This week, Imagine Hope is honoring Halloween by discussing the different ways that (real) fear can have a negative impact on our lives.
How does fear potentially impact our family system?
Teri and Tamara did an excellent job of describing the Family Hero and the Scapegoat in our families. I want to discuss with you the role in the family that typically gets "lost", The Lost Child. The Lost Child is usually shy and quiet. They prefer solitude and often have fantasy lives as children.
As we continue to discuss Addictions this week, it is important to identify Relationship Addictions. We see this a lot at Imagine Hope. Again, it is one of the Addictions that is hard to recognize if you don't understand what it is. It is "acceptable". You've heard people say, and there was even a song written about it, "They are just addicted to love". This can actually happen.
In addition to what Teri, Tammy, and Natalie spoke about in their blogs, here are 3 additional tips for effective communication I see are helpful when working with couples:
Reducing defensive responses when your partner gives you constructive criticism, or when your partner shares how they are feeling about something going on in the relationship. When you become defensive and reactive, you create an unsafe environment for your partner to share their feelings.
Some of us are better at letting go than others. We all struggle with this concept at some point during our lives. The sensation of holding on gives us this false sense of control, security, and drains us of our energy. Sometimes, we hold on anyway because we do not know how to let go. I hope this week gives you some hints as to how to make that happen.
As Natalie discussed yesterday in Part 4 of our blog series on forgiveness, it's important to try and hang onto forgiveness, once you have gone through the steps of the process. While she discussed some different ways you can make the commitment to forgiveness, what happens if you are struggling with this, and the memories continue to come back?
Many times, our clients feel confusion when the term “abandonment issues” comes up in therapy. After all, don’t we most commonly think of the literal term, “abandonment”, as being physically abandoned (like an infant who is left on a door step for someone to find) ?
So, what exactly are abandonment issues?
Teri, Tammy, and Natalie have all shared some great tips so far to making our communication better. Here are a few more to add to your "relationship toolbox":
Remember that communication breakdowns aren't always personal. Many times the issue at hand is linked to some deep rooted unresolved issues. Try to empathize with your partner as they are trying to heal from a painful past.
As Teri mentioned yesterday, disagreements can be healthy, as long as it's done in a respectful way. Healthy conflict can be one of the ways you and another person grow closer. It's natural for people to disappoint us in our lives, but how we handle it is key. Continue to follow tips for healthier communication steps this week, and you'll find yourself more successful at tackling difficult conversations.
Freedom #4: To Ask for What One Wants Instead of Always Waiting For Permission Many people struggle with telling people what they really want or need. They are afraid they will appear "needy" or not strong. Usually when someone grows up in a family where their needs were secondary or they were punished (emotionally or physically) for having needs, they grow up thinking they shouldn't (there's that word again!) have any needs.
Freedom #2: To Say What One Feels and Thinks Instead of What One Should Feel and Think There's that "Should" word again. Whenever you use the word "Should", you're placing judgement on something/yourself. "I Should feel this way" I Should think this way".....basically you're trying to talk yourself into CHANGING your feelings.