7 Ways You Can Communicate Better with Your Significant Other

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2020

When we’re having communication problems with someone we care about, it can be frustrating, it can hurt, and it can have us feeling defensive. I’m going to tell you give all of that up, including your pride, and learn to listen to your partner to get to the root of the issue. Here are a few tips.

Focus. Look your partner in the eyes and give all of your attention. Observe your tendency to get out of the connection.

Monitor your thought. As your partner speaks, are you listening or thinking of your response? Are you evaluating what he is saying? Stop that and just allow what your partner is feeling to sink in—to become your experience. Try to get inside his experience and feel what it is like to be him at that moment. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were in his shoes.

Respond nonverbally. Are you nodding or saying “hmm,” or something to let her know you are tracking? Let her know you are with her and truly listening.

Watch your defensiveness. If...

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How to Teach Your Kids to Connect with Others

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2020

One of the coolest things we ever see is children playing together, having fun and laughing with joy. It’s a pleasant feeling when we see children playing together in unity. It warms our hearts.

But as a parent, as wonderful as it is to see my kids playing with their friends, I also see it as a psychologist. And the psychologist in me knows that it is not just a nice thing to see our children having friends. It is crucial for their future, as the ability to create and maintain good relationships is one of the most important skills that anyone can have. Research has shown that it is related to our happiness, goal achievement, success in almost every area of life, physical and spiritual health, financial well-being, stress resilience, and on and on. So, I want my kids to have fun with their friends, but I want it more than for today. I want it to be a part of learning an ability that they are going to need for the rest of their lives.

And that brings us to a question, “How...

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How Consequences Enforce Your Boundaries

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2020

Wouldn’t it be nice if confrontation ended positively every time? Would it be nice if every time you confronted a hurtful person, he or she repented and you could go on? Of course it would. In fact, your Creator would like for that to be true also. Yet, that’s not the case. What then?

If the person doesn’t respond to the initial confrontation, we need to take a stronger stand by giving him or her some consequences. Consequences work at times when talking does not. For example, if your spouse gets argumentative when you bring up an issue, and continues to do so despite your requests otherwise, you can tell your spouse, “I would love to talk about this. But as I have told you, I don’t like the angry attacks. So I will talk to you about the issue only when a counselor is there. I will make an appointment, and if you want to talk to me about it, I will talk there.” Consequences should not be punitive, just something that naturally follows the...

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Five Ways You’re Being Gaslighted

Uncategorized Sep 02, 2020

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation, and if you’re hurting, something isn’t right. Your feelings are a gift, and they serve as signals to inform you of what’s happening to you and how to respond. If someone is trying to take away from your experience, you are being gaslighted.

How many times have you heard any of the following …

“You’re really not hurt that bad.”

“If you wouldn’t have done X, then Y would have never happened to you, and you’d be fine.”

“You’re just overreacting.”

“Nothing is wrong. You’re just crazy.”

“You really shouldn’t make a big deal about this.”

“Chill out. Everything is fine.”

“You’re the only person who feels that way.”

There are several examples of things people say that disregard your feelings. Sometimes they’re subtle and may seem harmless, but other times they’re blatant and cause more pain.

...
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Why We Need to Connect With Others Right Now

Uncategorized Aug 30, 2020

Social distancing is difficult because we were created to be in relationship with others. 

Without a solid, bonded relationship, the human soul becomes mired in psychological and emotional problems. We cannot prosper without being connected to others. We sometimes think, however, that we can supply all our needs without other people. We think that, in a state of emotional isolation, we can still grow. This grave violation of the basic nature of the universe can cause serious problems.

Learning to bond won’t happen overnight. Making human connections takes a good dose of grace, truth and time. Here are some skills that will start you on the long road to making changes that heal.

Move Toward Others

It is wonderful when others move toward you and seek out your heart. Often, though, others cannot see what you need and how emotionally isolated you really are. Therefore, to the best of your ability, actively reach out for help and support.

Be Vulnerable

You can move toward...

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Empower Yourself to Take Control and Be Free

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2020

If you’re going to get in control of your life, you’re going to have to do just that — get in control. You cannot control other people, but you can get in control of yourself. You have to be able to make the choices you need in order to make your life work, belong to you and integrate around the things important to you. That may require you to set some boundaries and limits with other people.

In order to do that, consider the following:

  • You need to confront a spouse who’s in denial about a significant problem.
  • You need to confront a difficult boss about mistreatment.
  • You need to talk to an unreasonable friend.
  • You need to tell someone you are dating that something needs to change.

But what if the following things are also true?

  • You can’t handle your spouse being upset with you, and you know that he or she will be upset if you confront the issue.
  • You need your job so much you are afraid your boss will fire you, and you doubt your ability to find...
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Is Revenge Ever OK?

Uncategorized Aug 28, 2020

Those who have good boundaries have transcended the need for revenge. Their first goal is to make things better for the other person or group. The other’s benefit is their utmost concern. That does not mean they have no interest at all in their own benefit. It simply means that in their treatment of others, their goal is to do well by them regardless of how they are treated.

They are not interested in settling the score or getting even. Revenge is for immature people, and they know that ultimately the offending person is going to get what he deserves without his needing to bring it about. Life has a way of making that happen, as does also the natural law of sowing and reaping. But even this ultimate payback is not something that those with healthy boundaries wish on another person, and that is the true hallmark of their character. They truly want the best for others, even those who do not do well by them.

That is why people who have healthy boundaries are not full of...

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Why You Can't Change Your Partner

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2020

Stephanie was in love with Kyle. They were great together. They problem was that they had very different definitions of what “together” meant. For Stephanie, it meant being firmly committed and moving toward marriage. For Kyle, it meant being together when he was around, yet his being free to pursue his sports hobbies whenever he wanted — which took him away on lots of fun trips he wasn’t willing to give up. He loved her, loved being with her, but at this point in his life, he was not the kind of guy to make their relationship as big a priority as sports.

So they were in a battle. They would be together, and it would be great. But then she would want more, he would pull away, she would not like it, and she would begin to exert the pressure. She would say, “I can’t see why he can’t see how great it would be for us to settle down. We could have it all. Why can’t he see that?”

We could have talked for a long time about the reasons...

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How to Stay in Control When You Confront Someone

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2020

If you are the one doing the confronting, and you believe you’ve prepared well for it, then you likely have the self-control to evaluate and speak to another’s behavior. Remember, you’re doing this from a stance of love for the person and the relationship.

Although you’ve prepared well, we all know that it doesn’t turn you into a robot that has no feelings or reactions.

Difficult people often have a strategy to get you upset and out of control. Just as a toddler infuriates his parent until he is in control of the out-of-control parent, some difficult people can arouse your emotions until they are in control of you. In fact, people with their behavior problems and toddlers have many developmental similarities. The key is to not regress into a toddler yourself!

Stay in charge of the only person you can control: yourself. Do not get hooked into saying something you will regret; if you feel that happening, take a breath or a timeout before you say anything....

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How to Get to the Truth, Even When It’s Uncomfortable

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2020

Maybe you've heard this before — Become a student of yourself. It’s a trait of successful people, and they achieve that success because they’re able to confront the truth about themselves to get over their inaccurate and unhelpful thinking patterns.

When I consult with people who come to me with problems, I often have them try this exercise. “Imagine that you are in two places at once: one ‘you’ is a real interaction with someone else, discussing some goal or problem. The second ‘you’ is floating above, near the ceiling, looking at the interaction of the other you and learning from it. After you leave the conversation, you can use that floating, observing ‘you’ to review what happened and consider what you could have done differently.”

By employing this exercise, you may learn that you give up power and choice very easily when someone has an objection to your idea. Or that you come down on yourself quickly when you...

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