The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Told my family that one of my New Year’s Resolution was to be less critical. Before I criticize my Wife, two Daughters or my Son, to help their perspective, I will figuratively walk a mile in their shoes. My family is pleased with this Resolution, feeling that I am sincere and thanked me for it. Wife said she will remind me of it when she feels it is necessary to do so.

I am happy with this New Year’s Resolution. I know that one of the secrets of success is sincerity. However no one is always sincere. So, once you can fake sincerity you've got it made.

My intent for my New Year’s Resolution to be less critical of my family is that each time I feel the urge to be critical of any family member and there is not foul weather outside, I will go for a mile walk without any other family member. I may take one or two of our three dogs, but no human family members can join us. Once I am a mile away from my starting point, I will say all of the criticisms I want. Then I will take a few deep breaths, do some neck and shoulder relaxing exercises and walk the mile back to my starting point.

If there is foul weather outside, I will go to the gym get on the treadmill and go for a few miles. Then I will get in my auto, let the criticisms fly, then take a few deep breaths, do some neck and shoulder relaxing exercises, listen to at least one song I like and then return home.

If the gym is closed then I will be going to the basement to exercise, criticize in a low voice (so I am not overheard upstairs).

My New Year’s Resolution to be less critical of my family will act as a trigger to initiate more exercise and allow me to release stress in an environment that will not cause me or family members additional stress.

Along with my need for an exercise trigger, an additional cause for my New Year’s Resolution to be less critical of my family was a ride with my youngest daughter in her car. I had not been in the car in months and during the ride I kept hearing banging from under the car. I asked her how long she had heard the noise and she told me she did not know, but since the car still ran fine, it was not a problem. We went to a mechanic I trust and were told an engine mount had broken. I had my daughter get the car repaired and lectured her about vehicle reliability and safety.

This ability to ignore obvious vehicle warning signs is shared by my Wife, oldest Daughter and Son. I have a number of stories similar to the one above.

I have been battling this train of thought concerning vehicles in my family for years.

In the past I have claimed that the children inherited this trait from my Wife. If I try to make that claim today, then I have at least a 2 mile walk to do.

Another item that added to my development of my New Year’s Resolution to be less critical has been our recent remodeling of the kitchen. Now that you know that, I must provide a little background so you can appreciate the process that we have been going through.

I tend to be what I believe is the typical male. The colors exist in my world are white, black, pink and the seven primary colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet that exist in a rainbow. These colors can come in shades of light or dark. There no turquoise or lime color in my world. From a color perspective, my Wife refers to me as a Neanderthal or Caveman depending on her mood.

I have to prove to my Wife on a regular basis that I am not color blind. My wife will ask me what I think of a piece of clothing and in my response if I mention the color, usually the test will begin.

“What color did you say this is?” she will inquire.

Knowing that to my Wife I am wrong, I respond, “Red”

“It is not red! This color is burgundy.”

“Ok, dark red”

“You are color blind” she says as she identifies something else within eyesight and says, “What color is this?”


“Ok, you’re not color blind, you are a Neanderthal” (or Caveman depending on her mood)

I told my family I may be leaving them frequently to keep my New Year’s Resolution to be less critical. They all told me since they will remind me of the New Year’s Resolution to be less critical often; they know I will frequently have to take New Year’s Resolution breaks.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love this. My daughter finally convinced me to buy a real car (instead of a Vega, chevette, or some such miniature cube of metal with wheels. The orders were that I had to have it serviced when due...and I do....but I sort of liked the system that let me accept knocks and bangs and wheezes as the personality of the car.Miss those days.
    as far as color goes, I stopped with the differentiation when I bought my first new car and the dealer called it 'robin's egg blue' and I went to register it and was deflated to see 'blue' on the forms...I specifically wanted the 'real' color to be listed. Now I just don't care...I decided if the people who gave me tags couldn't see the lovely colors I picked out for cars I'd just show 'em and only get black or white from then on! but that does suggest differentiating between eggshell, ecru, and .... emoticon
    1987 days ago
    Going for a long walk instead of arguing/criticizing is a great idea.

    1987 days ago
    Great blog.... not sure how I missed it earlier! Thanks for making me smile.
    1988 days ago
    I am the one that usually hears the noises in the vehicles and I try to tell my husband to get them checked out. He is the one that waits and we pay more for the repair bills.

    He doesn't know colors either and that is fine, this is true for a lot of men. Our house is very close to the houses on either side of us. The lighting is not the best. Last year at tax time, I put on what I thought were green socks but when I got to the tax office where there were bright lights, I had on burgundy. I had on green slacks and it was very noticeable. Such are the funny moments of life.

    When pantyhose first came out, they were expensive (they cost far more now). My mother, sister and I all wore the same size clothing and could swap out with each other. Mom told us she would buy pantyhose of the same shade and when one leg got a run in it, to cut it off and we could wear two pair of pantyhose when another pair of pantyhose got a run.

    I went to school and put my legs up on the back of the student's chair in front of me and my friend sitting in an aisle beside me asked what was wrong with my leg. I didn't feel anything wrong. I looked at my leg and then realized I had on two different shades of pantyhose. Someone bought a different shade!

    My closet wasn't lit for a long time and I had on one black and one brown penny loafer when I got to school. I always slept in as long as I could and my Mom would be hollering, "The bus is coming!"

    I have lived in two houses with white paint and I know nothing about how to paint the house a different color because of doorways where it would be a contrast to "robin egg blue" in the kitchen. That's a light blue. I loved your blog!
    1989 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Loved this blog!
    1989 days ago
    Love your blog, I'm still laughing!!! Let's check in 6 months from now and see how you are doing!!!!! emoticon
    1990 days ago
    Love it!!
    1990 days ago
    Oh's the opposite way in my house with color....I don't like white walls tho...and that's why we are in a stand still with doing anything to the condo we plan to sell or rent next year. But the moment I go hit the sale isle...It's amazing how technical with color I can be.

    I hear you on being critical. One thing that helped me was to remind myself that I can't change someone else...but I can change the way I think about someone else or their decisions. I also remind myself often, that it's not my problem. I can offer advice...I can offer support...but I can't get frustrated when my advice isn't taken or used.

    I like your idea's about exercise! Good for you to recognize what you need to do for yourself and making a plan to get it done!

    1990 days ago
    LOVE your blog. Great idea that can result in LOTS of exercise and more family harmony!

    Also thanks for your support on my blog, MUCH appreciated!
    1991 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    Fake it till you make it. Its hard to give up a criticism habit, but for the total happiness of family, you need to do it. Sounds like a good, thoughtful resolution.
    1993 days ago
    I wish you and my husband could get together and trade the car horror stories!!
    I've been known to say "do I hear what?"when my husband gets in the car.
    Too funny!
    1993 days ago
    George Burns is alive!

    One thing that is very hard to do is to treat our families as well or better than we would treat people outside your family. If you're in a non-family-member's car, you might mention that you hear that thumping and that they should get it checked, but you wouldn't then berate your friend or colleague, would you? You'd assume that they had learned a lesson from the experience and would move on.

    With family, it's SO IMPORTANT that they learn the lessons that you have to make sure they've learned it. You can't just leave it to chance.

    So, with that in mind, I think this is a very smart resolution. When you're done with working out the frustration, you'll be in a much better mind set just to point out what the lesson was rather than to criticise or berate.

    "How could you DO such a thing? Don't you know you could have been killed? Where is your HEAD? I can't believe you thought you could just IGNORE that?" can evolve into, "Whew! Glad we caught that in time! I bet next time you'll not wait when you can tell something's wrong. All's well that ends well!"

    So -- not critical. Not insulting, but definitely checking to be sure they caught the lesson. Because, at the end of the day, you want them to know the lesson because you love them.

    1993 days ago
  • LINDA!
    emoticon You will probably be taking several walks this year.

    This is a good resolution. Maybe we should all consider this one.
    1994 days ago
    I love your story, you have a gift for humour.
    But the color pink is nonexistent for me - yuck, Pepto Bismal.
    1995 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    You're going to be a new man, one way or another!! emoticon
    1995 days ago
    Let's see - you let the rattling in their cars go, and the cars will need expensive repairs. You nudge the family to check the odd sounds out early, and you walk 2 miles. Hmmm, could the 2d one be a win-win? emoticon
    1995 days ago
    LOL You crack me up.

    A friend once colored my hair brgundy. I ated it. I wouldn't go out of the house for 2 weeks. It's never been done again. (I criticised her) I am color blind. but I still ahted the color.
    1995 days ago
    Marty I think your plan is great. I think you will find it mOst enlightening in more ways than you might imagine. I also think that we too often use criticism as a way to get people to do what we think they should. In cases like the car when safety is the real concern you could use a different approach. For gifts you could set up regular maintenance checks with a garage and either you or they provide the reminders to take the vehicle in. It might help them form their own habit overtime.

    I think you are really onto something here. I might have to give it a try myself. Do please keep us all posted.
    1995 days ago
  • DARLY55
    Great idea! I sometimes fake sincerity on the job, at least I try to be sincerely sincere, but sometimes I cannot muster up the real stuff. Faking does work, though, when done with the proper intention. Better yet, go on your walks, great idea!
    As for the color thing - you're a guy - 'nuff said!

    1995 days ago
    1995 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1995 days ago
    I really like this idea! I think every time I get annoyed by the past president, I shall do something exercise related. Which, based on today, is going to be often. Thanks for the inspiration!!!
    1995 days ago
    LOL!! What I think is REALLY (highly) ironic is that in "reminding" you of your resolution, wouldn't that be critisizing you? ;)
    1995 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    You're going to be a very fit man, I think:) And humour aside, we could all stand to give ourselves a time out before we chime in with our opinion on things, especially when it's critical of others.

    Good luck with your challenge!
    1995 days ago
    Ya know, I think you are doing an excellent job of using your Spark program to dig down into the roots of your character. Do NOT uproot humor, however! Hopefully after venting safely about them - which you wouldn't do if you didn't CARE - you can then turn it into another humorous blog to delight and amuse the rest of us! Just keep on Sparking!
    1995 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Very funny! I do believe that you will be slim and trim from your New Years Resolutions. I would hate to be the people who have to hear you a mile out, better make sure it's a private locations.
    We remodeled our kitchen, let me tell you that was very stressful. LOL
    Take good care and GOOD LUCK! emoticon
    1995 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/2/2013 12:51:23 PM
    When will family members learn to do things OUR way, the RIGHT way?! LOL

    My brother was an ace mechanic and preached to me always about faithfully changing the oil in my car! I must admit that he knew about cars, and I did not--

    Enjoy your remodeled kitchen, and admire the lovely colors your wife has chosen.
    (Even if it is faking sincerity) Happy New Year!

    1995 days ago
  • 3016DEBRA
    Great blog, Marty! I could probably do that myself, lol!
    Happy New Year to you & the fam! emoticon emoticon
    1995 days ago
    Sounds like you set yourself up for a lot of reminders!
    1995 days ago
    Happy 2013! emoticon
    1995 days ago
    emoticon Love it Marty!
    You are going to be slim, trim and stress free in no time at all.
    Of course you may rarely see your family. emoticon emoticon
    Happy New Year!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1995 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    Well...I guess if we see you dropping a ton a weight...we will know that your family had been "acting up" and you have been "exercising that critism" out of your system emoticon
    haha..but seriously...I like the premise cause it sounds like a win/win for you!
    1995 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    I like your plan to take a break and think it over, being critical isn't always a bad thing... like the car incident... thats a real hazard to safety if overlooked and should be addressed, but often biting your tongue can lead to more harmony.

    I remind myself sometimes like when if he has done dishes for me, I shouldn't mention that the spoons dont "go there" its totally irrelevant and not needed, but the thought can be there and needs to be shushed!
    1995 days ago
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