Monthly Archives: November 2014

It’s Not All About You

This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen aimed at helping baby boomers and seniors find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement whether it be from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for the book website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

NEWS:  Click here to read the article I wrote: “The Secret World of Showbiz Seniors” which was published October, 2014 on Narratively.com http://narrative.ly/hidden-hollywood/the-secret-world-of-showbiz-seniors

Now, on to my blog:

talking horseEveryone craves attention, even the quiet ones among us. In each encounter between people, there’s only a finite amount of it, and everyone deserves some. Human interaction is a competition with attention being the prize.

Have you ever been on a first-time encounter (date, business meeting, etc.) with someone who spends the whole time talking about himself/herself? That can get old very fast. A friend told me about a man she met recently who spent the whole date talking about himself and never asked anything about her. I’m sure when he called for another date and she turned him down, he didn’t have a clue as to why.

Everyone is vying for the floor, and the stronger ones usually prevail. When one person gets that coveted floor too often, others can become resentful.

Although not a hard and fast rule, we tend to choose our friends, partners, spouses, etc. based on our needs. Introverts often seek extroverts to be the entertainment committee or shield them from the world. Extroverts, conversely, find calm and relaxation with introverts. Needy types seek caretaker types, and vice versa. I’m sure you can think of many more examples. It’s subtle, but it exists. In this arrangement, there’s an unspoken agreement that one person gets more of the attention than the other. After awhile, though, the pauper of the duo can get tired of the arrangement and want to break that old treaty.

If you’re usually the main attraction, try to let the other guy have some attention. Ask, “how’s it going,” or “what have you been up to?” Then, watch his/her face light up as he starts talking about himself. And, remember not to jump in and take the floor back which usually goes something like this: “Oh yeah, when that happened to me I…” Just be a good listener for once.

If you’re the guy who usually ends up with a dearth of attention, be proactive and get some of it; it’s valuable stuff—makes you feel important. You might have to be bold and even rude by saying something as blatant as, “I’d like a turn to speak” or “I wasn’t finished yet.” Remember children, play fair on that playground of life. Everybody deserves a turn on the swing.

Please pass this blog along to anyone else who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button.

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Taking Advantage

This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers and seniors find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement whether it be from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class.  Click here for the book website:  http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

NEWS:  I was interviewed recently by two lovely ladies, Rebecca Forstadt-Olkowski and Dr. Sharone Rosen, D.C., for their Podcast:  2 Boomer Broads. Click on this link and scroll down to read the interview or click the “play” button at the top of that page to hear it:  http://www.2boomerbroads.com/lee-gale-gruen/

Two peopleNow, onto my blog:

I’ve become more and more aware of how valuable and precious my time is.  I have to pick and choose what’s important to me. That brings me to today’s topic of: taking advantage.  There’s usually nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity within reason.  We all try to do that.  However, that’s not the kind of “taking advantage” I’m talking about.

Some people take advantage of the precious time of others? These are a few synonyms for that behavior:  impose upon; exploit; use for one’s own sake; milk.  Of course, friendships and relationships require some giving of time and energy to each other.  However, the problem is when it’s taken to an extreme.

Do others take too much advantage of your precious time, or do you take too much advantage of the precious time of others? Taking advantage excessively can come in so many forms:  unrealistic expectations of you; asking you to do too much and too often; dumping their problems on you, and so on.  It doesn’t matter that they might do so very sweetly, maybe with apologies. They are still draining your valuable time and energy.

There reaches a point where we have to be assertive no matter how difficult it is. I know someone who has a literary skill which earns her money.  A friend of hers often asks for help with various literary projects but doesn’t pay what the work is worth under the guise of “we’re friends.” That might fly once or even twice, but when is it time to call a halt to being taken advantage of, even by someone close? It’s our own responsibility to set boundaries. We must be the one to “call the halt.” If you don’t do it, you send the message that the status quo is okay with you.

How can we be assertive without damaging or ending the friendship or relationship? First, be honest with yourself. Are you tired of being taken advantage of and are starting to harbor resentment? Then, be honest with the other person. To use the aforementioned example:  tell her that your time is valuable and limited and that you choose to use it on other things such as your own projects, jobs that pay you a fair wage, etc., and that you can’t do her projects anymore.

Adapt that template to your own situation. Write out your speech so you’ll remember what you want to say. Practice it so you’ll hit your key points. It’s difficult telling others what they don’t want to hear. It’s even more difficult living with the consequences of not doing so.

Please pass this blog along to anyone else who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button.

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