Tag Archives: relationship

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The Responsibility of Connection

by Kathryn Defatta  A couple of years ago, I bought a beta fish. I’d bought it on a whim one day because I really wanted a pet. At the time, I was living with three dogs — none of which were mine. I saw the love and affection my roommates had for their dogs, and there was a growing part of me that wanted to have my own animal child. However, I was not naive about how much time, effort, and responsibility went into taking care and raising their dogs. I thought a fish might be a nice compromise and

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Dealing with Difficult People

While a bear from the wild may be captured to live in a zoo or trained to ride a bike in the circus, for the most part, wild bears do what wild bears do.   Several years ago, while trying to emphasize a point about how to deal with difficult people, I began to pick on bears. I could have easily picked on some other animal, but bears are an easy target. We’ve all heard horrible stories here and there about a bear somewhere attacking an innocent hiker. More frequently, we hear stories of a bear entering a campground and

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The Genius in Not Being Normal

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness.” - Seneca  The more normal you try to be (or the more like others you try to parrot) the less of you we will see. You move away from your personal genius when you strive to be normal, to not have to risk your neck with some dream, idea, or stroke of genius. But “normal” is depressing. Normal is the path of no resistance. Not least resistance, no resistance. Yet more and more people are looking for the supposed feel-good nature of being “normal.” We let others define what normal

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What Makes a Good Listener

There are three basic components of every good listener: 1. Good listeners know, and act on, their limitations.   Knowing our limitations is the work of learning our own stories and the makeup of who we are. When we know ourselves, we can plan around and sometimes prevent situations from occurring that will hurt, trigger, or harm someone we care about. 2. Good listeners ask plenty of questions. The basis for every relationship is built on the foundation of curiosity. If we are not curious people, we will not get to know them. Asking questions is a simple way to

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Listening to Your Lonely

Written by Melanie Rogers, MMFT, LPC-MHSP When asked what makes loneliness hard to admit, people of all ages often say that they believe loneliness means they are messed up, defective, a loser, friendless, or unlovable. This condemning voice that calls us names is what Dr. Chip Dodd calls the voice of toxic shame in his book, The Voice of the Heart. Rather than lead us to acknowledge our neediness, toxic shame entangles our hearts, tightly binding them up, leaving us unable to experience full life because we can’t experience our natural place. We believe we should hide who we are, and we center our lives

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