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Premeditated Disappointment: Why Your Ex-Lover May Still be Controlling You…

Today, your ex may only be somebody that you used to know…

But are they really gone?

Humans are pattern-seekers. When faced with incomplete information our mind protects us by filling in the missing data with information patterns we’ve collected in the past. The bump in the night that fills you with fright, the potato chip that looks remarkably like your favorite saint and the words you heard when you play a Beatles song backward, are all indications that your patterning mind is hard at work.

We hear a bump in the night and our mind remembers that scary movie from long ago. Protecting us, our mind suggests a pattern…scary bumps in the night may be followed by the appearance of unwanted hockey-mask-wearing chainsaw-holding visitors. Be scared!

Desiring meaning, our mind rejects the possibility of random chance and interprets the shape of a potato chip as the face of St. Frito.

One study played the soundtrack of a rock anthem, long rumored to contain hidden messages when played backward. Unaided the participants heard nothing but inaudible sounds, but when researchers added a karaoke scroll of the rumored lyrics to accompany the reverse soundtrack, listeners universally reported hearing the suggested words.

So, what has this all got to do with your ex-lover?

The relationships we develop today are not created on their own merits. When your new beau asks you a question, your mind searches for patterns of hidden meaning. When your ex asked that question, it may have been a hidden putdown or some other slight and your mind credits yesterday’s meaning to what you are hearing today. When in fact, the question, could be just a question.

Knowing how your mind works to protect you and knowing that process could just as easily deceive you, may help you better see today’s relationships for what they are… today’s relationships. Getting rid of the patterns of premeditated disappointment your mind is sure to play for you, can make you and those around you much happier!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions directly, at Jeff@Jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected,

-Jeff

You’ll only get answers to the questions you ask…

Discovering possibilities, opportunities and potential takes the same skills as uncovering ignorance, incompetence and evasion. It’s all in how you ask the question.

Executives, lawyers, salespeople and anyone that’s ever been in a relationship can benefit from a deeper understanding of questions. The topic is so important that in 2014, John C. Maxwell dedicated an entire book to the connection between good leadership and asking good questions.

Here are 6 commonsense ways to ask better questions.

  1. Be specific: Clear questions generate clear answers. Specificity doesn’t mean that you need to structure your questions narrowly, but state them clearly. Remember, the information you request also defines the information you won’t receive. This is especially true in evaluating strategic progress with rich activity levels. If you don’t know the information you need, it’s unlikely you’ll receive it.
  2. Listen: A question is only as good as your ability to understand the answer. Life is full of nuances, so an answer may contain information or shadings you may not appreciate while you are hearing the response. Be thoughtful and give yourself time to consider the answer and its implications.
  3. Don’t play ahead: Avoid thinking about your next question while someone is answering your last question. Show respect and care by being in the moment.
  4. Avoid judgmental responses: Great questions facilitate great conversations. The point of the conversation is to learn, build trust and develop a platform for future interactions. Providing judgmental feedback is a sure way to shutdown the entire process.
  5. Follow up: Having taken the time to consider the answer purposefully follow-up with clarifying questions.
  6. Open up: It’s a two-way street, others are likely to mimic the degree to which you let your guard down, share openly and be yourself.