Enjoy The Holidays Without The Holiday Meltdown

Why Can’t We Enjoy the Holidays Without the Meltdown?? It’s nice to see you all. I have been wanting to talk about the holiday meltdown. Since it’s before Thanksgiving because so many people come to me with this history of going, going, going during the Holiday season and then crashing. I typically don’t hear about the crash until after the crash. Everybody goes off to their holidays everybody is okay, and then they come back with all the complaints and frustrations. We don’t want you to do that this year, as I always tell my patients- how about, we think about the things that are coming up not just the things that have passed. If you have this history of melting down, I just wanted to talk to you about that. It’s not going to take something away from the holidays, to think about this in advance. We’re going to add something to the holiday by doing a preemptive strike. We’re going to solve this before it happens. And then make the holiday a whole lot better, not only for you but everybody else too. What I’ve found over the 20 years of doing this, is that that meltdown tends to always come because of an imbalance. “I’m doing everything, and nobody else is doing anything,” imbalance. Sounds familiar right? “I’m doing this, this, and this. He’s not doing that, she’s not doing this, she’s getting her nails done, and I’m doing everything.” So you start doing that in your head, and that’s a problem. Reasons the Imbalance Comes Up The reasons why that balance comes up. For starters, you are probably doing this all in your head. You get caught up in the traditions, in the pressure from society, maybe some pressure from the family and you go right into the mode. Whatever holiday it is, you go into the mode and not think to stop, and think. Let’s put our thinking caps on together and try to think of what is it that you want? What do you want? Prepare a list of what everybody else wants; you can hold on to that but add to it, what do you want? And the sooner you get this out on the table, the better. You don’t have to sit there and wait until someone doesn’t figure it out. We’re talking here a lot about expressing what you want, expressing …

Beyond Boundaries- Simple Fixes for your Relationship Problems

We are here to talk Beyond Boundaries and give  Simple Fixes for Your Relationship Problems. We have some tips on how to fix your relationship problems.  These are the quick tips we give beyond just boundary setting, which is huge! There are some other quick down and dirty statements that go beyond boundaries, you can make to stop some troublesome patterns in your relationship. The one mentioned most is walking away. But walking away is a little passive-aggressive if you’re in the middle of something or your partner is in the middle of something and you walk away. You’re going stir them up because they’re not going to know where you are or why you just left, or if you are coming back. That can be hurtful to them.  So instead of just walking away, you can use a bridge statement. You can say, “I’m going to leave, this is getting a little too much, but let’s revisit it after dinner.” Making that statement versus just walking away helps keep it from being torture for the other person. Walking Away Without a Statement Another way to go beyond boundaries is there are times when walking away without a statement is appropriate. The first example walking away with a bridge statement is if someone’s inappropriately aggressive, such as name-calling, yelling aggressively; when you start to experience anxiety discomfort. If they’re passive-aggressive, such as mumbling under their breath, saying something and passing- that’s the time to simply walk away.  What that’s doing is the other person is being inappropriate, and they’re drawing you into an argument you can’t win. Right? You didn’t hear them, they claim they didn’t say anything, so you get into those dead-end fights, going back and forth. Don’t take the bait, and simply ignore it. Walk into the next room,(not angrily) remove yourself. The idea is that your partner needs to learn, and this is how to help them learn that they’ll only get your attention if they approach you appropriately. They’re not going to lose you if they’re not appropriate. One Way Statements When going beyond boundaries, there are one-way Statements or simple statements are where you say what your emotion is in light of what they do. But there are times where just saying how you feel and leaving it at that, has a lot more impact. An example would be, “oh, that hurts.” These statements …

Are You Self Sabotaging Relationships? Find Out!

Self sabotaging relationships, are you doing it? Are you self sabotaging relationships without knowing? Sometimes we do not realize we are self sabotaging relationships.  In the past, we’ve discussed the hidden relationship patterns that are hurting your relationships, toxic patterns. We’re going to talk about a relationship pattern, not arguments; this is a little different. This is the ongoing- what do you want, basic, low-grade problems that you just haven’t addressed. Issues that you keep quiet about, just because you don’t want to make waves, you don’t want to rock the boat or issues you think are okay to put off until another time. The feelings can be anger, but typically we’re talking about more subtle feelings; like walking on eggshells or being annoyed or bored even. If that’s going on, guess what? It’s your problem! I can’t tell you how many times we have people come in to say, “my wife/ my husband….” And they go on and on about their problems. If there’s a chronic problem in your relationship either you’re causing it, or you’re not stopping it. Not addressing it is a problem, it keeps it going, so it’s a problem. Change How You’re Dealing with the Problem. You don’t have to change your spouse, that’s the good news. YOU can change how YOU’RE dealing with this pattern, or not dealing with it, and stop it. If people are caught in a rut and have not addressed the problem to stop it, it’s because they value one approach over the other. They value either the aggressive approach or the passive approach, and that’s a problem because you need both! You need to be able to go back and forth between the two, depending on the situation. For example, this is the person who always has a hammer for everything when a wrench would do just fine. Or the person who uses a wrench all the time but they need a hammer. If you are not able to do both, you may be self sabotaging relationships. Examine the pattern and your role in it. Such as, if you tend to value aggression, you may be the one who is always criticizing, trying to get your S.O. to change, or finding evidence to prove that you’re right; that is all an aggressive approach. People who value aggressive approaches think action is better. They may think it’s more manly, or …

Relationship Patterns and Passivity Part 2

Relationship Patterns and Passivity People come to us for relationship issues and say, “Something’s wrong with my relationship; I’m unhappy with it.” But they’re not able to say what’s going on, except some details here and there; they’re not able to see the overall picture. We’re always encouraging you to step above the weeds and look in. What’s really going on? What are the toxic relationship patterns?   Passivity Today, we were going to talk about something less obvious, and that is passivity. I can’t count how many times have people come in and say, “Well, I just let him have his way because then there wouldn’t be a fight, it’s just easier.” My response to that is, “Is this easy? You haven’t described one easy thing.” Or you let them get their way, but then you’re so angry, and it manifests differently, and that’s destructive passivity. A lot of people think passivity is being kind and will get people to love you. “If I just let everybody have their way, they’re going to love me so much.” But it never happens, it doesn’t work that way. There is constructive passivity, and then there’s destructive passivity. I’ve had people look at me when I say that like I’ve got two heads. When it comes to the passivity, what would be the most significant behavior that people don’t realize is destructive passivity? Destructive passivity tends to be giving in to something when you don’t want to. You’re pretending, lying shall we say, that you’re okay with going to the in-laws for the 6th Thanksgiving in a row; when you don’t really feel that way, this is not a good thing.   Destructive Passivity Behavior The destructive passivity behavior I always compare to is if you’re going down the street, and there’s a child or an animal in the road, and you keep on walking. There’s a car coming- something terrible is going to happen, and you just kept walking and not judging, just saying. It’s not doing something at that moment, where problems are going to happen. Not admitting that you don’t want to go somewhere or do something when somebody does is a car coming into your life, it’s going to be a problem. Either that resentment of having to do it is going to make you blow up at some point or do something passive-aggressive. Or your partner is …

Hidden Toxic Relationship Patterns

   Toxic Relationship Patterns Hidden! Yes, HIDDEN toxic relationship patterns. There are toxic patterns that people don’t see, or it’s hard for them to see when you point it out. With toxic people in your life, you have to get a little distance with putting up a boundary or leaving if they’re really toxic. You can make a change in the toxic relationship patterns yourself. That way things will improve, you don’t have to change or put distance for the other person you can make a change, which will bring you closer to that person because the toxic pattern is in the way. There are at least three categories. We’ll talk about one per week. Let’s talk about the obvious. The obvious one is the screaming, the yelling, the swearing, and the name-calling. Most people- even if they can’t control that, they know that’s not the best way.  They may need help overcoming it. If someone does that in your life, you have to put up a boundary. Let them know this is not going to work for you, and you’re not going to listen to them. Or if you do it yourself and you can’t stop, you can’t control yourself; then you need some help with that. Other Aggressive Toxic Relationship Patterns There are some other aggressive, toxic relationship patterns that people don’t realize, and the first one that comes to mind for me is my very favorite, “but I was just helping the person, I was giving advice.” And then they get even madder when I say that they should be able to handle criticism or get help. There are two different versions of this. One is criticism, where you’re saying something is bothering you, and you say, “It’s rude to be late all of the time, you should know it drives people away”  Criticism is aggressive and nasty, whether you sugarcoat it or not and it’s tough for people to see that.  We’re all adults. No Rule Book There is no real rule book, there’s the law, that’s one thing, but there’s no other rule book out there. So you are opening up the page and saying, “It’s rude not to put your napkin in your lap.” Or whatever the situation is, is condescending and judgmental and it’s not effective. You’re going to irritate the person, so you’ve lost an ally. If you’re doing that to …