Difficult Conversations – Week 1

Difficult Conversations/Difficult People

(How to have that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding)

Week 1

When you think about the characteristics of a difficult person…what words or phrases come to your mind? Obnoxious, hurtful, demeaning, invasive, irritable, rigid, selfish,disrespectful, pushy, insensitive, etc? These are just a few descriptions of people we sometimes encounter. Maybe you are thinking of the critical parent that questions all your decisions about how you are raising your child or the “control freak” who wants to control everything and everybody. And what about the manipulator who does and says whatever they can to pressure you into doing what they want and if you don’t, they get mad, withhold love and try to control you with their anger.

Perhaps you are thinking about that friend that keeps you on the phone for hours even after you have tried to hang up.

Difficult Conversations – Week 2

Difficult Conversations/Difficult People

(How to have that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding)

Week 2

Well, we have all encountered different situations and people in our lives that are hard to deal with…some are more toxic than others, but the truth is that we must learn to deal with the people who are not respecting us, not valuing who we are and who are STEALING OUR PEACE! Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” The key word here is the word “if.

The truth here is that sometimes it is not possible to live at peace with some people. So how do we deal with those people and those difficult situations? Do we just let it go, hoping they will change or do we just allow our anger to turn into resentment? We all know that ignoring a problem doesn’t usually solve a problem or make it go away. So what do we do?

I would like to give you some practical ways to counteract these negative behaviors. Remember, the goal is to preserve the relationship, “if at all possible,” as the scripture says.

Difficult Conversations – Week 3

Difficult Conversations/Difficult People

(How to have that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding)

Week 3

I would like to give you some practical ways to counteract these negative behaviors. Remember, the goal is to preserve the relationship,“if at all possible,” as the scripture says.

Be observant: Recognize the manipulation or the “guilt trip.” We are often vulnerable to manipulation of others and end up doing things we later regret. Have you ever agreed to do something then later regretted it? You think, “Why did I say I would head up that fund raiser?”

Also, be aware of the “guilt trip” others use as a method to control.

Ask yourself these questions: Am I being disrespected? Taken advantage of? Verbally abused? What is lacking in this relationship? What’s important to me? What do I need to confront?

Recognize your feelings. Ask yourself. What are my feelings right now? Feelings are signals and it is important to take note of certain emotions like anger, fear or sadness. God designed these feelings to tell us something is wrong and that we need to take action. A good example of this is the warning light in your car…if you ignore it, then you will likely have a problem with your engine or you might run out of gas. It is the same way with your anger, it is a warning signal that something is wrong and needs our attention. So it’s important to get in touch with your feelings.

Pray! It goes without saying that when you finally decide to have that needed conversation, pray about how you are going to approach the situation. Ask God to show you the truth and how to address it.

Difficult Conversations – Week 4

Difficult Conversations/Difficult People

(How to have that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding)

Week 4

In addition to last weeks blog…..

Make others aware of the problem. Many times just making someone aware of the effect they are having on you will correct the situation. In their book, Boundaries Face to Face, Cloud and Townsend have a complete chapter on awareness. They write: “If someone in your life behaves in a way that causes problems, but they don’t know their behavior is a problem, then you are dealing with unawareness!” So we must be able to tell them how they are impacting our life.

Only then, will they be able to correct the problem.

Confront in love. However, don’t do it through a text or email; Do it in person, depending on the situation.

Go hard on the issue; soft on the person Avoid the line, “We need to talk.”

Timing is key. (Don’t have the conversation in a crowded restaurant or late at night)

Affirm something positive. Remember to say something about the intended positive outcome you desire for the relationship Be direct and use specific examples. Don’t “beat around the bush.” The clearer you are, the better chance the person will have, to understand what you are saying.

In conclusion, after you have been confronted in love, and made a request for change, the person has a choice if they are going to do things differently or not. If they choose not to change, then you also have a choice to set a boundary along with consequences. To have healthy relationships, we must be able to confront things that are hurting us and have the courage to have those difficult conversations.

The Many Facets of Love – Week 1

My wedding was not a shotgun wedding, and I said those wedding vows of my own free will. The words were ringing in my ears: What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. I promise to love her until death do us apart. Love is a very complex emotion sometimes. It can give you so much happiness and so much disappointment. It can make you laugh and make you cry. It can rob you of sound judgment and cause you to end up staying in places no sane person would stay in.

The Many Facets of Love – Week 2

At home that Sunday evening, she did apologize, but her apology didn’t match the offense. It’s one thing to say I’m sorry for raising my voice at you and asking for forgiveness. However, it’s a whole other ballgame to apologize for a physical assault and expect immediate forgiveness and reconciliation. The abuser always has a way of making you feel bad for not forgiving them quickly, especially when you are a Christian. Their favorite line is, “You’re supposed to forgive me because you’re a Christian.” Their other favorite line is, “You’re not perfect either.” I bought it hook, line, and sinker.

The Many Facets of Love – Week 3

The joy that I felt on my wedding day had now been replaced with doubt, fear, false guilt, and an uncertain future, but I was still in love. I had no idea that the same love that has your heart skipping a beat can also enslave and trap you. I now know that a love that abuses the object of that love is not pure love. It may be love, but it’s twisted and wounded and should never be tolerated. Love should always set us free and never enslave us.

Recognizing Grief – Week 1

Living with domestic abuse can numb you so that you don’t realize what all you have lost. Your aspirations and dreams lie buried under many layers of disappointment, broken promises, emotional wreckage and physical pain inflicted by your partner. You are living in grief. Grief for the loss of your happiness, the loss of the wonderful person you fell in love with, for the plans you had for the future. All gone.

Grief can be defined as the natural reaction , a normal reaction to loss. It can be the loss of a job or your health or a death of a loved one. But the loss of a relationship, even if you’re still in the relationship is still a loss to grieve.

Recognizing Grief – Week 2

The stages of grief are as follows:

  1. Shock / Denial. Disbelief and numb feelings
  2. Pain / Guilt. Unbearable pain of loss and guilt for burdening others
  3. Anger / Bargaining. Insisting to God that he removes the pain or fix
    the situation.
  4. Depression. This may be when you try to isolate, processing the loss
  5. Upward turn. Anger and pain have died down, you are calmer.
  6. Reconstruction. You begin to piece together parts of your life. Move
  7. Acceptance / Hope. Acceptance of your new life sinks in with hope
    for the future.

This is the recovery process for loss, the process for healing and moving on.

Recognizing Grief – Week 3

But what if the process is repeatedly interrupted?

Picture yourself moving through these stages while living with your abuser. They hurt you again but explain why it’s your
fault. You experience stage one, shock, disbelief. The reality of this narcissist, the loss of a perfect partner begins stage two,
pain and guilt.

Next will be stage three, anger, bargaining. Going to God, asking to take the pain away. This can be happening daily or even moment to
moment. Then stage four, depression and isolation. Then, before you know it your abuser strikes again, sending you back to the pain
and guilt of stage two.

You are no closer to healing then you were a month ago, a year ago or longer.