How to Evaluate the Quality of Your Friendships

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2018

What friendships or other relationships take up a lot of time, but in reality are not the kinds of friendships you desire? I am not saying that all of your relationships should be deep and meaningful. You need some dysfunctional friends. They can be some of your favorite people, although they might not be the ones you call in the dark night of the soul. We all need some wacky friends. We love them, and they provide most of the comedy. But two dynamics come into play in figuring out with whom you spend your time.

First, are you spending appropriate time for the level of relationship that exists? If you have so many surface friendships that you do not have time to give to the ones that you would consider close, that might be a problem. It would be like spending as much time with all the kids in the neighborhood as you do with your own. The ones most in your heart should get the most time, and sometimes we do not allocate time well to our circle of friends. If there are people you...

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Where to Start if You Struggle to Make a Necessary Ending

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2018

A few years ago, our family moved to a new home. My two daugh­ters were five and seven at the time and loved the previous house. They had good friends in the old neighborhood, lots of great ex­periences, and loved their school; moving was the last thing they wanted to do. But it was a necessary ending that we needed to make, as we needed more space.

Consulting with the psychologist parent in me, I decided to begin the conversation with them when the idea first came up. “So, would you guys ever want to change houses? Maybe get one where you had your own playroom, or a flat yard where you could do a lot more fun stuff?” I asked, trying to sell a few of the benefits.

“No!” they said in unison. “Never! We love living here.” I was truly taken aback at the passion that they came at me with. I was glad that they loved their home, but this did not bode well for our moving plans. I knew that it was not going to be an easy sell or an easy ending....

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How to Get Over a Loss in Your Life

Uncategorized Dec 18, 2018

 

I worked on a project one time with a person who had been highly acclaimed in corporate circles and was well-known for his accomplishments in marketing around the world. Many organizations were trying to recruit him for his expertise, and I was excited at the opportunity to work with him. I was sure that we were going to be successful in our venture.

The first aspect of it took the better part of a year to put together and would culminate in a launch date that had great expectations. He had assembled several strategic partners and a lot was riding on its success. Because of his reputation, I was certain that it was going to do well.

The launch date came with everyone eager for the results. It was going to be huge, or so we thought. The day after, when the results were in, he called me. “How did it go?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “I just lost more money in one day than anytime in my whole business career.”

My jaw dropped and my heart...

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The Relationships That Influence Your Life

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2018

Have you ever gone into a restaurant to meet a friend, sat down and had them say, “So, where are you?”

Funny question if you think about it. “I am sitting right here, you idiot. Where do you think I am?”

But you don’t respond that way because you know that is not what they are really asking. They are asking something say much more profound: “Where are you, the real you? Your heart, mind and soul? The internal you?” They are asking, “How are you doing? How is your existence?”

Interesting that they use the word “where.” As if inside of you, you are in a “place," a space. But, the reality is that is true. You are somewhere inside, just like your phone is located somewhere at all times, and as we have seen, that “somewhere” is in relation to its network. It’s connection.

So here is the inescapable reality: our heart, mind and soul is always somewhere. You exist. You can’t get around it. And...

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How Healthy Trust is Developed

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2018

We trust someone that we know “understands” us, our context, our situation, our needs, what makes it work for us, and what makes it break down. When they truly understand, and we experience that with that understanding, they care, the connection of empathy opens us up to trust them.

Have you ever experienced a situation where you tried to tell someone something you were going through, or tell a boss or a team member about a difficulty you were facing in the work, and you got no understanding? Where the response was something like, “It’s not that bad. You just need to go do such and such.” What happens? You walk out of there thinking, “he just doesn’t get it.” There is no connection, and you are not going to trust them to help. Further, you are not going to be as open to investing more of yourself with someone who doesn’t “get it.”

The highest performing teams are ones that each person around the table understands what...

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Don't Get Caught in the Triangulation Trap

Uncategorized Dec 14, 2018

You’re probably familiar with the term “triangulation” as it relates to issues in communication. Let’s break down what it really does and how it affects our relationships.

Triangulation sets up something called the “Victim-Persecutor-Rescuer Triad.” It works like this. Let’s say you have some issue with me, maybe even for a good reason. So, you give me some feedback, or disagree with me, or do something that I either don’t like or don’t want to hear. In any case, I feel like an innocent “Victim” and feel like you are somehow hurting me unfairly, in my mind seeing you as the “Persecutor.” Then, instead of talking through the slight, or the issue, directly with you, I take my hurt feelings and go to a sympathetic third person, and I gripe about you. I do not say to them, “He mentioned this to me, I am sure to help me, and I would like to get your perspective on it as well to see what you think ......

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The Power of Healthy Connections in Your Life

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2018

Your flight lands, and the flight attendant says “It is now safe to use your mobile phones.” You turn yours on, and what is the first thing that happens? There is a little message at the top that says “Searching ...” Or “Searching for connection ...” Or “Searching for network ...”

Until the phone connects with the network, nothing happens. But, when it connects, miracles occur, in the invisible world. The phones capabilities are now empowered to be all they were created to be. Not only that, they can even get better. They can download updates to make them better than they were, or fix bugs in the software. Or they can download apps to be able to do things they couldn’t do before. And beyond that, they can connect to the entire world, all of its information and knowledge, help and skill, to enable better performance. And from this connection, it goes on and on.

But ... without that connection to the right network, they will never...

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What to do When Someone Gets Defensive

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

Let’s talk about people who are defensive instead of open to feedback...

I was organizing a conference with a colleague I'll call Jay. We each had different responsibilities. Jay was responsible for securing the site, making sure an overhead projector and flip chart were available and shipping books to the workshop.

The night before the event, Jay called me. "Do you have any extra copies of your books you can bring along?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I thought it would be good to sell your books at the workshop."

"But you were supposed to take care of that!" I replied.

"I had too many things to do," he said.

Trying with all my might to hang on to my patience, I said, "But we agreed that shipping books to the conference was your responsibility."

"You always concentrate on things that go wrong," he said angrily. "You never tell me about the things that I do right. Who are you to say that you always do things right?"

Jay is an example of an unsafe person. When I confronted him...

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Unsafe People Will Not Give You Freedom, So Here’s What You Do

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

I remember one woman came into therapy with extreme anger toward her family and all of their "expectations." I agreed with her that her family's expectations were wrong and that I understood her anger. She was very comforted that I agreed with her on that point. But when I suggested that they were not going to change and that she had to free herself from them by changing her attitudes toward them, she would get angry with me, saying, "You're just like them. You don't understand, either." She felt if I did not agree with her victim stance, I didn't care.

I assured her that she had indeed been victimized growing up, but now she had to stop victimizing herself by freeing herself from her expectations of them.

She couldn't understand that and said, "I don't have any expectations of them; they are the ones with the 'shoulds.'"

"On the contrary," I said, "you're just like them. They say that you should be a certain way. And you say that they should be a certain way, or you will feel...

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The Effects of Being Disconnected from Others

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

If you want to find out if you’re disconnected from others, just ask the ones who depend on you. Ask them if they feel needed, valued, listened to, taken into your confidence. If so, that is not you.

But, while you might be someone who is not totally cut off from your own connection chip, it is possible that you are disconnected from others from your own needs. This is very common for high performers, leaders, and people who accomplish things. Circumstances or life for whatever reason has taught you that you have to do life or leadership on your own. You, in very practical ways, do not allow yourself to need anyone. And although you care about others and give to them, you are doing that from a disconnected place in relation to your own needs. You are giving out, but not taking much in.

Sometimes this is the natural path by which someone even gets into leadership: A kid is a doer. He or she might even be the sibling who is the family hero or star. The one that kind of takes...

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