Communication

  • Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  relationships

    Love and struggle

    “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It’s an active noun, like ‘struggle.'”~Fred Rogers Relationships of any kind will evolve, change, and reshape themselves. In the early stages, we tend to idealize a new partner as well as our new friends. But who on earth can live up to our highest expectations — all of the time? The longer we know and love someone, and the more we grow, the more likely we’ll encounter a few obstacles, conflicts, and disappointments. Sometimes we’re called to struggle with a crisis together, or we need extra support to handle a problem or a challenge. Fragile relationships won’t withstand the stress — but the…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  social skills

    Deep listening

    “How often do you offer your undivided attention to others? Do you inquire into how they’re doing, what’s happening in their world, or what they need to feel safe and happy? Or are you quick to talk about yourself and see how others might serve you?” ~John Amodeo, PhD One of the hallmarks of a great conversationalist is the ability to listen. Ideally, when someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, you hope they’ll pay attention to your answer and ask follow-up questions. Too often lately, most people seem eager to shut you up, derail your topic, and reroute the conversation back to themselves. How often have you walked…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication

    Insensitive remarks

    “I have never been hurt by what I have not said.” ~Calvin Coolidge All of us are guilty of blurting insensitive remarks or sharing information we shouldn’t — usually without realizing it. We might say something off the top of our heads without thinking how someone else might interpret it. It’s easy to get tangled in our own verbiage — and it takes a heartfelt apology to smooth things out. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, people might forget exactly what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel. In today’s quote, we’re reminded that it’s wise to weigh our words carefully before we set them free. Or keep…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Events & news,  Photo stories

    When silence is golden

    “Tune out the cheap shots people take at you. Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.” ~Angel Chernoff These days, I can barely stand to listen to political rhetoric, debates, or campaign speeches. Everyone has gotten so nasty; so cringe-worthy critical. Sometimes I’m tempted to turn away and risk being uninformed. But I know better. Often called “too sensitive,” I used to be devastated by criticism of any kind, whether it was directed at me or someone I cared about. Thanks to my freelance writing career, I’ve learned that constructive criticism — even rejection — can…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  COVID-19 stories

    Getting over ourselves

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” ~Rick Warren Socrates said that “the unexamined life” isn’t worth living. But self-absorption isn’t such a good thing, either. Self-absorption can be a symptom of living in fear or uncertainty — or spending too much time alone. And there was plenty of that going on during the first year of the pandemic. Thankfully, we’re finally stepping outside our comfort zones to renew our sense of community. When we stop obsessing over our own worries and problems, we open ourselves to others. We start paying attention to what’s going on around us — not just within us. It’s a big…