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The Reverse Work Ethic

by Kathryn Wenzel on 09/09/14

Warning:    This Blog contains concepts that to some may seem very simplistic, yet in reality, are extremely dynamic. Even so, we hope it will bring a point across that must be heard to instill everlasting change.

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, we had dreams of how we’d like our life to turn out. But nobody told us how stinking hard it was going to be. Day in and day out, one thing after another, with no end in sight.  Some of us turned to Drugs, others to Alcohol.  Many others used Sex and a lot of us used Food, all in an attempt to self-medicate so we could just get by.

The Work Ethic in America is where when we go to work we focus and get the job done. Yet, when we go home, we shut down and just want to chill and relax. This is the mistake and here is the answer.  The Reverse Work Ethic is that we must “turn on the Adult” when we go home and be focused. This is where our real job lies, at home. Instead we have learned to become self-serving and hypersensitive at home. Now it’s just a matter of time before we blow a gasket.  No one seems to have an answer. No one seems to know why we act this way.  We shake our heads while walking away and, of course, most of us just want to whine, cry or yell.

         “What happened here ?!?” “Why is my life so messed up ?!?”  It’s time to find out why, how, where, when and, most importantly, what to do about it all.

The Basic ABC’s:

The ABC’s help explain what seems to be so very complicated.

A is for our Ego- that angry, manipulative kid inside.

B is for our Adult- who must rise up and take control.

C is for our Lover- who must relax and really focus upon our friends and especially our spouse and family.

The Ego chooses to live in Stupidville.  This is where everything we do is right or everyone else’s fault. Where everything we do is minimized, distorted, rationalized and there is No Accountability.  Where it’s all about “Me”, and “I want what I want, when I want it and I want it Now!” This is where we worship what we call the UNholy Trinity; Me, Myself and I. 

The Adult, on the other hand, is the mature calm one within, who steps up and gets the job done.  We say what we’re going to do and we just do it.  We do it for others, for free or just for fun.  We operate out of self-respect and treat others with respect.  Most importantly, when we mess up, we take Accountability.  This is where we respectfully own our mistakes and humbly continue on, gracefully.

The Lover is the softer side of our heart; the one that goes above and beyond for their spouse, friends and family.  The Lover treats others with a balance of Love and Respect and with an attitude of we get to, not that we have to.

       Our hearts are pleasantly settled when we touch another’s heart.  So, we do it again and again, for there is no end in being there, one for the other.

    The problem is our Ego who keeps getting in our way.  When- ever we get triggered and go back into the Ego, we always have something negative to say. When we aren’t well received, we just run away feeling sad, mad and justified to self medicate day after day.  Life never seems to get easier.  Each year as we get older, it seems there is more and more for us to do, for it never seems to end or get easier.

The Adult must learn to take authority over this little Ego, and what a Battle this will be. So, we must gear up and begin by applying the Rules of Survival. Easy they are not, for the Ego won’t just stop. The Adult must step up, because the Ego has had its way for way too long.  Just like a parent with an “out of control” child, the Adult must take control or the Ego will run amuck.

The Survival Rules:

Rule #1. Shut-up !!!

Acknowledge that you are triggered back into your Ego.  So, do not share your thoughts, feelings or opinions.  Remember, take a slow deep breath.

Rule #2. Listen…

Maintain eye contact.  Repeat what was said, not what you think you heard.  If asked to do something, “Just do it”.

Rule #3. Don’t React!!!

S.T.O.P. - Self Time Out Please

Now we are getting started, no time to sit back and relax.  The Adult must remain steady and ready. That Ego is a little conniver and just waits to attack.

These Rules of Survival are to be used internally.  A conversation if you will, in your head between your Ego and your newly emerging Adult. You must continually be vigilant to keep your Ego at bay, or the Ego will destroy the trust, respect and love, from all of those you hold dear.

       For the Adult to stand true, we need Accountability. This is the key, the ability to account for our actions. To say “what” we did, and share it with a friend.  So find a friend willing to work with you and learn how to own your behaviors, to say what you’ve done wrong.  All this is just practice, so eventually, we’ll do it with our spouse, lover, our “bestest”, trusted friend, to grow our intimacy.

       As our Adult grows, it takes more authority.  We now tap into our Lover to grow this intimacy.  Start with the Daily 3 and you will see the power of the Lover has an amazing ability.  Don’t stop there for this is just the beginning. 

The 5 Love Languages are the key to growing our intimacy. Get the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr Gary Chapman. It’s brilliant.

To simplify things we have developed the Basic 8:

The Daily 3:

1.    Share 2 positive thoughts

2.   Share 2 positive feelings

3.   Plan 2 positive activities

The Daily 3 Explained;

2 Positive Thoughts are about your Lover; things you like, love or admire about them.

2 Positive Feelings are about your day, That have nothing to do with your lover.  This is a hard one and will take practice. Much like learning a foreign language, you will just have to work at it.

Plan 2 Positive Activities that you want to do together, every day, every week and especially on your weekends.

Dr. Gary Chapman's  5 Love Languages:

1: Words of Affirmation

2: Quality Time

3: Receiving Gifts

4: Acts of Service

5: Physical Touch

1: Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

2: Quality Time

For those whose love language is spoken with Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

3: Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

4: Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

5: Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Consistently doing the Daily 3 and the 5 Love Languages will change your heart and that of your lover, forever.

There you have it. It’s ABC

A.          The Ego

B.            The Adult

C.           The Lover

We are actually moving from intimacy with ourselves, to intimacy with our lover.  The Ego must surrender to the Adult, and the Adult grows and matures into the Lover.



Comments (1)

1. KC said on 2/17/15 - 02:50PM
The reverse work ethic explains alot of americans today. I hope more of these up and coming generations learn about this!

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