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“Let’s talk about Tough Love”

What have these words meant to you.

How are they reflected now in the examples you set and the ones you receive ?

Technically, it is defined as a noun: meaning

  • promotion of a person's welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions.

Tough Love as is often heard, can refer to “telling it like it is” and hoping the other person will change or is forced to change - but where is love in that ?

Surely this is ignoring, disassociation, deflection, avoidance and uncertainty on what to do, how to handle, what to say, how to be aka frustration, confusion, overwhelm, uncertainty

I meet many families experiencing the difficulties in not knowing what to do when the emotions boil over, the anger and resentment sets in and the words of defiance, pain, self-torture and intolerance begin.

I was absolutely one of these late-teenage boys myself. The pain from confusion applies to girls equally of course.

It is painful as a parent to see, hear, feel and tell yourself your child is going through enormous struggles that to others are insignificant, as parents, we may perceive these are insignificant. However to the person in question: the World is out to get them, trust falls, clicks or new fraternities begin and choices shift dramatically as self-imposed isolation sets in.

For every thought pre-empting action, there is reason. By identifying reason and providing observation, we provide empowerment. Through empowerment, we create a path. From the path, we generate example and much, much more...

Tough Love in reality is acknowledgement, validation and flipping for accountability.

It means reminding the other person you care, they matter, they are included, these are some options, let’s share, it’s ok to feel uncomfortable, it’s ok to not know the way and ultimately setting boundaries, identifying what is acceptable and what isn’t - leading by example not reaction.

Often we provide ‘tough love’ through an ultimatum. “Do this or don’t bother”

What example does this set ?

  • Control “my way or the highway”

  • Poor leadership “do as I say, not as I do”

  • Conditional Value “you’re important so long as you listen”

None of these may be our intention, however ‘Perception defines Example’.

The best way to combat this, is to acknowledge, validate, flip

To include, listen, focus on facts not stories, hear and see what the other person is telling themselves and constantly remind them of who is actually demonstrating care, resourcefulness, and the 7x C’s (consideration, communication, compassion, cooperation, commitment, connection, consistency)

Ultimately before a person may shift from pain, anxiety, depression, uncertainty, discomfort and all the emotions that are unfortunately expressed on the recipient (anger, sadness, confusion); they may be shown how to identify their own foundations or benchmarks from which they may measure all actions, both theirs and other peoples, move forward and respond not react, be accountable not reproachable.

People matter. Confusion is simply not knowing the answer with an expectation one should. Tough Love is providing a safe space with boundaries that consistently focus on consideration and communication through compassion.

What is not working for you that you would like to change ?

Let’s have a quick conversation, there’s nothing to lose, you’ll feel better for sharing

If it matters to You : it matters to Me

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