Relationships Articles

Communicating Better in Intimate Relationships

Friday, March 13th, 2015

shutterstock_235865923If you feel like you’re having trouble opening up to your partner or other intimates in your life, or if you keep running into communication roadblocks and misunderstandings, this post is for you.

Eliminating Verbal Abuse Once and for All

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

yelling240Verbal abuse is derogatory language with the intent to humiliate, hurt, and/or undermine.  It robs the other person of their dignity and sense of security.

Mostly, verbal abuse occurs in anger; sometimes it occurs with cold calculation (in which case, the abuser is much more of a threat to another’s well-being and that relationship should be terminated immediately.)

I’m going to address the former situation: Where abuse occurs in anger, when self-control is lost, and the person is remorseful afterward.

The tips I’m going to give apply to both the person doing the abusing, and the person being abused, because ending abuse while remaining in the relationship is actually a collaborative effort.

Preventing Mental Disorders in Children and Teens

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

momanddaughter240As parents, we’re trying to do a million things to promote the well-being of our children.  Mental health, though, often gets short shrift.

Not all mental health disorders can be avoided (genetics do play a role here.)  But their impact can be lessened, and in some cases, prevented altogether.

If you’re thinking, Oh, no, not one more thing I need to do, on top of making them do their homework, driving them to activities, etc.–good news.  These tips aren’t time consuming, and they fit right in with the rest of your life. 

Being There for Your Teen

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

dadandteen240It’s not an easy task: being there for someone who might not even seem to want you around a lot of the time.  But I have some tips to make it at least a little easier.

Will the True Narcissist Please Stand Up

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

mirror240It seems like everyone is throwing around the word “narcissist” these days.  And it might seem harmless enough, but actually, it’s bad for the people being mislabeled and the people doing the labeling.

To find out if you’re really involved with a narcissist, find my more exhaustive checklist here.  In this blog, what I want to do is distinguish between true narcissism and a myriad of other things that can mistakenly be called narcissism, and explain why misidentification can be costly for everyone involved.

End That Addictive Relationship, Once and For All

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

suitcase240Here’s a quick checklist to know if you’re addicted to a toxic relationship:

  • You have more bad moments than good but you can’t let go because you’re always chasing another fix of the good.
  • The relationship depletes rather than energizes you.  It takes away from other areas in your life.
  • You lose resources (emotional, financial, interpersonal) but no matter how great the cost, you continue with the relationship.  You can’t seem to make rational calculations.
  • When you try to leave, you can’t seem to follow through; you go through withdrawals.  You cave, and you relapse.
  • You pretend every time you make up, it will be different.  You consistently ignore the fact that the past is the greatest predictor of the future.  You will be back there, in pain, again.   But you have selective memory (i.e. denial.)
  • You’re lying to your friends and family about the way you’re being treated; you’re minimizing the pain so they won’t turn against your partner, or urge you to do what you already know you should do, which is end the relationship.
  • OR you’ve alienated good people in your life who don’t want to stand by idly and watch you suffer anymore.

Now here’s how you can start extricating yourself, once and for all.

How to Enjoy the Little Moments with Your Kids

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

buttoning240Sometimes it feels like we’re always hustling our kids through their routines so that we can get to the good stuff (reading together, snuggling, whatever your fancy.)  But what if those little moments–the getting-things-done moments–actually are the good moments, if we make them so?

How to Support A Depressed Loved One

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

lovedone240When you see someone you love in pain, you might feel a lot of things.  You’re likely to start with sympathy and concern but as you try (and fail) to help, it might turn to frustration.  Or resentment, if you’re having to pick up the slack.

Here are some thoughts on how to support your loved one, and take care of yourself, too.

How to Be a Better Listener

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

listening240There’s a lot out there about how to talk to your kids, especially about difficult topics like drugs and sex.  But what might be of greater value to your relationship and to their development is if you become a better listener.

Here are some tips.

Irritable Much?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

stressedIf you’ve been feeling irritable or short-tempered, there could be a number of possible causes.  Figuring out what’s bugging you, deep down, is the first step to feeling better.)

Here are some potential culprits:


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