15 posts categorized "RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLES"

May 07, 2013

Relationship Game Changers: Characteristics That Burn Out Relationships (Part II)

IStock_000010066559XSmallThere are a handful of characteristics that can, will and do make relationships extremely difficult. Last week I wrote about six of them and this week here are the remaining six. If these issues are present within you or within your relationships, chances are there are struggles in your relationships that are beyond the norm. Tackle these issues with a determination (not aggression) to get them under control.

  • Control. Constantly telling others how to do something, what to do and when to do it, is annoying at best. If you struggle with wanting things done a certain way (your way), then learn to let go of your grip; people don’t like to be controlled. If someone is controlling you, stop going along and take a stand using a grounded, powerful strength (GPS). Stay calm and matter of fact and tackle this issue.
  • Lack of accountability. “Love is never having to say you’re sorry” is a crazy saying. When people refuse to be accountable for their mistakes it becomes a chore being in relationship with them. We are all human, which means we are imperfect and will make mistakes. Making mistakes is not the problem; not owning them is.
  • Blame. Blaming often happens when a person is feeling shame and they want to get out of that feeling. It’s thinking, “If you didn’t do __________(fill in the blank), then I wouldn’t have had to do _______________(fill in the blank).” This type of thinking gets really old to be around. If someone is constantly blaming their behavior on someone else, they’re unlikely to ever change their behavior. Justifying your behavior because of someone else’s will burn out your relationships. Someone else’s poor behavior is not a green light for yours. Period. If someone uses this type of thinking, don’t buy into it and if you think this way, you’re fooling yourself. We all do what we do because we choose to do it.

Continue reading "Relationship Game Changers: Characteristics That Burn Out Relationships (Part II)" »

November 06, 2012

Politics: Please Leave the Attacks and Contempt Out of the Conversation

IStock_00optionsllThe elections are finally here. The next President of the United States will be named within the next 48 hours and our nation will have spoken. This election has been an extremely close race, with strong feelings coming from all sides (Democrats, Republicans, Independents and everyone in between). I have no doubt that tomorrow these strong emotions will also be prevalent. Hopefully the adults throughout our nation will make an effort to share their emotions responsibly by protecting, with their words and actions, the dignity of all involved. To date, many adults have sadly failed in this regard.

I’m a firm believer in men and women alike finding their voices and speaking up for what they believe. In fact, much of my work centers on helping women find their voice. I am not a believer, however, in bashing others in the process. I’m well aware that not everyone agrees with this thinking. The political commentator Ann Coulter,recently gave an interview regarding her use of the word “retard” in relation to President Obama  (http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/25/ann-coulter-sticks-by-retard-tweet-says-screw-them-to-the-word-police-audio/.) It is a stunning interview that highlights the phenomenon of grandiosity in action. Ms. Coulter’s insistence that it is okay to call someone a retard, moron, imbecile or loser speaks to a sad state of affairs in our country today. Too many people believe that their beliefs, feelings or outrage justify their abuse and contempt of others. They blame their toxic response on the other person’s behavior, views or actions and don’t for a moment look at their own actions.

Continue reading "Politics: Please Leave the Attacks and Contempt Out of the Conversation" »

December 29, 2011

Here’s To The Abnormal Relationship And Setting The Bar Higher (Part II)

Recently I wrote about the first five characteristics or creating great relationships rather than “normal” ones.  Below is Part II of setting the bar higher and the remaining five of 10 characteristics of healthy relationships. Enjoy.

6.     Giving. Go out of your way now and then to do a kind act.  Take time to think about what the other person likes (not what you like) and that to them.  If they like to hear compliments—compliment; if they like to see actions—show them action; if they want you to listen better—tune in and listen.  Give them what you know they would love to receive rather than what you think they need.
7.     Mutuality.  Great relationships are about give and take.  There’s a natural rhythm of two people equally giving to the other.  In not so great relationships, it’s more common for one person to be the giver while the other person often takes.  Make sure you are neither the one always giving nor the one always taking.
8.    Personal Strength.  Cultivate the ability to set limits and hold your own in a relationship without squashing the other person in the process.  Being able to share your thoughts, ask for your needs and wants and to hold loved ones accountable for how they treat you are all imperative to great relationships.

Continue reading "Here’s To The Abnormal Relationship And Setting The Bar Higher (Part II)" »

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)" »

July 30, 2010

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


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" »

April 29, 2010

The Five Things I’ve Learned From American Idol

IStock_00guitar player

American Idol is a great show to watch if you want to learn a few lessons about owning your power, not playing small and daring to step up and create your future.  Below are the five most glaring lessons I pull from this show every time I watch it.  These are great lessons for relationships as well as careers.  Dare to step up and earn your place...

1.  Confidence, confidence, confidence!!!  It is nearly impossible to be successful in life or our relationships if we don't have healthy self-esteem.  Healthy self-esteem is the foundation upon which everything else rests.  If you don't believe in yourself, this is where you need to start.  When you don't believe in yourself the world sees this--no matter how hard you try to hide it.  The world then holds you in the same light as you hold yourself.  On American Idol, most, if not all, of the singers are talented; the ones who go the furthest, however, are the ones who own that talent rather than constantly doubt it.

2.  Stop defending and start listening!!!  Critical feedback can help you soar or take the wind out of your sails and sink you.  Which it does, depends on you.  When people take the time to tell you how they perceive you, this is priceless.  Stop defending and trying to pretend that they don't see what they see.  Acknowledge it, use it to learn from and change it.  When you're able to do this, pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for having tremendous courage.  The judges on American Idol are trying to fine tune the skills of the singers.  There's nothing more frustrating than the singers, who have little experience, getting defensive about the feedback.  Defensiveness blocks intimacy, makes you look bad and leads to frustration for those on the receiving end of your defensiveness.

Continue reading "The Five Things I’ve Learned From American Idol" »

March 11, 2010


I recently was given a great bookmark from my husband on building a great community.  The bookmark had a long list of suggested moves a person could make.  It led me to think about creating a similar one for relationships. 

I often talk to audiences about the power of one person setting a ripple effect of change in motion in their relationships and ultimately throughout their lives.  Below are suggestions on how to start the ripple.  Please note that these are to be done regardless of what other people are doing on their end.  Starting the ripple means you do your part to create the shift: Changing Me, Changes We...it starts with you.

*  Be kind, loving and cherishing...especially to those closest to you
*  Treat others as you wish them to treat you...even when they’re not
*  Honor the statement “There’s no excuse for abuse”...yours or others
*  Be accountable...when you make a mistake own it and repair it
*  Hold others accountable for how they treat you..not to do so is harmful to you
*  Be authentic...tell your truth with love, even when it’s the more difficult thing to do
*  Lead by example...if you don’t live it then don’t preach it
*  Set limits in a loving and firm way
*  When angry use a quiet, centered, powerful strength...don’t rage or silence
*  Act with integrity in all you do--and in all areas of your life
*  Don’t play small...and don’t try to make others look or feel small either
*  Own your power...walk in the world with your head held high and know you deserve to be here
*  Never settle for crumbs and think you have a birthday cake...they’re only crumbs
*  Incorporate tender sprinkles (small acts of kindness) with your family and loved ones...compliment, touch, share, write a kind note
*  Ask for what you need directly...and don’t get upset about something you never asked for
*  Know that your partner is not a mind reader...and don’t expect them to be.
*  Say it straight...don’t beat around the bush, manipulate, or be passive-aggressive--grow up
*  Never ignore someone...it’s mean, cold, unacceptable and ruins relationships
*  Protect yourself from affairs...send clear messages out to the world that you’re taken
*  Don’t allow yourself to be a part of breaking up someone else’s family...your lover is likely to do the same to you as you did to their spouse--walk in the world with integrity

START THE RIPPLE...and feel its force.

CHALLENGE: Choose 2 things on the list above that you don’t currently do and start doing them.  Continue to add to your list. Notice the ripple of change as a result.

October 19, 2009


When I ask people if they know of any couples who they believe have a healthy relationship, I’m shocked at how many people say no.  Most people laugh when I ask that question.  Some get quiet and ponder the couples they know in their head and slowly scratch one couple after the next off the list.  Sadly, parents seldom make this list.

Although many of you are not going to believe this, creating healthy relationships are much easier than you think.  There area a few basic ingredients or building blocks that are pivotal.  Once you get these building blocks down you can add a few more key ingredients and move up from healthy to enriching.  Let’s start first with healthy:
Key Ingredients necessary for healthy relationships:

1.    Always be respectful even when angry.  I cannot believe the number of people who think it’s no big deal to yell or swear at their partner.  Yelling, swearing or calling your partner names IS A BIG DEAL!!!  It stops intimacy and connection in its tracks.  I don’t care if that was how you were raised or if you think it’s not that big a deal, you cannot have a healthy relationship if you’re not respectful.  Period.  Clean up the disrespect; this includes rolling your eyes, sighing and using a derogatory tone when you’re speaking.  This one shift will drastically change your relationships.


August 04, 2009


I continue to see more and more female clients who’ve been unhappy in their relationships for years, yet have said little or nothing about it.  They’ve tried to do what their partners wanted, be sexual if their partners asked, not complain when they didn’t like something and be supportive of their partners at all costs.

After years of bottling everything up, the couples typically come into my office either because the women have threatened to leave the relationship or the men are unhappy with their sex life.  As I ask more questions, it’s evident that the women have been unhappy for years and the men had no idea.  Many of the women complained very little throughout the years, “hoping” they would feel more love for their partners.  When this didn’t happen, they lost all sexual desire for their partners and subsequently stopped having sex with them.

Often these women blamed their lack of sexual desire on themselves and continued saying nothing about their unhappiness in the relationship.  The men believed they were content.


February 02, 2009


Too often we are guilty of living in the past or forever focusing on the future. In relationships, this can be a true detriment.  Sometimes we even look to the past to predict the future. For example: 


  • Sue won’t ask her partner to help clean since the last time she asked him he refused and started a fight.  She’s sure he’ll do the same now too.
  • Dan won’t ask his wife to go bike riding since she often comes up with an excuse and he’s tired of hearing excuses.
  • Mary decided to buy herself an expensive item for her birthday, behind her husband’s back, because she knew he would throw a fit if she discussed it with him.

We often think we know how our partners will respond in any given moment; we then base our actions (or lack of actions) on that assumption.  Unfortunately, our assumptions are not always right.  If we continue to think we KNOW what our partner is going to do and we then act accordingly, we run the risk of getting ourselves in a ridiculous rut.  We base our actions on things that happened in the past and in so doing, we do not leave room for a new future.  



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