Tag Archive for relationships

Holiday Advice

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Listen First

With the holidays upon us there are going to more people in our lives who we may have not seen much during the last year. This can be problematic because we don’t have an ongoing dialogue with them. Instead we are expected to jump right in as if there has been a solid amount of interactions from the last time we met each other. Not a chance. So take some time to get reacquainted and talk to each other without any expectations. Here is a recap of some older articles designed to give you a better holiday experience…

Talking is the beginning of sharing our thoughts and ideas. But without a willing partner you will get nowhere. If you’re doing it by yourself, the results can sometimes be less than spectacular. So when talking to each other, make certain that you have an active partner.

With that said, it is equally important that you be a good listener and not just hear the spoken words. Listening can be a great way to pick up on subtle things that are conveyed through voice inflection and body language. In a relationship discussion what is not said can be more important than what is said. Keep focused on the person you are having a conversation with, and show some interest.

Why Is This Important?

Regardless of the situation, by listening first you put yourself in a very powerful position. As the listener you will get all of the information being offered. It gives you the ability to think about the message and create a reasonable, informed answer. This will help in advancing the conversation and give you the opportunity to learn about them. You may be surprised by what is actually conveyed.

What is the Benefit?

In relationships we are emotionally invested. Our feelings are exposed for anyone to nurture or damage. And this leaves us feeling vulnerable to the next attack. In reality it is each of us who has the opportunity to choose to listen and engage in the conversation. There is nothing to fear when we are listening, because all of the information is coming to us. We are not hurting each other, merely listening to what is being imparted.

Engage by asking probing questions;

  • Does that interest you?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Is there more there that we should discuss?
  • Tell me more…
  • What can I do in that regard?

Any additional question or comment to keep the dialog moving can only help. Try not to use the word “No” until you’ve listened to everything said. He or she may be nervous and not get the words right at first. Give them room to expand and listen while they relax and get comfortable with the exchange.

I suggest never getting angry during times of conversation especially during the holiday season.  By remaining calm we have a better chance of getting our thoughts out clearly. And as the listener, anger dulls the senses and makes really understanding much more difficult.

With anything, this takes practice and it takes two people. If one is angry, neither is ready for a conversation. If one is distracted neither can communicate. And if one is incapable, neither have a chance to properly share.

So, give it a try and let me know what comes of it. You may get a surprise, you may find something you didn’t know or you may just connect better than ever before. In any case, let me know how it goes. Your story may be what helps the next reader have a holiday to remember.

As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Fault, Blame, Victimizing–How to Overcome Your Relationship Obstacles

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Relationship ConflictThere are times in our relationships that we feel stuck.  There are times in our relationships that we fight.  There are times when we are not very nice to our partner.  Then there are times when everything is going perfectly.  And it’s during the tough times that allow us to grow.  It is the tough times that point directly at what it is we need to go to work on.  And it’s only revealed to us when we are open to it. 

Let me tell you a short story.  It’s a good one that has been told many times before.  But the context of how you read/hear it today will be completely different than you heard it before.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Source: Stories To Make You Think

As you can see this story is about overcoming obstacles.  And before you walk away thinking that you’ve heard it before I’d like you to consider that maybe you haven’t heard it THIS way before. 

You see, we tend to live our lives in a world of fault and blame.  We point the finger at others when they “make us feel a certain way”.  We point the finger at ourselves when we “fail to perform” at something.  In the story above, the boulder is just another way to point the finger. 

“It’s not my problem.  The boulder was there when I got here.”

“The guy before me should have moved it.”

“Damn it, I don’t know how to move it.  I don’t have any tools.  I so useless.”

All of that could go through our minds.  And those same ways of thinking are what clog our brains in our relationships when things go wrong.

Now, if we approach our fights, arguments, and problems differently – more like the peasant – new opportunities for action may open up.  What if the next time an argument broke out you became the peasant.  Instead of fighting, reacting, blaming or pointing the finger you asked yourself…

“How can I use this as a learning opportunity?” 

“How can I act differently that may cause a different outcome in this situation?”

“How can I take responsibility for the current circumstance allowing me to regain power and move the conversation in a different direction?”

This is how you can begin to maneuver the boulder.  You now can have a choice when things don’t go your way.

When things don’t go as planned you can…

Be a victim, complain, bitch, moan, and blame either others or yourself

OR

You can create choice, look for new ways of acting that will allow you to learn from the experience and progress your relationship and partnership in the direction you want it to go.

It’s up to you now.  You have the choice.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Relationship Patterns – Improve Your Relationship Now

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Today I’m doing things a little differently.  You get a video instead of a post.

In this video I begin to explore the idea of patterns in our lives and our relationships.  If you take a close look at your own relationships you may begin to notice the patterns you use over and over again.  Watch the video…

YouTube Preview Image

If you can identify your own patterns and start to use them instead of allowing them to use you subconciously you may see a shift in how you view your relationships and how you view life.

Let me know what you think.  Leave your comments below.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Get A Man To Do Whatever You Want

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Get What You WantWhen it comes to relationship advice you can get your fair share from anyone you ask.

Everybody has their own thoughts and opinions about what you should be doing.  Just like them.. here’s mine.

First thing to keep in mind is getting what you want, at it’s core, is a conversation.  It’s a conversation and compromise.  Let’s go through this.

What is it that YOU want?

The first thing I think you should do is articulate for yourself exactly what it is you want.  If you’re going to ask for something you need to be ready to answer questions, defend your position, and explain why you want.  You’ll also want to consider how much you’re willing to give up for it.

I know this could be anything and we’re talking in generalities so think of something right now that you want out of your relationship.  That way as we go through this you can move along the process.

If you know exactly what you want, what you’re willing to give up for it and what you’re NOT willing to give up for it, you’ll be as prepared as ever.  Remember, you’re the one who has to know your limits first.

This isn’t some hard core negotiation but it will require some compromise depending on how open or closed your man is to what you want.

This is a conversation about what YOU want that your man can help deliver on.  It’s about making you happy and what he has to do to make you happy.

Let’s look at an example.  It’s simple and for illustration purposes very surface level…

Let’s say I want to go out with friends on a guys night.  I could just tell my wife I’m going, not care what she says and leave anyway.  That’s won’t do any good for our relationship.

I could say hay, “I’m thinking of going on a guys night this Friday.  Do you have anything planned for the two of us or are you good if I go?”

That’s pretty simple.

Then of course there’s the other end of the spectrum… “Ummm, honey… I’d like to have a guys night, would you give me permission to go?”

Of course there will be trade-offs… what time will you be home, do we need a baby sitter, who are you going with, will you be drinking and will you have a designated driver… etc.

The point is that it’s a conversation.  There might be some trade-offs for each of you.  No matter what, you can set your boundaries and get what it is you want on your terms.

What is your plan of attack?

If this isn’t a negotiation, why do you need a plan of attack?  I want you to use some common sense about this.  You don’t want to catch me right as I’m coming home from work and I’m in a bad mood.  You don’t want to catch me after I’ve just had a conversation with my boss that didn’t go to well.

Not that any of that should influence what you get but why not at least set yourself up for success.  So the right time is just as critical as knowing what you want and how much you’re willing to give up to get it.

Catch your man at the wrong time and you could lessen your chances.

How can you approach him so that he gets something too?

The way to approach him is with your first four buttons open, lots of cleavage showing, and a come hither look on your face.

No, I’m just joking.

You want to approach him as honest and authentic as you can.  You want to be upfront and tell him “I want something and I would like to talk to you about it.  Is now good?”

That sets him up for the conversation.  It gives him a chance to say, now is perfect or let’s talk at a better time.  This is your relationship we’re talking about.  These are your wants and needs up against his wants and needs.  You want to do it when it works for both of you.

Listen, if what you want is something simple, like a piece of chocolate, go friggin’ get it.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  What I’m talking about are the things you want out of your relationship including stuff you like to do, fun, entertainment, and romance.  All of it should be involved in the conversation.

With that being said, I want to reiterate, this is a conversation.  I recommend you have these conversations regularly so that both of you know what each other wants and where you want to go with your lives together.

I can almost guarantee that if you don’t have conversations and keep an open, authentic line of communication going, your relationship will be doomed.  Remember, these strategies are good for both men and women.  It’s just dialogue.

Thoughts, ideas, comments, gripes?  Post them below in the comment section.

To a healthy relationship,

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Men And Women Read Minds Poorly

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Mind reading Nothing is ever the way it seems.

Our brains are amazing computers that keep us going.  It keeps us alive.  It protects us.  It gives us fight or flight.  It allows us to analyze information as we get it and make important decisions.

It also helps us read the minds of others.  It’s a useful tool because we can anticipate things in life.  We get a feeling when something is going to happen.  We react to things that we didn’t SEE.

But when it comes to emotional things like love, relationships, and sex it’s not so effective.

Our brains tend to make up things for what it doesn’t know or understand.  That’s to say that we make things up when we don’t have a clear picture.  And what’s neat is that we don’t know that we made it up.

For instance… A friend of mine had a intimate experience with a guy.  He was up front with her and said that he didn’t want a relationship.  But the rules of that game were not spelled out ahead of time.

So there was a lot of mind reading going on.  He makes her feel good and they end up being very intimate.  In the end she felt an emotional connection.  He likes her but not to have a long term relationship.  The intimate setting allowed her mind to believe that he wanted more to the relationship than he actually did.

Now she’s playing tricks on herself on whether he likes her the same.

Here’s what I have to say.  She has to take responsibility and note that she is in control of her feelings.  He did what he did and she made herself feel a certain way.

That will give her the power to make decisions about this man instead of reacting to a situation.

But that’s not all.  I suggest that the communication be much more clear about what each other wants. If he really only wants a physical relationship, he should state that clearly up front.  It should be arranged as such and if anything changes then that can be communicated.

She should ensure the communication is clear about what SHE wants and what she intends on getting.  When you communicate you’ll be able to see what is really there and work with what you really have.

Knowing this sometimes makes no difference. So…

How can you be proactive in the face of your brain that makes up what it wants?

What should happen is a two way communication that delivers the message intended and that represents what you both want out of the relationship.  It’s not fair to either of you if you hold anything back.

You see, if we don’t communicate our brains will fill in the blanks with whatever it wants.  You can’t know what another person is thinking unless you’re straight and ask them.  That’s why authentic communication is fundamental to every relationship.

It does take effort and sometimes you don’t want to say what you should say.  Our filters and mind reading capabilities go into overdrive.  We start to find evidence that supports our thoughts.  It’s crazy but true.

That’s why it’s extremely important to keep the communication lines open and honest.  Don’t hold anything back.

I would love to hear our thoughts on this subject so please leave a comment or any questions you may have below in the comments section.

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