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6 posts from September 2008

September 30, 2008

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE TALK (TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS)

The past five months I’ve been working hard on a new speech which I will give tonight (wish me luck!).  This process has brought to light, in a whole different way, the power of negative talk…and positive talk.

I have become acutely aware of the power of my words on my performance:  the days my rehearsals have gone well, my words were positive; the days they didn’t go well, I was beating myself up before I ever got started.  I’m aware this is not a shocking revelation to most people however, to realize that if I change the way I speak to myself, I will improve my speech tenfold is a very uplifting concept.

Individuals talk down to themselves every day, all day long, without realizing the impact of that on their day to day living.  We tell ourselves that we’re fat, stupid, not good at what we do, a bad parent and on and on.  Seldom do we take the time to remind ourselves that we’re worthy, competent, important, smart, capable etc.  It’s as though the only lens we look through is the one that’s grey and cloudy.

We need to change our lens.

Continue reading "THE POWER OF NEGATIVE TALK (TO YOURSELF AND TO OTHERS)" »

September 26, 2008

RECIPROCITY IN RELATIONSHIPS: Is it okay to expect something in return for my efforts/gifts?

I received an e-mail from a blogger asking me to exchange links. Their opening sentence talked about how much they enjoyed my blog and it’s content and therefore  placed my link on their blog.  The deal they proposed was:  they would place my blog link on their blog if I agreed to place their blog link on mine.   

 

Two days later I received an e-mail that they had taken my blog link off of their site because I had not placed their link on mine.  Hmm…

 

Apparently, they only liked my content enough to link to it if I was willing to reciprocate.  While I realize this is business and one link helps another, I also know that linking, for the sake of linking, does not help uphold my integrity with my readers.  If I choose to link to a blog, it’s because I believe the content of that site will be helpful to my readers…not because I think I’ll get something for it.  If I happen to get linked to back--great, that’s like icing on the cake.  However, if I don’t, that’s okay; I didn’t do it to get something in return.  I did it because it’s the right thing to do.

 

This is the same for couples. Men and women alike, are constantly saying, “I’ll do it if s/he does it.”  Men will say they’ll warm up and give their wives complements if their wives would get off their backs and be more appreciative.  Not surprisingly, the wives say they’ll be more appreciative if the husbands would be kinder.   Neither makes the first move and they both stay miserable.

 

They’re both off in their thinking. 

Continue reading "RECIPROCITY IN RELATIONSHIPS: Is it okay to expect something in return for my efforts/gifts?" »

September 22, 2008

CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIPS: IS IT POSSIBLE? IF SO, HOW DO I TELL IF MY PARTNER’S PROMISES (AND CHANGES) ARE REAL?

This must be the month of make ups?  People keep asking me what they should do in response to their partner saying s/he is willing to change and wants to work on things.  Some are doubtful their partner is capable of change, others are worried the change won’t last since this isn’t the first time their partner has promised to change, and some aren’t sure they want their partner even if s/he does change.  So what’s a person to do?

 

First let me state that I believe most, if not all, people are capable of change.  Substantial, life-altering, lasting change can and does happen…when a person is truly committed to changing.  So if you’re wondering if change is even possible, the answer is absolutely.  If however, you’re wondering if your partner is going to change, the answer is…I have no idea.

 

All is not lost however since there are some tell-tale signs that a person is committed to change.  Look these over and see if you get a sense of what your partner’s level of commitment is. 

 

  • They are backing their words up with actions and you can actually see the changes.  I often tell clients to ignore the promises and look at the actions.  If your partner is promising to be kinder yet every time s/he gets angry you feel the brunt of that energy, then change is not looking good.  If s/he promises to be home more yet continues to be make excuses for not being around, then don’t be too optimistic about change.  If, on the other hand, your partner is already incorporating positive changes that you see and feel, then that’s a great sign.

Continue reading "CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIPS: IS IT POSSIBLE? IF SO, HOW DO I TELL IF MY PARTNER’S PROMISES (AND CHANGES) ARE REAL?" »

September 12, 2008

MONEY AND RELATIONSHIPS: Building a financial partnership

Tom complained that his wife Sherri was spending money faster than he could make it.  Sherri complained that Tom was a tight wad and didn’t want a dime spent unless it was a bare necessity.  They both were angry and…they both were off.

Money is a common struggle with couples from all economic levels.  Those who don’t have enough are often so stressed they can’t seem to think about anything else.  They’re often at each other’s throats playing the blame game about who’s not working hard enough or earning enough to help the family.  Their stress seeps over onto the children and it’s miserable for everyone.

For those who are more financially stable, there’s often a mismatch in spending, financial goals, and financial philosophies.  Consequently they’re constantly fighting about what’s responsible vs. irresponsible spending.  Each partner is adamant that the other is wrong and rigidly holds to that position.  Typically there’s truth in both their stories.

Continue reading "MONEY AND RELATIONSHIPS: Building a financial partnership" »

September 08, 2008

A TIP SHEET FOR MEN WHO STRUGGLE WITH BEING RELATIONAL

Women cannot stress to me enough how non-relational their husbands or partner are.  Unfortunately the men often respond to these complaints by saying the women are overly critical and insatiable.  They end up ignoring the complaints, changing nothing, and saying anything they did would never be enough for her anyway.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of these men are paying a heavy price for this lack of skill.

For those men who are brave enough to work their relationship muscles--in spite of how your friends or our culture will respond--here’s your cheat sheet on how to move a little beyond respect and into more connection:

  1. When your partner is sharing her day with you---please do not move into solving.  Men often struggle with wanting to solve everything for women.  When they actually sit down to hear about their wife’s day, they immediately move into fixing it:  “Did you try this?”  “Next time you should say this.” “Your boss is out of line, you should go back and tell him…”  Stop solving!!! When you respond to your wife’s sharing by trying to solve something you’re implying that she’s incapable of solving it herself.  This is incredibly frustrating for your wife.  You’re also assuming that there’s a problem to be solved.  Often women share just to relay information, not to change something.  Sit back, listen and do not solve unless you have been explicitly asked to do so.

Continue reading "A TIP SHEET FOR MEN WHO STRUGGLE WITH BEING RELATIONAL" »

September 04, 2008

RESPECT AND RELATIONSHIPS: WHAT IS RESPECT ANYWAY???

I often write about the importance of being respectful in relationships and for a long time assumed clients (and readers) knew what I was talking about.  I know this probably was a big assumption to make so now please allow me to back peddle and actually explain what I mean when I say you have to minimally, be respectful to your partner.

The Encarta dictionary defines respect as consideration or thoughtfulness.  For those who did not grow up in the healthiest of families, and there are many of us, the concept of consideration and thoughtfulness is vague at best.  Let me break it down in concrete terms and give every one a cheat sheet on how to be respectful in their relationships:

Rules of respect:

1. Greet your partner.  When you return home from a day at work, a trip, or a jaunt to the grocery store, actually say hello to your partner.  When your partner says hello to you…respond back!  Don’t nod your head, shrug your shoulders, or ignore your partner…that’s rude and disrespectful.  Say hello and ask your partner how his or her day was.

Continue reading "RESPECT AND RELATIONSHIPS: WHAT IS RESPECT ANYWAY???" »

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