Three Strategies for Successful Social Situations

From the very beginning God made us to be social people. The ways we interact with other often varies greatly from person to person and situation to situation. No matter how we relate to people whether it is face to face, through various forms of technology or any of the popular social media sites our interactions have the possibility of disaster. Communication is a highly complex tool that even with the best of intentions is subject to misinterpretation and hurt feelings. Nothing can guarantee that all interactions will be successful but following several biblical strategies can give us a greater likelihood of a favorable outcome.

The first thing you need to remember is to have “A Heard Mentality”. I don’t mean we need to do everything in big groups. What I mean is that we need to hear other.  Each of us long to be heard.  It doesn’t matter if it is child interacting with a parent or caregiver, employee to employer, peer to peer or if you are interacting with your significant other.  One of the greatest ways that you can show respect to another person is to hear what they are saying. Hearing another person requires your undivided attention.  You may think you are the greatest multitasker in the world but I have a secret to tell you “You’re Not”. So, turn off the tv, stop the streaming video, pause the music, turn over your cell phone, do whatever it takes and look the person in the eye and so you can hear what they are saying. I promise the pain of stopping those devices won’t last long and maybe you will hear something for the very first time.

The next thing you need to remember is that “It Is A Buyer’s Market”  What do I mean by that? We are often so worried about selling ourselves, our ideas, our point or whatever that we never think that sometimes we need to be in the market to buy.  Just because it is a buyer’s market does not mean you have to buy every product or idea that comes your way but you should listen to what the other person is selling without trying to sell your yourself or your ideas all the time. Thinking about what people are saying, take a deep breath and evaluate it before you give a response. Don’t make your response something generic or a segway to turn the situation back to you. Ask questions and engage the person. If you can temporarily set aside your ego, your sales pitch or your fear of not being heard you just might hear something useful that can benefit both of you.

 

Lastly, when conflicts arise in social situations and they will we need to learn to work toward “Resolution instead of Retribution” It is easy when dealing with someone you know well to throw the hammer down and do whatever it takes to win the situation.  While that may have a few short benefits for the winner it is devastating for the both people and the relationship long term. It seems that everywhere from the halls of our home to halls of congress we forgotten that we are on the same team and we are all apart of the human race. It is like we believe the only way to succeed in life is to bury the other person as deeply as possible but we make ourselves and others better and stronger when we work together for resolution. Yes guys, this may mean you need to take the first step to forgive and forget even when you don’t feel like it. Yes, ladies it may mean that you have to let your wrath go even if at times it is justified.

When we take time to hear each other, listen to each other and work for the good in each other we will have a greater chance to be successful in more and more social situations.

 

Praying this helps you move forward today.

2 Things we often misunderstand about Forgiveness

2 Things we often misunderstand about Forgiveness

Peter Hill, Head Life Coach

Faith Forward Coaching

 

Forgiveness is a bedrock principle for followers of Jesus Christ. On the best moment of my best day I am still in complete need of God’s forgiveness. The question that the apostle Peter asks Jesus about forgiveness reminds us that we are to forgive and forgive those who offend us so many times that we shouldn’t be able to keep count.

Forgiveness is good for soul.  It helps stem the tide of anger, bitterness and wrath that can well up inside the heart of a person that chooses not to forgive.

But there is another side of forgiveness that the church seldom discusses and not understanding these two aspects of forgiveness can keep you from moving toward the kind of person that God desires.

When we think about the original sin in the garden with Adam and Eve it shows us how God forgives differently than we often forgive. I have no doubt that both are enjoying their time in heaven and are completely forgiven, but  after they sinned their relationship with God was forever changed. I think at first they like many of us believed that forgiveness was a get out of jail free card. The idea of do whatever you want then seek forgiveness.  It is true that their sin was forgiven and their eternity with God was restored but they still had to face the consequences on an earthly level. Just because we choose to forgive someone does not mean that short term ramifications will not exist. When we forgive anyone that offends that doesn’t mean that they get let off the hook for everything.  It just means that we will no longer hold that offense against them and that we will not allow ourselves to be trapped in a spirit of unforgiveness. If we want to move forward to with Christ we often need to let those consequences happen even if it makes us and them feel uncomfortable.

Like most of us I have a function on my computer that allows me to go back in time.  When my computer starts to freak out I can make it go back to a time when it was functioning correctly. This is how many of us view forgiveness. We offend or commit a sin toward someone or it happens toward us and we think we can pull out the forgiveness card and go back to a time before the sin occurred and it will be just like it never happened. This I believe may have been what Adam and Eve thought. We can eat the fruit, find out what we think God is holding back. Ask for His forgiveness and everything will be exactly like it was before we sinned. But it won’t. They no longer were able to stay in the garden.  Their relationship with each other and God was forever changed.  This often causes a believer to experience guilt and shame. Even when forgive others and ourselves it changes the dynamic of the relationship. If you wish to move forward you can’t allow others that have offended you to continue to believe things are the same. Because they are not even if you want them it to be just like it was before the sin. Maybe one day you will get there again but you will never be able to move forward if you believe things have not changed.

So ask for forgiveness and freely forgive others but remember that things have changed and that is okay.

Praying this helps you move forward today.

Top 4 ways to know if you might have a toxic person in your life – Part 2

Top 4 ways to know if you might have a toxic person in your life – Part 2

Peter Hill, Head Life Coach Faith Forward Coaching

 

Third, Judas was at cross purposes with Jesus. When Jesus had his feet anointed with perfume Judas became indignant at the thought of the waste. But it was a false piety that revealed he was truly at cross purposes with his master. Who is that person that you know that seems like they always have a better plan and they make it sound like their plan is more spiritual than yours? Do have a person that tries to convince their way is always the right way and then seem indignant when you don’t do it their way?

Fourth, Judas was consumed by his own agenda. Twice near the end of Jesus’ life Judas had the opportunity to align himself with the true purpose that Jesus came to earth to accomplish and twice he looked Jesus in the eye and chose his own agenda over the purposes of God. This is most lethal stage of a toxic person. Who in your life might be keeping you from your God given calling and purpose? Who in your life might be using you to achieve their own agenda that if accomplished would thwart God’s plan for you? And most importantly, if Jesus were here today would he consider you or me a toxic person in his life? Jesus loves us all whether if we are toxic or trying to love him and move toward obedience and holiness. It’s not bad or wrong to have toxic people in your life. Just beware and make sure they don’t pull you away from everything that God desires for you and make sure you are not pulling others away from God’s grace and mercy.

Praying this helps you move forward today.

Top 4 ways to know if you might have a toxic person in your life – Part 1

Peter Hill, Head Life Coach

Faith Forward Coaching

The bible is full of wonderful, God loving imperfect people. It also has some of the most reviled people in history. Your life is probably similar. Most of the people you interact are wonderful loving friends and family but you may also have a Judas in your life.

We don’t know a great deal about Judas but he gives us a few clues that might help us recognize someone toxic in our life.

First, he was invited into Jesus’ circle without a lot of previous information about who he was or what he believed. He was known to the disciples and Jesus but not known very well and he didn’t reveal much about himself. Who have you invited to be a part of your life that maybe you need to learn more about before you allow them to get closer to you?

Second, he was around often but he was never in the inner circle of Jesus’ closest allies. He wasn’t a third wheel but he never seemed to quite fit in with the rest of the group. Do have someone that is always hanging around and sticking their nose into your affairs?

See Part 2 for another 77 seconds of moving forward with toxic people

Praying this helps you move forward today.

Top 2 Ways To Understand That You Are Not Alone

 

Loneliness is a pervasive feeling that often overwhelms us. We can feel alone when a spouse or child leaves us. We can feel alone if we believe that no one understands us.

Often we feel alone in the middle of a crowd but what does it mean when the Bible says, that God will never leave me or forsake me. It means that God’s presence in our lives is more than a feeling.

  1. First, we need to remember that we have been on the mind of God who loves us and sent his son to die for us since the beginning of creation. Through His perfect plan He is leading and guiding us through every moment and we have the promise of the Holy Spirit to comfort us. It is impossible for God to break a promise He has made.
  2. Second, get out and share. Share your smile with a child, share your laughter with a friend, share your wit with a stranger, share your God given gifts with a person in need, and share your desires and dreams with God himself.

Praying this helps your move forward today.

Peter Hill, Head Life Coach

Faith Forward Coaching