Summer of 2014 – Where have you gone?

I know, Dad’s Taxi has been on hiatus.. No updates in quite a while.. It doesn’t mean that I’m not here.

Honestly the past almost two years have been the most chaotic and dysfuncational time of my life. It’s been a long and winding road to where I am today.. Working to be at peace with myself… I never thought that would be a possibility, but as a friend of my said to me a few days ago on the tennis court.. “it’s a process which needs to be understood”. No idea how this applied during our tennis, but it sure applied to me in my life!

Sometimes in life, it’s best to step back and reflect internally and not publicize things that are happening in your life. At least until you are ready to publicize..  Let’s just leave it at that for now.

It’s hard to believe how fast this summer has gone by.. I blinked my eyes and it’s Mid-August. Only a few more weeks to Labor day and the “unofficial” end of the summer of 2014.

My Summer accomplishments (in no particular order) 

  • Recovering from multiple injuries (self-inflicted via Tennis and some stupidity when it comes to stairs!)
  • Going to the Movies (by myself) whenever possible
  • Spending time with my kids (when they had time for me).
  • Spending time with my best friends doing things like hiking, tennis and just hanging out
  • Taking my first vacation (a mini-vacation actually) to Wildwood and Capy May County NJ!. This was the highlight of this summer. Dad’s taxi was truly a taxi for my girls on this vacation!
  • Going to Binghamton, NY to see a tennis tournament
  • Getting in touch with my soul by meditation and connecting with god. This was something I really needed to do! With the chaos going on in my life, this was the only thing that kept me from going over the edge..
  • I actually went off-line Facebook for almost a month.. Of course I posted some pictures, but I was not logging in to see what others were doing. This self imposed Facebook boycott was the most difficult thing for me to do. I realized that I had become such a facebook h
    • First few weeks, I found myself gravitating to my smartphone to see how many “pokes” I had, whose “Birthday” was today, and just basically looking into the lives of my friends.. At first I thought I was being selfish, but I realized, that not being active in social media, allowed me to “go off the grid” and focus on myself!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be going to Dallas for my annual visit.. for both fun and business!

Stay tuned as Dad’s Taxi “evolves”..

Difficult People

In my line of work, I work with a dynamic team and many of these people have their unique personalities. Some are introverted, some are extroverted, some are passive/aggressive and many of them are good team players. This blog entry is not about the team players. It’s about the difficult people in your life and how to deal with them.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs Dumb little man – Tips for life and came across a great article that everyone should read. The blog posting hits it on the nail on the types of difficult people and how to deal with them.

In my daily life, my own family has stated many times, that Dad is indeed one of those difficult people both at work and at home.. Initially I didn’t want to admit it, but as I get older I realize that my DNA and tendencies to tend to swing towards the sarcastic and the difficult side. I tend to have rather sharp sense of humor which can be construed as being difficult, but most of the time, being direct can also be construed as being difficult. I guess that in a nutshell wraps up my personality.

I personally think that you are a product of your environment be it from your childhood (a huge factor in my case) as well as the levels of dysfunction that surrounds you.

In retrospective, if I didn’t utilize my unique brand of humor, I’m certain that:

  • I’d be in a insane asylum – Many think that I belong there anyway
  • I’d be totally introverted – Actually growing up, I was introverted, but after my teenage years and after I graduated from college, this introverted nature took a back seat to me just “going with the flow and enjoying msyelf”.  Many don’t believe how really introverted I was as most of my current life is as a leader and prolific communicator both at work and at home.
  • My defense mechanisms would be totally shot and I’d be in years and years of deep psychotherapy – Trusty me, I’ve already gone down this road mildly over the past few years!
  • I’d be single and never be married with great kids and be referred to as Dad’s Taxi!

My question to each one you is, what makes a person difficult? DNA or environment or just self preservation? Personally I think it’s a percentage of both. In my case I can say that it’s all of these 3 for certain!

As I read the article that I linked to below, one thing that struck me is that you have to understand the following factors of acknowledging difficult people:

  • Recognize Difficult People – this is tough..Do you know your personal type and are you aware of what is your personality type? Are you passive or are you aggressive. Are you in synch with your own personality and what are your tendencies to handle confrontation? What’s your tendency? “Fight or Flight?”Many difficult also people hide be thin veils of armor that are not apparent till you really get to know them. Some are easily seen after a few encounters, and of course some are readily visible after the first meeting.
  • Communications– What is your style of communications? Are you direct, opaque or do you communicate with a clarity? What is your tone and body language when you deal with a difficult. I know for me.. My tone of voice can be construed as being difficult a majority of times when I’m dealing with what I define as others being difficult. Is that convoluted enough for you? Do you believe in building relationships or alliances even with the most obstinent person? From what I’ve seen, you need to walk the fine line an and find out what exactly makes this person tick. What is their motivation?Consider how you can communicate verbally and through body language in the most effective way with these different types of people to build rapport and make them feel understood. I find that many difficult people just are so opaque and cannot communicate with clarity, because of the fear they have of being understood for what they really are.. difficult!
  • Triggers – Be proactive once we know who we have conflict with on a regular basis. What this means is if you know you are dealing with a difficult person, don’t be receptacle to their angst emotional upheaval. Think about this.. I guess this equates to “Talk to the hand theory” of problem solving.
  • Focus on Strengths and Positives–  I find that if I try to find the good in a person, the most difficult person can be a great ally in the long-term. Of course the initial displeasure this person brings to the table has to be dealt with first before you as the recipient can “accentuate the positive, to eliminate the negative”.  I find that if I give compliments and recognize them with genuine accolades to a difficult person, they are more likely to let their guard down and build a positive relationship with you. So basically, here I’m advising to build a persons worth instead going full nuclear on a negative person, is a much easier strategy for dealing with a difficult person.   Doing this also allows both of you to exert a positive influence on each other via your interaction.As I write this, I’m thinking: Even if you use the tips that I read about, there is no guarantee that a “difficult person” in your life will be any easier to deal with. I think that applying the ideas above, it will make it easy for you to exist and exude some control and rationality in your life!

One of the most important things that I’m learning every day is that I cannot “control my environment” but I can control my own behavior and I try to take baby steps in this direction every day.. I may not succeed every day, but I do move in that direction!

One of the post important lessons I learned was when I watched the 2006 DVD “the Secret”. This DVD taught me that for every ounce of positive energy you exude, the universe will give you back the same dosage and more!

How do you deal with difficult people? I’d like to know as I continue on the path of road of life and figure out myself how to deal with the cards that I work with every day!

Lying characteristics

I was reading my daily dose of “the Bottom line” email I get and came across something that made me think.. “Do I do this when I lie?”.. .Of course I’m not going to admit that I lie. I just tend to stretch the “truth to my convenience” as I call it.

Of course my wife and kids will disagree…

What about you? How can you tell when someone is lying?

Alan R. Hirsch, MD
  • Signs someone is lying…
  •  he/she leans forward and changes posture or position often.
  • He licks his lips, folds or crosses his arms and blinks less often than usual.
  • He may fidget…
  • Take frequent sips of water…
  • Sile more than usual…
  • Laugh at inappropriate times during a conversation.
  • He is likely to close his hands into fists or interlock his fingers…
  • Frequently touch his face…
  • scratch or rub his nose…
  • look away… and/or sigh deeply.