Scene 9: “Putting Negativity in its Place”

Steve: “Notice we didn’t say, “How to get rid of the six sources… we just said how to remedy them and put them in their place. If we got rid of them entirely we wouldn’t be the people we are and we might end up being pretty dull. But let’s make sure we take the toxicity out of our negative habits and be sure they don’t harm anybody.

It’s possible to think that criticizing, correcting, disagreeing complaining are sort of smart and cute and even cool. That’s what I used to think. But they aren’t; they’re not classy. Most people don’t like it. They’re not done in polite company… unless you do it with a little humor.

Krista: “Keep anger for big stuff like injustices… on the job, in the market place… in the world. But try to keep it out of the home. It used to be used with family members back when we didn’t know any better. It’s not cool now.

Anger spreads an aura of negative energy in the home. Little children can be affected by it. I would not want to be married to a person who admits, “I have a bit of a temper.” or a man who says, “I can be hot tempered.”

Joe: “Once I was with a large group in a bus tour in England. We would pull up at a place and the bus driver told us how long we had to spend… we could visit the site perhaps have a bite to eat and then get back on the bus. Well we pulled up at Coventry Cathedral bombed during the war. I thought I heard the bus driver say we had an hour and forty minutes. I paired up with a lady who was hard of hearing. We spent an hour going thorough the old and the new cathedrals and had a bite to eat. Since we had another 40 minutes we just wandered around. When the time came to board the bus we noticed everybody was aboard. The driver said rather softly even in a pleasant voice, ”We’ve been waiting for forty minutes.” The people on the bus just clapped. (That was the usual punishment whenever anyone was late.) I learned a couple of great lessons that day. (1) Listen closely to bus drivers, guides and docents when they give directions. (2) You don’t have to say something in an angry voice to impress someone that their behavior is bad. I was so embarrassed with my bad behavior that day that I can visualize every bit of it in detail to this day… AND that bad behavior never happened again.”

Dave: “As for being in touch with people, depending on our personality we might have to make an effort to get in touch with people’s thoughts. (For some people it comes natural.) We have to fulfill other people’s needs if we are to be close to them. What does my significant other need from me? What do my children need from me? (Or if we’re a teenager) What do my parents need from me?

We have to stop doing stuff that annoys people like cutting grass on Sunday morning. I am getting pretty good at this: If I am going to make a phone call after supper, for instance, I always wait til the hour or the half hour in case the person is watching a TV program.

Patti: “Don’t be afraid to ask your children especially your teenagers. “HOW AM I NOT IN TOUCH WITH YOU? How am I letting you down? WHAT AM I DOING THAT ANNOYS YOU? How am I disorganized?”

Then you have to get in touch with reality. Going on a trip? Organize ahead of time. Look ahead. Anticipate what might happen and plan ahead… read directions, planning ahead on trips, parties, what could go wrong? How to avoid it. Etc.

Dave: “As for low self esteem, did you know that putting yourself down is just a bad habit. You were proud of yourself when you were three years old. So you picked up this bad habit later… probably in school.

Joe: “I once spent a month in England. I came back with the term “lovely”. It’s a great word. I use it a lot. Everyone is born lovely. “In the image of God He created us.” But when you indulge in negative behavior and flaunt your skills you cover over your loveliness. We don’t know who you really are. Back in the 1970s there was an important book: “Why Am I Afraid to tell you who I am.” There is a great, lovely person hiding inside you all covered over with annoying skills and other stuff that you’ve picked up as defenses against a hard world. Drop them. Let yourself out. We’re anxious to meet you. How to do it? Relax. Stop trying to impress. Just be. Take a deep breath, straighten up and walk out the door just yourself. Don’t take any of your skills with you. Leave them home in the closet. Don’t do anything, don’t say anything. Walk around in the sunshine as though you have just been born. If you see some people smile and let them all just be. Get used to letting be. Let yourself be. Gradually as the months go on you will be taking your 5 year old self and bringing him/her back to life in an adult form the way you should have grown up in the first place. You will be fun to be around.”

Steve: “Be sure to take a course in public speaking. I recommend the Dale Carnegie course. It is very easy because you will be with people as shy as yourself. You will feel very comfortable and it will do wonders for your self esteem.

Patti: “Flaunting Skills and Talents. We said that the 6th source of negativity, Flaunting our Skills and Talents, is special. Skills and Talents are a great asset on the job but at home they can be troublesome. Get rid of them! ”

“Wait! Hold it! You don’t want to get rid of them altogether. They are part of your personality… even your charm. And you need them to function in a household. But if they are insufferable to others you need to take the toxicity out of them.”

“So take them back but remember they can be insufferable so take the toxicity out of them. Stop flaunting them. And yes, apologize: “Here I go again being a know-it-all. Sorry to be bossy but…” This will add even more charm to your personality.”

“Assertive seems great but it makes you bossy. Nobody likes that.

“Logic Too cold. You need more “Emotional Intelligence.”

“Conversationalist/Comedian: Doing all the talking humorous or otherwise is outdated. It has a strange affect on the children… It leaves them not too good with relationships. If we’re really good tr story telling there is a new entertainment now called “Stories from the Stage”. Look for one in your area and share your adventures with a willing audience,”

Joe: “You know what’s really wrong with most of these? You overpower everybody else. You loom up too big and important. You become the center of the stage. What do you think that does to people around you? You smother them. Their dreams can’t find expression. Nobody hears their songs. They don’t skip and jump and dance.

“So cool it. Play down your great talents for a while. Give them a rest. Let somebody else have a go at it.

Joe: “I am friends with a married couple and years ago they were building a house. He readily admitted that she was smarter than he was about house building. So she was the one who directed the whole operation with the carpenters right out on the job site. He was content to be busy with his job with computers. But the important thing is they both laughed about their unusual situation and this is a great de-toxifier. They got along famously and so did their kids.”

Turn to Scene 10: “Confrontation”