Archive for September, 2012

The Bully and the Victim

“Those who can, do.

Those who can’t, bully.”

Author Unknown

“A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up, but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. Then she told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind, and that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bullies another child . . . ”    (Author Unknown)

And bullying doesn’t stop with children. There is bullying happening at work, in relationships and in society. Any time there is repeated behavior that denigrates, degrades, disrespects and otherwise attempts to make another person feel badly about themselves – ranging from the most blatant attacks and insults, to the subtlest criticism and judgment – it’s bullying.

In bullying, there is always the abuser and the victim, and both are accountable for the dysfunctional relationship problem. Abusers are often dominating, intimidating and overpowering physically, emotionally and verbally. They keep life in constant chaos. Addicted to adrenaline, drama and conflict, they may deliberately start arguments or shift gears quickly, telling you everything’s fine one day and the next day it’s not. It’s like walking through a mine field where the mines are constantly changing location.

Although abusers are often seen as the aggressor, it’s not always the case.

   A passive aggressive person can also bully another by refusing to cooperate when it is perfectly legitimate to do so, by withholding affection and sex, or they may show a lack of interest in what’s important to you – your job, family, friends, hobbies, activities – and be emotionally detached or shut down.

All abusers play on your fears, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, shame, values, sympathy, compassion, and other “buttons” to control you and get what they want. It’s an attempt to gain a sense of power because down deep they themselves feel so powerless, worthless, afraid and impotent. They mistakenly believe that if they can exercise power over another, actively or passively, then they can get their own power back. It’s like trying to gain personal power by sucking it from another.




All those abused,feel manipulated, used, controlled and powerless. They play the victim role and keep the game going.

Dr. Phil explains bullying in relationships:

The Abuser

Have you thought about how your actions truly affect your partner? Even when you stop the abuse, the pain continues because you’ve trampled on your loved one’s heart and spirit.

An abuser is both a coward and a bully. You choose to abuse where it is safe, in a place where you feel loved and protected. Would you do it in the workplace where you might get fired or in a social situation where others might get insulted?

You need to understand respect is commanded, not demanded. If you think degrading and belittling your partner commands respect, you’re wrong. You are simply demanding by imposing fear.

  • All abusers have excuses. While the excuses vary, one principle remains: You are abusing instead of being constructive.
  • If you want to recover — for yourself and your partner — you need to tell yourself: “I’m not going to take this from me anymore.” Sit down with your partner, look into his/her eyes, and apologize for the wounds you’ve inflicted over time.
  • Healing is a process. Rescuing your relationship will take patience and persistence.

The Victim

Take responsibility. You have played a role in setting up the relationship this way, and you must play a role in changing it. Telling your partner that the treatment is unacceptable is not enough. Your actions speak louder than words, so you need to make two bold moves: Change your own routine or behavior, and tell your partner you will no longer take the abuse.

There are no victims, only volunteers.

  • Don’t go along to get along. Peace at any price is no peace at all.
  • Relationships are always up for renegotiation. You need to sit down with your partner, look him/her in the eyes, and tell him/her that you are taking a stand. You will not stay in the relationship if the abuse continues. From there, begin to negotiate. Figure out how both of you can take strides to make the marriage work.
  • Watch yourself to make sure you don’t fall back into the victim role.

So crumple up a piece of paper, then unfold it and look at the scars. Is there anyone you are abusing? Do you feel abused by someone? If so, what actions will you take today to stop the cycle of abuse?

Our children are watching . . .

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Mental Anti-Virus Card

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”

  Thomas Huxley

Mental Anti-Virus Card

As we enter the final stages of the Presidential election, I believe we need to be ever vigilant of how we come to conclusions, make decisions, formulate conversations we enter into and how we present our views. If we are to break through the extreme partisanship that has torn our country apart, it must begin with us. We are all culpable and all responsible and it is only when a critical mass of U.S. citizens shift their contextual thinking, that we will see a shift in those who govern us. Let’s make our choices on reliable facts, not on fallacies. I submit the following list as a comprehensive, excellent guide (call it your Mental Anti-Virus Card), which I encourage us all to use when speaking with and listening to each other.

Politics aside, I think we can all agree these are excellent guidelines to follow when making business decisions and in our relationships, too… especially when issues become polarized and personal.

 “Dismiss the arbitrary, remove contradictions, achieve more certainty and clarity.”

The Top Fallacies

A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an “argument” in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support.

  • Against the Man – Attacking the speaker instead of his argument. Demeaning the person.
  • Appeal to Authority – Basing an argument on an irrelevant, vague or dubious authority.
  • Appeal to Emotion – Persuading by emotion rather than reason. Also making someone fear the alternative.
  • Appeal to Force – Persuading by coercion or threat.
  • Appeal to Ignorance – It must be true because it hasn’t been proved false; or false because it hasn’t been proved true.
  • Appeal to Pity – It must be true because… boo hoo hoo.
  • Appeal to the Masses – It must be true because it’s popular. Look at who agrees with me.
  • Appeal to Ridicule – It must be true because… ha ha ha.
  • Appeal to Tradition – It must be true because we’ve always done it that way.
  • Composition – What’s true for the individual part of a whole is true for the entire whole form.
  • Division – What’s true for the entire whole form is true for each of its individual parts.
  • False Alternative – Offering only two options while omitting other relevant, viable options.
  • False Cause – Establishing a causal relationship from correlation or timing, without sufficient proof.
  • Hasty Generalization – Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample.
  • Middle Ground – The extremes are wrong, but the middle (mean) is correct.
  • Red Herring – Diverting an argument by changing the topic.
  • Selective Evidence – Selectively omitting pertinent evidence.
  • Slippery Slope – Asserting, without sufficient proof, a chain of events.
  • Straw Man – Refuting an argument by attacking a weaker version of “it”.

Thank you to TRIVIUM EDUCATION. Get more tools of intellectual self defense www.triviumeducation.com/texts/42Fallacies.pdf.

Thank you to my good friend Tom Jackson for sharing this with us.

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Obama or Romney?


“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”


Obama or Romney?

I know, I know . . . in “polite” society we are supposed to avoid talking about sex, religion and politics, but I personally have no problem talking about all three as long as we are all careful to simply share our views and our opinions in a way that is respectful and we are willing to listen to and truly hear the others’ views . . . as long as we share our views not as the capital “T” Truth, but simply our own truth – a perspective we have. None of us own the Truth, although we often think we do, especially when we talk about political viewpoints. As always, I share my perspective with you in my weekly WoW and this week is no exception. I encourage everyone to earnestly seek their own internal truth . . . what speaks to you and your own moral code. You may or may not agree with me and that is your right and your privilege.

Because I believe a lot is at stake in the Presidential election this year, I have listened closely to both sides, attempted to sort through the political rhetoric and seek out the facts. For those of you interested, http://www.politifact.com/  is an excellent non-partisan resource. I highly recommend that you check it out. There’s even a section that covers promises made/broken by both Democrats and Republicans, and much more.

With all due respect to opposing views, this is how I see it through my World View:

 1)    I believe Medicare needs to be revamped. There is a lot of waste and fraud.

 I think health care is a human right and therefore,I do not think it should be dismantled and replaced with a completely different system that no longer guarantees affordable health care.

 2)    I don’t believe in an entitlement society, where everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk where that which is earned by some is redistributed to the others.

 I do believe NONE of us (regardless of our hard work ethic) reached the    place of privilege we hold today on our own. Every one of us had a helping         hand somewhere along the line, whether we inherited it or earned it. I think many in this world, far less fortunate than we, have no one to give it to them except for the government. I believe they deserve that opportunity within limits.

 3)    I don’t think the wealthiest of Americans should pay for everything and I have no problem with them making as much money as they honestly and ethically can.

I do think there is an unwritten social and moral responsibility for those of us who have more of anything . . . privilege, knowledge, opportunity, money, to be socially conscious and give back our fair share which is often more than what is required from others.

4)    I don’t believe in apologizing for America or groveling before others or blaming ourselves for all the “wrongs” of the world to our global friends/enemies.

 I do believe in America taking accountability for advancing American interests by inserting our ideology and enforcing it regardless of the consequences including war.

 5)    I don’t believe in posturing or talking tough with little follow through.

 I do believe in quietly, relentlessly, yet assuredly moving forward and taking decisive, quick and deadly action against anyone who threatens our safety.

 6)    As an entrepreneur and business woman, I wholeheartedly support a fair and free enterprise system that allows for great financial success for businesses

 I do not support corporations having undue influence over our regulatory, financial and political institutions. I don’t believe money and power should be able to “buy” votes.

 7)    I totally support a person’s right to their religious beliefs and their right to practice them.

 I do not support anyone forcing those beliefs on someone else and that includes a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own body. She alone gets to live with the positive or negative consequences of her actions and in my opinion that is no one else’s business.

 8)    I stand for equal treatment and respect for all people on this planet, not just for those who look like or think like me.

 I do not believe in excluding anyone from the same rights any Caucasian American male has regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, physical ability or sexual orientation.

 9)    Given the enormity of the problems we as a country were facing . . . a plunging job rate, record of war, out-of-control debt and spending (especially military) and the Wall Street lascivious, obscene greed, which drove us into the biggest recession since 1929, and the fact that some of our deepest problems have been trends for the past 30-40 yrs., I did not believe quick-fixes were possible and I did not expect a Messiah.

 I knew change was going to take time, but I also think Healthcare reform, as critical as I believe it to be, could have waited until we focused solely on the economy. Nonetheless, I believe in a long-term approach that builds a solid foundation for our future and that means we don’t always get what we want right now.

10) Finally, I believe in bipartisan cooperation for the good of our country and that our elected officials MUST learn how to work with one another again and stop blocking policies simply in an attempt to stop an individual.

It is in light of all of this . . . after reviewing the facts, talking with and listening to a lot of friends with similar and opposing views, and reflecting on what supports the values I personally embrace, on what supports the kind of America I will be proud to live in and pass on to future generations, I have chosen to vote for:

 Barack Obama.

 Now I just wish he would prosecute those Wall Street greed-aholics and send them all to jail where (in my opinion) they belong!!

Thank you for listening. If you agree or disagree, share your thoughts here to express your views, too.

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The following is a Facebook entry by an old friend, Mark Bain. I think he shows a lot of wisdom by asking us to stop, step back and take a breath, and truly contemplate what’s at stake in this election. I love his willingness to truly and objectively look at issues from both sides, which is what is required from those who espouse a win/win philosophy. Let us rise up to be enlightened people who make choices based in the real facts – not rhetoric – and when casting our vote, make sure we fully recognize the implications our decision will have not only locally, but globally as well, for we are all citizens of this planet earth. Here is Mark’s request . . .

“FB friends who are U.S. voters, here’s my wish: Between now and November, don’t rely solely on what either side (or their media mouthpieces) is saying. Ignore the political conventions, which have devolved into little more than staged, scripted, prime time TV programs. Ignore the torrent of political and issue ads from both sides. Instead, look to nonpartisan sources for more factual, balanced and thoughtful comment.

Put aside your historical party biases and allegiances, R/conservative or D/liberal, and make a conscious effort to truly understand and – gasp! – respect each side’s views, reveling in the right we have to differ. Dive into the proposed platform and policies of each party, deciding which issues really matter most to you – now and in the future – because some issues matter more than others (and that varies for each of us), and no candidate can ever deliver on every one of your wishes.

Have respectful, constructive debates with your friends and family who may hold different positions. Go to the polls as a fully aware and engaged citizen who is no longer on auto-pilot, simply swallowing his/her party line just as it’s served up and acting like a programmed robot when it’s time to vote. And when the election is over, find a way to support the winners, even if they are not your candidates, and urge representatives from both parties to find more ways to compromise and move forward now, in the national interest.

This choice truly matters for us, our children and our grandchildren. The approach we have been taking is not working. Our political system is on the verge of breaking. We can and must change and turn things around. It’s up to each and every one of us. Thanks for reading and thinking about my long wish.”


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