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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 2010 / 10 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "When angry, count to four: when very angry, swear" wrote Mark Twain. Scientists and self-help books would have us believe that when you get a big sock in the nose that you respond by either fleeing or fighting. But many of us just flail in frustration. We lash out with venomous anger at those around us. Samuel Johnson observed, "Wives and husbands are, indeed, incessantly complaining of each other…naturally every animal revenges his pain upon those who happen to be near." We treasure our friends and family so much that they are the ones we are most likely to fight. Humphrey Bogart set the concept in stone (or cement) at the entrance to Hollywood's Grauman Chinese Theatre where he placed his hand and foot prints and wrote, "May you never die, till I kill you." Remember Bogart's endearing message of love and homicide in recognition of this human trait and it will go a long way toward saving you grief.

I love pictures by Norman Rockwell showing America in the warm glow of decency and kindness; before we sanitized them as "core values." In every day life, our teams at work, extended family, and support network of friends, are like the circus exhibit "Happy Family" created by P. T. Barnum. "Happy Family" portrayed family harmony by presenting a tiger, wolf, bear, lion, and lamb all living in together in peace, in one enclosure. A visitor, touched by this demonstration of peace, inquired how long the creatures had been living together. Barnum informed him, "Eight months." adding, "Occasionally we have to replace the lamb." You should expect that some days you will be the lion, and some days the lamb. It is part of life, but you can make it better if you adopt the following two suggestions.

Electrical systems have circuit breakers to temporarily shut down the system before there is permanent damage. The temporary shut down allows time to see what the real cause of the problem is and to fix it. Or, in some cases the circuit breaker gives us enough time to realize the whole system is defective must be replaced. No matter what the outcome, the circuit breaker is there to protect not only the electrical system itself, but to prevent even worse damage. You and those you deal with should add circuit breakers to rants and arguments. Adding circuit breakers requires some discipline and goes against today's indulgent attitude towards full expression. To install the circuit breaker approach, go to those people who are most important in your life, and agree upon a phrase that gives both sides a signal to call a "time out" to absorb and think about what is clearly important.

Use a circuit breaker when someone issues a Nuclear Ultimatum or goes Coyote on you. An ultimatum can destroy the relationship since it starts an appraisal as to the market value of the relationship. You may not realize you let the bomb go. The other person may have heard a doomsday threat that you did not intent to make. Nuclear Ultimatums raise the stakes to where someone must quit, be fired or get divorced. That may solve the problem, but it isn't problem solving. Use a circuit breaker when either side is in victim mode, acting like they are a Coyote caught in a trap. The coyote will chew off its own leg to escape. If in the midst of an argument, you devastate the other side or the other side wants you to feel guilty for making them feel bad, back up and use a circuit breaker. When my mother was losing an important argument or realized she was wrong, she would suddenly stop talking, stare at the ground for a very long moment, and then looking straight at you with tears in her eyes, she'd wail, "Okay, so forgive me for living." It worked every time.

John Randolph observed during one debate, that his opponent Henry Clay was so carried away by his own eloquence and skills of oration that, "He has cut his throat with his own tongue." My second suggestion is that you teach everyone the following phrase: "Never threaten your own punishment." Teach your wife, husband, lover, children to say this when they are arguing with you. And, let them know you will use the same catch phrase during arguments. "Fine, we won't go anywhere on vacation," "Go ahead, get that stupid car, but I will never ride in it," and the famous "I'll sleep on the couch (no sex)" are all examples of threatening your own punishment. If your "solution" is really a threat that is going to be bad for you, think it over. The cold war doctrine of Mutual Destruction is not a good tool for solving personal problems. The capacity to annihilate the other person does you little good if the result devastates you. Stick to your principles but as Winston Churchill counseled, "Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed."

Humphrey Bogart reminds use to fight with love and P.T. Barnum warns us that perfection isn't real life. Circuit breakers allow each side to retire to their neutral corner for the next round. My friend, Joe Peiken keeps a scrap of paper in his dresser drawer with the words "Never threaten your own punishment" and he swears he gets into a lot less trouble than he used to. In his case, this is a major accomplishment.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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