Everything listed under: Clear Relationships

  • They think their issue is your issue

    People have issues with you. Ironically, the more character you have, the more issues people likely have with you. But never forget whose issues they are.

  • Partnerships and Whole/Parts

    Personal relationships (that do not include family of origin or career relationships) are a choice. The only clear reason to be in one is because you want to be there. Healthy relationships or partnerships start with people that feel complete within themselves and then come together to share who and what they are and what it feels like.

  • As You Are

    People are either strong enough to accept you as you are or they are not. If you found the courage to be yourself, they can find it in their heart to embrace you as you are. If they can't, it is not a good place to share your heart- at least that aspect of yourself.

  • Clear Advice

    Family, friends, and colleagues tend to give advice or suggestions to the people that they care about. However, most offer advice based on what they would do if they were in that person’s situation. The problem is they are not that person.

  • Underneath their Demand

      When a someone is demanding something from you or annoying you, it is difficult not to react to it negatively. It could be a child, a parent, a coworker, or a friend. It is almost instinctual to discourage such behavior. But underneath their demand, there is usually a valid emotional need.

  • How We Fit In

    So there’s who you really are. The way you are when no one is around. Then it is time to go to work, a party, or a date.

  • The Book of Games Dream

    Seven years ago, my friend had a dream in which there was this really thick leather-bound book on the table in front of him. His spiritual teacher was in the dream and told him it was a book of all the (dishonest) games that his girlfriend played. My friend's and my interpretation of the dream was clear.

  • The Subtle Difference between Teasing and Mocking

    Teasing is giving someone a hard time about the way they are. It is done in a way that honors them. It's intention is to uplift, and it is done out of love and respect.

  • The Opportunity of Hearing Someone Out

    Progressive sales or customer service training teaches that a customer returning something or complaining about the quality/service is usually an opportunity. The customer is fixated on a specific thing so they care to a high degree. If you can solve their problem, you become their hero and increase their loyalty to your business.

  • Complete Experiences As You Go

    One of my clients is moving and wanted to know why I suggested he say goodbye to his friends. He suspected I wanted him to get in touch with his feelings. Yes, but actually the primary importance of saying goodbye is to complete the relationship.

  • Disappointing Ourselves

    We tend to see people as we would like them to be. These preconceptions often prevent us from seeing people as they are. We then expect (and demand) them to be as we need to be.

  • Betrayal and Unspoken Contracts

    All relationships are contractual. Many of these contracts (or mutual agreements) are unspoken and assumed. Whether we are aware of it or discussed it, we created contracts with the people that we have relationships with.

  • Hearing Intent Allows True Communication

    Different human beings live in such different worlds. Our realities are a by-product of our beliefs, hopes, and dreams. When people believe something has helped them, they naturally want to share it with us.

  • You Hurt My Feelings

    There are two sides of telling someone your feelings are hurt. On one hand, in order to walk open and honest, you need to express when your feelings get hurt. On the other hand, never lose perspective that your feelings being hurt is your issue.

  • Stop Apologizing for Yourself

    What if there was nothing wrong with you? Only that you believe there is something wrong with you. Your human qualities are what distinguish you from other people.

  • Match the Investment of those You are Giving To

    Givers love to give to other people. This is a beautiful quality, but many do not appreciate your gift or may even take advantage of it. So your giving has a limited effect.

  • A Tendency to Share the Least with the People we are "Closest"

    Ever spill your guts to a stranger? And then say you are the only person that I have ever told that to. Ever wonder why did I do that?

  • Judgement is Projecting Our Fear onto Others

    Other people do the darndest things. Often what they do makes absolutely no sense to us. But it does to them.

  • Honestly...

    Honesty is sharing how you really feel about something. There is more to it than "always telling the truth" or not lying. So why is it so hard to be honest?

  • New Year, New Parameters for your Relationships

    This time of the year is a natural time for introspection and reevaluation of your life. Relationships are one of the essential things to reevaluate. Relationships are not static; they are ever-changing and evolving.

  • Understand Each Others' Reality

    Other people do not have the same reality as you do. They have different beliefs about the way the world is. Those beliefs affect their perception of the world.

  • Get Together

    What if you get together up on Saturday morning with your significant other or friend and shared what each of you wanted to do this weekend. And then do some of those things together. One of you may want to rake leaves, see a new movie that just released, and take their son to the park.

  • Watch Out for Enmeshed Environments

    Family systems theory gave us the useful term of "enmeshment." Salvador Minuchin first described, "Interpersonal differentiation in an enmeshed system is poor...in enmeshed families the individual gets lost in the system" (Minuchin, Psychosomatic Families: Anorexia Nervosa in Context. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978, p. 30).

  • Keep the Lines of Communication Open with your Child

    The most important thing to do as a parent is to keep the lines of communication open with your child. When lines of communication are broken, it is usually due to the parent not wanting to know what is going on with the child. If they knew, the parent would have to think and reevaluate.

  • Ask "Who, What and Why" to Understand Interactions

    Someone approaches you. They seem drawn to you. You want both of you to get value from your interaction.

  • Watch Out for "Prove You Love Me" Games

    One of the most prevalent and destructive games we play in our relationships is the"prove you love me." One person sets the other up to prove that he or she cares. This tendency stems from the illusory beliefs and pictures we carry about love and relationships. It almost always results from an unresolved issue with a parent.

  • Take it Personally Why Don'tcha

    The sad fact is that most people do not have a clear notion of who you are. Most have not taken the time to get to know you. They do not understand you or how you process.

  • Boundaries versus Parameters

    Personal "boundaries" have been a useful concept in relationship psychology for some time. They create a barrier to keep unwanted people out of your personal space. (See upper diagram: the circle represents the boundary that keeps other people away from the person or "P".) Parameters define the relationship or the interaction.

  • That is How I See It

    I have heard Native Americans (mostly in movies) give their perspective on something and then say, "That is how I see it."  It always seemed so clear and strong. They share their perception on what is going on with someone and yet they have no need for the person to do anything with it. It is a free gift.

  • Exposure and Discovery: The Key to Intimacy

    Intimacy is about exposure. It is allowing someone to see who you really are. In one form or another, our self-beliefs and self-concepts tell us that there is something wrong with us.

  • Look for Opportunities to Address Emotional Issues

    When looking to have experiences that have emotional content involved, the timing and energy of the people involved is essential. When taking care of business, you are primarily working with your rational, analytical mind to make decisions and address situations. It works to have meeting about such and such topic at 10:00 am on Tuesday, for instance.

  • Breaking Unwritten Contracts in Relationships

    All relationships are contractual. Often these contracts are unwritten and unsaid- yet they control most of the experiences of the relationship. We are typically not consciously aware of what we have agreed to with this person.

  • Make Time for Date Nights

    I just heard about Barack and Michelle Obama having date nights. I thought it was cool. Apparently, some people took issue with it.

  • Celebrate Your Relationship with some Holiday Romance

    The holidays are busy. They are kids, friends, and extended family to consider. With all of this, we often forget to consider the most primary relationship of all- our marriage or significant other relationship.

  • Being Thankful is Not Taking People for Granted

    Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had an awesome day. Giving thanks is a cornerstone of most every religious and spiritual path for a reason.

  • Power Struggle- "No, You Come into MY World!"

    Most of us have experienced a power struggle in a relationship. No fun. But what is it really about?

  • Who is that Person that I am Supposed to be Close To?

    We often share the least about ourselves and what we feel with the people that we are closest to. We are less honest with them. The risk is too high.

  • Where are We Going Spend the Holidays this Year?

    Wherever we spend our holidays says which family is most important to us. Whichever family gets the most priority during the holidays is our primary family. What is the important part of my holiday and whom I spend that with?

  • Moment of Opportunity for Change in a Relationship

    Relationships (like people) have behavioral patterns that create separation and undesired outcomes. Making change in a relationship requires acting in the moment when the pattern that you want to change repeats itself. I call this the moment of opportunity.

  • Time for a Couples Retreat?

    I saw the movie Couples Retreat www.couplesretreatmovie.com over the weekend. Although I found the movie to be a bit silly (and funny), it illustrated the value of a retreat. All four couples disengage from the kids, work, routines, and patterns in their lives and and are left with each other to deal with.