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10 posts from October 2009

October 30, 2009

REMOVE THE PHRASE “YOU’RE TOO SENSITIVE” FROM YOUR LIST OF RESPONSES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP


In my work with couples, I’m constantly hearing men tell their partners, “You’re too sensitive”. They often say this in response to the women complaining about how the men are speaking to them.  The women complain that the men are harsh or derogatory in how they speak to them and the men complain that the women are too sensitive.

Ironically, I had to chuckle this morning when I corrected my son about his tone and his response was…yep you guessed it:  “Mom, you’re too sensitive”.  Actually, I would’ve chuckled I suppose, if I weren’t so annoyed by the dismissiveness of the comment. 

Many people believe that if they don’t intend to have a tone, that they don’t have a tone.  Many also believe that if they don’t think they’re being disrespectful or speaking harshly, then they’re not.  Because they don’t agree with the complaint, the problem must therefore be that the other person is too sensitive. 

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October 27, 2009

YOUR SILENCE AND INACTION—IS ACTION: CALIFORNIA TEEN GANG RAPED AT HOMECOMING—WHILE 15 OTHER KIDS WATCH!!!

I am so appalled as I write this that I can barely contain myself.  A 15 year old girl was brutally gang raped at Richmond High School in California by at least 4 males for TWO HOURS.  As she was being raped, the word got out and more and more people showed up… to WATCH! In the end, there were reportedly FIFTEEN bystanders who stood by and watched her be sexually assaulted so bad that she had to be life-flighted to the nearest hospital.

 Can you imagine this poor young girl being gang raped and hoping and praying for someone to see what was going on?  People start to come and she thinks “Thank God, they’re going to save me!”  The next thing she knows some of those hopeful “saviors” become her rapists.  As more and more people come, she realizes that she is on show and not one person out of the 15 bystanders is going to do a damn thing to end this.  They watch for TWO HOURS.  They WATCH for TWO HOURS…without a word to stop it; without a call to the police; without a text message to a parent; WITHOUT A THING!!!

Every single boy who raped her, as well as every single accomplice who watched, should be arrested and sent to jail.  When they sat there for TWO HOURS watching that crime, they took part in committing it.  There will now be a thousand articles about the bystander effect to explain this horrendous incident.  I’m sure the parents of the teens watching will cling to this as an excuse for their son WATCHING FOR TWO HOURS while this young girl was being brutally gang raped.  There is no excuse.  Every single parent, whose son watched this crime and did nothing, should be walking their son to the closest police department and putting his butt in jail.  There is NO excuse for becoming a spectator to gang rape as though it was a sporting event. 

Continue reading "YOUR SILENCE AND INACTION—IS ACTION: CALIFORNIA TEEN GANG RAPED AT HOMECOMING—WHILE 15 OTHER KIDS WATCH!!!" »

THE ART OF BEING SUPPORTIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS

When we first enter relationships it seems as though our relationship IQ is in the genius range.  We’re loving, great listeners, good sharers and incredibly supportive.  The longer we stay in relationships, however, it seems as though some of us develop relationship dementia -- we simply forget how to be in a relationship. 

This effect is similar to the one I see when I’m training therapists across the country in Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy Model.  When I’m running a workshop, the therapists are quite adept at speaking about the concepts of the model when we are in lecture format.  When they are placed in a role-play situation, however, their IQ’s drastically decline.  For the participant role-playing the therapist, it’s as though there is an IQ vacuum that sucks 50 IQ points out of their brains—and adds 50 IQ points to the therapists who are observing.  Because this phenomenon is so universal, we all laugh, normalize it and have a lot of empathy for the person in the “brain-drain chair.”

Regarding relationships, however, the brain-drain is anything but a laughing matter.  It seems the longer a person is in a relationship, the larger the brain-drain effect.  This is particularly true around supporting one another.  Couples in the honeymoon stage are brilliant supporters.  They are encouraging, understanding and great motivators.  Of course, in the early stages of a relationship there is very little to lose by encouraging your new loved one to take risks, leave their job, start a new business, etc.  Your finances, future and children are not wrapped up in that risk.  As the relationship progresses and your life is more intertwined with your partner’s, this level of support is much more difficult to give.

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October 26, 2009

JOIN LISA MERLO-BOOTH IN BROOKLINE Nov. 19th 6-8pm and LEARN SKILLS TO HELP YOU CREATE GREAT RELATIONSHIPS AND GET THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS WITH MINIMAL RELATIONAL DISRUPTION

Your voices have been heard! Many people registered their disappointment regarding the original scheduled time slot for my speech and so we listened to your voices.  We have decided to change the time to Thursday evening on Nov. 19th from 6-8pm--same topic, same location.  The timing should be perfect for many of you given that the holidays are right around the corner which means increased extended family time, stress and seemingly endless lists of things to do.  Attend my speech and learn some easy to implement skills to help improve your relationships and get through the holidays with less arguments and more cherishing moments.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Take care-Lisa

SMART WOMEN CREATING SMART RELATIONSHIPS
Developing the Skills You Need to Get Through Tough Times

Register for what is sure to be a most enlightening and consciousness shifting experience!
Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions and receive the “Straight Talk” from one of America’s most effective Relationship Coaches.
Whether your focus is:

1. Exploring ways to be more successful in your current relationships (business, romantic or friendships or
2. Identifying and freeing yourself from negative patterns from previous relationships

You can benefit from attending this seminar!
Bring a friend or colleague to share this amazing experience!  Network with other women while taking in vital pointers on creating excellent relationships at work, home and with friends.

When:  Thursday EVENING,  November 19, 2009

Where:  Holiday Inn, Brookline
1200 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
Telephone (617) 277-1200  

Time:  6:00 – 8:00pm

Fee: $40.00

Click here for event details and to register:

I am looking forward to seeing you there!!

October 22, 2009

KNOWING YOU’LL BE OKAY OFTEN IS THE CATALYST FOR GREAT CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIPS

One of the biggest obstacles I find with creating relationship change is fear.  Too often one person in a couple is so afraid of losing the relationship that they accept the unacceptable.  One person may choose to stay with a partner who is openly having an affair.  Another person may agree to participate in swinging, even though they have no interest in doing so.   Still another person may choose to stay in an emotionally and/or physically-abusive relationship even though they can’t stand it.

The bottom line is people accept the unacceptable in relationships all the time.  They accept poor treatment, not because they think it’s okay, but because they’re afraid not to accept it.  They’re afraid that if they actually put their foot down and set a limit, they might lose their relationship.  Many people are so afraid of losing a relationship that they won’t even discuss a difficult issue, let alone set a limit around one. 

The problem, however, is that you can’t be in a great relationship if you can’t speak up for yourself.  If you walk on egg shells or silence yourself because you’re fearful of your partner leaving, then you don’t really have a relationship—you have an unhealthy dependency.  Until you’re able to face this dependency head on and work through it, you will be stuck in an unhealthy relationship. 

Continue reading "KNOWING YOU’LL BE OKAY OFTEN IS THE CATALYST FOR GREAT CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIPS" »

October 19, 2009

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ARE EASIER THAN YOU THINK: BASIC RULES TO FOLLOW

When I ask people if they know of any couples who they believe have a healthy relationship, I’m shocked at how many people say no.  Most people laugh when I ask that question.  Some get quiet and ponder the couples they know in their head and slowly scratch one couple after the next off the list.  Sadly, parents seldom make this list.

Although many of you are not going to believe this, creating healthy relationships are much easier than you think.  There area a few basic ingredients or building blocks that are pivotal.  Once you get these building blocks down you can add a few more key ingredients and move up from healthy to enriching.  Let’s start first with healthy:
Key Ingredients necessary for healthy relationships:

1.    Always be respectful even when angry.  I cannot believe the number of people who think it’s no big deal to yell or swear at their partner.  Yelling, swearing or calling your partner names IS A BIG DEAL!!!  It stops intimacy and connection in its tracks.  I don’t care if that was how you were raised or if you think it’s not that big a deal, you cannot have a healthy relationship if you’re not respectful.  Period.  Clean up the disrespect; this includes rolling your eyes, sighing and using a derogatory tone when you’re speaking.  This one shift will drastically change your relationships.

Continue reading "HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ARE EASIER THAN YOU THINK: BASIC RULES TO FOLLOW" »

October 13, 2009

LESSONS TO LEARN FROM ROMAN POLANSKI: What constitutes rape in relationships?

I’m struck by the controversy over Roman Polanski’s alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl. 
•    Whoopi Goldberg isn’t sure what to call it, but she’s clear that "I know it wasn't rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was rape-rape." 
•    More than 100 people, including Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, have signed a petition objecting to the arrest of Roman Polanski.
•    Debra Winger demanded Polanski's release and criticized Swiss authorities for their "philistine collusion" in arresting Polanski as he entered the country for a festival.  "This fledgling festival has been unfairly exploited, and whenever this happens the whole art world suffers," Winger said in a statement on Monday, standing together with the other four international jury members, who wore red badges reading "Free Polanski" as they announced plans to continue the fest. (Kate Harding, The Fugitive)

It seems that some people are confused about what constitutes rape.  Roman Polanski allegedly lured a 13-year-old girl to a home under the pretense of his taking photographs of her for Vogue magazine.  He then allegedly fed her champagne and Quaaludes and then raped and sodomized her.  He pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor, allegedly because the girl’s mother asked to make this deal in order to spare her daughter a painful trial.  Roman Polanski was 43 years old at the time; the girl was THIRTEEN.  If you’re unclear about what is and is not rape, let me help you get clear:

•    If you have sex with someone without their consent…it is rape.  Those below the “legal age of consent,” are, by law, too young to be able to give their consent.  Thirteen is well below the legal age of consent.  Giving consent also means as adults they do not—at any point—say no, stop it, I don’t want to or anything close to this.
•    If you give someone drugs or alcohol to “loosen them up” so they will be sexual and you have sex with them against their protests…that is rape.
•    If you give a 13-year-old drugs and alcohol and then have sex with her…it is rape.  If you’re 30 years older than her and you do this…you’re a pedophile and a rapist.

Continue reading "LESSONS TO LEARN FROM ROMAN POLANSKI: What constitutes rape in relationships?" »

October 09, 2009

RAGE IN MCDONALDS DUE TO MISTAKEN ORDER: Are You Out of Control and Over-reactive? Rage and Relationships Don't Mix

•    In Quincy, Massachusetts a couple throws coins and cones at a McDonald’s cashier when they’re given an order of small fries instead of large fries. 

•    NORWELL — Authorities say a couple, upset over the slowness of their Kentucky Fried Chicken order, assaulted a man who asked them to stop yelling profanities for the sake of children in line. (Boston Herald.com)

What is going on?  If you cannot control your anger when something as minor as a mistaken or slow order happens, you need help.  I totally understand the frustration of waiting. I also get the let down and annoyance of someone giving you a totally wrong order.  What is not okay, however, is allowing these annoyances to send you into a rage.

Becoming verbally or physically abusive in response to minor irritations such as those above is a huge red flag that you need help.  If you cannot contain yourself in public, then your anger is out of control.  Seek help—for your sake and the sake of those around you. 

Continue reading "RAGE IN MCDONALDS DUE TO MISTAKEN ORDER: Are You Out of Control and Over-reactive? Rage and Relationships Don't Mix" »

October 05, 2009

5 THINGS NOT TO SAY WHEN YOU FIRST ENTER THE HOME IF YOU WANT A LOVING RELATIONSHIP

My last post was about the power of greetings and goodbyes.  Over the years I’ve seen a few particularly poor greetings and thought I’d pass them along since part of doing something well often requires that you know what doing something poorly looks likeJ.  Here’s a look at what NOT to say when you first enter your home and greet your loved ones:

 

1.  This place is a mess!  Don’t you ever do anything?  Even if the place is a mess, have some manners and say hello to your family or partner if you haven’t seen them all day.  You can deal with the mess after you’ve been relational.

 

2.  You look terrible, what happened to you?  The last thing your partner needs to hear is how bad they look after a long day.  I’m sure there are days when you don’t look so hot either.  Keep it to yourself and instead offer support.  This is also a poor line to use if you’re angry at your partner for gaining weight.  Seldom have I seen negative criticism and sarcastic comments lead to amazing weight loss.  Usually they lead to a passive-aggressive response of more eating and increased weight gain. 

Continue reading "5 THINGS NOT TO SAY WHEN YOU FIRST ENTER THE HOME IF YOU WANT A LOVING RELATIONSHIP" »

October 01, 2009

THE POWER OF THE 2 G’S IN RELATIONSHIPS: Greetings and goodbyes

Couples are busy, stressed, financially-strained and often running on E.  People are frequently coming home, walking past their partner, barely saying hello to the children and burrowing their heads in computers, Blackberrys, televisions, etc.  So many of us are trying to hold so many things in our heads that we forget about the most important thing—relationships.

In an effort to help all couples everywhere, I want to talk about the importance of the two Gs:  greetings and goodbyes.  These are very powerful moments in relationships.  One starts off the relationship on a good foot while the other ends it on a good foot.  

You can think of them in terms of the primacy (first, i.e. greeting) and recency (last, i.e. goodbye) effects.  Just as research shows that the primacy and recency effects are powerful forces in terms of sequences (the most remembered components are the first and last.  For example, the first or last person in a debate, speech, audition, etc.) so are they in terms of relationships.  The greeting is the first thing that happens and often sets the stage and mood for what’s to come later.  The goodbye is the last thing that happens.  Typically, we hold the first thing and the most recent interaction in our memories the longest.  The mundane stuff that happens in the middle often gets lost in the shuffle of our brains.

Continue reading "THE POWER OF THE 2 G’S IN RELATIONSHIPS: Greetings and goodbyes" »

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