Tuesday, September 20, 2016


So much for writing every day. Life intervened, and I'm not even going to try and catch you up to date. Let's just start anew. Suffice it to say that I'm doing well, maybe better than that. I have a new job and a new outlook. I've been working on being positive more than negative. It's the 5 to 1 principle. This means that you give five positives for every negative comment or redirection. This is based on research that shows successful businesses and marriages are based on this principle. I learned this in research I was conducting to create and present information in a workshop for my new position. It changed my life. Well, I hope it changes my life. 
My son is a recluse at 16 years old. I don't know why. He's had a Beaver Cleaver childhood with the same home, parents, and rules. It's not that we are overly negative people. But the odds are that if you do something, our immediate family and extended family will tease, lecture, or give you advice. This is negative and we definitely don't overpower this with positive remarks or recognition. It comes from a good place; we want to help each other get better.However, it makes the odds of dealing with each other, and in the case of my son dealing with all people, a losing proposition. So, who's going to play those odds? It's a game my son has opted out of.
I have been trying to turn around the odds in favor of interaction by educating and emphasizing the importance of positive feedback. There has been some hurt feelings and arguments in this process too, but I assure them all that I'm also on a steep learning curve. It is important to note that positive feedback is most effective if the feedback is genuine and specific to an action that deserves positive attention and is beneficial in its repetition. In effect, we make our interactions an overall higher percentage of win to fail. THAT's a game  worth playing; one in which you have a great likelihood of winning. Therefore, the hope is that my son will get back in the game of personal interactions because the odds are in his favor to feel good when he interacts with people.
In the first week of my new 'smiley face' theory, my husband began kissing me good-bye in the morning again after ten years. I hadn't even thought how this would impact my relationship with my husband. We had a good relationship. We liked to spend time together. I feel more loving towards him too. WOW! I even began sending him nice loving text messages during the day.
By the second week, with a few renewed efforts, my son began to seek us out for interactions and conversations. He began to go places with us again like the store and the movies. He began initiating hugs and affection-he had never done this before. He began saying nice things to us! Yes, he's a teenager. He would call me 'Dumbo' before, and now he's telling me that I'm a great teacher. I am flabbergasted and elated.
I never thought that such a small change, though it does take concerted thought to continue, could impact my life so completely. Give it a try and share your stories with me. I hope they transform your life too.