3 posts from April 2014

April 17, 2014

What Your Parents, The Media and Our World Should Have Taught You About Romantic Relationships

IStock_000014937781Large1.    If your significant other talks poorly to you, s/he will likely talk poorly about you. Bad mouthing a loved one behind their back is about that person’s lack of integrity, not your behavior. Choose your significant other wisely.
2.    Getting married, having a baby or moving will not fix a relationship. These actions will instead amplify what is already there—the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t look to these things as your savior. Fix the underlying issues before you get more deeply imbedded in them.
3.    You are 100% responsible for the life you allow, the life you sabotage and the life you create. Don’t blame your circumstances on your significant other or anyone else. Doing so takes your power away. No one, but you “makes” you do anything. Get real with yourself, your choices and your actions.
4.    Anyone who is unaccountable for their own behaviors, mistakes or difficult patterns is difficult to be in relationship with. A person’s lack of accountability is about the person, NOT about someone else’s behavior. If you’re unaccountable—fix it. If the person you’re with is unaccountable—have them fix it. If they won’t, be willing to leave.
5.    Addicts often form relationships with people who will enable their addictions. Too many partners ignore the signs of their significant other’s addiction and tip toe around it, hoping the addict will “see the light.” Addiction does not magically go away and most addicts deny they are addicts.

Continue reading "What Your Parents, The Media and Our World Should Have Taught You About Romantic Relationships" »

April 10, 2014

The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey

IStock_000008480884_ExtraSmall(Note: This is a fictitious story and “Karen” is a conglomeration of women and their life-sabotaging choices)

Karen is 28 years old, single and has never been married. More than anything she wants to be married and have kids. She just can’t seem to find the “right” guy, though, and often seems to end up with men who are just plain bad for her. She doesn’t understand how that happens. She throws her hands up often, asking, “Are there any nice guys out there?”

Next thing you know, Karen meets Bob. Bob’s “great.” He’s fun to hang out with, he can be nice when he wants to be and has a great job. He also… has a temper, loves to party and has cheated on everyone with whom he’s ever been in a serious relationship. The good news, though, according to Karen, is that Bob has seen the error of his ways and wants to cut back on his drinking and start being faithful.

Karen decides to give Bob a chance—after all, he’s “seen the error of his ways.” On their fourth date, Bob has too much to drink and says some stupid things to Karen’s friends. He blows it off, saying he just had too much to drink and it was no big deal. Karen has an uneasy feeling, but continues to date Bob. A couple of weeks later Bob gets angry with Karen for something she says and yells at her. Karen lets it go, thinking it was really her fault since she “didn’t think about how she spoke.” Two weeks later Karen and Bob go out with friends and Karen watches as Bob gets ticked off with the waitress at the bar and aggressively shames her in front of everyone at the table.

Soon Karen realizes this isn’t going to work. Bob obviously has anger issues and she has no interest in getting involved with someone who’s a hot head. She tells Bob she wants to just be friends. They part ways.

Continue reading "The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey " »

April 01, 2014

Stop the Silencing: Own Your Place in this World

IStock_000008250965_ExtraSmallAs I’m launching my next tele-class, Finding Your Voice, I’ve been reminded of all the ways women end up silencing themselves, playing small in their lives and even losing themselves in relationships. What’s interesting about the dynamic of losing your voice is that it’s often a subtle process.

Initially, many women do speak up for what they want. They ask their husbands to talk more, they try to set limits with people who don’t treat them well and they often ask for support around their dreams. The trouble begins to happen though, when they are met with a “no.”  If this “no” is said with intensity or judgment, women’s loss of voice speeds up even faster.

When women speak up about what they want and are met with anger (“What the hell do you want from me?!”), dismissiveness (“That’s ridiculous. You’re too sensitive!”) or called out as being selfish/mean/a “bitch,” the women tend to shut down. In fact, some women will even go on to revoke their request. Some women, in an effort to calm the other person down, will even go so far as to agree with the person by saying that, yes, they are too sensitive or the upset is their own fault. It’s a crazy phenomenon we do to avoid upsetting others.

Women are taught to be nice. They want to be liked whenever possible and they’d prefer not to have people upset with them for any reason. Although, it’s not all women, there is a strong societal pressure for most women to be pulled into this type of thinking. Not surprisingly, this pulls many women into the habit of putting the needs and happiness of others above their own. Subsequently, women learn to ask for little, disagree little and say little. If they’re in a meeting at work and they disagree with what colleagues say, many will nod their head in agreement while internally shaking their head in disagreement. If their partner at home is speaking harshly, they excuse the harshness due to a hard day, stress at work or any of a number of excuses. When this partner yells at the children, too many women go to the children to explain why dad was upset and implore them to not take his anger personally. They do this rather than holding their husbands accountable to speak more softly to their offspring.

Time and time again women silence their voices and, in so doing, they gradually lose themselves. They learn to laugh a little softer, ask for a little less, share opinions only when they’re similar to those around them and accept more than they ever thought they would…all under the guise of being relational.

It’s not relational to silence your voice. It’s not “nice” to lie to a loved one because you don’t want to upset them with the truth. It’s not compassionate to a child to rationalize the anger of their parent. And it’s not helpful to anyone to put the need to be liked above the need to be treated well.

Find your voice. Ask for what you want to ask for. Say what you truly think. Share your honest opinions, ideas and dreams. Speak up to injustices—toward you and toward others. Own your place in this world.   

Challenge: For one week, pay attention to all the things you don’t say and why. After you become more conscious of how you silence, during week two, begin to speak up beginning in the areas with the lowest risk.

Note: If you struggle with Finding Your Voice, read more about my tele-class here and sign up to work this skill.

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