Hello, and welcome to the "Happiness Tips" newsletter. In addition to a helpful tip for increasing your happiness, you can find out where I'll be signing books, and how to contact me, along with "Happiness Tips from Tina" in every month's newsletter. Please remember to add tina.tinatessina.com to your "acceptable" list, especially if you're on AOL.
Newsletter Dated: 7/8/2004 9:11:16 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips From Tina:Mirrors and teachers
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Happiness Tip:Mirrors and teachers
There are people I love who are easy to be around, and others I love who are more difficult for me. It's not that they're bad people, others get along with them fine, and, actually, so do I. It's just that I have to work a little bit more to understand what they mean, to not take what they say the wrong way, or use a little more patience around them, because their personalities or styles are quite different from mine. I find it worth the work, because our differences stretch me a bit, and enrich my life and understanding in ways that more similar people don't. Challenging relationships can be the most rewarding, when I understand they have a purpose.
Perhaps you have run into people who test your patience at work, with friends, or among extended family. Sometimes people are difficult to handle because they remind us of other people we had problems with in the past, so we're attracted and frustrated at the same time. Others can be difficult for many people around them. Problems with a familiar type of person may not emerge until you're already bonded and involved as friends or partners.
Many valuable gifts come through overcoming negative reactions, and learning to view others as reflections of ourselves – useful mirrors. The following exercise will help you step back and look at others as a source of information about yourself, view people from a different angle and use the very people who upset you as a reflection of the internal dynamics behind your struggles.
Exercise: mirrors and teachers
1. List problem people: Make a list of people with whom you have had problems in the recent past. You can use the list from the exercise for reviewing your family map in the last chapter, choose the family members who are still presenting problems, and add to it other people who are difficult, but aren't related.
2. Choose a mirror: Select one of the most difficult people on the list, and think about your interaction with that person. What do you want from him or her? Do you want to be understood? To be respected? To be left alone? To be appreciated? To be cared about?
3. Relate it to yourself: Now consider how to give to yourself what you want from the other person. If you want to be left alone, do you leave yourself alone? If you want to be trusted, do you trust yourself? If you want to be heard, do you listen to your own self? If you want to be important, are you important to you?
4. Change your self-treatment: Practice treating yourself the way you would want to be treated by the person in question. For example, if you are angry because this person doesn't treat you with respect, consider what it would mean to treat yourself with respect, and change your behavior toward yourself accordingly. If you're upset because the person doesn't listen to you, spend some time every day listening to yourself.
5. Learn new skills: Think about the dynamics between the difficult person and yourself, and what you need to learn that would improve the relationship. Perhaps you need to learn not to take what is said too seriously. Perhaps you need to learn to set boundaries, or to handle other peoples' anger more effectively. Make a list of new skills you could learn that would improve your ability to deal better with this type of individual. On you list, note where you think you could learn the skills you need. From a friend? With a therapist? From books? Some of the exercises in the rest of this book may give you what you need.
6. Do your part: Take responsibility for your part of the relationship. Keeping in mind that no one can struggle with you if you don't struggle back, consider what you need to do to remove yourself from the relationship problem. Remember, no matter what's going on, you have control over your own actions – you can choose not to participate in any situation that is destructive or counter-productive.(From It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction © 2004 Tina B. Tessina )
Catch my radio show on the web: "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious" every Thursday. 4-5:00 PM PST live on www.wpmd.org and on the Leisure Talk Radio Network at www.leisuretalk.net every 12, 4, and 8 a.m. & p.m. EDT. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. See www.tinatessina.com for more information.
Through my website, you can get CE credits online based on my books: It Ends With You; How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free and The Real 13th Step To sign up for classes or browse my books, visit www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you joy and the blessings of learning from others,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD www.tinatessina.com
Hi Tina... I love it! Great writing. I've spent Wa-a-a-a-ay too long reading your musings this AM. Perhaps your next topic might well be: ON Procrastination...! :-) Hope to connect with you soon. I'm on my way to a new life... independence! Can't wait. Love, S.
Thanks, S. A newsletter on procrastination will be coming soon.
Shalom to you too. Really enjoyed reading your experience. I hope to go to Israel one day when its safe again. Meanwhile lets pray that wisdom and light will be restored to the dark places. all best Stevanne
Thanks, Stevanne: Yes, go if you can -- there's nothing like experiencing history in person!
Dear Tina, your e-message on Israel took me back and back and back. I do not remember whether I have been there three times or four. 84 of us from my church, went on a Greek ship in 1974. Another time 44 of us went with our pastor to Oberamergau and Israel and Petra, and another time was on a Paul's journey tour. It gets under one's skin. I looked out at mounds and wondered what would be unearthed when they got around to excavating there. Thanks for the memories love, millie
Thanks Dr. Tina! You ARE the best! And this is REALLY good material. I thank-you for sharing it and wish for you the best of every holiday- and hope your Memorial day went well. Cheers, Craig
Where is my love? I had it all along- It's all mind set. I have changed my total mind set, began meditating, believing and connecting to source. My life has had a total turn around. I finally truly believe without a doubt that I am worthy of all, above all self love. I couldn't give or attract what I didn't have for myself. For you attract what you think and how you see the world and others. I see the world differently (its full of love, happiness, and inspiration-I think and surround myself with the conditions I want to produce daily. I have been promoted at work and great things just keep coming my way because I believe therefore will have, and I know the right person for me will come into my life because of this. Inspiration for me came from such people as Tina, and other well known motivational speakers. This year I finally decided to look within rather than trying to find outside of myself- To be understood is to understand, and when you change the way u look at things the things u look at change. Where is love? It begins with me, and I now look at past disappointments as inspirational life lessons that got me where I am now. I am always learning and striving to be better. Thanks Tina for writing inspirational thought provoking articles and books. Cindy
Thank you, Cindy – you are an inspiration.
Thank you! It just happens that this message came just when I needed it most...again. Embracing generosity! Monika
Thanks, Monika: Life often gives us just what we need – if our eyes are open.
I love your books! As a person who is constantly searching for ways to add quality and fullness to all areas of my life, I was grateful to have found "The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before Forty" a few years ago. I am now working my way through your follow-up, "The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty." I have faced challenges in my thirties that I never saw coming but your books helped me approach those challenges in a straightforward, calm and relaxed manner. I have much work to do still and only wish I had more time to spend with your suggestions, and I will be reading "How To Be A Couple And Still Be Free" and "It Ends With You: Grow Up And Out Of Dysfunction." I picked up your "Ten Smartest" books mainly to deal with career issues. Thanks, Rene
I'm glad the books are helpful for you, Rene.
I am delighted to be on your mailing list, and love to hear from you. Luisa
Thank you, Luisa -- I love to hear from you, also.