Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Top 5 Relationship Life Skills

   

Below is an excerpt from a blog post by Colleen P. Arnold, Ph.D., MFT.  They are good tips on how to make a lasting and strong relationship.  Whether it be a romantic relationship, friendship or siblings…aim to incorporate these five skills.  TCOY!

1. Know How to Listen1422276_45008904

Because I’ve been a Professional Listener for over 20 years, sometimes I forget that it’s actually a learned skill. I’m usually reminded how few people really know how to listen when I spend time with someone who isn’t a good listener.

First off, listening is *not* waiting for the other person to stop talking so you can share your story. Listening involves really following what someone is saying, and then asking questions to clarify or deepen your understanding of what the other person is saying. Listening involves having a reaction to what the other person is saying: do you let your face reflect your surprise, sorrow, anger, or enjoyment as your partner is talking? Do your comments reflect that you’ve understood what they’re saying?

Are you able to figure out the difference between someone really needing to vent or be heard, and to stay quieter at those times, and a conversation where the other person has the energy and ability to listen to you, too?

2. Know How to Apologize

True apologies don’t contain the word “but.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” is also not a true apology. If you’re sad that your partner is hurt but you really don’t think you did anything wrong, say that.

Don’t apologize if you didn’t do anything wrong. If there’s disagreement about that, you have to talk it out so you and your partner can figure out where the disconnect is.

If you have done something you’re sorry for, say it. Maybe even say it twice. I know – it’s hard. It’s hard to admit you’ve made a mistake. But a true apology goes a LONG way towards softening anger and maintaining connection. I’ve had partners tell me, “I can’t apologize because it gives them too much power.” And I always ask, “What exactly are you able to hold onto by withholding an apology? Your pride? Is it worth it?”

3. Know How to Fight Fair

When you share your life with someone, you’re going to have disagreements. There are going to be misunderstandings, and you’re going to make each other mad sometimes. That’s life. But knowing how to navigate through those times can make the difference between celebrating your 40th anniversary together, or once again paying the divorce lawyer.

Fighting fair means staying on topic. Figure out what the main point is that you want to get across, and stick to that. Take a time out to think if you have to. Most of us don’t think very clearly when emotions are running high. It’s a lot more productive to figure out that you need more help around the house and to say so, then to call your husband an F-ing asshole. If you’re furious, chances are pretty good that you’re going to come out with guns blazing, and your partner/co-worker/friend is going to feel attacked and nothing constructive is going to happen. Take a break to calm down and re-engage the rational part of your brain.

Fighting fair means no name calling. See above. The idea in fighting fair is to keep both of you from getting defensive and shutting down. Being mean is not going to further your interests. Ever. It just creates so much more hurt to clean up later.

Fighting fair also means not just getting your point across, but listening to your partner’s point of view. See #1.

4. Know How to Open Up

“What does it mean,’ he asked, ‘when she says she wants me to open up? I tell her how my day was. I tell her whatever she wants to know. I don’t know what else to do!”

Opening up means telling your partner about what’s going on inside you – what you’re thinking about your job, how you’re feeling about your parents’ aging, what is making you anxious, what is making you happy. Not everyone has practice articulating their inner life, and it’s possible your partner just isn’t used to anyone being interested in hearing about it.

Opening up is how we gain intimacy in relationships. It’s how we feel closer to each other. If you’re not very good at it, try to get better. That’s all anyone can really ask. A good faith effort goes a long way.

If you could open up, though, and are choosing not to, you may be withholding part of yourself from your partner, and your partner may be hurt by this. Some people are really all out there with everything, and some people hold their cards closer to their chest. It’s a personal decision, but if you’re partner continues to feel like you’re being distant or withholding, you might want to consider why you’d be afraid to be close to them.

5. Know When to Be Honest, and When to Be Kind. 

Yep, I’m gonna say it. Honesty is overrated. Sometimes kindness is more important. Where’s the line? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. Just trust me when I say that very few couples make it through the long haul without sometimes choosing kindness over honesty.

I’m not talking about keeping huge secrets or betrayals. I’m talking about telling your wife she’s gorgeous even (maybe especially) when she’s not feeling gorgeous. I’m talking about not criticizing your husband for the way he folds towels, and just quietly refolding them yourself if you have to. Or swallowing your annoyance about them being late again when they finally show up flustered and upset about whatever delayed them.

People get very touchy when I bring this up. “Aren’t we supposed to be able to say anything? Are you asking me to put all my needs aside?”

Of course not. All I’m saying is, let’s have a little tact and common sense. How important is the complaint you’re about to lodge? Really, really important? You’re not going to be able to sleep unless you address it? Then by all means, have at it. Let your feelings be known.

But is it a minor annoyance and maybe your partner’s had a bad day? Eh….consider letting it go. Maybe next time it happens the timing will be better and you can gently bring it up. Maybe not.

Five Immediate Confidence Builders

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Confidence comes in doing. Our world tends to show and post only the outcomes, not the hard effort, defeats and bloopers along the way. Watch some bloopers and remember, we are all a work in progress. *I also would add get a workout in, that physical release is also a mental release.

Whether you have to give a speech, need to negotiate with someone, want to find a mate, or simply get ahead in life, confidence is your best friend. If you’re lacking in that regard, here’s how to change your thinking or in the very least make it appear as if you’re comfortable in your own skin. 

Below is an excerpt from: Article – Simple Tricks to immediately build your Confidence. Christina DesMarais, a writer for Inc.com, Forbes, PCWorld, and the Minneapolis Tribune.

1. Don’t slouch.

Regardless of your confidence level, slouching communicates you lack faith in yourself.

Try posting a note on the edge of your computer display with a reminder such as an up arrow in thick red marker or the words “SIT UP STRAIGHT”. To correct yourself, roll your shoulders back and imagine someone just pulled a string from the top of your head, elongating your spine and raising your chin so it’s in a neutral, forward-facing position.

If you’re really serious about improving your posture you could try LumoBack. It’s a $150 sensor you strap around your lower back under your clothes. Every time you slouch it vibrates to remind you to straighten up. The LumoBack app, which works on newer iOS devices, reports on how well you’re doing, as well as other activities, such as steps taken, how much time you spend sitting and how many times you stood up in a day.

2. Understand that most people aren’t thinking about you.

Self-conscious people worry too much about what others think about them. The thing is, usually other people aren’t thinking about them–at all.

Imagine you had the magical power to read the thoughts of the people around you. You know what you’d hear a lot of? Stuff like this:

Crap, I forgot to stop by the bank… I shouldn’t have eaten that cake Susan brought to work, now I feel fat… I hope Sara flirts with me again tonight at volleyball like she did last week… Why should I have to clean the downstairs bathroom when Bill is the only one in the house who uses it?

Notice how many times “I” might pop up? Humans are remarkably self-absorbed.

3. Nix negative self-talk.

If “diffident” describes you well, there’s a good chance you’re an over-thinker with a lot of negative self-talk rolling around in your head.

Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself. Every time you think something like “I can’t do this” replace it with something positive such as “I’m going to give it my best shot.” The key is to step out of yourself and look at your self-talk as an outsider. How would it make you feel to hear someone sitting next to you say “I’m so [fat, dumb, ugly, slow, etc.]?” Pretty harsh, right?

Nurture yourself within your thought life, just as you might with someone else.

4. Lighten up.

Some people are naturally more serious than others. If this is you, learn to smile and laugh more. Even a simple grin will suffice to entice others to want to be around you.

To make smiling a habit, set a time when you’ll practice doing it for several minutes straight–maybe in the car on your way to work. It will seem weird, but after a while smiling will come more naturally. Studies have also shown that forcing yourself to smile is good for your health, as well.

Need help laughing? America’s Funniest Home videos work wonders for me, and can easily be streamed online for free. Or why not plug some headphones into your computer and get happy during your lunch break with a comedy channel on YouTube? Or use the “funny” filter at Ted.com to watch TED Talks that will get you giggling.

5. Handle mistakes with grace.

How you handle slip-ups is also important. Confident people understand no one is perfect and however you just screwed up, it’s probably not the end of the world.

Ask yourself: How important will this mistake seem in three months?

If whatever you did involves your work output, acknowledge your flub and vow to do better next time. If your “mistake” is only that you said something stupid or tripped over a box in the storage room landing in a mess on the floor, try laughing it off. It’s the most gracious way to handle a blunder.

A version of this article was originally published by Christina DesMarais on Inc.com.

Life is Like A Box of Chocolates…

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I figured the picture quote above would get your attention. Laugh often…it’s good for your well-being.

Remember the movie “Forrest Gump”? The movie depicts numerous stories of triumph during Forrest’s challenging life. One of the famous lines from the movie was, “Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what your gonna get.” It’s a simple but profound statement.

There is no doubt we all will have times in our life when we anticipate one thing and are dealt another. Our acceptance and adaption to change and challenges is what will later define us. The past can control and cripple or inspire and empower. You control whether the challenges are stepping stones or road blocks.

I am the youngest of ten children, six boys and four girls. Growing up, I was a tomboy, always wanting to play sports with my brothers and their friends. It wasn’t uncommon to hear comments like, “you’re too little, you’re a girl, you’re too young”. Well, that just fired me up more and made me more determined to show them my SPUNK. My childhood lessons provided me the solid foundation to achieve my goals in life. In my twenties I moved out to California and became a professional athlete, coach at Stanford University and I have always enjoyed being a business entrepreneur. I love a challenge!

After my divorce, I moved back to the mid-west and became a 24/7 single parent for the past fifteen years. The life lessons I learned in my youth continued to serve me well. My SPUNK, determination, commitment and a positive attitude are core elements to achievement. I’m confident that anyone who embraces those elements will achieve their dreams and goals. Success depends on the SECOND letter…”u”.

As a Wellness Coach, I combined all my life time experiences into a proven successful pathway for others to follow in order to improve their Quality of Life. Take my TCOY 90 Day Challenge and let’s do wellness together. Anyone who has achieved anything of true value knows it takes time and commitment.

People ask if I experienced days when I didn’t want to train and workout. Absolutely! However, my personal commitment to my goals are my driving force to push through the “I don’t feel like it” and continue to take action. Life is not about perfection but doing and giving your best effort. One or two days off can easily turn into weeks, months or years.

If you don’t like starting over, stop quitting.

In the book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, Olson states, “Simple Disciplines or Errors in Judgment over time matter. Easy to do…Easy not to do.” The simple fact is our daily choices become habits and those habits become our lifestyle. This is true whether you are referencing health, relationships or finances. Total Wellness is about balance in all three areas.

We have become a “microwave society” wanting immediate gratification, results and fixes. The problems with that mentality is health, relationships and finances don’t happen over-night; they need your attention and time.

Stop listening to the marketing hype for “cheaper and faster” and start talking to ourselves with empowering statements such as “I choose to be active and eat fuel that energize my body”.

What are three things you value the most in your life? Is your current lifestyle supporting time and energy with the things you value? For example, if you indicated family, how much energy do you give to these relationship daily? If change is necessary, take action and give your energy into your relationships. Cultivate what you want to grow!

Embrace life like a box of chocolates…it’s a sweet journey.

TCOY = Take Care of You

Coach Lucy

 
*Springtime is a great reminder to: PLANT, CULTIVATE and REAP. 
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7 Wonders of the World

The seven wonders of the world.
 
 

 

Nov. newsletter: The Dash (JohnBoy)

My November newsletter is In honor of my beloved brother, John, who passed away this month.  Life is a gift, be present in the moment and nurture yourself and your relationships.   My passion is to help you by providing the coaching, training to inspire and empower you to:  Take Care of You!   Doing wellness and life together…Head, Heart and Body.  Transformations take place from the inside out.

TCOY

Coach Lucy

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Three commercials worthy of sharing…

Often people send me articles or tidbits because they know my personality and what I’m working to achieve with TCOY.   Thank you!  I appreciate it and like to share and “pay it forward” when possible.

Rather than getting drawn into the negativity, frustration, anxiety and anger of this world, I choose to RISE ABOVE and aim to empower others to as well.

There is something YOU always have control over and that is your ATTITUDE.  Seek to be the best you can be every day…everyone is carrying a load and would appreciate simple smile or act of kindness.  Everyone desires to be respected, appreciated, noticed and loved.  Take the time to see beyond and embrace the fact that there is much more to life than meets the eye.  Be the change you want to see in this world.

What if…

You chose to forgive rather than hold a grudge?

What if…

You chose to be grateful rather than dwelling on what you don’t have?

What if…

You chose to say “why not me” instead of “why me”?

What if…

You chose to be the friend, co-worker, boss, sibling/family member who goes the extra mile?

Ironic that I’m not a beer drinker but I truly enjoy these three awesome beer commercials:

Be Well and join me in practicing daily random acts of kindness…for this may make all the difference to that person!

Coach Lucy

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Risk Rejection – Good things could happen…

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The Anointed

Have you ever step out, way out, of your comfort zone knowing the odds of rejection were likely but thought why not…that 1% might prevail?

I hope you have and if you haven’t, I’d encourage you to do so.  Nothing ventured nothing gained and you might be surprised with a non-rejection.

Below are two stories that should definitely inspire you.  FYI – The second one has a follow-up video.

1.  College student asks to come on stage and perform with Billy Joel

2.  Jackie delivers.  High five to this awesome lady who goes the extra mile!

The follow-up video – shows again Jackie is one genuine heart loving person.

How many times over the years have you really wanted something, but never asked for it? A promotion, a date, a marriage proposal even, or something much smaller, it’s only the fear of rejection that stops us.

We stumble and talk ourselves out of doing it because we allow our THOUGHTS of rejection , embarrassment or whatever get in the way.  We’ve all been there and missed opportunities.

My TCOY Challenge for this month is to TAKE A RISK…do something completely outside your comfort zone.  By doing so you will learn to overcome fear and increase your confidence and courage.  Think of how a toddler or children are relentless…they ask and keep asking.   If we aren’t growing, we’re dying…so seize the day.

One of things I recently did is asked the owner of a company if he would be willing to barter services.  It wasn’t something most people would even think to do but I saw it as a great opportunity for both of us.  Guess what…he was all about it!

Feel free to come back and share your experience.  Be Well and remember to TCOY!

Coach Lucy

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