Don’t Accept the Guilt a Manipulator Wants to Give you

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2017

When is the last time someone made you feel guilty even though you know you shouldn't have felt that way?

Guilt is a difficult emotion. It's not actually a feeling the way that sadness, anger or fear are. It's our conscience punishing us by saying, "You are bad."

Guilt comes mainly from how we have been taught in our early socialization process. Because of this, sometimes we feell guilt when we shouldn't. Feelings of guilt can appear when we haven't done anything wrong, per se, but maybe we have violated some internal standard that we have been taught. We have to be careful about listening to guilt feelings to tell us when we are wrong, for often, the guilt feelings themselves are wrong.

Guilt distorts reality. Rather than feeling “bad,” we should consider the impact of our actions. Has my action actually hurt someone? Why do they feel hurt? Could I have done something differently? Should I have?

Sometimes we feel like we're doing something bad or something mean when...

Continue Reading...

Your Sadness Doesn’t Equal Weakness

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2017

Sadness is our next basic emotion, for it tells us about hurt and loss. We live in a world where we get hurt and lose things. We need it to help us grieve and let go. If we repress and deny sadness, there is inevitable depression. Unresolved sadness always leads to depression and often other symptoms.

Sadness is always the way to joy, because sadness says that there is a hurt of some kind that needs to be processed, and usually it involves a loss.

When people deny their sad feelings, they "harden" the heart, and that is to lose touch with tender grace-giving aspects of who they are. They become unable to love and be tender, and to feel grief over their wrongdoings. This state leads then to become insensitive persons. In addition, it leads to all sort of symptoms – depressions, physiological problems, substance abuse, eating disorders, and the inability to get close to others.

Here's a story:

Susan was in her mid-twenties when she began to have panic attacks. She would wake up...

Continue Reading...

4 Reasons Why Boundaries and Discipline are Good for Your Child

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2017

As you begin setting limits and consequences with your child, she will almost certainly test, protest and express hatred. However, stick with your boundaries, be fair but consistent, and empathize with your child’s emotional reactions. She will begin accepting the reality that Mom and Dad are bigger than she is, and that unacceptable behavior is costly and painful to her.

Nevertheless, children will avoid reality as long as possible. One time at a baseball game recently, I watched a six-year-old boy talk loudly and incessantly about everything on his mind, buggy all those around him. Mom and Dad, afraid of hurting his feelings, would periodically ask him to please talk more softly. Apparently this was an old scenario for the boy; however, he knew that if he ignored them, his parents would soon give up.

Finally, a fan a couple rows back walked up to him and said, “Son, you really need to be quiet.” Shocked by this firm adult stranger, the child became much more...

Continue Reading...

5 Things You Can Do to for a Panic Attack

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2017

The following was written by a member of Dr. Henry Cloud's team. 

7:20 a.m.

The feeling struck while I was driving down the interstate to an appointment. My muscles tightened and encapsulated me. My breath became short and my head started spinning. The cadence of my heartbeat increased while my hands clinched the leather on my steering wheel.

“This is it,” I told myself. “I’m really dying this time.”

This time, right? This wasn’t just the result of some fabricated paranoia. These symptoms were real.

I could feel my throat start to close, and I was convinced I was going to suffocate and pass out. The feeling intensified as I realized I could seriously injure myself or another person if it happened while I was driving, so I pulled over at the nearest exit.

The mystery of a panic attack can create enough anxiety to actually trigger one. The phenomenon has been studied for decades and has been loosely explained through theories of evolution,...

Continue Reading...

Don’t Allow Yourself to Live in the False Reality of a Toxic Relationship

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2017

So why don't you tell him that you want to break up with him?" I asked Misty about her boyfriend, Evan.

"You keep telling me over and over about this issue that just doesn't go away."

"Because he has so many wonderful qualities," she said. "There are so many things I love about him."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Well, like his sense of humor, and his charm. I still get excited whenever he is around. I am so drawn to him," she said.

"Yeah, I know." I empathized. "And then when you get together, what happens?"

"We have a great time," she said. "That is why it is so hard." "You have a great time for how long?" I pushed.

"You have a great time for how long?" I pushed.

"Well, when he is there. And then when we get together again," she said.

"And ... When is that?" I asked.

"Too long..." she said, reflecting the truth that Evan would dip into her life with fly-by romance and investment and then be totally unavailable in any kind of way that would build a true relationship.

"And then what...

Continue Reading...

How to Say No as a Mom

Uncategorized Nov 26, 2017

I remember Elisa Morgan once describing a mom as one of those juice boxes with multiple straws coming out of it, with little ones sucking energy out all day long. Not a bad description of the kind of demands that moms find themselves under each and every day. Add to that being a working mom, or a single mom, and the straws just multiply, because there is a second set of straws as well: time.

In the lives of moms, those are the two great commodities: time and energy. And the reality is that there is usually less of each than there are those who want to take them. So, the trick is to make sure of one thing before everything else: mom must be in control of both.

In all kinds of coaching, one of the most important first steps is to help the person regain a realization that they are “ridiculously in charge.” That is a phrase I wrote about in, “Boundaries For Leaders” for CEO’s to wake up to in their leadership: the fact that they are ridiculously in charge...

Continue Reading...

Passive-Aggressive Habit That’s Bad for Relationships

Uncategorized Nov 26, 2017

You have seen it happen, or maybe even had it directed at you. The digging or critical comment about someone, only to be followed up with, “bless her heart.” Or, a chuckle, or “ha ha” or “LOL.” I was recently asked why people do that, and why they feel it is OK to say something really negative about someone if they just add on a quick “bless his heart" at the end. There are several reasons for this, but one of the best terms for it is something called an “aggressive conflict." That's a fancy way to say that some people want to say something mean, angry or critical about someone, but are in some sort of internal conflict about feeling mean, or appearing mean, and try to make themselves look “nice” in the process. It always fails. “That's a beautiful dress … didn't they have it in your size?” Passive-aggressive never cleans up very well.

There is a reason it fails, and a lesson for all of us to learn in the...

Continue Reading...

Recognize Toxic Patterns and Put and End to Them

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

Elle was a talent manager in the entertainment business, overseeing the careers of film and television actors. She and I became acquainted after a media interview I did while she happened to be in the studio. After hearing my interview on boundaries, she walked up and introduced herself and asked if we could have lunch. We walked over to the cafeteria, sat down to eat, and she began to tell me about her work.

She loved it, she said, but she had some clients who made her life miserable. The few were wrecking her otherwise happy and meaningful career. They would get angry at her for their mistakes, be far more demanding than anyone would see as normal, and be irresponsible with their money – not following her advice – and then be upset at her when they found themselves in trouble. They were ruining what she loved about her career, she said.

“So fire them,” I said.

“What? Fire my clients?” she asked.

“Sure, what’s wrong with that? Not all...

Continue Reading...

7 Ways to Reclaim Your Power

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

In some senses, I hate to even use the word "power." It seems hackneyed, like we are going back to the eighties. Power ties, power lunches, power suits. The last thing I want to sound like it one of those motivational speaker types telling you to find the power within. So accept my disclaimer. But pop psychology apologies notwithstanding, power is an important topic in work and in life. You can’t live without it. You are designed to have it, as we have said, in the form of self-control. When you lose that and are controlled by others, you are rendered powerless. And that is when the slippery slope that disintegrates life and causes you to lose your boundaries appears.

What we know about the human experience of powerlessness is that it erodes functioning in all the areas that are important to having whole life integration: your emotions, your relationships, and your performance. Decades of research have shown that the degree of powerlessness that people feel directly correlates...

Continue Reading...

Perfectionism is Ruining Your Life

Uncategorized Nov 20, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to become preoccupied with perfection. That’s different from envisioning perfection as a goal. It’s about whether perfection is a goal, or something that you demand. Believing that you can realistically attain perfection is no different than wandering through the desert, ever-thirsty, toward a mirage that only recedes toward the horizon. A lot of people obsess over perfection. This obsession is a massive waste of time and energy.

Perfectionism is a distraction, a justification for procrastination, an excuse for never getting anything done. When perfectionism is about one’s own striving, it is hostility aimed inward. When it is aimed at others, it is a cold and compassionless hostility toward the world. Perfectionism is a refusal to accept reality, and it is rooted in fear. To the perfectionist, nothing will ever be good enough.

For many people, perfectionism originates in childhood, with parental pressure to achieve....

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.