Category Archives: Relationships

Helping you navigate through life

Subscribe

Hurt People Hurt People

When people get hurt in relationship and do not receive healing from the wounds, they have a logical and defensible tendency to become protective against more pain. A wound that does not receive attention remains sensitive; a person becomes wary of being relationally “cut” again. The younger one is when unattended hurt begins, the more wary they become of a potential recurrence. The wariness that becomes defensiveness becomes common sense to the wounded person—even logical and defensible. But just because it is understandable does not make the consequences to others justifiable.     The defense that protects can eventually become the defense

Continue reading...

Created to Need

What is a need? To put it as starkly as possible, needs are deficits that require biological, emotional and spiritual gratification for fulfillment. Deficit fulfillment keeps us fully alive. Needs have to be gratified to be alive. The specific needs we have are the tools we have been given that open us to healing, recovery, replenishment, and the capacity to give. Beyond food, water, shelter, and clothing, our needs are predominantly emotionally and spiritually oriented and fulfilled. In fact, the emotional and spiritual primary needs of belonging and mattering are practically equal to the need for food and water. A

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

5 Ways to Engage Your Partner

Are you familiar with the song “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson? If you have ever seen the movie Free Willy, it is the epic ballad playing as Willy traverses the wall that has held him captive for his entire life, singing him into the sweet freedom that the ocean holds. If you have never heard this song, I must request that you stop reading, open up your music streaming app of choice, and listen to it instantly. In its most epic moment, this song begs the question, “Will you show to me you’ll be there for me and

Continue reading...

Why We Don’t Tell The Truth

We all know the classic sayings about Truth: "The truth hurts" "You can't handle the truth" "The truth will set you free" But do we really want the truth, and is it really loving to tell the truth?   Often when we tell the truth, it gets labeled as: arrogant, mean, selfish, critical, over-analyzing, or overly sensitive. We have likely all felt the pain of being labeled for telling the truth inside of us. But if we commit to these labels and believe them about ourselves, we will remain in hiding and never be fully known. We will continue to

Continue reading...

How to Stop People Pleasing

A mentor of mine recently shared part of a conversation she had with her daughter in which the question, “what is the opposite of disappointed” was posed. After thinking about it for a few moments she responded, “The opposite of disappointed is appointed.” While Merriam-Webster may disagree with this assessment of the word, it left quite an impression. I cannot tell you the number of times I have made decisions (or not made them) solely to avoid potentially disappointing others. I can’t leave this job, say no to that event, go on the trip, end a relationship, because doing so

Continue reading...

The Responsibility of Connection

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 stress-free solution to

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...