25 posts categorized "WOMEN"

March 26, 2012

Women And Relationships: Cleaning Up The Toxicity

IStock_0cattywomenallI’m often shocked at the way women can treat one another.  It seems as though we can be one another’s greatest support or worst enemy.  When we like someone, there’s nothing we won’t do for them.  When we don’t like someone—well, it can get very ugly. 

Far too many women can be catty, mean and vindictive if we don’t like a person.  It’s as though we got stuck in our Junior High persona and forgot to mature and grow up.  We talk poorly about how other women dress, how they talk, who they date, how they walk, how they live their lives and on and on. 

Sometimes our cattiness is about our own insecurities; other times we gossip and trash-talk other women as a way of connecting to the women in front of us.  Some of us get vindictive when we feel we’ve been wronged, while others of us are just doing what we know.  Because cattiness is so common, many women are unconscious of the impact of cattiness on others. 

Bad mouthing another person helps us feel better about ourselves in the moment.  When others join us in this, we feel a sense of belonging and perhaps even popularity.  We forget, however, that while we may feel good cutting down someone else, the person we’re cutting down feels like sh*t.  Most of us can look back and remember being on the other side of gossip, cattiness or mean-spirited behavior.  When you’re the one on the receiving end of it, it is anything but connecting or fun—it’s a miserable place to be.

Continue reading "Women And Relationships: Cleaning Up The Toxicity" »

January 05, 2012

When You Don’t Take Care Of You, Other’s Don’t Take Care Of You Either

IStock_0caretaking housewifelOver the years, I’ve worked with countless women who have centered their entire lives around taking care of others.  If their husbands wanted to take a job that involved excessive traveling, crazy work hours and almost no time with family—no problem.  The women would, in essence, become a single parent and pick up the slack for their husbands’ absences.  If the children wanted to be involved in countless activities, have their mother’s constant, undivided attention and limitless nurturance—by all means the women would become super moms and make that happen.  If their friends needed their help at the drop of the hat, again and again and again—no problem.  After all what are friends for, right?

The funny thing about working with all these women is they are often some of the kindest, most giving people you will ever meet.  They are also some of the most taken–advantage-of people I’ve met. 
•    The women with the traveling, workaholic husbands often come in heart-broken that their husbands have been having an on-going affair with a co-worker—while their wives keep the home life together so the husband can travel.
•    The “nurtured” children often boss “mom” around, talk disrespectfully and expect her to do what they want when they want.
•    Many of the women’s “friends” have a history of being very good at asking for help, yet not at all skilled at offering help.  The end result: the care-taking women end up giving and giving and giving, but receive very little in return (not only from friends, but from most people in their lives).

Continue reading "When You Don’t Take Care Of You, Other’s Don’t Take Care Of You Either" »

December 08, 2011

What Are You Asking For? Is It Truly What You Want Or Is It What You Think You Will Get?

IStock_0ThinkingSmallAn interesting thing happens with countless women when it comes to asking for what they want.  Far too often they get stuck in the pattern of asking for what they think they’ll get rather than asking for what they truly want.  As you can imagine, this is creating a lot of struggles for far too many women. 

Here are a few examples of what I mean:
•    Susie says she would like to have a raise, but is certain her boss would say no.  She decides to wait until he brings the topic up and hopes he notices her hard work. 
•    Karen doesn’t want to sleep with the guy she’s dating until they have an agreement that each of them is exclusive.  She is highly doubtful that he would agree to that though, so she decides to stay quite, sleep with him and hope for the best. 
•    Janice wants to ask her 75-year-old father to stop calling her names when he gets angry.  She’s certain he’ll get angry at the request and won’t stop the name calling, so she decides to learn how to accept his anger. 

When women want something, we often filter our desire through the lens of whether or not we think we can or will get what we want.  If we think the other person would never give us what we really want to ask for, then we often change our request to something we think we have a better chance of getting.

Continue reading "What Are You Asking For? Is It Truly What You Want Or Is It What You Think You Will Get?" »

November 29, 2011

When It Comes To Speaking, Less Is Often More

IStock_0self talkllI often watch couples in my office struggle with the ripple effect caused by using a “wall of words.”  A wall of words is when a person speaks on and on about an issue, complaint, story, idea or piece of information to such a degree that they lose the attention of the person they are speaking with.  Women, in particular, struggle with using a wall of words.  As a result, the men in their lives end up tuning the women out.

Using a wall of words is not the same as discussing an issue, sharing feelings or having interesting conversations.  All of these actions are healthy forms of communication.  When women use a wall of words it can sound like nervous chatter, restating of the information again and again, random thoughts, belaboring a point and overall excessive talk.  Often the women are aware of this pattern, however have a difficult time controlling it.  If they are not aware of this habit, they often are aware of their partners tuning them out or not listening.

Continue reading "When It Comes To Speaking, Less Is Often More" »

June 14, 2011

Lessons to Learn From the Fall of Three Powerful Men

IStock_0threesomeall Too many women are wooed by money, fame and power.  Add a man to any of these and they serve as an almost irresistable aphrodisiac to countless women.  What is going on with so many women when it comes to men?  It seems that men, money, fame and power leave far too many women blinded.  In some cases, women are blinded by men period.  What is up?

There are several lessons to learn from the recent falls of these powerful men and I pray that women reading this truly take these lessons to heart.
1.    Respect yourself.  If you don’t have enough self-respect to see yourself as an equal to any man—and yes these men as well—then no man will treat you as an equal.  Don’t try to dress provocatively to get a man’s attention—it cheapens you.  Don’t tell him what you think he wants to hear—you will lose yourself. And, don’t sleep with him in order to keep him—he’s a louse if he would leave because you wouldn’t sleep with him. If having a man in your life is your goal, trust me you are aiming far too low.
2.    If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and walks like a duck…it’s a duck.  These men and many more like them, had glaring red flags regarding their treatment of women.  Several women came forward over the years stating that Arnold sexually assaulted, groped or sexually harassed them.  Dominic Strauss-Kahn was known for his “womanizing” which is the least of his offenses.  Weiner reports, "My wife has known about some of these online relationships since before we were married".  Dare to see what’s right in front of you and don’t try to dress it up to be something different—it’s not.
3.    You will not change him.  Women start relationships with men who are known “players”, flirts, partiers etc., thinking they will be the one to change him.  This is crazy thinking.  For one thing why in the world would you want to be with a guy who has a history of playing women, getting drunk all the time or flirting with your friends? Women—listen up:  The men are showing and telling you who they are as men from the moment you first meet them.  Often they do this with a figurative gigantic neon sign—open your eyes and read it, don’t try to find the white out and change it.
4.    Respect other women. Don’t be so desperate for the attention of men that you go after another woman’s partner.  Please, if he’s willing to cheat on his girlfriend or wife you better know that he’d be willing to cheat on you as well. If he likes you that much then he wouldn’t be sneaking around with you…even if you were his housekeeper. Never allow yourself to be with another woman’s husband/paramour—you deserve better than that and so does she.

Women are pivotal to the process of change in our world. One vital change we need is for the treatment of women to be more respectful, less sexualized and less violent.  This shift can only happen when we, as women first and foremost respect ourselves.  

Challenge: Have the courage to learn from the fall of these three men: respect yourself, don’t wear blinders, respect other women and don’t think you can change a man.

NOTE: For another perspective on this read http://tinyurl.com/5t9z8qv from my Straight Talk 4 Women blog

April 21, 2011

Women and Leadership: A Call For Change

IStock_0strong businesswomanlBelow is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

I recently read an article entitled “Bad Female Boss? She may have Queen Bee Syndrome” (http://tiny.cc/wwz4c) and felt compelled to write this post.  In my work with more and more female leaders, I’m finding that many of them are struggling in their relationships with their employees.  Although these women are highly competent, intelligent and extremely hard workers, they are often difficult to work for. 

The article states that, “According to one group of German researchers, women who reported to female supervisors had higher cases of depression, headaches, heartburn and insomnia than if their bosses were men.”  Although the assumption has been that women will make more compassionate leaders, the reality has yet to play out that way.

Many of the female bosses I work with have had to fight their way through “good old boys” clubs, patronization, contempt and an overall hostile work environment for women leaders.  Many of these women responded to these environments by managing like men…or even tougher.  The article reports that, “The Queen Bee Syndrome is the alpha female who tries to preserve her power at all cost.”  Although I understand how women have gotten to this place, it is not at all the place where we want to stay.  Bringing more hardness into corporate America is the last thing I would like to see women doing.

Continue reading "Women and Leadership: A Call For Change" »

January 31, 2011

Women And Decisions: Moving Away From “I Don’t Know”

Below is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

IStock_0indecisivegirll
As my daughter gets older I continue to watch her and her friends struggle with making decisions.  The simplest of questions lead to countless answers of “I don’t know” or “I don’t care, what do you want?”  This same lack of decision-making is often carried on from childhood into adulthood for many women—myself included.

I hear countless stories from couples having had frequent conversations that sound like this:
Scott: “What do you want to do for dinner?”
Sue:  “I don’t know. What are you thinking?”
Scott: How about we go out to eat?
Sue: I don’t care we could go out or stay home. Either one would be fine I guess.
Scott: Let’s go out. Where would you like to eat?”
Sue: I don’t care. Where would you like to eat?
Scott:  How about going to the pizza place?
Sue:  I don’t think I’m in the mood for pizza. Is there something else you were thinking about?
Scott:  No. Why don’t you decide?
Sue: Well I don’t really have a preference so you can choose.

…Ugh, does this sound familiar to anyone?  It can be incredibly frustrating to our partners or friends and anxiety provoking to us when we don’t make a decision.  It’s even worse when we won’t decide yet then turn down the other person’s decision.  Our reluctance to make decisions is just one more way that we play small in our lives.  We do this for many reasons such as not wanting to choose wrong, not wanting to seem overbearing, wanting to be nice etc.   The truth though, is that not making a decision is in fact making a decision.  It’s deciding to have others decide.  It’s often the decision to put the needs, wants and desires of others above your own. 

Handing over our decisions to others…is not serving us.

Continue reading "Women And Decisions: Moving Away From “I Don’t Know”" »

January 17, 2011

Women And Control: Are You Trying to Micromanage The World So You Don’t Feel So Anxious?

Below is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

 

IStock_0controlll
Control is the need to get people to do what you want them to do so you don’t feel so anxious.  Control can take on many forms.  Some women control boldly: “You’re a wimp who doesn’t know how to stand up to anyone.  Tell your boss you’re not working on Saturday or I’m leaving.”  Some women control by incessantly complaining and constantly trying to tweak what the other person is doing: “Would you PLEASE put the lid on the pan when you’re cooking and would you load the dishwasher the way I’ve asked you to?!” Some women control through manipulation: “Do you really think going out again tonight is the best choice?  If you stay in maybe we could make love.”  Regardless of whether you yell, beg, manipulate or demand, the bottom line is...it’s still control.

The problem with controlling others is it’s an illusion.  There is no way you can control another person.  Ultimately, other people get the final say in what they choose to do or not do. Your need to control others is a total waste of time, although I’m sure there are times when you get what you want which is why you do it in the first place.  Don’t think, however, that getting what you want means doing what you do is okay.  The truth is controlling others is incredibly dysfunctional. 

Answer the questions below honestly to see if you struggle with control:
1.    Do you demand that your partner put the kids to bed your way, at the time you specify, with little to no exceptions? 
2.    Do you tell your partner, children or friends how to dress? 

Continue reading "Women And Control: Are You Trying to Micromanage The World So You Don’t Feel So Anxious?" »

November 24, 2010

Mean Girls At The Office

IStock_0meangirlofficell


Below is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

I recently gave a speech for Zonta International entitled "Conflict in the Workplace:  How to Survive It, Manage It and Make It Work for You."  Not surprisingly, this preparation has led me to think quite a bit about work environments.  In particular, I’ve been thinking about all the mean things some co-workers are saying/doing and how much these people are costing companies, families, communities and, ultimately, our world.

If you happen to be a person who is making snide comments, spreading rumors, sabotaging fellow employees or being mean-spirited, you might want to look at what’s making you feel so insecure that you need to tear others down…and yourself down in the process.

Below are rules of engagement for the workplace—follow them and hold others accountable for following them as well.  We had enough mean girls in high school, we do not need to deal with one – or become a mean girl -- at work, too.
1.    Build co-workers up; don’t tear them down.  When you tear down a colleague you harm your work environment, which leads to less productivity and financial loss for your employer.  In this economy, a reduction in productivity is the first step toward lay-offs -- yours and your colleagues’.
2.    Be inclusive, not exclusive.  If you’re having a team lunch—invite the team.  Don’t exclude those less popular.  You’re no longer in Junior High, so make sure you’re not acting as if you are.  Remember, it’s always nice to feel that you’re on the inside and it feels terrible to be on the outside.
3.    If you don’t have anything nice to say about a person…don’t say anything at all.  There is no reason to gossip about how someone dresses, looks, spends her time, etc.  Pay attention to you and stop trying to get others to hate her—whoever she may be.  If you feel the need to bad mouth someone, look at what you’re jealous of, afraid of or threatened by.  This is your issue, not hers.
4.    Be a team player.  You should have faith enough in your abilities without having to sabotage or be jealous of the abilities of others.  There truly is nothing better in the work world than knowing you are on a strong, unified team at work.  Try partnering and collaborating rather than isolating yourself or others.
5.    Refuse to gossip; it doesn’t serve you.  People know that if you gossip with them, you will also gossip about them.  Gossiping leads to mistrust of you.  Refuse to gossip with anyone or about anyone.  If others are gossiping, creatively change the subject.  Boldly say you’d rather not talk about this topic or excuse yourself from the conversation.  In the long run, you’ll feel better for it and others will see you in a new light.

In my experience, when women are insecure, they play out that insecurity by trying to put other women/people down.  This doesn’t serve women or others.  Pay attention to how you act in the work place and start to become the co-worker you wish you worked with.  Act with integrity in the workplace and notice the shift that occurs within you and with others around you.  There is no place for cattiness, gossiping or mean-spiritedness at work or in the world.  Do your part to stop it.

CHALLENGE: Pay attention to how you talk at work.  Refuse to put others down, demean anyone or try to paint yourself as better than someone else.  Own your skills, mentor others to enhance theirs and do your part to make your work environment a great place for everyone.

November 16, 2010

Are You Thinking, “I’ll Change Him”? If So…You’re In Trouble

Below is a post from my new blog http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/ Enjoy!

IStock_0changell If You Think You’ll Change Him, You’re In Trouble
In my work with women, I often look at unhealthy patterns in their past relationships for clues to what may be playing out in their current or future relationships.  A common theme I hear is women believing they can change the men they meet.  For example, Bailey met Stan two years ago in a bar with friends.  Her first impression of Stan was that he needed a lot of attention -- specifically attention from women.  He was flirting with Bailey, her friends and any other woman in the bar who noticed him.  Although Bailey thought it was a bit excessive, she also told herself that she could change him.  She figured that she would give him all the attention he needed so he wouldn’t need the attention of other women. 

Unfortunately, two years later, Bailey is beside herself with grief after discovering that Stan just had an affair—with Bailey’s close friend.

Continue reading "Are You Thinking, “I’ll Change Him”? If So…You’re In Trouble " »

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