I love the examples of open-ended questions in yesterday’s blog. The examples were simple and easy to see how the change in asking a question could change the direction of a conversation. While it's important to ask questions to let someone know you're listening to them, there are many other factors involved in communication. One of these factors doesn't include speaking at all.
One of the most important parts of positive communication skills is being a good listener. When you listen, a person feels cared about, important, heard, and loved. Being a good listener can help all your relationships achieve more depth and intimacy. That's why we are giving you an attainable goal each day this week to help you become a better listener.
Do you know the definition of insanity? We see it a lot in couples and individuals. It's what many of them need to remove from their life: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! We are constantly amazed at how couples, and individuals for that matter, continually do the same things and are surprised when they don't get a different outcome. Particularly with couples, they will come in and insist on fighting, the same way they do at home, only in front of an audience that they are paying. I will persistently try over and over to teach them to have conflict in a different, more healthy
Have you ever taken a good hard look at your life or your marriage and realized, "This isn't working anymore, but I don't know what to do?" Well, this week, Imagine Hope is going to go over some of the things we see in marriages (and life in general) that need to be REMOVED in order for individuals and marriages to be successful. Maybe you're caught up in a negative thinking pattern, nag too much, or are overly critical. Or, maybe you have an addiction or are having an affair that needs to be removed in order for your life or marriage to get back to it's winning percentage.
You've heard the saying, "The grass grows where it's watered". As with grass and plants, so it is in our relationships. The more effort and time you give to it, the more it will grow and weather life's challenges. That's why I love this weeks topic. It's not just about sex, it's about keeping the relationship ALIVE!
Ever receive a small gift or thank-you note unexpectedly? Remember how special it felt to receive it? The same applies in marriage too. Let your spouse know you're thinking of them when you're apart. Figure out your mate's love language and run with it! If your spouse is someone whose love language is Verbal Affirmations, then send positive, loving texts to them throughout the day,
As Teri said, conflict is unavoidable in relationships. It is always a red flag when couples tell us, "We never fight or have conflict". Yikes! That means somebody is not saying something in the relationship! People really do view conflict as negative. It doesn't have to be. Learning to do it in a healthy way can bring so much intimacy to a relationship. And that means any relationship: friendship, parent/child, co-workers.
Resolving conflict is a skill that everyone needs to work on, even if you aren't in a relationship. There are several things to remember when entering into a confrontation that is important in order for it to go well. This week Imagine Hope is sharing some guidelines to keep in mind when fighting fair. Remember conflict is going to happen in any relationship. There is no need to be scared of it as long as you do it well. When you do, it can actually bring you closer!
Memorial Day can be a great time for family and friends to get together and celebrate having a day off at the beginning of summer. But many use the day to memorialize lost loved ones, lost opportunities, and fallen soldiers. This week Imagine Hope is sharing our personal meanings behind this special day!
What Memorial Day means to by Teri-
When I think of Memorial Day my first thought is friends and family. This day historically is a day that I celebrate great relationships in my life. I love having a backyard BBQ and relaxing with laughs and fun conversations. It's a great time for me to catch up with those I've missed and to slow down and just "be" with them. So much of my life I am moving from one thing to the next and continually make promises that "We will get together soon- I promise." The next thing I know months have gone by and the promise has been broken. Taking a break to nurture relationships gives Memorial Day special meaning and reminds me that if I don't slow down in life and put the effort in with the ones I love, I will miss out on extremely special times.
I wish each of you a special and safe Memorial Day and hope you take advantage of the time to slow down and connect with those you love. You never know when you'll get your next opportunity! Check in tomorrow to see what Memorial Day means to Tammy!
Written by guest blogger Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Renewed Horizon Counseling. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.