Using Humor to Resolve Conflict in Your Relationship

By Roz Jones

As caregivers sometimes conflicts can brew all day between you and the one you are providing care. There are times when as a caregiver the combatants are at a crisis point, and it feels like the entire office is holding their collective breath waiting to see what happens next. At this point, they’re ready for bloodshed, or at the very least, some very strong words. 

The last thing they expect is for one of the key players in the conflict to open their mouth and… make a joke?

Maybe it doesn’t feel like a resolution to the conflict, but actually, laughter goes far beyond being the clichéd ‘best medicine.’  How? First of all, laughter takes the tension out of the situation, which exactly is what’s needed to regain perspective, build stronger bonds, and yes, sometimes smooth over the differences. 

How then do you effectively use humor to resolve conflicts?

1. Make sure that both parties are ‘in on the joke.’ By keeping humor wholesome – not at the expense of the other person, you’re focusing on inviting them to laugh with you, rather than laughing at them. How can you tell if you’re doing it right? Humor is tricky, and so your best indicator of getting it right is to gauge the other person’s reactions. If they’re not laughing, chances are they don’t find it funny. Stop!

2. Check to make sure that you’re using humor as a defensive weapon rather than as a positive tool. If you’re using humor to mask emotions that you’d rather not deal with right now, then it’s time to put a flag on the play. Stop immediately and ask yourself what it is that you’re not dealing with and why. 

3. Work on that sense of humor. Every good comedian knows how to read their audience. The same goes for using humor with another person, especially in a situation that’s already a conflict. Watch the nonverbal cues. What language are you using? Keep the tone positive and light, and mean it. That means don’t use jokes as a means of cruelty. Lastly, consider what you might use as an inside joke. Inside jokes not only keep the situation light but create a deeper intimacy with whom you conflict.

4. Most importantly, be Playful! A little bit of silly fun is a good thing. Not sure how to tap into that kind of fun and crazy side? Explore humor in other ways so that you always have a repertoire to fall back on. Watch things you find funny on TV or in movies. Listen to jokes. Read the funnies. Find that side of you that likes to play and encourage it with creativity and fun. 

And no matter what, cut yourself some slack. It takes practice to be funny. Keep at it, and you’ll find your natural sense of humor, and be able to tap into it when you need to. That conflict won’t know what hit it!

Reasons Why You Should Prioritize Self-Care

By: Roz Jones

Self-care refers to any activity that we engage in to maintain and nourish our health, including mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. While it may seem like an obvious concept, self-care often gets cast aside for more pressing priorities such as work, family and the everyday pressures of life. There are many reasons why you should prioritize self-care and we’ve listed six of the most important below.

1. Improves mood

Investing time in your own care can have a major impact on your mood, leading to greater optimism and positivity. It will help you to feel happier, more satisfied and better able to cope with the challenges that life throws you way. Even taking a small amount of time per week to nurture your physical, emotional and mental health can be hugely beneficial on your mood.

2. Helps relationships

Self-care helps you to be the best person you can be, which in turn as a positive impact on your relationships. Taking regular time to invest in your personal health allows you to be happier and more stable as an individual. This has a flow on effect as it allows you to be more patient and accommodating with others and therefore have better relationships.

3. Decreases risk of burnout

We all lead busy lives and regular investment in self-care is necessary to avoid burnout. Find a form of self-care that works for you, whether that be taking a walk, spending time with family or getting a massage, and commit to engaging in it regularly. It will help to manage your stress and prevent burnout.

4. Makes you become more present

Spending time managing yourself allows you to become more present and engaged with your surroundings. You are likely to have a better understanding of what it takes to maintain your mental, physical and emotional health, thus resulting in you having a greater focus on your current mood and trigger that have the potential to impact your health.

5. Better performance

Self-care is often seen as indulgent, when in actual fact it can have a much broader impact. Looking after yourself helps to maintain your health, which in turn allows you to perform better in all aspects of your life: work, family, sport.

6. Increases quality of life

The overarching benefit of self-care is that it increases the quality of your life. By helping you to be healthier, have better relationships and be more present, self-care allows you to live a more fulfilling life.

Signs That Your Emotions Control You

By: Roz Jones

Emotions by themselves are neither good nor bad. They just are. It is how you allow your emotions to influence your thoughts and actions that is important. Awareness and understanding of your feelings can help ensure that you control your feelings and that they aren’t controlling you. Knowing what you are feeling, what made you think that way, and how those feelings are affecting your behaviors and thoughts is a crucial life skill. 

You can’t stop yourself from feeling emotions. But you can become more aware of how those responses change your perceptions and could be influencing your behavior in negative ways. If you aren’t sure if you control your emotions or your emotions control you, here are five warning signs that your feelings may control your life. 

#1. Your reactions are instinctive, not thought out.

If you are a slave to your emotions, then you may often find yourself reacting to life’s circumstances with little thought or reflection. When you allow your emotional responses to control your decision-making, you respond to things at once and never take the time to calm down and let cooler thoughts to prevail. When you are emotionally charged, your amygdala has taken over your brain’s ability to think clearly. So, waiting until that immediate response is over means you see the situation differently. But, when you fly off the handle right away in a situation, you resign yourself to a purely emotional response. 

#2. You often regret your behavior.

Does this ever happen to you? When something happens that upsets you, do you feel good about your response at the moment but feel sorry about what you did or said later? If so, this is a sign you allow your emotions to guide your behavior. Living with lots of regret about how you treated someone else, responded to a situation, or behaved in front of other people means that you are making poor choices in emotional moments instead of learning to control your responses to your feelings. 

#3. You hurt yourself and other people.

When you are under the control of your emotions, you may end up hurting other people or yourself. Allowing your emotions to control you means that you are always on edge, always ready to shift moods and become engulfed in the next emotional episode. Others may have difficulty knowing how to respond to you, and you may not know what to expect from yourself. If you spend your life being emotionally charged, you allow your feelings to control your decisions, which can lead to risky or careless decisions. 

#4. Your thoughts are keeping you up at night.

When you have excessive anxiety, when you are living with regret over your emotional behavior, or when you don’t know who to handle yourself anymore, you can lose sleep at night. If you find yourself laying in bed wondering how your life got so out of control, you may be a slave to your emotions. 

#5. You give up on your dreams.

When you live in a constantly emotional state, it can feel like you won’t ever be able to accomplish what you want in life, which can lead to frustration and cause you to quit pursuing your goals in life. Your dreams are important to you, but when you allow your emotions to control your life, they take center stage over everything else that is important. 

Does any of this sound like you? Are you living a life enslaved by your emotions? Now that you know what is happening, you are ready to start learning to control how you allow your emotions to rule your life so that you can finally live out your destiny.

Ways to Control How You React Towards Difficult People

By: Roz Jones

As caregivers we all have to deal with difficult people from time to time, but it’s how you deal with them that matters. Dealing with difficult people is all about control. If you maintain control of how you react towards these people, you keep control of the situation, not allowing those difficult people to win.

In this article, we’re going to cover the five steps you can take to control how you react towards these incessantly difficult people. 

1) Slow down and take a deep breath

It may sound cheesy, but this advice is given so often for a reason. If you slow down and take the time to take a deep breath, you’re allowing yourself not only time to calm down, but also time to consider your actions. When you react quickly without thinking, you tend to overreact and cause more harm than good.

When forced to deal with difficult people, take this time to slow down and consider how you will react to the situation. Don’t just react quickly, control it.

2) Weigh out your reaction

The best way to control how you will react to difficult people is to weigh out the potential consequences of each reaction you could have. This allows you to fully think through and control how you react to these difficult people. Make sure you give yourself the time to do this; otherwise, you might regret what you say or how you handle the situation.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that every action has consequences, be it their initial difficult action or your reaction. You have to weigh these consequences as best you can and make a decision on how you’ll react to these difficult people.

3) Keep calm

The only way you’ll be able to control your reaction to difficult people is by keeping calm. If you let your emotions get in the way and overreact to these situations, you lose complete control. You will no longer be able to control how you react to difficult people. You have to remain calm in these situations in order to keep control.

4) Step away

You have to step away from the situation and allow yourself time to adjust and react. Stepping away from the issue and giving yourself the space to calm down and analyze how you’ll react will allow you to keep control of it. This will help you to keep control of the situation and how you handle the difficult person before you.

5) Know when to walk away

The last step in controlling how you react to difficult people is knowing when to walk away from the situation. If you aren’t getting anywhere with the difficult person and the situation just seems to worsen, it’s time to walk away. 

There’s no use wasting your time and breath on a difficult person that won’t budge. It will only cause yourself more stress and harm than it’s worth. Know when it’s time to walk away and do just that. If you aren’t getting anywhere, there’s no use trying.

Dealing with difficult people is, unfortunately, a necessary part of life. However, how you deal with it is entirely up to you. You are in complete control of how you react towards difficult people, you just have to realize it. We hope that this list will help you to strengthen your ability to control your reactions.

As you go through this, keep in mind that you need to keep calm and maintain control. You have the power to control how you react and when you walk away; exercise and strengthen that power.

Rational Reactions to Challenging Situations


By: Roz Jones

Rational and reasonable, at least linguistically, are synonymous. In fact, Webster uses these words to help define each other. 

Rational- Having or exercising the ability to reason: Of sound mind: Consistent with or based on reason (Webster’s New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984).

Reason: Within the bounds of common sense. Not extreme or excessive. The capacity for rational thought, inference, or discrimination (Websters New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984)

Our emotions are a reflection of our perceptions of what’s going on around us, and in turn they lead us to externally display one or more patterns of behavior in reaction to that stimuli. In any given situation, our emotions are going to have an impact in how we react. 

When these situations are especially challenging it can be difficult to maintain rational thought patterns and behavior within the confines of reason; as portrayed by Portia. 

If this were true, then should I know this secret. 

I grant I am a woman; but withal 

A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife: 

I grant I am a woman; but withal 

A woman well-reputed, Cato’s daughter. 

Think you I am no stronger than my sex, 

Being so father’d and so husbanded? 

 Tell me your counsels, I will not disclose ’em: 

I have made strong proof of my constancy, 

Giving myself a voluntary wound 

Here, in the thigh: can I bear that with patience. 

And not my husband’s secrets?

(The Tragedy Of Julius Caesar. (n.d.). Retrieved from Opensource Shakespeare: http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=juliuscaesar&Act=2&Scene=1&Scope=scene)

Even though stabbing yourself in the leg is neither reasonable nor recommended, this one scene of Portia’s highlights the major points of remaining rational during a challenging situation. 

  • Remaining calm in a high-pressure situation
  • Maintain rational detachment
  • Be attentive
  • Recognize your limits
  • Be mindful of your own actions

Remain calm

Notice how Portia isn’t yelling and screaming at Brutus. She’s completely calm. She knows Brutus is up to something because she can clearly see the effect it’s having on him physically, how it’s weighing him down, so when she confronts Brutus and puts herself in this situation, she remains completely calm.

Maintain rational detachment 

Portia refers to her breeding and her choice of husband here as well. She’s calmly bringing up her, basically, credentials as she sees them. She has some authority here, though not very much, but she’s using what she has rather than taking the situation personally. Although she speaks about how Brutus’s treatment of her is affecting her personally, she’s not expressing that in an overtly emotional way in this particular scene. 

Portia is attempting to diffuse a situation that Brutus is in, and she know that if she reacts emotionally to the personal hurt, then she’ll get nowhere. Instead, she states her case with a degree of rational detachment. 

Be Attentive

Portia chose this particular moment in the garden with Brutus because she thought it to be a good time to address their situation. She’s mindful of her surroundings, and attentive to his current situation. 

Recognize your limits

Portia understands the limits of her standing as a woman in her society. Rather than making herself out to be too important to leave out of the equation, she pleads her case with Brutus by shining a light on her social and physical limitations, or rather, her limits as Brutus may see them as a man- even if she does mock his point of view just a tad bit. 

When she stabs herself in the leg, she recognizes that it’s painful, and addresses this fact in an attempt to portray her rational state of mind as a strength. Her use of her physical and social limits reflects a stoic, and rational, state of mind even though she’s probably very distraught. 

Be mindful of your own actions. 

Again, Portia is mindful of the fact that she’s basically ambushed Brutus just before he’s about to do something regretful. She doesn’t know exactly what he’s involved in, but she does have a feeling that it’s something horrible.

She’s completely mindful of her actions of ambushing Brutus, kneeling at his feet to beg, using every one of her tools in her arsenal to convince him to succumb to her will, even stabbing herself. At every phase she remains completely calm, and rational in her thoughts and actions. 

Rational thinking is the ability to consider all of the relevant variables in any given situation. Reacting rationally implies that your actions are a direct result of rational thought, even if some actions seem unreasonable. 

Portia’s display of feminine wiles in this scene depicts the Stoic philosophy of her day, and although it’s a play, it’s a perfect example of all of the components of rational behavior during challenging situations. 

Obviously, stabbing yourself is never reasonable. Remember that this is an artistic expression from Shakespeare, so certain components were included with the express purpose of highlighting the mistakes Brutus made. However, the principal stands. Rational behavior is best deployed in highly stressful situations, even if others like Brutus, do not behave rationally themselves.

How Better Self-Care Can Lead To Success

By: Roz Jones

Self-care is often brushed aside for things seen as more important; business meetings, social commitments, family obligations. While these things are important (and can in some cases contribute to self-care), it is important that we take time to ourselves when we need it. This personal investment will not be for nothing; in fact, self-care is important if we want to optimize our performance in any area of our lives. Taking the time to maintain our physical, emotional and mental health can lead to success in many ways.

Helps us to maintain perspective

Self-care, regardless of the form, allows us the time to reflect and therefore better understand ourselves as individuals. We are better able to identify our triggers and put things in to perspective, rearranging our priorities to understand what is important and what isn’t. This perspective contributes to a healthier life as we understand where stress is justified and where we should be more relaxed.

Helps us to keep positive

Self-care is great for our mental and emotional wellbeing. People who invest time in taking care of themselves are more likely to be more optimistic and see the silver linings in bad situations. It is an effective way for maintaining positive moods, rather than succumbing to darker emotions.

Improves our relationships

By investing time in ourselves, we are better placed to interact with and support others. Self-care allows us to maintain our own health and therefore put us in a good place to be able to engage with others and maintain strong relationships. 

Improves our work performance

While self-care is sometimes seen as indulgent, it often has a much broader impact that goes beyond our own lives. People who invest in self-care are more likely to be healthier, both physically and mentally, and are therefore better prepared to perform at work. They are likely to be more focused, more emotionally stable and form stronger, more positive relationships. All of these things are highly beneficial in the workplace and will lead to greater performance.

It does take time to invest in self-care, although the benefits far outweigh the price. Take the time to establish a good routine that includes self-care practices, whatever this looks like to you, and you will be sure to reap the rewards. Self-care is an important component of maintaining good health and should not be overlooked or disregarded.