Emotional needs

Creative Date Night Ideas Part 5

Creative Date Night Ideas Part 5
  • Traditional Dates

When we think of "traditional dates", what is the first thing we think of?  Dinner and a movie, Dinner and drinks, a coffee or lunch date, perhaps?

Many couples struggle with feeling bored with the same old thing, and often feel discouraged at the lack of planning they put into the "same old" date nights, even though they truly do enjoy doing any of these things that we tend to consider "traditional" dates.  

How Shame Effects Relationships Part 5

How Shame Effects Relationships Part 5

As we have learned this week, shame issues take many forms in relationships and can have very damaging effects on a relationship.  Many couples who come in our office initially think they are struggling with communication issues surrounding a particular area of their life (e.g., domestic support, finances, parenting, intimacy), but once we dive into the way they are communicating, we find that it has less to do with the content of their conflict and more to do with the way they communicate, if the communication is filled with shame.

Attacking the person vs. the behavior:  Criticism

How To Create Fireworks in Your Marriage- Dream

Dream Together! Many couples begin their dating relationship full of dreams for their future, but once the marriage has become comfortable, they stop dreaming about things to come in the future.

To create more sparks in your marriage, you need to have something to look forward to-- what better way to do this than to dream!

Ask each other questions, such as:  "Where would you like to take a dream vacation in the next five years as a couple?", "What are your dreams for retirement?", "If you could have a dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be?", "What is your ideal kind of family week?".....

Dreaming together doesn't mean that your dreams have to be realistic.  Sometimes, it's fun to just dream about the things you would love to have or do, even when they seem unreachable.  Remember that it's the process of dreaming together, not necessarily what the content of the "dream" is about.  It helps you to continue learning about each other, as well as thinking about your future with your spouse!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

How to Create Fireworks In Your Marriage-Date Each Other

It's 4th of July week, so fireworks are Imagine Hope's focus!

The beginning of relationships can feel like fireworks. The passion, the desire to see them and talk to them, and the drug like euphoria are all common parts of the enmeshment phase of a relationship.

But how do you keep it going? We get asked this question daily at Imagine Hope. Of course life gets comfortable, conflict changes things, and the euphoria dies down a bit. This week we will share some simple ways to help your relationship have some of that spark again. Remember if you don’t put the effort in, nothing will change!

Don’t Stop Dating Each Other

Time together is vital to feeling close and connected. Remember the days when you would take the time to look nice, put on some good clothes, and go out together.

Just because you have been together for a long time and feel comfortable doesn’t mean you should stop showing your partner your best and not go out together. Sit down and slow down your busy lives over a fun activity or nice meal. Having a date night several times a month will give you more opportunity to connect.

Make sure you both have a say so about what you do on your dates. Maybe take turns planning them. It’s important that both of you feel fulfilled and you have a balance of fun and connection time.

Also come ready to SHARE more than just information exchange. Yes, the details of day to day life are important- but think about the deeper experiences that affect you in life (good and bad) and dig into some good conversation.

If money is a stressor, there are many free or low cost options. Get creative! Many younger people date on a tight budget and have fun- you can too! Don’t make excuses here.

If you want fireworks, you have to put the time in to help create them. Date nights are an easy way to make that happen.

Check in tomorrow for more ideas to help your marriage regain that spark!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Non-Traditional Addictions- Busy Addiction

Do you ever find it difficult to sit still and just "be" without having to do something "productive" with your time?  Does idle time without having a "schedule" or having something planned make you anxious?  When you have "down time", are you able to just relax, or do you need to be busy and doing something? Do you constantly have background noise playing, like the television or the radio,  or does having silence make you uncomfortable? If you have a few minutes of silence  to stop and catch your breath, do you have trouble relaxing or do you feel like you need to check something off your list of things to do? If you have a moment of pause, do you find yourself reaching towards your cell phone to play on the internet or waste time with social media? All of these point to what we call "busy addiction".  Down time, or time where we can just sit and reflect is so important to our mental health.  Those moments are where we can collect our thoughts, re-group, reflect on where we are at with our life and relationships, or do something that takes care of ourselves.

When we feel anxious by not doing something "productive", or if we feel like we need to constantly fill our time with things that keep us "busy" (even though we might complain about how "busy" we are!), it doesn't allow us to sit with feelings.  I tell clients that our feelings are like a beacon or a light that shines on what we are truly needing to feel fulfilled in life. Constantly being busy begins to be a cover-up for our true feelings and our ways of coping with life.  Anything we use to avoid uncomfortable feelings such as loneliness, fear, boredom, hurt, or betrayal can be addictive.  Having an addiction to being busy is one of these things.

Do you connect with "busy addiction"?  How is your busy addiction impacting your relationships?  Does it make you unavailable to those around you?  And is it covering up feelings that might actually point you towards more fulfillment in your life?

 

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Emotional Infidelity Warning Signs 4-6

This week we’ve been talking about what emotional infidelity (also known as an emotional affair) may look like.  From my experience, emotional infidelity can be just as damaging—if not more—as a physical affair.  Frequently I hear clients claim, “But we’re just friends” when talking about a relationship that appears to cross marital boundaries.  It’s not uncommon for clients to get defensive when I call their friendship an emotional affair.  I often hear a variation of the following statement: “But we’ve never been intimate/physical/had sex”.

In her book “Not Just Friends”, Shirley Glass writes, “The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they've crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love.  Infidelity is any emotional or sexual intimacy that violates trust."

Emotional infidelity is so subtle that most people don’t realize they have crossed a line.  Read below for some additional warning signs that it may be emotional infidelity:

4. You compare them verbally and mentally to your partner

This is a huge danger sign.  You may find yourself tallying all the “positive” and “right” things about your friend, and counting all the “negative” and “wrong” things about your partner.  My friend has similar interests and passions.  My spouse and I have nothing in common.  My friend wants to hear about my thoughts, opinions, and feelings.  My spouse could care less and never asks anymore.

You spend time making a case for your friend and building a case against your partner.  Psychologically, your brain starts to associate pleasure with the friend and pain with your spouse.

5. You obsess, think and/or daydream about the person

You may find yourself looking forward to seeing your friend, sharing news with them, spending time with them, and thinking about them when you’re apart.  The question you need to ask yourself is: Do you feel this way with your other friendships?  If not, it’s a sign that the relationship is probably inappropriate.

When you get excited to see someone, the anticipation releases dopamine in your brain, making you feel high and on top of the world.  This creates and reinforces toxic thinking patterns (a.k.a. being under the influence of the affair, being drunk on love).

6. You believe that this person “gets” you

Whenever I hear someone say their friend “just gets me”, it is an immediate red flag for me as a therapist.  Of course your affair partner gets you!  Your emotional affair serves a purpose--oftentimes it highlights the voids or problem areas that exist in your marriage.  But, it is an illusion.  One of the reasons emotional infidelity is so dangerous to a marriage is because it creates mutual understanding, a strong bond, and deep emotional intimacy.

This intimacy causes your brain to release pleasure neurochemicals, such as oxytocin.  This makes you feel love and safety from your connectedness to the emotional affair.  You start to approach your marriage with a different perspective—what you are getting or not getting from your partner—instead of looking at what you are/are not contributing to it.

Continue to read this week as we talk about more warning signs that it could be emotional infidelity.

*Source: Warning Signs That It’s Emotional Infidelity- And Not Just Friendship by Athena Staik

 

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

How Do You Communicate With Your Partner? Part 5

By now, you have learned through this week's blog that communication can involve some rather common pitfalls.  How many of these communication issues do you recognize in your marriage?  If you find yourself agreeing with the statements below, these may be areas of concern for your marriage. I don't like to argue, because I feel arguing reflects badly on the relationship.

By having the underlying assumption or core belief that conflict is "bad", you are preventing intimacy in your relationship.  It's only when we are able to have constructive conflict that we are allowing our spouse or partner to see into our heart to what is bothering us.  Not having any conflict at all means that you do not have true closeness.  Many times, we assume that conflict is raging or yelling at each other.  This is not accurate.  Healthy conflict might get a little heated, but it is simply stating how we feel and how we are hurting.

I don't like to discuss our negative feelings because it only makes us feel worse.

Like we shared above, negative feelings that are shared with our significant other allow greater intimacy to grow within the relationship.  The opposite of sharing your negative feelings is to stuff them.  When we stuff our feelings, it allows resentment to grow and be a part of our relationship, which ends up slowly destroying things.  Sometimes, we have to feel worse to feel better.  Sharing our feelings can be messy sometimes, but the outcome is much more rewarding than avoiding bringing things up (as long as you have a partner that is receptive to hearing how you feel... even when it's uncomfortable!).

I don't feel I should have to bring up what's bothering me, because my partner should already know.

This is a very common communication myth-- one that we call the "mind reading myth".  It simply states that "you should be able to read my mind, and if I have to tell you how I feel or what is bothering me, then you must not really care".  THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!  We are all responsible for telling those around us not only how we feel, but what we are needing from them.  Owning your feelings and needs, and having your spouse respond to this request by meeting your needs (when they can), is extremely powerful.  It can feel very loving to have someone react favorably to owning our feelings and saying what we need.  And it can be very manipulative to your spouse when you walk around giving the silent treatment and expecting them to read your mind.

Did  you recognize any of these common communication mistakes?  If so, we encourage you to begin working on them today... and see just how amazing your relationship can be!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

 

Lying and Trust Issues

We all have people in our lives that we struggle with because of lying or betrayal.  I'm sure you can probably think of a few right now!  These individuals may lie constantly, fabricate stories, betray our trust, “backstab”, cheat, abuse, or do unethical things.  This week at Imagine Hope we are talking about people who lie, betray, and the trust issues that lying can cause in any kind of relationship. Trust in any kind relationship is important -- from intimate relationships, friendships, family, co-workers, etc.  If I can’t trust you, I will often wonder what malicious motives you may have for everything you say and do.  I will question myself, constantly look for those red flags or “gut feelings” and probably not believe you about most things.  Our relationship will possibly become very superficial because of my fear.

Betrayal by someone you care about is an extreme wound.  If someone has done something and broken that trust, I will probably build walls up to protect myself.  Anytime from here on out that someone else hits that “wound”, I will feel the pain severely.  I may feel anxious, have trouble being vulnerable with others, and have very low expectations.  I may find it very difficult to believe that people are basically good and trustworthy.

Continue to read this week as we continue to talk about lying, trust, and betrayal—and some actions steps to take for your own healing  :)

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

 

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Benefits of Loving the Agape Way-2

Yesterday we talked about how unconditional love (or Agape Love) can provide safety during extremely stressful times.  Today we will continue to address other ways that unconditional love can benefit your marriage: Security and Stability Can Help You Grow

When you experience an unchanging type of love, full of stability and security, it creates an atmosphere of openness and trust.  When you feel that you are in a trusting relationship, it allows you both to mature together in a healthy way.  Wheat and Okes believe that when you experience Agape Love personally, it can help you to grow and become the type of person you want to be—by reaching your full potential.

Every Day is Easier

When you experience Agape Love, you feel secure in your relationship.  Due to this, you are less likely to lash out at your partner or deal any devastating blows to the relationship.  Wheat and Okes believe that the longer you experience unconditional love, the lesser your anger, depression, worry, and fatigue become.  Instead of being quick to anger, you are more likely to respond with patience and kindness.

Continue to read this week as we talk more about the benefits of Agape Love.

*Source: "Love Life For Every Married Couple" by Ed Wheat and Gloria Okes

 

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Preventing Burnout- Coping

After reading the earlier blogs this week, if you recognize that you are going through burnout, what can you do? Here are some tips to get your life back in balance and prevent things from getting worse.  Remember, if you don't do anything, it will only get worse!

  • Start the day with a relaxing ritual that helps you feel calm and centered.  This could be doing stretches, deep breathing, meditation, journaling, or reading inspirational material.
  • Learn how to manange stress.  Find books on stress management and dedicate time each day to researching how you can better manage stress in your life on a day to day basis.
  • Set boundaries with people in your life.  Some relationships are more demanding and "take" energy from us, if we allow it.  These relationships require that we learn how to say "no" when necessary, or else we lose a little (or large) part of our peace and energy being in them.  Saying "no" free's us up to say "yes" to the things that really matter.  If you struggle with guilt and shame from saying "no", go talk to a professional therapist to learn how to do this.  Not being able to say "no" will be a roadblock to preventing burnout.
  • Learn healthy habits in your day.  Eating well, exercising, good sleep habits are all part of preventing burnout.
  • Take a break from technology.  Find a chunk of time each day where you completely "unplug".  This means no cell phone, no internet, no Facebook, no television, and no email.  Learning how to disconnect allows you time for self-care and for healthy relationships.
  • Try something new, reconnect with a favorite hobby, and spend some time doing things that nurture your creativity and fun side!

If you have already passed the threshold of burnout, how do you recover?

1.  Slow down.  Force yourself to slow down and take a break.  Does this mean you need to start setting boundaries with others?

2. Get support.  It's natural when going through burnout to want to isolate.  Avoid doing this, but rather, find balance with time alone and reaching out to other's to have some fun.

3.  Re-evaluate your priorities.  If you are going through burnout, it's telling you that what you are doing is no longer working.  If you are neglecting something important to you, it's time to change your priorities and rediscover what makes you truly happy.... and then take action!

 

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Let Go & Let In 3

Today we continue to talk about the negative things that we need to let go of in our lives and the positive things we need to let into our lives-just thinking about these two put a smile on my face! 5. Let In Laughter

Are you going through life being too serious?  Is everything in your life “business” and something you “just need to get through”?  It’s time to lighten up and have a good laugh!

Laughter truly is the best medicine!  If you find your life void of laughter and fun, there is a very good chance you are depressed, withdrawn, and just existing.  It’s ok to have fun and let your guard down.  If you are serious all of the time, you will miss out on so much.  God gave us a sense of humor for a reason!  Let go of all the seriousness and just laugh-it will lighten your mood and improve your attitude-and life won’t feel like such a chore.

6. Let In Joy

What brings you joy?  If you have a hard time answering this, you need to think long and hard about your life and priorities.  We all deserve to feel love and joy in our lives-it’s what helps us get through the really difficult times.  Think about what makes you smile, and let it into your life.

If there are things or people in your life that are stealing your joy, it may be time to make some changes.  Maybe it’s time for a job change, or time to start setting boundaries with a toxic family member or friend.  It’s not always easy, but it is worth it.

Find joy in the little things.  Your children learning something new.  No line at Starbucks this morning.  Your spouse texting you just to say “I love you”.  A positive compliment from your boss.  Joy really comes to us in many different ways throughout our days-we just need to make sure we let it in.

Continue to read this week as we talk more about letting go of negatives and letting in the positives.  Have a great day!

*Adapted from “You Are Worthy of Receiving: 10 Things To Let Into Your Life” by Kathy Kruger

 

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

How To Get Over A Break Up-3

Participate in Hobbies Keep up a routine of participating in hobbies you already enjoy, or find some new ones.  Hobbies can help keep you from dwelling on your feelings and focusing on the negative.  Whether it’s gardening, a dance class, painting, volunteering, or a sport, these activities give you a purpose.  Make sure to not only participate in hobbies on your own, but also hobbies you do with friends or a social group.  Be cognizant that you are not overextending yourself with hobbies in order to avoid how you are feeling about the break up.  It’s important to find a balance that works for you.

Self Care

Take care of yourself!  After a break up, you may feel little motivation to shower, eat, or go out in public.  Make sure that you are continuing your normal routine, despite how you feel.  Get up, shower, get ready for the day, plan meals, go to the gym, and make plans with others.  Do things that make you feel good-whether that is getting a massage, pedicure, haircut, buying something new for yourself, taking yourself out to a nice dinner, etc.  You may have to push yourself at times, and it may take some extra effort, but try to keep things as “normal” as possible.

Source: How to get over a break up by Nathan Feiles

 

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

 

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Roadblocks to Getting What You Want- 1

We all have needs and wants. Sometimes our needs and wants get fulfilled. Sometimes they don't. What keeps us from getting what we want? There are many roadblocks that can come between you and getting your needs met. This week we are sharing some great info on things that keep us from getting our needs met and next week we will focus on how to ask for what you want.

You Don't Know What You Want

Are you indecisive? This could be one of the reasons you have trouble getting what you want and need. You might not be able to put your finger on what to ask for, or maybe you don't know what you really need. This type of struggle could leave you feeling like you're wandering aimlessly, insecure, and uncared for.

You Have a Limited Perspective on What Is Possible

Some people over analyze everything before it comes out of their mouth. This can cause you to not get your needs met because you rule out the possibility of it happening before even asking for it. This struggle can cause you to feel deflated. You might want to dream big and trust that others will hear you and care enough to meet your needs, but you never allow people to do it. You sabotage your possibilities of getting what you want because you can't envision it happening.

Check back tomorrow for more roadblocks! Thanks for reading!

Source: How to ask for what you want by Jane Herman

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

What are the signs of Postpartum Depression?

After the baby comes, women are often overwhelmed with many feelings.  A mother may feel tired, happy, anxious, frustrated, in love, and blue.  Sometimes all at once!  A breast feeding specialist once told me, when the milk comes in, so to the tears.  So many feelings! However, PPD steps these feelings up a notch.  Signs that you may be experiencing PPD are:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day every day
  • Feeling shame, guilt, or like a failure
  • Feeling anxious or scared all the time
  • Severe mood swings

Changes in daily habits are to be expected with a newborn.  However, signs that you may have PPD are:

  • Having little or no interest in things you normally like to do
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Gaining or losing weight (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby)
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much (not justified by the fact that you are up at strange hours tending to your baby)
  • Having trouble concentrating or making decisions (not justified by the fact that you just had a baby and have little sleep)

An important sign that you need to pay attention to is how you feel about yourself or your baby.

  • Are you having trouble bonding with your baby?
  • Do you think of hurting yourself or your baby?
  • Do you think about killing yourself?

Can having PPD affect your baby?  Yes!  If you are suffering from untreated PPD your baby may:

  • Have trouble bonding with you
  • Cry a lot
  • Be delayed in development
  • Show behavior problems

If you feel you may have PPD, call your health care provider right away.  There are medical interventions and therapies that can help.  If you are feeling suicidal or like you will harm your baby, please call 911 immediately.

Please come back tomorrow as Natalie discussed treatment options for PPD.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

*Source: March of Dimes “Postpartum Feelings” from www.marchofdimes.com

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield

 

Tips To Nurture Relationships 3

A New Approach to Criticism Most of us have that one family member, coworker, or aquaitance that just cannot help but say negative comments.  We usually avoid that person like the plague! One of the most common challenges I see to relationships is how people express concerns or displeasure without being critical.  I have never met anyone, especially teens, who do not shy away from criticism.  It can cause communication to immediately shut down.

As parents and partners and friends, we still need to express ourselves and communicate.  We cannot avoid conflict, but we can learn to express our needs and feelings without judgement or attack.  So how can you have a difficult conversation without sounding critical?

  • Focus your conversation so that it solves problems instead of laying blame.  Placing blame is usually completely unproductive and usually irrelevant to the topic at hand.  It is pointless to blame yourself or the other person in your relationship for the behavior at hand. Focus on the desired behavior and how you can both get to the place you want to be.
  • Discuss the behavior and not the other person's character.  Its easy to go to name calling or judgements when addressing your concerns.  Its easy to call your husband lazy if he walks right past the laundry basket you set out for him to take upstairs.  Its easy to say your child is inconsiderate when they waste all the food you cooked for them from scratch. Its easy, but harmful and will not solve them problem nor invite the person to participate in solutions.  Who wants to work with someone who thinks bad things about them?  Focus on the behavior.  Set up reminders or tell the person what behavior you want without attacking their character.
  • Pick your battles.  You do not have to accept every battle you are invited to.  If you have children, you are invited to a lot of battles!  You can simply ignore behavior or statements unless they go against your personal or family values.
  • Limit your speeches.  Unless you are getting paid to give a speech, avoid it.  Most of our friends and collegues and all of our children are not interested in our long winded speeches. The longer you talk at the other person, no matter how well intentioned, the more likely you are going to sound critical and judgy.
  • Be a good role model.  Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". The same thing apples to relationship communication.  Show your friend, coworker, lover, and child how you want them to behave and communicate by providing shining examples with your own behavior.  We cannot expect the other person to speak calmly if we yell.  We cannot expect respect if we do not show it.  We cannot expect hard work if we do not give our full effort too.
Enjoy the changes in your relationships you will see as you continue to nurture them.  Be sure to check out more tips this week from Natalie and Joleen.  As always, thanks for stopping by!
*Source: Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager by Scott Sells, Ph.D.

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.