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Things That People Who’ve Lost Their Parents Really Want You To Know

Things That People Who’ve Lost Their Parents Really Want You To Know

Death is never a gentleman. He is always terse and strident. That is why losing a loved one is never easy, especially your parents. I remember when my mom passed. It was horrible. My father had passed 8 years earlier and that was difficult enough. When my mom passed just under a decade later, I went numb. Several years have put space between me and their deaths. Things are definitely easier now. Time is one of the best baby step inventions ever created.

I still wish other people could understand, though. I’m sure you do too. For those of us who have lost our parents, conversations can be difficult. Friends and existing family members may wonder why we disconnect at times. They may be uncomfortable with our periodic emotional breakdowns. If you have lost someone close, you know exactly what I am talking about. To that end, take a look at the items below, inspired by The Odyssey Online. They will help navigate conversation when needed. The following is a list of things we wish everyone knew about those of us who have lost our parents.

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Memorabilia Takes On New Meaning

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    All those old pictures and videos are priceless to us. Any personal items they had that might be tucked away in storage are guarded like treasure. You might wonder why we get nervous when you hold dad’s old handkerchief or mom’s favorite cookbook. It’s because those things are all we have left. They are more than “stuff.” They are physical representations of shared experiences we had with them.

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    Holidays Are Painful

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      This is one of those times when emotions are swirling. Friends and family gather from far and near. There is much laughter as we reminisce about the good times. Yet we might break down at some point and need a hug because we realize there will never be anymore of those moments shared with our parents.

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      We Are Jealous Of You

      We remember what it was like to have both of our parents here. Hearing you speak poorly of one or praise another will stir resentment in us. It may not even take that. Sometimes, all it takes is a mere mention of your mother or father and our eyes get red and teary.

      Your “Sorry” Lacks Meaning For Us

      That might seem harsh, but it’s true. We hear the word “sorry” all the time. We know you mean well, but you are not as familiar with our story. It seems like just another word people say because society mandates this as proper behavior. We hear you, but the sentiment is hollow. Follow up with a hug and more conversation.

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      We Think About Them A Lot

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        Whenever we reach a milestone, we wonder how they would feel. If we graduate, are they proud? If we get married, do they approve? Would they take this business deal or auto loan, etc.? We wonder a million times every day what they think about what we are doing. We don’t want to let them down.

        We Love Old Stories

        We never get tired of hearing old stories about our parents from aunts, uncles, other relatives, and friends still living. We will always take the time to listen to them and laugh. These are glimpses into their world that we might not otherwise have known about. It’s like stealing a memory and making it our own. So keep this in mind the next time we seem distant. Remember this when we are breaking down emotionally at a family gathering. We still want to talk. We still want to laugh. You are very much a part of our life and we love you dearly. We just miss our parents — a lot.

        Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

        Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

        Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

        Conflicts are literally everywhere.

        Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

        Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

        Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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        Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

        Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

        Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

        The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

        Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

        Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

        How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

        Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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        Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

        Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

        How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

        Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

        Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

        Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

        How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

        Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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        Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

        Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

        How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

        Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

        Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

        Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

        How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

        Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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        Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

        Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

        How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

        Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

        Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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