The Common Sense of Consideration (Graciousness, part 2 of 4)


Grace Under Pressure Radio Episode 19 — The Common Sense of Consideration

Consideration allows others to be who they are and make their own mistakes even when it makes no sense. Yes, we can argue logic but…arguing, confrontation, and logic don’t solve most problems…

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. —Proverbs 17: 14, NIV

Tip: Deflect and reflect.

It's cold in Montana winters!

It’s cold in Montana winters!


Cool kids still have to learn to make great choices!

The football game = natural consequences…it’s cold in the winter in Montana!

  • Sometimes folks need to learn because of their experience. Don’t rob them of that! A quick story about my youngest son and my exchange son…and their choice that taught a lesson no words could have about wearing the proper winter garb to a 10 degree football game…
  • What happens when saying it nicely doesn’t work?
  • What does it take to get the point across?
  • Is it really necessary to win the argument?
  • What if most arguments camouflage the need to be right?
  • I’m right, and you’re wrong. This stiff-necked or rebellious attitude doesn’t solve any problem. It doesn’t move a stubborn Alzheimer’s patient into a different frame of mind or a rebellious teen any closer to what’s “good for them.” Black and white legalistic logic doesn’t make a schizophrenic suddenly believe your reality over what’s in his or her head. The right/wrong stance creates opponents, not team players. So why play tug of war just to be right? Pulling the other party into the mud puddle just leaves them covered in mud.
  • Love and Logic is a parenting program that teaches excellent skills. Often people repeat the same mistake until a memorable lesson sinks in. Master the art or affordability. An affordable mistake allows natural consequences to curb the desire. Similar to the boys’ experience at the football game, affordable consequences that have a little healthy pain teach good life lessons versus being life threatening or causing irreparable damage. The early affordable lesson prevents the likelihood of an expensive lesson later.
  • An expensive mistake is one that could cost life, limb, or irreplaceable damage. One example from Love and Logic is a child running out in front of a car. That’s not an affordable error. It would cause irreparable harm. You must intervene to avoid irreversible results.
  • The surprise is that this concept can work for adult decisions. Who said that all wisdom should be directed at childrearing? Ask yourself:
  • Is it an affordable mistake?
  • Is it at the expense of someone or something else?
  • Expensive or expense of?
  • Sometimes an expensive mistake is worth a later result. Think of a rough situation. Say that a young man chooses to hurt a girl’s feelings. The girl decides to break up with him but keeps the ring and other gifts he’s given her.
  • Hurting his girlfriend’s feelings is expensive, but to make that mistake with a wife could be even more expensive. Weigh the lesson you learn now against the cost of learning it later, which may have a higher price.
  • Think about expensive versus expense of. Sometimes it is a good idea for a boy to learn that mistreatment of women causes loss of relationship. What if that same young man had learned earlier in life that speaking disrespectfully to women resulted in being shunned from family activities? It would be tough on a little boy, sure, but which is a harder lesson to learn: the loss of family time or the loss of a girlfriend? Which would be even more expensive, the loss of family time, the loss of the girlfriend, or the loss of a wife?
  • Project the needed lesson into the future and acknowledge the degree of difficulty. Things get harder and consequences become more dear as you mature, not the other way around.
  • When you begin to teach affordable versus expensive natural consequences, logic floats to the surface sooner. What happens when the other person isn’t logical? When mental illness or long years of habit or rebellion block logical response to obvious consequences?
  • The alexandrite changes colors in different lighting, indoor and outdoor. Much like the precious gem there are different ways to look at the situation; but it’s very hard to nearly impossible to fabricate something as good as the natural result of a poor decision.
  • What is important — the satisfied feeling of being right or solving the problem?
  • What good does it do to argue logic against the illogical? You just get frustrated.
  • Does saying “You should” make any difference?
  • Don’t accept counsel or be a person who counsels with “you should.” Don’t accept counsel from angry people or politically correct mantras. The focus becomes appeasing their anger rather than solving the dilemma. Remember to apply this to your children, too. Do you really want them to appease your anger or to learn how to solve problems as they mature?
  • Don’t try to argue or use anger to solve a problem. It will really trip you up to argue with patients with dementia or mental illness. Logic isn’t in their realm. Why get all out of kilter right along with them? Think about it: That’s buying into the illness or rebellion rather than creative problem solving. If the only thing that matters is being correct or correcting, let it go. Save the argument for some time when it really matters.
  • Do get counseling for yourself. You have to deal with feelings and issues that exist, otherwise the lack of trust, as well as unforgiveness and anger, will overcome you.
  • Do find others who have been through a similar situation or are further ahead on the journey, and have come out the other side. They think a little more clearly and can sometimes help you get rid of the unreasonable fears and recognize problems in your logic too. The closer we are to a situation, the easier it is to blur it.
  • Admit that there are unreal and real fears and that both feel legit. Cope by getting educated. Learn as much as possible about the situation or fear.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Pray and make intelligent decisions rather than being paralyzed and making emotional decisions.
  • Act to the best of your ability with the tools you have been given throughout your life. Work with what you know, and ask others what they know. These are excellent starting points.
  • Add to your toolbox each time. Every experience will add another tool, even if it is uncomfortable and it hurts. Learn from those, and let others learn too.
  • Use your new questions: Is it an affordable mistake? Is it too expensive? What would be the higher experience expense: pay now or pay later? What’s the worst that could happen? Can I live with that? When the worst that could happen is mere discomfort, can discomfort be the lesson?
Light purple alexandrite

   Light purple alexandrite

      • Scientists tried to create alexandrite in the lab. They found out that the cost was too high when compared with mining the real stone. But they wouldn’t have known without trying, and they learned some valuable lessons.
      • Our boys wear warm clothing to cold football games because they learned it on their own. Our experience with teens helped us to look for more creative ways to solve repetitive mistakes. If there’s a pattern, it will happen again. Plan, and then wait until it happens again to try something new.
      • Wrapping it up: I will practice putting my attention on the problem and not getting distracted by arguing logic or political correctness or semantics. I will allow others to voice their beliefs, communicating that I accept it’s not my right to force a change. It’s also my right not to be forced to change. The issue is solving the problem, not being right.
      • Appreciation Moments: I wish I could say more, but with limited time I want to at least say thank you to as many as I can for sharing Grace Under Pressure Radio and helping to promote the books I write. I’m so appreciative that you’d take your time to support me!

Janet Hewitt @yell_oohhCarol McClain @carol_mcclainKaren Whiting author @KarenHWhiting

and Sherri WilsonJohnson @swj_thewriter 

      • Thank you also to folks on Facebook for sharing the new releases on Kindle and Audible of The Debutante Queen and Eleven Pipers Piping… Sheila Traczuk, Tina Wilson, and Tristan Leder (who happened to voice the audiobooks). But also a big thank you to folks that are first reviewers like Harry Wegley and his wife who gave The Debutante Queen 5 stars after listening to the story in the car on a long drive. Thank you all!

Did you miss any of the previous shows? Here’s the first in each series…







EP — 16 Boundaries and Self-care

Protect amethyst from bright sunlight and tanning beds to avoid fading

EP—16 Self-Care

Appreciation moments:

  • Thank you to Liz Tolsma @LizTolsma for retweeting about my Christmas-themed book, The Debutante Queen. It’s just released on twitter as a single, first in the Montana Beginnings series, but it’s also due to release by Thanksgiving on Audible. Very exciting! Here’s the clickable cover on the left.
  • Thank you to Cat’s Books on Twitter for tweeting about my book, The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection releasing Jan. 1st 2016 from Barbour Publishing. Your review on your blog, is very appreciated! (My book in that collection is called Bridal Whispers and is a retelling of my grandparents’ romance. No kidding! They married because of town gossip! But without that gossip forcing them to marry, I wouldn’t be here today.)
  • Thank you to April McGowan @aprilkmcgowan for retweeting my article on @mtlmagazine. It’s about dealing with being overwhelmed. I can’t think of a better article to refer to as we head into today’s show!
  • Part 3 of our 4 part series on boundaries has to do with recognizing our need for self-care. As we start, let me tell you about a couple of misperceptions.
  • The amethyst is an interesting gem. Daylight can rob the amethyst of its natural color as can tanning beds. Quick changes from hot to cold is also risky.
  • Caring for ourselves is like that stone. If we don’t make sure to protect from overexposure in relationships, we can quickly fade. But when we ignore the need for alone time or respite or prayer, we become extremely fragile and can emotionally crack.
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the flight attendant say to first put on your own oxygen mask and then assist your child or someone else. You’ve probably heard that referenced in other talks. But let me help you to catch the vivid reality of why…
  • Becoming a flight attendant, I had to go through safety training. We watched a video of 2 military trainee pilots experience oxygen deprivation. Everyone else wore oxygen masks, but the 2 trainees removed theirs in the simulator. Within seconds the men lost the ability to concentrate. They couldn’t perform a simple clapping game or remember how. Everyone erupted into laughter as the grown men flailed around and showed signs of fatigue. Then they were asked to apply siren red lipstick using a mirror. Very carefully the men drew lines all around their mouths and up around their eyes. Mirrors were taken away. When they were hooked back up to oxygen, they discussed the experience. The men looked at each other and laughed. Then they were given mirrors to look at themselves. Stunned, the trainees were flabbergasted to see their own reflections. Contrary to our auto response, we are supposed to take care of ourselves first. Not out of selfishness. But so that we can avoid a disaster…which neither pilot could spell correctly without oxygen.
  • Does stress sometimes deprive you of “oxygen”?
  • Has that kind of constant stress become normal to you?
  • Do you live on adrenaline, caffeine, or feed on stress?
  • Would you want to see yourself in a video during a recent stressful situation?
  • Have you asked for help lately or are you afraid to be vulnerable?
  • Raising six kids, working full time, caring for my mentally ill mother, working at the church I attended, I needed to withdraw and recuperate. I stumbled on my coping mechanism, cocooning, by accident. The only place I could go and not interact with anyone (or be seen by anyone) was the movie theater. The movie was a comedy. I’d asked others and no one wanted to see it. I’d never attended a movie by myself. But I needed a break from the constant demands. I could sit alone in the dark for 2 hours in the air conditioning — and I might laugh. Why not?
  • Going to the movies by myself, in secret, became my cocoon for years until one day my son switched shifts and caught me. Every now and then, I still go.
  • Cocooning (private time) isn’t about being antisocial. It’s about pulling away from the crowds and the demands to give your emotions, body, and mind a break.
  • Often abused people are not allowed privacy. It’s about power and control for the abuser. That’s crossing boundaries. You have a right to alone time, privacy, closed doors when you close them, time to rest. If you’re not getting that, if your abuser won’t respect that you need privacy there’s a lot bigger issue at stake. Please visit your local YWCA or at least take a look online at the Power and Abuse Wheel. Your private time is your emotional oxygen. Without it, without the chance to simply be with God, you’re going to make disastrous decisions just like those pilot trainees — and you won’t even be aware of it.
  • Where can you cocoon? Try the movies, a café, a library, your house if it’s safe and comfortable, a walk in nature, read a book…anything that allows you to decompress.
  • There’s no right way to cocoon. A cocoon time is a way to wrap your soul in a safe place in order to refill energy and a sense of self. Add a prayer. Connect to peace while you disconnect from chaos. It doesn’t matter where. It just needs to happen.
  • Then reemerge into the world again, refreshed and ready to spread your wings.
  • Does knowing that other people need time to recharge help you to recognize that need is real? What would you do if you had 2 hours tomorrow to cocoon? A whole day? A weekend?
  • Take an honest look at your schedule. Jot in cocooning. No excuses, even Jesus needed it.

Luke 5: 16, CEV “But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.”

Are we really any better? Let’s take the example Jesus set and get alone to take care of ourselves.

Did you miss an episode? Here’s the first 2 parts of Boundaries:

Boundaries Episode 14: Shining Inside

Boundaries Episode 15: Proactive versus Reactive

Want to start at the very beginning? Welcome to Grace Under Pressure Radio


EP 14 — Boundaries: Shining Inside

Common opal

Common opal

Boundaries: Shining Inside

Episode 14 — Opalescence

  • Great appreciation for John Vonhof for leaving a 5-star rating and review on iTunes that says, “Our fast paced world pulls in many directions, whether in our jobs, home life, or relationships. Pressure is constant. Work hard, produce, and deliver. Then do it all over again tomorrow. Grace Under Pressure offers a ray of sunshine to help us stay focused on the truly important things in life. Angela shares from her heart and the result is positive. I encourage you to listen and be encouraged.” Thank you, John!
  • And thank you Melissa M. for retweeting from your account @Melissa_Author #GraceUnderPressure doesn’t mean perfection when you’re insulted. It means to keep trying to be gracious in difficult situations. Thank you, Melissa M!
  • Very appreciative of both @candacehancoc10 and @MargaretBrownly for retweeting #GraceUnderPressure Sometimes the climb goes on & on but the effort strengthens us for the success to come. Thank you Candace and Margaret!

    Zion natural stairs

    Sometimes it’s a tough, uphill climb but the experience is worth it.

Opalescence, based on chapter 3 from Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life. This book is being reissued (later this year) and updated to become Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience.

Proverbs 17: 17 (NIV) “A friend loves at all times, but a brother was born for adversity.”

  • There’s a difference between owning someone else’s problems and owning my own problems/issues.
  • Boundaries get crossed when others step on our toes or cross into their issues and take them. We steal their potential growth.
  • We can ask for help, but others shouldn’t step in all the time.
  • The opal story: An opal is ancient gel with a lot of water content. My prize possession, an opal ring shattered in extreme cold. Opals have 2-6% water content. The lower the content, the more stable it is. On the surface, it doesn’t show the full content inside. Realize we can’t see inside another person, nor can they fully see what’s inside of us.
  • The mural bench story: An artist broke a lot of beautiful pieces to create a mural on a bench. She used opal mortar to glue the pieces in place. When she was done, she’d created a beautiful bench that drew others to a beautiful resting place.
    • The pieces shattered inside of me and you can become shining experiences can make a difference for others from what we’ve survived.
    • Is it possible that the shattered pieces might be a safe resting place for someone else?
  • The rattlesnake story: How close to someone else’s troubles should you get?
  • When people cross your boundaries, are you willing to live that way? For how long?
  • If not, it’s time to start changing your role.
  • Usually, an about-face is too drastic. Change one degree at a time.
  • Stop owning shame that belongs to another. We may help those we love, be we aren’t defined by the problem.
  • Allow the hurts and difficulties to shimmer from within you as gems of wisdom. Experience that can benefit you and others with the knowledge you’ve gained.
  • The opal is a beautiful gemstone has a lot of rich colors that capture attention. The less water content in an opal makes it more stable. How would it feel to empathize emotionally, but not own someone else’s problems?
  • Ownership is a sneaky pirate.
  • Definition: Empathy — The ability to understand another person’s feelings or abilities.
  • Definition: Ownership — Possessing something.
  • The people you love have their own struggles to fight. They don’t belong to you.
  • Think about it this way: Even if those personal issues were served on a silver platter, they belong to the other person unless you steal it.
  • Practice: Picture an antique silver platter. Put each item back down. Someone else’s worries, fears, financial stress, unkind words, defensiveness, someone else’s opinion of you, unfounded accusations, …what else lingers?
  • Ask yourself: Is it really mine?
  • Let it all go and give it back to the person it belongs to. Visualize the tray back in the hands of the rightful owner.
  • Just as you don’t steal property from someone else, you don’t steal personal issues either. That’s called boundaries. You can offer to help, but you can’t do the living for them.
  • Ownership is not the same thing as empathy.
  • Because you understand what needs to be done doesn’t mean you should be the one to do it.
  • Be compassionate without internalizing (stuffing your pockets with someone else’s stolen treasures.
  • How else does that other person have the opportunity to learn?
  • Begin practicing the gem of wisdom, empathy with boundaries.
  • Empathy without stealing the blessings other people need to learn from the experience they get in difficult circumstances. God may need that person to learn and grow so He can use them to touch a life you’ll never be able to reach.
  • If you steal the opportunity for that other person to gain confidence and courage by going through the difficulty, how will they learn and know what God has called them to do? Don’t steal their blessings.
  • A friend can empathize and encourage, but don’t jump over the line too quickly because you may be the reason they stumble.

Would you like to read more about Gems of Wisdom? 

Gems of Wisdom: For a treasure-filled life. (paperback book)

Gems of Wisdom: For a treasure-filled life. (paperback book)

Did you miss an episode or series you’d like to hear?

Confidence (What’s the difference between confidence and courage?)

Courage (Facing Our Fears…)

Candor (How to speak the truth in love)