Posts Tagged ‘values’

Honoring what I Value – Even on Facebook! or Intrigue, Scandal and Deceit!

| Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 | 2 Comments »

OK….to me Facebook (FB) is a form of community. A society in fact.  Some people (friends/contacts) I see day to day only online and others occasionally and they may not stay active in my community for long term. The rest are family and friends from my physical world that I connect with online in addition to in person gatherings.

So…the values that guide me and teach me are important there too right?

YES! A big booming resounding YES! And that is hard for many people to grasp I have found.

Take for example the ‘unfriend’ function. I know so many people who simply hide those they no longer wish to stay in contact with…for various reasons, not to offend (as if no longer paying attention to them permanently in secret isn’t rude) seems to be a big reason.

I apply this lesson – If a person, place or thing is detracting from my life instead of adding to it, it’s gotta go!

Now I have used the hide function.   Example:  People being quite chatty on a certain topic for awhile or during political campaigns and in that case it is a monitoring tool for me. I go back now and then and check on the friends I have “hidden” and participate on their profiles and often unhide them.

The new List function is also perfect for staying in touch frequently with those closest to you.  I even have a list just for my online “gaming” friends so all those game posts no longer clog up my main feed.  And yet when I want to check in on them I can easily find them in one place. YAY!

Facebook is growing up and hopefully it will make it easier for those that find the social etiquette part challenging. But this blog post is about VALUES.  Mine specifically.  Hopefully though it will get you thinking about yours and how you apply them to all aspects of your life.

So those I no longer wish to ever interact with? Then the grown up thing to do…for me, for you, for them is to unfriend that person. The term seems harsh for many – the truth hurts sometimes. But Facebook isn’t Jr. High. It’s the real world online and to keep a sane brain I need to respect myself and what is important. And they deserve the same respect.  Change and moving on is all part of life.  Facebook isn’t a popularity contest.  Really it isn’t! Unless having more “friends” online is one of your top values in which I say OK…rock on.  (I know some businesses and public figures use a friend profile vs. a business page so the friend gathering thing works for them)

Your values and mine are often different.  I accept that.

Yesterday I was unfriended by someone.  Which was timely as I was getting ready to block the person.  This was on my personal profile vs. my JAFA business page.  I work hard to allow myself professional expression that is true to myself while keeping the totally personal stuff on my profile instead.  This example is so pertinent to this topic though I want to include it here.

Long story sorta short. My friend – a contact really who I played a game with bullied someone on FB.  Publicly and harshly stated things about this person for using the “F word” and potentially exposing their kids to seeing it on Facebook and so they were going to quit using FB themselves it had so ruined it for them.  (The word was used to describe a certain athlete with a history of horrific dog abuse whom my contact and her husband seemed to admire).

What was my role in this?  My online society?  I chose to stay quiet.  I didn’t know the “F word” offender nor my contacts husband.  Then the next day my contact stated they were about to watch a TV show that is notorious for the foul mouth of the lead, Chef Ramsey. I know and have watched his shows…to me he is The King of F words on TV.  Then the new Facebook launch and there my contact is posting the dreaded “F word” to describe it.

Again… I thought what is my role in this?  I realized at this point for my self respect I needed to respond.  I pointed out to her on the F word post that it seemed it was OK to expose her kids to the F word. I did it factually and suggested she apologize to the person she had so publicly slammed a few days prior for using said word on Facebook.  I did it publicly because I felt she bullied someone for the very thing that she herself was freely doing in her own home and online. The thing that she had said was going to make her quit using Facebook.  I felt it was important for me to stand up in my online society and say that is not ok.  I wouldn’t have put up with it in my physical world, I must honor what I value in all my circles.  Bullying and hypocrisy are not on my values list.

Hypocrisy is dishonesty wrapped in judgment – JAFA

Values and learning to recognize them and honor them in all aspects of ones life is an important part of what I live by and impart in my coaching business.  Sometimes i get sucked into behavior that I don’t like in myself and apologize for it.  Sometimes I caution myself to not get “soapboxey” on communities such as Facebook and sometimes I don’t always succeed and again it is my responsibility to make amends for my actions.  And sometimes, I remember my place in all forms of my society and I stand up and honor my values and respect those I believe society also respects.  It may cost me friends or contacts and I am OK with that.  Being true to myself is one of the few things I am able to “take with me” someday.  I don’t want to be left with a bucket full of I should have’s….

I hope my sharing these examples helps you continue to recognize what is important to you and honor it in all aspects of your life.  If someone/thing is upsetting you, then most likely they are stomping on something you value.

Don’t let that be OK.  Your life is worth more.


NB: What started out as a Chronic Bitch blog post quickly became a lesson and tool to me and I am going to cross post this on my JAFA business blog as well.  Thanks for your understanding if you happen to read both blogs.

The Family Ties that Bind

| Monday, July 20th, 2009 | No Comments »

Julia with her Dutch in laws and family

Julia and Maarten with his family in Lochem, The Netherlands

You know so many of my clients struggle with their in-laws or other family members.

I think one of the main reasons is fear.

They (your partners family) are afraid you are going to steal them away by requesting you and your love move back to your home country.  A “foreigner” daughter or son in law poses a bigger threat of unknown values and expectations.

Another reason is they are annoyed that they have to stop being what they perceive as “normal”.  Weddings, special occasions etc. require that they often make accommodations to ensure you feel included or at least acknowledged.  So now they have transitional issues too.

The worst problem is the family members who actually don’t care if you feel like an outsider and make little to no effort to understand your transitional struggle let alone do anything to make it easier for all concerned.

In Holland I heard over and over again from female clients and friends that their inlaws said something along the lines of “you live here now and must do what we do”.

They don’t seem to grasp that who you are is what makes you YOU!  No longer celebrating Christmas or Thanksgiving (whether in October or November depending on where you live in North America) isn’t something someone just gives up.

Nor should it be.

They also seem to overlook that the values, traditions and upbringing in your home country created the person their son or daughter fell in love with.

This all may sound dire.

I am here to tell you from both personal experience and from working with clients that those who stood true to themselves and their traditions built a stronger relationship with their partner. They found ways to continue their rituals and other events by either educating and including their family or with other expats and new friends.

The key here is that they acknowledged whether home or abroad, family ties often run deep and to ignore them can be detrimental to their love relationship.

They got over the hurdle of blame and anger and defensiveness based on their own cultural biases and looked for common ground.

And eventually over time they realized that the ties that bind their partners family together now included them too.

What can you do differently to include your new family in rituals or holidays important to you?

Perhaps it’s better to find ways to celebrate with people that understand and benefit from celebrating with you.

If so, how will you organize that next time? What is your first step?

Remove the fear of losing yourself and stop trying to be someone you aren’t. There are ways to be both multiculturally open minded and true to your culture. Make the effort. The growth along the way may be surprisingly joyful.

What part of you are you willing to let go of?

| Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | No Comments »

Let go of a part of ME?


When you move to another country and begin to understand and assimilate the local culture you will find certain parts of your personality/beliefs/values/thinking patterns no longer feel comfortable to you. Or that you are being challenged on a lot of levels both good and bad.

Good because you are growing personally and expanding your world view.

Bad because you may feel attacked, disliked, overwhelmed and judged.

Compromise is a popular word in a successful love immigrant relationship.

But I am talking about something bigger here. Not compromise but internal change.

For me one of the biggest things I chose to let go of was my intense nationalistic view. I had always been a global person, however I had not realized how American I was in some ways and totally international in others. Being constantly challenged as an American living in Holland allowed me to accept the parts of me that were American and let go of my need to defend them at all costs.

I learned to pick my battles and take on an International citizen view. I worked (and still do) to let others struggle with their opinions of what they classified as an American and only participate in discussions with others that wanted open minded conversation and not negative culturally stereotypical hate fests.

Now this didn’t happen over night. It took time, self exploration, angry arguements with locals and other expats and the eventual slow simmered reality check that I didn’t want to waste my energy and mental health on such arguements.

I was also willing to let go of the part of me that always felt an eye for an eye…thus believing in the death penalty. Today I no longer do. A result of living abroad and hearing other cultures and most all other western governments views against such punishment.

Now if this sounds preachy/lecturish (yes I still make up my own words) that is not my intent.

The reality is that you will be living in another culture than your own, you will find that they do things differently, that things you haven’t thought about in a long time or ever suddenly become issues for you and that in order to make a smooth, positive transition, letting go of a part of you is worth it!

Who are you? Are you recognizable back home?

| Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 | No Comments »

Might seem like a silly question…

Fact is, many expats find themselves behaving in ways that don’t match up with their beliefs, values and goals in life.

Some of us just get lost in the whole “expat thing” and stop listening to our hearts and souls.

Who are you? Can you be that person in this country? If not, what is making you behave differently than you normally would? When you repatriate will you be recognizable back home?

Simple question for you today:

What are you doing in this country that doesn’t feel right for you?

Action step:

What 3 things do you need to do today to get yourself back on track and honouring your values and beliefs?