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9 posts from July 2010

July 30, 2010

Stop Trying To Be Who You Think Men Want You To Be & Just Be Yourself

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I just heard another “relationship expert” telling women to learn to give men what they want.  Too many “experts” encourage women to play games, figure out what men want and then make sure they give it to them.  This is ludicrous advice and is the exact opposite of what women who want great relationships should be doing.

Stop listening to this crazy advice!

Listen up women:  If you want a loving relationship, you need to stop trying to be what you think men want you to be and instead dare to be the best YOU you can be. If you aren’t desperate to find love, be loved or have a romantic connection, what is it YOU want?  What is your ideal relationship?  Are you healthy enough to get that?  Are you healthy enough to know what you want?  Hint:  If you’re thinking you want to just fool around, have endless sexual trysts and get as many men as possible attracted to you—then you are not healthy—no matter how you rationalize these “wants.”

Too many of you are settling for relationships you should never be settling for.  Too many of you are working way too hard to “get” a man.  Trying to become what men want requires that you lose who you are.  Losing yourself in service to someone else is not serving you or your relationships.   

Continue reading "Stop Trying To Be Who You Think Men Want You To Be & Just Be Yourself" »

July 27, 2010

Say It Straight Or Don’t Say It: Hazy Communication Is Not Helping Your Relationship


Too many people send hazy messages, speak in cryptic ways and are anything but direct when it comes to communication.  Often this hazy communication happens with the best of intentions.  For example, they don’t want to hurt another’s feelings, they’re afraid the person will get mad or they don’t want to get into a conflict.  They may even be afraid they’ll lose the person if they speak directly.  Unfortunately, the very thing they’re trying to avoid is often the thing they ensure will happen.

When we beat around the bush, say only part of what we mean or hold things in and expect our partners to know what’s going on for us, we’re off.  It is not our loved one’s job to read our minds or decipher what we mean.  It is our job to clearly state what is going on for us.  It’s our job to specifically ask for what we want.  And it’s our job to tell our loved ones what will happen if things continue to go poorly in our relationship.  It’s also our job to then ACT on those words.

If you’re unhappy in your relationship, your first step is to clearly state that you’re unhappy.  Be clear about what you’re unhappy about and what difference you want to see: “I’m unhappy with our relationship.  You’re often snapping at me or the kids, you come home and get on the computer and then you go to bed.  The only interaction you seem to have with us is to tell us to leave you alone or to reprimand the kids.  I understand that you’re stressed…and…I need you to speak to us with a softer tone, get off the computer at night and join the family.”

Continue reading "Say It Straight Or Don’t Say It: Hazy Communication Is Not Helping Your Relationship" »

July 24, 2010

5 Tips For Creating A Relational Work Environment

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I’m shocked when I hear and see what goes on in some work environments.  Between managers being cold and rude to their employees, bosses yelling at employees, managers refusing to be accountable for their own mistakes yet demanding their employees be accountable for theirs and co-workers talking bad about one another, it’s no wonder companies often do so poorly.

When companies create a cutthroat work environment and don’t take care of their employees, the odds of that company making it decrease drastically.  Why?  Because high tension, non-relational work environments lead to high turnover, lower productivity, more infighting and loads of resentment.  The bottom line is: not taking care of your employees is just plain BAD BUSINESS.

Here are 5 things business leaders can do to create a healthy work environment:
1.    Speak to all employees with respect at all times.  No matter how big the mistake, never allow any one to be verbally assaulted by anyone in the company.  Create an atmosphere where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities not shaming opportunities.
2.    As a leader, model healthy communication.  Build your employees up rather than tearing them down.  Teach them and mentor them—don’t scold and shame them.
3.    Model what you want your employees to master.   If you want excellent customer service than give excellent customer service.  If you want your employees to be accountable, then you be accountable.  Own your mistakes and they will feel as though they can own theirs.

Continue reading "5 Tips For Creating A Relational Work Environment" »

July 20, 2010

The Deer In The Headlights Phenomenon--A Communication Blunder In Relationships

I often hear from women that their partners aren’t interested in what they have to say, talk very little and emotionally don’t offer much.  When I check in with the men about this, the men often report that they’re different from the women and don’t need to talk as much.  They also report that at times they have no idea what to say if they were to talk.  Many men complain that the women seem to talk non-stop and they wish the women would quiet down.

After hearing these complaints over and over again, I began to see what both the men and the women were talking about.  The men were indeed offering very little and, in response to the men’s silence, the women would often talk incessantly in an attempt to get a response from the men.  Naturally the relentless talking led to the men tuning the women out and that led to the women persisting in talking.  Obviously this dance was and is a lose-lose for both men and women.

On the male side of the equation, their lack of communication was, at times, nothing short of astounding.  On many occasions, I watched as the men stared at their partners with a blank look on their faces and literally added nothing to a conversation.  They did not nod, utter a word or even sigh in response to what their partners were saying.  This non-reaction was true when the women were giving a compliment, sharing a thought, complaining or even asking a question.  What the women were saying was irrelevant.  The men, almost immediately when the women began speaking, would look like a deer in the headlights and say absolutely nothing.  I have seen this happen so many times that I now call it the deer in the headlight phenomenon.

Continue reading "The Deer In The Headlights Phenomenon--A Communication Blunder In Relationships" »

July 15, 2010

Tips To Stop Over-accommodating or Care-taking

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Many people have a difficult time saying no to their bosses, lovers, children and/or friends.  These people tend to be very kind, loving people who are all about helping others…unfortunately, often at the expense of themselves.

When you combine a desire to please with a need to avoid conflict, you often end up with a very over-accommodating, tired human being.  Over-accommodating happens when a person says yes to almost everything.  At work they may agree to stay long hours for their boss even though they have plans.  They’ll take on more and more projects and tasks than are humanly possible to do and not complain or ask for help.  They’ll simply push themselves to the nth degree to get it done.  At home, they may do all the chores, keep the house clean and take care of the kids.  If they’re sick they often will struggle through rather than resting and having other family members pick up the slack. 

The bottom line is they’re all about taking care of everyone else and seldom care for themselves.  As you can imagine, this will eventually wear anyone down.  They often begin to feel run down, depressed, resentful, anxious and even sick.  Care-taking though is a part of who they are and if they stop doing it, they often begin to feel bad about themselves.

Continue reading "Tips To Stop Over-accommodating or Care-taking" »

July 13, 2010

Women Who Bully…and the Men Who Take It

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There is endless information written on men who are abusive, intimidating or controlling of their partners.  There is much less written, however, about women who do the same.  Over the years I have worked with many women who fell into this same pattern of rage and control in their relationships with men. 

Although the women are fewer in numbers, the wrath they wield is intense, scary and damaging.

More often than not, I have found that men capitulate and duck in response to the violence of women just as I have found women to do the same in response to the violence of men.  (Note: Some also respond by returning rage with rage, but that’s a different post).  Not surprisingly, capitulating and ducking is no more effective when the men do it than it is when the women do it. 

Men and women duck, even though it’s ineffective, because of fear.  Women, not unlike men, are scary when they are highly reactive and prone to have fits of rage.  The male partners of these women believe there will be hell to pay if they do anything but give the women what they want.  Some of these men also try to avoid the women altogether, which only makes things worse.  Often, these men do indeed have reason to be fearful.  I’ve known several women to become physically violent, take extreme steps to get revenge on their partner or make threats about custody and financial ruin at various times in their relationships.  I have no doubt that these women meant what they said.  The men had no doubt as well.

Continue reading "Women Who Bully…and the Men Who Take It" »

July 09, 2010

Contempt In Relationships Could Be A Sign There’s Something Not Right

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In my work with couples over the years I’ve come to recognize contempt fairly quickly.  Contempt can come across as irritability, annoyance, disgust or lack of respect.  It feels like someone is telling you in a thousand ways that you’re stupid or really hard for them to be around. 

Regardless of the message of contempt, the impact of it is always detrimental.  It never feels good to be on the other side of contempt—for any reason.  Contempt has a way of pulling people down emotionally.  When someone is speaking contemptuously toward me I can -- almost without fail -- feel his or her annoyance and disdain.  Needless to say, it does not feel good to be on the receiving side of that energy.

If you happen to be the one being spoken to with contempt, address it.  There’s no reason for anyone to speak to you like that—even if you screwed up.  Tell the person you don’t like the way they’re speaking to you and ask them to speak to you directly about what’s bothering them.  If you let contempt go by, the disdain will grow.

Continue reading "Contempt In Relationships Could Be A Sign There’s Something Not Right" »

July 06, 2010

Your Voices Have Been Heard


Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in a comment in response to my last post.  There were many comments by both men and women.  Most, if not all of the readers, are in agreement that the comment was not a good representation of most men. 

Although my readers are not a fair representation of the world at large, I believe they are  a fairly representative sample of people trying to have healthy relationships.  A couple of  readers were curious as to why the person who made the comment was on my site in the first place.  I choose to think he was looking for a little relationship advice since his way was likely not working :-). 

Many people were supportive of men as a whole, I'm happy to report.  Men and women alike believed most men don't think that way.  Even those who thought there are men out there who mostly think of women as objects, the consensus was that those men are the exception rather than the rule. 

Continue reading "Your Voices Have Been Heard" »

July 02, 2010

Is This The Type of Thinking That Gives Men A Bad Name Or Do Men Really Think This Way?

A male reader just commented on my post titled "Are Men Attracted to Strong Women" and I was struck by his apparent disdain for women.  I thought that this is exactly the type of thinking that gives men a bad name but then I thought I would throw it out to my readers to see what you all think.  I would love to hear from both men and women on this one.  Is this a common attitude in men or is this the type of man that gives other men a bad name?  

Here's his comment:

"I don't really care if a woman is "strong" or not as long as she doesn't get on my nerves. I don't care if a woman is weak or not either, because when it comes to women - really, I only think sex. I'm not some new age guy wanting my "equal" partner. I'm not Feminist, I'm not Christian so i think "man is to love woman", I'm not a chivalrous tard - just primal when it comes to women. Raw and untamed. Wouldn't have it any other way. Why would i want a female partner? I'm sorry, but i couldn't count on a woman for anything. I'm sexually attracted to bitchy women and submissive women and anything in between. As far as "relationships" go, why bother? Women cheat MORE than men anymore according to stats and i have a bad temperament and betrayal is the worse thing ever, and she would be lucky if she could walk afterwards. Plus, I'm too independent to be caring whether or not some woman is mad at me for something silly."

CHALLENGE: Take the time to weigh in on this comment and share your thoughts.  Is this common thinking in your circles? What advice would you give to this reader? Thanks for taking the time!

(Note: I encourage everyone to be respectful with your comments)

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