Pros and Cons On Community

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 manage it, we must try to forgive them. We all get hurt. It’s an inescapable part of life. However, much of that hurt comes from other people’s problems and the way they are accustomed to dealing with them. Knowing that takes a lot of the personal sting out of it. Don’t hate people even when they hate you. There is enough hatred in the world. Hate is a great burden to the soul which harbours it. A person who has a good intention even if others find them strange, annoying or concerning will tend to thrive in spite of the ups and downs of life.
  • As far as possible, be on good terms with everyone. Don’t gossip, criticize, complain or belittle anyone even if we are hurt or angry with them. Of course, speak in private to a trusted confidant but choose the confidant wisely. Do not speak with someone who will add critical fire to the situation. Be careful to speak with the intention of trying to heal oneself of anger and hurt. Don’t say mean things, even about enemies. The meanness will otherwise come back to us. Accidents, illness, unhappiness, depression, and anxiety will come looking for us. We must speak as if there are invisible ears around us because there are. Our words float out into the ether and have their own way of returning to us in like.
  • When we feel the pangs of jealousy or feel threatened in some way by other people’s talents or presence, we can remind ourselves that everyone can have their place. That place will automatically be decided by the person’s true abilities and nature. Other people having a place does not detract from us having our place or finding those we are genuinely connected to or expressing our gifts and continuing to develop.
  • Accept changes in relationships and life. We may have been close to someone and if something has happened to change that then we must try to accept that it is so. We can be grateful for whatever is left of the friendship or relationship, if anything is left. Sometimes, time can change things that were making the relationship unworkable and it may be possible to reunite in some form with people we have cared about and establish a new type of relationship. If something has changed for the better in either or both people then the new friendship or relationship will also be for the better.
  • We mustn’t compromise our most essential values for the sake of popularity, to maintain a relationship, to get something we want or to avoid the wrath of others. We mustn’t remain silent when it is important to speak up or be subservient to someone else’s destructive words and actions or fail to protect those we should look after or accept damaging conditions from a friend or loved one when they can do better. We do not always have to speak up. Peace-making is a beautiful and powerful ability. Peace, if possible, is always preferable. Preserving peace is not the same as weakness. Weakness feels that it is saving a friendship or relationship by lying low and remaining silent but the dormant issues will surface regardless. Our true self is our best gift to our community so we should not give less than that.
  • We mustn’t withdraw from human interaction because it is often painful. It keeps us grounded and helps us to grow through real and challenging situations. Also, we never know when one of those beautiful, treasured moments of life will appear. Someone unexpectedly expresses their appreciation for us, something heals, a conflict is resolved. Even famous and powerful individuals need to belong to a real community where they are treated like a normal person for good and bad. Otherwise, they forget what real people and real life are like. They can become delusional about their own worth. Their life can become empty because the love and hate of real people have more depth than the love and hate of unknown people. We do not need to decide which community to belong to. We just live life to the best of our ability and follow our interests and we will find ourselves within a community of people; some we will love, some we will find tedious. That’s how it should be. We will have the perfect soil for growth and we will be blessed both by the love and hate of those who naturally wish to respond to us. We are only responsible for our own thoughts and actions, not for anyone else’s.

How You Value Yourself As A Friend

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 them a lifetime, and always leave the door open if the other wishes to return. This does not make it any easier when the time comes to an end for whatever another’s reason, as obviously for them, their purpose of the relationship/friendship is no longer, thus the status change.

The reason for an encounter with someone may be just to teach a lesson and a once only experience. A season may be for a time from weeks, months or a few years, whereas a lifetime is a friendship that endures all, and is not broken by experiences. A lifetime friendship has no rules or expectations.

My friendships are the most important part of my life and to be betrayed goes very deep when it happens with someone I have held very dear. I love my friends, on many levels, for who they are and what they bring to my world. I appreciate and am grateful for the opportunities they give me personally to learn and grow. I do not let a relationship end easily and it is always the others option.

When a relationship goes to a deeper friendship, there can be a fine line on where it goes and understanding is necessary. I take people as they portray themselves to me, which is probably gullible at times and has maybe been foolish, but unless I feel and have a reason not to go there, my door is always open.

I ponder on the ability of some to close the door so very easily, with no concept of what is left behind. I wonder how different my life would have been if I was more discerning in whom I let into it so easily?

The new way of friendship building today via social media and texting has some very good advantages along with some disastrous repercussions owing to the lack of an ability to express oneself other than in black and white. Relationships need to have ‘grey’ in them and expression through feelings, facial features and body language, all of which are taken away with this new form of communication. No wonder we have so many challenges in this area, and I do speak from personal experience here.

The learnings via these mediums for me have been enormous. Although heartbreaking at times I have been left with a feeling of great loss as a result of one or more lives I can no longer impact for all our growth.

As a lover of people, what others offer me for growth has always been a fascination. We all have very different models of experience, eg our beliefs and values, which come into play. We can either increase our awareness of others and our own self-awareness by opening our peripheral vision to see things from another’s point of view, whilst looking deeper at our own internal map of the world and sees where there is a mis-fit.

As a friend, where do you stand? Are you a true or a false friend? I suggest that you consider the friendships you have now and how they fit into your world.

What is your expectation from your friendships and what is their perception of this too? This can be a good conversation to have with them so that you remain on the same page and hurt and disappointment does not ensure in the future. Remember though, that others hear your words from their own awareness and experiences.

I have friendships that I have been prepared to give without very much in return, owing to my ability to give unconditionally to them for their growth. With these people I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to be able to reflect and see what can be gained by my own self learning as a result. There have been times that I have wondered why any sane person would do this, and be hurt so often when there is little return, other than knowing that by being there, I am providing growth and learning for us both which others may never give.

If you have not had the learning experience of giving and being in community it is harder to give as I have learned that it is usually a learnt behaviour. Coming from many years of boarding school and community experiences I learned early about giving. I was fortunate to have a full family connection when I was very young, where sharing the growth of a child was imperative. With grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends on stand-by at all times, to take over when it was necessary for my parents, gave me different perspectives, which now I recognise as being my great teacher.

I suggest you review how you see your friendships and what you bring to the table for everyone’s growth. By doing this, you will learn much about yourself and how you function in the world today.

Are your relationships with people for a reason, a season or a lifetime?

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Why You Need To Meet Couples Counselor

Improved Communication
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. Instead, they try to make their partner happy with the same things that make them happy. For example, one partner may be satisfied more with physical touch instead of words of affirmation. Because of this, they will often hug or kiss their partner, and they think this is the key to their happiness.
The partner that receives the physical touch will often appreciate and enjoy all the affection, but, because they want words of affirmation, they may not be completely satisfied with the relationship. Counselling can help uncover things like this to keep both partner’s in a relationship happy, and these lessons will last for the duration of the relationship.

Be More Empathetic
Individuals often have a hard time seeing things from another person’s point of view. When a husband says that they no longer feel wanted and loved, for example, a wife may get defensive, and begin to state all the ways that she shows him that she loves him instead of trying to understand his feelings and work on changing her actions. This is because she feels defensive, which can make it even harder to empathise.

Seeking a professional that is experienced in working with those in relationships will help both people learn to see things from the other person’s point of view more, which can save two people from arguing, hurting each other’s feelings and more conflict.

Often, people see couples counselling as something that is done as a last resort. It is something that people in a relationship do when they are out of options, the relationship is going downhill and they do not know what to do. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. Therapists can teach people the skills that they need to maintain the happiness of their relationship, cultivate a deeper connection, and guarantee that they do not wind up with more problems that they know how to deal with.

Guide To Get Personal Connections

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 other’s company to feel loved. The connection is what makes friendships special. Common interests, passions, and hobbies connect people and help them to create friendships. These connections grow once you know your friends more. The connection then turns to love, care, and loyalty. With all these ingredients, you have a friendship that will last forever.

Aside from companionship, love, and care, there are also many perks to having a wide circle of friends. You gain benefits more connections, more information, and assistance as you build solid friendships with the people around you.

If you feel unsatisfied with your social life and would like to make it more worthwhile, here are some tips to boost your social connections.

1. Sign up for social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You probably have all of these already. But if you still don’t have that many friends, try to browse through their friend suggestions. Join an online group that features your interests and hobbies. Start a conversation with acquaintances, and let these conversations lead you to knowing more people sharing the same interests as you!

2. Join local community groups you are most passionate about. If you are an animal lover, we are pretty sure there are animal advocacy group within your community. Great friendships often start between people who share the same passion and life advocacies.

3. Go to church. The church is a great venue for earning friends and building strong social connections. This is especially true if you want to further strengthen your faith as well as values in life.

4. Talk to your colleagues. To make the workplace bearable, start striking up conversations with your work mates. Having them around should not be stressful, but should be fun and interesting too.

5. Say hello to your neighbors. Don’t be the snobbish, grumpy neighbor. Connect with your neighbors as they make excellent friends especially when you simply want to chill and talk about home and family life.

Strategy For Success

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 my walkway. He was neatly dressed, had his head up and wore a big smile. He took pride in his work and in himself. Each week I saw a transformation in him.

It was our fifth week of lessons, our final lesson before the state orchestra auditions. I told him how beautiful his playing was and what a good job he would do on the audition. Preparation makes all the difference! The honest sincere words that I spoke to him made him blossom like a flower.

He called me a few days after the audition and said with great pride, “I am the Concertmaster of the orchestra. There were over 40 people trying out and I won first place.” He said this with a smile on his face over the phone.

I told him how proud of him I was and that I knew he would win because of his hard work and determination. His Mother called and said, “Even though you are a woman, you did a good job with him!”

I bit my tongue, but thanked her for the compliment.

This young man changed his attitude and worked hard because of the “honest sincere praise” I gave him at every lesson. He went on to college after he graduated at the top of his high school class.

Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? That compliment inspired and motivated you to work harder to do your best!

Have you ever mentored or coached someone and watched him or her succeed? How did you feel when they were successful?

I bet you felt proud and happy for their success and you walked a little taller that day!

Zig Ziglar, motivational expert and mentor in his book, ” See You at the Top” read the following story as a young salesman. It “made a lasting impression” on him. A young woman had sung since she was a young girl. She “made her musical debt in a church cantata. She had a beautiful voice and a great career was predicted for her. As she grew older,” she sang more concerts at local functions. Her family recognized her need for “professional voice training”.

Her family found a well-known singing teacher who told her every little thing she did wrong. As time passed the young women grew to admire her teacher and married him. Fewer and fewer concerts came her way as she had lost confidence in her gift of singing. Her teacher and husband had broken her confidence. When he passed away she was no longer singing at all.

Several years later she began to date a salesman and she would sometimes hum a tune while she was with him. He said, “Sing some more, Honey. You have the most beautiful voice in all the world”.

The salesman was not an expert, but he knew what he liked and gave her “honest sincere compliments.” She gained confidence from the salesman’s “honest appreciative words” and felt her joy of singing return to her. She was asked to sing in a few concerts. Once again with her confidence in hand, she resumed her career and married her salesman.

Zig Ziglar said, “She married the “good finder” and went on to a successful career. The salesman’s praise for her was totally honest, sincere, and much needed. In fact a sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”

Do you remember a teacher, coach, friend or family member who complimented you? Do you remember the compliment?

Coach John Wooden in his book, “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success Playbook” tells the following story: “When I was a young boy, I was at a gravel pit with my father and a young man. They had a team of horses and were attempting to pull a load up a steep road. The young man driving the horses was loud and abusive. In response, the animals were agitated, worked against each other and couldn’t pull the load. With a gentle voice and gentler touch, my Dad calmed the horses and walked them forward with a load.”

Coach Wooden “learned two important lessons that day.”

1) “Gentleness is a better method of getting cooperation than harshness.”

2) “A team can accomplish much more when it works together than individuals can when they work alone.”

Like all living creatures, the horses needed kindness and gentleness and honest sincere appreciation to move the heavy load. Remember this when you are developing others and when you are working on your own self-development!

Zig Ziglar shared the following story about a “beggar selling pencils” in New York. A “businessman dropped a dollar into the cup” of the beggar and rushed to board “the subway train”. The businessman suddenly turned back, before entering the train, and went back to the beggar selling the pencils. He “took several pencils from the cup”. The businessman apologized and “explained that in his haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils and hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him”. He said, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” The businessman then went to catch “the next train”.

A salesman “neatly dressed” came to a social function and introduced himself to “the businessman”. The salesman said, “You probably don’t remember me and I don’t know your name, but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a ‘beggar’ selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a businessman.”

Zig Ziglar said, ” The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them. It’s astonishing how much talent and ability rests inside a human being.” Help others to discover their abilities.

When you mentor or coach others and they become successful how do you feel?

Doesn’t it make you happy and proud that you helped them become successful?

What are 3 ways you can empower others and yourself to be successful?

1) Each morning begin with a positive attitude, smile, and start your day by saying positive motivational things to yourself.

2) Give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!

Be like the businessman who told the “beggar selling pencils”, “You are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” Encouraging words changed the way the beggar saw himself.

Zig Ziglar said, “A sincere compliment is one of the most effective teaching and motivating methods in existence.”

3) John Maxwell says, ” Make people development your priority.” Help others to discover their abilities and you will discover yours too! Building confidence in the student and the singer’s abilities made all the difference in the world to them. Their futures changed for the better.

Start your holiday season right by doing two things: 1) begin your day with a positive attitude, smile, and say positive motivational things to yourself. 2) Then give an “honest sincere compliment” to inspire, motivate, and encourage someone else each day!

How To Get Better Communication

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 People, published in 1928, Dr William Marston took a very different tack from other psychologists of the day who tended to focus on illness or deviance. Dr Marston wanted to understand how we can better understand each other in normal situations, and indeed how our behaviour changed from situation to situation. Marston found there to be four main personality traits base on our perceptions of our environment and of ourselves within that environment. The four personality traits, or ‘default’ traits, are Dominant, Influencer, Steadiness and Conscientious.

Marston’s research became known as the DISC behavioural model. If you know your own and other’s ‘default’ traits you will be in a position to communicate more effectively, cut off potential conflict situations at the pass, and influence your own or your team’s potential for success.

So what are these ‘default’ styles?

• Dominant styles want to ‘tell’ it as it is. They tend to be direct and to the point. When communicating with a D the best approach is to be direct, don’t waffle, be brief and keep it solutions orientated.
• Influencer styles want to ‘sell’ it through persuasion, positivity and fun. They tend to sell the big picture idea rather than sweat the detail. When communicating with an I the best approach again is to keep it brief, but light and upbeat, with not too much detail.
• Steadiness styles want to ‘listen and consult’. They tend to want a friendly, conflict free and unhurried approach. When communicating with an S give lots of time for them to reflect so they can decide at a steady pace and don’t come across as too challenging.
• Conscientious styles want it ‘written down’ with lots of attention to detail and clearly defined explanations. The tend to want a more distant, professional approach. When communicating with a C give lots of data, quality responses and show you have considered the risks involved.

2. Truly listen

There is an old saying ‘we have two ears and one mouth and should use them in that proportion’. I rarely come across this in practice. Too often we are desperate to get our two-pennies worth in so spend most of our time thinking what we will be saying next and looking for the gap that will allow us to interject.

Let’s be honest. Listening is hard.

Listening is about being willing to focus on the other person rather than the self. This is energy intensive (so can be tiring) and can make us feel vulnerable (because we might not know what we are supposed to say next). But in fact active and focused listening allows us to hear what is truly being said and opens up opportunities for higher quality questions.

On the one hand this illustrates to the other person that they are truly being listened to and builds rapport and their self-esteem. And on the other hand enables you to get the core root of what is really being communicated.

3. Clarity in our speech

If we refer back to our opening illustration, we can better see what clarity on your speech might mean.

Let’s consider that simple phrase ‘that wasn’t what I wanted.’

When I say ‘that wasn’t what I wanted’, did I really mean, ‘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.

Or did I really mean;
• ‘Let’s fight about this because you are challenging my power base’.
• Or possibly ‘I don’t like you anymore’.
• Or what about ‘I don’t appreciate what you have done and all the extra work you put in’.
• But it could just as easily have been ‘you’ve done this all wrong, your incompetent’.

The best approach I know to deal with this is through what Bev James, Author of DO IT! OR DITCH IT, called the ‘DISC walk’. When we need to communicate something of importance try looking at your phrase from the perspective of each of the DISC personality styles.

4. Non-verbal

The non-verbal aspects of communication are often overlooked for the more obvious (whether verbal or written). Yet non-verbal cues such as body language, including facial expression, tone and pace of voice have a powerful impact on how we understand the message being communicated.

Indeed, the non-verbal aspects are all the ‘first impressions’ that will enable our message to get through or cause it to get blocked. There needs to be congruence between the ‘image’ we convey and the other persons ‘default’ style, as well as congruence between the image and the message. A difficult balancing act.

To deal with this we need to consider closely those things which can help or could hinder effective communication:
• Stance – is it open or closed? Are your hands open and exposed or closed and bunched? Are your legs firmly planted and balanced or crossed?
• Eye contact – is there contact or are they diverted? (be aware though that different cultures have different expectations around eye contact).
• Tone of voice – is it reasoned, aggressive, excited or bored?
• Pace – is the voice quick, even or slow? Clipped or rhythmic?

5. Written

If we refer back to our four DISC personality traits, each has a preferred written style.

• Dominant styles are likely to use bullet points that will be short and concise. In fact, in emails the whole message might be typed in the subject line.
• Influencer styles are the great talkers, but in written format they will also tend to use bullet points but with a friendlier range of words. In emails they will likely start and end on much more pleasantries.
• Steadiness styles are the great listeners. In the written format they can expect more detail, especially in relation to ‘why’ and ‘how this is likely to impact on the team’. In emails you need to be careful there is no ambiguity.
• Conscientious styles want everything written down. There emails will be very long due to their need to include lots of attention to detail. As a consequence, these are unlikely to be read by either a D or an I who will only read the headline.

6. Story telling

Stories are how we learn.

There are great advancements taking place in the fields of neuroscience that are showing us what the story tellers of old, in the oral tradition, have always known: our biology drives our emotions, such as the release of oxytocin (the feel good chemical) when we hear good aspects in a story, or the release of dopamine from our limbic (reward center) that triggers feelings of hope and optimism when we hear happy endings.

The old notion of having a beginning, middle and end to your story (message being communicated) relates specifically to our expected pattern that makes things easily memorable. This is related to what is called ‘episodic’ memory; the brain’s own need for direction and pattern, for cause and effect.

Bringing it all together

Communication has no quick fix, but does have predictable approaches that can minimize confusion and conflict, and ensure we get across as near to the message we are trying to convey as is possible. In a world which is becoming more complex, ambiguous and uncertain there is even more of a need for communication through well-crafted stories.

How To Be a Wise Communicator

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 are angry ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” “What is being threatened that makes me feel like I need to protect myself?”
8. If you have an attitude of being in a competition where you feel that you need to win – you lose.
9. Even if you are right, remember that being stubborn or nagging won’t really change things. In fact, it just make you look like you are the problem.
10. Think about how you might talk or do things differently if you knew that you or the other person was going to die tonight.
11. Consider your tone. It’s not the words you say but the music you play.
12. Answer questions in positive terms. Don’t tell the other person what you want them to stop doing. Tell them what you would like them to do instead.
13. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Does s/he feel respected, cherished and cared about?
14. Be honest about your own weaknesses. If you are hearing the same thing or experiencing the same problem with more than one person, perhaps you are the problem.
15. Beware of listening to the advice of “shadow people”. They are individuals who will tell you what to do but do not experience any of the consequences if you actually follow their advice.
16. Recognize that you cannot change other people. Others only change when life isn’t working for them no matter what you think or do.
17. Admit your faults and ask forgiveness.
18. Work on improving yourself.
19. Be realistic. Arguing about the same thing over and over again does not solve anything. In fact, over time, it negatively affects the health and relationship for both of you.
20. Get professional help. Learning how to deal with your emotions or gaining assertiveness skills can lead to positive change and better results than what you have been experiencing.

Step Relationships Can Be Easy

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 able to rely on ourselves and each other to stay open to learning about our wounds and our resulting controlling protective behavior. There is nothing that grinds love down more than controlling behaviors, such as those mentioned above, or behavior that is intent on avoiding your feelings – such as ignoring your feelings, judging yourself and your partner, or turning to addictions to numb your feelings.

If you are currently not in a relationship, then take this time to learn to stay open with your own feelings and learn what they are telling you, rather than continue to abandon yourself when you feel pain. Learning to stay open with yourself makes it much easier to stay open with your partner.

If you are currently in a relationship, do the same thing. Take time to learn to be present with your own feelings, with an intent to learn.

2. Practice Focusing On Kindness With Yourself And Your Partner

Just as an openness to learning is essential in creating a safe relationship space, so is kindness. If you were not brought up with kindness and you have been judgmental with yourself and others, rather than kind, then you need to keep the concept of kindness in the forefront of your mind.

Relationships flourish when loving yourself and your partner is your highest priority. For most people, protecting against pain has been their highest priority, so it takes much practice to successfully make love a higher priority than avoiding pain.

3. Develop Your Spiritual Connection

Relationships flounder when you make your partner your source of love. Your partner isn’t supposed to be your higher power – you have your own higher power and this is your infinite source of love. When your intent is to learn about loving yourself and your partner, and you open to learning about this with a source of spiritual guidance, you will learn to fill yourself with love to share with your partner. Trying to have control over getting love ruins relationships. Sharing love creates intimacy and connection with your partner.

4. Make Relationship Time A High Priority

One of the greatest experiences in life is the sharing of love, and this takes time. Learning, growth, intimacy, connection and passion are the natural results of creating a safe, open, kind and loving relationship space, and all this takes times. Spending connected time together relaxing, laughing, sharing and cuddling are essential for creating a long-lasting, thriving loving relationship.

Is all this easy? It can be when love is your highest priority. When you fully accept that your reason for being on the planet is to evolve your soul in your ability to love, it becomes easier and easier to behave in these four loving ways.

Reason You Need Low Maintenance Friendship

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 to fight about because your friendship is grounded on the simple foundation of realness

2 Fun in doing the simplest things

While watching the infamous TV series Gossip Girl, I realized why my low-maintenance friendships last. We don’t need the scheming, backstabbing and complicated action to have fun. We are perfectly fine with hanging out and talking over takeouts at home. All we need to be happy is the presence of each other, nothing fancy whatsoever.

3 They are real

They are as real as they come. There is no need to be someone you are not because your friends don’t really care about what others say about them. They always believe in the principle “what you see is what you get.” But, of course, there are many things exciting about you and your friends, you just chose to be real and upfront about it. The thing is, they don’t have to act or do something uncomfortable because they are fine with who they are.

4 They only have genuine support for you

You could not find envy and pretentiousness in a low maintenance friendship. As real as they are, they will be genuinely happy for your success and will support your dreams. You may not have the same dreams, but you definitely dream of the same magnitude. So you are never afraid because despite not talking every day, you know that they will always be there for you and vice versa.

5 Friendship and love come seamlessly

You generously give each other love and friendship that each one needs. The love you share is true and does unconditionally. A frenemy has never been in your vocabulary because really why invest in hate when it can be so exhausting.

I know that you have friends in mind while reading. So, cherish and value these kinds of friendship because they are rare jewels in the world full of hate and fakeness.