52 Weeks of Thankfulness #5

I’m back after a break full of traveling and resting and I’m still thankful! This week I am thankful that we are not slaves to circumstances.  How we experience the world is a direct result of how we choose to view and interact with it despite what may or may not happen.  This week I just found out my employer has no plans to make good on some promises made during the hiring process.  I’m extremely disappointed because I was excited about this job and have really enjoyed it so far.  But today I choose to see this as a chance to realize early on that this is not the right place for me before I’m too invested.  There are many other options out there, and one of them will be the right fit.

Join the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness prompt at Haddon Musings.

 

Smart Housekeeping by Anne L. Watson

Smart Housekeeping is a simple, straightforward and to the point book with tips to make housekeeping easier for you. While I’ll admit there is really nothing extraordinary or new in the book it’s still very helpful if you feel overwhelmed or lost about de-cluttering and cleaning your home. What I liked most about it was the focus on finding what works for you.  The main idea behind the tips in the book is to help you find simple solutions that you will actually use because they are comfortable for you and make sense in your life and in your home.  What works for some will not work for others and it’s all about finding the end result that you are seeking and the simplest way to get and stay there.  I also like that it was short!  Who wants to spend days reading about cleaning up around their home when they can actually be doing it? This book offers some ideas and inspiration to get you started in the right direction, and then lets you use the rest of your time to get going.

Some topics covered are a simple decluttering method, clutter control, organization, cleaning, and tips for getting household members on board. Some tips that I found helpful or encouraging were:

  • work for short periods and break projects down into manageable bits
  • be realistic about your limitations (time, money, energy)
  • balance your resources (you may have more money than you have time, or more time than money.  Spend money where you can to make things easier, or put in extra time where you can to make things cost effective.
  • Analyze where things collect and why and then design your clutter control around your habits and preferences (a laundry hamper where you undress to avoid a dirty laundry pile, a “gathering basket” holding place for things waiting to be put away.  When the basket is full make one trip to put everything away, etc.)
  • “Never nag. It’s useless.”

This is a quick read and has some valuable tips for anyone who feels like getting their home under control is a daunting task.  The tips I found helpful might not make sense for you, but there were plenty of others that might work in your home and just weren’t a good fit for me. The biggest takeaway for me was that the state of your home is a personal choice, and the level of organization and cleanliness have to work for you.  How you do it is flexible so that it fits in your life and you build a routine you will maintain instead of one you will abandon.

I received a copy of this book for free to read and review through Netgalley

52 Weeks of Thankfulness #4

I was going to write something entirely different for this week’s thankfulness post, but life has changed my plans.  A person I love dearly has just found out a loved one is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized and is now affecting major organs and creating bone lesions.  I feel so deeply sorry over this suffering, and it makes me grateful for my own health, and that of those around me.  When we’re healthy we tend to ignore the fact and focus on other things that make us happy.  We forget that if we are healthy we are drawing daily from a deep well of potential happiness.

Join the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness prompt at Haddon Musings.

52 Weeks of Thankfulness #3

Having grown up in New England, I’m so thankful for this sunny, warm Southern weather even this late in the year!  And I’m also thankful for all the wonderful memories of crisp fall air, the beauty of the changing leaves, jumping in leaf piles after raking the yard as a child, high school football games with friends, and early snow!

Join the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness prompt at Haddon Musings.

Coping With Difficult People by Robert M. Bramson, Phd

If you’re looking for a book to help you understand different types of difficult people, how they act, and why they act that way this is the book for you.  What I loved most about it was the focus on understanding the behavior and  the information on how to cope with people in your life who act this way.  This book does not focus on how to change other people’s behavior because that’s not possible.  The only thing we can change is our own actions and how we feel about a certain situation.  In this book, Bramson proposes we can accomplish this by learning coping behaviors. The main focus is on dealing with people in a work setting, but the methods are easily adaptable to personal life as well.

The book addresses 8 “types” of difficult people: Hostile-Aggressives, Complainers, Silent and Unresponsive people, Super-Agreeables, Negativists, Know-it-Alls, and Indecisive Stallers.  For each category of difficult person, Bramson discusses what the behavior looks like, why people do it (I love how he includes scientific information like reinforcement and not just emotional reasons)  and then explains step-by-step methods for coping using real life examples from his consulting career. The idea behind the coping methods is that they “interfere with the “successful” functioning of the difficult behavior.”

After going through the different “types” individually the author includes chapters that give a basic formula for developing an action plan that you can use when preparing to deal with a difficult person, information on different thinking styles and how they affect the behaviors of difficult people and the person trying to cope, and ways to manage the defensive behavior that will ultimately arise both in the difficult person and the person applying these coping methods.

What I found most valuable was the focus on coping.  The author stresses that a lot of times you are not going to end up with an ideal situation, but you will end up with one that alleviates a lot of the stress and mental anguish that goes along with not dealing with difficult people. He demonstrates through examples and explanations that since you can’t change a difficult person, you have the options of suffering or coping, and coping is just better for everyone involved.  I knew Bramson was hitting home and giving me applicable information when I started to see how my own actions in past situations actually fed into the difficult behavior and made it worse.  I was then able to think about what the outcome would have been if I had instead applied the coping methods detailed in this book.  I can say that I have confidence that with some practice my future interactions with difficult people will be much more successful and less stressful.