Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The proper way to make amends

Today had a conversation with a friend (we’ll call this person Boston), with whom my relationship is a little strained due my “lack of personal interest” (in an effort to be politically correct) in another person (Jersey) with whom Boston is related to and they are an extremely important part of Boston’s life. The conversation was apparently one that needed to happen, as a number of things have occurred, both in and out of Boston’s presence, that have let to this current state between the other parties. Boston’s wish is that we could all be good friends, both together and as individual pairs. While I (I’ll refer to myself as Chicago) don’t think that’s impossible, I think its hard to move on without addresses fundamental issues that have led to the present time, and are likely to reoccur, as the issues seem more personality driven, than situational.

SO… in mathematical terms:

Chicago + Boston= GOOD
Boston + Jersey = GOOD
Chicago + Jersey = NOT GOOD

That being said, there was a recent “attempt”, on Jersey’s behalf, to “squash” the past and move forward with Chicago (me). The comment was made in 2 parts: Part 1 – address the emotions that resulted from the most recent incident, and Part 2 – express a desire to attempt to be more friendly. Sounds great, right? I mean how can you not appreciate someone who steps up to the plate… right?

WRONG. And I’ll tell you how.

The message, so nice in its intent, was actually read over the phone by Boston who claimed to be simply relaying the message from Jersey, because Jersey felt that Chicago would not want to hear from them. So instead of trying to call Chicago, or (e)mailing the note, or even a “can you call me text”, Jersey took the childish way out by saying “I’ll have my assistant do it for me”. And the acting personal assistant, Boston, did it, all the while defending the fact that Jersey had attempted to reconcile and yet Chicago is not cooperating… confused yet?

Either way, I thought long and hard about the situation and still stand by my belief. An apology, reconciliation, discussion to get past an issues, etc should ALWAYS be done by direct contact. To make matter worse, Jersey has a bad habit of contacting Chicago regarding issues that Jersey is not even involved in, often times giving unwanted opinions and voicing unrequested comments… but the one time that there was something worth saying, instead of going straight to the person, they went through a liaison, using the excuse that they didn’t know if their attempt would be welcomed.

This leads me to today’s lesson… while Jersey was not necessarily attempting to apologize, you could look at the rules of communication the same way for a reconciliation.  I found an interesting article called “How to Apologize Like A Man” and took a few pointers to share. I am tempted to print it and mail it to the person, but I think that would be done with the wrong intentions, despite being helpful. This section of the article really caught my attention in terms of Jersey and the past problems we’ve had, along with the way the message was given through a third-party, versus person to person, even if it does mean calling a few times, sending a voicemail or even risking getting hung up on….
Why We Don’t Apologize
Pride. Apologizing can be particularly hard for men because it involves the admittance of fault. It’s hard to say that we messed up. That we were wrong. Our pride gets in the way.
Embarrassment. If we messed up royally, doing something truly boneheaded even though we knew better, it can be difficult to talk about it to the person we hurt or let down. We feel stupid and would rather pretend like it didn’t happen.
Anger. Things that need apologizing for are rarely a one way street (more on this later). We probably did something wrong, but the other person probably did too. And sometimes our anger over how they offended us is so great that we justify what we did and can’t get past it to apologize.
The antidote to all 3 obstacles? Humility. The reason we put up these walls is that we have an overinflated view of our true selves. We’re always right; we always have it together. But it ain’t true. We’re human. We mess up sometimes. You have to accept your imperfection as a part of life. Suppressing it will cut you off from others. Embracing it will allow you to grow as a man.
Pride. Embarrassment. Anger. <- All powerful worlds. For your Item of the Day I give you the message of Humility and some advice… handle your business like an adult. If you can start it, you can finish it, repair it, redirect it, or whatever else needs to be done. Just make sure you handle it. that’s all. Back to your regular schedule programming….

oh, yeah, and ALL COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS are welcome :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The 2009 Testimony

kids touch My little brother posted a testimony (which I actually made to him) on his Facebook Fan page and I wanted to share with you all. His wording was a bit incorrect (you know how stories change the more they are told - LOL) so I have minimally edited some parts to reflect the story more accurately. At the end he posted a song of inspiration, which he sends every Sunday to his fans. I am so proud of him and happy that he could find inspiration in my story.

As a preface, I was laid off in fall of 2009 and hired for a new job before the end of the year. During my job search I WORKED HARD to find job opportunities and listings while pulling from my steadily growing network of industry friends, family members and former clients. My hard work paid off, as I had a number of interviews with some great companies for some awesome positions. As I started interviewing, I began to listen to my own voice... What did I want in a job? What did I not want in a work environment? What sacrifices was I not willing to make and where was my flexibility?  I learned so much about myself and realized the path I wanted to be on and the type of workplace I was looking for. To have so many options, especially in this economy, was TRULY a blessing and a testament to the time spent over the years building a career foundation that would carry me through potential hard times.

After a long talk with my brother to tell him the story, he posted this on Facebook:

Welcome to 2010... I know it's still early, but I am already saying "What a year!". These last 3 days have brought me to 1 realization... that 2009 is no more! Let's get ready for a breakthrough family...WE will have SO many testimonies this year!! I have already seen multitudes of friends and patrons being blessed beyond their understanding!! YESSS!!! (Pumps arm*) lol My sister has given a testimony for the New Year that I must share... hopefully she wont be upset.

After being laid off from her company, she contacted a recruiter to help her find another one. Being the faithful woman she was, she didn't hesitate to cry, instead she went FORWARD and pushed until she received two job offers that exceeded her credentials as an Architectural Engineer. Not only did they offer her a job, she received a call from the Mayor of a smaller city and from the upper level management at the one she accepted. This was all without the help of the recruiter, without being in practice for 2 years and with everyone telling her she was out of her league, including friends & family. She has yet to look back and is moving FORWARD faster than ever!!!

THIS is your first chance to move forward. Where do you want to be right now? What is holding you back? Why are you letting it? Where will you be if you let it for too long??? Your past is over, you ARE NOT going back there!! God is placing your thoughts against you for a reason, he is limiting your space so that you HAVE to move...there is no choice! You must have the same faith my sister had that NO MAN can tell you how far you can go in YOUR life. I don't have any analogies tonight...just a testimony... a testimony that "staying there" is not moving's simply "staying there". Even if you don't reach all your goals, You've gone higher than you would have if you hadn't set any... This is your first word of inspiration for 2010... may you be blessed in it and receive YOUR testimony sooner than you expect. Happy Sunday. Here is your song:

The key word here is “FAITH”. While my family was in a panic about how my bills would get paid and where I would work after my last day, I stood strong and prayerful and put in the work on my end. When i walked into my first interview at the company I decided to accept the offer from, I knew right away that’s where I wanted to be and I made it clear to them in every way possible! When it came down to it, I trusted that I was making the right decision, and everything else fell in place even better than I could have expected it to!

For the item of the day, I am going to recommend a Facebook app. Yes, for those of you who know me personally, I made a number of comments about being anti-apps on Facebook. But there is one that I truly enjoy, called “On this Day, God wants you to know…” and each day or so it gives you a message of inspiration. Though small and random, these messages gave me such an unexpected motivation at times of stress. Like little reminders that the situation will be resolved. If you are on facebook, click here to sign up.

As an example, here is my message for today:
On this day of your life, Cherish, we believe God wants you to know ... that you are exactly where you are meant to be. Trust in God that everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be.

Just as a child has to pass through a tiny channel on its way from the womb into life, so are you on your way to God.

Have a wonderful 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Round-up (Late)

I had a wonderful Christmas back home with the family! It was like the "gadget Christmas", which for a geek like me is heaven! I got a Wii game system, a new Canon Digital Elph camera, some makeup from Sephora, a Macy's giftcard, cash (who-hoo) and a Links of London watch. All GREAT gifts!! I got to spent time with the family and had dinner with my girls!

The watch was the true surprise, as I have been wanting a new watch for quite some team (I keep posting them on the blog around Christmas but I never went out to look for one). I have blindly walked past the Links of London counter at Macy's numerous times, yet never paused to look down. Well, now i can' stop looking at my wrist. I may even sleep in it tonight! (Ok, not really, but I hate to ever take it off!)
Here is a pic... I'll have to post one wearing it later!