Dove with Branch
November 20, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My boy friend has a bad temper and he constantly wants to know what I am doing and where I am. If I don’t pay attention to him all the time he gets upset. He says it is because he cares for me so much. I can’t be with my friends unless he is out with the boys. I have a good job and can support myself but I am very shy and don’t make friends easily. Will it work out for us if I give all of my attention to him? – Shy Sheri

Dear Sheri, Not likely. He is going to want more attention than you can give. Unless he goes to counseling or finds some other way to change his belief about this you need to find someone else. You are much better off to have no one than to be with him, because he will make your life miserable. Take the time now to learn to love and respect your self. When we make choices because we feel needy or unworthy we often make bad choices. If you see being shy as a problem read some books, work on it, or go to counseling so that you can be okay with yourself. Learn to love yourself and then find someone who loves and respects you as you are. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My ex- husband wants to come to my wedding. We have remained friends and he has become a friend to my fiancée as well. We even go out to dinner with him on occasions. My friends tell that we should not be going out to dinner with him and he most definitely should not be invited to the wedding because others just won’t understand. What do you think? – Barbara in San Jose

Dear Barbara, I think it is a wonderful idea, invite him! It is so refreshing to see an example of people who do not blame their ex-mate just because the relationship didn’t work out for the two of you. It is so sad to see those who hold anger and blame the other, especially when there are children. Many children today experience emotional problems because of the anger between the parents. Children can be okay with almost anything if you are okay with it and teach them that lesson. So by all means invite him and perhaps others will learn something from your example. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

Most of us believe it is important to be right. We think it is bad to make mistakes and we don’t want to be bad so we refuse to think that we might be making a mistake. When we think someone else is making a mistake we think it is important to correct them. Some of us even like the feeling of superiority we get when we are right and the other person is wrong. After all, in this society those who know all the answers have all the power.

When we do this we devalue the importance of relationships. Isn’t a loving relationship more important than the accuracy of facts? If your partner tells someone you went out to dinner last Saturday is it important for you to correct her because it was actually Friday? Most people have learned to feel disturbed when someone corrects them. Why do we want to create this tension when it serves no purpose other than our need to be right?

Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Do you want others around you to be happy? Ask yourself if there is some need other than your need to be right before you correct someone and you will avoid a lot of unnecessary conflict in your relationship with them. This applies especially to your mate. Let them be wrong unless doing so creates some kind of real problem. When you do have to make corrections, be loving about it. People who give love enjoy life much more than those who are perfect. People who get love from you will enjoy you much more than those you have shown the error of their statement.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to “listen deeply.” To do this you must put your own thoughts and beliefs aside, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

Unfortunately, most conversations can be characterized as “my stuff/your stuff.” They can be likened to a strange game of tennis – played with two separate balls. You serve your ball to me. I let it pass and serve my ball back to you. You let it pass and serve your ball back to me. The game continues this way – with neither player receiving the other person’s ball. In such an instance, it obviously isn’t a game at all. And in a conversation with the same characteristics, it’s not really a conversation at all. You want to tell your story and I want to tell mine. We never hear the other person’s story because we are too busy telling our own. How many conversations have you had lately that went that way?

We can diffuse another person’s anger simply by putting an end to the “my stuff/your stuff” game and truly listening to that person. Interestingly, very often when you give the angry person the courtesy of politely listening to what they have to say, without interrupting them or retaliating in anger, their anger is reduced.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Pay attention to how you listen when others talk.

Tuesday: Learn to think only about what the other person is saying without thinking of how it relates to your life.

Wednesday: Learn to answer the other person fully before you relate any story of your own.

Thursday: Pay attention to what the other person is feeling when they talk.

Friday: Be patient and do not interrupt the other person while they are talking.

Saturday: Learn to ask questions that help you understand what the other person is saying and feeling.

Sunday: Address the other person’s concerns before you raise any of your own.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Changing Your Belief System

We always make decisions according to our beliefs. Learn how to change your beliefs so that you will be able to make better decisions.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. You can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing drdean@lifewithoutanger.com at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

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Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

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I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

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