How To Have A Difficult Conversation With Almost Anyone

How To Have A Difficult Conversation With Almost Anyone

Recently, one of my friends deeply hurt my feelings.  Instead of talking with her about it I tried to ignore how I felt.  It didn’t take me long to begin seething on the inside.  I struggled to think kind thoughts.  I began to rewrite the long wonderful history we’ve had as friends with a negative spin.  

Have you ever been there?  I think we all have been offended or hurt by someone we care about at some point.  It can be really hard to just let it go.  

In my situation, I love my friend, and I want to keep our relationship alive and healthy.  I knew that if I didn’t deal with this well our friendship could fall apart.  

Here’s how I did it…

  1. So I began to notice the ways I handled similar situations poorly in the past.  

  2. Then I began to construct a new 10 step plan that I felt would achieve the desired end result…that is what I outline here for you in this post.

  3. Then I tested it in a few different situations.

If you find yourself hurt by others and you can’t seem to “get over” the hurt of it then read this!  I outline a step by step approach to initiating a difficult conversation with almost anyone.  

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The Cause of Most Fights in Marriage - and it's Not Money!

It is a commonly thought that the number one thing couples fight about is money. That is simply not the case. Although money is a point of stress it is not the biggest issue facing couples. The number one issue that causes the most trouble in marriage is actually a lack of feeling close. Here are 10 other more common problems a marriage faces...
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7 Steps to Separating From the Affair Partner

Here are the rules for separating from the affair partner: 1. Allow your spouse to participate in the severance. By allowing your spouse to have a say in how it is done will help your spouse find closure as well. Also, because the affair involved so much secrecy, this moment of truth is refreshing for them. Remember you and your spouse are a team. 2. Make it a clear, absolute, severance. There are a number of ways to separate from the affair partner that we will talk about but, however it is done, don’t let there be any question whatsoever that there is a glimmer of hope in the world that there could be anything between you again...
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Do You Know the Symptoms of Depression in Children?

Every kid shows some symptoms of depression from time to time, but the key is to ask yourself if they are showing too much of one or more symptoms.

Does your kid have an increase in headaches, tummy aches, nausea, sleeplessness, or too much sleeping that is not better with medicine or rest?

Does your child show an intense shift in personality or behavior that does not seem right?

Have your child’s symptoms lasted longer than two weeks? Have the symptoms gotten more intense? Do the symptoms come and go, with nothing easing the pain?

Is your child struggling with the thought of death? Does your child draw pictures, write, or ask about death?

Does your child express feelings of hopelessness or say scary things?

Does your child’s sadness interfere with their functioning in daily life?

Do others express concerns about your child?

Has your child tried to express to you that something is wrong?

Do your parental instincts tell you that something is not right with your child?

If your child is suicidal, take him or her immediately to the emergency room.

How Common is Depression?

August 12th, 2011

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has found that 1 in 20 kids and teenagers is significantly depressed. 

Almost 30% of 13 year olds show symptoms of depression.

15% of kids have had a major depression episode before they finish high school.

Because many depressive symptoms go unreported, experts predict that 1 in 4 kids will have a serious episode of depression before they finish high school.

Depression is not a normal phase, but it is a serious illness that can have severe consequences that sometimes result in death.

Kids with depression are more likely to develop drug or alcohol problems by their twenties.

Depression leads to suicide for 1 in 10 prepubescent kids.

In the past 30 years, suicide rates have tripled for kids and teens.

44 percent of kids who develop depression before they are 18 years old will go through another episode by the time they are 24 years old. 

Almost all of kids with untreated depression will go through another episode in the next three years of their life.

When diagnosed and treated early, kids will usually be able to get out of depression.

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Stay or Go? 7 Questions for Betrayed Partners to Ask!

So many people ask us should I stay with someone who hurts me?  How do I know if they will cheat on me again?  Am I doing the right thing by working on this relationship?  

These are all good questions worthy of consideration.  But we want to give you 7 questions you can ask that we think will really help you to sort out whether or not this is a pattern that will continue or if it was just a mistake that probably won't happen again.

Ask yourself these 7 questions to help you sort out the facts from fiction:

Is this infidelity a part of a larger picture of cheating and lying?

Do they keep secrets about other aspects of their life?  If you've caught them lying to you about other things or if you've simply found that they've cheated before, you want to be cautious about letting them back into your life without some serious consideration.

Sometimes a person will show their true colors in other aspects of their life.  Do they feel that it's okay if a friend is unfaithful?  Do you hear them talking about unfaithfulness in other situations as though it were no big deal?  This can reveal a lot about a person's attitude towards respect of boundaries, honesty, and fidelity.

Has this kind of thing happened before?

Seems like a continuation of question one but really, ask yourself, have they been unfaithful before?  If they have then consider what they've done to prevent this from happening again.  Are they open to taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again or that the vulnerabilities that were there that lead to the infidelity are fixed.

Do you trust your partner to tell you the truth about other things?

Are they honest with the little things?  Do you find that they lie about other little things in life?  When someone can't be trusted with the little things they certainly can't be trusted with the big things in life.  So look at this very carefully.

Is your partner generally dependable and trustworthy?

Can you depend on your partner to do what they say they will do?  When you ask them to do something are they consistently dropping the ball and making excuses?  Trust your gut.  Are they dependable?

Is your partner understanding about your pain? 

This is really important.  If they can't step back and try to understand how you feel then they may not care.  But on the other hand they may not have the skills to understand your pain.  That's how couples counseling can really be helpful and transformative.

Is your partner willing to help your anxiety by being accountable?

This is a BIG one!  If they are not willing to be open and completely transparent then something's fishy and not right.  That means passwords and curfews for a while...whatever you need to feel like they're being honest and consistent.  Obviously these things won't fix the relationship long term but while you're in the healing process you want to feel like they don't have anything to hide.  If they are willing to do what it takes to help you feel at ease then consider what they may be hiding.

Are they willing to work on the relationship in counseling?

Now we aren't saying you should leave them if they don't want to go to counseling.  Many people are afraid to face a marriage therapist.  That's why we have the online video orientation, so you can help them feel more at ease about trying counseling.  But if they aren't willing to fix the underlying issues in the relationship then you're setting yourself up for failure.  Remember: you can't expect to do the same things you've always done and get different results.

1st Sign that Divorce is Near!

1st Sign that Divorce is Near!

Marriage researchers have identified four characteristics of relationships that are almost over. They are so important they have been labeled the “4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Because in the Bible the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear when the end is near. The end is only near if...

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What Causes Dysfunctional Relationships?

July 22nd, 2011
Myths about What Causes Dysfunctional Relationships/Marriages Marriage Counseling Tulsa
I want to burst some bubbles about what causes Dysfunctional Relationships/Marriages or what causes Divorce. They are:
1. “Affairs are the Major Cause of Divorce.” Actually the major cause of divorce (80%) of the time is that people become distant and drift apart. This is because the couple failed to maintain there intimacy and friendship over time. Most affairs aren’t about sex, but about friendship that leads to sex. The cheating partner found someone who offers friendship and affection. 
2. “Score Keeping is Okay.” No it is NOT. Thinking that says, “I did this for this person and it never got reciprocated.” Will lead to more trouble and it is in fact a sign that your relationship is in trouble. Happy relationships don’t have “emotional accountants.” 
3. “Dominance Structures in Relationships are Dysfunctional.” Not so fast according to recent research. Research has shown that there is more conflict when people must work out who is in charge of each thing in contrast to when there are gender lines on who does what. Structures in social groups are designed to minimize conflict. Here is what makes “Dominant Relationships” work: both people in the relationship feel like they are being treating fairly and each partner’s emotional needs are being met. 
Remember: marriage counseling can improve your marriage. 

We Get What We Expect!

Everyone who goes into marriage has expectations of what that marriage will be like based on their upbringing, personal & family history, and what THEY WERE TOLD it would be like by their future spouse. A lot of my pre-marital couples who have never been married may not realize they have expectations for marriage, but they do. How can they fully realize them? They’ve never been married! So how do you adjust when you discover things aren’t as you hoped?
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