I started writing this blog after the UK referendum back in June, where the result was very close - just over half the people who voted, chose the option to leave the EU. The initial response to the result was shock by much of the country, followed by anger towards the people who voted differently from themselves. What saddened me then is that our country seemed to have become so divided over the lead up to the referendum. There was so much anger on both sides against those who had a different opinion. Now 4 months later, that anger is still present. We've had major division within one of our main political parties over its leadership and now a high court case questioning the legalities of invoking Article 50 which starts the process of leaving the EU.
by Ros Kitson
I have been motivated to write about this by some comments on a Facebook status. So often I find these discussions that show up really interesting food for thought. The post started off with the following picture:
I don't think there's a definitive answer to this. Which obviously offends my perfectionist streak? Ever since I was a child I liked the questions that had a right/wrong answer. I excelled at maths and science and failed miserably at English. The thing about maths is that you can get the answer perfectly correct. As I've got older, I've translated that desire for perfection onto other areas of my life; craft projects, employment tasks and more recently my own business. I want it to be perfect or else I don't want to play. I've done a lot of soul searching on this - it all comes from my parents, of course. My father is a complete perfectionist - the type that offers unsolicited advice whenever he sees an area of potential improvement. My mother is an amazing seamstress and her work is actually technically perfect - a hard act to follow. It takes a long while to get things perfect, which is fine if it's a hobby, but I forget how many hours I've wasted wondering to myself if an advert is perfect enough to bring me in clients rather than just sending it off. Now, please believe me when I say, I don't always believe perfectionism is bad. If I was unfortunate to need some kind of surgery, I'd hope that the surgeon was a perfectionist of the highest order, but so often we carry this over to the rest of our lives and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. I guess the key is to know when it's important and when it's not. It's also important to work with our own nature. It's in my mum's nature to spend a lot of time working on her latest quilt. She loves the process and it pays off with the results she gets. I like producing a finished product, but I get bored if it takes too long, so I'm better sacrificing a bit of quality for the overall enjoyment and the likelihood of finishing it. I am like my father in that I see errors and imperfections in other's work. Having grown up with his negative criticism, I'm now aware of how this feels. So I can either balance it out with positive feedback, or I can just decide that it's not that important and let it go. And it's amazingly liberating to finally realise that in everyday life, "good enough" is often good enough. So having dithered for the last few days as to whether this was a good subject for a blog post, I've gone ahead and written it anyway. You can decide.
How often do we find ourselves moaning about someone we love or have to work closely with and saying "they have such a problem" / "why can't they see they have a problem"? And sometimes we even try to point out their problem, thinking that we're being helpful. But who's problem is it really? Well, let us look at the word "problem". The definition is any question or incident involving doubt, uncertainty or difficulty. So who has the doubt, uncertainty or difficulty? Answer: the person complaining. So, if my friend, partner or boss is annoying me with their behaviour, then however unreasonable we can persuade ourselves that they are being, we are actually the ones having the problem with them. They might be totally unaware of any of this and, in fact, may be quite happily going through their lives without any problem at all. So the next question to ask is: why we have a problem with their behaviour? Have they gone back on an agreed set of behaviours? In which case, we would probably be advised to have a chat and remind them of the previous agreement. Have we expected them to act in a certain way without any discussion or agreement? This is often the case. We assume other people will behave in the way we would want them to, but they rarely do so 100% of the time. Recognising that you've made an assumption is the first step. Then honest communication in a non-confrontational way. Instead of saying "you're annoying when you do this", try "I feel annoyed when you do that". By owning your feelings, you make it easier for the other person to hear without becoming defensive. It's also important to acknowledge that your own feelings are valid. It may be that you have differing values and you don't understand each other's problems. This can be challenging, but not insurmountable, as long as you go into a discussion with a willingness to understand and an open heart. This can go a long way to helping us resolve our problems. There'll be more in my next post.