Making Someone Happy Can Hurt Your Marriage

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2019

I was talking to a young man one day about his girlfriend. He was thinking about getting married, and he had questions about their relationship. Several times during the conversation, he said that something she did or something about the relationship did not “make him happy.” It was clear that this was a theme for him. She was not “making him happy.”

When I asked, he said that she wanted him to deal with some things in the relationship. He needed to do some work that took effort. It was not a “happy” time. When he had to work on the relationship, he no longer liked it.

At first, I was trying to understand what the difficulties were, but the more I listened, the more I saw that he was the difficulty. His attitude was, “If I’m not happy, something bad must be happening.” And his immediate conclusion was always that the “bad” was in someone else, not him. From his perspective, he was not part of any problem, much less...

Continue Reading...

Reap the Rewards of Setting Boundaries with These 3 Steps

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2019

Brianna used to believe that she would never learn how to say no and make it stick. But, as she sat at her kitchen table with a coffee cup in hand, she felt amazed. It was an unfamiliar sensation, but a pleasant one. Her mind wandered back to the events of the morning. Her eight-year-old son, Bryson, had begun the day with his usual waking-up shenanigans. He sulked and pouted his way to the breakfast table, announcing, “I’m not going to school — and no one’s going to make me!”

Normally Brianna would have either tried to talk Bryson into attending school, or blown up at him in frustration. However, this morning was different. Brianna simply said, “You’re right, Honey. No one can make you go to school. That has to be something you choose to do. However, if you don’t choose to go to school, you are choosing to stay in your room all day with no TV. But that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, like you did last...

Continue Reading...

Staying in Control When You Confront Someone

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2019

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....

Continue Reading...

Why Emotional Tone is So Important

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2019

There are two human drives. One is connection and the other is aggression. Aggression here does not mean anger. It means initiative and energy, which are used in the service of goals.

Everything we do is either relational or goal directed—or, ideally, both. Basically, we are “lovers and workers.”

We have relationships and we do things. We connect and we accomplish tasks. Care and drive. Be and do. Love and work. The love requires a positive relational tone and the work requires drive, expectations and discipline.
An integrated leader does both at the same time in a way where one affects the other. They provide a positive state of being and tone while aggressively accomplishing things with people. The problem comes when we do one without the other. When we are about people but are not giving them the boundaries that lead to aggressive accomplishment—things like structure, goals and measures of accountability — we fail them.

Lack of structure...

Continue Reading...

What Happens When Someone Invalidates Your Feelings

Uncategorized Jul 25, 2019

What is the number one thing that destroys connection and trust? Trust emerges when we can enter someone's reality, validate their experiences, and have ours validated by them as well.

Connection and trust happen when one heart meets another. What destroys connection and trust like nothing else? Invalidation. Invalidation occurs when a person’s experience is all that exists to him or her. And he or she then moves to negate the other person’s experience, treating it as somehow not real or non-existent.

Have you ever had this happen? It feels terrible. Especially when it comes from someone you care about or someone you need.

Think of the contexts of life that change when a person has the ability to connect with the other:

In business, deals are won and sales are made. Medical malpractice lawsuits are avoided when a doctor listens and understands what the patient or family has experienced as a result of an error. In personal relationships, marriages are healed when a...

Continue Reading...

Don’t Keep Rescuing Someone — Let Them Face Consequences

Uncategorized Jul 24, 2019

Allowing someone to suffer logical consequences is another way of getting them to realize their need for grace. Ideally, we can do that by confronting them, have a difficult conversation and hope they have a willingness to face reality. But sometimes people cannot (or do not) hear the truth of confrontation, and they remain stuck. At those times we often have to allow reality to touch their lives.

Too often in our lives, we protect people from the harsh realities of logical consequences that would force them to see their need for grace and what it can provide. Either we feel sorry for them and bail them out, or we fear them and try to appease them. No matter what the person’s plight, we must help him face the truth. And sometimes that means letting him deal with harsh realities.

This isn’t necessarily about discipline and correction, but how it’s important to see that sometimes our “helping” may keep others from experiencing the tough realities that...

Continue Reading...

Habits for Self Medicating Can Become Addictions

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2019

There are a thousand ways we humans have come up with to self-medicate, but they are all ultimately a trap of our own devising and lead to diminished lives. One executive I worked with used to medicate with retail therapy.  When I asked her about it, she said, “This is how I medicate. When things are not going well, or I have a tough interaction with one of my bosses, I take a break. I slip out and go shopping. Until now, I just thought it was a normal break and getting away from it all. Now I can see … it’s medicine. It’s a connection. I have a connection with retail.

Another person I knew was addicted to Fantasy Football. All he needed was a little stress, something to make him feel a little down, and he could lose hours on his computer. Any golfers, hunters, fishermen or sports enthusiasts listening?

Another executive I worked with was late for a dinner meeting. When he arrived, he said, “I have a confession.”

“What?” I asked....

Continue Reading...

Your Feelings About Past Hurts Are Not Sinful

Uncategorized Jul 21, 2019

Denying our sinfulness is natural. Who wants to claim something that makes us uncomfortable? It's not easy to own.

But what about negative feelings that are not sinful -- the ones that result merely from living in a less-than perfect world or from getting sinned against? What is one to do with pain, grief, anger, sadness or fear that results from a past of abuse?

Some in the church say that to still stuffer from these things indicates unreported sin. The sufferer is condemned for feeling pain.

When we feel hurt and anger over what happens to us, we need to respond to our pain correctly. The Bible tells us about the importance of dealing appropriately with sadness. It talks about how to deal with anger. It explains how suffering refines us. (See Romans, Ecclesiastes and Hebrews) But nowhere does the Bible say that pain results from an act against you is sin.

Nowhere.

Yet in some Christian circles, victims of abuse or divorce are told that, because they feel pain from past hurts, they...

Continue Reading...

Recognizing Spiritual Abuse: God Created us to Bond with Safe People

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2019

Bonding is the ability to establish an emotional attachment to another person. It’s the ability to relate to another on the deepest lever. When two people have a bond with each other, they share their deepest thoughts, dreams, and feelings with each other with no fear that the other person will reject them.

Bonding is one of the most basic and foundational ideas in life and the universe. It is a basic human need. God created us with a hunger for relationship—for relationship with him and with our fellow people. At our very core we are relational beings.

Without a solid, bonded relationship, the human soul will become mired in psychological and emotional problems. The soul cannot prosper without being connected to others. No matter what characteristics we possess, or what accomplishments we amass, without solid emotional connectedness, without bonding to God and other humans, we will suffer sickness of the soul.

Why is our need for bonding so strong, and why is our...

Continue Reading...

How to Practice Boundaries with Yourself

Uncategorized Jul 18, 2019

Once you have identified your boundary problem and owned it, you can do something about it. Here are some ways to begin practicing setting boundaries on yourself.

Address your real need. Often, out-of-control patterns disguise a need for something else. You need to address the underlying need before you can deal with the out-of-control behavior. For example, impulsive eaters may discover that food is a way to stay separate and safe from romantic and sexual intimacy. Their fear of being faced with those kinds of emotionally laden situations may cause them to use food as a boundary. As their internal boundaries with the opposite sex become firmer, they can give up their destructive food boundary. They learn to ask for help for the real problem – not just for the symptomatic problem.

Allow yourself to fail. Addressing your real need is no guarantee that your out-of-control behavior will disappear. Many people who address the real issue underneath a self-boundary problem are often...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.