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Top 10 list of the dumb things we can all do from time to time, if we are not careful – By Ken Warren.

1 – reading another person’s behaviour in an unnecessarily negative light, not finding a better way to see the situation, if that is possible. When we mis-read their behaviour and don’t cut them any slack, we tend to respond in very human ways.
2 – not thinking before we speak or act. When we do this, often what we have to say comes out badly, at the wrong time, or we don’t talk at all. When we don’t think, we are tempted to do the same thing that helped create the problem in the first place.
3 – simply never finding a good time to talk due to concern about restarting an argument or unproductive conversation. The trouble with this approach is that many matters remain unresolved and the same issues come up again and again.
4 – focusing solely on what the other person is doing wrong, trying to change their behaviour, rather than simply keeping the focus on what we are doing. When we do this, we are effectively trying to control what is out of our control rather than looking at any contribution we may be making.
5 – insisting we be heard first rather than giving genuine understanding to how the other person is seeing things and how strongly they are feeling. If ever you watch a couple of people arguing, you will see them effectively saying, “Shut up and listen to me!”
6 – pretend you don’t have any personal flaws. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst personal flaws you can have, making it hard for you to give genuine apologies, make amends, or learn from your mistakes. It is also very, very annoying for other people to be constantly blamed for interactions in which they feel you have also made a contribution.
7 – not taking other people’s sensitivities into account. This makes it easy to offend or hurt them even when this has not been our intention. Rather than treading carefully around issues that have been hurtful to them, we tell them they are over-reacting, to get over it, or to sort themselves out in therapy.
8 – to think that our way of seeing things is the only way. When we believe this, we tend to try to pressure the other person to come around to our perspective.
9 – to think that other people are wired the same as you. People are different in what helps them to feel happy and have different ways of doing things. But it is the way we deal with differences that is important. By accepting that people operate differently or see things differently, it becomes easier to accept difference or negotiate a common understanding for the future.
10 – to make choices to meet our needs, but in ways not respectful of other people’s needs. For example, we throw ourselves into our work instead of giving priority to the needs of our family. Or we have an affair, drink heavily, or spend too much time on the computer, all of which are not respectful of our partner’s needs. When you don’t take other people’s needs into account, or incorrectly target your efforts, they will not feel inspired to show consideration to you.

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