Monday, November 25, 2013

Conflict and Triangles

My Singapore friends illustrate a Triangle with two very close and one left out.

It seems that whenever there is a cycle of conflict between two people there are always other issues that keep the cycle of conflict going. For example, Gabe and Jude have an ongoing battle about him working too much and neglecting her and the kids. She nags him to stay home and help with the kids  more and he increasingly stays away.

Could there be invisible people or issues in the minds of each of them that keep the cycle of conflict going? Maybe. Perhaps her dad was absent from home and left her mom to fend for herself while rearing three kids. When Gabe is gone she has a mental picture of her mother all alone weeping and wondering why her dad is gone. Jude swore that she would not allow her man to do that.

Gabe is not pure either. When Jude nags he sees his poor, impotent father giving in to his abrasive, aggressive wive and Gabe's mom. He hated to see his dad acting so weak and swore he would never allow a woman to push him around.

These "hidden" factors are not so hidden. They are involved in the emotions of every discussion and every fight. In fact, Jude and her mom have discussed the situation many times and agree that Gabe is away too much. Jude is fighting not only for herself but for her mom. Gabe is not fighting just for himself but for the perceived "honor" of all men.

Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of these triangles and have no understanding of how they are negatively impacting their marriages. So, self awareness can be helpful to resolving a chronic cycle of futile conflict. If you find yourself in such a cycle, ask, "Who else is in this conflict?"

You might be ready to read my book, How to be Me in My Family Tree.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Special Needs Kids: New Approach Needed

Last year I attended a gathering of parents and child workers at a conference on improving the health of kids with a special need. Every person in my small group spoke in the round table discussion and every single one promoted one idea. What do you think they want?

I will share the answer in just a moment but right now let me say that what they all want is probably impossible or at lease highly improbable. What do you think happens when large numbers of people long for something that is out of reach?  Anger! Frustration! Hopelessness!

I agree with all those possible emotions but I am adding another sure fire outcome that is even worse. People tend to give up and quit trying to innovate. IMO, the greatest need in health care improvement is innovation and creativity. But hopelessness and helplessness will squash the creative spirit in all of us unless we get a hit of hope.

My friends at the conference all wanted more money from the government and from insurance companies. However, I do not think it is coming. From everything I am reading governments are all broke financially. 

It is my goal to think out of the box and create ways we can help ourselves and each other. What we need is the application of American CAN DO, possibility thinking. As long as we think we are dependent on the government and its money we will be dependent on their centralized planning and overwhelming bureaucracy.

For decades scholars warned that the explosive growth in world population was going to doom us to poverty and starvation.  Those predictions have certainly been wrong! Why? What has happened to stave off starvation?

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