May 042012
 

Flowers from a colleague

Well, it’s my birthday! And I’m high on the excitement of it. I don’t even know why, yeah I get presents and lots of people say happy birthday, which is wonderful, but I’m not actually motivated by presents. I think I just like the attention.

Scratch that, I know I like attention.

In fact earlier this week we did a workshop on Communication Styles and I got Expressive. Which, among other things, put me firmly in the loud, outgoing, talkative category of people who like lots of feedback, recognition and applause. My reaction? Duh! The only down side of this is later, when we all did an activity where we had to talk about the possible challenges of dealing with the other communication styles, everyone picked on us. Said we were overbearing, hard to get a word in, steamroll over others. How we’re intimidating and the guy presenting (from the amiable group) even got up the courage to ask “You seem very confident, are you?” to which I said “Yes” and everyone laughed (but then another in the group went on about how she talks too much when she’s nervous and completely ruined the facade). Continue reading »

Apr 102012
 

Today’s Tip: Actions speak louder than words.

Not long ago I wrote about how I adore it when my husband picks me up from work. I’d like to build on that premise a little bit with my tip today. When you are dealing with other people, actions speak louder than words, both with relationships, respect and being courteous to others.

I recently had my parents and Husband’s family over for Easter, and it became apparent to me during this visit as it has in so many others, that the smallest acts of kindness really do make a difference. Picking up after yourself, offering to help me with the dishes, picking up after others and helping to prepare food. But this isn’t just about visiting other people’s homes, in the workplace you will often find that helping someone with a task will gain far greater rewards than sympathising with the task at hand.

For me, someone who’s language of love is Acts Of Service, a helping hand is always so much more appreciated than sympathy. If someone you love is in a bind, why not bring them some food or offer to assist them with something they need?  If you’re not sure what to do, ask. People will often be hesitant to ask for help, but will be grateful when it is offered.

So, today’s tip, is that actions speak louder than words. Keep that in mind and do something for someone you care about today. Why not?

T.

Image

Mar 272012
 

This is me at night time

Today’s Tip: Turn off the television

I enjoy a bit of background noise. I like to have the TV going, some music, people talking. During the work day I have the radio on, but half the time I couldn’t even tell you who I’m listening to.

Sometimes, although not very often, I crave silence. Having a bit of space to hear yourself think. It is a lot more relaxing and can be a great way to sit down and really get something done.

Most of the time, however, I can’t handle silence and long for a bit of background noise. No matter what I’m doing on the weekend I’m usually sitting beside a blaring television to do it. And why? It’s not good for my eyes, for my mind, for my relationships or conversational skills.

Tonight I’d like you to try an experiment with me. Instead of watching TV at night with your family, why don’t you turn it off and have some time having a conversation. It can be unusual at first, but it’s very rewarding.

Give it a go. Turn off the TV. Maybe even go outside, that’s a radical thought!

T.

Photo found here.

Mar 202012
 

Today’s Tip: Walk

Recently my friend JJ wrote a piece on how walking improves your relationship. I think he’s on to something. It’s hard in a city as spread out as Sydney to leave your car at home, so today I’d like to challenge you to give it a go when you can. Instead of catching a bus to the station, walk there. If you can get to a local shop or cafe without a car, do it! Make it an adventure. Continue reading »

Feb 222012
 

This Thursday, I love… getting picked up.

From work! You cheeky buggers.

Sometimes I get a random phone call from my husband to say he’s going to pick me up from work. I can rarely predict when this will happen, it’s almost always just a random day for no reason at all.

You see, my love language is Acts Of Service. (If you’re not familiar with the 5 love languages, go read about them right now (Seriously. Go. But after you read this article) and do the quiz. Suddenly life will make a whole lot more sense.) What that means is that  the way I show someone I love them is by doing things for them, and it’s how I understand if I am loved. Dr Gary Chapman says:

 Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighting on an “Acts Of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this languages their feelings don’t matter. Continue reading »

Nov 292011
 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard. You lead your party. Now, lead it for better.

Prime Minister,

We met once. Twice, actually. I was working for the Education Minister in Queensland and you were the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Education Minister. We were on the same page. Your Government had siphoned off more than $100 million for our most disadvantaged kids. The ones who were born into the poorest areas with the least opportunity. But you were resolute. Demography should not be destiny, you said. And I could see it in the glint of your eye that you meant it. I could see that you hated the circumstance these kids found themselves in. That they felt inferior. The very idea of it ate you up inside. And you wanted, at least to try, to fix it. So they wouldn’t feel broken in the future. I believed you.

As I write this, there is a whole new generation of kids growing up thinking they are broken. Continue reading »

Nov 292011
 

Today’s Tip: How to ask someone on a date.

Asking someone out is something I have much experience with. I was never the kind of girl who was chased, I was the chaser. After many failed attempts and lots of embarrassing moments, here are my top tips for asking someone on a date:

  • Project confidence (fake it til you make it)
  • Smile
  • Be direct
  • Remain calm
  • Keep your breathing steady
  • Make eye contact (not too much!)
  • Accept rejection with grace and dignity
  • If rejected, walk away. No one expects you to stay.
The most effective technique is Continue reading »
Nov 112011
 

Do you ever share something you think can’t possibly be offensive, and someone completely smacks you down for it?

It happened to me the other day. I said something I didn’t think could possibly be offensive, it was mildly amusing at best and completely boring at worst. And yet I got a rude response to it. I was surprised. What on earth could they have possibly taken umbrage with? I was a bit offended, actually. Their justification: it’s just a joke.

Got me thinking about a t-shirt I saw in K-Mart this week “I didn’t slap you, I high fived your face”.

To me “Just a joke” is in a similar league to “No offense, but”, “It has to be said”, “Just saying”, “I’m only telling you because I think you should know”, adding “love you” or a smiley face at the end of something offensive. It’s an empty platitude desired to remove the power from the words that sting, without restraining yourself from saying them in the first place. To me, it makes it worse. Continue reading »

Oct 272011
 

Outside of card

This Thursday, I love… a loving gesture.

I’ve had a rough week. I started out not realising I was meant to be at a workshop which I’d thought was Tuesday/Wednesday but was actually Monday/Tuesday. So I hauled my ass into the city as quickly as possible and got there only 1.5 hours late. I then spent the next two days learning Mental Health First Aid. Continue reading »

Oct 212011
 

I hate weddings.

You’re probably surprised to hear me say that, but I do.

I know a lot about weddings and I can answer your questions. I like helping people. I like a lot of things with the word “wedding” in front of them. I like wedding dresses, wedding hair, wedding rings, wedding photos…

But I hate the pressure. That it seems to be about everyone else rather than you & your partner and there’s this idea that it’s meant to be the happiest day of your life. Everyone keeps telling you it’s meant to be. What’s wrong with a lazy Sunday morning breakfast that it can’t be the happiest day of your life? Or bigger things like, I don’t know, the birth of your child? Why this pressure on weddings?

Continue reading »