Tag Archives: Compromise

Relationship Rules For Home And Office

“No man is an island entire of itself.” John Donne

It’s true, dudes. No matter how much it might irk us at times, we all are beholden to the many and various relationships we build, strengthen, destroy and recreate every single day. Heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Yeah, that’s relationships.

And relationships are built on feelings. Which, as we all know, is something with which all dudes are exceedingly comfortable dealing, especially around other people.

Not only at work, but, perhaps more importantly, in your personal life. Relationships are vitally important. A bad relationship with your spouse leads to divorce court, if you’re lucky. At work, a bad relationship will drag you down and keep you from advancement.

At home, a good relationship will lift you up from the muck and mire that is the lot of all men, allowing you to see the splendor that is shared joy. At work, a good relationship can help propel you to the top.

Which means it’s time for all dudes to get a move on and start working on their relationships. Hence, this little post right here.

“Relationships are an art, and most of us lack the skill and mastery to help break—or all together avoid—destructive patterns, disrespect, and deception. Far too many people also lack the ability to have productive connections with others—those that help you achieve goals, sharpen your mind, and generally uplift and enrich your life.”

That last was from Van Moody, author of the forthcoming The People Factor, and a motivational speaker who concentrates on building healthy relationships between people. I know this because he had his publicity people send me a big release about some of his rules for healthy relationships.

Photo by Quez Shipman of EQS Photography
Photo by Quez Shipman of EQS Photography

Of course, because he’s got a book coming out, he’s here to tell us that in the book he will detail some serious rules that, if followed, guarantee you a great relationship. I can’t speak to the verity of his implied guarantee, but I have looked over the abbreviated list of ideas his people sent along and they sound like some good stuff. I thought I’d share those with you right here.

Don’t hide: While secret identities might be fun in the movies, a person who harbors secrets, and hides their fears, and beliefs from others will never be able to enjoy an authentic relationship. Being real with others and even making yourself vulnerable from time to time can foster tremendous emotional connections, including all-important trust, and forge unbreakable bonds.

I love this idea, especially as it’s right up there at the very top. If we can’t be honest with the people closest to us, how can we expect them to give us what we really want, what we really need.
Don’t tweak the truth. Studies show that 10-30% of applicants admit to “tweaking” their resumes—that’s certainly no way to start an engagement with a new employer.  Whether at work or at home, lying—even small white lies—will do nothing but undermine and compromise any relationship. Instead, even slightly altering the truth is one of the most destructive forces that can permanently damage a personal or professional relationship.

I can’t emphasize this one enough. You might think it’s a victimless crime to inflate your experience, but it’s not. Consider what sort of attitude your boss will have toward you when she asks you to do something you’re supposed to be an expert at, but you have only a vague idea what to do. Trust? Not so much and that can’t be good.
Don’t rush and miss critical red flags. Understand that a relationship is a journey with changes in direction, twists and turns, and roadblocks along the way.  It’s imperative to pass through certain experiences and navigate through difficulties to learn from these situations and create a healthy outcome. Resist the desire to take shortcuts or race through certain aspects of a relationship. 

This is a tough one for me. I’m constantly watching conversational flow and jumping ahead in an attempt to cut out the boring stuff and get to where we both know it’s going to end up at the last. I’ve found people don’t actually enjoy being preempted like that. Take the time to get it right.
 Don’t force it. There’s an old R&B lyric that says, “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” Despite the poor grammar, it is quite insightful in its simplicity. Relationships that create positive synergy through mutual respect and shared values are worth your investment.

By the same token, relationships that don’t work shouldn’t be kept around because you wish they would.
That’s all the room we’ve got for today, but we’ll be back with a few more rules for successful relationships tomorrow. Join me, won’t you?

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More Art Than Science

by Richard

What with all the work that got done on the Jones compound over the summer, we’re just now getting finished, which means we’re just now getting to the point where we start hanging stuff back up on the walls.

Artwork, dudes, now that’s the part of a marriage that can really put stress and strain on a couple. No, seriously.

For the most part, my tastes run pretty sympatico with those of my wife, known to me as She Who Must Get Her Way, which means we like — mostly — things that are fairly subdued. With one exception. On the cruise from heck where I almost bled out with a gastrointestinal bleed, before I got sick, I managed to purchase this great painting by a dude named Romero Britto. The painting is called Sexy.

That dude knows how to use a paintbrush. And a glitter glue stick, yeah?

Anyway, this was one of the rare times that we actually agreed on what to hang on the wall. Mostly I just go along with what she wants and only object when something really rubs me the wrong way. In that, we’re pretty lucky I guess.

Our problem comes in when we start to hang stuff. She is a bit of a perfectionist. She insists that we hang each picture with two hangers, no matter that each one is rated for more pounds than the picture weighs. And we’ve got to have everything centered or placed down to the 1/8 th inch.

It gets more than a little annoying. Which means I start getting snippy. Then she gets snippy (er) and so on. And so on. Once that vicious cycle starts, it’s hard to break it off and find a compromise.

Okay, I think it’s time to come clean. Mostly I did this post so I could have a chance to show off the picture. It’s pretty cool, yeah?

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Dude Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

by Richard

It’s not often that I get surprised when I go to the movies. Normally, by the time I actually hit the multiplex, I’ve got a good idea of what I’m going to see, for good or ill. In fact, the last time I remember actually being totally surprised in a good way, was when Zippy the Monkey Boy and I hit the first Pirates of the Caribbean while the rest of the family went to see the animated Sinbad. Zippy and I are convinced that we had the much better part of that deal.

Well, it happened again last night. Since the little dudes didn’t have any school today, we decided to hit a movie in early evening. The one we all compromised on was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, based on the elementary-school classic book by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. The book, published in 1978, was a short little tale about the town of Chewandswallow, a place where no one ever went to a grocery store because all the food and drink they could need actually fell from the sky. The people of the town of Chewandswallow really designed their lives around the thrice-daily meteorological culinary event. So much so, in fact, that restaurants didn’t serve food: they just were buildings with roofs open to the sky and let food land on the tables.

Now, I recently re-read the book and, while I enjoyed it, I thought there was no way the movie makers could string out the picture book’s plot long enough to make a halfway decent movie. Well, I was right about that at least. They didn’t make a halfway decent movie: They made a fantastic movie.

Of course, the movie makers had to take liberties with the plot, but it actually was all for the better. The main character of the movie is Flint Lockwood, voiced by Bill Heder, a backyard inventor who has never actually succeeded at anything. Playing off him wonderfully is the so-smart-she-feels-like-she-has-to-hide-it weathergirl Sam Sparks, voiced by scream queen Anna Faris. However, to my mind, the greatest voice performance can only be credited to that giant among thespians, Mr. T, who gives voice to Officer Earl Devereaux. A true classic of the field.

Flint Lockwood has a father that yearns for him to settle down and come work at the sardine bait and tackle shop, to get a real job. Flint only wants to help his town, Swallow Falls, which faces a deep depression since the world has discovered that the source of Swallow Falls’ wealth — sardines — were actually really gross. Through a series of accidents, Flint accidentally launches an experiment into the skies above Swallow Falls. The experiment, designed to take water and produce food (through the use of some really, really bad science gobbledygook). Flint thinks the experiment has failed until the sky begins raining the perfect cheeseburgers.

It’s odd, but I find that I don’t really want to divulge too much of the plot of this animated movie because there are some truly wonderful jokes and scenes here. The scene with the cooked chickens alone was worth the price of admission. And Steve the monkey must be seen to be believed.

If you’ve got little dudes, or even not-so-little dudes as do I, you really should make the time to take them to this movie. You and the little dudes will want to thank me for it. And I’m all for that.

I give this movie four and a half out of five meatballs. It really is that good.

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