Tag Archives: listening

Why don’t people just say what they mean and mean what they say?

The short answer is because what you are saying can be very different from what your audience hears. The longer answer is because what you say is hardly ever all that you mean – no matter how honest you think … Continue reading

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Intelligence and compassion are not two separate things

What is the point of intelligence if it doesn’t make somebody’s life better or more enriched? So much of what we think of as “intelligence” is misused. Misused so that we can hurt other people. So that we can feel better … Continue reading

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What your awareness says about your trustworthiness – and how “safe” a person you are

I’ve known many people, including myself, that have a lot of trouble just being themselves. You can get into a lot of unfortunate trouble if you don’t develop a fine-tuned filter. We all know there are certain things you can’t … Continue reading

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Meet my role model for situations of high tension: the hostage negotiator

“What would Jesus do?” say some. “What would Grandma do?” say others. These figures, who often are not with us, serve as inspiration to be somebody better, to “take the high road” at challenging moments. For me, when such moments … Continue reading

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What will it take to stop the violence?

Why do violent acts happen? There are a thousand answers to this question. But not all of these answers are easily known. Especially when you are talking not about one single act of violence, but rather the continued stream of … Continue reading

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What is “listening?”

This is so damn important! If I ruled the world, “listening” would be as much a part of the school curriculum as mathematics or language or history. It would continue to be a required course in higher education also! It’s … Continue reading

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I’ll have more respect for your point of view if you demonstrate respect for points of view you don’t agree with

I trust some salespeople more than others – and I’m more likely to buy from folks I trust, of course. What inspires my trust in a salesperson? Things like knowing what you’re talking about and being able to address my … Continue reading

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The insidiousness of dogma – and how it affects our ability to be happy

Anything, even the greatest, most wonderful of things, can be ruined for somebody if they have bad experiences with it. Nothing has an absolute quality of greatness or awfulness. Each individual feels things relative to their own experience. The best things … Continue reading

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Soundbites don’t make a discussion

The further along we get in media and Tweeting and texting, the more it seems people want to pack as much information into as little time as possible. This is often an admirable goal; when you can state a point … Continue reading

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There is no talking to someone who won’t listen. Talk to those that will listen instead

I am often witness to situations in which a conversation is going on between two people. Or, at least, that is what supposed to be happening. In reality, somebody is not listening. But often, even though somebody is not listening, … Continue reading

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The wonderful, liberating power … of dispassionateness

Oh yeah, let’s get excited! We’re going to get … dispassionate. Cool. Calm. Composed. Collected. And it’s going to be AWESOME. 🙂 I’m not joking. I’m telling you – sometimes there’s nothing that feels more awesome and life-giving than when … Continue reading

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How to apologize sincerely without feeling weak and humiliated

Feeling sorry about something does not mean you should necessarily feel weak. The fact that you did something wrong does not make you a less worthy person. Apologizing is a gesture of humility – thus there is a certain amount … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Long posts, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The limits (and benefits) of professional mental therapy

Therapists. Shrinks. Counselors. Sometimes, you just need one, to help tackle a deeper problem. But sometimes that’s not what you really need. When therapy is applied correctly, it can work, and very well. But often, people go to therapists for … Continue reading

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A MANifesto for the 21st Century

There is a lot of talk about how women face a multitude of problems that men do not (something that is still true, even in most developed countries). In the past 100 years, feminist movements of many different stripes have … Continue reading

Posted in Beliefs and worldview, Debate!, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Personal reflections, Sex and sexuality, Staying strong | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s ok to be self-centered

In fact, it’s totally, completely necessary. You are the only person you have to live with every second of your life! If you aren’t self-centered, how can you be centered? There are a lot of myths out there about how … Continue reading

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Adolf Hitler and the 9/11 bombers never had any bad intentions

Bad consequences/outcome? Yes, HORRIBLE. But not for bad intentions. No bad intentions here. Only good ones. What is a “bad intention?” And why in the world is it so important whether mass murderers have good or bad intentions? Because the … Continue reading

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Things to remember when listening to somebody

It’s not all about you. In fact, it’s all about them right now. The other person’s point of view is as valid as yours, no matter how crazy it might sound. In fact, if you choose to listen to it, … Continue reading

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How to listen well: start by listening to yourself

You can search for and easily find techniques for how to listen well. Here, I want to focus on how a good listener thinks, rather than what they do. First thing that must be said: You will be a better … Continue reading

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An idea is never born unaccompanied by a goal

When people talk about being “unbiased,” or “impartial,” they often forget that this is an oxymoron, because ideas don’t exist independently of goals. Trying to be “unbiased” is a bias in and of itself! Every idea has at least one … Continue reading

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The art of disarming: a better way to settle conflict

We often get caught up in a cycle of threats; I feel threatened by somebody, so I harden up and put out “don’t fuck with me” signals. The other person gets intimidated on their end, and they do the same. … Continue reading

Posted in Achieving peace and understanding, Conflict and dealing with negativity, Developing trust, Healing, Healthy vulnerability and weakness, Love and compassion, Pass on the positivity! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Game changers: How to change your state of mind

Being able to shape your state of mind is key to maturity. While you certainly don’t want to micromanage the way you think (often it’s beneficial to just let your emotions roam rather than trying to control them), knowing how … Continue reading

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If you have nothing nice to say…

…think of something that ain’t too mean, but makes your objection clear. If you don’t let yourself be muzzled, your expression will buy you the time and mental relief to think of something nice to follow it up with. However … Continue reading

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Can revenge ever really be justice?

I remember when arguing with my ex how, when one of us was angry, we didn’t seem to feel satisfied until the other was also angry. This did two things: It made us feel that the other really took us … Continue reading

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How to get in touch with your sense of justice

We often have very different senses of what is fair. And it goes deeper than we realize, penetrating right down to the unspoken. Sometimes, we even secretly think things like “this wasn’t as fun for me as it was for … Continue reading

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REAL LISTENING: a priceless and immeasurably valuable skill

If there was one thing I wish people learned much, much more than they do now, it would be how to truly listen. Because we human beings are really starving for good listening. So many times, so many conflicts would … Continue reading

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Why I am an atheist (and why you don’t have to be one)

My use of the word “atheist” relates to the most common conceptions about “God”: The thought of God as a living being with human feelings [any more than a star or galaxy is such a being]. The thinking that God … Continue reading

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My personal method for evaluating whether to trust somebody

One of the key skills to acquiring positive juice is to know whom to trust. Trust is a wonderful thing. It feels so good… to trust. That’s why so many of us tend to trust somebody even when we shouldn’t–we … Continue reading

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A chat excerpt about understanding people who act destructively

Here is an excerpt from an online chat I had with someone about how to understand people who act destructively. ===================== me: The best way to both listen to somebody and be prepared for certain miscues, I think, is to … Continue reading

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