A Note from Arlene

Arlene Harder

Welcome to the Support4Change Blog!

I have had a continuous online presence for more than sixteen years with four websites, the last of which was Support4Change. Now I am in the process of bringing many of my previous articles here to my blog.

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit my bio page. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, you can do so here.

 

Diversions, Number 16: The Happiest Man in the World

Diversions for You and Your Friends is a feature of the blog, which appears every Monday. To find out more about Diversions, read the Introduction and Part 1, or you can visit the Diversions Archive.

16 - Arizona painting skyThis week’s Diversions for You and Your Friends is “The Happiest Man in the World.” You can use this Diversion several ways:hiend to read in his or her browser.

  1. Online version. Read “The Happiest Man in the World” or forward this PDF for a friend to read in his or her browser.
  2. Print version. Print the PDF and send it to a friend. I print my cards on both sides of an 8.5” x 11” paper. Then I fold that in half and put it into a 6” x 9” envelope. (You could also just print it out and cut it into four pages, which are numbered, staple them together, and fit them into in a business-sized envelope.)

You will notice that in this print version (and print versions in the future) that there is a space at the top of the card where you can write your own greeting to your friend.

The idea for this comes from a woman to whom I send these cards periodically. She said that she appreciates it when I write a short note with each card. That way, she feels it is personalized. I don’t add much more than her name, and perhaps a short comment I make only to her, but that seems to made a significant difference to her.

So I am now leaving a space in the print version at the top of the first page. Then, when you print it out (on the front and back of a piece of paper), you may want to write something like this:

Sally,

I know that you spend a lot of time working and worrying about your situation, so I thought you would like something to take your mind off your troubles — at least for a little while. Enjoy.

Pick Your Battles Carefully

This article originally appeared on the Support4Change website, and is reposted here.

The idea for this article grew out of a compromise I made which is, as my assistant reminds me, the “nuts and bolts” of marriage.

Ivy vineLines are drawn in every marriage. Sometimes our positions are relatively unimportant and scratched in sand, where they can be easily erased and moved. However, basic values and principles on which we won’t compromise are chipped into cement. Getting us to budge on those requires major reconstruction. But sometimes we—especially perfectionists—can draw non-negotiable lines over insignificant issues because we need to be in control. Unfortunately, we often don’t know until we’re in the middle of a disagreement the kind of position our loved ones have taken—or how strongly we, ourselves, want to defend our opinion. Read More

Diversions, Number 16: George Carlin’s Views on Age

Diversions for You and Your Friends is a feature of the blog, which appears every Monday. To find out more about Diversions, read the Introduction and Part 1, or you can visit the Diversions Archive.

17 - Arlene and LelandThis week’s Diversions for You and Your Friends is “George Carlin’s Views on Age.” You can use this Diversion several ways:hiend to read in his or her browser.

  1. Online version. Read “George Carlin’s Views on Age” or forward this PDF for a friend to read in his or her browser.
  2. Print version. Print the PDF and send it to a friend. I print my cards on both sides of an 8.5” x 11” paper. Then I fold that in half and put it into a 6” x 9” envelope. (You could also just print it out and cut it into four pages, which are numbered, staple them together, and fit them into in a business-sized envelope.)

Read More

What Motivates People to Change?

In this discussion and excerpt from my book, Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life, learn what prevents people from changing behavior and what best motivates them to change.

Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life
Are you actively working to change some aspect of your relationship, and of your behavior, and can’t understand how someone else (perhaps the “significant other” in your life) and either doesn’t have a clue that anything is wrong with the situation, or with him or her, or seems inexplicably unwilling to do anything about it?

Why, you ask, are you so willing to change and the other person is not? I’ve asked myself that many times, since I’m one of those who constantly scrutinizes my problems to see how I might be contributing to the situation. That doesn’t mean I’ve been completely successful in changing some of my more tenacious bad habits, but I do work at it (which can, paradoxically, also be a curse for those of us who are recovering perfectionists). Nevertheless, for many years I found it difficult to understand why others weren’t as introspective as I. Read More

Diversions, Number 15: Take a Mini-Vacation

Diversions for You and Your Friends is a feature of the blog, which appears every Monday. To find out more about Diversions, read the Introduction and Part 1, or you can visit the Diversions Archive.

15 - MIni-Vacation canvas-oil

This week’s Diversions for You and Your Friends is “Take a Mini-Vacation.” You can use this Diversion several ways:hiend to read in his or her browser.

1. Online version. Read “Take a Mini-Vacation” or forward this PDF for a friend to read in his or her browser.

2. Print version. Print the PDF and send it to a friend. I print my cards on both sides of an 8.5” x 11” paper. Then I fold that in half and put it into a 6” x 9” envelope. (You could also just print it out and cut it into four pages, which are numbered, staple them together, and fit them into in a business-sized envelope.) Read More