but know when it’s a fit or time for a flight!

~LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

For more info on #relationships visit http://www.annalisaotoole.wordpress.com

Is my partner happy in our #relationship?

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Wondering if the person you’re dating is happy in the relationship? This is a common concern among many people. A person in a relationship will usually have concerns about this at the beginning of the relationship, because they may have feelings they have not expressed; or, the person their dating hasn’t expressed their feelings.  To ease dater’s minds about how to know for sure, if the person your seeing is totally into you, I completed a list of common signs to look for. This list is made up of things that your partner will do, so you know for sure…they are experiencing happiness and contentment in the relationship.

First, they reach out! THEY CALL, TEXT, EMAIL, FACETIME, SKYPE, or send SNAIL MAIL….and they initiate contact consistently. Someone into you will want to reach out often and keep in touch. The amount of someone’s correspondence, or how many times a day they reach out, will vary. The thing to recognize here, though, is that they WILL reach out, and do it with some consistency. Here is an example of a warning sign with this particular action: If you hear from them on Monday, and you are the only reaching out for say, the next 3-5 days, they just might not be that into you.

Next, If the person you’re dating is happy, they will listen to you.  If someone is listening, they will respond with great feedback, great idea’s, and you feel as though they ‘get’ you, and understand, and enjoy conversations. Couples probably won’t run out of things to talk about and share if both people are happy in the relationship. It’s when there is the awkward silence, or arguments happen a lot, or neither partner seems to be able to get on the same page of understanding, that trouble can begin on the horizon. Someone who is not that into you will not be as attentive, may not remember important things you say, and seem distant much of the time. Someone who seems easily distracted by you most of the time, may be a sign, they are losing interest or they are no longer emotionally connected. If they demonstrate these behaviors, it doesn’t always mean they are tired, stressed, or worried (they often will use these as reasons) but truthfully, they could possibly be getting bored, or have lost interest in you.

(key tip here: don’t get angry if someone is showing signs of not being into you. No one ever stays in love or falls ‘back into’ love because their partner gets angry. People have their preferences; if your personality or lifestyle isn’t their model number; you don’t want them anyway! You want someone to ADORE how you are! Be transparently you! 

When someone’s really happy in their relationship, they will always initiate wanting to spend time with their partner. But, here’s the clue: it isn’t time that you request -(sure, if they are into you, they will try to accommodate that too) but the real test is when they are initiating the request to be with you, often, say at least once a week or so. If they are suggesting a plan or asking for you both to spend time together, this is a definite sign they are happy and want to be with you!

Whenever someone is really happy in a relationship, they will ‘edify’ this relationship with others. This means, they are proud to be with you, and they do not hesitate at all to have you around their friends or family (with a new relationship, this may take a little time before occurring, that is normal, reasonable, and should be expected. ) If they are talking positively about you to others, they are possibly posting pics of events you are at together, pics of the two of you, ect…this is a sure bet, they are into you.  Now, don’t judge a person being happy or unhappy by posts, certainly don’t do that; some people are private, and they may just not be the ‘social media-I post-everything-type’. But, there are other ways in which they can ‘share’ their joy of being with you. Taking pictures for their own personal phone or use is a good indicator they are happy. Speaking highly of you in front of others when you are standing there, that’s awesome. Or, if you hear back from someone on how highly they spoke of you when you weren’t around…that’s even more awesome!

If someone is happy with you, really happy with you, they won’t always seek their own agenda. For example, if they call you often, but it’s because you always foot the bill.. (say for example, that maybe they have been without a job for quite some time, and they need something each time they call; that is a serious red flag.) Always be sharp enough to know the difference between them wanting to be ‘with’ you, verses, them ‘needing’ you. Another example of this would be if they only call late at night, and want to come over without pre-planning, often. They most definitely could have a romantic agenda, but don’t you feel you are worth some notice, and your time should be respected? Do they just want some lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ time, or do they actually want to spend time doing other activities through the week with you? Did someone else cancel the plan, so maybe you are plan B? Are you OK with being the spur of the moment type of partner?  I always preferred a partner who valued my time and requested it ahead of time. I deserve that, do you?

~You will always be treated in a relationship, in the manner in which you feel deserving of.~

I’m not saying never to be spontaneous; that is fun! But, if a guy or gal isn’t requesting your presence ahead of time, (asking you out) you might just be being used for a good time at their discretion, not because they are really into you. Beware of the self-seekers!

Last but not least, a wonderful example of someone who is totally happy with you is the partner who TELLS YOU and SHOWS YOU that they are!! This can be verbalized and demonstrated in many ways. Love notes, meaningful conversations, gifts, (big or small), special acts of kindness are all examples of loving gestures. If they remember your meet date, or birthday, if they get you a little gift for no reason, these are all acts of kindness that really show appreciation for not just you, but for the relationship. Consider yourself lucky if you have a thoughtful partner who doesn’t take you for granted, and does the little things, because really…those are the BIG THINGS that show happiness.

Here is one last tip: Some people SAY they are happy, they offer gifts, offer time, do most of the things on this list, however, one partner may be a nag or have constant unmet expectations. One of the biggest relationship mistakes a partner makes is trying to ‘change’ someone. If a lover is truly happy with their partner, they wouldn’t need to change them. Trying to make someone live up to a set of expectations is only hurting themselves.  If someone continues to try and change their partner;  there’s a highly likely chance, the two are not true soul mates. ~

For more #realtionshipadvice, follow this blog. Remember, you can always email a question to possibly be featured on this blog (no names used, of course!) Email your question to:     lifecoachannalisa@gmail.com.