The Other Side of Silence

It’s hard enough to be a good listener let alone listen for the other side of silence.

What a person is not saying – holding back, failing to or choosing to not communicate.

Often, the other side of silence is worth listening for because it can be more reliable than words.

Words can disappoint because people sometimes feel they have to say things in a certain way.  Or, they may be uncomfortable with a topic and what they say really doesn’t match with what they mean.

The employer who says one thing and means another.

The friend or loved one who tries too hard to tell us what we want to hear.

To listen for the other side of silence requires being willing to ask a few questions, not be judgmental or argumentative when you hear words you may not like.

Effective communication between two people begins when they probe for meaning that may not first come out in words.

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Power Words

If you please … 

May I …

Thank you …

I appreciate you (with the reason why) …

I’m sorry …

In a world bombarded by rudeness and poor choices of words online and in social media, we still have the power to change attitudes by the careful choice of our own words.

We’re not always victims of bullies and self-absorption.  We can change the dynamic with a few well-chosen words.

What are your power words?

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Spending More Time with the Family

When someone is fired from a job, it is not uncommon to hear that the public explanation is to spend more time with their family.

When they get a new job, does that mean that they have spent enough time with the family?

More time is not what most family members really want.

More time focused on them is all they really ask.

All the family days don’t always add up to 30 minutes intently listening to each other in real time.

What seems like a difficult goal – spending more time with the people we love – is actually as easy as putting aside distractions and showing a heap of person centered interest in those close to us.

A walk together without a phone.

A talk without having to weigh in on your take for everything you hear.

A respite of fun.

Exercising.

Life does not have to be a big production.

Just a lot of little moments together.

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Mobile Phone Addiction

Kids as young as 13 are being treated for mobile phone addiction.

Parents who have used the phone by taking it away for “bad behavior” are finding their children reacting the same way an addict would if they could no longer get access to drugs.

Here’s what we are learning from the reSTART Life Center near Seattle, the only known treatment center for mobile phone addiction in the U.S.

Explore the world beyond the screen.

Set a good example.  Parents increasingly make their phones a centerpiece of their lives and children pick this up early.

Turn off tech. 

Tech is a tool not a lifestyle. 

Remember who is supporting this habit by paying for the cellphone and its monthly bills and then be a parent. 

For adults, the same rules apply.

The phone is like a dopamine pump that is why we cannot put it down.  Why we hold it in our hands too often and check it far too much – an average of 74 times a day.

Best cure:  for every minute of digital use, balance it with an equal minute of in-person or audio contact with another person.

Balance saves the day.

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Avoiding the Black Hole of Distraction

Look at this video.

Not looking where we’re going or driving is having negative impacts on those doing it and those around us.

There is one sure way to put an end to living a distracted life.

Put cellphones in their place and use them as tools, not devices that draw us deeper into the black holes of social media and the world of apps that interfere from living in the present.

This woman is one of many each day who are getting hurt because she is distracted.

We can also be hurt psychologically and emotionally in being that person even if we haven’t yet had an accident.

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