Coping With Conflict


Conflict can’t possibly be avoided.  It appears to be everywhere, especially in my house. I even have family members who seem to enjoy creating conflict where there shouldn’t be any.   Everyone has different ways of dealing with it too, including within my family.  That’s what makes it challenging.  Of course, it would be nice if there was a lot less conflict to begin with because people were more tolerant, respectful, and cooperative and less stubborn, impatient, and selfish.  Unfortunately, I don’t see those things changing too quickly.  What would be REALLY nice is if there were better coping skills for dealing with the conflict because while we can’t control what other people do or say or what is happening around us, we can control how we react to it, at least some of the time. Continue reading

Feeling Content 

Feeling content has a lot to do with feeling happy about your circumstances and being grateful for who and what you have in your life.  That can be very challenging when your basic needs are not being met.  I’m not talking about food, shelter, and clothing basic needs, although I’m sure it’s difficult to feel content when those needs are not being met either.  I am talking about being respected and listened to and things of that nature.  It’s hard to look on the bright side and see the positives life has to offer when the people who are most important in your life don’t value and appreciate you or treat you with respect.  It also becomes difficult to live in the moment and enjoy the little things when there is so much negativity on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, I am speaking from plenty of experience.

I just read a quote that said, “When you learn to accept instead of expect, you’ll have fewer disappointments.”  This may be true to a certain extent, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to be treated with respect and kindness, to feel valued as a whole person, and to have others be honest with me.   Continue reading



Loyalty is one of those things that is really important in any relationship.  It has to be earned though, and not expected, unless of course if we are talking about a parent being loyal to their children.  That should be expected.  The other way around though is a different story.  As kids grow older and start thinking more like adults, they start to see things differently, including their parents.  If one or both parents have been there for the child every step of the way, then there’s a good chance the child will feel a sense of loyalty to the parent(s).

When that’s not the case, the parent shouldn’t be surprised if the child doesn’t feel a sense of loyalty.  I think this is especially evident when parents split up.  It’s quite possible that a child will feel loyal to both parents if the child has had a good relationship with each of them, but when one or both parents haven’t been there for the child, the child is likely to lose that sense of loyalty.  I have experienced this with my own parent, and I am now watching my kids go through the same process.  It’s definitely a two-way street.  You can’t expect someone to be loyal to you if you are not willing to do the same in return.

The same can be said for friendships and romantic relationships and relationships with other family members. Continue reading

Not Losing Our Inner Child


The people who know me best tell me I have a very playful personality.  I was told once that I am not childish but rather child-like.  I would agree with that, and I think that’s partly because I never wanted to grow up in the first place (seriously, one of the poses I did for my high school senior pictures is me dressed in a pink dress with white tights and China doll shoes, sitting on the floor surrounded by stuffed animals, looking very much like a little girl).  I know when and how to be a responsible adult, but my inner child has always been there somewhere, waiting to come out and play.

As I have gotten older and had to deal with life’s challenges and responsibilities, that inner child has gotten quite lonely.  Not everyone can bring that side out in me, and I always look forward to spending time with the people who can.  It’s fun to be a little silly once in a while or do something only kids would typically do, like make a snow angel, especially if you are doing it with someone else or making someone else laugh in the process.   Continue reading

Getting Over The Hurdles

path no obstacles

The last several years it seems like no matter what is going on in my life or where I’d like to see myself, there are always obstacles to overcome … some of them little ones and some quite large.  Nothing seems to be easy.  There is always drama, and everything seems to be harder than it should be.  The really happy and enjoyable moments are few and far between.  Despite all of that, I still try to look at all of the obstacles as hurdles that I can get over, or maybe around, and not as permanent set-backs.

It really does feel like I am running hurdles sometimes where I just about get over one hurdle and there’s the next one right in front of me, but I am determined to keep going.  Sometimes it seems like I will never get to the end of the race either, because nothing that I would like to see change for the better ever changes, but I still keep going.  It’s the only way to get closer to the finish line, and I am determined to get there.  I know it’s going to feel so good once I finally get there, and that’s my motivation. Continue reading

I Told You So

It is REALLY challenging to refrain from uttering these words when someone who seems to insist on being right all of the time ends up being wrong about something … again.   A perfect example just happened this week.  I had asked my husband recently to make sure whatever beverage container he put his drink into gets put on his placemat and not directly on the wood table.  He insisted that there’s no way his thermal cup could leave rings on the table due to condensation. Theoretically, they are not supposed to, and most of the time his don’t, but I know I have picked up at least one of the ones he uses before and found a ring on the table more than once and would rather be safe than sorry.  I thought it was a pretty simple request, but he made a big deal about me asking him to be more conscious and treated it like it was a ridiculous request.  Sure enough, I picked up his cup the other day to clean the table and found a small puddle of water underneath it. This was right next to the partial burn ring on the table that was left by him putting a relatively hot bowl of rice there after I asked him to put it on a hot pad instead, and he insisted it would be fine.

I don’t know if it is so much that he doesn’t want to be wrong or just doesn’t want me to be right about anything, but I’m guessing it’s both.  He doesn’t usually utter the words, “You were right” or, “I was wrong” and seldom apologizes in situations like this, at least not without it sounding like it is a struggle to do so or that it is sarcastic rather than sincere.

Unfortunately, these are just more bad examples being set for our kids.   Continue reading

Poking the Bear


In my last post on being good role models and setting standards for our kids, I talked about how I now tend to lose my cool relatively easily, even though I often talk to the kids about not overreacting and trying to stay calm in a variety of circumstances.  I am doing my best to not do that, but I can’t seem to convince my family that I am not just randomly lashing out or lecturing anyone because that’s what I like to do.  I am reacting to something they are either doing or not doing, and most of the time, whatever it is has been an ongoing issue or something more than one person tends to do or not do.  Therefore, I have very little patience with whatever behavior and am easily frustrated.  That makes it very difficult to keep calm all the time.

What gets me is that everyone is always surprised at the fact that I am upset or frustrated yet again and that I am reacting accordingly.  I don’t want to feel those things or react in a negative way, but it is a cumulative thing that has been more and more difficult to control over time.   Continue reading