I think most parents have had this experience: You’re out somewhere and your child (toddler, teenager, anywhere in between) is behaving in a way that you find embarrassing, and that you hope is not reflective of your parenting. But you feel the shame anyway, and the judgment of others, and you wonder: Is this my fault? Is my child my reflection?
Wikipedia had a great definition of psychological manipulation. Here it is: “Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.” (Thanks, Wikipedia!) I’d add that manipulation always benefits the manipulator, though he or she might be adept at making you believe otherwise.
Everyone twists things to their own advantage sometimes. But if you’re chronically manipulated by someone in your life, I’ve got some suggestions for you.
In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen. (Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected.) So the goal isn’t to eradicate all fights; it’s to make sure you’re fighting well.
What I mean is, a good fight is one that’s productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both parties ultimately feel understood, and the least possible emotional damage was inflicted. A bad fight is–well, the opposite of that.
If you’ve been having bad fights, this is a great post to read with your partner. If you can agree to the ground rules in here (and maybe even put them on the fridge or somewhere you can reference them), that can start turn things around. So here goes!
It’s not an easy thing to do, especially if your parents never modeled it for you or if you’re in relationships where you tend to feel devalued. But assertiveness is a skill you can learn, no matter how old you are. Here’s how to start.
Once you’ve been burned (especially if it’s by a parent in your early life), it can be hard to open up again. In some cases, with some people, you really shouldn’t open up. But how do you know who you should trust, and who you shouldn’t? And how can you learn to trust yourself to make that determination?
We all have occasional run-ins with the disagreeable and the unreasonable. But what if it’s become a chronic facet of life? Here are some thoughts on how to handle your relationships (and yourself)!
This was a question that came up on my Facebook author page among some mothers who’d read my book, “Don’t Try to Find Me.” Yes, my novel represents a very particular case but the desire to protect your kids is pretty universal.
Do all teens require online monitoring? How do you monitor? And what do you do with what you find out?
This post was inspired by a client of mine who was talking for years (literally) about ending a relationship, and she finally pulled the trigger. (Go, you! and you know who you are!) If you’re having trouble breaking up with someone, here’s how to get it done.
You love your spouse, but do you work well together? Unfortunately, many people find that the answer is no. This can become painfully evident once we become parents, and suddenly we have to rely on one another in a different way than ever before.
Here are some strategies on how to reduce tension and conflict, and improve teamwork.
Parents a generation ago didn’t have to worry about online predators, but today’s parents need to be aware. What are the signs your teen is getting in over her (or his) head in social media? How do we keep our kids safe?