News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2016

Attitiude Reconstruction  


December 2016                              Dealing with Controllers


Jude Bijou
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  
Kind words about Attitude Reconstruction:

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"It's so nice being on vacation and having different things to complain about."

"We'd love to Fran, but I'm afraid I'll have to take a rain check. With us Christmas is traditionally a family affair."

"Still, this beats my old job working at Walmart."

"They're especially bold at this time of year."

Hello friends,

You'll find in this newsletter plenty of tips to make your holiday as well as your everyday interactions much more pleasant.

First, some interesting articles and fun videos


The first series of photographs shows the possibilities of roads being fixed in 48 hours. This was a sinkhole in Fukouka Japan that was 98 feet across, 88 feet wide, and 50 feet deep. Now remind me why construction takes so long around here?

Another interesting article details how to determine someone's age when all you have is his or her name. 
Third is a fascinating article that reveals that the opioid drug makers are outspending the NRA in their lobbying!

Four Videos Guaranteed to Get You Smiling!

The first video is of a machine that eats cars  in Mexico!

The second is a song that reduces anxiety by up to 65%. See what you think!    
The third is of  Kid President throwing a surprise party for a teacher who was retiring after forty something years of teaching. 

I can't help but include this short video of dogs loving being pampered by this pet sylist

           "When will he be able to sit up and take criticism?"  

9 Ways to Handle Controllers, Critics, and Unsolicited Coaches
Around this time of year, we all hear friends and acquaintances voicing dread about their upcoming family visits. From the sister-in-law who can't stop offering advice about how to raise your children to a father who has something negative to say about almost anything. Fueled by too much alcohol, the holidays are ripe for strife and discord.
This time of year offers mixed blessings. On the one hand, it's a time to get together with one's extended family, catch up with family news, and reconnect over a meal. On the other hand, we often find ourselves trapped indoors with people who are rude, critical, controlling, nosy, and insensitive.
Here are nine ways to handle people who can make your life less than joyful during the holidays and in general. 
Suggestions One to Three to Handle Controllers

1. Practice acceptance.
Accept that people and things are the way they are. You can't change others, but you can change your own perceptions and expectations. If you're coming in to work every day and feeling your stomach clench up as soon as you hear the annoying person's voice across the room, you need to repeat this phrase over and over until it sinks in: "People and things are the way they are. I can't control them, but I can control my own attitude." This phrase, which you can customize by putting in the name of the jerky person, works like magic to immediately dispel frustration and remove your emotional involvement with him or her. You'll quickly feel more accepting, calm, and less irritated.
2. Sidestep their comments.
A good way to stop a bull that's charging at you, regardless of the negative form it takes, is to just let it go by. Ignore the comments or fend them off with a simple statement such as, "Thanks, but I'm not looking for advice right now." If the person continues, lovingly say it again. And again, if necessary! Also, along the lines of sidestepping their comments, don't hesitate to calmly remove yourself from the situation with a loving smile on your face. 
3. Listen to understand them.
Rarely does one feel truly listened to. We don't have to agree, but we can listen lovingly to the person who is saying something that is important to them. There is no right or wrong position. We each are entitled to our own opinion. The trick is to suspend our own viewpoint and try to understand theirs. Resist trying to convince them. Reach behind the words and look for what you have in common. And don't be afraid to assert yourself (maybe repeatedly if they tend to interrupt) and ask someone to just listen to your thoughts.

Suggestions Four Through Six to Handle Controllers

4. Acknowledge their good intentions.
Mention that you appreciate the person's concern, and
that you recognize their caring and attention. Tell the person you might value his or her advice and input later - when you ask for it. If they can't seem to let go of a topic, you can always default back to the line, "You may be right, and ...."  
5. Remember that it's not about you.
When people feel compelled to tell you what you should do, it's good to remember that what they're saying and what's unconsciously motivating them likely has little to do with you. They may need to feel important. They may be looking for love or respect from you or others. The reality is that you are fine. They have unexpressed anger and are targeting it on you.
6. Courageously and lovingly speak up and say what's true for you.
Sometimes, especially with particularly aggressive people, it's necessary to tell them it's not helpful for you to receive unsolicited advice. Talk about yourself and the specific comment rather than finger-pointing or telling them what a drag they are. Lovingly say your "I" (what's true for you) about the specific event. If they persist, tell them that you're starting to feel angry or frustrated and you'd like them to please stop. Repeat and repeat some more.

Suggestions Seven Through Nine to Handle Controllers 

7. Appreciate their good behavior.
If you notice that a critical or know-it-all person is being empathetic or listening with sensitivity, catch them being good. Keep your eye open for good work, smart ideas, or even the occasional good attitude, and be sure to praise them when they do something well. Praising what you do like may subtly sink in and help to change his or her behavior.
8. Let out those pent-up emotions.
After a long day of fending off critical, over-controlling humans who've tested the boundaries of your patience and politeness, you need to get all that anger and possibly sadness out of your system. Find a private place to pound your fists, stomp your feet, growl, or cry. It will be easier to feel loving and keep a genuine smile on your face.
9 . Focus on keeping the present joyful.
Keep bringing the focus back to the present when others attempt to divert attention to negative things and old unfinished business. Make a comment about what you are enjoying. Make a genuine comment about the true meaning of being together and how grateful you feel. "Isn't it great to be here all together. I feel so fortunate. Isn't the turkey delicious."
If you are diligent and consistent with practicing the above suggestions, you'll feel better, experience more joy and family connection, and be ready to face them all over again sometime soon!

And if you happen to have a controlling streak in you, see if this can help you curtail it.

Hey Jude:  I give great advice, but people rarely take it. It's so frustrating -- I'm just trying to help. 
Your well-meaning, unsolicited advice is stepping out of your own domain and into someone else's.  If someone isn't ready for or doesn't want feedback, it's counterproductive to offer it. Don't share your insights unless you ask and receive permission first. If the recipient declines, let your pearls of wisdom go and accept that he or she is responsible for his/her own happiness. Refocus on being happy yourself and take time to appreciate what you like about others. It can help to repeat to yourself such truths as"My focus is myself," "My job is to take care of myself." "We're all on our own paths." and "Your viewpoints are as valid as mine."  

       I'm sending you best wishes for a smooth and loving holiday season.

Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so write me at: [email protected]
                           With love,