(Excerpt from BUILT TOUGH? )

I often meet people who refer to themselves as tough. My perception, at times, is quite the opposite: I see them as mean-spirited. What exactly does it mean to be tough?

Ford Motor Company manufactures several size trucks. Their tag line is "Ford trucks, built tough". In the auto industry, tough refers to the ability to withstand more than the average. These vehicles have the strength to carry extremely heavy loads. They are built to withstand the elements, gripping the road even in inclement weather. They don't allow rocky, jagged terrain to slow them down nor do they break if they hit a pothole. And they outlast their competitors. What they (the trucks) don't do is run other cars off the road, drive recklessly or disregard the safety of other drivers.

In life, tough people have similar characteristics: they face difficult situations without falling apart. They persevere where others quit. They take on huge challenges without faltering. They carry heavier loads than the average person. And they out perform all others. They do not behave irresponsibly towards one another.

There are those who confuse being mean-spirited with being tough. They are proud to curse someone out; they brag about their eagerness to engage in physical altercations; they feel completely justified in blurting out whatever's on their mind regardless of how the other party may feel or react. They see nothing offensive about their behavior. They claim to have no fear.

But that's not tough. Tough is characterized by strength; meanness by malice. One who is tough has deep courage and conviction, an inner determination, an unwavering perseverance in the face of adversity. One who is mean-spirited lacks compassion and sensitivity and is driven by ego and insecurity (fear). There's a vast difference.*

Tips on how to say what you mean without being mean:

Speak without offending, listen without defending

Practice Heart/Brain Communication - use not only your brain and mouth but allow your words to be tempered with compassion

Positive communication is both Powerful (firm and confident) and Polite (considerate and sensitive)

Express your anger to the other person without taking it out on them.

Utilize Polite Honesty (cares and respects) rather than Brutal Honesty (rude, mean-spirited)

Address the issue. Don't attack the person.

Whenever you have the opportunity to be right or to be kind, always choose kindness. Both parties win.

* To read the entire newsletter, go to http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-newsletter.html#tough

Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Author's Bio: 

Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows (including Fox News Radio), is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net.
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 100 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."