Communication

How to Communicate Effectively? Communication in Relationships

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Communication, Lifestyle, Relationship | Tags: , , , , |

When I was a teenager, I was so curious to discover the particular qualities necessary to made a relationship work.

Upon my many international travels, I would often meet couples from all over the world who appeared to be deeply in love.  And I would ask them the magic question.  What are the secrets to making your relationship work?

Couples would use words like: respect, comprehension, similar values and beliefs and communication, just to name a few.  In today’s episode, we will be tackling communication and offering you some useful skills to communicate effectively with the one you love most.

Many couples frequently mention getting stuck in a negative cycle: the blame game, demon dialogue or statemate.  Which often leads to anger, exhaustion and pain.

After watching today’s video the secrets will be revealed.  Couples will have the necessary tools and communication skills to resolve issues while remaining connected and maintaining a level of intimacy in the relationship.

If you’re struggling with communicating effectively with your partner, WATCH today’s brand new episode on True Potential TV.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aWClKJKu5k

How to Communicate Effectively

This strategy will help you clearly express yourself  to your partner and increase you chances of being heard, understood and your needs being met by your partner.

Thank you, and always, for reading and watching.

With love,

Andrea

P.S.  If you would like Additional Resources and Relationship Tips to Transform your Life and Create a Relationship you Love, make sure you head on over to True Potential Counseling to grab my 3 Part Video Series: Create a Relationship you Love absolutely free.  The series includes:

  • Avoid the 4 Common Mistakes Many Couples Make & What You Should Do Instead
  • 15 Strategies to Strengthen your Emotional Bond with your Partner
  • How to Deepen the Connection and Intimacy in your Relationship
  • Additional BONUS:  Get Unstuck! Improve Communication in 10 Minutes or Less
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List of Feelings in Relationships

Posted on February 1, 2013. Filed under: Communication, Relationship | Tags: , , , , |

feelings in relationshipThe following are emotions we use when we want to express ourselves to our significant other, friends, colleagues or family members. These examples include a combination of emotional states and physical sensations.

I have also provided a list of needs that also may be of help to you.

Feelings when your needs are satisfied

AFFECTIONATE
compassionate
friendly
loving
open hearted
sympathetic
tender
warm

ENGAGED
absorbed
alert
curious
engrossed
enchanted
entranced
fascinated
interested
intrigued
involved
spellbound
stimulated

HOPEFUL
expectant
encouraged
optimistic

CONFIDENT
empowered
open
proud
safe
secure

EXCITED
amazed
animated
ardent
aroused
astonished
dazzled
eager
energetic
enthusiastic
giddy
invigorated
lively
passionate
surprised
vibrant

GRATEFUL
appreciative
moved
thankful
touched

INSPIRED
amazed
awed
wonder

JOYFUL
amused
delighted
glad
happy
jubilant
pleased
tickled

EXHILARATED
blissful
ecstatic
elated
enthralled
exuberant
radiant
rapturous
thrilled

PEACEFUL
calm
clear headed
comfortable
centered
content
equanimous
fulfilled
mellow
quiet
relaxed
relieved
satisfied
serene
still
tranquil
trusting

REFRESHED
enlivened
rejuvenated
renewed
rested
restored
revived

Feelings when needs are not satisfied

AFRAID
apprehensive
dread
foreboding
frightened
mistrustful
panicked
petrified
scared
suspicious
terrified
wary
worried

ANNOYED
aggravated
dismayed
disgruntled
displeased
exasperated
frustrated
impatient
irritated
irkedANGRY
enraged
furious
incensed
indignant
irate
livid
outraged
resentful

AVERSION
animosity
appalled
contempt
disgusted
dislike
hate
horrified
hostile
repulsed

CONFUSED
ambivalent
baffled
bewildered
dazed
hesitant
lost
mystified
perplexed
puzzled
torn

DISCONNECTED
alienated
aloof
apathetic
bored
cold
detached
distant
distracted
indifferent
numb
removed
uninterested
withdrawn

DISQUIET
agitated
alarmed
discombobulated
disconcerted
disturbed
perturbed
rattled
restless
shocked
startled
surprised
troubled
turbulent
turmoil
uncomfortable
uneasy
unnerved
unsettled
upset

EMBARRASSED
ashamed
chagrined
flustered
guilty
mortified
self-conscious

FATIGUE
beat
burnt out
depleted
exhausted
lethargic
listless
sleepy
tired
weary
worn out

PAIN
agony
anguished
bereaved
devastated
grief
heartbroken
hurt
lonely
miserable
regretful
remorseful

SAD
depressed
dejected
despair
despondent
disappointed
discouraged
disheartened
forlorn
gloomy
heavy hearted
hopeless
melancholy
unhappy
wretched

TENSE
anxious
cranky
distressed
distraught
edgy
fidgety
frazzled
irritable
jittery
nervous
overwhelmed
restless
stressed out

VULNERABLE
fragile
guarded
helpless
insecure
leery
reserved
sensitive
shaky

YEARNING
envious
jealous
longing
nostalgic
pining
wistful

For additional support from an Emotionally Focused Therapist for Couples and Families, please contact True Potential Counseling to schedule an appointment today.

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List of Relationship Needs

Posted on February 1, 2013. Filed under: Communication, Relationship | Tags: , , , |

relationship needsBelow is a list of human needs as they relate to romantic and interpersonal relationships.  If you are interested in gaining a greater understanding of yourself and learning about your interpersonal needs with those who matter most to you, please  read below for more information.

This list of personal feelings may also be of interest to you and compliment your understanding of personal feelings when these needs are or are not satisfied in relationship: list of feelings

LOVE
acceptance
affection
cooperation
compassion
consideration
consistency
empathy
inclusion
intimacy
love
mutuality
nurturing
respect/self-respect

TRANQUILITY
calm
beauty
peace
communion
ease
equality
harmony
inspiration

VARIETY
diversity
change
selection
uncertainty
spontaneity

CONNECTION
belonging
closeness
community
companionship
communication
inclusion
partnership
support
to know
to be known
to see
to be seen
to understand
to be understood

GROWTH
learning
self-discovery
stimulation
awareness
challenge

AUTONOMY
choice
freedom
independence
space
spontaneity

PHYSICAL
affection
movement/exercise
rest/sleep
sexual expression
safety
space
touch
warmth

CONTRIBUTION
acts of service
acknowledgement
appreciation
making a difference
recognition
participation

HONESTY
authenticity
integrity
presence

CERTAINTY
safety
security
predictability
stability
consistency
reliability
trust
loyalty
order

PLAY
adventure
joy
humor
excitement

SIGNIFICANCE
celebration of life
clarity
competence
consciousness
creativity
discovery
efficacy
effectiveness
hope
importance
mourning
purpose
self-expression
to matter
understanding
quality time

To get a relationship consultant to help facilitate communication of needs and feelings with your partner, please feel free to visit True Potential Counseling for more details.

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What Is Your Attachment Style?

Posted on December 21, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Relationship, Sex & Intimacy, Trauma, Women | Tags: , |

Couple cuddling on bedSecure attachment

Securely attached people tend to agree with the following statements: “It is relatively easy for me to become emotionally close to others. I am comfortable depending on others and having others depend on me. I don’t worry about being alone or having others not accept me.” This style of attachment usually results from a history of warm and responsive interactions with relationship partners. Securely attached people tend to have positive views of themselves and their partners. They also tend to have positive views of their relationships. Often they report greater satisfaction and adjustment in their relationships than people with other attachment styles. Securely attached people feel comfortable both with intimacy and with independence. Many seek to balance intimacy and independence in their relationships.

The typical pattern in relationship is: 1) Everyday Activities, 2) Perceive Triggering Conditions, 3) Provokes Anxiety, 4) Seeks Closeness to Partner, 5) Partner Responds Positively, 5) Reduces or Eliminates Anxiety, 6) Everyday Activities.

anxious 2Anxious-preoccupied attachment

People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to agree with the following statements: “I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don’t value me as much as I value them.” People with this style of attachment seek high levels of intimacy, approval, and responsiveness from their partners. They sometimes value intimacy to such an extent that they become overly dependent on their partners—a condition colloquially termed clinginess. Compared to securely attached people, people who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to have less positive views about themselves. They often doubt their worth as a partner and blame themselves for their partners’ lack of responsiveness. They also have less positive views about their partners because they do not trust in people’s good intentions. People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment may experience high levels of emotional expressiveness, worry, and impulsive in their relationships.

The typical pattern of anxious-preoccupied attachment is: 1) Everyday Activities occur, 2) Provokes Anxiety, 3) Seeks Closeness to Partner, 4) Partner Responds Negatively, 5) Increases Insecurity and Anxiety, 6) Seeks Closeness to Partner, 7) Partner Responds Negatively, 8) Increases Insecurity and Anxiety (continues repeatedly).

dismissiveDismissive-avoidant attachment

People with a dismissive style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with these statements: “I am comfortable without close emotional relationships. It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient, and I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me.” People with this attachment style desire a high level of independence. The desire for independence often appears as an attempt to avoid attachment altogether. They view themselves as self-sufficient and invulnerable to feelings associated with being closely attached to others. They often deny needing close relationships. Some may even view close relationships as relatively unimportant. Not surprisingly, they seek less intimacy with relationship partners, whom they often view less positively than they view themselves. Investigators commonly note the defensive character of this attachment style. People with a dismissive-avoidant attachment tend to suppress and hide their feelings, and they tend to deal with rejection by distancing themselves from the sources of rejection (i.e., their relationship partners).

The typical pattern of an avoidant attachment style is: 1) Everyday Activities, 2) Perceived Triggering Activities, 3) Provokes Anxiety, 4) Denies the Need for Closeness, 5) Partner Responds Negatively, 6) Increases Insecurity and Anxiety, 8) Anxiety Suppression and Distancing, 9) Everyday Activities.

avoidantFearful-avoidant attachment

People with a fearful style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with the following statements: “I am somewhat uncomfortable getting close to others. I want emotionally close relationships, but I find it difficult to trust others completely, or to depend on them. I sometimes worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others.” People with this attachment style have mixed feelings about close relationships. On the one hand, they desire to have emotionally close relationships. On the other hand, they tend to feel uncomfortable with emotional closeness. These mixed feelings are combined with negative views about themselves and their partners. They commonly view themselves as unworthy of responsiveness from their partners, and they don’t trust the intentions of their partners. Similarly to the dismissive-avoidant attachment style, people with a fearful-avoidant attachment style seek less intimacy from partners and frequently suppress and hide their feelings.

The typical pattern of an avoidant attachment style is: 1) Everyday Activities, 2) Perceived Triggering Activities, 3) Provokes Anxiety, 4) Seeks Closeness with Partner but Doesn’t Know How 5) Partner Responds Negatively, 6) Increases Insecurity and Anxiety, 7) Gives Up on Getting a Positive Response, 8) Anxiety Suppression and Distancing, 9) Everyday Activities.

For more information on how to improve your relationship and modify your attachment style with your partner, contact True Potential Counseling for more details.

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List of Defense Mechanisms

Posted on December 15, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Lifestyle, Relationship, Trauma, Women | Tags: , |

defensiveAs human beings we have a variety of defense mechanisms we use when we feel threatened, vulnerable or are connecting with emotions or situations which cause us distress.  Our defense system is otherwise known as the fight, flight, freeze response which typically gets activated when we are feeling powerlessness, rage or fear.  Defense mechanisms are maladaptive coping skill we use when our internal system in our brain becomes activated (i.e. the amygdala) and communicates to our body (i.e. central nervous system) that our survival, whether real or imagined, is being threatened.

The following is a list of common defense mechanisms used:

  • Blaming or Attacking Others – When our ego becomes threatened, we feel vulnerable and hurt, or we don’t want to admit our own short-comings or contributions to the problem, we try to cope with this pain by blaming or attacking others instead.  For example, a husband blames and yells at his wife for not cleaning the house because he believes that if she does not care about him.  Instead of sharing his vulnerability or needs clearly he attacks her and says, “You are a horrible wife and I made a mistake marrying you.”
  • Rationalization – Subconscious justifications, excuses or reasoning given to make a behavior seem logical — “A student fails the final he didn’t study for and says… “I couldn’t have passed it anyway – that teacher has it in for me.”
  • Reaction Formation – Over-compensation for fear of the opposite.  When there are two conflicting parts in self-one is strengthened while the other is repressed.  For example, someone may be extremely calm and relaxed, but may have a lot of repressed hostility and anger that they are unaware of on a conscious level.
  • Excuses – Coming up with a list of reasons why a particular action occurred or examples of why action couldn’t be taken, instead of taking responsibility for behaviors and actions.  “A professor arrives late to an appointment without completing the report by the agreed upon deadline and said, “There was so much traffic and my wife didn’t fill up the gas tank last night so I had to stop and get gas on the way.  To top it off my son was running late this morning so I had to wait for him and I didn’t finish the report last night because my colleagues were behind on data collection.”
  • Projection – Attempts to banish or “disown” unwanted and disliked thoughts, behaviors, and even “parts of self” by projecting or attributing them to someone else. May be as simple as blaming someone else – “He should have let me off on that ticket but that cop was trying to fill his monthly quota.”
  • Introjection – The opposite of projection – subconsciously “takes in” to self an imprint (or recording) of another person including all their attitudes, messages, prejudices, expressions, even the sound of their voice, etc.  This is healthy if the imprinted material is helpful advice, warnings, or other lessons from parents and respected others — unhealthy if shaming messages from parents, hatred, or aggression is turned inward on self.
  • Deflection – When you change the subject and focus on someone or something else, instead of speaking about yourself.  For example, when someone is asking about your behaviors in the relationship and you change the subject and focus on the negative behaviors of your spouse instead.
  • Displacement – This defense reduces anxiety or pressure by transferring feelings toward one person to another — commonly known as “dumping on” someone.  For example, a woman is mad her boss and kicks the dog when she gets home, or blows up and yells at her family.
  • Regression – Giving up current level of development and going back to a prior level.  For example, an older child is under stress and begins wetting the bed or sucking a thumb after a long period without that behavior.
  • Simple Denial – Unpleasant facts, emotions, or events are treated as if they are not real or don’t exist. – For example, a man recently discovered that his wife is cheating on him, but he acts as though everything is normal and they are still trustworthy and faithful.
  • Playing the Victim – To avoid dealing with the problem or feeling responsible for the situation, the victim finds it easier to make the other person the bad guy and believes that everything happens to them.  They have difficulty taking any ownership for problems (i.e. the breakdown in the relationship) and are unable to acknowledge they have choices and can take action.
  • Fantasy – Retreating into a dream world of times past.
  • Suppression – Painful, frightening, or threatening emotions, memories, impulses or drives that are consciously pushed or “stuffed” inside.
  • Identification – An ability available very early in life that children use to attach themselves to certain qualities, emotions, and attitudes of someone else especially between 8 and 13 during the modeling period.
  • Conversion – Mental conflict converted to a physical symptom.  For example, a soldier is being deployed for war; however feels conflicted because he desires serving his country, but believes it is wrong to kill and develops physical symptoms as a result.
  • Anger and Intimidation – This is when a person deep down inside feels powerless and weak on some level and uses emotional intensity, threatens, intimidation and fear to get his/her needs met.
  • Isolation – Separation of memory from emotion…can remember and talk about the trauma but feels no emotion — the Person talks about the incident as if it is someone else’s story.
  • Sublimation – Redirection of impulses into socially acceptable activities — normal and healthy, such as when the sexual impulses of adolescence is channeled into sports and competition.
  • Repression – Painful, frightening, or threatening emotions, memories, impulses or drives that are subconsciously pushed or “stuffed” deep inside.

For more information on how to break out of these defense mechanism patterns and begin redirecting that energy towards creating a fullfilling life, please contact True Potential Counseling for more details.

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The Shame Game

Posted on December 6, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Lifestyle, Men, Parenting Tips, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , |

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

This inspirational quote by Theodore Roosevelt exemplifies the essence of daring greatly and having the courage to take emotional risks, be innovative and face uncertainty bravely.  In life, many of us find ourselves working very hard to be seen, but at the same time are working very hard to stay small.  Why is that?  Are we fearful of being vulnerable? shamed? rejected? being exposed?

These are probably all true.  But another important factor, is that it is safer, easier and more comfortable to be in the crowd, commenting and critiquing, than it is to be a gladiator on the field of your own life, with its trials, tribulations and victories.

Sometimes I hear people say that vulnerability is a weakness; however, on the contrary.  When people take emotional risks, expose themselves openly and face uncertainty with honesty and valor, it is the most accurate measure of courage and strength that I have ever witnessed.  Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change and if we want to have breakthroughs we have to be willing to accept that we will also have some breakdowns too along the way.

Unfortunately we can’t achieve greatness and evolve if we are only willing to get into the arena when we are as perfect and possible and wearing our bullet proof vest that protects us from the unknown.  Plus that is not what spectators want to see anyways.  They want to be with us as we dare greatly, step into the unknown with courage, ready to face vulnerabilities, shame, and fears that all human beings face.

Brene Brown, PhD, LCSW at the University of Houston is a researcher on vulnerability, shame and courage, and reports that shame is an epidemic in our society and affects not only our relationship with ourselves, but also our relationship with our partner and children (i.e. parenting styles).   She mentions, “If you put shame in a petri dish you need three things for it to grow exponentially:  secrecy, silence and judgment; if you douse shame with empathy it can’t survive.”  She states that empathy is the antidote for shame and if we can begin to show compassion for ourselves and then ultimately to others. we as a society will be able to find comfort in one another again.

A key distinction between guilt and shame is that guilt is when we say, “I am sorry.  I made a mistake” and shame is when we say, “I am sorry.  I am a mistake.”  For many who believe the latter, there is a high correlation with addiction, violence, bullying, depression, aggression, suicide and eating disorders.  The first step to shifting out of shame, is being empathetic with ourselves.  And since we typically are our own worst critic, we need to start there.

The main two messages my clients mention when dealing with their shame and pain is either “I’m not good enough” or if they begin to believe they are worthy their internal critic says, “who do you think you are?”  In order change patterns of avoidance and hostility, you can begin to break free from these negative belief patterns with the help of a professional can resolve painful memories and deep rooted hurts.  Using a technique called Eye-Movment Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is an effective and evidenced-based treatment that get results quickly.  For more information on how to get assistance in healing from the past or present, please contact True Potential Counseling for more details.

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The Power of Vulnerability

Posted on November 29, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Healing, Lifestyle, Love, Men, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , , |

Often times shame and fear stand in our way from taping into our power and true nature.  The beliefs “I am not good enough” or “I am unworthy” can cripple our mind and spirit from living our life purpose and connecting to our sense of self worth.

Brene Brown PhD, LMSW, a research professor at the University of Houston, has spent the past decade researching vulnerability and shame and has discovered some pretty facinating data that can begin to allow us to free ourselves from the chains of shame and begin to move through fear with strength and compassion.

In her research she discovered the main factor that gives us purpose and meaning in our lives in connection with others.  She also mentioned that worthiness, defined as a strong sense of love and belonging, is another important factor to evaluate when studying shame and vulnerability.  In her studies, she discovered that the only variable that differentiates those who feel worthy vs. unworthy is the belief that they are worthy of love and connection.

The common themes and patterns when analyzing the data, was that these whole-hearted people who believed they were worthy of love and connection, posessed the courage to be imperfect, had the compassionate to be kind to themselves and others, had connection with their authenticity, and were willing to let go of who they should be to be who they were, which is necessary for connection. The other factor is embracing vulnerability and not viewing vulnerability as being comfortable nor excruciating, but rather necessary.  These individuals believed what makes us vulnerable, makes us beautiful. Typically they were willingness to say I love you first, invest in a relationship that may or may not work out or take action even when there were no guarantees.

Alternatively, she found those who were uncomfortable with vulnerability or felt unworthy of love and connection tended to numb hard feelings and would try to manage the discomfort by numbing through addiction, eating, alcohol, trying to control uncertainty, being perfect, blaming others to discharge pain and regret, or pretending what they do doesn’t affect other people.  Unfortunately, by using these numbing strategies to escape the inevitable vulnerability that all humans face, they consequencially also numb themselves from the joy, gratitude, happiness that life has to offer.

The hope is that if we can heal the hurts and transform the negative beliefs of shame and unworthiness, we can begin to know on a deep level that we are worthy of love and belonging.  And thus, we can stop screaming and start listening; we can be kinder and gentler to ourselves and others; we can let ourselves be deeply seen; we can love with our whole heart without any guarentees; we can begin to practice gratitude and joy; and we can begin leaning into the discomfort of hurt with courage and embracing the joy we are worthy of receiving.

For more information on how to heal old hurts and limiting beliefs, please contact True Potential Counseling for more information.  If you would like to receive a blog post on a bi-weekly basis please subscribe on True Potential Blog.

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Love and Respect in Relationships…Differences between Men and Women.

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Dating, Lifestyle, Relationship | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Back in 2006 I attended a workshop entitled Love and Respect in Relationships.  Although both are important for men and women, women feel cared for when loved and men feel cared for when they are respected.  These are some interesting tips that were a nice reminder for me in my own relationship and I thought my blog followers might also find them useful and interesting.  I am especially interested in hearing your thoughts or perspective on what you read about how men and women feel respected or lived.  Do you find it accurate for you as a women or as a man?
As your partner/wife I feel loved when…
Closeness:  I feel closeness with you (face to face and heart to heart) when you:
  • hold my hand
  • hug me
  • are affectionate without sexual intentions
Openness: I feel an openness with you (you are not secretly mad) when you:
  • share your feelings
  • tell me about your day and challenges
  • talk without harshness, guardedness or grunting
Understanding:  I feel you understand me (empathize with me) when you:
  • listen to me (know when to give advice and when not to solve my problems)
  • repeat back what I sometimes say so I know your listening to me
  • express appreciation for my contribution and roles by saying, “I couldn’t do your job.”
Peacemaking:  I feel at peace with you (issues are resolved) when you:
  • admit you are wrong and appologize by saying “I am sorry” which is a turn on to a woman
  • keep the relationship up to date, resolve the unresolved, and don’t say “forget it.”
  • add humor and lightness to the conflict, pray or connect after a hurtful time
Loyalty: I feel loyalty from you (complete commitment) when you:
  • don’t look at other women
  • speak only positive things about me before family and friends, not airing of dirty laundry
  • to be faithful and committed to me, not threatening to leave or abandon
Esteem:  I feel esteemed by you (treasured above others) when you:
  • verbalize support and honor me in front of others
  • praise me for who I am and what I do
  • value my opinion, me as a person, and my heart even if it is different from yours.
As your partner/husband I feel respected when…
Conquest:  I feel you are appreciating my pursuits in my field (my desire to work and achieve) when you:
  • tell me “thanks” for going to work everyday
  • cheer my successes whether in business or in sport
  • ask me to talk about my dreams in business and sport and encourage me to live out my dreams
Hierarchy:  I feel you’re appreciating my position as overseer (my desire to protect and provide and even die for you) when you:
  • say to me “I really do look up to you for feeling responsible for me.”
  • tell me that you are deeply touched by the thoughts that “I’d die for you.”
  • praising my commitment to provide and my contributions
Authority:  I feel you’re appreciating my power on your behalf (my desire to be strong, to lead and make decisions) when you:
  • tell me I’m strong
  • praise my good decisions
  • honor my authority in front of others and differ with me in private
Insight:  I feel you’re appreciating my perspective and proposals (my desire to analyze and counsel) when you:
  • thank me for my advice and knowledge
  • let me fix things and applaud my solution orientation
  • tell me up-front your need “an ear” to listen and not a solution
Relationship:  I feel you’re valuing my partnership and pastimes (my desire for a shoulder-to-shoulder friendship) when you:
  • tell me you like me and are friendly
  • do recreational activities with me or watch me do them
  • encourage alone time for me; this energizes me to re-connect with you later
Sexuality: I feel you are appreciating my passions and pleasures (my deisre for sexual intimacy) when you:
  • initiate periodically
  • respond more often positively
  • let me acknowledge my sexual temptations without shaming me or me feeling shamed

For more information on how to cultivate your own relationship and enhance the love and respect you feel in your own relationship, you can contact me at True Potential Counseling to schedule an appointment.

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5 Tips to Getting Out of the Relationship Rutt

Posted on January 28, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Dating, Relationship | Tags: , , |

Do you feel like you and your partner have gotten into the same old pattern? Do your daily interactions lack variety and flavor? It is often said that couples who play together stay together. And sharing common interests with your partner is a great way to keep you engaged and entertained in your relationship. These 5 tips can help you add some spice and fun back into your relationship.

1. Get physically active. Whether it is going on a bike ride or going on a day trip to a nearby town or city, getting physically active is a great way to change the routine and dynamics in your relationship. Plus getting some exercise reduces your level of stress, improves your mood and alters serotonin levels.

2. Getting Playful and Creative. Maintaining your youthful spirit and childlike nature can keep things light in your relationship. Some suggestions include: having friends over for a game night, being silly and humorous with one another, or getting playful and creative in the bedroom. These activities allow you to have fun with each other and grow closer together, rather than becoming bored and feeling disconnected from the one you love.

3. Being a Life-long Learner. Take a class together and learn something new. Whether it is taking a dance class, signing up for a cooking lesson or going to an interesting seminar or workshop being mentally engaged with your partner can add vitality to the relationship. Plus it can add some variety to your general topics of conversation.

4. Be Spontaneous and Try Something New. Use your imagination and brainstorm together various activities you would each like to try. Then create a list of places you would like to go (i.e. restaurants, cities, etc.). Then randomly select an event or place each week and have some fun.

5. Have a Date Night Once A Week. Often times when there are children involved, a couples time becomes limited and become impatient with their partner. In order to curb this potential challenge and create some boundaries, it is recommended to establish a weekly date night for the couple to reconnect and add some romance to the relationship. Hiring a babysitter or asking friends and family to give you a night off will allow you to nurture your partner and rekindle the spark on a weekly basis.

For more information on how to improve your relationship visit my website at http://www.truepotentialcounseling.com/go/contact/

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Culture Shock

Posted on November 17, 2011. Filed under: Communication, Expat, Health, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , |

Arriving to an unfamiliar country can be a daunting and scary experience especially if we feel isolated or do not speak the language.  Typically when we are in a situation outside of our comfort zone, we tend to withdraw, isolate and focus on the grief and loss of our friends, careers and familiar culture back home.  It takes a great amount of courage to step outside of our comfort zone and experience a lifestyle different from our own.  The phases of adaptation consists of the following: the honeymoon phase, culture shock, recovery, culture shock, recovery, culture shock, and then breaking through to adjustment.


A foreigner can can continually fluctuate from each of these phases over the course of 1 month to 3+ years.  Some symptoms you may experience if you are having difficulty adjusting is feeling depressed, anxious, withdrawing, becoming angry or reactive, overeating, under eating, loneliness, having difficulty in your relationships with your spouse or your children, feeling restless or sleeping all the time or abusing substances like alcohol.  If you are in need of emotional support or are interested in getting on the fast track on alleviating your distress around adaptation and assimilation please contact me at http://www.truepotentialcounseling.com/go/contact/.  I am located in Europe and provide individual and couple’s counseling to expats in Milan, Italy and online counseling to English speakers overseas and in the USA.

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