7 Ways To Find Out If You Are A Bully

September 2nd, 2014

People tend to have wrong-headed ideas of how they are with others. We might think we are kind, caring, and loving when in fact others see us as unkind, hurtful and mean-spirited. Where is the disconnect?

1. When you are with others, do you have a scowl on your face? Do your eyebrows raise in dismay and is there a deep wrinkle between them? If so, others will see you as mean and punishing before you even say a word.
2. How often do you smile? If you don’t like to smile, have bad teeth that you are trying to hide or just don’t like to feel your facial muscles stretch, others may think you disapprove of them, just because you don’t smile.
3. Are you often silent without an explanation? Do you neglect to tell others you are pausing to think and process what they just said to you? Silence without an explanation can be seen as punishing by others.
4. What is your vocabulary like? Do you use robust language a lot? You know, words usually thought of as coarse, rough and street language? If so, others may think you are rough, coarse and will want to stay away for fear that physical violence might follow.
5. Do you tell others the bottom line truth about them, their ideas and others without being invited to? If so, others may think you are a serial killer, using words and your version of the truth to destroy them.
6. Where do you look when you converse with others? If your eyes rarely look at theirs, people may think you have a hidden agenda and be afraid to find out if it’s so.
7. Are you impatient with others, tapping a foot or hand to signify to others, “Hurry up. I can’t wait all day.” If you are impatient, others will think you are trying to push them around.

The truth may be that you are distracted by your own problems, sad, preoccupied with pressures others know nothing about, angry that you are not happy right now, and nervous because of your own circumstances.

Unless you set the context for others, to know that you are not at your best, you may be seen as a bully.

Who Are You?

June 2nd, 2014

“We must become what we already are.”

I heard a Catholic bishop say this a few weeks ago at the ordination of a friend.

That’s the present and eternal action item, to embrace ourselves, uniquely designed for a brand that is “me.”

Why is it so hard to do? Fear, denial, listening to phantom voices in our heads, phantom relationships that hold us bondage, and sheer arogance hold us hostage.

Action Item: Take the assessment in “Your Intentional Difference” and discover the one word that changes everything. Then reassess your past, embrace your present and put your seat belt on for the future. It’s gonna be an exceptional ride!

Radio Show All Week

May 19th, 2014

Listen tonight at 9:00 PM and all week for the re-airing of:

Intentionally Speaking! with Ken Tucker

I am guest and co-conspirator with Ken as we help people use their difference intentionally.

Decisions Define Us

May 5th, 2014

The decisions we make define us, for ourselves in our search for self-awareness and for others to know what makes us tick.

For example, if someone asks you to lie for them, would you do it?
If someone wants you to violate one of your self-disciplines, would you do it?
If someone asks you to go against a core value in order to help them out, would you do it?

What defines you? Look at your decisions and you will begin to find out.

Love – Better than the Wikipedia Version

February 21st, 2014

“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.

If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do?

Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.

If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.

If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

All the special gifts and powers from G-d will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy, and speaking in unknown languages, and special knowledge – these gifts will disappear. Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor. But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear.

It’s like this: when I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man, my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.

In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about G-d now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as G-d sees into my heart right now.

There are three things that remain – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-13
from The Living Bible paraphrased

Mental Inertia

February 12th, 2014

“Mental inertia is, perhaps, our greatest enemy. Insidiously, it leads us to assume that we can renew our lives without renewing our habits.” Nadia Boulanger, master teacher 1/27/1925

Down with No; Up with Yes!

January 18th, 2014

How to turn negative emotions, conversations and people into positives:

• You have to want to do it. If complaining and whining are your hobbies, you will fail at positive thinking. Fess up to yourself. If you like to indulge in negativity, turn that into a productive hobby and write op ed pieces for a blog or newspaper. Or run for office of your community association, local government, state government or the national arena. Use you energy to impact the status quo. Or volunteer for a cause that makes your heart beat faster.
• When the surge of negativity courses through your veins, get up and walk, breathe, move around outside. Walk around the block, a park, anywhere safe and do it for at least 30 minutes.
• While walking, assess how you feel. If the walking feels great, plan a walking strategy. This way you will feel accomplished, i.e. so many blocks or laps in each session, so many in a week, etc. Translate that into miles and now your angst has become a hobby with substance. Or become a dog walker and turn your angst into $$$.
• If you still feel unsatisfied, consider turning your negative energy into: writing, drawing, painting, quilting, knitting, cleaning, some activity that you have always wanted to do but never made time for.
• Again, track your progress. Your angst might translate into new blankets for your family, presents for the next year or two, a blog, a book, an exhibit of your art, a genealogy record for your family.
• If your negativity isolates you from others, throw a party for other negative thinkers. If you think you have no friends, put a notice in the local paper and ask for other “friendless” people to attend. I can see the headline, “No one to watch the Super Bowl With?” Come to xyz and let’s enjoy the game together. Bring a snack, bring yourself, just come.”
• If you want to turn your negativity into a positive, befriend others, one at a time. Deliver baked goods or host a friendly “tea.” Invite others to attend, share interesting teas, maybe wear hats, use cloth napkins and dress up.
• Or dress down. Have a dress down tea party with jeans, hot dogs and popcorn and watch old movies.
• The rule here is, if others disappoint you, reach out and exceed their expectations with friendship, fun and food. Force yourself to make the first move, forgive those who won’t play and keep reaching out until you have a taker.
• Candidates for friends come in unlikely places, grocery store clerks, manicurists, electricians, dog walkers, and teachers. Maybe the volunteer at church who hands out bulletins or greets people at the door. Invite someone home for dinner after church. Keep at it until you have a few takers. Maybe the widow or widower in your neighborhood. Start conversations occasionally and see if you can discern a new friend in the process.
• Make sure that you “give” and not “take” in any relationship.

Adrenaline Junkie Christmas – Bah Humbug!

December 24th, 2013

In the US celebrating Christmas is an adrenaline junkie’s binge.

It begins on Black Friday in November when buying becomes a frenzied activity. There is the pressure of the right and wrong presents and woe to the giver who does not excel.

Then Cyber Monday and continual sales pressure consumers into exceeding non-existent budgets in order to make the season “magical” for others.

What’s the magic about?

In my heart it is the magic of a star appearing in the sky that wise men followed for perhaps a thousand miles to find a baby that was God in the flesh. It is the wonder that occurs in my heart when I can get past the sales pressure and think about what God has done for me, miserable sinner that I am.

For adrenaline junkies, shopping, baking, planning meals, attending parties, and wondering if the right people will be at this or that gathering, consume the mind. Like an addiction the expectations of what some ad agencies have projected as a perfect Christmas possesses the mind and we wonder will our Christmas measure up.

Can we stop and listen? Not for sleigh bells or snow but for the still small voice of God that calls us to give up the hype and enter into His presence.

Whether you are a Christmas junkie or just experimenting with the adrenaline, there is hope.

Just stop and concentrate on God. Read a gospel story of the birth of Jesus and how Mary pondered these things in her heart. Stop and become a ponderer.

It is hard for me to accept that I may have to work my way through this pondering, year after year, until my sensibilities are completely retrained.

No matter.

Today I can say that if I can enter into HIs presence, it is enough, more than enough.

Wise men still seek him. I am dedicated to seeking, finding, receiving and loving Him, again and again until it fills my soul entirely.

Merry, joyful, prescient Christmas to all!

Joy To The World

December 7th, 2013

Joy! How many people do you know who live joyfully?

Ah ha. That’s what I thought. Very few.

If the gift of God to the world is joy, why don’t many people receive it? Why do people seem to love misery over joy?

I have met people who are poor in finances and yet are rich in joy. I have also met people who are flush with money and yet poor in joy.

Ponder with me about this: If the gift of joy is for us, why don’t we receive it? What gets in the way?

Please receive it. Not just you, but the world will benefit.


December 5th, 2013

I reread a favorite novel by a favorite novelist over Thanksgiving and I love the way Catherine Cookson talks about banter in The Upstart. She calls it a “tart rejoinder.”

How many tart rejoinders did you sling around with family and friends at the dinner table and while pretending to enjoy each other’s company?

If it’s one or more, that may be one or more too many.

Tart rejoinders or banter hurt. They hurt the person they are aimed at. They hurt the person who spews them forth by giving vent to anger that is better worked on in private than aired in public.

Why are we tempted to aim our poison darts of words at others? We want to do this when we are angry.

Dueling and other aggressive ways of opposing others are not socially acceptable any more. So banter has replaced the way we try to get back at others when we feel the need to lash out.

Take a walk, write in your journal, follow the respectable rules for Crucial Confrontations, talk to a counselor, talk to a trusted friend, chop wood, shout in the woods, scream into your pillow, cry your eyes out, act out the whole conversation by yourself playing both sides (without and audience), go for a run or walk, do something. Please don’t make exchanging tart rejoinders a way of life.

“It is an honor for a man to stay out of a fight. Only fools insist on quarreling.” Proverbs 20:3

“Don’t repay evil for evil. Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Proverbs 20: 22

“It is hard to stop a quarrel once it starts, so don’t let it begin.” Proverbs 17:14

“The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.” Proverbs 17 ” 27-28

“A wise man restrains his anger and overlooks insults. This is to his credit.” Proverbs 19:11

Verbal Venom

November 26th, 2013

What should you do when someone uses language, vocal tone and attitude as “verbal venom?”

Stop it before it infects your interactions at home, at work and your community.

Verbal venom can spawn a plague of disrespect and bad feelings in a power play: whoever is louder and more verbally vicious wins the war and the dead spirits of formerly alive loving people lay everywhere.

Stop it at the first sign before it spreads.

1. When someone hurls their crap at you the first time, even if it is aimed at your heart and bruises your spirit, duck. If you are stunned and can’t duck, mentally and emotionally remind yourself that it’s their crap, not yours. You are OK. Then pray blessings on the zinger, to defang and change them, so they are rendered harmless. Pray that they will want to hurl blessings, not zingers.

2. Resist at all costs, the desire to return the crap. If you do, you indulge in the dangerous sport of banter that is one word and one attitude away from robust and abusive language. You feel hurt and now your flesh wants to hurt the person back.

3. Don’t repay evil with evil. Repay evil with blessings. It’s counter intuitive and it’s the godly way. Dare to be godly in this.

4. If you seem to fail, leave the danger zone. For how long? As long as necessary.

Wife Waiting for Husband to Change

October 10th, 2013

I got this personal reflection from a reader:

“When I got your book, The Power of the Zip in a Heavenly Light, I dived into it immediately. Then I tried this. Is it right?

I asked my wife, “When I come home from work and we sit down to dinner, do you ever feel that we are not really talking to each other? Do you feel that you are talking about something and that I don’t really hear you because I am busy talking about something else?”

My wife said, “Yes” very quickly!

I’ve noticed that she is eagerly awaiting for this pattern to change.”

When you try a new way of interacting with someone, give yourself time. Ask for them to give you time.

Email me if you need help. Ask for help. Email me: askjill@jillkampmelton.com

Stop Talking; Start Listening

October 7th, 2013

I have a new slogan on my new business card. “Stop Talking; start listening.”

I look forward to your feedback.

Epidemic: Language of Hate Everywhere

August 19th, 2013

Have you noticed that there is an epidemic of the language of hate everywhere?

Conservatives hate the causes and the people who espouse those causes on the liberal side.
Liberals hate the causes and the people who espouse those causes on the conservative side.

People who think their rights are being curtailed hate those who want to curtail them.
People who want rights spelled out and restricted hate those who want no limits.

Some people who say they are Christians hate those who don’t want visible Christianity.

Some people who say they are Christians want visible expressions of Christianity.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others seem to want their positions visible and the other positions invisible.

What’s the common denominator? Hate.

The language of love should transcend our differences. Hate on either side is noise pollution and injures our spirits and our ability to love others in spirit and in truth.

The cure for the epidemic of hate language is the language of the presence of love. The power of the presence of love makes it safe for people to be themselves without fear of criticism or condemnation. The power of the presence of love means that without words we can love one another and not argue about this or that.

Without love people fill the vacuum with hate. And yet everyone needs to feel loved. Love with skin on it is basking in the aura of those who love you unconditionally. If you have never experienced that, it’s hard to be love for others.

Down with hate language. Up with the language and the presence of love in all things.

The hard thing is that most people don’t know how to do this. I find it hard and yet it is my goal, to love others and rise above differences.

Judgement and condemnation are not my job, thankfully. They are not your job either.

Our only job is to love one another lavishly and beautifully.

That’s the cure for hate: love. Exchange hot heaping hunks of hate for lavish loads of love.

I believe that the epidemic of hate can be cured one loving moment at a time, one loving word at a time, one loving experience at a time. Other schemes have failed. This one will bring healing to our world.

Meet Webmaster – Yvonne Herbst

August 14th, 2013

If you have been checking my website, you will recognize that many changes have transformed the pages. Thanks to Yvonne Herbst at http://www.herbstmarketing.com people can order books, watch a video and meet me online.

Although she has been helping me for a few months, I just met her in person today at the Fauquier County Women’s Business Council lunch where I was the keynote speaker. What an impressive group of women! Warrenton rocks!

Also check out Yvonne’s blog at: http://herbstmarketing.com/blog/ She talks about her different website projects and gives specific marketing tips for local businesses. Yvonne is easy to work with and she’s only happy if you are happy with her work.

Check out this great resource to bring your work to the next level.