How to Teach Your Kids to Connect with Others

Uncategorized Aug 10, 2019

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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Wise, Foolish or Evil: How to Know Who You're Dealing With

Uncategorized Aug 08, 2019

If you believe that you’re a responsible and loving person, it’s easy to assume that other people think like you. You think that they care about other people and how their actions affect those people. Since you have a concern about how what you do affects others, then it makes sense that everyone else is just like you, right? The truth is that not many people take responsibility for themselves or care about how their actions are affecting other people or the mission. Moreover, some are even worse than that, and they’re actually out to do you harm. If you don’t want to accept this reality, then you’re going to waste time, money, energy, and resources on people who will either squander or destroy it.

There are three types of people in the world, or rather, three styles of behavior that a person can exhibit in a particular time or context. Depending on whether you’re a psychiatrist, employer, a spouse or a judge, there are different ways of...

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How You Can Understand the Toxic Habits of Unsafe People

Uncategorized Aug 07, 2019

I wanted to tell you about something I see all too often, and it really bums me out. I find it incredibly discouraging when people gossip instead of keeping secrets.   We all know those people who you can't trust with sensitive information. (In fact, some of us may be those people.) The second they hear something, they're already thinking of who they can tell. And most of the time, it's after they've just agreed to not say anything! 

We all have experiences, thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that we don't feel safe telling the world. We need someone in whom to confide. Some of us have secret past actions that plague us. Others have been victimized of abused. Still others simply need a person to tell our private stories to. 

Few things are more bruising than having your secrets betrayed. If you have ever entrusted part of yourself to another, and then heard about it from a third party, you have been triangulated.

Triangulation occurs when person A...

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How to Get Rid of Toxic Relationships and Codependent Behaviors

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2019

You’ve heard it said many times before that people are “stuck in their ways,” and maybe you’ve said it as well. Depending on the person and the situation, it’s often said with confidence and satisfaction. That’s because there is a comfort to being resistant to change because it puts a stop to pain or helps you avoid it.

So getting the brain to create an ending, and getting the people around you to do the same, is going to take both the fear of the negative and the draw of the positive. Your brain really needs to get that if you don’t move, something bad is going to happen, and also that if you do, you will get what you desire. You have to break through the comfort level that you’re in because you were not designed to cope, but thrive.

So, what needs to happen to create the urgency needed to pursue what needs to happen for progress?

Your brain will get you moving toward anything that it agrees with, and avoiding pain is on top of its...

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The Most Frustrating Part About Any Relationship

Uncategorized Aug 05, 2019

Are you in some type of relationship (it could be personal or work-related) where you are trying to get someone to be or do something different? But that person isn’t listening, or doesn’t desire to change, or doesn’t want what you want for him or her?

If so ... it’s time to wake up and realize that you cannot change another person. YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON!

You cannot get someone to do something they don’t choose to do, or to be someone they don’t choose to be ... either because they can’t or because they don’t desire to.

Why? Because you can never take over another person’s freedom to choose. People are not robots. They are free to choose what they want, what they will do, and what they won’t do.

Once you realize this, you will stop trying to do what will never work, which is trying to change people into something they do not want to be or convince them to do something they do not want to do. It never works. While...

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Connect with Others to Find Safe Relationships

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2019

I opened up this discussion in my boundaries group on facebook not long ago, and I said that bonding is the ability to establish an emotional attachment to another person. It’s the ability to relate to another on the deepest level. 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.

Without a solid, bonded relationship, the human soul will become 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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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