Why Happy Families Require 12 Great Relationships (or Maybe 11)

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Why Happy Families Require 12 Great Relationships (or Maybe 11)
I love my family. We were on a group tour recently. One of our fellow tour members, a woman we didn’t know prior to the trip, who had shared a bus, hikes and meals with us for a few days, said, “I can tell you all really enjoy being around each other.”

It was one of the nicest compliments I’d ever gotten.

Our family isn’t perfect, but our observer was right, we do enjoy being around each other.

I realized in that moment, creating a happy family is about multiple relationships. Each person has an individual relationship with every other member.

In a family of four, there are 12 relationships. Each person has a personal relationship with the other three. That’s six total relationships. Then there are two sides to each relationship, so that means 12 dynamics in play.

The same exponential relationship model applies at work. Even if everyone has a good relationship with the leader, if one team member dislikes another, it has a chilling effect on the entire group.

Case in point, my younger brother and I ruined many a family trip (and dinners, and TV nights, and zoo, museum, Dairy Queen trips, and just about every other thing my mother tried to plan) with our constant fighting.

In any group, if one relationship, or even one side of one relationship is out of whack, it makes every single other relationship worse.

My colleague Seth Kahan, (www.visionaryleadership.com) says the exponential relationship dynamic is actually a mathematical formula: 2 n- (n + 1) where n is the number of people in the group. This formula factors in the sub groups, trios, quads, etc., that occur in any group of more than two. For a family of four, the exponential number is 11, 24 – (4+1) = 16 – 5 = 11 total relationships. Which doesn’t include the two sides of each relationship. But you get the point.

No matter which formula you use, the exponential relationship concept reinforces what you already know, families, and groups, are complicated.

Imagine how much different our family trip would have been if one of our kids had been angry with one of the parents. Actually you probably don’t have to imagine it, you’ve likely made that trip yourself, as have we.

Imagine, or remember, what a work team is like when two key players have an unspoken disagreement. You can feel the tension in every meeting.

So, what does a leader or parent do with this information? You have to create conditions that enable your team to have successful, independent relationships with each other. Yes, I know it’s more work, but you will ultimately benefit. Here are three tips to get started:

1. Set aside time to spend with each member alone.
2. Provide team members with space and time to get to know each other individually, outside the larger group.
3. Set an expectation that people will put time and effort into their relationships.

The last one is critical. Many work places, and many families, focus exclusively on output, creating the best product, doing the project faster, or getting the best grades. But one of the secrets to creating great output is through mutually supportive, enjoyable relationships. The team that dislikes each other is rarely innovative or successful, much less fun.

Group relationships are complex. But they’re worth it.

When you look around the table and realize, “we all really like each other,” you’re destined for great things.

(c) Lisa Earle McLeod

Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces.

She is the author of several books including Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud, a Wiley publication. She has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She provides executive coaching sessions, strategy workshops, and keynote speeches.

More info: www.mcleodandmore.com
Lisa’s Blog – Life on Purpose

Say It So You Lift Your Spirits
Even non-Scandinavians and optimists can feel their moods dampen during the dark of night. Luckily there are some easy ways to lift your spirits. Here are three:

1. When describing something in the past, what role do you play in the story? Are more of your most retold stories anchored by a positively or a negatively felt incidents? Those who are most resilient, energetic, caring and involved with others tend to link their stories to redemptive themes.

Those who are plagued by down moods often mark their stories with what went wrong and don’t include a redeeming detail. These narrative themes affect our choices — what we think we have to choose from — and how others see us.

2. We each have many personalities inside us. Some situations enable us to use our best talents and display our best side. Instead of attempting to be a “virtuoso juggler” as many women do, discover the specific situations where you thrive. When you can identify those moments you are better able, like a defensive driver, to see potential danger farther ahead where situations or individuals spark your discomfort or worse.

Conversely, knowing where you shine (temperament and talent) means you can make smarter choices about how you work and live — and with whom. While Marcus Buckingham’s book is intended for women, I know three male friends who have found it helpful in how they seek the situations that best serve them — professionally, personally and socially.

3. We each have a set point along the continuum of pessimistic to optimistic. After winning the lottery or experiencing the death of a loved one, we eventually return to that set point.

Since those who are on the positive end of that range are more likely to thrive, have friends and advance in their work, you might want to practice specific ways of “acting as if” you are more optimistic that are described in Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness.

Those who instinctively react more negatively or helplessly to difficult situations tend to experience it as the “three Ps”: personal (most of all, it happened to me); pervasive (now everything feels worse in my life); and permanent (it will always be this bad).

One caveat that makes it worth having friends at the other end of the spectrum: Optimists tend to be overly rosy about a situation, leaping into opportunities that, in fact, aren’t while pessimists are more realistic — seeing what is. Together they are more likely to see potential problems and to find solutions. They are also more likely to squabble because the other person doesn’t act right — like them. So it helps to laugh when you recognize when it that is starting to happen.

Hint: Perspective is potent. “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” — Unknown

‘When I Grow Up, I Want to Be an Alcoholic,’ Says No One Ever

I came across this picture of my younger brother, Will, and I on the day of my college graduation. He had just finished his sophomore year. Look at us. Our futures were bright. We had the world at our fingertips. You can see our happiness in our eyes. They haven’t been jaded with the realities of life yet. I look at these two and think they don’t a have clue of how good they have it and how bad it’s going to get.

Will and I were always close growing up. We all were. I took my big sister role very serious, especially since he had such a baby-face look to him. I was super protective of him and nothing changed once he came to college. If anything, I was even more protective since we didn’t have any other family around us.

Neither Will or I drank in high school. We weren’t rebellious teens. We both had good grades and got accepted to some great colleges. We were popular with our friends and played sports growing up. We went to church every Sunday with our family. We had a mother and father who loved each other and loved us. We had an older brother and and younger sister. We shared the middle child role quite nicely. We ate dinner at the table as a family every night. We took family vacations. What I am getting at is we had it made. Not a worry in the world.

I knew how Will drank in college. It was no different from how I drank. It was actually no different from half of how everyone else in college drank. I didn’t know that he or I drank alcoholically. I didn’t know the signs, so therefore I didn’t see any of the signs. I didn’t know anything about the disease of alcoholism. We laughed off the frequent blackouts, nights of passing out in parking decks, trips to the emergency room, broken teeth and black eyes.

The sad part is this seemed normal. Guess what? None of those things are normal. In college, we didn’t suffer any major consequences other than the occasional hangover, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.

I look at this picture with such sadness and regret. All I can think is, “Man, if I could go back and tell these two then what I know now.” Because knowing what I know now could have saved his life and years of unnecessary misery for us both.

So what would I tell them?

I would tell them that no amount of alcohol or drugs will ever change the meaning of life. I would tell them that as soon as they try to control their drinking they have already lost control of it. I would tell them that if and when they honestly want to stop drinking and they find they can’t, seek help immediately and don’t be ashamed of that.

I would tell them to open their eyes to how beautiful life is. I would tell them to do the next right thing always. I would tell them that God is much cooler than the one they grew up understanding, and to find Him and befriend Him. He’s about love and tolerance and forgiveness. In every situation, ask yourself if your decision will bring you closer to God or further away. And always choose to be closer. I would tell them that no matter what mistakes they make, it doesn’t define you. It is never too late to reinvent yourself.

I would tell them that there is always, always someone who knows exactly how you feel. You are never alone. When you start walking towards darkness — run! Run far, far away. Don’t hide. And like Dr. Seuss says, “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” Be your authentic self. As cliche as it may sound, love and honesty are always the answer. Understand and practice gratitude in all situations, good and bad. Surround yourself with genuine people. And when you mess up — because you will mess up — know that everything is going to be okay. It’s never as bad as you think it is. I would tell them that life is short. Really short. Whether we die at 29 or 89, it’s short. Don’t hold grudges. Apologize. Forgive. Pray. Change the things you can and accept the things you can’t.

I would tell them to be more open with their feelings. Accept them. Feel them. Experience them. Don’t run from them. Don’t try to escape them by numbing them with alcohol and pills. Feelings will not kill you. Drugs and alcohol will.

No one wants to be an alcoholic. No one wants to be an addict. We were all kids at one time who had big dreams. None of us grew up thinking it would be fun to struggle with addiction. None of us grew up with the dream of being the most popular girl in rehab. But the thing is, you don’t see it coming. And by the time you do it’s usually too late. You are so deep into your addiction that the kids in the picture — those kids with hopes and dreams and bright futures ahead of them — are just a vague memory. Some of us make it and some of us don’t. Luckily, those of us who choose recovery get a second chance to find that happy kid inside of us. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many.

“My Mom and Dad told me that I could be anything I dreamed of when I grow up and they would support me. Unfortunately, alcohol will become the #1 thing in my life and I will hit rock bottom at the age of 32 years old and my parents will be dropping me off at rehab instead.” — Allison


This is my brother, Will. He was a smart kid with a big heart. Struggling with addiction and dying from an overdose at 29 years old and watching our parents bury him was never part of his dream.

Our nephew, Gavin, at Will’s grave.
William Mitchell Hudson
June 10, 1982 – April 22, 2012

The Weekly Rune — Laguz

Got Mojo? 6 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence
Got Mojo? 6 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence

These six tips are “sustainable” forms of powering your self-confidence. If you use them on a daily basis, you can be your own natural resource.

1) Avoid comparing yourself to others:

The old adage still holds true: “When you compare, you despair.” Comparing yourself to others is a landmine because everyone and every circumstance is different. Comparisons to others about any aspect of your life is like equating apples to oranges. No one is like YOU, and you are NOT like anybody else. Plus, if you base your self-esteem on how well you measure up against your peers, it will never end. Because in your mind, you will ALWAYS find someone out there that is better.

2) Don’t personalize mistakes:

A mistake is an occurrence, not a person. Hence, people are NOT mistakes, but we do occasionally make mistakes. Don’t turn a mistake like making an error at work or losing a personal belonging into a reflection of who you are. Also, don’t turn it into a running commentary on your self-worth as a human being. Get comfortable with the fact that making mistakes is part of a learning process which never ends no matter how old you are.

3) Don’t be so preoccupied with what others think of you:

The people who you think are criticizing you or sizing you up are probably not paying attention at all and are busy with their own lives. Don’t be so pompous in thinking that your faults are THAT important or THAT interesting to others. Remember, there’s good news and bad news about worrying what other people think of you:

The good news is: Most people don’t really give a hoot about you.
The bad news is: Most people don’t really give a hoot about you.

4) Resist labeling:

Don’t label people with hasty character profiling like, “He is an idiot,” or “she is a selfish person” or “they are low class.” Chances are that if you are labeling people around you all the time, you are probably doing it to yourself too. Ultimately, how you view yourself is how you view your world. Your opinion of yourself is in a sense a microcosm of your environment. So, take the label off the table.

5) Avoid mind reading:

You DO NOT have special powers to read people’s minds. And, give up the hope that you ever will too. Mind reading can send you down a treacherous path of worry and fearful conjecture for no reason at all. The time you expend recklessly trying to figure out what others are thinking, you could spend it positively focusing on yourself. You are not a mentalist or the amazing Kreskin. So, give it up.

6) Become aware of your “blind spots”:

Be your own therapist and notice the patterns of emotional reactivity in your life. Learn where your “blind spots” are. When triggered, resist the urge to act immediately. Be an observer of your thoughts instead of a reactionary of your thoughts. Think your actions through first. You’ll have less regrets later.

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