Anger

Our Inner Dialog: What Does It Really Say?

This morning I shared one of my recent inner dialogs with someone whom I really respect. It went something like this, “Geez Roni, what an idiot you were to have trusted that person. What were you thinking?”

inner_dialogue

My friend said, “Would you have said the same thing to your son or grandson had they confided in you that they made a similar mistake?” It didn’t take me long to say, “Of course not, although I may have added that was a bonehead thing to do.”

My friend then said if you were walking with a friend and she stubbed her toe, would you comfort her?” I replied, “Of course I would.” She continued, “If you stubbed your own toe, would you berate yourself for being careless or not wearing better shoes?” Sounded just about right to me.

Okay, so I am sure you get the analogy. I know I did. Our inner dialog lets us know how we are dealing with our lives and our decisions. Harsh words and negative thoughts ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS!

This journey we call life is comprised of choices. Some will be good, some not so good, and some will in fact be bonehead decisions. It is what we learn from each circumstance that will ultimately guide our future decisions. Will we be repeat offenders or wiser people?

behind bars

On a very long walk later in the day, I changed the dialog in my head to sound like this, “Okay, Roni, you can’t change the past. You can however give yourself a break by acknowledging that this wasn’t your finest moment. Know you have the ability to devise a back-up plan, comfort yourself with a “there-there”, then move forward.”

There are no magic pills that can guide us through all of life’s challenges. There are no magic words that can erase bad choices and decisions. Fortunately though, there is a new start everyday when we awaken. We have the ability to make a decision to walk in a direction that is more positive and that will ultimately help us feel better about ourselves.

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When you change your thoughts from negative to positive, you improve your attitude and energy. So if you find yourself in a storm without an umbrella and rain gear, find a warm place to wait it out. Take a hot bath when you get home. And make a plan to keep the necessary equipment in your car to be better prepared the next time.

sunsets

And for God sakes, give yourself a break!

There is a chapter in my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, titled Honor Yourself. Like all of the chapters I give examples and exercises to help my readers understand themselves better. I plan on reviewing it for myself.

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.

Bullies

There is a great deal of focus on kids who bully at school. There are many shows dedicated to educating parents and children about cyber bullying. Children are subjected to bullies on a regular basis. As adults and educators, we must be super sensitive to this, as young people often don’t know how to handle the situation when faced with a bully. What happens though when the bully is an adult? Unfortunately, people who feel entitled to boss and push their way through life come in both genders and all ages.

bullies

I have been with people who have exhibited short fuses when it comes to talking with sales or service people. I have listened to friends tell me they have been yelled at by other adults at friendly card games. I have experienced rage at places where I play sports. I see adult children talking to their parents in a manner that lacks respect.

What do all these people have in common? It is my opinion that volatile people really don’t know how to communicate their impatience, disappointment, expectations or anger. Consequently, they often resort to screaming and name calling as a means to make their point. Bullies of all ages tend to choose targets that are either smaller, younger, more passive or in a position where they are unable to defend themselves.

I personally find this behavior despicable. Harsh word? Yes. However adult bullying is even more unacceptable than kids on the playground since we have the capacity to weigh our words and temper our impulses…or at least we should by the time we have matured.

If you are bullied, ask yourself why you allow this to happen. If you are the bully, ask yourself why you feel entitled to push other people around with your words or actions. The expression, “Your right to swing your arm ends at my nose” applies to words as well. No one should use another person as a target for his or her personal lack of control when it comes to self-expression. Don’t give anyone permission to treat you with ire and unkindness. It doesn’t matter if the person is your boss, your friend, your children or your parents.

Men boxing. Two men boxing on the boxing ring

If you recognize yourself in either of the above scenarios, hold up a mirror and ask yourself why this is your method of expressing displeasure. If you are the recipient of someone using their anger to insult or rant at you, ask yourself why you don’t speak up for yourself.

Woman looking in to the mirror

In my book, “12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick”, I address Standing Up For Yourself. As in all of the chapters I provide you with relatable, practical exercises and stories. I guide my readers to first recognize their own behaviors, and then take the necessary steps to fine tune these behaviors thus becoming more empowered.

Whether you have watched your parents bully other people or you have experienced bullying, you are not destined to repeat these behaviors. I firmly believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Take control of your life by taking control of your mouth and your actions.

new-old-dog

Make 2017 the year to make positive changes by becoming someone that you respect and would choose for a friend!

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy of my book. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your interpersonal relationships? You have much to gain and little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.  #self-respect, #kindness, #communication, #bullies, #interpersonalrelationships.

How Do We Deal With Loss?

therapy-loss

This past week several of my friends experienced loss. A good friend recently lost her husband; another is having a service for the father of her children; another is visiting the cemetery on the anniversary of her daughter’s passing, and yet another has lost her precious dog. If we are fortunate to live a long life, we will experience loss due to death. When it comes to mourning and dealing with loss, there is absolutely no formula, right or wrong way to cope with it.

For example, one of my friends does NOT want any communication for several days. Another is reaching out to her friends by sharing her sadness in writing. Another friend plans to take a hiatus to spend time away from her home.

kids-comfort

There is an expectation that loss of a loved one, family pet or marriage will cause varying degrees of tears, heartbreak, depression and loneliness. No one would expect less.

loss-of-pet

What happens though when the loss is subtle? This could be a move to another area, ending a toxic friendship or quitting a group that you have belonged to for a long period of time. Although these are not necessarily life altering, we still feel a sense of loss and sadness. Whether this pertains to a routine you had established or friends you had met, the end result is emptiness.

Although we all deal with disappointment, loss and change differently, my advice is to find balance. We all have the capacity to work through tough times. We all have the ability to make our lives better. For some this process requires small steps. Rely on your faith, your friends, a group, a book and your inner strength, as you don’t need to do this alone.

So, how do we deal with loss? We accept it, respect it, and ultimately find ways to live with it.

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.roni-kugler_final_low-res-2

With the holidays upon us consider giving my book as a gift to friends, family, co-workers or those who can benefit from understanding themselves and therefore their actions. That’s pretty much everyone, don’t you agree?

Use this convenient link to buy it or go directly to Amazon to get your copy. http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve your #interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family.

 

#loss, #balance, #faith, #change, #whatmakesyoutick.

How Important Is Hope?

I have been nicknamed a Pollyanna my whole life.   According to Webster, a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It defines me to a tee.

For many like myself, it is used to describe a person who finds only the good in people and the good in all circumstances.

My friend of almost 20 years was telling me about a situation where someone she knew did some pretty insane things. I listened and then said one thing positive in her friend’s defense. My friend looked at me and said, “Man, you can find a flower in a field of weeds.” Okay, so I took creative liberties here. She probably said that I could find a flower in a pile of shit.

flower

I have to admit that she made me laugh and she made me think. Thinking and overthinking is what I do best. Reflection to me is the key to understanding ourselves and therefore making the changes needed to make better choices.

In trying to understand why I tend to give people and situations the benefit of the doubt, the word hope keeps popping into my head. I hope that people will be kinder. I hope that people will do the right thing. I hope that our children and their children will do better and be better.

A world without hope is a very sad place. Some may consider me naive. Others may consider me a sucker or gullible. The truth is that I would rather be scammed and taken advantage of by a person or two than to be guarded and suspicious of everyone I meet.

Perhaps by living in my world, those people will learn a little something from me then go on to find the good in others. At least this is what I hope.

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Click on the link below to get a copy of my book “12 Way To Discover What Makes You Tick”, available now on Amazon.com.

I not only hope you find value in it, I know you will!

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Why Would I Buy A Book About Me?

Life is a gift. It is fragile and it is short. Take the time to know yourself. We spend much of our early life in school learning to read, conquer math and study history.

We then learn a job, how to maintain our car, operate our electronic devices and various other tasks required to get along in our world.

manual

How much time do you take to really get to know yourself? To understand how you ‘tick’? Along with knowing yourself, how much time do you take to really understand others and learn how they ‘tick’? Perhaps if you make this an integral part of your life, you will learn from both your successes and your failures. You will become more aware, and understand why you repeat your mistakes without taking responsibility for some of your choices.

I have found that if you take time to really get to know yourself and the world in which you live, your life will be more fulfilling and give you the happiness and peace that you truly want and deserve.

For a small investment, my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, could be just what you need to start the journey towards making decisions that you can feel good about.

Roni Kugler_final

Isn’t it time you invested in yourself?

Click this link to get your copy of the book that could have been named, Finally There Is A Book About Me!

http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr

Do You Make Mountains Out Of Molehills?

For those who aren’t familiar with the expression, “Making a mountain out of molehill,” let me fill you in. While there are lengthy articles written about the origin of this phrase which goes back to 1484, the bottom line refers to someone who overreacts to a minor issue.

brother and sister fighitng

We had planned this family visit for a couple of months. My brother and his wife live out-of-state so our time together is always special. Well perhaps not always. “Why?” you ask. Let me tell you about our last visit. I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t due to my long wait at L.A.X when I went to pick them up. It wasn’t due to their long day of working then flying across the country. It wasn’t due to our lack of sleep. It wasn’t due to the 300 mile road trip(we spent the day going from one family member to the next). And lastly, it wasn’t due to my driving back alone the next day while my brother and his wife stayed an extra few days to visit with another brother and our mother.

So, you ask, “What was the discord?” As I said, this is rather embarrassing as we are both in our 6th decade. My brother and I argued, fought, and did much rolling of the eyes because he felt his golf clubs and luggage would not fit in the trunk of our brothers car, and I stood my ground and said it would.

golf 001

If there is ever a Guinness Record for the stupidest reason to fight, I believe we are a shoo-in! Now if this argument lasted the short time it deserved, there wouldn’t have been a problem. NO, this ridiculous fight actually defined the entire 36 hours I spent with them.

When saying “goodbye” I was well aware that our time together had been compromised, and neither of us was happy with the outcome of our visit.   My brother and I talk weekly so when I realized that several weeks had passed since we had last spoke, I decided to give him a call. I am the middle child and therefore the peacemaker by birth order. He is the youngest and I won’t address what therapists say about the baby of the family (after all this blog is meant to mend not inflame).

The first words out of my mouth were, “Are we okay?” My brother who doesn’t mince words simply said, “You are a pain in my ass, but I love you anyway”. After I acknowledged the same about him we were then on good terms.

The take-away: don’t let silly, stupid arguments become bigger than they are. Being right (and I was) isn’t always what’s important. And in case if my brother reads this and is now rolling his eyes, I say, “Let him write a blog and tell his side of the story”.

If there is someone in your life important to you and both of you are off-track, make the call, send a text, and/or write a note.   Do what it takes to make things right. Life is way too short to make a “mountain out of molehill”.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

gray tabby kitten cat rubbing up against a golden retriever puppy dog in grass in a garden scene with pink flowers behind them.

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Why Do Adult Children Cut Ties With Their Parents?

During a recent search on the Internet I discovered an abundance of adult children who have severed ties with their parents. There are many articles written as to why. Common themes are:

  • The children were raised in a child-centered home.
  • Parents did too much for their kids.
  • Parents concerned themselves more with their children’s self-esteem rather than teaching children self-control
  • Parents made decisions based on their guilt instead of using good parental choices.
  • The child is narcissistic.

So the list goes. The great majority of research that I have read puts the blame squarely on parents, not their offspring. I agree. My generation happens to be guilty of two things. First, they were and are way too involved in the lives of their kids. Second, they are afraid their children won’t like them.

kid ignorning parent

When did this happen? When I was growing up (wouldn’t you like a dollar every time someone said that to you?), my parents didn’t give a flying hoot if I liked them or was angry with them. They made parental decisions with the mantra “This will make more sense to you when you are a parent”. And, that was pretty much the end of it.

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My brothers and I were tormented by sleepless nights if we thought we were out of favor with our parents, not the other way around.

If your grown children are out of the house and the damage is done, do you feel there’s nothing you can do? Do you fear that you will never see them again or get to watch your grandchildren grow?   Do you feel you have no choice but to bend to their every demand? NO! NO! NO!

I say it is NEVER too late to start over. While my son was growing up I had conversations with him regarding mutual respect and expectations. I constantly redefined our relationship while maintaining my parental status. I a have strong opinion that your child should NEVER be your friend. That doesn’t mean you don’t hang with your kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids. It just means you don’t burden them with your finances, love life, or personal issues; these should be reserved for a close friend. I believe that when the lines of parent/child and parent/friend cross, the result can be unwanted advice, lack of respect and confusion.

My parents used to say, “You can talk to your friends like that, NOT your parents.” When you change the game by making your child your friend, the line becomes blurred. I believe the parent-child relationship stands on its own. We can have many friends, however, we have only one mom and one dad. Why isn’t this good enough?

Take a look at your relationship with your adult children. Is it working for you? Are you pleased with the way things are? If you answer YES pat yourself on the back, you did something right. However if you feel boundaries have been crossed and you and your children are off-track, then take action.

Make a plan to sit down and communicate with your children… not by email or text; not with your child and his or her spouse present; one on one. Talk about how much you love them. Talk about some of the mistakes you have made. Then arrive at a common ground where you can redefine your relationship and forge a new bond.

Don’t miss another holiday or family event without your adult children present. Make the effort. Do not blame. Do not yell. Open up your heart and listen.family dinner

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Get My FREE Guide On How To Avoid Losing a Loved One Due to a Senseless Fight!

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Improving one’s interpersonal skills can turn around many unhealthy relationships. If you are interested in saving your marriage or saving your relationship with friends and/or co-workers, my free manual is an excellent guide to help you learn how to communicate more effectively. Good communication skills are the main ingredient to achieving a healthy relationship.

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When you find yourself becoming impatient with a loved one and you feel like yelling at them, take a minute to stop and work on your anger management techniques. In my manual, I give step-by-step anger management tips that are sure to help any relationship. I talk about taking time out to gather your thoughts. I list various ways to talk through your issues. I give many examples that will help you turn a bad experience into a positive one.

If you don’t have the time to attend anger management classes, or seek anger management counseling, simply using my suggestions will enable you to enjoy the same results by learning to keep your cool while communicating your thoughts.

Whether you are a man looking for marriage advice, or you are a parent who is concerned regarding anger management for kids, I can help you approach the subject in a non-threatening way which will be beneficial to everyone involved.

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1 Thing You Need To Know To Avoid Arguments

TAKE AN ADULT TIMEOUT.

About 30 years ago I attended an on-site traffic school (yes, before you could do this on-line). Most of us had been ticketed for speeding. The instructor introduced himself and talked about boring statistics and useless facts so most of us were half asleep. Right before the break he said, “Would you like to know how to NEVER get another speeding ticket?” Clearly he got our attention. He took his time and said, “Never go faster than the posted speed limit”.

Speed Limit

He now had a room full of disappointed students. We were all looking for inside information. No one was prepared when he simply said, “Don’t speed”. We wanted something that helped us get away with speeding. We wanted a trick. We wanted an easy fix. Instead he offered us a conventional sure-fire way of not spending the next Saturday in his classroom.

Are you shaking your head right now? Do you feel like you were misled? Let me assure you that sometimes the simplest solution is actually the best solution. I have applied this lesson often over the years. There is an easy way to do things and there is a hard way to do things.

Back to the subject of the 1 thing we can do to avoid an argument. Most conversations don’t start out as arguments. Arguments tend to happen when people say things too quickly. Arguments tend to escalate when we jump the gun, listen with half an ear, or defend behavior we shouldn’t defend.

Time and space gives us perspective so we can silently decide what we want to say. Both allow us time to think more clearly as to what our end game will be. The various possibilities are:

  1. To be heard and defend our position
  2. To win the argument
  3. To hear what the other person really wants
  4. To make peace while finding an amicable solution.

 

We all have our own lists; take the time to think about what your list would include.

I recently found myself having conversations that could have easily ended in disaster. Different opinions and goals came into play. In a few of these conversations, the result could have been hurt feelings and strained relationships if I had not taken an adult timeout. Harsh words can be said and before you know it, an argument could ensue that might have been avoided. If you find yourself in this position, try any of the following before you lose your cool. Simply say:

timeout

  1. “Let me think about that and get back to you.”
  2. “It sounds good, but I need to give that some thought.”
  3. “You make a good point; however I need to think that over.”

And if you find that you have said words you regret, or if you were just plain wrong, it is okay to call the person back and say:

  1. “I am sorry”.
  2. “You were right”.
  3. “I made a mistake”.

sorry pup

Although these tactics might seem like common sense, they are often ignored when we are tired, angry, or frustrated. Therefore, taking the time to cool down allows the groundwork for a comfortable solution.

Think about these suggestions the next time you feel that a conversation is going in the wrong direction.

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website www.ronikugler.com. If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.