Why Argue?

Angelism: Tighten your tongue or you will pay the price.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where verbal and physical fighting was non-existent. My parents created an environment for me that was safe, respectful, and peaceful. They were not perfect by any means but the “No fighting” expectation was enforced. My Dad rarely raised his voice and whenever my mom and I disagreed, we would walk away and wait until dad came home to play the mediator. I’m grateful for this sense of calm and structure in my life. I rarely meet people who know how to communicate productively when upset.

People yearn to yell, be right, justify, and judge in a loud, argumentative way to feel better about themselves. Arguing leads to nothing but hurt and pain for both sides. Show me someone who likes to fight and I will show you an unhappy person. People who argue often have huge egos they can’t manage, or are damaged in some way and the fighting is their protective wall to prevent further hurt. Someone who likes to fight will hang up on you, yell and scream at you regardless of who’s around, and walk away from you while screaming, “Eff off!” These fight or flight types blame you for the disagreement, immediately send you nasty emails and texts to continue the argument, and display a variety of emotions when verbally vomiting all over you. They quickly rally a “my side” troop of people to agree and justify their behavior so they don’t look bad or have to feel poorly about themselves.

If you are guilty of the above behavior then you should analyze why you behave so inappropriately in an argument. If you have friends or a mate like this, I wish you luck! There are times where people get heated and passionate about something and there is no other way to express their point of view than to get loud. When you believe strongly on an issue and go the extra mile to stick up for it, then that’s respectable and appropriate. These disagreements are acceptable, however, they should be few and far between. These fights should be shocking and outside of your character norm, not something people come to expect of you. If you have calm in your life and rarely argue then kudos to you.  

With the recent pandemic, 2020 has brought out the ugly in many people. As a country, we are united yet divided. We have job loss, racial injustice, media-madness, homeschooling, and work-from-home. We are being pulled in many directions all while having our normal life limited with constant changes to travel and social restrictions. The frustration within our homes is warranted and is much more difficult to manage at this time. Never forget though that taking your anger out on your loved ones can cause long-term damage. Divorce is on the rise, abuse and suicide are too; we must collect ourselves before engaging in hurtful argumentative interactions especially when those arguments happen around others. Children are genuinely confused about the changes in life, COVID-19 is hard to explain, constantly fighting on top of all this other confusion in life will likely increase their fear and worry.

For all my fighters out there, who argue for the sake of arguing, intentionally disrespectfully drawing attention, or seeking an opportunity to step in and be right so someone else can be wrong, please stop! If you are always in defense mode, I ask, “Are you happy?” Probably not. Get over yourself! Nobody wants to hear your ego’s aggression. Make a goal today to quit being ridiculous. Stop wasting your precious moments constantly trying to prove your point and get digs in on others.

In intimate relationships, do you ever find yourself fighting over the same topic again and again?

For example, do you get mad every day because each night after dinner your husband “forgets” to take out the trash? When he does this, do you go full speed yelling at him about how you do everything and he can’t even take out the trash? What a loser! This is not a good response at all. What you should do is either: (A) embrace the fact that your man is careless, or (B) Make a change that affects him; Say for example that he loves your cooking, tell him, “I have decided I will only cook dinner on the days following your trash run.” If he gets mad, keep your cool, state your point one last time and move on. Your job is to stick to your statement. If he doesn’t take out the trash then you eat your delicious dinner and he can eat his homemade PB&J’s and Top Ramen for as long as he chooses to be unhelpful. Eventually, he will miss you doing things for him. If it seems like he couldn’t care less about taking out the trash, even if it means no home-cooked foods, then know it will never change so stop arguing about it. Everything is give and take. You can’t expect him to change but you can change and set the expectation.  

Most people have high expectations of friends and family and the other person is totally unaware of it. When your emotions and feelings about situations and issues get heated all you should do is express it. Don’t fight. Express your thoughts in a loving, non-confrontational way. It is of no benefit to you, or the other person, to start a screaming match. So much more can be accomplished through calm communication.

Angelism: The best action is to AGREE TO DISAGREE. If we were all alike, our relationships would be boring. The best way to learn, grow, and change, is to recognize your differences, accept them, and move along.

Relationships are successful when you embrace and nurture them instead of slamming the door and running away. The lesson all people should learn from this topic of fighting is: If you are surrounded by people that make you angry, disappoint you, don’t show up for you, or have negative opinions about you, then maybe the arguing is a sign that you need to disconnect. It’s hard for a non-fighter to get along with a fighter. Some people feel more alive picking fights and creating drama. If that’s not you, then a friendship or relationship with that kind of person will not last. Let fighters hang with fighters so they can act ridiculous together. If you have a higher expectation for yourself, then make a goal today to walk away and not engage in arguing.

When and if you do fight, journal it. Anytime you catch yourself getting annoyed and engaging in a discussion that is not addressing or solving an issue ask yourself the following questions:  

1) Why am I mad?

2) Why am I having the thoughts I am having?

3) When did my anger start?

4) Who started the fight?

5) Why could I not stay calm and walk away?

6) What did the other person do to get me to this point? How did I feel?

7) What did I say that I now regret?

8) Is this the first time I am mad about this topic or one of many times?

9) What are my thoughts now that I am calm about the situation?

10) Should I apologize?

11) Can I accept their apology?

12) How can I prevent this kind of fight from happening again?

13) Have things changed that caused this fight?

14) On a level of 1-10 (1: no biggie – 10: you’re dead to me), how bad was this fight?

15) Was I responsible for this fight or did I gossip with others making this person look bad?

16) Can I make a change that will make this situation better for this relationship?  

If fighting is your way of life, the only way to change it is to start within. Take ownership for your part in all arguments. Become aware and work towards creating peace, quality, respect, and love in all your relationships. Life will feel so much sweeter when you surrender the fight!

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Positive Thoughts Can Change Your Life

Angelism: Life can’t LET you down if your positive thoughts ARE THERE TO lift you up!

 

As we enter a new year, many people will struggle with unattainable goals and  unforeseen challenges. About a decade ago, I was asked to write a blog about positive thoughts and how they relate to healing. I was thrilled that this request came my way and was truly happy to write about something I believe strongly in. As we welcome 2020, we should all embrace the fact that our thoughts create and control our reality.

When I was younger, in my teenage years and early twenties, I never thought much about what I said or did. I knew I was happy, I liked having fun, and I felt very fortunate. Through life experiences, friends and family dramas, relationship lows, deaths, and financial constraints, I have confirmed for myself that every situation is as good or bad as I allow it to be in my head. Every experience can be embraced, accepted, and made sense of; but only if I manage it correctly in my mind. I shape the outcome of every experience through my thoughts. My commitment is to maintain the positive thoughts and delete the negative ones.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to be a downer. Many people go day after day complaining about bad drivers, not enough time, mistrust of loved ones, frustration from nagging family and friends, disappointment from increasing prices, and everyone’s favorite a terrible economy. Occasionally, we get slapped in the face with an illness or injury that sets us back and changes who we are, stripping us of the confidence we have worked so hard to achieve. Because of this we  fill our space and energy with something all humans have in common – the desire to complain. Complaining is a given. Stand next to someone in Starbucks, and if you so much as roll your eyes or suggest in any way that it’s taking forever, the person behind you will likely say, “It’s annoying, they are always slow here.”

What would it take to be positive? How hard is it for you?

People across the world are becoming more aware of the gift of a good attitude. The idea that you become your thoughts is proving to be true. With well known books like, The Secret, The Power of Now, The Four Agreements, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, and A Complaint Free World, we are reassured that positive thoughts result in a good outcome. Simply think about what you want, envision it, and you get it. Controlling your mind to think in a way that is beneficial to you, and being aware of your words so that you no longer speak in a disrespectful way towards yourself can really pay off.

So does positive thinking have the ability to heal us?

Yes. Many doctors agree that ill patients with a positive attitude and a strong will to fight do much better than the patients who respond with negativity and speak of illness as though it is a death sentence. Doctors confirm that the major contributors to maintaining good health and removing disease from the body is a positive, hopeful, and determined outlook from the patient. Words that you speak to yourself become a reality; an ill person who speaks positively towards their body during a crisis, can often reverse the negative situation, creating quality health and healing for their body and mind.

Now, chances are if you were recently diagnosed with breast cancer you are not going to run home and start expressing words of gratitude about your situation. Every major negative experience deserves its moment of fear, depression, and total upset. However, the sooner you move through those thoughts and create a plan of action to make positive changes, the healthier and stronger you will become.

If you don’t believe this concept to be true, I beg of you to give it a try. First become aware of every negative thought you say or think. Before you actually speak any harshness in this world, see if you can replace it with something beneficial and productive. Instead of complaining about the slow service at Starbucks, can you appreciate the extra time you have in line to play with the adorable baby that is in the stroller behind you? Can you offer up a compliment to someone nearby to fill in the space you normally use to express a complaint? If you happen to have an illness that is worthy of complaining about, it’s acceptable and most people will listen. Don’t let any shortcomings in your life win, challenge yourself to move past all limitations. Think your way out of being sick and you may begin to feel better.

People who live with a strong mind, positive attitude, and peace in their hearts, have been known to practice many of the following habits. You may want to read up on these ideas individually to fully understand how integrating them may benefit you. Begin with one or two of the below habits and add more as time passes. Let’s see if you can slowly change your life for the better.

Habits of positive people:

  • Speak kind words
  • Read motivational & inspiring books
  • Embrace each new day with good thoughts
  • Write in a gratitude journal daily
  • Live in the moment, listen, be aware
  • Think positively about money
  • Be thankful for all things good & bad
  • Let things go
  • Surround yourself with joy: art, flowers, books, music & more
  • Have goals/ dreams & trust they can be achieved
  • Pay it forward/ do acts of kindness
  • Welcome love & positive people
  • Meditate & exercise often
  • Eat well & take care of your health
  • Be free of judgment
  • Take care of yourself/ feed your soul
  • Respect your negative thoughts & replace with positive ones

Healing and establishing wellness through thought is very real. I live its power every day. I am a brain surgery survivor. I have had plenty of negative things happen in my life that tried to take me down, but I positively thought my way through it. Living mentally strong and happy makes life so much more enjoyable.

 

ANGELISM: Not every day is easy, but Every day is worth it.

Take the lessons each day brings you and move along to the next. We don’t need a New Year to set goals and be well. We can embrace the “stay positive” concept every day of our life. It is the only goal we need to set, everything else will follow.


Holiday Fatness!

Angelism: Holiday season = sweaters & fat pants!

The holidays are challenging. It’s my favorite time of year, yet the most difficult. I love parties, visiting with friends and family, sharing gifts, and creating memories. Additionally, I like to enjoy all the food and beverages that come with these moments. The sluggish, lethargic feeling of fatness that is the result of Halloween through New Years really weighs on me. Literally, weight on  me! I never seem to get through a holiday without packing on pounds and losing my cardio strength.

Many people struggle during this time. The holidays are like an annual free pass to get extra chubby and say, “Fuck it, I’ll wear all my fat clothes for two months!” My rolls may spill over my jeans but they button so that’s a plus! My boobs may form a tri-tit in the front center of my bra but at least it still wraps around my back. Wearing yoga pants and sweaters seems OK during this feasting season. The average American gains about ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. You would think after ten months of eating right and exercising regularly that a two month splurge wouldn’t be so hazardous to my health. Turns out everything good is bad and the holidays remind me of this again and again.

Now that the holiday madness is in full swing, in my head I am thrilled to start a New Year. I look forward to filling up my schedule with fun plans and setting goals to get organized and start fresh. The energy I have to do things from day one of a new year is amazing. I tell myself that no matter how lazy I am during the holidays, I will get focused come January 1st; however, until January 1st, I sit here feeling fat daily. I want nothing more than to drink a bottle of wine, eat some apple pie with ice cream, and watch movies while cuddling under a blanket near the fire. Sorry not sorry.

Despite my anger towards these eight weeks of laziness, I find a lot of comfort in the delicious homemade foods, fancy cocktails, yummy desserts, and endless treats. This comfort continually blinds me to the fact that every bite I take will add another dimple on my behind and another roll on my waste. In the moment while eating, I don’t consider how hard it will be to fit in my denim, or how many miles I will have to run to burn off the additional muffin top; I focus solely on how many lazy, comfort food, cuddle days I can spend indoors, stuffing my face, while lounging in my pajamas. The reality will hit me the Monday after all the holidays are over and I have to go back to work. That day is brutal.

Soon I will say farewell to the pecan pie and hello to the chicken salad!  Until then, all I can do is embrace my holiday curves. Next year I should start my November off ten pounds under my usual weight so I can eat the foods I love and not feel like such a failure. I’m officially getting too old for this shit!
 Happy Holidays! Good luck with your holiday pounds.