"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Negative Reciprocation

couple fighting

Negative reciprocation is sending back the hurt received. It may be active-aggressive: raised voices, hurtful remarks, digging up past sins, angry accusations not fully meant, over statements (“you always do/say ‘x’” when the truth is less clear) or passive-aggressive: denial, silence or distancing/ignoring, refusal to engage constructively.

Breaking a cycle of negative reciprocation is critical if emotional growth is to occur, if a relationship is going to flourish. Caring for someone means we are vulnerable to them and unless we are centered and grounded, this openness to the possibility of pain can trigger dysfunctional defensive reactions that undermine the very relationship we need to nourish in order to be happy and content.

No relationship is problemless, that is just life. We all bring in our personal wounds, scripts and programing from our past of which we are usually not fully aware. The problem isn’t that there are problems, the problem is that we unrealistically want there to not be problems and we try to magically wish (ignore?) them away, hoping to avoid the work of diligently working through them, constructively communicating toward a resolution.

Stay in the calm zone, take time out’s as necessary, be willing to “go to the balcony” and dispassionately observe yourself, agree to “fight fair” (good books exist on the topic), avoid hitting below the belt or using your intimate knowledge of your partner’s vulnerability to inflict pain, stick to the real issues (often what triggers a flare up is merely the fuse to a deeper issue that has been building energy beneath the surface), avoid “you statements”, instead talk in terms of your feelings, being careful not to project your worst fears (i.e. express concerns constructively), take time to remember/emphasize the things you have in common.

Closing Quotes:

“What others do/say is their karma, how you react is yours.” – Proverb

“Forgiveness offers me all that I want; all that I give to others I give to myself.” – ACIM

“We are not punished for our anger, but by our anger.” – Proverb

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Do You Suffer From Atelophobia?


Atelophobia is the fear of imperfection, the fear of never being good enough and is kin to perfectionism, the obsessive compulsive striving to achieve impossible goals, the feeling that achieving anything less than perfect is failure. Perfectionism has its plus and its minus. Constrained and directed, adaptive perfectionism can be a positive, a burning desire to achieve that motivates one to great effort. In its maladaptive form, perfectionism can lead to harsh, excessive self-criticism and even depression when failure inevitably occurs.

Whether it is fear of failure or fear of not being good enough the great truth of life is that if perfect is the standard, then NONE of us are ever good enough or ever fully up to the task and yet it all works out somehow in the end. Hard work and intelligent persistence usually prevail and are a lot more at hand than perfection!

Closing Quotes:

“You don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly okay.” – NSC

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” – T. Harv Eker, b. 1954, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

“True superiority complexes are rare, generally only an over compensated inferiority complex i.e. bluster covering fears of inadequacy.”

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Gesinnungsethik or Verantwortungsethik; Which are You?


Gesinnungsethik and Verantwortungsethik are household words in Germany and they relate to the moral tension between idealism and pragmatism. Gesinnungsethik refers to the “ethic of conviction” and Verantwortungsethik to the “ethic of responsibility”. Are we fully responsible for the consequences of our actions (Verantwortungsethik or the ethic of responsibility)? Or is it enough to act with good intentions and a pure heart regardless of the outcome (Gesinnungsethik or the ethic of conviction”)?

Most would say it’s okay to lie when the Nazi’s come knocking, i.e. it’s okay to do wrong in order to do good. The trouble is that one has just stepped on a slippery slope of moral relativism where it is all too easy to justify abandoning vital principles, rationalizing (rational – lies) away the very standards of integrity and conscience that are the foundation of civilization. Perhaps it’s only okay to do a SMALL wrong in order to do MUCH greater good? With great certainty regarding the probability of that greater good actually occurring? And humility around the possibility of unintended consequences? Including the challenge of restoring the moral code?

It is important to differentiate clearly between Red Rules and Blue Rules. Red Rule: Malum in se; wrong because it is inherently wrong (Thou shalt not kill) v. Blue Rule: Malum prohibitum; wrong simply because it is prohibited by the legislature i.e. speed limits.

This blog inspired by:


Excerpt:  THE phrases “ethic of conviction” and “ethic of responsibility” mean little to most English-speakers. In Germany the equivalent terms—Gesinnungsethik and Verantwortungsethik—are household words . . . [Sociologist Max] Weber described an “abysmal opposition” between two types of ethics. Those following their convictions wish to preserve their own moral purity, no matter what consequences their policies may have in the real world. “If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor’s eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God’s will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil.” By contrast, someone guided by responsibility “takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people…(H)e does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection.” This sort of politician will answer for all the consequences of his actions, even unintended ones. Weber left no doubt about his sympathies. Ethicists of conviction, he said, were “in nine out of ten cases windbags”.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier