Tag Archives: Katherine Gordy Levine

Killing Relationships by Third Party Complaints

Be like NASCAR Drivers: be who you are up front. That also means not just dressing to say who you are, but being direct about what you do not like.


We all be able to vote with greater wisdom if our politicians aped the NASCAR drivers.

Third party complaining is venting to another person about something you do not like in yet another person and with the expectation they will tell the third other person.  Makes you able to be the good guy, but leaves two other people carrying your burdens.  Not healthy.

Moreover, the complaint carrier is just as much to blame for this. Positive relationships depend on respect and honesty. A complaint carrier does not respect the complainer’s ability to do the right thing. A complaint carrier  allows dishonesty to fester in the complainer.  Finally, a complain carrier does not respect the person complained about to do the right thing.

My second job as a trained social worker taught me this lesson.  The head of the department was a lovely woman, gracious, warm, kindly and revered by all. Her second in command was a Mrs. Lamb. No lamb she and both feared and hated by all for she was the bosses big and nasty enforcer.

Even worse when it happens in families and it happens there all too often.

Emotional fitness tips

Emotional Fitness tip one: The two parties involved in third-party complaining are both in the wrong. 

Emotional Fitness tip  Learn the art of feedback.  The complainer has to face all the fears involved in telling it like it is. The carrier has to tell the complainer “Your monkey, not my circus.”

Saying what you mean without saying it mean. Feedback suggestions.

Emotional Fitness tip three: Apply the rule of three. In baseball you get three strikes, three outs and the multiple of three found in nine innings. Even then all things being tied, the game goes on.

Applied to complaining for the complainer:

  1. When someone does something that makes you unhappy about something, just make a non-verbal gesture that makes a gentle point. Raised eyebrows, even a neutral face, or changing the subject make a quiet statement about your feelings.
  2. Second time the same thing happens, try feed back, but let it be known you disagree.
  3. Third time, ask for change.

Applied to the complaint carrier.

  1. At the first complaint,  just listen and nod your head.
  2. Second time, listen and say “This really seems to bother you.”
  3. Third time, say, ” You need to figure out how to ask for change directly or how to  let it go.”

Emotional Fitness tip four: How to ask for change:

#feelingmanagement #parenting tips #emotionalintelligence


Parenting tip one: As always, age and stage matter. The younger your child the more directly s/he makes it know what they do not like. Then parents and others teach kids to “Suck it up, buttercup” or “If you cannot say something nice don’t say something at all.” Not healthy.  Then come the pre-teens and teen years when at least parents are bashed. Also not healthy.

Parenting tip two:  Model proper expression of negative feelings. “Wait until your father/mother gets home” is third-party complaining. Not healthy.

Parenting tip three: Be patient. All change takes time for you and for the children you love. Become your child’s wise complaint partner. Than means listening and then helping them learn how to deal directly with others.


The stronger the relationship, the greater our fear that telling it like it is will only mess things up. The only sane answer, however, is to tell it like it is and work to work it out.

Think about this. Runaway spouses are a common example of pretending every thing is okay when they are not.  Runaway spouses are on the increase. Easy divorce and the media ranting to leave the person you are unhappy are only partially to blame.

The measure of all relationships lies not in how happy you are all the time, but how you deal with being unhappy. Being direct about your hopes and needs but then accepting that your happiness is up to you, being grateful, practicing kindness and forgiveness are key to living a good life.



 Tagline Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

Mine should be obvious by now.  What would yours be?  Not sure? It might be helpful to download my eBook Know your missions so you can reach your goals. It costs less than a movie.



This Poster Coach says it all.

How to survive trauma

All is change and feelings come and go often faster than NASCAR racers.  However, some bad  times will bring you to your knees or knock you  out. I call those times “Life blows,” the experts call them traumas.

Now is one of the three worse times of my life. Why? Not for sharing. However, the poster coach above tells how I survived the other two times and how I will continue surviving

When a life blow strikes you down, going on will be a struggle, but if you look back over your life, as I am doing, you will see you have survived the worse of times.  Honoring surviving past life blows strengthens your ability to go on.

Emotional training tip one: As you start to recover do what you can as you can. Hoever, be patient; time does not heal all wounds but ususally we mend enough in the broken places to go on.

Emotional training tip two:  As always take  good care of your body, Life blows weaken our physical beings making it essential to do all the things your mother and doctor say keep you healthy.

Emotional training tip three: Remember what matters. Life blows challenge our deepest beliefs.  Explains why there are no atheists in fox holes.

AND, if you ask agnostics and atheists why they turned  from religion; 99% will say because religion failed to explain bad things that happen. Some of the religious will become more devout.

My parents were more agnostic than not. I became a Christian as a teen, a non-Christian as a college student, and a Jew a year after I married.

One of the attractions of Judiasm was its lack of need to seek converts. I had turned away from Christianity because the emphasis on conversion did not match my idea of a loving God turning away from those who had found a different path to a being a good person defied my logical brain. I am grateful, Christians have given up killing in Jesus’ name and hope the fanatical Islamists do the same before they destroy the world.

Retirement has allowed me to study Torah more carefully.  It is studying philosophy as much as how to be an observant Jew.  I was a philosophy major in college and so love studying Torah and Judaism as a philosophy.  As I have often noted all philosophies, religions, and secular sages agree that what matters most is kindness to all.

Those who practice kindness to some are the current obstacles to peace on earth. Some are religious, many just power hungry, money hoarders, or  self-involved.  We all have power, money and selfish needs. Counter them by practicing deliberate kindness.


Build good memories of the past for and with your child.  How? Laugh, play, and create together. Make one of your joint  creations a memory book. Include a few bad memories to accentuate the reality that life is not all good times. Those pages will also honor surviving.


This post was inspired by: But No CigarTell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

With each life blow, I kept trying. Never easy, but nothing else to do except die and I was not and am not ready for that. Mostly, I found lessons, and that was the good in each life blow.  I deepened my thinking about me, others, life, why pain, why evil, God.

Two tips for those whose life is one of constant physical or emotional pain.

Tip one: Make sure you are getting the best care possible. Emotional Fitness Tips augment, but do not replace competent professional help.

Tip two: One of the best sources of pratical help for both acute and chronic suffering is Marsha Linehan’s work, particularly her thoughts on Radical Acceptance. 

I was once accused of stealing her ideas, but that was before I had even heard of her.  The criticism pushed me to learn about her and to attend a training lead by her. I saw why I was thought to be plagerizing her and felt honored by the comparison.


The fact is when we suffer,  we are the ones who need to deal with it alone or with help from those who care and in some situations professionals.   Training seeks to help you stay strong.

Watch for my newest venture. Publishing short eBooks as PDF documents at my store. My other books will continue to be sold on my Amazon.com Author’s page.

This new venture is related to feeling the pressure of age and the on-going wish to share the  knowledge I and others have found useful.  Money makes self-publishing in a PDF format the only way I can  do that.

The books will not be perfect, dygraphia will interfere,  but each will be good as I can so without spending money.

As usual thank you for supporting me. I am so lucky so many of you are there for me.




The pursuit of happiness is a selling device.  Buy into it and waste time, money, and effort. Pursue contentment instead; try these ten tips.

Tips for finding contentment


Most of today’s tips are in the poster. However here is an extra one. Learn the art of rating things.  Here is a Feeling Thermometer Poster rating Happiness.

Measuring happiness on a feeling thermometer

Four to six are realistic feel good measurements. These are when you can work on being happy or at least content. Seven to nine ratings are to be enjoyed.   Reserve ten ratings for  moments of complete happiness. You’ve won the lottery, found true love, know the joy of becoming a parent to a very wanted child.

Always keep in mind that “Now is not forever”  All is change and feelings come and sometimes faster than race cars at any  Speedway. This helps you stay strong when bad times come, and remind you to cherish all the good that life gives you.


Teach children to use a feeling thermometer.  Post one where all can see it. Use it yourself. When your kids can read and write, have them make a personal feeling thermometer.


This quick post was inspired by: Weaving the Threads – Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

At first I thought no way I am doing this one and went in search of another topic.  Stretching a bit one could say I wove pain, contentment, and happiness together.

Do you have a better explanation?


Life is hard and we all struggle, some far more than others.  The fact is when we suffer we suffer and we are the ones who need to deal with it.  Emotional Fitness Training seeks to help you stay strong.

Watch for my newest venture. Publishing short eBooks at my store. My other books will continue to be sold on my Amazon.com Author’s page.

This new venture is related to feeling the pressure of age and the on-going wish to share the  knowledge I and others have found useful.  Money makes self-publishing in a PDF format the only way I can  do that.

The books will not be perfect,dygrapia will interfere,  but each will be good as I can so without spending money.

As usual thank you for supporting me. I am so lucky so many of you are there for me.




Our self talk can lift us up or tear us down.  Silencing the negative buzzing improves your emotional intelligence.

How to turn self-talk into useful slogans.

Emotional fitness tip

Pick a slogan that lifts you up and repeat it every time you become aware of negative buzzing.  Also repeat it every time you answer your phone or text a message. Repetition is necessary to counter the long practiced strength of negative buzzing.


Find some affirmative slogans you can use with your kids. The more you use them, the better.


This quick post was inspired by this Daily Prompt. Fly on the Wall:  If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Do you see how that lead me to thinking about the buzzing in our head?  If I hadn’t read it, I would not have posted today.


Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness now is to share this post with someone who will find it inspiring.  Thank you.