benign neglect Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Benign neglect

Mastering the Art of Benign Neglect

Benign neglect takes many forms. It’s any decision you make that allows a person in your room (or an activity associated with that person) to move toward the back, which in turn allows someone else to step a little bit closer to you.

Here are some examples:

  • Suggesting that instead of holding weekly in-person meetings with a colleague, you have virtual meetings every other week.
  • Strictly limiting your consumption of news or social media to a set amount of time each day.
  • Maintaining membership in an organization but no longer holding a leadership role.
  • Speaking with a friend when she calls, but only initiating a call to her once a month.
  • Opting out of “pub night” or “wine night” in favor of staying in with your spouse or partner.
  • Telling someone no.
  • Not responding to phone calls or emails quite so quickly.
  • Shifting your time and energy to other people and not being available as readily.

The bottom line here is that benign neglect works—even if you do it by accident. We’re suggesting that, when appropriate, you do it by design. It can be progressive—meaning that you gradually move into benign neglect over time. It doesn’t have to be overnight. This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

Family Members

Keep Your Family Members From Ruining Your Holidays

Who doesn’t love going home for the holidays to visit family members?

It’s that precious time of the year when you have that annual visit with your siblings, parents, and various cousins. However, the holidays also bring together the toxic people in your life. The holidays are a special time, perhaps the only time all year they get to see our family members. However, these annual get-togethers are often fraught with trepidation because of the behavior of one family member. Many people have that drunk uncle you avoid all year, yet you have to spend Christmas Eve dinner with him. Others might have that cousin you have not spoken to in years joining you to open gifts together on Christmas morning. Your toxic family members often display behaviors that can irritate you and want you to kick them out of your life. However, remember that these people will be in your room for the rest of your life.

Even when people are out of your life they remain in your head.

Recognizing that people can never fully leave your room once they’ve entered can be unsettling. What do we do with our family members who don’t align with our values? How do we handle them? They’re family—what can I do? They may be family, and it’s true I had no choice on whether they are in my room, but I’m not going to let them run amuck in my space any longer. My mother taught me how to deal with toxic family members: “Well, we can’t quite kick anyone to the curb, but we can box them up and put them on a shelf.” That’s right, box them up and put them out of sight. Don’t let them continue to control your life. I also encourage you to thoughtfully reflect on the experiences and people you are “boxing up” and try to learn from them.

Homeopathic Doses

We all have a family member whom you want to put on the highest shelf you could possibly reach. So, how do you deal with difficult family members? They are people whom we love and don’t actually want out of our lives completely. Your goal will be to connect with your family members but only rarely and for short periods of time. That way, you still maintain a relationship but you don’t get “infected with drama or craziness,” The people may be welcome in your room, but their baggage does not have to be. Holiday parties can be perfect places to continue relationships with your toxic family members without getting sucked into the drama because these tend to be larger gatherings with lots of other family members, where you can chat briefly with them. However, you are not their sole focus for an extended time. Set rules for your gathering. Examples are, “No politics at the table” or “once you go negative, I’m done with you”. These types of people are draining, so it’s best to recognize that and plan accordingly. Visit briefly, be friendly, then move on to someone else in your room.

This is the premise behind the newest book, “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life” by Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio. It would make a great Christmas gift to give to all your family members, especially the toxic people.

To order the book, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

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