Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Being Honest - and Realistic

My step-son was "30 seconds" late for school yesterday and the school had its usual response (email and phone call about the brutal deed). Yesterday he also did a "good deed" reporting to the office a car's turn signal being on along the school. Were these extenuating circumstances where a parent should intervene?

My partner and step-son are nearly always "on the edge" of being on time to school. The idea of leaving a few minutes early regularly so that he'd be there five minutes early is a totally foreign concept (e.g. a waste of precious time and an impossibility). He's been a few minutes late before.

Playing competitive bridge with a regular partner he told me that I shouldn't have corrected an opponent when s/he conceded the last trick of the hand to me. In fact s/he shouldn't have lost that trick (e.g. if s/he simply played their card they would win the trick). I told my partner that I wouldn't be dishonest in such situations (period).

We often face situations in life where we make choices as to how we view things. How we look at them shapes how we respond.

I find that I tend to look at situations and say to myself:

1.) Is there an issue of principle here in this moment?
2.) Does this really matter?
3.) Am I:
a. 100% right?
b. 100% wrong?
c. Mostly right?
d. Mostly wrong?
e. Partially at fault - unclear as to amount?
f. Is there no "right" or "wrong" here - but it matters to the other person?
g. Other - ?

I try to think of the situation and the other person and look at How important it is that I "win" or not. What lessons are here for me (and for the other person(s))?

Feelings certainly matter!

I also think of how we can work towards the future on the itsy bitsy issue and the larger issues that I see.

How can we move to both be assertive and to work at a micro level towards a better world of communication and compromises?

Thank you!

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