Duane and I have spent the last 45 New Year’s weekends with our dearest friends. (It is a miracle in itself; because, I am turning only 38 next month.) We four spend most of the hours, leading up to the New Year, catching up on the events of the previous year.
We talk about everything from our kids, grandkids, and in-laws to various jobs, family outings, church events and travels we have experienced during the past year. We have a thousand pictures, on our phones, which help our bragging when it comes to grandkids of course!
Each of us has numerous family, friends and co-workers with whom we interact every year.
Predictably, one question asked while discussing tense subjects is, “How did you handle that situation?”
The best answer we find – when it comes to prickly topics – is, “with my mouth shut!”
I’ll admit, mouth control has been a consistent battle for me since third grade, when my report card first revealed, “Kathleen would get her work done on time if she could control her talking.” It went downhill from there.
Communication has never been a problem for me! I can talk on or off stage with ease on pretty much any topic. The dilemma surfaces when I seem to say the wrong things at the wrong times!
Can anyone out there identify with me?
Over the years, I have learned (mostly) to control my initial knee-jerk reactions and therefore soften results of potential disasters in communicating with others.
With each year, I learn more lessons. I want to share them with you as this New Year surfaces.
Help is here!
I have discovered TEN steps, if followed religiously, that promise to enable most everyone to get along with most everyone all year long! Say good-bye to arguments, hurt feelings and guilt that result when we say things we wish we hadn’t. Yes, these steps are easily do-able for every age and temperament reading this!
Step number one: “Mouth control!”
In any situation – before reacting – pause and take a deep breath, followed by a count to ten, before opening your mouth. This simple ‘break’ in your thought process allows your brain to have a choice regarding your reaction.
Following this first step has the potential to change your life forever. Seriously, this works!
Duane will attest to the validity of this first step having saved our marriage on numerous occasions!
Practice STEP ONE the next few days and see what happens!
Of course, it goes without saying, prayer is recommended for success with all ten steps.
Have fun with number one!
“Give us help for the hard task; human help is worthless. In God we’ll do our very best; He’ll flatten the opposition for good”.
(Ps.60:11 &12 – The Message)