News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™


Experience More Joy, Love, and Peace in 2013!

Attitiude Reconstruction  


May 2013
In This Issue
Hey Jude!
Communication Rules and Violations
Unsolicited Advice
Jude Bijou
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About Jude Bijou MFT


The daughter of pioneering behavioral child psychologist Sidney W. Bijou, Jude Bijou earned a BA from Reed College and an MA in psychology from Carleton University. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara CA, a teacher of communication through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education, and a longtime student of Indian Vedic philosophy. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction™ evolved from years of working with clients to help them lead more happy, fulfilled lives. Her first book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life, has won numerous awards and is receiving rave reviews. Her new ebook is 33 Bad Attitudes and What You Can Do With Them

A testimonial from a satisfied "customer"

My Step-mom started drinking heavily. So much that it made family gatherings unbearable. Traditionally all of our family gatherings took place in their home. Each event Beverly would get drunk and ruin the evening. I was so angry with her and I stopped coming over for family dinners. A family reunion was coming and I knew that was one gather I would not be able to avoid. I didn't know what to do. I explained the situation to Jude and she helped me figure out what I COULD do about it.

The plan was to tell my step-mom ahead of time that when she drinks a lot it makes me very uncomfortable. It was her house and she could do what she wanted. If she did choose to drink a lot and I felt uncomfortable, then I would need to leave. Jude and I scripted out what I wanted to say. I picked a good time to meet Beverly (on her day off, not after a long stressful day at work). I felt a little sick to my stomach on my way to her house and I REALLY didn't want to do it, but I knew I couldn't take another drunken family reunion. I delivered my message and Beverly was very responsive. She apologized for making me uncomfortable. She promised not to drink a lot and she didn't!

She was a little standoffish that night, but it was much better than previous dinners. We were all able to talk and enjoy each others company. Having that talk didn't just make that one night better. It brought us back together, when my instinct before had been to pull away. Instead of being mad at Beverly, I had the chance to love her again. And, I had yet another tool in my kit to handle the situation in the future. I was able to have a similar talk/check in before the next family event to avoid an unpleasant evening and be in charge of creating love, peace, and joy for myself. Being bold and having a conversation that I was afraid to have has made my relationship with Beverly better. I thought she would be mad at me and not want to see me, but the opposite was true.



Greetings Friends!

Communication affects every aspect of our lives, from the ways we interact with others to the way we understand ourselves. Rarely do I encounter someone whose parents were good communicators. So it's no wonder we lack the skills to communicate effectively, especially when emotions are flying around.


Last Saturday I taught my Communication Class here in Santa Barbara through the City College Adult Ed. This class is always super well-received because I keep lecture time to a minimum, allowing maximum opportunity for participants to apply the principles with each other. Only by practicing the rules in a non-threatening manner can people truly start to own these simple-but-not-easy concepts.


At the end of this last class, each person expressed the most salient thing they learned. Overwhelmingly, it was to speak about oneself, your "I," rather than focusing on others and "youing." (Sticking to your "I" is the first Communication Rule.) Other concepts that rang true were: the importance of listening without giving advice (Rule#4), staying specific and only addressing one topic at a time (Rule #2 and a favorite of mine), matadoring the "yous" that come your way, and when speaking up, to repeat their "I" about a specific at least three times with love before abandoning ship.

tanager babe     oriole babe 

In bird news, I was surprised to see a baby western tanager for the first time ever. I've seen tanagers occasionally cruising by for a meal of grape jelly, but a family has never stuck around for the season. Just like the hooded orioles that do stay, both males have intense yellow and black feathers. What sets them apart is that the orioles are two-tone with a sharp longer beak, while the tanager has this shocking red head and a beak that is more suited for seeds. We'll see what happens.



In other kind of news, I recently attended a healing event in Los Angeles with Dr. Isaam Nemeh. Among other things, I was given a huge gift of a new reliable truth "HAVE FAITH!" Dr. Nemeh talked about the importance of faith, and that faith is belief without seeing. That definition is so great. I am pleased with this new mantra "HAVE FAITH!" It's the perfect phrase to revert to when my mind starts to chatter about what I should do in the future and doubts arise what I did in the past. It's much better to hold an attitude of faith than to get derailed by my worst case scenarios. Give it a try!


Thanks to all who entered the drawing for the ten free Attitude Reconstruction laminated blueprints. I loved packing each one up in a tidy tube with a custom sticker. I'm delighted they'll have new homes and be helpful to others, because that's my mission this time on the planet. When I think about my job of spreading the practical wisdom of Attitude Reconstruction, it feels like I hit the lottery. I get the same feeling when I'm interviewed on the radio because I get to share something so intuitively correct and valuable with the audience, whether they live in Canada, Miami, New York, Montana, or Washington state.



How can I tell the difference between intuition and perspective?


Intuition comes from within. It's what you know when you're quiet and still. It's an inner knowing, whether it's about what to eat for dinner, where to stay when traveling, or whether it's time apologize for a mistake you made. Perspective comes from using your mind to provide a bigger picture of what is happening. Broadening your perspective helps you get out of your "me me me" thinking but if you want total confidence in a decision, you'll need to run it by your inner traffic light to be sure you get a green, rather than a red or yellow one. You do know. You just have to pause and listen. Then comes the tricky part: holding on to and acting on what you know when you're clear, rather than succumbing to the "maybe this, maybe that" doubts that arise.


The Communication Rules and Violations

I've learned that all good communication boils down to following four simple rules.
With them, anyone can communicate about any topic effectively and lovingly. There are also four main violations that create the misunderstandings and ensuing hurt, alienation and confusion
that we experience when communicating with others.

1. The first rule is "talk about yourself." This is our true domain. Share what we feel, think, want, and need. This brings closeness, as we reveal information about ourselves. The First Violation is to tell other people about themselves (without permission). This includes blame, sarcasm, teasing, attacking, and finger-pointing. It only creates separation and alienation.

2. The Second rule is to stay specific. That's what we do with music, architecture, engineering, cooking, math, physics, and computers; and what we must do when communicating. When we stay concrete others can understand what we're saying - the topic, the request, the reasons. It brings peace. The Second Violation is over-generalizing. This can take the form of
sweeping conclusions, abstractions, and labels, and using words like "always" and "never," or bringing in other topics only barely related to the subject at hand. This is confusing and it fuels fear.

3. The third rule is kindness. Compassion fosters love. It can take the form of offering appreciations, praise, focusing on the positive, and sharing gratitude. The Third Violation is being unkind. Focusing on what's not working, on what we don't like, throws a blanket on furthering a conversation and produces anger and feelings of separation in the recipient.

4. The fourth rule is simply to listen. That means seeking to truly understand what someone is saying, and encouraging their speech. This brings closeness. Listening is a practice. The Fourth Violation is not listening. We know how that feels. Automatic
interruptions, debates, and wise-cracks don't truly acknowledge the speaker but instead further our own agenda.

     The four rules bring loving, effective communication and feelings of connection. These rules are very simple (but not easy) and the rewards of abiding by them are great. In contrast, the violations apply in virtually every setting and causes communication breakdowns and distance.
Unsolicited Advice
unsolicited advice
You've learned a little about how to communicate effectively. Here's a short video of yours' truly offering insight about how to elegantly deal with unsolicited advice. 
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and found it insightful. Your feedback is most welcome.

I'm wishing you much joy, love, and peace.
Cheers,   Jude