This week we are talking about the importance of creating resiliency in our children. One of the most important ways we can do this is by teaching out children about boundaries. Children need structure and routine. These provide kids with a sense of safety, security, and stability. Providing your children with a supportive, nurturing and safe environment helps them thrive, but it also provides them with a solid foundation that can be drawn upon when dealing with life stressors.
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.
Hopefully you are learning ways to handle anger this week. A reminder that anger is normal, it's how you handle it that is negative or positive. We changed gears in yesterday's blog- focusing on how we can handle someone's anger in a relationship. This is a continuation of that.
It is amazing how a calming, listening ear can calm an angry soul. Sometimes when my kids are very angry I will encourage them to tell me what is going on (after some time to cool down and get it out of course!)
Freedom #5: To take risks in one's own behalf instead of choosing to be only "secure" and not rocking the boat. We have all probably been in a situation where we've had something bothering us, but have been too afraid to bring it up or make a change because of how this confrontation might effect things.
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 #3: To Feel What One Feels and not what one “ought” to feel. It has happened to all of us. We are in a situation where we are “should” feel happy or sad, but really we feel something completely different. The reality is that there is no “should” when it comes to feelings. We spend a lot of time and energy denying what we truly feel or hiding our true feelings from others. Hiding or not accepting our true feelings can lead to shame or self-doubt.
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.
By now, you are aware of what "enmeshment" is and how to know if you are in an enmeshed relationship (see earlier blog posts this week). What are the dangers of being in an enmeshed relationship?
Loss of self. When you are in an enmeshed relationship, you lose your identity. You ultimately lose the parts of your "self" that made the other person fall in love with you to begin with!
If you’ve been reading this week, you may have realized that you have been or are currently in an enmeshed relationship. The following are some ways to avoid being a person who is always enmeshed with someone else.
Be ok with you. One big reason why people become enmeshed is that they don’t feel okay with who they are.
After reading the signs of being an enmeshed relationship, have you recognized that you may be in one? Have you realized that you may have merged your identity with your partner's? If so, here are some tips to end the enmeshment.
Be Self Aware. Remember who you are! What were the good qualities you had before you became enmeshed? What are your interests? What are your values?
Our belief systems change. When we get too close to someone and enmesh with them, sometimes the things we believe in (religion, politics, moral issues, concepts) can start to change. This may or may not be a good thing. Meeting new people can open our minds up to thinking in new ways and exploring things we've never realized before.
Teri and Tammy have discussed both toxic secrets and healthy secrets, but how do each of them impact our relationships with others? Toxic Secrets:
Create an unsafe relationship which makes intimacy difficult, if not impossible, to have
Create distance between the secret keeper and the one who is kept in the dark
You might be surprised to know that there are secrets that are indeed "healthy". Support4Change.com gives a great rule of thumb. They say: "Healthy Secrets bring you closer to your loved ones, while toxic secrets create barriers". Healthy secrets build relationships & create a sense of closeness between you and another person. So, what exactly are some examples of a Healthy Secret? Here are some below: