Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random and Related

1. No results yet on Maize's lump -- hopefully today.

2. Mac enjoyed going to the indoor training center where I am now working as a trainer on a very, very, very part-time basis -- it is great to have a place to train inside and I get my dog food at cost now :)

3. Found Mike M. and sent him an email saying this:

"Hi Mike

That was much easier than I expected -- and now I find myself not sure what I should say...

All the recent attention to bullying struck a chord for me as you were my childhood bully. I am hopeful that you are a wonderful, nice person now -- and I know all of us have done things we wish we could take back. However, the truth is that you did a lot of damage to me and while I am certainly an okay person now, I have never forgotten what you did.

Recently I wrote two Blog entries in which the bullying I experienced was the central topic -- and in doing so I realized that I wanted you to know what you had done. You may not remember or care and that is okay -- you get to decide how you handle your past, just as I do. And I decided that I wanted to tell the story -- and I wanted you to know.

So you can read about yourself -- or not -- up to you. I have accomplished what I wanted and that is what matters to me. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly -- I appreciate it."

I included the links to the two blogs and now I am done with it.

4. Being assertive means you have the right to express your thoughts, feelings, opinions, experiences, whatever in a way that respects another person. The goal is not to get our way -- but rather to express ourselves in hopes that doing so produces a collaborative change or a more open, honest relationship. We are not required to withhold what we want to say because someone else wishes we would -- but we are not allowed to intentionally and maliciously poke bruises.

Sometimes bruises get poked, even with good intentions, and that is just how it is -- but poking bruises cannot be one of our objectives if we are truly trying to be assertive and respect our own rights while also honoring the rights of another. In fact, being assertive means thinking carefully about how we can convey our message in a manner that the other person will receive it most effectively -- and that means choosing our words carefully and picking a time when fire is not coming out of our nose :)

When we are aggressive (as opposed to assertive), we disregard the impact of our words and actions on the relationship -- in other words, we are willing to sacrifice the relationship in order to get our way and/or make a point. This is an appropriate tactic only when the relationship does not matter to us -- it is not appropriate in important relationships.

But do not mistake me -- each of us has the right to say what we want, in a respectful way, even when our words wound another person. But the wounding cannot be our intention when we seek to be assertive -- the intention has to be honesty and authenticity in an atmosphere of respect, knowing that secrets and hidden wounds fester and ruin relationships. It is only through the clearing of the emotional slate that we can have genuine, honest, authentic relationships with another -- and really -- why bother with any other kind?

I hope that your day is filled with good news, cheap essentials, chapter completions, and honest, real relationships -- and the winning lottery ticket!


  1. Wow, thank you so much for that clarification between assertive and aggressive. I think I am often aggressive, I react in anger and am not cool and careful with my words and so I wound people I care about. It is important to retreat when angry (at least for me!) so that I can be careful about what I say.

  2. Powerful words! Can you teach an old dog a new trick or better yet an old stubborn Irishman the difference between assertive and aggressive?