Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Control Conflict With Confidence

Hello from beautiful Montana:

Conflict is inevitable. As long as we have at least two human beings interacting, we will have at least two opinions on how things should be done. You cannot avoid conflict, but you can control it with confidence and a desire to find peaceful solutions.

Have you ever been drawn into a match of wills at work or home only to find that once you jumped in, you could not find a graceful way out? Maybe you were hoping that the other person would just give up or someone would come along to rescue you.

I have listed some ideas for you to use to rescue yourself. Read and reread and then practice these behaviors and you will see less conflict and more cooperation.

Four Confidence Clues

  1. Speak in short sentences. Say what you need to say, but don’t belittle the situation or the other person with long explanations. For instance, instead of saying; “Look you jerk, I worked my tail off preparing that report and all you could do is find one little error and want me to do it over again and I don’t have the time or energy to rework something that is good enough for most people.”  How about saying; “I see the error you are concerned about.”
  2. Slow down your emotional response. Your first response is usually knee jerk reaction of revealing all the resentment, anger and justification of your actions.  Your rate of speech will be very rapid and fast.  When we speak rapidly, we often make mistakes or say things that are better left unsaid.  Our mind also races ahead of our ability to think and form our answers. You will want to slow down so that you appear to be rational and mature.
  3. Watch your body language. Verbal communication is the language of information. Body or non verbal communication is the language of relationships.  If your arms are crossed and foot is tapping, it sends a defensive signal right away to the other person. If possible, take a few deep breaths, put your shoulders back and put one hand in your pocket and the other hanging loosely at your side.
  4. Deepen your voice. Stress and anger can tighten your vocal cords, making your voice come out high and screech like.  This higher pitch sends a message that you are vulnerable and emotionally overwrought.  When you breathe as listed above, you will naturally relax and you will feel and hear a deeper, more confident voice coming out of your mouth.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Your goal is not to avoid conflict, because that is impossible, but to control it with confidence and courage.

You can do it. I have confidence in you.  If you would like to build more confidence in yourself

You will be glad you made the decision to build your self confidence so you can control conflict in your life.  How have you handled conflict in the past? Has that method worked for you? Leave a comment and let’s start a dialog about controlling conflict with confidence.

Your Friend,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker

Low Self Esteem? Build Confidence

Hello from beautiful Montana:

Are you or someone you love overcome with low self esteem? A belief system which implies that you are less than others and not deserving of happiness is not serving you well.  Each one of us is born with a gift or destiny. It is important that you find ways and means to build confidence and raise your self-esteem.

Build Confidence With Positive Affirmations

Our thoughts and belief systems are continually running through our minds.  Are your thoughts mostly positive or negative?  Thoughts are like plants in a garden, when you plant a bean (or positive thought) you get multiples of beans. You will want to plant a series of hope, success, happiness and enthusiasm seeds of positive affirmations.

Affirmations are statements of belief.  Your subconscious does not grade or evaluate them.  It just tries to make the actions of the individual (you) make them come true. The more you repeat a statement, the more the mind will hear the message and  encourage your physical body to follow the encouragement.

Affirmations For High Self-Esteem

  • I am a worthy person who treats others and myself with respect.
  • I am a successful problem solver and find creative solutions.
  • I draw others to me who are kind, thoughtful and helpful.
  • I  take care of my body and mind so I can appreciate all my talents.
  • I am brave, courageous, and unafraid to change ways and thoughts that are not working for my highest good.

Negative Thoughts and Low Self-Esteem Unwelcome

I have confidence in your ability to encourage a positive attitude and high self-esteem. You can do it.  You are worthy of the respect of your peers, family and friends. Just keep planting positive affirmations in your mind and acting in a confident manner.

If you need assistance, please go to:

You will be glad you did.

In gratitude,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and motivational speaker

Every Relationship is Different

Every Relationship is Different

by  on December 17th, 2009
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Hello from beautiful Montana:

This is a time of family togetherness and a lot of different personalities to contend with. If you have been disappointed by strained relationships with members of your family or you anticipate difficult conversations, you may actually create your reality.

Every relationship is different, don’t allow tension or difficulty with one person undermine your intentions.  You have the ability to be a good friend, kind neighbor and loving family member.

Recognize That Your Perceptions Color the Issue

Most relationships come from two different perceptions and basis of knowledge.  We bring into every meeting, not only our current self, but our former experiences and judgments. Each conversation and interaction will be influenced by our behavioral style, self esteem, prejudices, likes, dislikes and information gathered by inference or by talking to others.

Black or White?

As you know, I am a parent educator and a tool I use is a sheet of paper that is black on one side and white on the other.  When I show the black side I ask the audience what color the paper is, they answer loudly “Black.”  Then I turn the paper over and ask what color the paper is and they answer, hesitantly “White.”

It really depends on where you are and what you see when you make a judgement.  The paper is actually both black and white.  It is only a perception and a point of view. If you are looking at one side it is black, the other side is white and can quickly be changed by looking at it from another viewpoint.

Recognize that each relationship is different and that each person is an individual with unique qualities and personality traits.  You don’t have to love or even like someone, but you do need to respect them, if you want to have a working relationship.

In gratitude,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker

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Categories: CommunicationJudy H. WrightParentingSelf-EsteemWellness