Tag Archives: boundaries

Saving Private Energy

We all do it. Continued to use an inefficient appliance, leaned on a leaky relationship, an old habit waay past its prime. Updating your life with energy stars.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — This might sound funny but I really mean this and need help. My antique fridge finally blew up and I was forced to cough up money for a new one, so I have had money and energy savings on my mind for the last two weeks. Any ideas on how to save energy and money in life? I’m really tired lately from work, so I guess I’m more interested in the energy part of my question. — Low-e

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Dear Low-e,

I can only offer the BadWitch classic: balance. Some people laugh, I’ve even read articles that suggest that “balance in life” is a myth. Myth!, only to those who haven’t seen this Big Foot unicorn firsthand.  Balance may be challenging to strive for but not impossible to achieve (and maintain is the 601 course level).

How do we come to balance between work and home, between love and personal identity? By our priorities. Those are the things we consciously think about, assign value to and fund with deliberate action. “Having it all” is the myth. Having to do it all is a very different thing, flickering Low-e. Recognize what you value, know that you can’t be godlike everywhere at once equally effectively, and employ your priorities to your best balanced, happy living. Reinvigorate your body-mind-spirit with your own deepest truths.

Unplugged priorities,

BadWitch

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FROM THE IRONY DEPT.: GoodWitch is exhausted and tells you there was a 5-broom pile up on the 101 and she will be back for Monday’s question.

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Boss Throws Employee Under the Bus

What to do when the Boss Formerly Known as “Cool” goes gonzo berserk-o on you? Managing your manager in times of stress.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have enjoyed my job with a company until recently. I truly believe in their mission but now I find my immediate boss is totally stressed out and throwing me under the bus for things he’s missed and that his boss is getting on him for. He’s been listing off a bunch of crap and cc’ing everyone in the management chain on it. I don’t agree with his comments, but not because I’m defensive. He’s just throwing me under the bus. How do I deal with this without losing my job I need so much? Run Over

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Dear Run Over,

Ah!, petty tyrants! It’s true what they say, that they are usually our biggest teachers in life. So congrats for the promotion to working with one now. …Having said that…

When the going is good, it’s easy to be a cool and fun boss, so I will cut his current bad “skills” some slack in this stressed time. This only means I’m suggesting you schedule a one-on-one with him to discuss the concerns you’ve outlined here. This isn’t about proving a thesis or giving a lecture, but rather to address then seek cues and clues as to length and duration of his said offensive behaviors, and mutually identify some possible solutions. This first meeting should primarily be an assessment to determine a direction for your next steps in the workplace. Even if he is completely and totally open to agreeing with you and admitting his ineffective management conduct (and he won’t), changing behaviors is a process. But should he respond other than with that miracle, you will want to very carefully understand where he is coming from, for your own good actions moving forward.

Email cc’g everyone with accusations (founded or unfounded) about you both meets usual protocol in many offices, as well as is unprofessional if the tone or outright accusation is wrong. I would highlight this in your conversation, because likely he received a good chew out from above, and he is very possibly covering his tracks behind him (a.k.a. CYA or self-preservation).

Let him know you are open to making improvements (tasks and relationships). Be objective, speak plainly but respectfully. Don’t interrupt each other. By the end of the meeting, you will know exactly what you must do next. Oh and document, document, document.

Dialogue means “two” and reciprocal,

BadWitch

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Dear Run Over,

There’s a lot of this “throwing under the bus” going around. My guess is your boss, who I will describe as a wimp with power, is either too scared for the safety of their own job or trapped in a perfectionist mindset that keeps him unable to fess up when it’s his fault. It takes a mature person to admit when they are wrong. Apparently, your boss still has some growing up to do.

It is horrible when you are feeling less motivated for he overall mission of the company because your immediate boss is unable o act in a mature manner. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Surely, if you still want this job, you get that one person’s actions do not add up to the entire value of a company. Keep going.

My answer, be sure that you give your own answer to some of these email. It is not being defensive to either give your version of events or let the higher ups know critical pieces of information were missing when you were doing your piece of the work. Chances are your higher ups already know the problems with this manager. Give them the info they need to make the right decisions. Let them know that you are the scapegoat without actually pointing fingers. Just tell the truth with as little emotion as possible. Ask questions. Let your higher ups know you are trying to do the right thing.

Truth is the higher ups as probably less than impressed that these issues keep crossing their desk. Your boss needs to realize the sign of a good manager is the ability to help their team get things right. Training up underlings leads to a crack team where everyone is invested in the outcome. Pointing fingers and waiting to throw people under the bus every time something goes wrong leads to decreased productivity. Your team should not be working on pins and needles. If you are constantly waiting for the axe to drop, you’ll be questioning your work rather than really working to do your best. No one likes to be waiting to see whether there job will be threatened every time they make a mistake.

Face it, your boss is a wimp who doesn’t understand that the truly powerful empower the people who work for them for the best of all. He’s too focused on taking credit for everything done well and throwing you under the bus for anything wrong. Do your best work and let the higher ups know what’s going on—for your sanity and your job!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Divvying Up Splitsville

Equal piece of the pie. The spoils of war. Everyone wants theirs. But in the division of property, is winner takes all really the goal in a war of hearts?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I finally did it!!!! I broke up with my assh*** long term (relationship). Now we’re divvying up property. The fights are starting all over again. Help! — Fractionator

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Dear Fractionator,

It sounds like congratulations are in order for successfully completing one cycle in your lessons. The trick for you two (and individually) is not to repeat the same trial-and-error homework but to repeat the successful outcome — in your case, a mature ending of something that was no longer serving you. Do the same thing with your things. After all, they are only as potent and valuable as you your selves assign and infuse them with. Keep the power you give freely to the things low, especially as to your emotions they represent (i.e., “That CD you bought me on our first date is mine,” but only because you are still attaching the old sentiment of his taking care of you to the plastic disc, etc. Fill in your own actual emotional ties). Set up rules before re-visiting this property division task (involve an impartial third party, if necessary). Agree to divide things fairly by BR and AR dates (Before Relationship and After Relationship), receipts, and/or any other empirical, pragmatic data or reasoning you can agree to.

Lastly, the other grey-area items should be put in the middle of the living room and “auctioned” for (I’m suggesting reasoned (vs. argued in the aggressive sense) for; best rhetoric prevails) in front of a pre-determined, mutually agreed upon impartial third party. All decisions final.

Lighten your spoils to move on fully,

BadWitch

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Dear Fractitioner,

Congratulations on standing up for you! Don’t stop now! Parsing out property is no easy feat!  There will be times that you must lay down a firm boundary and stake your claim and others when you will need to concede. The key to successfully “divvying” up the property will be your own presence with yourself and what you refuse to let go of and what you are ok with handing away.

Before your next “splitting up the goods” meeting, write out a list of property and star those items that you believe will be contentious creators. Decide ahead of time what your best outcome would be. BE FAIR!! Do not decide you need the thing you know your partner wants most. That will only cause more contentious moments. Decide what items you need to move away or be paid for giving away. For backup, create a second list of negotiating items—those items which you know your partner wants, you don’t care about that you can hold back as bargaining chips to negotiate for the pieces you really want.

Remember, in the end you would be better off walking away from a bunch of property littered with negative associations than putting yourself through hell for CDs or an arm chair. You are more important than any store bought item. In the end, you could just ask for a payout for the bulk of items and start fresh.

You have already started the process of taking care of you. Keep going!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary(inspiration)

“Slovenly language corrodes the mind.” ~ John Q. Adams

“We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.” ~ Plato

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary (BW)

Words hurt — but only if you let them. I’m a staunch believer of the playground wisdom, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” to this day. Yet it is undeniable that words are powerful. One of my favorite pieces I wrote ‘Don’t Be A Pussy’ was about the harmful effects of the ubiquity of misogynistic, negative slang phrases. My rant is easily extendable to abating words like Slut, Whore and ‘Ho from our vocab because, while used obviously derogatorily, they are more dangerously ubiquitous. When we are so familiar with a thing that we no longer see it, hear it, or are aware of its true meaning anymore, is when it has an insidious power to do its deepest damage to our individual psyches, our collective culture — because this negative slam-slang is just accepted as a fact or a truism. But I am a Big Picture seer: when female power and the word “vagina” are cute-isized and made non-threatening as hoochie, vajayjay, and other dumbed down terms, it’s hard to avoid recognizing a pattern of misogyny and the fear of female power still runs deeply in our society, culture, and most of the world at large even in the 21st century. Hillary Clinton at this year’s TED Women’s Conference on The Empowerment of Women & Girls: “We need to reach out to faith leaders and community leaders to change the perception and treatment of girls, and to persuade men and boys to value their sisters and their daughters, their talents and their intrinsic worth.”Words are powerful. As I say at my zen pop culture blog, “Use your power for good” by: 1) Knowing who you are; 2) don’t give fear of other’s opinions (just words) of you the power to paralyze or stunt you; and 3) shed a light on or speak out against ignorance whenever you hear it as a “that’s how everyone talks”-ism. No it isn’t.

How do you feel about words like “bitch” and “’ho” used interchangeably for “women” or “girls”? Do you talk about this with your daughters?  — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Diagnosis: Hypochondriac Roomie

Canary in a coalmine roommate style. When someone’s real or imagined illnesses begin to make you sick.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — How do I deal with a hypochondriac roommate?Sick & Tired

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Dear Sick & Tired,

Diagnosis: oh oh-itis. Talk about a possible head case and a head cold case, living with a hypochondriac. I feel for you, S&T, yet, your simple question poses a lot of variables to respond to here. 1) I’m going to assume you’re starting with a relatively new roommate, or his perceived illness is a new phenom you’re dealing with; 2) Understand that I personally believe in “appropriate involvement” only, your own tolerance may differ; and 3) Consider how long you intend to live with this person (weigh pros-cons of his roomie viability/personality against mutual balance sheet concerns), and how appropriately close or willing you are to get involved personally.

Hypochondria may be attributed to many things, and can affect relationships. Some people are legitimately stressed due to work or school, or family issues, or previous health problems. Ask what recent (or reintroduced) events may be contributing to his base stress level. Or, perhaps he is bored with too much time on his hands and nothing more productive to focus on. Maybe he’s grieving a loss that can be in- or directly attributed to illness in general. He could have a family member (or himself previously) who is experiencing a health problem that might legitimately concern him now or in the future. Ideally through talk and possible medication for depression or anxiety (see a doctor), he can begin to see his behaviors with more objectivity toward addressing and changing those behaviors for his own (not mention yours!) wellbeing.

Show concern, tread lightly, mind your boundaries, and guard your own (mental and physical) health.

Be well,

BadWitch

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Dear Sick & Tired,

Well, I can see how that could be a completely draining scenario. For your sake, set up some boundaries. Your roommates aches and pains should not be the center of your world, nor should her illnesses dictate (beyond reasonable respectful consideration) your actions.

I once had a roommate who would announce her state of mind or physical issues so I would know how to act around her. WTF?! Now I’m suppose to do some co-dependant, victim-focused soft shoe to keep peace in the house? Yeah, that didn’t work out so well, because as sweet and nurturing as I am, I have no tolerance for victim waving flag holders who expect the rest of to take care and coddle them out of pity.

If your roommate is truly sick with some wasting disease that is perhaps yet not fully understood—like fibromyalgia — then the aches and pains may not be “all in the head.” But just be sure the amount of compassion, hand holding and coddling is in balance. Take time for you. Sage your bedroom and personal living space daily. Do the rest of the house at least once a week. If your hypochondriac is irritated by sage smoke, make a mister with water and add lavender and lemon verbena essential oils. Spray that around the rooms of community space to clear old, heavy energy.

Personally, it sounds like too much drama in your living space, so you may want to start the hunt for a more calm and neutral living situation. Home is the place for refreshing, rejuvenating and reenergizing. If your time is busy spent avoiding, ignoring or nurse-maiding your roommate, when does the rejuvenation happen? Beware of situations that sap your energy — especially if you notice a sharp energy decrease just by thinking of yourself in that environment or among certain people.

Keep to your space and choose to help if you want to. If you really don’t want to play nursemaid, don’t. It will only sap your energy and leave you open to a host of opportunistic illnesses.

Be good to you. Find your sanctuary living situation. This one does not sound like it is it.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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“At-Will” Relationships (GW)

Life is and should be “at will.” It’s called freedom. The freedom of an employer to say, You aren’t a good fit,” for no more reason than you are not a good fit. The will of a friend to say, “I need to walk this piece alone, but I bless you on your path.” It’s freedom because nobody should be forced to stay in a relationship past its expiration date. It’s no good for either party then, whether one is awake to the discomfort or not.

We all deserve fully functional relationships based on mutual respect. If trust or respect are lost then one party has the right to call it. The will must be respected. If you need to speak up, SPEAK! You do nothing for the other person with your silence. Live your truth. Speak your will and be free. — GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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“At-Will” Relationships (BW)

Many of our 50 states practice at-will employment, which at its basis simply means that in absence of a contract that declares otherwise, an employer can terminate an employee for any legal and ethical reason at will. Whatever the non-at-will states or you as an individual may think of this legal concept, when you get right down to it, most of life’s relationships are a lot like that. (Unless you’re a Catherine Zeta Jones, you most likely won’t be contracted to receive millions if your womanizing new hubby strays, for instance.) So if you’re in an at-will relationship (of any meaningful kind, not just romantic), as the vast majority of people are, it would stand to reason that you would be on your best behavior…to avoid getting fired. So why do we feel our personal relationships are a good place to sometimes act out and be a lesser version of ourselves? We all do it at different times. Why? Tell me what professional or work behaviors you could bring to improve your personal relationships, your self, to lessen the likelihood of getting you kicked to the curb? — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Quitting Low Principles. Job Rock is a Hard Place

Is there any right market to quit your job for your principles?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Our office is a bit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I can’t stand it. I don’t mean this officially but there is a culture that gays and some people with differing political opinions from the bosses keep quiet. This bothers me. Do you think I should consider quitting for my principles in this markets? Gag Ordered

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Dear Gag Ordered,

Interesting way to pose your question, Gag Ordered. If your bosses’ opinions are so strong as to be openly culturized, I would think that this isn’t a new phenomenon and either you just raised your head out of the sand to notice it (or were called out on the mat personally), or that your own sense of priorities has been awakened possibly for the first time in your life. Therefore, I don’t think it matters what we think regarding your employer’s practices or the state of the economy, but rather how you feel about whatever real issue concerns you so much. If it truly is about a political or sexual orientation matter, that’s one thing. If it is about your new awakening and sensitization to your own intolerance for repression, dishonesty or emotional lying, that is an entirely different (and larger) thing that has little to nothing to do with this or any job market. Weigh your priorities (by definition, your bills are already on that scale), be discerning not overwhelmed.

Tibi ipsi esto fidelis (To thine own self be true),

BadWitch

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Dear Gag Ordered,

I can understand wanting a work environment with like minded people, but let’s not be crazy.

I mean, I get your ire and the feeling you just can’t take it anymore. However, practicality should win out. If you are unhappy, start to look for a new job in a more tolerant, liberal company, but until you have a new job, sit down, shut up and keep rolling. If nothing else, appreciate that Right-wing oppressors are paying for the rent and lifestyles of their undercover left wing liberals, gay and atheist employees. That’s karma.

Also, remember, you work at this company to support the mission, to gain wisdom and experience and to further your career. Use it. Do so. At the same time, explore companies known for liberal leaning. Check out Top Companies to work for and find companies that align mission beyond the web page to day to day interactions and decent treatment of employees.

I know it can be difficult to seemingly put your morals and your heart on the shelf from 9-5 everyday, but again, remember the karma. Takes most of the sting out of it.

Happy job hunting. The right place is out there for you somewhere. Just be sure you have a safe place to land before you jump. For your own peace of mind.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: istockphoto/Kutay Tanir

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Putting the Real You Back in Relationships (BW)

Who hasn’t been “fake” in relationships at one point or another in their life? While it “makes sense” that a lot of the in-authenticity practiced in relationships happens in adolescence and 20s when we’re trying to figure it all out, we all know that isn’t the case. Why? A habit set? Not enough confidence? This pattern interests me. Today I’m referring to “relationships” as the fleeting insignificant ones to deep partnerships, the personal and business ones — in other words, all of them. I’m even talking about the times we smile and are nicer than we actually feel to a service worker or other facilitator, just to get on with it.

The state of our relationships reflects who we are at any given time in our development. If we don’t like our relating/relationships with people, perhaps a good look at how we are relating to ourselves is called for. Look at how many times you have lied versus told the truth in the past day, then week. To put an even finer point on it, my wise colleague Marlene Caldes touts the difference between Truth (your quick and unblinking “yes” or “no”) and Honesty (the story and explanations you tell others). So when you run this exercise, I urge you to note the difference (and number of times) you tell a lie, are honest or tell the truth. How can we expect to be real in our relationships if we can’t be with ourselves?

If you find you are more authentic than not in your communications but are still in a few relationships that don’t feel quite right, take the next inventory of your relationships themselves and see which one (or types) could use some tweaking and tuning, and those that are past their Sell By date. Will it be hard or easier to improve your communications and (emotional) truthfulness in some over others (types)? Why? How can you share the most authentic you in all relationships (you know, the ones where you are in the room, car or the other’s mind)? — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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