Putting the Soul
back in Psychology!
How to truly win real friends and influence all people!
Are YOU a Relationally Healthy Person?
Check List...ask Jesus Christ to make you self-aware of when you are failing in any of the following behaviors, repent of failing to be them, and ask Him to help you to be them and to show you how:
I expect nothing from them. I don't need them. I can be perfectly happy without them. This shows in my attitude and how I treat them. (While I am extremely grateful for them and value who they are and all that they give to me.)
I focus on how I can give to them relationally / emotionally. I try to make sure I am not selfishly using them in any way.
When not a sin or enabling sin (aka bad behavior), I treat them how THEY want to be treated, NOT how I want to be treated, because we have different wants, needs, and personalities, of which differences I make it my responsibility to learn and recognize.
I only help them in the ways that they want to be helped. I do not try to force unsolicited help or advice onto them.
If they are doing something bad for me or to me, I seek from God the most simple and charitable way to either avoid it affecting me and / or addressing it directly with them.
I actively try to get to know and remember: who they are, what they think, feel, believe, want, etc. and what they like and dislike...about everything. That is how I can know what style of communication to use with them and what they will like as a gift or service.
I ask them both general and specific questions about themselves and their lives and daily activities to get to know them, and I will always be getting to know them more and more.
I talk about things they want to talk about that are not uncharitable to discuss, and positively contribute to what they are saying in ways they want to hear that is not supporting sin (aka bad behavior).
I look for where and how I can agree with them and can encourage and support them without encouraging and supporting sin (aka bad behavior), even if I don't agree with everything they are saying and doing.
Per conversation, I talk about what I want to talk about equally or less than what they want to talk about; not more.
I try to let them talk about themselves and what they want to talk about first, before I do.
When they say something positive or negative about themselves and their experiences, I do NOT immediately change the subject to make it about me or something I know, I respond to the content of what they are saying...with empathy and support if what they said is negative, and with a compliment or reinforcement or "cheer leader" response if what they said is positive.
When they only want empathy and support for a problem, while not wanting Truth and to be Loving to others, in order that I do not support their sins, I give empathy and support in ways that do not reinforce their rejection of Truth and failure to be Loving. For examples see
Empathy Without Enabling
If they stop showing interest in something I am saying, then I stop talking and pleasantly wait, or I stop talking and ask them something they are interested in so they can talk about themselves. I am fine if they don't want to listen to me talk and I do NOT take it personally.
In the next conversation or days later, I follow up / check in on things that they mentioned before to see how it is going or what new developments have occurred, in order to show interest and caring. If they volunteer it before I can ask or I forget to ask, I show active enthusiasm to hear it and/or tell them how I was looking forward to hearing about it, or I am glad they told me.
I actively listen to everything they say. I actively show sincere and positive interest in everything they are saying. I look for where I can be a cheer leader of support and encouragement.
I try NOT to interrupt them speaking. If I don't have time to listen or time to talk then I say, I have to go and I'll make sure to talk with you about that as soon as possible (in general or specifics).
[You can always revisit a conversation. You don't have to be able to say everything at one time. And if you objectively cannot speak with the person again, then they did not need to hear from you what you want to tell them.]
I only give my negative opinion about what they said, or disagreement, when it is absolutely necessary for their psychological / moral benefit and I do so only in ways that I think they can typically accept hearing it.
If I believe it is absolutely necessary to give an unsolicited teaching opinion, I will try to preface it with in a gentle tone of voice: Have you thought about...? What do you think about...? Have you tried...? Did you do...? Where did you learn that?
I think primarily about being loving and respectful to them the entire time I am interacting with them, no matter the subject being discussed or the situation in which we are interacting.
If it is a person with which I have frequent conflict in the past, I focus on Jesus with me the entire time and as soon as the conversation becomes unpleasant for me, I gently exit out of the conversation without them knowing why I am doing so, and I go directly to Jesus for self-awareness, repentance of my sins, healing of unpleasant feelings, Truth, and Love to get my needs met.
I don't correct their imperfect behavior or communication when they don't interfere with me getting my real needs met (e.g. making sure I don't sin, time with Jesus in Adoration and Mass, or working to financially support myself and/or others), unless they directly ask my opinion or come to me crying for help. And even then I try to do so lovingly and carefully; trying to meet them where they are. Whether they hear it this way or not is not my problem or responsibility.
I don't give any advice or corrections while they are upset, angry, or crying; I let them have their irrational feelings and irrational opinions. If they don't seem to stop feeling bad, I ask them in general or specifically about what they have done so far to help themselves, and / or I gently ask them if they would like some help or advice or if they would like me to pray with them. I obey whichever they choose. (If it is a young child, I don't ask any of this, I simply immediately start generally empathizing with them and praying for them and / or with them.)
When wanting to teach them something, I see how I can use myself as the example of what I did wrong in the same or similar way and how I have fixed or am fixing it in myself. I offer this as a polite suggestion that they can like or dislike, agree or disagree with.
If they give me unsolicited advice or correct me in something in a way that I don't want to hear, I do NOT get defensive and I let it go. I then take it to Jesus and ask Him what He wants me to know and learn from it.
I don't speak in order to hear myself talk, or to seek get attention. I speak to give them attention, to seek help or advice, or because I believe I am saying something that they will want to hear or something they will believe that they will benefit from hearing.
I don't correct their vocabulary or exaggerations or generalization. If they misspeak and correct themselves, I say, No worries, I understand or I say nothing.
If I don't understand something or disagree with something, I don't make assumptions, I gently with a non-controlling tone of voice, ask for clarification and ask questions to gather a lot more information, before I dare disagree, give an unsolicited correction, counter argument, or contradict them.
I am not contrary to what they say; I don't begin a response with "no" or "but" (unless it is a direct closed question that warrants this). I immediately look for what I agree with and how I can agree with them and verbally do so. I next ask clarifying questions about the part that I think I disagree with. If I believe it is absolute necessary to directly disagree I do so with a charitable attitude and tone.
Frequently, if I disagree with something they say, I keep silent, unless I believe it is important, then I ask non-confrontational and non-defensive clarifying questions about specifics about what they said or what else happened or what else they think and know, in order to check to see if I really do disagree with them, or they just didn't say what they meant or we have different definitions for the same vocabulary.
I don't try to control them; make them start or stop them from: doing, thinking, believing, or feeling anything. I am only responsible for speaking Truth; not convincing anyone to want or accept Truth.
I don't tell them what to do in their daily lives, unless they ask me directly for that, and even then I frequently say, I don't know; I would ask Jesus, or I tell them what I have done in a similar situation that has been successful, and if I do give specific advice on what to do I always try to give at least TWO options or more, and I always use a tone of voice that makes them only an offering of suggestions that they can take or leave.
I don't boss them. I don't use a bossy, controlling, authoritative tone of voice. I spend time with Jesus receiving self-awareness of my tones of voice and actively consciously change and practice tones of voice that are charitable.
[TONE OF VOICE and VOLUME are the biggest human triggers. Especially if I am from a military family, whether 1st or 2nd generation, I am going to need to completely change my tones of voice and volume, even if I think there is nothing wrong with them...many others do not hear or experience tone of voice and volume like I do.]
I don't give unsolicited opinions or advice that I believe they aren't going to want to hear unless it is a life-or-death situation including for their salvation, they are paying me to do so in my career, or they are a young child.
If and when I give any opinions or advice, I make sure that what I am saying is absolutely 100% Truth and accurate by both having checked it directly with Jesus Christ and reading it/hearing it through a credible human source on the subject (someone who is imitating and obeying Christ much more than the majority of humans).
I don't try to stop them from having their feelings, ever, for any reason.
If I feel bad in any way because of their feelings or words, that is my selfish sinful fault and I need to get away from them asap and go to Jesus, so as NOT to sin against them with my feelings blaming control freakness.
I do not take anything they say or do personally, even when they try to make something personally about me through their misappropriate blaming or other sins.
[We sin, including inappropriately blame, because we are wrongly trying to help ourselves to deal with some type of unhappiness or we are trying to get our needs met in the wrong ways.]
I have no problems listening to them complain about anything.
If they complain about me, I discern with Jesus if what they are saying is true or false. If it is true, I change myself with the help of Jesus. If it is false and a projection of themselves to try and manipulate me or is a lie about me they are assuming, I only verbally disagree with them when to help them see Truth it is necessary, and/or to protect myself from them interfering with me taking care of my real needs.
I discern with Jesus when and how it is necessary to disagree with false accusations.
[When we defend and explain our innocence to a false accuser, we are only encouraging and reinforcing the accuser to keep making false accusations, because a false accuser does not want the Truth, they are simply trying to manipulate to get something they want that either: they are responsible for doing for themselves, it would objectively harm us to give them, or it would support their sin to give them.]
Depending on the type of accusation on a case by cases basis I may or may not respond with one of the following examples or something more specific in a calm and matter-of-fact tone: that is not true, that is false, that is a lie, I will agree to disagree, that is a projection, I will not listen to manipulations, and/or I ask them clarifying questions about and ask for proof of what I am being accused of.
For example, What facts do you have to prove what you are saying is true? Give me an example of when I have done this? If I stopped doing what you say I am doing, what would I be doing instead; what would that look like? What is it that you want? (This doesn't automatically mean I am going to do or give them what they want, it is to know why they are falsely accusing me.)
I move away from from the conversation as soon as possible, if they make the false accusation repeatedly.
If I feel bad in any way related to them, I go to Jesus immediately to get my feelings healed and my emotional needs met, I do NOT tell them about it unless they also had a problem with me and they initiate the conversation. Then I try to make sure to communicate in a non-feelings blaming, non-projecting, non-defensive, non-victim way.
I don't criticize them: be little, name call, swear, do tit for tat, retaliate, get defensive, over-react, etc.
I don't rationalize and make excuses or blame anyone but my free will to choose for my bad emotions and other sins.
I am fine being disagreed with. I am fine if they disagree with me. We do not have to agree on everything. I agree to disagree if necessary, which frequently does NOT need to be verbalized.
I am fine with being wrong.
I am fine with being an imperfect sinner and everyone knowing it.
I care more about the Truth and being charitable than about looking like I am right, know it all, or sinless.
I don't try to make myself feel better by what I say to them. I go immediately and directly to Jesus Christ to make myself feel better.
I am happy that they have as many other relationships as they need and that they are benefiting from all of those other relationships. Aka I am not jealous or envious, because that is a red flag for insecurity and possessiveness, which are nothing less than pride, selfish using, and fear of rejection.
I don't exteriorly react badly when they are emotionally upset or angry with me. If I can't maintain this and need to temporarily take a time-out from them, I do so.
I sacrifice my wants for their real needs. I ask Jesus to teach me the differences between wants and needs.
I do not do what I do not want to do in relationship with them, because I am not afraid of their feelings or rejection, which have nothing to do with them.
I can say "no" charitably both directly and indirectly without being confrontational. For example, "No thank you." with a smile in a pleasant tone of voice can be used in response to almost everything. "That would be bad for me.", "That doesn't work for me.", or "I'm sorry I don't have time." are examples of how to indirectly say "no". I ask Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and / or my Guardian Angle to teach me what to say.
If they disrespect my direct "no", I non-verbally get out of the conversation or temporarily away from them asap. If I am in a vehicle or they follow me and continue, I tell them I am no longer having the discussion. If that is disrespected, I repeatedly pray a Hail Mary out loud until they either stop speaking or walk away.
I do NOT interact with them if I cannot be in a 100% giving attitude with them. If I cannot 100% be giving to them, I do not initiate interacting with them/talking with them, until I can.
If they initiate with me and I cannot be 100% giving, I only listen and non-verbally or politely verbally and calmly move away from the conversation as soon as I can.
I am almost never angry with them...And if I am angry with them to their face for any reason, I apologize as soon as I can.
[When we are angry with another, for any reason, that means we are failing to set proper boundaries with ourselves and in interaction with others. Instead we are trying to control them in order to selfishly use them to meet our interior and / or exterior wants or needs, rather than us accepting what we cannot have from them and offering it to God as a sacrifice for compensation and conversion of all of our sins, and virtuously meeting our wants or needs ourselves though Jesus Christ.]
I don't look for, assume, anticipate, or worry about what they think and feel about me personally or about what I say or don't say.
I don't fear them rejecting me.
I don't blame them for my feelings.
I don't blame myself for their feelings.
I don't need their opinions, help, or approval, but if they give good opinions, help, and approval, even better.
I don't manipulate them. I never try to make them give to me in any way. If I want something I directly ask politely and I am fine if they cannot or say no.
I take and accept "no", even indirect "no's" for an answer.
However, if their direct or indirect "no" answer is in response to me asking them to stop a particular type of verbal abuse, and it is someone I need to interact with for reasons more important than myself, I emotionally and relationally distance myself from them with the help of Jesus, and minimize my verbal interaction with them to the degree necessary for me to remain charitable, until they show behavioral signs of actual change.
An example of emotional and relational distancing, is to stop trusting them, stop sharing anything personal with them and to stop initiating and having any personal discussions with them, including what I feel, think, want, don't want, like, dislike, will or will not be doing regarding any topic.
If at any time they begin to try to restrict my freedom of mobility or my need to financially care for myself or others, I immediately emotionally and relationally distance myself from them, minimize my verbal interaction with them to the degree necessary for me to remain charitable, and to the degree necessary, I temporarily remove myself physically from them until I believe it is safe for me to return to their physical presence. If necessary, I elicit the help of trusted friends or family to accomplish the physical distancing.
I am not pushy or impatient with them.
If they need time away from me because they are upset or angry with me, I am fine with that.
[Being upset and angry are sinful feelings we are choosing to cause ourselves, for which we need to go directly to Jesus Christ to repent of and receive healing for.]
I try to make sure to have a good memory of all of our interactions (aka always sober 100% and NO secular media of any kind, both of which when not done kill memory and distort our perspectives on reality.)
If it is someone with which I have frequent conflicts, I audio record the conversation to help me get self-aware and work on my own sinfulness toward them, which I cannot see or hear in myself if I didn't hear the recordings.
I don't use what the other person says against them to manipulate them giving me my way.
I don't expect to be liked, respected, obeyed, listened to, or be given my way. When they do so I am happy and thankful about it.
I let them have the last word.
I don't use interactions with them to try to make myself feel good. I only go to Jesus (Truth+Love+Virtues).
If it bothers me that they are doing something wrong to me or someone else, then I can automatically know that I do that to or have done so in the past, it just looks different, and I need to completely forgive them, get it completely healed in myself, and not expect them to change.
I don't wait for them to be helpful in order to make decisions to help myself and others.
I expect no apologies from them. Apologies are NOT necessary for me to feel good, or for me to forgive.
I consciously forgive them for every single little and big thing they do wrong no matter how I feel, which does not need to be communicated to them.
I work all day every day with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and my Guardian Angel to become self-aware of every little and big thing I am wrong about and am doing wrong both interiorly and exteriorly.
I initiate a "3S Apology" (simple, specific, and sincere) every time I say or do something uncharitable toward them, regardless of how they feel and regardless of what they may or may not say or do in response.
I am not in competition with them. When I am more loving than them, then I can relationally / emotionally give more to them. When they are more loving than me, then I am glad for their sake and glad they are setting a good example for me that encourages me to be better. When we are both equally unloving, then we need a time-out from each other.
I treat their children exactly like I treat them in this entire list.
I set NO bad examples for their children.
I know well enough how to properly discipline and parent children so that my friends trust me with their young children.
I take workshops and read books on correct parenting and discipline and practice them, such as the Parenting with Love and Logic series and the Boundaries series by Cloud and Townsend and parenting books by Gregory Popcak.
I expect everyone and myself to be a hypocrite, sin, and NOT meet each other's emotional needs, including to feel loved.
[We can only logically and realistically meet our own emotional needs and feel loved between us and Jesus Christ who IS Truth+Love+Virtues. Anything good we spontaneously choose to feel based on what we receive from Jesus through others is a bonus.]
I am responsible for asking Jesus to teach me and show me what is and how to be Loving, Helpful, and Giving in all detailed behaviors both interior and exterior, and the details of all situations and I am responsible for being those, no matter what anyone else is or is NOT doing. Because God said, what you do unto [even] the least of others, you do unto Me. I will earn consequences for every detail of MY unloving / disrespectful behaviors.
I mind my own business, no matter what the type of relationship it is, and I learn how to recognize what is NOT my business by asking Jesus daily.