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3 posts from March 2014

March 26, 2014

Building Your Accountability Muscles

IStock_000007605445XSmallPeople have this fantasy that “if only” their partner was kind, or respectful or caring or … (fill in the blank),  their relationship would be great; this is not how relationships work. The idea that your relationship would be fine or easy “if only” your partner…, is a convenient way of taking the responsibility of creating a healthy relationship off of yourself. Chances are your partner is thinking the same thing about you – if only you would…



She said: “You never talk, it’s like I’m living alone!”


He said: “I would talk if you weren’t nagging all the time. Did you ever think of that?!”


She said: “Well, if you did something around here, I wouldn’t have to nag. Did YOU ever think of that?!”



…and on and on they go with little, if any, resolution to many exquisitely described problems. 
 


To create the relationships you want, you have to be consciously working them in new ways. This requires that you look at your part FIRST, and when you’ve changed you, THEN, you look at your partner’s part. For example if your partner is treating you poorly, are you putting up with it, treating him/her poorly back, setting limits around it or just complaining about it? 



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March 19, 2014

Asking for What You Want

Directly asking for what you want can be a difficult skill to master for many women. One of the biggest obstacles for women with this struggle is worry. Women often get caught up in worrying about whether what they’re asking for is reasonable, whether the person is likely to give them what they ask for, how the other person might respond to their request and whether or not their request is likely to upset the other person. No wonder women struggle with asking for what they want; all of these concerns would paralyze most people!

Rather than fretting over what is and is not okay to ask for or how someone may or may not respond, women will go farther by simply getting clear on what it is they want. The bottom line is: there is nothing you can’t ask for. Women, men and all fellow human beings can ask for anything as long as they understand that asking doesn’t mean they will get it. In other words, ask for anything, expect nothing. Your job, when it comes to asking for things, is to be clear about what it is you’re asking for and to ask for it respectfully and “cleanly.” Below are five tips to keep in mind when it comes to requests:
1.    Ask for what you want, not what you think you’ll get. Don’t try to figure out what the other person is willing to agree to. Instead, get clear on what it is you want. You’d be surprised how often people are willing to do more than you ever thought they would. Get out of your own way on this one and ask for your true wish.  
2.    Be concrete and clear. Know what you’re asking for and state it in concrete terms, so there is no misunderstanding. Don’t water down your request to make it more palpable. Say it straight and to the point.

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March 05, 2014

Seven Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen(s) Starting Today

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First off, let me begin by telling all you parents out there who are raising teens at this very moment, my heart goes out to you. Raising teens is not for the faint of heart, I must say. My heart also goes out to all those parents whose children have not yet hit the teen years…you have no idea the ride you are in for .  

Before I paint a one-sided scary picture of parenting teens, though, let me say that although teens can be moody, snappy and difficult at times, they can also be fun, thought-provoking and really cool to hang out with. Below are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way with my own kids…and I soooo wish someone had told me these pointers years ago. Here’s my gift to all the current and future parents of teens… a mini-cheat sheet to parenting teens. Enjoy and may it help make these years a little less stressful and a lot more fun…for both you and your teens.

The Seven Guidelines

  1. Lighten up: Stop taking everything so seriously. They’re kids and they’re going to make mistakes. Don’t micromanage them though, in an effort to make sure they don't mess up. They will mess up, we all did. When they do mess up, stay grounded and calm in the storm, not aggressive and reactive. Know that they're young and one way they learn is through their mistakes. So stop the freak outs!
  2. Stop the lectures: It‘s very easy to want so badly to teach teens to be kind, responsible and successful that you find a lesson in every TV show, statement, interaction or life event. Stop it. Stop the lecturing, stop the preaching and stop the teaching. No really, just stop. I’ve learned (ok—I’m learning) this the hard way. The more you lecture, the quicker they tune you out. Be choosy about your lectures, keep them short and sweet and when tempted to preach…just BREATHE . 
  3. Join them: When they’re hiding out in their rooms, don’t forget about them or assume they want nothing to do with you. Stay connected. Go in and hang out with them, watch a show with them or watch them play their games (or join them in the games). They may act tough, but inside they often feel insecure, lost and lonely and could use a strong support to count on. Be one for them just by showing up.

Continue reading "Seven Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen(s) Starting Today" »

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