Archive for the ‘triggers’ Tag

Gloating   2 comments

One of the things that has been bothering me as I observe or increasingly divided communities is the way that every action and every comment seems to require a slew of equal and opposite reactions. The tragedy, as I see it, is this seems to be leaking (may be pouring) into the way in which we as followers of Jesus respond to things. The net result is a frightening outpouring of self-righteousness and , yes, I am sure that I am as guilty of this as anyone. I am increasingly challenged by the need to ask myself before I speak, tweet, message or communicate in any way does what I am about to say and how I am about to say it reflect the character of Christ? Is this the way Jesus would have spoken? Jesus was both relentlessly clear and relentlessly compassionate. Every word he said was crafted with His Father (John 12:49)

I am using Tim Kellers book ” The Songs of Jesus in my daily devotions this year and this mornings reading just underlined what I have been think so I though i would share it with you

Psalm 35: 19– 28. 19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.” 22 LORD, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” 26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” 28 My tongue will speak of your righteousness, your praises all day long.

GLOATING. One of the great spiritual dangers of persecution is that it can make you self-righteous. You feel noble and superior because of your unjust victimization. Here David asks God to prevent his enemies from gloating over him, yet he does not gloat in return. To be happy over bad things that happen to others is called schadenfreude. David commits himself to rejoicing in God’s justice and greatness (verse 28) rather than his own moral superiority. While many bemoan the incivility that technology has made easy and anonymous, the cause is really the human heart that wants to fire back a defensive attack. Don’t try to pay back but leave it to God, who alone knows what people deserve (verses 23– 24.) Let God be your vindicator; one day all will be known.

Keller, Timothy; Keller, Kathy (2015-11-10). The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms (p. 69). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Give and Take Pt 2   Leave a comment

I promised further insight from“Thanks for the Feedback” by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, so here is part 2

It would seem that there may be more to learn about receiving feedback than we first think (See post 8/15).  At the end of their first chapter Heen and Stone ask this question ” Why is it that when we give feedback we often feel so right, yet when we receive feedback it so often feels wrong?”  A more detailed look at the “triggers” enumerated in my last post will help. In order to give more objective attention to the feedback we receive, we must first be able to recognize the type of feedback we are receiving. The authors list three; Appreciation, Coaching  and Evaluation.  The first, appreciation, is about our relationship with the giver. An indication that the hard work one has done is valued or simply that they like to have you around! Coaching often takes the form of helpful, constructive suggestions about how something can be improved. Evaluation is simply a statement of performance against a known standard. All three types of feedback are extremely valuable in the right context, but when we expect or want one type and get another, our response can range from frustration to anger and hurt. When we just need someone to tell us they value us and they give us some handy tips on cooking steak, or indeed when we would value some help and all that is forthcoming is an “attaboy” we are left disappointed!  Whereas it maybe difficult to avoid negative responses altogether, being conscious of the type of feedback we are seeking and  recognizing the type we are in fact getting can at least help>

Give and Take   1 comment

We have all been told many times that it is better to give than receive, but is that always true? John Gottman, a marriage researcher, has found that a person’s willingness to receive  and accept influence (feedback) from their spouse is a key predictor of a healthy, stable marriage. I can recall receiving professional feedback that  for some reason lived on in my mind for years.  For  parents it is frightening to realize that our children will learn  how to respond to correction and coaching by watching our responses to  the various forms of feedback we receive. All this would suggest that the art of receiving feedback might be more important that we think.

In their recent book “Thanks for the Feedback” Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone‘s research indicates that this is indeed true. At the recent the Global Leadership Summit Sheila taught on the subject. Her content was so compelling that I immediately purchased the book and I want to share some of the lessons I am learning as I read.

Whether it is  graded assignments at school, “likes” on our facebook posts  or simply a warm smile when enjoying a carefully prepared meal, feed back washes over us from all sides. Our reactions can range from joy to anger and there is much we can learn that will  help us both understand  our responses and handle them more constructively. Firstly feed back is received at the intersection of two of our most fundamental  needs,  our desire to learn and improve and our yearning to be accepted and loved as we are.  Many of our negative reactions are caused by a series of  what the authors call “triggers”. “Truth triggers”  are set off by a sense that the content of the feedback is somehow without substance while “Relationship Triggers” are a consequence of the type of relationship we have with the person offering the feed back. “Identity Triggers” result in us doubting who we are and shaking all our insecurities regardless of the content of the message. Without exception when these triggers are activated we are disabled from any constructive conversation about the content of the feedback itself.  However when we recognize their existence and are ready for them we have a much better chance of benefiting from what is said.   If we do indeed want to learn and improve there is of course much more to come so watch this space for more nuggets from this excellent book.