Newsletter: Dec 7, 2021

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Your Past Does Not Dictate Your Future

Robert (not his real name) was 17-years-old and was always angry. VERY ANGRY!

His world had not been kind to him when he was growing up. Dad drank heavily and routinely beat the children for even the smallest transgression. Mom worked 2 jobs and was often not home.

One day, when Robert was 13, he decided he'd had enough and beat up his dad. Then he decided he needed a new place to live to he left and lived on the street for a while. The police picked him up and put him in a group home. That lasted 3 weeks until he attempted suicide they called the police to say "get him out of here!" The police threw him into the detention center until they could find foster parents for him. He ended up going through 13 foster homes in 4 years.

Needless to say, Robert continued his angry behavior and his various suicide attempts. . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish you and your family a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of the work that we all do to be at our best and serving other people, please take a few moments before your turkey is served and talk about what you are grateful for and who you are grateful for.

How are You Feeling Today?

When we speak with groups, we always begin by asking people how they are feeling right in this moment, and to share that with the group.

“How are you feeling right now?”

It’s a simple question, and it would seem at first glance that there are some simple answers: “I feel good.” “I feel fine.” “I’m OK.”

Or, if someone is really brave, they’ll say “I feel a little nervous right now.” Of course they do! They didn’t know that they would be asked to “expose” their feelings out loud to a group of their peers or a group of strangers. That’s scary stuff! Anyone on their right mind would be “a little nervous” doing that!

This simple question exposes the difficulty in discussing our emotional lives. We don’t even have the vocabulary to describe our feelings in useful detail — over three-quarters of the people we talk to have a hard time coming up with a “feeling” word.

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Larry Levenson
Larry Levenson
Larry Levenson is the founder of Circle Dynamics Group and a national leader in training educators in emotional intelligence and the use of genuine listening and curiosity in conversations with students. He has a Master's degree in Human Development.

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