You have hopes and dreams for your family. You want your family to be all it can be. You want closeness, more love, less drama. You want reconciliation and healing.
You also want your family to feel good to you.
So how do you go there? How do you move in that direction? How do you influence your family?
One way you can influence your family: the hand
But the hand is pushy
It might overtly push. It might subtly manipulate. The hand just wants its way. That doesn’t mean the hand wants a bad thing. It can be a very good thing. We’re talking about how you go about getting it, how you influence your family towards it.
The hand influences by fear of punishment, or fear of harm or negative consequences. Punishment does not have to mean the hand will actually strike you; it just means it’s not worth it to resist.
You can get people to do what you want, especially if you develop the skill persistently over the years. It doesn’t matter if anyone actually wants to or is convinced. Results now are what matters.
The hand is the easiest way to try to influence
It’s the default of men, since we’re wired for strength and protection and stuff. Everybody likes to go with their default because it’s easy.
But anyone can master the hand. The hand is not just the domain of dad and sometimes mom. Kids learn pretty quick how to get their way. Siblings gravitate to it, and so do some of those cousins and relatives heading your way this Thanksgiving.
The hand is not artistic or relational. Art and relationships involve mystery and patience. The hand already knows what’s best and thinks you should too.
The hand can work, but that doesn’t mean it wins
It doesn’t win if relationships are harmed. You can win the battle and lose the war. The war is won in relationships.
You can fool yourself when you push and get your way with family members. It feels like you won, and winning feels good. But it’s empty if family members just decide it’s in their short-term best interest to obey the hand, that it’s not worth it to resist. They don’t like it and they don’t like you.
Majoring on the hand will affect your relationships and your influence in all other areas.
I don’t like talking about the hand because it feels negative and icky, but that’s the nature of the hand: it doesn’t care much what people think or how they feel. That’s why you save it for last, for when the damage is already bad and something has to change. Then meet the hand.
When have you been pushed towards a good thing, but in a way you resisted? How did it affect your relationship with the pusher?
Tomorrow: a better way that wins more often.
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This is day 23.
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