When It Is More Important To Be Liked

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When It Is More Important To Be Liked
By Bernadette A. Moyer

liked

Who doesn’t want to be liked? We have built a culture in our society that is driven by “likes” how many “likes” do you have on your page, article, post?

We all want that desired feeling of acceptance and likeability. Years ago I had an attorney refer to his client as “A really likeable guy.” The guy he was speaking about left his wife for another woman when she was pregnant and was a confirmed cocaine addict with bill collectors and other unsavory types constantly after him. He was in and out of court with driving offenses and never seemed to accept any responsibility for his choices in life.

But … he was likeable! This guy never took a stand, never had an opinion and never outwardly offended anyone. Was he a good person? I guess it matters whose yard stick is being used to measure him.

Most business owners know that if they display a religious or political statement, they could lose business from potential customers with another view. So they don’t take a stand nor do they speak out on any issues.

I was listening to Dr. Ben Carson from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and who was recently a Presidential candidate, and during his speech he made numerous examples of how wanting to be politically correct has eroded our abilities to communicate. People are afraid to say what they think and what they know for fear of offending someone.

Parents often have to make decisions in raising their children that deem them unlikeable by their children. I remember a time when one of my kids was failing and they became angry with me? And I said, “Let me get this straight, I should applaud your failure, tell you great job for NOT doing your assignments and for cutting class?” What kind of mother would I have been if being liked was more important than trying to install values like completing your work, being honest and giving it your best effort?

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Alexander Hamilton

Dr. Carson talked about the importance of communication and of respect. We don’t have to agree on every issue but we should respect everyone’s right to an opinion. The type person, who slams someone with a different point of view without hearing him out, is a bully. No two people agree 100% on every single issue but out of discussion, dialogue and fighting for what you believe is right can help to flush out the best solutions.

Having an opinion might cost us a few “likes” but truth be told, when we fear speaking our truth we have paid a far greater price in our silence. Not taking a stand, not being heard is a stand; it allows the louder voice and the bully pulpit to be heard and in this to win every single time.

Taking a Stand by CD Taylor

Send me a light to guide my way
To carry me through my darkest day
Make my heart warm, soft and pure
But strong enough to endure

Help me to walk a path that’s right
Keep my eyes on the guiding light
Let me harm none as I live my life
Let me not meddle in envy or strife

Let me be humble and to know my place
Help me remember life is not a race
It is not a contest to be lost or won
It should be filled with love, joy and fun

When I meet people who don’t understand
Let me help them as I take my stand
With kind actions, words and a helping hand
Let me not sink into their pits of stand

Being “liked” and winning seems to have taken the place of standing up for what you believe is the right thing to do. What messages are we sending to our children when being politically correct has replaced being morally responsible and true to our own code of values?

Not that long ago I was working with a team of people that openly kept their “truth” and true feelings from their Supervisor because they knew he wouldn’t like it. So to his face they were in complete compliance and as soon as he turned his back they did exactly as they wanted. They knew they would never be heard by this guy and they believed that they were right and he was wrong.

This happens often in the workplace, “truth to power” people are afraid to stand up for what they believe in right and go up against someone is a position of authority.

“Speaking your truth is an essential aspect of living a life of passion, fulfillment and authenticity. However, for many of us it is much easier to talk about speaking our truth than it is to actually do it.” Mike Robbins

Being liked and politically correct might make you popular but it surely won’t be an authentic life of integrity. A really smart man isn’t afraid to hear from the opposition, because he knows that until all voices are heard, all positions are represented, the best solutions are seldom possible.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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You Are Not Alone

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You Are Not Alone
By Bernadette A. Moyer

not alone

Life is tough, let’s face it; we all experience so many challenges. When I am faced with life challenges I always think that I am not the first person to ever go through this, others have triumphed and so will I.

What new experience is there that someone else has not already experienced and made it through to the other side?

No matter what we are facing it always helps to know, “you are not alone.” We know that we come into this world alone and one day we will be called home to our maker. As simplistic as it is every single person has a birth date and a death date. What we do in between is up to us.

When I am faced with upset and conflict, I typically retreat and pray on it and if it is something that is making me feel bad, I go through my list of affirmations. That list usually begins with “you are a child of God and you have a right to be here” then I pray about what am I supposed to learn by this current situation? What message is there in the take away?

Retreat is really underestimated as it can be the very tool necessary to help us regain our center and our sense and place of peace. Withdrawal for the sake of contemplation is not a bad thing but often a necessary exercise that helps energize us and gives us the tools that are required to move forward.

Our answers are within and often in the noise of life we lose our center but we can take the time to reflect and to calm the waters within then our next steps become clear to us.

“Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out.” Mary Kay Ash

There are many things in life that we can’t change or do anything about; they are above and beyond our control. And when I can accept this and if it truly is something that I can’t change I have learned wholeheartedly to let them go. I can share my stories and I can connect to so many others who may be struggling as I have struggled too.

As I age I no longer see things as black and white or as good and bad but rather as me learning to live peacefully in any situation that I may find myself. It took some time but when I could finally learn that I wasn’t alone and that I should not take things other people do personally, I was free.

Not only was I free but I was also at peace … and in that free and peaceful state of being, I was able to give and to receive so much more genuine love.  Finding that perfect balance between sharing time with people that love us and support us and also taking the time to pause and to reflect and retreat is to me the answer to most all that ails us.

(The following is part of a poem called Desiderata that I have enjoyed for decades and story has it that these words were copied from an inscription found in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore dated 1692 but was actually written by an Indiana poet named Max Ehrmann and is registered with the Library of Congress in 1927)

Desiderata
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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Always Trust Your Instincts

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Always Trust Your Instincts
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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The one thing that I do that makes me most-angry with myself is when I don’t trust my gut instincts. Sometimes I think women tend to be polite past the point of trusting in that inner voice. That inner voice that knows when to protect us and that knows when it is time to fight or to flee.

The following is a true story as told by Cindy (not her real name)
On December 1st of last year I was scheduled for a phone interview for a position with a charity that is doing good work, they are housing the homeless.

At this stage of my career I am interesting in using my time and talents for worthy causes. I want to throw my time and talents toward worthy meaningful work.

After the initial hour phone interview with the human resources person I was scheduled for a full in person interview on December 17th. I arrived 10-15 minutes early and was asked to have a seat in the lobby. In the lobby I noticed how sloppy, overstuffed and smelly the area was and I also noticed scotch-taped signs that were hanging on the walls. The one sign that most caught my attention was the one that read “perfume free zone” and went on to say that some people are sensitive to scent. I thought wow I worked in many places and most were run by a really progressive team and they didn’t do that? Neither has any other place that I ever worked, but okay.

My appointment was for 8:30 in the morning and after the clock struck 8:50 I gathered my brief case all my papers and my jacket and I was about to leave. The place was dirty, cluttered and smelly and now they were more than 20 minutes late. Everything inside of me was saying; get out now!

As I had my hand on the door and was ready to leave they called for me to come in for the interview. It was a panel interview with five board members and the current director. She made it clear that she would be staying on for the transition period up to six months. She also moved away from me at the meeting table declaring that she was “sensitive to my cologne.” She was the one that the signs were posted about in the lobby.

Her office was in the trailer in the parking lot and not the dirty, smelly office space that the rest of the staff was using. All I could think about was all the many interviews that I had conducted through the years, how being on time meant something to me and if by chance I was running late my assistant was instructed to make the interviewee comfortable and offer water, or coffee and let them know that I was running late. I would bet that 99% of the time I was on time. I always had respect for the people that came to interview. My standard operating procedure was not only to introduce myself but to hand over my business card, this team didn’t.

I left there with mixed feelings, from the outside property to the inside offices it looked like the housing projects that no one really took any pride in, there were tell-tale signs everywhere. Something inside me said, “stop this isn’t the right fit for you.”

Later I was surprised when I was called back the next week for another panel interview. They had mentioned that someone was expected to be there before but hadn’t shown up.

Once again, don’t ask me why but I agreed to meet with them in the new year on January 7th and it was another panel interview. In my gut it still didn’t feel right to me. My sense was that the director was not going anywhere and that this was some type of smoke screen. I was given little information and then asked how I would proceed and what my vision would be and yet I had no back story except for the word on the street. I also suspected that there was a reason I was not getting the total picture like the director was hiding something, I had nothing concrete but a gut feeling.

Driving away from that second interview I wasn’t sure if I would be a contender for the position. I was really sick with a head cold and not at my best. It was communicated to me the next step would be to meet with the donors before any decision to hire would be made, again this was odd to me but what the director said would happen. She was the one running the show, running the interviews and looking or so she said for her replacement. My gut said otherwise.

Two days later I was surprised to hear from my references that they had been called. So I was sure that an offer of employment would be forth coming and yet nothing … not a word. So after two weeks I e-mailed the initial contact who conducted the phone interview. I e-mailed her asking if anything else was required from my end. No response? Not even a courtesy response.

The entire process my gut said this is not right, something here just does not add up. Now the position is again being advertised and being handled by another human resources professional. Clearly there are problems there. Bottom line for me I should have listened to my gut, something wasn’t right and I knew it yet I stayed engaged. I am only upset with myself.

This story is true and rang true for me and many others, how many times do we ignore our gut feelings and later come to the conclusion why didn’t I just stop myself and listen to my gut feelings? So often we could save ourselves a lot of grief if we just take heart to what our inner core is telling us to do?

“Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t tell you how many times I stayed in something whether it was a meeting, or a relationship or a situation and stayed out of politeness when I knew full well my gut was saying, “this is not right for you!” And later felt really bad because I should have been more honest sooner and just excused myself. We live and we learn!

Always trust your instincts …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble