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.

Back to Basics – Week 1

Have you ever felt that you need a “reset” to get things on the right track? As humans we sometimes need to re-evaluate our actions and be sure as individuals, we are following what God wants for our life. That thought takes me back to a song from a group I listened to growing up, 4Him.

We need to get back To the basics of life
A heart that is pure And a love that is blind
A faith that is fervently grounded in Christ
The hope that endures for all time.

We as individuals are not the only ones that need to get back to basics. Sometimes businesses, churches, and even non-profit organizations need to re-evaluate and be willing to go back to those “simpler” times and make changes. Changes are never easy, but sometimes are a necessary part of growing, or reaching your goal.

Back to Basics – Week 2

So, what does “back to the basics” have to do with Reach Out Speak Out? As a board, we have decided to go back to our roots of how Reach Out Speak Out was initially envisioned. This means some adjustments in how we do some things. Our mission is “to help women in need of assistance due to domestic violence; to provide shelter, food, clothing, and the necessities of life; to provide information through books and counseling; to enlist the help of other professionals with domestic violence experience; to speak at faith-based organizations and other community meetings regarding the warning signs of domestic violence.”

This is who we are, and always will be. How we accomplish this moving forward is one thing we are prayerfully making some tweaks on. Next week will show what is changing and how you can help.

Back to Basics – Week 3

Going back to basics related to our mission (see last week’s blog for more on the mission) means enlisting help from YOU, and look for our community and churches to help. We need your BOGO extras to donate to our families. We need your encouraging words written to our clients on holidays, special occasions and in between. We need your creativity in putting baskets together for our auction. We need your time for delivering supplies to our families. We need prayer warrior. We need your organizational skills to plan and organize. We need your talents as mechanics, medical professionals, lawyers, plumbers, etc. who can donate a service to our families in need. We need your donations and time for our fundraisers. WE. NEED. YOU. Period.

We need your time….talent….and treasure.

Back to Basics – Week 4

Reach Out Speak Out cannot continue to reach new clients we know are out there without your help. We have several committed board members who are passionate about what we do. We need to get back to those basics where we had people helping with time, talents, treasures. We, the board of Reach Out Speak Out cannot do this alone. We want to reach more women and families that need to hear that they are worth the effort and “trouble” of leaving an abusive relationship, knowing there is help available, and no matter what God loves them and wants the best.

To accomplish that, we need more people stepping in for an hour, a day, a few days throughout the year. Donate that “GO” of the BOGO sale, ask your friends and families for donations of gift baskets, gift cards, time, and prayers for families working to find their
“new normal”.

Come support the mission of Reach Out Speak Out and help us help more victims become survivors.

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.