Dove with Branch
November 19, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My boyfriend is often inconsiderate of my feelings. He is often late but he gets upset when I am late. He will make fun of the way I dress and the way I wear my hair in front of others, and he knows I am uncomfortable with that. How can I make him change? - Corinne in CO

Dear Corinne, You can't; unless he wants to. You have to make it clear to him what things he does that are not good for you. If he is interested in learning to do things differently and wants to change then be patient and work with him. Have some patience with him if he is trying. Old habits are sometimes hard to break. You can always just accept his bad manners, but that comes at a high price to a loving relationship. If you don't totally accept the way he is it will be a constant source of stress that will make the relationship less than acceptable to you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a boss who is demanding and abrasive and he has piled so much work on me that I am no longer able to carry on a civil conversation with him. - Jorrell in NJ

Dear Jorrell, This is a complex question and you must look at many aspects to determine your answer. But let's look at some of the things you need to consider given what you have said. The fact that you can't talk to your boss is your problem not his. If you are going to keep this job you must learn how to stay in a positive relationship with your boss. It will be helpful if you can find ways to get him to change in ways that will make the relationship better for you, but don't count on it. Meeting his needs as best you can in a positive manner will usually go a long way. Not talking to him is not positive and usually adds to the problem by creating negative feelings and a lack of the information you need to do your work as well as dampening your enthusiasm to do it. Start by looking for the reasons you feel fearful or angry about the relationship. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

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

As a people we have embraced the idea of an end to warfare and that we would like to live in peace. But at the same time we have not accepted the idea that our world can be peaceful. We see it as a world where we are all competing for limited resources and if we don't prevail, we won't survive. We believe in survival of the fittest so we see life as a struggle to survive.

If we stop and reflect for a moment we will realize that we are using much of those "limited resources" just for the struggle. We use about half of our national resources in this country just to support our fight for survival (supremacy) as a nation. We make our legal system an adversarial system and give half the resources (money) to the warriors (lawyers). If we could just double our available resources by learning to get along with each other, and find peaceful resolutions to our problems we could double the standard of living for everyone! The petroleum we use to provide for our military needs could be used to solve our current gasoline shortage problem. It would release a lot of our mental energy for finding long term solutions to our energy needs as well.

When we can't think beyond our present need for preservation we don't do a good job of providing for the future. Let's start looking more outside the box for solutions to our problems. Let's look more for solutions that will enrich our quality of life. Let's be more open to change. We know things aren't working exactly the way we want them to be. Let's be more respectful of others, they are trying to solve the same problems. They are just working with a different vision. Let's work on creating a new common vision and then work on solving our common problems together.

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 Life Without Anger and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

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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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