I received a question from a student asking for help with a circumstance she was experiencing – a person she considered to be her best friend decided to stop talking to her and won’t tell her why. She felt confused, sad and angry.
It’s painful when someone that you believe is a friend stops talking to you and won’t give you a reason.
I remember when one of my friends was upset with me and I couldn’t figure out why. When I asked the reason, they responded with, ‘I’m not going to tell you. You should know.’
I thought, ‘If I knew I wouldn’t be asking.’
I found it very upsetting and frustrating that we couldn’t just talk about it. I couldn’t fix or change what I didn’t know.
Since we all think differently and have different perspectives it’s important to communicate when something is bothering us. Communication is the key to maintaining a healthy, caring relationship.
Unfortunately, we can’t make people listen to us and understand our perspective. They have to be willing to want to hear what we have to say.
A tip to help you communicate with your friend:
Write/type a letter/email communicating all of your thoughts and feelings using the words ‘I feel’ or ‘I think’. Using these words will help you express yourself without blaming the other person. When you use ‘you did this’ or ‘you made me feel this’ people’s listening shuts down and they start to go into defense mode. Remember you are only sharing your feelings and thoughts – not blaming or shaming the other person.
Writing a letter allows the other person to consider your point of view when they are ready and they can refer back to it. People often need time to think and reflect. It also allows you to share your thoughts and feelings with clarity. At the end of your letter, ask them to consider answering your letter letting you know their thoughts/feelings.
It is easy to assume that everyone is on the same page and should ‘just know’ what the other is thinking. I have found that some are not only ‘not on the same page’ they are ‘reading different books’.
Until next time…
10 Jun 2020
Listen. Learn. Grow
So much is changing and will continue to change.
Through all the changes, we want the best for our children and students. We want them to act in a way that will promote respect, kindness and compassion.
Children learn best by watching us. They see us as the example of what to do and what not to do.
Observing how we approach challenges, how we talk about others, and how we handle tough emotions influences their choices and their beliefs. Our actions will always speak louder than our words.
We can’t expect children to be different from what they see us do, despite what we may tell them.
Being a role model isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being aware of the times you mess up, admitting it and learning from it, so that children learn to do the same. Being mindful of the choices you are making and the messages you are communicating takes practice and listening.
It’s important that you listen to children’s worries, the questions they ask, the fears they may be experiencing and most importantly the emotions they are feeling. Listening to them without judgment – listening – even if you think their concerns and emotions are unfounded.
Listening from a place of love, respect and compassion will create a strong connection and build a trust that will let children know, ‘They Matter. They are Important. They are Enough.’ – even in the most challenging times.
Until next time…
18 Nov 2019
Does Common Sense Exist?
“Common sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge that is shared by nearly all people.”
Let’s dive into the definition…
Is sense really common?
The above definition implies that the average person should just know how to act in specific situations, but the problem with that is we are all different. You and I weren’t raised the same, didn’t learn the same things, didn’t have the same experiences, don’t live by the same rules—so what may seem to be common sense to me could be new information for you and vice versa. Wait, what?!
Here’s my theory… If sense were common, then we wouldn’t see road rage, violence, greed, and poor manners. No one would fall out, breakup, or argue over how to parent or teach children. We’d all agree on the fundamentals in life.
But we don’t.
Different experiences = Different sense.
Through my work, I’ve learned that sense and awareness is not common for people. Our experiences impact what we learn and how we perceive what happens around us and because we all experience different circumstances, we learn different lessons. There’s nothing common about it.
For example, my parents raised me to believe that mistakes are opportunities—an essential part of learning and growth. This is now common sense to me, but when I present this idea to a child who was raised to believe mistakes should be avoided, it’s new for them. They’ve learned the opposite.
When our version of sense differs, whose opinion is common?
Does this sound familiar? Someone acts in a way that surprises you and your instant reaction is: ‘Well, it’s common sense, right?’
But what if it’s not?
I remember one day we had guests over. After greeting them at the door, I expected they would take off their shoes. Instead, they walked around inside with their shoes on.
And here’s where sense isn’t common. At my house, we remove our shoes at the door, at their house that isn’t the expectation.
What if it’s not about common sense but
your expectations aren’t communicated, others won’t know what you want. How
would my guests know to remove their shoes if they normally don’t at their
house? In this case, I should have politely asked them to leave their shoes at
the door They would then know my expectations instead of me relying on common
It’s too easy to jump to the assumption that someone should know better because it’s common sense.
The more helpful reaction is to identify what your expectation is and clearly and politely communicate it to the other person.It’s simple, really! By being clear about expectations you can save yourself and others from unnecessary disappointment.