Thursday, May 16, 2013

Who Do You Own?

I imagine the immediate answer to this question is, "No one," as the idea of owning another person is repugnant.  But not so repugnant that it doesn't come up frequently in relationships.  Many couples practice ownership of their partner. That is, they think it's their right to tell their partner what do do.  Not suggest or discuss but  tell.  Wear this, eat that. Clean, repair, spend as I direct.  More subtly, the owner may give the partner life lessons such as how to respond in various situations, whom to chose as friends, what taste to acquire.  The owner may come off as bossy or quietly superior but the reasons for ownership usually are: I'm doing it for the other's own good. I love____and I know more about somethings than she does.  I'm not going to stand by and watch him destroy his life. My well being is affected by her behaviors so I have a right to try and change them.

 Everyone knows you can't fix another but if you practice ownership you are a fixer.  The fixer holds a superior position, the fixee inferior.  Demanding and blaming are actions of an owner.  Requesting and explaining are actions of a partner.   Trying to own your partner isn't  going to change anything.  Try giving up the idea and, most importantly, the feeling, that you own another and see if over time the dialog (also know as  fights) doesn't change. And remember, in this world you don't get everything you want.

Below is an excerpt from our new book  LIES, Chapter 20: Managing Dislike, p.76

People can destroy relationships because they must have their say.  Like all of us, they have heard the most common piece of relationship advice: you cannot change another.  Nevertheless, they cannot resist trying. Their partner is clearly in the wrong. Hurtful words are blurted out or a soft approach is tried. Either way it's criticism and if it happens often, the relationship will suffer.  The criticism rarely feels like it's for your own good or the good of the relationship.  It feels more like the critic is taking care of him/herself, unloading dislike in the name of being open and honest.  And while the critic may feel relief and self-righteous, the one criticized feels beaten up.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Today our book makes its way into the big, wide world. LIES: The Truth About the Self-Deception that Limits Your Life is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble and IUniverse Bookstore as of this instant and will be for sale on other sites soon. We will be sure to keep you posted. We would love to hear any feedback and, if you do like the book, would be most grateful for any kind of review you might post on Amazon or B & N. 

The book was a labor of love and hard work--a wonderfully collaborative process. Thank you in advance to all our readers. We are most grateful.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pick up that Crayon

Can tango lessons change your life? My friend Jake thinks so.  Prompted by a sign in the window of a studio near his house and, more importantly, by the desire to interrupt the routine of his life, Jake took off his business suit, put on dancing shoes and bravely went out one evening to learn to tango.  He loved it.  Adding tango to his life has energized him, given him a different slant on who he is and what he can do.  He's talking abut Argentina for his next vacation and about learning Spanish though, like dancing, he has told himself languages are not for him.  He has more energy and finds more enjoyment in all aspects of his life.  That's a lot to get from two classes a week of tango.

What happened for Jake can happen for the rest of us.  The secret is to tap into the creativity that dwells in all of us.  We are born with the creative urge; to make something else from what is, whether it's a thing, an idea or an action.  Think of the toddler who picks p a crayon, presses it to paper and, voila, something new is born.  If we think that creativity is only for special people of high intelligence and great talents, we can fail to give expression to creativity in our own, everyday lives.

We get tired of doing the same old things day in and day out and we dream of big changes, like winning the lottery or meeting some gorgeous person or moving to a remote island, none of which is likely to happen.  But, we can choose to do or learn or create something different.  Julie decided to take up painting though she felt she had no talent for it.  But she loves color and she loves messing with paints and charcoals and the hours fly by. And she has that special satisfaction that comes from the outward expression of inner sensibilities.  Whether it's beading or writing poetry, letters to the editor or a blog, decorating your home for the seasons or joining a nature group, giving creative expression a chance will increase satisfaction with daily life and take you places as yet unknown.  Unplug the inhibitions that tell you what you can't do.  If it feels a little awkward, a teeny crazy and not like you at all, go for it.