Monday, October 18, 2010

Build a Bridge...

A brief lesson for today:

Have you ever heard the saying, "Build a bridge and get over it"?

This quote (not sure how famous it is) is normally used whenever someone is constantly dwelling on to a particular issue instead of moving on from it. The same principle can be applied when dealing with difficult family members or those who have wronged you in the past.

If you would like to have your sanity, it would be wise to at least make plans for getting over the grudge you're holding. Otherwise, you will always be too bitter over what has transpired between you two (or three, or four) to make any progress.

Dysfunctional families of any sort are no fun. It's when you learn how to deal with issues and most importantly, forgive and forget that you will truly be able to mend that situation.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coping with a Dysfunctional Family

Everyone’s family is at least a bit dysfunctional. Most folks have a relative or two that can make family gatherings a bit unbearable – to say the least. But what about the family that is at each other’s throats what seems like all the time?

According to Wikipedia, the dysfunctional family dynamic is one where members suffer from “conflict, misbehavior, and often abuse”. Is this starting to sound familiar yet? In these situations, there is often little compromise, no communication, and typically no interaction between family members. It is from this environment that estrangement is born. Because of the difficulties they faced when they were together, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters (or any combination of those three) may part ways and not speak for months, years, or worse yet – for the rest of their lives.

You’ve had enough. You don’t want to be that family. You want to strengthen the bond while you still have a chance. Well, it’s not entirely impossible to turn your situation around. However, it will take an open mind and heart from all parties involved. Relationships can never thrive if they’re built on a one-way street. One person can’t want to change for the better and make it work alone. It takes teamwork to succeed.

If you can get everyone on the same page, here are some tips you can follow (summarized from

  • “Set a new course”. Start internally by imagining your idea of a better life then gradually work your way up to trying new things.
  • Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and trust your intuition.
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt and look for the “silver lining” in every circumstance.
  • “Take a step back” and try to notice your bad habits.
  • Watch your words. Don’t lie but consider how your words will affect others before you say them.
  • “Don’t keep score”. Don’t tally your faults or the faults of others. Learn to move on and put those things behind you.
  • Don’t play the victim or the villain. Neither “guilt, blame, nor shame” should have any place in your relationship.
  • “Treat yourself well”. This is probably the most common sense tip, but it’s the one that most people overlook while trying to rebuild relationships. Don’t neglect your needs for the needs of anyone else.
  • “Get outside help”. If you could do it alone, you wouldn’t be sitting where you are right now reading this blog post. A fresh set of eyes and ears can help you see both sides of the coin.
  • Don’t be afraid to “move on” if things aren’t working out. This may be either a temporary or long-term move, but to find your peace, you must be able to leave if/when you need to.

If you follow the tips above, you should not only be able to repair your relationship (if the other party is willing to try), but you’ll also have a more clear perspective on your life and path to happiness. Remember, no advice is perfect or foolproof, so proceed with caution.

Best wishes,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SonSet Book Trailer Posted!

I have a new video posted for my video, SonSet: A Memoir of Family Dysfunction. The video provides just a brief snippet into what my book is about.

You may find this book helpful if you are currently living and coping with a dysfunctional family. It is a true story, and my goal when writing it was simple: create something that will either prevent others from going through what me and my son experienced or help those who have already been through it make sense of their situation.

That's also my reason for starting this blog. I hope to be able to share brief nuggets about my life experiences, answer your questions, etc. so that you don't feel like you're alone. There are other people out there who are going through or have been through the same things as you. I'm always open to your questions comments about any of the situations I post. While this is a blog of my thoughts, I don't want this to be a one-sided discussion.

With that, I'm signing off. Have a great night everyone!