criticism

Discipline Your Kids 

It seems that discipline has become such a forbidden topic in society.  People are afraid to talk about it, think about it or do it!  The only problem with this line of thinking is that we are hurting the very ones we are trying to protect.   

Communication With Your Spouse

We have all sat through a wedding ceremony, if not participated in one of our own and this is roughly what we heard,

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or agreed to: 

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. 

That’s it!  That’s all you have to do to have a long, happy marriage.  If you are already married, start doing what you promised too.  If you are not married yet, but are in a relationship with the one you intend to marry, then start doing this stuff now, before the wedding.  There’s nothing wrong with getting a head start.  If you’re not in a relationship now and have no plans to get married, learn this anyways because the day will come when you will meet someone who is that special to you.   

Communication With Your Family 

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The importance of communication is frequently talked about with regards to successful relationships, sadly however, failure to communicate is very common in families today.  The problem lies in the fact that there is so much pressure placed on families by society.  We are told how we should act and what we should do.  Everybody is trying to stuff so much into their lives that communication gets put on the back burner.  As one fails to communicate, the tension builds and it becomes a downward spiral, until the unfortunate point is reached where the family begins to deteriorate.  You can see it in families all around you.  Unfortunately, many homes have turned into “war zones.” 

What Success Isn’t

Before defining what real success is, it is important to discover what success is not.  The world and our troubled

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society have had a lot to do with most people’s current definition of success.  If you were to take a field trip to your local mall and stand at one of the entrances, you would get a fair cross section of society.  If you asked each person who walked by you to define success in their life, you would get many different answers.  The answers would be just as varied as the people who pass by.  I would be willing to bet, though, that the vast majority of these answers would revolve around the following themes: power, prestige, fame and the big ones, money and possessions. 

Communication and Learning Styles

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 Let’s thank God for making us all very different and unique.  We all develop different personalities and ways to interact with the world around us.  Could you imagine how boring our world would be if we all responded to the same stimuli in exactly the same way?  There would be no variety or spice to life.  However, having all these differences does make our relationships and our attempts at learning a bit more complicated.  Once explained, people’s communication and learning styles do become much easier to understand, especially with practice.  Before I begin discussing these communication and learning styles, keep in mind that no two people are alike and most people have a blend of more than one style.  Some people may even have a communication style that is different from their learning style.  The three styles are visual, auditory and feeling oriented people. 

Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before Speaking 

Many times, it’s easy to say something that shouldn’t be said.  Sometimes, because of anger, excitement or any other emotion, we say things that are better left unsaid.  It has happened to us all, but it’s more than just a slip of the tongue.  It is an ingrained behavior that needs to be addressed and corrected so that we can help to bring success and happiness to others, as well as ourselves. 

Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?

Stop spending so much of your time and energy trying to convince others about what you believe or your point of

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view.  It is a waste of time, energy and rarely accomplishes much except to get the other person mad.  The best example of this is to turn on an evening talk show on one of the news networks.  There you will see the greatest example of a Dale Carnegie quote: “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”xiv 

Some Suggestions About Boundaries

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The next suggestion I have is to learn to set clear boundaries with people.  All too often in our relationships, or even in society, we generally fail to set boundaries and because of this we develop resentments.  This can cause us to treat others badly; not just the one who is asking us to do more than we want or can, but everyone in general. 

Some Suggestions About Criticism

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One of the biggest problems I have seen that has an impact on people’s communication skills and the experiences that they have with others is their ability to criticize much, while keeping praises and complements to a minimum.  In my experience, what has strengthened many of my relationships is my ability to give out more compliments than criticisms.  I try to find genuine reasons to give a compliment.  Most people will know if you are making things up.  It is usually much easier to find what is wrong with a person and how they do things differently from you, than it is to see the positives and similarities.