Weeks ago, I had lunch with one of my best friends at McDonald’s. We talked about many things to catch up since we were both busy from work. We talked about our other friends. How are they? What are they up to? Do we still communicate with them? Sadly, the answer relies on social media. We are updated because of what they post. From time to time my best friend and I would check our phones. At some point, we were quiet and not talk with each other because of the other people online that we are also connected at the moment. By the time I was done, I put down my phone but she wasn’t. So I just ate my fries and looked around. And there they are – all the same. A father holding her daughter while talking to someone on the phone. A group of girls who seemed to not know each other after taking one too many selfies, now editing photos and picking which will get more likes on Facebook and those oldies who kept talking and
We all need friends that we can talk to, someone who we can vent our hardships in life. Or we just might want a friend who we can have fun with. Finding the right friend who can meet your expectations can be challenging. You want a friend who you share the same values a friend who can encourage you, congratulate you after accomplishing something, respects you and also a friend who does not take advantage of you.
By choosing the right friends you will avoid disappointments, stress or even depression.
You should look for a friend who has your best interest in their hearts. There can be such people who look like they care about your life but in reality they are just interested in getting something from you for their own selfish gain and they will do anything without caring about you, even if you are friendly to them.
Before you know how to choose your friends you need to “study everyone” know their weakness and strength, try to understand them. This will give you an understanding in choosing your friends and also becoming
There always seems to be one person in a relationship that is simply not good at communicating their wants and needs. This often leads to misunderstandings and arguments. Instead of one partner constantly trying to figure out what is going on, a husband and wife will finally be on the same page.
A professional will work with both people to make sure that they can effectively communicate their needs and wants, and that they can understand what the other person is saying.
Decreased Risk of Divorce
Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. This statistic is startling when one considers how many couples are getting married daily. When a husband and wife see a professional regularly, they help prevent their marriage from becoming another statistic.
Counselling will help them work through problems as they arise in their relationship, make sure that they feel connected to one another and help both individuals learn the skills necessary to solve conflicts.
Learn What Makes Them Happy
Every person in a relationship assumes that they are aware of what makes their partner happy, but most people do not.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou
Forgiveness IS one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, but how do we genuinely get there?
Many people believe that if they just decide to forgive someone, they have actually forgiven them, only to discover anger or resentment emerging over and over. So how to forgive?
Alyce wrote me the following question:
“Dr. Paul, How do I sincerely forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband of 32 years for infidelity committed prior to him even asking me for a divorce? I feel angry, hurt and jealous that he would give another woman the affection that he denied me. I know I must forgive him in order for me to heal and move on, but how to forgive?”
The first thing that Alyce needs to accept is that forgiveness is a natural process that occurs as we do our own deep inner work. Alyce needs to let go of reaching forgiveness for now, and instead focus on learning about her end of the relationship system. She needs to have the courage to look within at what she did in the relationship that contributed to the problems that resulted in divorce.
I must be getting older. It feels like the world I knew is changing right before my eyes. I imagine that is how every generation feels as they age. There have been both good and bad changes. Some have been necessary but some have come with decline.
I graduated from college in 2002 without a computer. I actually typed my papers. When I began my professional career in 2004, secretaries were still typing to dictation for a few of the old-timers at work. That same year, we got laptops. In 2007, we went online for reporting. In 2011, machines were brought in that we had to learn to use. By 2014, I was struggling to keep up.
I had to learn texting, social media and new gadgets. I recently found out that CDs are old. Since when? Now I have to upload my music! What happened to when we just answered a real phone and hand wrote a letter?
Customer service even seems to be a bygone. I went to a bead store that charged to wait on you. I walked right back out. Tips used to be for exceptional service. Now, they are expected.
Today, you can talk to someone but it
I don’t remember when they first popped up in my life, but I suspect I was about four years old. My memories before kindergarten are few. The family living room was the first room you entered as you came in the front door. We lived in a two family house on the first floor, with my grandparents on the second floor. They actually owned the home which was located on a busy avenue in a small New Jersey city.
My imaginary friends lived in the wall behind the front door. I would knock on the wall and press my face up against it trying to look through the painted sheet rock to catch a glimpse of their world. I guess I created Cooney, Chetty and Susan because I wanted someone to play with. I was so ahead of my time creating a virtual play date.
Usually when asked if they wanted to play, Susan was most times the only one who could, because Chetty and Susan were always going to Florida and leaving Susan home. I felt bad for her. We would dance for hours in the living room, doing fabulous stunts off of the hassock looking at ourselves in the
It’s just another day, I hate it, just another day! I get up, do my every morning thing, carry in my right hand, my coffee cup and drag myself to the car and drive to my work.
I don’t tolerate my wife to say too much because she is a “zero” and nothing else than trash can food. The moment she tries to communicate with me, I simply cut her off and finally she get the message not to bother me with all that crap and nonsense!
She is a failure anyway, so why should I listen! Live moves on day after day, after month, after year and nothing is changing. A couple of years and hopefully I’m dead, great, nobody will miss me! Whining, Whining, Whining…
No kidding, that sound like not a good relationship if you ask me, why the approach to the opposite party? A relationship is not to criticize instead help each other, lift each other, make each other feel darn good and important, as well be mindful with our thoughts.
Being on the same page with our partner is the number one requirement in order to live that united life together. We could say: “thinking and caring about each
“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”
I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.
The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.
All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in
Have you ever stopped to think why you respond to conflict like you do? This is not only interesting information, but very valuable information for anyone who finds conflict in their life… oh yes, that is ALL of us! I do not remember where I read this information, or I would give proper recognition, however, this is so good – I just have to share it.
What is conflict?
1. a serious disagreement or argument
2. incompatibility or at a variance; clash
What do we feel when we have conflict? We feel a range of emotions from anger, to fear, to hurt and so on.
The definition of emotion is: energy in motion
To add to that definition, emotional energy follows the path of least resistance. Where it has gone before it will go again!
Picture every emotion you have ever had. It was, indeed, energy in motion. And, we have all experienced the same emotions when we are in the midst of a conflict similar to others we have previously experienced.
Here is the part I find both fascinating and frustrating. Each time we find ourselves in a similar conflict – not only does our emotional energy follow the path of least resistance – but, each time
We all experience the loss of friends and changes in our relationships. It may be our decision, the other person’s, jointly decided or something thrust upon us by life. The loss may have come from something negative like jealousy, ill-will, anger or fear. It may have come from a decision based on what seemed best for all concerned. It may have been the natural outcome of something that life brought into the arena. Regardless, we can practise these principles of healing and growth:
- If we have done something regrettable then we must try to fix it up as best we can. We may be able to correct the mistake or we may not be able to. However, the intention to right a wrong carries substantial weight. What we did may not have been necessarily wrong in the situation, however, perhaps with time and a different understanding we can see that it would have been better to do things differently. It’s called growth. If we are humble and honest enough to admit to mistakes then our ability to improve our life will be far greater than the average person.
- If the other person has done something regrettable then as soon as we can
For me, the most valuable thing I have to give someone is my friendship. It is true and tested, it is not given and taken lightly, and it is there for as long as anyone wants it.
Over the last couple of years I have become more aware of friendships that went very deep and the ones that were only there for the sake of “what can I get from this” experience. These were the friendship that were only for a reason or a season.
Anyone who has worked with me over the years is well aware of my philosophy in relationship building. It is not something that happens overnight and it comes with giving before getting. A true relationship, whether business or personal, starts from a giving space rather than a taking one. I believe by giving, in return you will receive.
This not necessarily common to all from my experiences though. I have been very disappointed and hurt when friends that I perceived as close and dear to me, disintegrated as a result of lack of good communication and perception.
I recognise that all relationships come in for a reason, a season or a lifetime. For me, I endeavour to make
Building social connections is both a skill and an asset. The wider connections of friends we have, the happier and fuller we become as individuals. Regardless of age, sex, race, and financial disposition, we all need to create and grow a network of friends and acquaintance to make our lives more worthwhile.
Aside from family, money, and life insurance among many other things, one other important ingredient to lead a worry-free life is having a solid set of friends. It is our friends that we need when we are down and depressed. It is our friends who turn to when we just want someone to talk to, or someone to listen to our woes. It is also our friends and acquaintances that we need by our side when all that we want is hang loose and chill. There is nothing but truth in the adage, “no man is an island.” It is a fact that we need friends, and we cannot live this life happy, healthy, and worthwhile without them.
But friendship doesn’t mean that you need to be with them every minute of every day. That’s the beauty of genuine and pure friendship- you don’t have to be with each
My greatest joy, as a teacher is to help my students discover their abilities and work towards their goals.
Many years ago, I received a call from a mother of a high school student. She said, “My husband’s employer recommended you as a violin teacher for my son. I would prefer a man to teach him, but will give you a try. My son is lazy and stupid.”
I replied, “Please do not talk that way about your son in front of him or to others.”
I agreed to teach this young man, provided that she would be encouraging to her son.
A young man with multi colored hair, an earring, and strange looking clothes walked in to his first violin lesson. His head was down, and he looked depressed.
We began working on scales, an etude, a solo piece, and the orchestra audition materials for the state orchestra auditions. He was a very talented young man and I told him so during our first lesson and all the lessons that followed. The honest sincere words that I spoke to him inspired and motivated him to do his best.
When it was time for the next lesson, a completely different young man walked eagerly up
I’m sure you will have heard the saying ‘I say what I mean and I mean what I say.’
If only communication was that simple, we wouldn’t spend our lives in a perpetual state of conflict and misunderstanding. Take the simple phrase ‘that wasn’t what I wanted.’ You couldn’t be clearer. Could you?
Well let’s consider that. If I say ‘that wasn’t what I wanted’, what I really mean is, ‘I wanted something else’. Possibly something I’m certain I’d explained quite clearly to you, or potentially something I hadn’t explained at all but assumed you would know.
But as we all know communication is second nature to us all. After all, don’t we communicate every minute of every day?
Communication though is not nearly as easy as we let ourselves believe. But there are some clearly defined approaches that can help.
1. Know your own and other peoples ‘default’ communication styles
This is most certainly the starting point. Without knowing your own and other peoples starting points there is little likelihood of understanding and effective communication.
So, how do we do this so we can understand and be more easily understood by other people (at least most of the time)?
In his book The Emotions of Normal
1. Deal with issues as they occur so that they don’t pile up and form resentments.
2. Agree that you will use the sports time-out signal when you need a break just to cool down. That will tell the other person that you are safe and will return once you have dealt with negative emotions and are ready to talk again.
3. Choose a quiet time without distractions to have conversations about serious topics. Discussions during a final football game or when other people are in the room are not appropriate.
4. Talk and act in a respectful way. Use your manners. Is your behaviour and attitude the same as it would be if there was a small grandchild present? Model the behaviour that you expect from others.
5. Separate the person and the problem. It never helps to attack a person’s character when dealing with a specific issue.
6. If you don’t understand, then gently ask questions. Remember the old television program “Colombo”? The star would begin gathering information by saying something like “I’m confused”. State this and then ask the other person to tell you about what they are going through, feeling or hoping for.
7. When you
Creating a loving relationship doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think!
As most of us know, relationships can be very challenging. We generally enter a relationship with many unhealed wounds from childhood. These wounds easily get triggered in committed relationships. Our wounds include both our fear of rejection and our fear of engulfment, and when these fears are activated, we generally go into old programmed ways of reacting, such as anger, blame, compliance, withdrawal, resistance, defensiveness, explaining, threatening and so on. You might have been programmed with many ways of making your partner responsible for your painful feelings.
Love gets eroded when we continue to act from our fears and the resulting protections.
But it doesn’t always have to be hard! Below are the essential keys to creating and maintaining a loving relationship.
Relationships thrive when both partners feel safe to be themselves and to discuss problems as they arise. Partners feel safe when they know they can rely on each other to be open and caring, even in the face of conflict.
There are four choices you can make to create this safe, open connected relationship space:
1. Cultivate an Intent To Learn With Yourself And Your Partner
We need to be
Friendship is a kind of relationship that affects you a person as it will become a valuable part of your being. But, some kind of friendships is better than others like those low maintenance that will not drain you with so much drama.
A low maintenance friendship does not mean settling down in a crappy relationship. Instead, this kind of relationship allows you to grow as an individual because the quality of the relationship comes out easily. They are the friends who do not demand constant communication nor hanging out. But, you know that they will always be there for you.
I am friends with four amazing ladies for ten years now, and we are nothing but low maintenance. And, these are the things I have learned from a decade of valuable friendship.
1 No drama
You are so busy with important things in your life that you don’t waste your time together with unwanted and unneeded drama. You would rather spend the limited days together having the fun you deserve to enjoy these rare moments.
With this kind of friendship, you have a wide understanding of each other that you are willing to forego whatever small misunderstanding you have. There is nothing much
I thank God for my childhood friend. I have one best friend (other than of course, my husband). Actually, I show her more of the raw feelings than my husband because of our backgrounds. We can tell each other anything and have it not be a shock. We have seen every emotion in each other. We have gone through childhood, marriages and raising children to adulthood.
About twelve years ago, I got excited about positive thinking topics. I worked hard on self-improvement and saw results. It’s only been in the past four years that I’ve had difficulty keeping up with it. There are a variety of reasons for this. The kids are grown now. My father died. I’ve moved a couple of times and left my career. It takes time to build new relationships. What used to be seen as enthusiasm as a young person can be viewed as annoying as an older person. Trends change and opportunities become fewer.
At least one thing the people on my caseload appreciated was that they could talk to me about almost anything. They didn’t have to say what they thought I wanted to hear. If they were agitated, I would say, “It sounds
When we’re in a conflict, we tend to think that the best way to resolve it is to stick with our point of view as strongly as possible. We’ve been taught that one of us is going to win and the other is going to lose, and we don’t want to be the loser. There’s often a feeling that losing means doom and so we fight desperately to keep to our position. Strangely, the reality is that this strategy doesn’t often work, especially if you’re trying to be part of a long-term relationship-be it romantic, business organization, parent-child, friend-to-friend, whatever.
What if there were a way that had a higher percentage of actually resolving problems and conflicts? There is! I learned it a long time ago. It comes from Process Work, developed by Arnold Mindell, Ph.D.-a kind of therapy I specialized in for a long time.
The “Three-Legged Stool” of Conflict Resolution
Think of a conflict as having three basic positions: my position, your position and the “objective observer” position.
In relationship conflict of any sort, your first job is to notice in which position you’re starting. Are you actually advocating for your own position-“My Position” or are you-without knowing it-advocating for the
His Ability to Listen
Hearing and listening are two different things. You can hear a siren; you can hear your neighbor berating each other. Unless you are waiting for an ambulance or you are looking for another topic to gossip about, then you are not listening. Listening takes great effort. Whenever my wife and I are in the car that is when we have some of our best conversations. As she is talking, sharing with me her most life changing idea, then at a pivotal point in the conversation, she decides to invite my input by asking what do you think. At this juncture of the conversation will decide if I have a future with her or not. I need to choose my next words carefully. What if I were to say could you repeat what you just said honey, then that will prove that I was not listening. Where was I all along? How will she feel? Well for one she is going to internalize this issue by thinking that she is not important.
The same principle can be applied to the workplace. A good leader will always be a good listener. Imagine that one of your team members