Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting Rid of Those Annoying Habits

So now we know why it's so hard to change a habit but we also know we can and after a few weeks it will become easier and eventually become comfortable for us.

So here is how to get this going:

1. Identify your annoying habits - if you want to be really brave - ask the person closest to you but you have to be prepared not to get upset - remember you are asking.

2. Make a list of easiest (newest ones) first. Work on the easiest one first - this will be fairly easy and will give you confidence for the hard ones

3. Begin to work on the most annoying habits one at a time: As you conquer each one check then off your list.

4. Once you have chosen the habits to work on create a plan: Remember a habit is something you do almost unconsciously so you have to become very aware of it and usually began because at some point you just happened to do thing and have just continued to do it over and over again.
  • The plan may be to change the conditions that create the habit. Usually this will involve changing a routine. For example: if you have a habit that is done as soon as you get home from work or a certain time at night then you would change up your routine to help change that habit.
5. Be accountable to someone: If you are really serious about this ask someone to help you monitor your progress and tell you when your are slipping into the habit

6. Measure your progress: Keep track on paper of when you slip and not what the circumstances are. This will help you see if there are any triggers causing you to slip.

7. Move on to the next one: Once you have conquered a habit on the list - continue on to the next one until you have checked each one off your list.

Remember, annoying habit are not essential to you identity and are not impossible to change. They are there for trivial reasons and can be changed.

Next Post: Overly Independent Behavior - our last Love Buster.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Changing Annoying Habits

Habits have more control over us than we realize. We tend to think we can just stop a habit when we decide to. Some habits we can easily let go of but those that we have developed and continued for a long time will be harder to break. These long term habits are usually things that we do almost subconsciously. Over 95 percent of everything we do is a habit because we really don't think about it. For example, getting into a car, the way we eat, taking a shower in the morning or evening. That's why we sometimes feel we can't change our habits.

We sometimes feel our habits are just who we are because they are comfortable and to not do them is uncomfortable so we assume that must just be who we are or we wouldn't feel so bad when we don't do the habit. But the fact is that ANY new change will be uncomfortable at first. Discomfort is not necessarily an indication that it is wrong or not good for us. If fact, most changes we make that are good will be uncomfortable for awhile, that is why people many times don't change.

Here is the reason any change of habit is uncomfortable. Whenever a new behavior is introduced to your brain, it must form a new neural pathways before it feels natural to you. The more you repeat the new behavior the bigger the neural pathways become and after a few weeks the pathways are complete, you then have a new habit that is comfortable,automatic and effortless again.

So with that in mind, you can go into the decision to make changes with the knowledge that it will be uncomfortable for awhile but if you continue and persevere the time will come that the discomfort will leave and it will again for normal and natural for you.

Next post: practical steps to get those new neural pathways created.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Annoying Habits

Our next lovebuster is "Annoying Habits" Now when I first read this I thought this was rather petty. But as I began to think about this and realized that some habits really can effect our relationships and the love we have for each other.

Here are a few that may seem small but can really irritate and create problems in relationships:
chewing ice
coming home and vegging
annoying eating habits
leaving messes around the house
cracking gum
chronic lateness
being a negative person

These are just a few but if you are around someone with an annoying habit you know what it is - the problem is you probably don't know what yours are.

Women tend to be more irritated than men about these types of things. What most people would argue is that their habit are part of their identity or they can't change them but that simply is not true. Unlike angry outbursts an annoying habit doesn't obviously or immediately deteriorate the care and love we have for each other but they are more sinister as they slowing through time begin to deteriorate our relationships.

Next post we will talk about how to overcome "annoying habits"

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Cats are Better than Dogs....

Oh, I know I'm going to get some grief for this one, but my sweet niece Beverly wrote a blog today on why people should be like dogs. Uggg! And how there are some people like cats but they are snooty and a bunch of other no true things. :) I felt I needed to take a break from my usual blog to defend my feline friends that I love so much and give the opposite point of view.

Sorry Bev, but here is the truth of it:

    First of all, cats are so much easier to care for. You don't have to walk them or bathe them because they're smart enough to figure out all that stuff on their own, so I would look at that as being the equivalent of a low maintenance person, which I love. High maintenance people can be very wearying (dog type people). Plus, our sweet Kitty's instead of messing all over the house and yard use a spot just like us humans to do there business and they very nicely cover it up afterwards, this would be the equivalent of a person who is responsible for there own lives and messes but a dog would be a type of person who expects everyone else to take care of there stuff.

    Second, cats have all sorts of personality! Each one is a individual, some are quiet and detailed, some are very friendly and hospitable and some are more passive - much like us humans. BUT dogs in comparison are all the same.....hyper, loud (smelly) and obsessed with chasing things. Now I know a dog owner probably thinks their dog is unique but I really haven't seen it, they all seem the same to me.

    Oh and just a side note: Ever seen a cat eat its own poop?

    One of the things I love the most about cats it there Independence, unlike the very dependant dog. A cat can disappear for hours, having their own little adventures( I just love it!!!) and then pop up again just when you least expect it. It's like running into a long-lost friend on the street, but in your house! But a dog is always at your feet , mindlessly following and completely co-dependent. They have no mind or vision of their own. They can't even get the hint that you don't like them. So the human comparison is a cat would be a functional, healthy, interdependent person who has vision and purpose in life and a dog would be a dysfunctional, co-dependant person who is overly dependant and not able to think on their own.

    There is so much else that I could say about our kitty friends..... They aren't obnoxiously loud, their breath doesn't stink, and they're adorable and cuttlely—there is nothing more wonderful that a kitty purring in your lap. A cat gives you plenty of affection, a rub against that leg, a jump on your lap if you want them to but a dog pushes affection on you whether you want it or not. Much like a person who is needy, always needing more than you can give.

    So in conclusion, would I want friends that are like dogs?

    if I had a friend like a dog that they would be a high maintenance person who would expect me to take care of all their stuff and were loud hyper, (smelly) and obsessed with chasing things, eats their own poop is a dysfunctional, co-dependant person who is overly dependant and not able to think on their own. This would be a friend that would be needy always needing more than I could give.......... NO I definitely would not want friends that are like dogs. clients maybe...but not friends.

    But I would love to have a friend like a cat:

    A friend like a cat would be a low maintenance person who is responsible for their behavior and takes care of their own messes in life. A functional, interdependent person who has vision and purpose, has personality and knows when to have fun and when to be serious. Is affectionate and a good friend but not overly needy, just the right balance. Yes, this is the type of friend I would like....

    So Bev...Why can't people be more like Cats?????

    A Seed of Hope Life Coaching is not responsible for any liability from Dog Lovers who have been offended by this blog.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Overcoming Dishonesty

As promised here are some guidelines to overcoming dishonesty, if this has become a habit in your life. Now if you are trying to change someone else this probably won't work because the person that is dealing with the dishonesty habit has got to admit it is a problem and work on these areas themselves.

Again, I want to give credit to William Hartley's Lovebusters book for this information.

Step 1: Identify what type of dishonesty or lies your are using (protector, trying to look good or avoiding conflict or trouble.

Step 2: Understand why you have been dishonest. What motivates you to be dishonest. Ask your self these questions:
  • What are the most important reason that you are dishonest with other?
  • How does your dishonesty hurt your relationships (ask your spouse this)
  • If you have tried to overcome this in the past, how did you try?
  • If you were to decide that you could be totally honest with the relationships in your life, could you do it? Why or why not?
  • Are you willing to be totally honest? Why or why not?
Step 3: Create a strategy to overcome dishonesty. Create a plan to achieve your goal of honesty. To do this ask these questions:
  • Describe your dishonesty, the way you are dishonest.
  • Describe the conditions that seem to trigger your dishonesty. Include the physical setting, people, behavior of those people and any thing else that is relevant to the trigger
  • What changes in these conditions would help you avoid dishonesty
  • Which changes can your spouse help you with?
  • Describe you plan to change these conditions. Include a deadline to make the change complete. Have an accountability person to help you.
  • How will you measure the success of your plan?
  • If your plan does not succeed within your time limit will you make a commitment to seek professional help with this problem?
Step 4: Document your progress. Indicate day, date, time, type of dishonesty and circumstances. If your strategy is working you will find yourself listing fewer instances of dishonesty and seeing yourself more often choosing to be honest.

Our next post will be dealing with the lovebuster "Annoying Habit's" That one should be fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dishonesty Continued

The 3 other types of dishonesty that can be destructive to our relationships and considered
"lovebusters" are:

1. Trying to look good liars: Some people need admiration and approval so much that they try to make themselves look better than they really are. They fabricate achievements and abilities so that others will have a higher regard for them. They develop a habit of lying to make themselves look better than they really are.

2. Avoiding Trouble Liars: This type of dishonesty is arises from the threat of being caught doing something wrong. Again this can become a habit of lying to keep from getting in a conflict or a spouse or friend finding out they did something that is considered by most people wrong or unethical.

3. Born Liars: This is a type of person who lies about everything and anything, whether they have a good reason to lie or not. A "born liar" doesn't seem to be able to control it or even know why they do it. These people will lie about trivial things that really don't matter. Because honestly is essential in relationships these people have a hard time maintaining long term relationships. This is obviously the extreme of the types of dishonesty.

Most couples who struggle with dishonesty will all into the first 3 categories:
lying to protect, to look good and avoid trouble and the good news is that these types of dishonesty can be overcome. The problem is that dishonesty and lying becomes a habit but in most cases habits can be broken with awareness and willingness to change.

Next post: How to overcome dishonesty

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Another one of our love busters is one that seems quite obvious but is more prevalent in relationships than most of us would like to admit.

According to William Harley in his book "Lovebusters" there are 4 types of Dishonesty:
  • protection
  • looking good
  • avoiding trouble
  • compulsion
Some of these actually seem to have good motives behind them but they all cause a relationship to suffer.

Protection: This is a type of dishonesty that can be very prevalent in marriage. It is when with the best of intentions we are trying to protect each other from unpleasant information. It's withholding true feelings to avoid upsetting the other person. Harley call this a "protective liar"

The problem with this is it does not protect but denies a spouse information they need to keep the relationship healthy. It keeps people from making the proper adjustments needed to keep love and connection alive.

Example: a husband is constantly receiving phone call from work during family or couple time, working long hours or tuned out when at home - if the wife is a protective liar - she would not say anything even though this behavior is slowly deteriorating the marriage or she would say something but when told this was necessary to keep the business going she would just agree and let it go. The end result can be a very loveless and unhealthy marriage or relationship. A healthy solution would be to discuss how this behavior is affecting the relationship and coming up with a plan that would work for both parties.

Of course this can go the other way also where the wife has a pattern of unhealthy neglecting behavior toward her husband but justifies it in some way that the husband just keeps his frustration inside - this will have the same result -

This concept also happens in friendships and other relationships. When a relationship is suffering because of someones behavior it is important to be honest about your feelings and how it is affecting you and the relationship.

Next post we will look at "Trying to Look Good Liars."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Repectful Persuasion

So how do you come to a place of compromise, where you are both happy but still feeling like the changes that need to happen are being worked on. You use.....

Respectful Persuasion:

Different perspectives and value systems between a couple can bring benefit to both. Every person brings both wisdom and foolishness to a relationship. So by combining your wisdom by respectfully discussing each persons beliefs and values you can create a good system. This must be done with mutual respect which begins with being equal partners in decision making. This eliminates someone forcing their way of thinking on another or shaming them, taking over them or ridiculing them. If you want agreement it would be in the context of respectful persuasion.

So how do you do this especially if you are a controlling type person:

1. Make your discussion safe and enjoyable: Again, this is the way the discussion is conducted, without pressure and if the other person feels that they can end the discussion at that point to rejoin it later.

2. Express your conflicting opinions to each other with respect and understanding: Can you clearly express the other persons opinion as well as your own? When you can, you will eliminate misunderstanding that is so often the root problem of most disagreements. Make it clear that you understand and respect each others opinion. Now remember that doesn’t mean you accept it just that you understand and respect it but you still would like them to change it. It is demonstrating to the other person that you do see value in their opinions which means you value them.

3. Explain how your opinion might be in your spouses best interest and brainstorm ways to test the value of your opinion: Explain your opinions respectfully to each other, “Even though I don’t agree with you, I know you have good reasons for your opinion but I would like you to consider some reason that may change your mind” You may even try a test period for trying out the idea and if agreement still doesn’t come, go back to negotiating an agreeable solution.

4. If you agree based on the results of a test, you have achieved respectful persuasion. If the test fails, either go back to brainstorming or drop the subject for now.

The Goals of respectful persuasion are:

· To avoid destroying the love and care you have for each other

· To resolve conflict in a healthy manner

If you feel you have to persuade others to your way of thinking at all costs then the costs will eventually be the relationship. Remember the other person also has the right to respectfully persuade you too! You who always think you are right (and I’m speaking to myself here) you maybe surprised to find that other less controlling person has some really good ideas! Even better (dare I say it!) than ours!!