How to Pick the Right People

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020

After 30 years in the profession of helping people, I have come to understand something: we cause much of our pain by the people we choose. In every kind of clinical issue that psychologists deal with, relationships are a big part of the picture in some way. Consider these questions:

  • Are you experiencing the same problems or feelings that you’ve experienced in previous relationships?
  • Do you find that you continually pick people to fall in love with or become close friends with who hurt you in some way?
  • Do you find yourself wondering if there are any “good ones” out there?
  • Do you often go through periods of emotional turmoil as a result of choosing someone who wasn’t good for you?
  • Is “How did I get myself into this?” a frequent question you ask yourself?

A lot of people can relate to these feelings. Their relationships leave them lacking in some way, leaving them to wonder why they end up in the situations they do. They wonder what they are...

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Set a Boundary With the Past and Move Forward with Your Life

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020

When you hit a point in your life where you don’t know what to do, you want to give up, and you don’t know where you’re going, I want you to keep something in mind: Any one thing you do is only a scene in a larger movie. To understand that action, you have to play it out all the way to the end of the movie.

Once while I was doing a seminar on reaching goals and dreams, a lady asked if we could talk for a moment. We sat down, and she told me her story.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have had this dream of being a lawyer,” she said. “I used to watch TV shows about lawyers; I read books about trials; I even used to go watch trials being conducted at the courthouse. I would love the work, and it would also be a great way of helping people.”

“What do you do now?” I asked.

“I work in the loan industry,” she replied.

“How do you like what you are doing?” I asked.

Her face changed to a cross between revulsion...

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Unsafe People Exist at Church, Too

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020

I got an emergency call, and the office relayed to me that I had a suicidal client. I called Theresa on the phone. She was distraught.

“Tell me what happened,” I said.

“It’s not going to work,” Theresa replied, sobbing.

“What isn’t going to work?”

“Telling other people about my problems,” she said. “I went to my fellowship group tonight and told them about the depression and the problems with Joey, and they really came down on me for being depressed and for all the other stuff that has been going on.”

“What did they say?”

“Well, they said that I shouldn’t feel that way and that if I was still having all those problems then I probably wasn’t walking with the Lord. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve tried all this ‘safe relationship’ stuff, sharing and all that, and now it doesn’t work.”

“What would you say if I told you that you still...

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Can You Say No to Codependent Habits?

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2020

Codependency is something that often that needs to be addressed because it can be a huge obstacle in your life, and learning to say no is crucial to removing this obstacle.

Codependency is most simply defined as a tendency to take too much responsibility for the problems of others. While it’s good to care for, help and support people, the codependent crosses a line in the relationship – the line of responsibility. Instead of being responsible to others, the codependent becomes responsible for them. And, unless the other person is your child or someone whose care is entrusted to you, the line of responsibility between the to and the for can become quite blurred. The result is that instead of caring and helping, you begin enabling and rescuing. Enabling and rescuing do not empower anybody. They only increase dependency, entitlement, and irresponsibility. Love builds up strength and character, whereas codependency breaks them down.

Codependency unchecked can take you right...

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Use Boundaries to Help Someone in Need Without Enabling

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2020

People on the go often have dependent relationships that they don’t know what to do with. These are individuals who, for any number of reasons, have tremendous life struggles and challenges and often deal with grave problems. They are needy and ask for a great deal of time, energy, and support. You may find yourself functioning as someone’s life support system. For example, you may have a friend who is going through a divorce and calls often for advice and a listening ear. Or you could have someone who has lost a job and is trying to pick up the pieces. Sometimes a needy person has a long history of failure and crisis and has for years been dependent on others to take care of him.

A needy person is often a very good person who is not truly toxic at heart. He may simply be going through his own dark night of the soul, as do all of us at some point in life. Or he may have a dependent character issue that prevents him from being autonomous and in charge. Though a needy...

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The Addictive Habits That Ruin Relationships

Uncategorized Oct 25, 2020

Sometimes when activities are meeting some need other than those they are intended to meet, you can become attached or addicted to that behavior. You develop a need for it to perform some function that regulates how you feel. For example, some people develop an inordinate need for food when they are feeling lonely of stressed, and they cannot stop eating when they are in an emotional need state. Others act out impulsively with sex to make themselves feel better. Some may overspend. Others drink too much. Still other people work to avoid other issues or feeling states in their lives. I have had many executives tell me that there are times when they know they escape into work because of how something is going at home or in the rest of life.

If you cannot be away from email for some period of time to do something vital in life, like connect with your loved ones or take a walk or play golf, then something is wrong. If you cannot go to a social dinner without checking email...

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Is Dating Only About Finding 'The One'?

Uncategorized Oct 23, 2020

What is the point of dating? Ask ten people and you may get ten different answers, but they generally fall into two camps. The first says that you should date people to find a potential partner for life. The second says that you should date people, basically, to have fun, and if something more serious evolves over time, wonderful.

The first approach can lead to a situation where you wind up putting a lot of pressure on yourself and the other person in order to determine whether they match all of the attributes and characteristics that you’ve envisioned in your lifelong partner. This presumes a lot. It presumes that you can get to know someone, really know them, right away. It also presumes that you know what you want in a partner.

Realistically, most people have a much better idea of what they don’t want, and what they do want is often a little bit more flexible. Getting to know someone, and getting to see how they fit in your life can take a lot of time, shared...

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How to Say No as a Mom

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2020

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...

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

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

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...

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The 4 Structures We Need to Create Healthy Lives

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

A year or so ago at Dave Ramsey's Smart Conference, I got to sit down with Rachel Cruze and talk about the four key components that give us healthy, fulfilling lives.

We were all designed in a certain way. If you take a house, for example, it was designed for a specific purpose — to give us shelter, to provide protection. Every house is different, but they all have the same basic components.

1. The Foundation: You try to build a house without a foundation, it’s going to fall. The foundation for humans is connection. When a baby is born, you don’t teach it algebra. In the first year of a baby’s life, it establishes the ability to connect and bond with other people and have that secure attachment. Connections are our fuel. If you try to go through life without the fuel of connection, you’re going to feel empty.

2. The Frame: The frame establishes the boundaries and the structure of the house, and that frame does a few things for us. Most importantly, it...

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