01/29/2015 02:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Common Communication Conundrums and How to Handle Them


If you're like me, you've probably met a few of these types of people in your life:

-- Debbie Downer
-- Paralysis by Analysis Al
-- Egocentric Ed

If you're like me, you've even been these people at certain times in your life. Debbie, Al and Ed will inevitably drop in on occasion, simply because we're human. The challenge is in keeping their visits short.

Whether you're the culprit or someone else is, remember there is one thing you can do to limit their visits: you get to choose their length of stay. Yes, you can choose how long they get to hang out with you. Why is this important? This is important if you want improvement in your life in the areas of relationships, business, wellness and income.

I must admit that once upon a time I sat on the opposite side of the fence -- never a player, always in the trenches. In fact, just last week when I felt a little down, lonely and bored, Debbie invited herself to my pity party. We talked about mercury in retrograde, and how everyone was still in sleep mode from the holidays. We stewed in misery together while waiting for the rest of the world to recover. On top of that, inactivity begat boredom and that packed even more of a wallop.

I've also been known to get bitten by the Al bug. There are just times when even a crane would not be able to lift me out of bed. If there's something I really don't want to do or someone I really don't want to call, I will find ways to avoid it - until I'm faced with the fact that it is going to, and will, catch up with me. Analysis leads to paralysis, which leads to procrastination, which leads to inertia, which leads to non-productivity, which leads to bills not getting paid. You get the picture. Not good.

The worst of the lot is Egocentric Ed -- or, as I call him, the Big "e-No." It's the monster I labeled the "Trump Transgression" during my interview last fall with Casey Messer of KOB-TV's Good Day New Mexico. The Big e-No shows up for no good reason when we least suspect or expect it, usually when threatened with a sense of loss of control or fear of looking dumb or dumber. The E-No shuts down all communication and begins to cause us to attract what we are striving to repel.

All of these are communication annihilators. When you shut down, you become a target for the three most common mistakes people make personally, and interpersonally. Here are the culprits and how to handle them:

Debbie Downer
Debbie Downer, like the "Eeyore" character from Winnie-the-Pooh, is the voice inside our head that chants "Woe is me." The self-limiting beliefs and negative self-talk has to go. The instant you feel yourself getting in your own way, respond mindfully with something simple, like telling yourself you're going to have a good day (no ifs, ands, or buts about it). Or give yourself some lip yoga and invert that frown. Needless to say, stay away from other Debbie Downers.

Paralysis by Analysis Al
Meet Paralysis by Analysis Al, the stifling alter ego who questions and over-thinks every minutiae. Al is his own worst enemy. What to do about him? Let him know that he's a royal procrastinating pain-in-the-A disaster who's his own worst enemy and spends way too much time living in the past. Remind him that his subconscious belief that something will or won't happen because it did or didn't happen before, is completely unfounded and he needs to get outside his head.

Egocentric Ed
We all have egos, but it's the unhealthy one that occasionally rears its ugly head, giving us pause. The need to be right is a powerful emotion and has the potential to destroy everything in your life. Working towards building confidence is key, but when Ed shows up, be prepared with a technique you've developed to quell him before he becomes full-blown. Such a technique could be to breathe deeply and count to three, or walk away from the situation until you've had the time to remind yourself that nothing in this world, is worth your ire. Ask yourself in earnest, "Why do I have to be right anyway?" and you'll be surprised by your answer.

The secret to communicating -- and more importantly, connecting, is to open your heart up more. Be open to being vulnerable. When you are vulnerable, you allow yourself to be guided by spirit and not by "conditions," which is what you have been led by previously. If you practice this on a daily basis, you will begin to see changes in yourself and changes in the quality of what will attract, as well as more like-mindedness and alignments in your life.