Dove with Branch
July 28, 2014

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? - Sarah in VA

 

Dear Sarah, 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. - Barbara in IA

 

Dear Barbara, 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

Most often the anger directed toward us is due to the other person having different expectations than our own. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; and when we don't, their anger is triggered. They may have very different beliefs and be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation; or they simply may be very different from us in many ways.

 

In dealing with another person's emotions, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours.But keep working on change, you will always continue to improve, even if you never become absolutely perfect at responding in the desired way. And remember that increasing the effort you put into changing will shorten the time it takes you to do so.

 

Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way as you do about the situation that has made them upset, make a real effort to find out how they are thinking about something. In order to get a good understanding of what's driving their upset, so that you can ultimately diffuse it, you need to hone your listening and communication skills. Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to "listen deeply." To do this, you must put your own thoughts and beliefs on hold, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone is upset with you ask yourself why you think they are angry.

 

Tuesday: When someone is upset ask yourself what they are expecting from you.

 

Wednesday: When someone is angry with you ask yourself what different belief they have that is causing the upset.

 

Thursday: When someone is asking something from you find out exactly what they are expecting and why they do.

 

Friday: When you are asking something of someone make sure they understand exactly what you are expecting and why you expect it.

 

Saturday: When someone asks something from you try to understand their request from their point of view.

 

Sunday: Resolve to always be a good listener, and understand fully the meaning and feeling of what others are relating to you.

 

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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