Category ArchiveUncategorized

Uncategorized 06 Aug 2020 12:30 pm

Striving to be a cool couple

18 years ago I met a girl. I knew immediately that she was probably going to be my wife.

We had a short and pleasant conversation and I kept going back to the place she worked to see her often and then, a few weeks later we went on our first date.

It was a disaster. A few years later, we met again and after a short romance, we were married.

Fast forward to today, and we have two kids and we are also one of the coolest couples I’ve ever met.

That said, our relationship is far from being perfect, as we come from different backgrounds and have arguments from time to time — all couples do. However, we are always learning new tricks on how to communicate and (cough-cough) healthily resolve conflict.

One such tool is to choose to focus on the points of strength of our relationship with each-other.

Using humor to prevent pointless arguments

Couples should tease each other a lot, and we often use humor to deflect useless arguments.

When there is some tension and we are about to fight over something small, we have the habit of changing the tone of the conversation from upset to funny. Sometimes it works. My jokes are often quite dry  and sometimes Maria might take a bit of offense. I hope she doesn’t and when I realise she’s been hurt, I’ll apologize.

Sometimes we just use an inside joke and immediately switch from feeling bothered to laughing together. Or we make fun of each other and any small tension that could grow into a pointless argument fades away.

We still address the problem, but we do it playfully — and healthily.

Obviously, if a more serious issue arises, we sit down and talk, as we believe in the importance of resolving conflict.

How to apply this habit:

Whenever you feel you and your partner are about to fight over something small, try to use some humor. Humor! Not sarcasm!

According to a study conducted at the University of Kansas, humor is positively associated with relationship satisfaction. A simple inside joke can often help release the tension and has the power to resolve a small issue without the need to argue.

We communicate assertively

Some people have the habit of subtly expressing their negative feelings through their actions instead of addressing them assertively. Other people avoid conflict by completely shutting down when their partner calls them out on something.

Maria told me that until a few months ago, any time she tried to tell me something she didn’t like, I got defensive and sometimes even a bit nervous. And I would just shut down. So she felt unable to communicate her needs because she always found a “wall.

One day we talked about it and we realized that what triggered my defensive behavior was Maria’s attitude when bringing something up. Although she thought she was doing everything right, the way she addressed issues was the cause of many arguments?—?and she had no clue about that.

I explained to Maria what exactly I didn’t like and she understood how she had to communicate negative feedback to me.

On the other hand, I understood the importance of listening to her needs and learned how to be more open to receiving feedback.

We found a way to talk openly about our expectations and needs without upsetting each other or keeping things to ourselves, and things improved a lot from that moment on.

All this was possible thanks to assertive communication, which is much more effective than a passive-aggressive communication style.

How to apply this habit:

Never keep things to yourself. If you have to communicate your needs, make sure to do it respectfully, without making your partner feel criticized. Never blame or make your partner feel guilty for communicating their feelings.

Try not to lose your patience, and don’t tell them they are being “too sensitive.Learn to actively listen instead, and always create space for healthy and non-violent communication.

We spend time apart

We both love spending time alone, from time to time. In fact, while not  introverts, we both often need some time alone.

I know and understand this and always give her all the space she needs.

Sometimes we also spend time with our friends, or on their own hobbies.

While it’s important to spend quality time together, successful couples know that time apart helps each partner recharge. It keeps things exciting and fresh. When you focus on your dreams and passions, and have the ability to respect your significant other’s space, a healthy relationship can grow. The need to spend time apart is often overlooked.

How to apply this habit:

Always make sure you and your partner make enough time to pursue your dreams and focus on other areas of your life — like your career or your hobbies. When you have a fulfilling life, you bring positive energy into the relationship and massively contribute to its success.

We know consistent, small gestures are essential

I love to cook. And I take real pleasure in preparing some delicious meals for Maria and the boys. Frankly, I wish she’d eat more of them. This is one constant complaint I have.

We also try to make each-other’s life easier. For example, if we go out on an errand, we’ll often ask if we need something from the grocery store. It’s our way to show each-other we care.

We’ll say good morning every day, and check in often throughout the day.

The fact that we consistently do all these small things for each-other makes us fall in love a little more every day. All those small gestures help her feel grateful for being in a relationship with me.

How to apply this habit:

When you consistently make an effort to make things work, you nurture the relationship and make it solid and special.

Keep doing nice things for your partner, like complimenting them, bringing gifts from time to time, or preparing breakfast  (I should do more) — not only during the honeymoon phase of the relationship but even after months or years. Be an attentive partner.

We support each other

I know that whenever I have a difficult day Maria is there for me. She know’ I have her back. Also, anytime I have to share some good news Maria is the first person I’ll call. Because I know she’s my biggest fan.

Similarly, every time Maria feels satisfied for any job-related achievement, or something related to her passions — like presenting or making a sale — she can’t wait to call me or text me, because she knows I believe in her. She knows I’m is genuinely happy for her every time she succeeds.

If we’re planning to meet, but she asks for more time to finish some work, I’m is happy to give her all the time she needs. When things like that happen, she feels supported. That’s love.

I’m not only there on the other side desk or the phone if she needs to talk, but I try to also able to show I truly care through my actions.

How to apply this habit:

Being there for one another and being supportive through concrete actions is essential to make a relationship flourish. That’s real love. Understanding and respecting your significant other’s needs and priorities is the key to successful and healthy relationships.

No relationship is perfect. All couples have their ups and downs, even the seemingly perfect ones.

However, despite the challenges, all relationships have the potential to improve.

Using humor, communicating assertively, spending time apart, consistently doing nice things for each other, and supporting each other, are all habits that can make your relationship thrive.

Healthy love is possible. It’s all about the desire to make it work and respecting each other along the way.

Uncategorized 03 Jun 2020 09:00 pm

Yours, digitally – Ep01 Benjamin Southworth

Uncategorized 03 Jun 2020 08:59 pm

Yours, digitally – Ep02 – Nick Stevens

Uncategorized 15 Aug 2019 01:41 am

Letters to my children #1

Dear kids,

I’ve often thought about what I should leave you that you could find useful during your life when I might be gone in a few years in the future. I thought I could do some audio or some video or write something by hand and place it in an envelope but audio means I need to store it in a format you can use and a place you can find which might be tough. Video has a similar problem really and writing will have the problem of my terrible handwriting. I was always good at writing but never quite as good at handwriting (as my teachers often told me) so I might spare you from the trouble of trying to read my scribbles. I did something similar with my father. Losing those you love is inevitable. I hate being a fatalist but I do want to have some voice clips to remember him by so one day, I put him in the car and took him on a long, long drive where I asked him very many questions about his childhood, his teenage years and a lot of other things. You’ll find those recordings if you keep reading these articles.

For you, in fact, I might do a combination of all of these and leave clues about where you might find more. This first one is here on my blog, which I haven’t updated in a while and I hope will still be here in a few years. I don’t see why it shouldn’t! It’s survived the first 14 so far. In internet time, that’s almost archaeology!

Some of the texts will be short. The short ones will be quick thoughts or pieces of advice I want to make sure you read and can refer to now and again. Some will be longer and will be thoughts and quick tips on how things work according to your dad. The long ones will be long winded rants, gripes or strategies on things that have affected me, your mother and probably you too or they might be stories from my childhood that I think will be important for you to know..

In any case, these are here to keep us together. I hope you enjoy them. You might even discover them sooner than later and we might even be able to discuss them.

By the way, they’ll be public and might even draw a little interest and criticism from others. Never worry about criticism. It’s a very useful thing. I’ve been critical of many things during my life, even to the level of being in conflict with those who I’m criticizing. More often than not, it’s lead to something good happening. Some might call it “constructive conflict”. This type of conflict doesn’t mean harm but rather it tries to achieve a good outcome. So, here’s advice No 1. ALWAYS GIVE FAIR CRITICISM and BE STUBBORN and RAISE HELL if something should be done better to the benefit of society. In the end, it will become better.

In the same light, equally important is accepting fair criticism. As I said above, it’s super useful. You first reaction might be to just get into defense mode or worse, lash out in attack mode. Chill please. It can be demoralizing or feel hurtful. You may have put a lot of effort into an activity and getting criticised by someone who does or doesn’t know much about the subject can be tough. The important thing is to look at it in a positive light. Take what seems a negative and turn it into a positive. If it’s honest, it will spur you into doing it better. Step two is to open communication with your critic. Do this in a positive way. Thank them. Thank them for taking the time to consider your work and taking more time to provide feedback. This is the time to make a promise. Commit to taking this criticism seriously. Stay humble. Become better and be the better person you can be.

If the criticism has negative and petty insults included, ignore those and focus your response on the actual content. Rising above pettyness has great benefits attached. People will admire you for staying away from negativity and being able to handle yourself through tough situations.Another great benefit from not getting invloved in dirty fights is you don’t get dirty, You’ll feel great that you avoided getting caught up in horrible mud-slinging.

So how do you rise above it all and remain the better person? Take out the person (you) from the criticism and focus on the things being criticised, be they actions, words or whatever. Seeing the positive in any criticism, and commiting to improve, thanking the critic as well as communicating with a positive attitude.

Remember to keep it classy. Class is hard to beat.

Keep reading on this medium to read the next one…..

Uncategorized 05 Apr 2016 10:06 am

On wealth

Facebook post from 5 April 2016

We are often asked why we did coLab or The Cube. It’s not about a large financial opportunity. It’s about the opportunity to surround ourselves with interesting people doing interesting things. For us and for our children, it’s about surrounding ourselves with a wealth of activity, experience and depth. We are certainly not financially richer as a result of coLab or The Cube, but as a good friend said last night, we are certainly much, much wealthier. Wealth isn’t always about money. Vasili, thank you for that remark last night.

Uncategorized 11 Jun 2015 08:30 pm

Orbitz Hell.

I’ve just spent over 8 days battling through successive phonecalls with a few particularly frustrating conversations with Orbitz and Piraeus Bank, I have to air my grievances.

First, I never had any issues prior to this week on with my Piraeus Bank Mastercard. This issue started with Orbitz (with whom I’ve never booked before save for this first and last time).

Trying to book tickets for me and the family and Orbitz presented a great offer. I hit the buy button, put in my Credit Card info and the purchase seemed to go through. A minute later, I get an email saying the transaction has been voided and I should book a different itenerary (a more expensive one at that)
Orbitz locked up $1466 of availability on my Prepaid Piraeus Credit Card in the form of a “pre-authorization”.

After several hours talking to multiple representatives from both Orbitz and Piraeus (8 agents, a supervisor and a manager from Piraeus), I now beleive the blame is more on the bank than the merchant for the fact that I still have this non-transaction eating up availability on my card.

Orbitz screwed up on this originally, but Piraeus is the one that refuses to remove the transaction saying that there’s nothing they can do while it’s still pending.

The only recommendation they give me each time I call them is for me to get Orbitz to contact their bank or merchant services to reverse the transaction (which Orbitz cannot identify in their system) or wait 15 more days until the pending transaction cancels out naturally.

We even had Orbitz send them a fax saying they woruld not claim the preAuth but Piraeus still refuses to release the funds until Orbitz’s bank issues them with a fax.

This is terrible customer services and I’d expect more from Piraeus. Of Orbitz, I expect nothing – they suck plain and simple.

Uncategorized 12 Oct 2009 10:01 am

Forces in play during Football Practice

Our firstborn had his third football practice today. He’s enjoying it. The second one was easy but the first was a nightmare for both parent and child.

Now during round three, having overcome the anxiety of the first ever practice, where Panos was “expected” to join in, accepting orders from another adult, in a team environment. The biggest anxiety was one imposed on him by his parents, the pressure we as parents unwittingly exert on him, expecting him to perform normally. in this new environment. Naturally since it was all so new, he didnt want to join in so we in turn become agitated. We ask ourselves why is my child not enjoying this? He enjoys football when we play together, is he not normal, Im dissapointed, let me pressure him a little (big mistake), now i’m embarrased. Lets just go home. If you dont play we’ll go home, if you do play I’ll buy you xxxxxxxx.

The coach was wise, “dont even mention it to him, he’ll play when he’s ready” I’m beginning to understand it now, while watching another parent go through the same motions.

Evolution is a wonderful thing.

Uncategorized 01 Apr 2009 05:24 pm

dooped !!

Uncategorized 01 Jan 2009 07:56 pm

3 words for 2009

My three keywords for objectives for 2009 are: WRITE, LEARN, SCAFFOLD

I’m blogging less, Twittering more. 2009 should be the year I blog more, twitter less. 2009 – objective 1

In 2009 I need to use that precious commodity we have called time to learn more stuff.

Support structures as bases to new platforms, new projects, perhaps new businesses?

Uncategorized 21 Oct 2008 09:44 pm

On Meeting Tim O’Reilly and Dan Gillmor

It’s been a great couple of weeks for Athens, technology wise that is. We’ve had a great group of visitors come and visit our city. Besides Jason Calacanis, Tim O’Reilly has been in Greece attending Stream08 and holidaying. We had the chance to meet and chat to him last week and he shared a bunch of insights with us on the future of the industry. Today we had the privileged of meeting and listening to Dan Gillmor. It’s been a great couple of weeks. I’ve learned a lot. I’ll post some notes here over the next few days.