Taking Suggestions


Not everyone is good at taking suggestions from others for a variety of reasons.  Some people I know who are like this either think they have all the answers, they want to figure out all of their problems on their own, or they don’t like admitting they were wrong about something or did anything wrong.  If they do listen to others, they may not really hear what is being said.  It becomes difficult to be around people who are like this except for in small doses because, in a nutshell, they are self-centered and are not inclusive.

It is challenging to talk to people who only want to hear what they themselves have to say and who don’t want to consider other people’s ideas or feelings.  I end up feeling like nothing I say will ever have any validity in their eyes.  I react in one of two ways, depending on who it is and how often I have to interact with them.  I either feel compelled to keep trying to get my point across, whether I have to be blunt or very tactful, or I completely give up because it is pointless.

If you don’t want to include others’ during meetings for your organization because you don’t ever ask for their input in the form of ideas, opinions, or their vote, then don’t be surprised if they stop coming because they wanted to be involved but didn’t feel like they could be.  I have seen this plenty of times with various organizations of which I have been a part.  Those organizations that go overboard to make people feel welcome and included thrive because people are willing to put forth the effort to make things happen.  The ones where those at the top want to make all the decisions and tell everyone else how things should be lose people left and right, and the same few people end up doing more than they should.  Yet, they wonder why more people don’t just flock right in.  Word of mouth travels quickly, and people can easily be rubbed the wrong way if they perceive you are more interested in yourself or your agenda than theirs or the whole of the group.

If you are expecting others to always be there for you but are not willing to be there for others, then you need to change your ways.  If you can’t ever own up to any mistakes that you might have made or admit that you are at least sometimes part of the problem, then you can’t expect things to improve.  If you are not open to constructive criticism or making any changes, especially when you have asked for feedback, then you really can’t wonder why things never change.  Furthermore, if you have been given feedback about how your actions or attitude has negatively impacted a situation or other people and you not only continue to keep doing the same thing but your behavior becomes even worse as a result, you may be pushing someone away because you refuse to listen.  Stubbornness often doesn’t pay, and no one has all the answers or great ideas.

I think all of this boils down to how much of a “me” person you are and whether you are more of a giver or taker.  If you are thinking about yourself most of the time and how you can have your needs met, then you will most likely have these behaviors.  If you instead think about how you can meet the needs of others and understand by meeting their needs you may get your own needs met in return, then you are likely to get better results.  Really listening to the feedback people are giving you, whether you asked for it or not, is key.

Comments are always welcome!  Clicking on the “Home” page tab will allow you to scroll through other posts, or you can select a category or tag word to find similar topics.  If you would like to read future posts, please follow the blog or my Facebook page.

Reaching Maturity vs. Being Mature


There are numerous ways you can define maturity, but I really like this one.  That’s because it perfectly fits why the topic of maturity seems to keep finding its way into conversations about my family lately. I wish I could say it’s because I’m impressed with how mature everyone is or is becoming, but that is only partially true.

My two teenagers do continue to impress me with how they are thinking more along the lines adults would typically think, especially when it comes to how to handle certain situations.  Their behavior can still be somewhat immature at times, but their thought processes are changing.  They think about the big picture more and how their decisions affect others.  And they think less about their own needs now, at least some of the time.  They understand that they can’t have everything they want or need immediately, and they are conscious of their needs inconveniencing others. Continue reading

Taking People For Granted

I think most people do this more than we might care to admit.  Even those of us who try to be conscious about not doing things of this nature can sometimes be found guilty.  It’s hard not to.  We get used to people always being there when we need them or always doing certain things either for us or that need to get done.  We forget to thank them for the everyday tasks at least every so often.  It’s one thing to consciously think about the things and people for whom we are grateful, but it’s another to express those thoughts to them.

Unfortunately, it’s usually the people we care about the most whom we end up taking for granted.  And it isn’t until they either walk away or stop doing the things we are used to them doing that we realize how important those things are and that person really is to us.  It shouldn’t be that way.  It is easy to slip into a situation where we feel we are being taken for granted.  Likewise, if the other person allows it, it’s equally as easy to do it to them.  It’s something that takes conscious effort and being able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.  If you’ve ever been taken for granted, you know how that feels, and you shouldn’t want others whom you care about to experience that feeling.  We also need to make it clear to others that we will not allow ourselves to be taken for granted, even if it means having to make some changes including walking away in order to get the point across.

I think this is one of those things that you can talk about all you want, but unless you model it for your kids, they will not learn to really appreciate those whom they would normally take for granted.   Continue reading

Do Opposites Really Attract?    

Years ago, I might have said yes, but now I am not so sure.  My husband and I are very opposite in a lot of ways.  He’s more athletic than I am, and I am more into music, theater, and art related interests.  There is a little overlap in the music we listen to, but we definitely have different tastes. He is not very good at getting back to people or getting things done for them that he said he would do, and I drop what I am doing to do things for other people because I don’t like to keep people hanging.  He turns on practically every light as he moves around the house, but my eyes prefer dim light, so I am always turning them down or off.  I’m not all that comfortable being the center of attention, and he craves the spotlight.  I’m more of a rule follower, and he operates more as if the rules don’t apply to him.   Continue reading

Being Selfish

being selfish:relationships

I read this quote and immediately thought that this sums up several of my previous posts.  I thought of ones titled “Compromise“, “Givers and Takers“, “Parenting Your Spouse and Constructive Criticism“, “Being A Good Listener“, “Equal Parenting“, “Undermining Your Spouse“, “It’s Not About the Laundry…”, “Loving Someone Unconditionally“, “Following Directions“, “Being A Minimalist“, “Control“, and more.

You really have to be willing to give in many ways and make compromises in any kind of relationship as well as put others’ needs above your own and be able to work together.  A selfish person is not usually good at any of those things.  There has to be give and take, but that doesn’t mean the selfish person doing all the taking and someone else doing all the giving.  Regardless of the type of relationship (romantic, friendships, family members), both people’s needs have to be met, and selfish people are not good at doing that.   Continue reading

Being Thoughtful

One of the things about another person that stands out for me is how thoughtful they are.  This can mean many things.  It can be how much they put others’ needs above their own, how frequently they do things like hold a door open or let someone go first, or the fact that they will drop everything and be there for someone else, if necessary, even if it means it will inconvenience them.  It could also be doing things for other people that they don’t have to but do anyway because they know it will make the other person feel good, such as calling or texting to ask how they or doing or surprising them with something like flowers or a small gift.  Anyone who is willing to give of his or her time, whether it’s to support a cause or to lend an ear, is a very thoughtful person in my book.

To me, how thoughtful someone is says a WHOLE lot about that person’s character in general. Continue reading

Being A Minimalist


Being a minimalist is something I end up talking to my kids about every so often because they are all minimalists.  Most of the time they only want to do the bare minimum when asked to do something.  Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to their schoolwork but rather times when they are asked to do something around the house and in other situations.  For example, if there are three books on the floor that all go on the bookshelf in the same spot but my son only read two of them, he will only put those two away when asked (and reminded) to clean up and will leave the third on the floor.  They often moan and groan at being asked to do simple chores like bring in the recycling bins.  If I ask them to throw a food wrapper away that was left somewhere right near where they are sitting, I usually get, “That’s not mine.” or “I didn’t put it there, so why should I have to clean it up?” as a response.  When there is a large amount of stuff in one room to be cleaned up, I sometimes get asked, “What is the minimum amount I need to do right now?”  They want to get back to or don’t want to be pulled away from what they want to do.

I realize this is pretty typical for kids because I was also a minimalist when I was a kid. At some point though I started to think about what I could do to be helpful to other people and how it would make them feel, rather than always thinking about how it would impact me.   Continue reading