6 posts from February 2011

February 28, 2011

Qualities That Make You Difficult To Be In A Relationship With (Part II)

IStock_0selfishguyll My last post spoke about the first five qualities that can be difficult to be around. Below are the remaining four qualities.  Read this list with courage and an open mind. Once we are aware of our edges, we can then work hard to smooth them out.
1.    Depressed: Depression can be a debilitating entity in a relationship—for both the person who’s depressed as well as for the people around them. If you struggle with depression, get help. Don’t accept having or being a black cloud in your life. You deserve more and so do those around you. Live your life -- don’t wait for it to end.
2.    Negative: There’s nothing worse than having a constant cloud of negativity surrounding you. Leave pessimism and the grumpy, old Scrooge attitude out of your relationships—even the most optimistic or people can only take so much before they too begin to drowned in the negativity.  Don’t be a constant downer—it brings people and relationships down.

Continue reading "Qualities That Make You Difficult To Be In A Relationship With (Part II)" »

February 22, 2011

Are You Difficult to Be In a Relationship With? (Part I)

IStock_0criticalwomanwithmanl Relationships can be the best aspect in our lives or the worst aspect of our lives. Regardless of whether we are talking about a relationship with a friend, lover, parent or boss, all relationships require the same skills to get along. Not surprisingly then, there are certain characteristics that can make any relationship difficult for even the most relationally skilled person. 

Look at the list below to see if you are making your relationships more difficult by incorporating any of these negative characteristics into your interactions.
1.    Defensiveness: If you often get short, deny any truth in what a person is saying or try to turn their complaint about you onto a complaint about them, chances are you struggle with defensiveness. There’s nothing more difficult than trying to solve a problem with someone who is constantly on the defensive. If you’re unable to hear someone’s critical feedback--work on hearing people not defending yourself. Eventually people will stop telling you what they don’t like and instead start looking to others to be in relationship with—you’re just too difficult.
2.    Silent Treatment: The idea that you shouldn’t make waves or you should avoid conflict at all costs is a very costly idea. When you silence, you shut down all possibility of repair. When you then try to forget about the issue you shut down about, you are building up a reservoir of resentment in you and in the other person. Silence is rude, non-relational and the fast track to anger and resentment. Step up and step in—don’t ignore.

Continue reading "Are You Difficult to Be In a Relationship With? (Part I)" »

February 17, 2011

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Wanting to Start Your Own Business

IStock_00coupletalkingall The past few years have been financially tough for many couples.  Lay-offs, down sizing, lowered wages, hiring freezes, raise freezes and the overall downturn in the economy have all been tough, to say the least.  Many people have used the economic downturn to reassess where they are in their careers and to look at where they want to be in their futures.  For some, the answer has been to go into business for themselves.

As you can imagine, talking with your spouse about wanting to start your own business in this economy may not be the easiest of conversations.  For those of you who are considering this option and are wary about how your partner will hear your idea, be smart about how you share it.  Below are several tips on how to increase the odds that such a conversation will go well:
1.    Think before you speak.  Do not approach your partner with a jaw-dropping statement such as, “Honey, you know I’m tired of working for someone else.  I’m sure I can do better than Joe Shmow and I’m going to take the leap and start my own business!”  Instead of dropping a bomb, be planful and think about your message before you speak it.  If you’re in the mulling-it-over stage, tell your partner that you’re just playing with options and working for yourself is one of them.  If you’re seriously thinking of starting a business, let them know that and be clear that you would like them to be open to the idea and be willing to participate in this discussion with an open mind.
2.    Know your audience.  If your partner is open to new ideas, taking risks and you have a good relationship, have them join you in the brainstorming of pros and cons.  If your partner tends to be worried about risks, then it’s in your best interest to have more information before you present this idea to them.  If your partner is a planner and has a critical eye, then you may want to have a fairly detailed proposal to present.  Don’t try to fight against the type of partner you have—instead, go with it and use their personality as a map to guide you in your approach with them.

Continue reading "How to Talk to Your Spouse About Wanting to Start Your Own Business" »

February 10, 2011

Bringing Sex Back Into Your Relationship (Part II)

My last post talked about the first three steps to bringing sex back into your relationship.  Once you’ve talked to your partner about bringing sex back into your relationship (see Part I) and you’ve scheduled the date, you’re next step is to start planning the evening.  Below are a few tips for getting your journey off to a good start keeping it going:
1.    Plan a nice evening.  Remember that foreplay starts hours before you’re actually going to be sexual.  Plan a nice evening that you both will enjoy.  Relax, hold hands, talk about how silly you both feel—don’t rush to the punch line.  Enjoy a nice dinner, cuddle up with a great movie or just enjoy the conversation.  Tip: do not discuss the relationship during this evening—just keep things light and enjoy your time together.
2.    Share a bottle of wine or a drink (if addiction is not an issue).  The road back to intimacy can be incredibly anxiety provoking so a glass of wine or a drink of alcohol can help take the edge off the evening.  I literally mean 1-2 drinks only (one drink is equal to a 1-ounce shot of alcohol; 12 oz. beer; or a 2-3 finger glass of wine).  Do not get drunk, highly buzzed or sloshed!!!  Just enjoy a nice glass of wine with your partner.  Obviously if addiction is an issue, do not drink.

Continue reading "Bringing Sex Back Into Your Relationship (Part II)" »

February 07, 2011

Bring Sex Back Into Your Marriage (Part I)

IStock_00handsall I can’t even begin to tell you how many couples are not having sex in their marriage.  Couples young, old and in-between are living in sexless marriages.  I’m not talking about couples who aren’t having sex as often as they’d like.  I’m talking about no sex for anywhere from six-months to six years...or more. And many of these couples are within the first seven to ten years of their marriages.

Many of these couples would say they still enjoy each other’s company.  They’re good friends, they say, but somewhere along the way they stopped having sex.  Other couples are in a tougher spot.  They have months or even years of resentments, anger and pain stored up and have settled into a cool existence with one another.   For the latter category of couples, the road to recovery begins in a professional’s office -- specifically one who specializes in working with couples.  For the former group, though, their road to recovery does not have to be so difficult.

If you and your partner have stopped having sex -- and would like to have sex become a part of your relationship again—then make the decision to work it.  Below are a few easy steps to getting back on the road to recovery.

1.    Make the decision to bring sex back into the relationship.  You and your partner need to have a heart-to-heart talk about sex.  I don’t mean talking about what you like and don’t like, I mean do you want a sexless marriage or not.  Forget about the specifics of how you will get it back—first decide IF you want it back.  Be honest and don’t say something you don’t mean.  Too often one assumes the other partner is okay with not having sex just because s/he stopped asking for it.  Don’t assume anything.  Once you both are clear that you want to bring sex back, move to step two.

Continue reading "Bring Sex Back Into Your Marriage (Part I)" »

February 03, 2011

Are You One-Up? How Grandiosity Shows Up in Our Lives and What it Costs Us

Below is a post from my new blog Enjoy!

Many of us struggle with healthy self-esteem, however not many realize that grandiosity -- or thinking that you’re better than others -- is actually unhealthy self-esteem.  Many people think that if someone is full of himself or herself that they have an overabundance of self-esteem.  This thinking could not be further from the truth.

Someone who practices healthy self-esteem is very grounded in the premise that they have inherent worth.  They’re also very grounded in the belief that their worth is neither better than the worth of others nor less than the worth of others.  We are all equal -- no-one more so, no-one less so.  People who act as if they are better than others struggle with self-esteem to the same degree as people who think they’re less than others.  It just shows up differently. 

When we take a one-up position with someone, we feel toxic to be around.  This is true for bosses, parents, men and women.  The reason we feel so toxic to be around is because we are.  Grandiosity is about looking down our noses at others or feeling entitled to do what we want despite the impact of our behavior on others.  The core energy in grandiosity is contempt.  Trust me -- being on the other side of someone’s contempt is not a fun place to be.

Almost every human being slips into a one-up or grandiose position at times in life; this is just our humanity.  In fact, I was acting very one-up with an operator after waiting over two hours for AAA to come start my car.  Even though they were off in how they handled everything, it did not give me the right to talk to the person the way I did.  I was one-up and I knew it.  And yes, I’m sure it was not fun to be on the other side of me -- it never is when someone is being grandiose.  I’m sure some of you can relate to the frustrations of talking to a customer service person who is doing anything but providing you with good customer service.  If you’ve ever lost it on one of these calls, then know you went one up and were likely toxic to be in a conversation with.  You were toxic even if they were wrong.

There’s a difference, however, between having a one-up moment versus living comfortably in a grandiose state.  There will be moments when our humanity takes over and we are not at our best, moments where we are judging others, sneering at someone or talking down to a person.  If these moments are few and far between, then learn to repair them and work to make them even less than they are now—and know you will never be perfect.  For those, however, who tend to ride in a one-up position, many moments are filled with entitlement or grandiosity.  It’s common for people who tend to be one-up to judge others, laugh at others’ stupidity or make comments about other people’s “flaws,” etc.  For those who are often in grandiosity, you may tend to be highly reactive and intense.  You may also yell at your employees, make snide comments about people who seem less educated, not dressed as well as you or …(fill in the blank).

I’ve seen too many bosses, parents, men and women ride in a one-up position.  When you are one-up, you are toxic to be around.  It does not matter if the person on the other side of you did the dumbest thing in the world;  if you’re spewing contempt back at them…you are off.  Our world does not need more contempt.  For every person you turn up your nose to there will be ten more who will turn their noses up to you.  Stop the energy of contempt from flowing through our world.  Clean up your energy and refuse to think you are better than anyone or less than anyone.  The truth are not.  Hold yourself in warm regard and know you matter; also know that everyone else in the world matters, too.

CHALLENGE: For the next week, watch your energy of contempt.  Refuse to yell, look down your nose at someone or make disparaging remarks.  Notice how difficult this is.  Be positive and have humility.

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