Get a Life Q&A Mar 2 2014

We have a culture of politeness here where we feel embarrassed to ask for someone’s credentials. We assume so much by titles and public relations. I’ve often been disappointed by doctors, lawyers, and other consultants. Just think what happens in social situations especially when girls trust boys who dress and speak well. What’s your view?

You call it culture of politeness; I call it being hypnotized by expectations. This is when we fail to set criteria for acceptability and for our decision – making at the outset and we delve into something as if in trance. We “trust” so we fail to do our due diligence including set frameworks, set minimum performance standards, check references, evidence of good standing etc. No surprise we often end up conned (as in pros and cons, or outright cheated!)

Your description of politeness is right. Perhaps it comes from the thinking that it’s rude to demand proof and clarify expectations because it appears that we are undermining the other person. I believe the “real deal” will always welcome more structure rather than less because they know they are good for the test.

Think of the lack of attention to safety measures at airports and lax dispensing of drugs in hospitals. Think about banks that grant loans without scrutinizing their applicants. The consequences are frightening. And of course women going out with strange men they only just met gives rise to so many risks. What more young girls who fall for sweet – talking boys just because they appear charming.

My view is we owe it to ourselves to ask for what we want. We begin with acknowledging our self – worth and start by believing we deserve to have all the information that will convince us whether our decisions are right.

My husband keeps saying how unlucky he is. He says he’s jinxed; he’s the scapegoat. He keeps telling his story over and over but he doesn’t want to do anything to get himself out of the rut. I’m running out of patience. I don’t want our children believing their father is a loser. How do I help my husband?

What’s the truth here? Sit with him and make him write it all down. What are the facts? No embellishment, just plain facts. How unlucky is he exactly? Scale of 1 – 10. For how long? Write down what he has versus what he doesn’t have. Write down what he is doing and not doing. Carefully weed out yours and his interpretation of the situation. Make sure it’s all fact.

When you’re done, sit back. What do you make of all that? What’s really behind all of that? How has he contributed to all that happening? How could things have been different? What if you changed perspective and operated from a different viewpoint?

Now think of all you are committed to as husband and wife. What’s your vision as a couple? What do you want for your children? How do you see yourselves growing old? Paint a picture of yourselves in 3 – 5 years’ time. Paint in your dreams and aspirations. All the time remembering that you hold the paintbrush. You can create your canvas together.

How committed are you to your vision? What needs to change so that things become as you want them to be? Who can you call on for support? What do you need to make your painting real? Most importantly, what will you do together to actualize your potential?

I know a lot is on you. I admire you for your strength, determination, and commitment. I believe when both partners love each other, they can achieve much together.


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