Category Archives: Interpersonal Relations

Defining & Recognizing Strength

When we hear someone say, “He’s a strong person,” or “She has great inner strength,” it can mean different things to each of us. The word “strong” has a wide variety of definitions available for it, but the one(s) I want to concentrate on here are those relating to strength of character; strength of spirit. Hands down the largest message I want to impart in this piece is that just because someone appears to be strong… behaves in a manner that expresses a greater inner strength… is constantly helping others, DOES NOT mean that they aren’t fighting their own battles. Continue reading

Discussions, Arguments & Education

I am far from the first person to have talked about the difference between discussion and argument or the pros and cons of each. Just recently, though, I was involved in a conversation about this very topic in a place where discussion was more common than argument. Further, it was observed that the discussion in this particular type of establishment tended to be more enlightening than that of some others. As it happens, I was in a cigar bar involved in a discussion with several other military service veterans. Let’s talk first about the difference between arguments and discussions and then we can talk about the difference between the establishments cited and purposes served by the discussions. Continue reading

A Convenient Inconvenience?

Let’s discuss briefly the difference between “convenient” and “inconvenient,” and how being treated as either can be interpreted. This topic came up when a friend of mine said that he often felt as if he only received attention from certain people in his life when it was convenient for them. My over-analytical brain chewed on that and wondered, if people only paid attention to him when it was convenient for them, was he an inconvenience the rest of the time? Continue reading

The Blessing of Convoluted Circumstance

Every now and then we get reminded of just how good the people in our world can be. And “our world” isn’t just our circle of nearby friends, or folks from our neighborhood, friends of friends, etc.  It quite literally is people from around the world. Bear with me as I elaborate and follow along as I try to share what has been impactful for me this morning. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Education Become Arrogance

This morning my attention was grabbed by a post on social media wherein the person posting claimed that his view of a particular event was more accurate than other views being shared and when asked why he felt his was more accurate, his response was, “Because my level of education is higher than yours, therefore I understand the intricacies better.” The interaction made me stop and think. What I ultimately came away with was 1) the question I’m trying to answer, and 2) the outlook I find value in. Continue reading

Coaching, Mentoring & Criticizing

Just this morning (as I type this) I enjoyed a quick back-and-forth conversation on social media and then via email with a man I consider of reasonable wisdom and maturity. He is a hard worker, husband, father and motivated employee of the same company I work for. He has a quick wit and a good sense of humor. The conversation we shared reminded me of the difference between being critical and being a mentor. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is that a mentor (or coach) has to be critical; he has to be capable of evaluation and judgment as part of his skill set, but he also has to be able to communicate what he sees as deficiencies in a way that offers solutions and recommendations for improvement. That add-on to the critical skill set is the difference between being someone who is negative and just complains and someone who offers a solution to an observed problem. Continue reading

Understanding the Trauma of Trivia

One of the most important parts of communication is understanding or at least attempting to see and understand the point of view of the person you are interacting with. The ability to do this makes the difference between taking everything literally or taking things as they are potentially meant. The same statement can have a variety of meanings but only one intended – and that one depends on YOU understanding the intentions of the person making the statement. To prevent misunderstandings and to help us minimize the times we negatively impact someone’s day, it’s imperative that we remember this one thing: what is trivial to us, can be traumatic to another. Let’s take a look at an example of how one statement can mean different things, and work on from there. Continue reading

The True Value of Life & Wealth

Sure, we’d all like to be rich. If you’re familiar with the Avengers in Marvel Comics, then you know who Tony Stark is.  It’s no surprise that, when asked which Avenger they’d like to be, most people answered, “Iron Man.”  When asked to explain why people most often cited the fact that Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark, is mega rich.  And we’re not talking about millionaire, multi-millionaire or even billionaire kind of rich. We’re talking about STUPID rich – multi-billionaire worth HUNDREDS of billions of dollars.  Yeah, we all recognize that having that kind of money would probably enable us to make a few changes in our life that might impact our quality of life (quite possibly the biggest understatement ever). Continue reading

Stay Strong America

The apartment complex was vast and sprawling.  It was actually two different complexes that bordered each other and, due to the landscaping that shared a playground, they were often thought to be one complex.  Together they were comprised of roughly fifty apartment buildings, each with sixteen apartments for a total of 800 apartments.  Each apartment housed anywhere from two to six people although there were a few where single people lived and a few where the family had eight members (or more).  The estimated total population of the combined complex fluctuated from year to year but averaged about three thousand people.  During the most recent census, the population was shown to be 97% African American, 2.5% Hispanic and 0.5% Caucasian. Continue reading

Communication, Motivation & Initiative

In every kind of relationship: personal, work, friends, whatever – in EVERY kind of relationship there are requirements of both parties involved if the relationship is going to be successful.  No relationship can be forever carried by one half; both have to participate.  The three things that are required are communication, motivation and initiative.  Let’s take a look at all three and see how they can have a positive impact on any relationship, and how lacking any one can cause serious problems in a given relationship. Continue reading