Ten Rules for Making Change in your Home and Marriage – “How to Forge Depth”

When you walk into your home at the end of the day, how does it feel?  Are you happy to be there?  When you’re at work, do you feel excited to return home to your family, or do you wish you could stretch your day a little longer?

Not so long ago, I lived in some pretty crappy conditions.  The house I lived in was quite nice; it had a yard for the kids to play in, there was comfy furniture in the living area and the kitchen was well lit.  I’m a neatfreak, so the house was always clean, and there were plenty of shelves and closets to tuck away our belongings.  All in all, the physical state of our home was great.

Still, it was crappy.

Although the house itself and our living space was comfortable, my home was not.  There were some people living in my space that changed the culture of our home, and the culture was almost total crap.

I hated coming home.

“Home” is not the building you live in, or the space you occupy.  “Home” is made up of the people inside, and of the relationships between those people.  Collectively, the relationships in your home define your home’s culture.  The culture of your home can be good or bad, positive or negative, common or foreign, but it is as unique as the people that create it.
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Foreign Currency – How to Get Your Point Across to Someone Who Doesn’t Understand

Have you ever had a really bad boss?

I’m sure that if we all sat down and compared notes we could come up with some great stories.  Bad bosses are what movies are made of.  We love to hate them, and we all relate because we’ve all been there.  We’ve all had at least one.

My “bad boss” story is actually rather boring.  Her name was Karen.*  She wasn’t BAD, per say, we just didn’t get along.  She was good at her actual job, I think… she must have been, since she was promoted regularly and earned routine bonuses.  Still, though, she was not a good boss for ME.

…and if we’re honest, that’s how it is, right?  Conflict is not just about that one person you have it with, it’s about the dynamic between TWO.  Both of you.  A bad relationship isn’t just about one person, it’s about two people.  My mom always used to say “It takes two to tango,” and she was right.

And Karen and I tangoed.  A lot.  Over the course of several years we had a couple big blowouts, some of them epic in tone and size.

One specific confrontation in particular comes to mind, a confrontation for which the mere memory makes steam roll out my ears.
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How to Listen to Annoying Kids – Listening Through The Noise

listen (v):

1. to give attention with the ear
2. to pay attention, to heed
3. to wait attentively for a sound
4. to convey a particular impression to the one hearing

As a Grower of People, this definition makes me laugh.

If you’re not sure what the difference is between hearing and listening, you are cordially invited to my house for dinner. You’ll pull up a chair, we’ll all dig in, then I’ll bring up the topic of “passing gas” with the four year old. Give the conversation three minutes to gather steam, then try to change the subject.

Unless you come prepared with a live monkey for a prop, I can guarantee you MIGHT be heard, but you will for sure not be listened to.
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