One of the most common requests from my psychology coaching clients is to help them find healthier ways of expressing their emotions. For Example: Anger That said, it’s not as simple as becoming “more calm” or “less explosive”. The first step in transformation and lasting change is assessment. The Kübler-Ross Model provides insight: BELOW THE […]Anger is a sign that something needs to change. — Thriving Under Pressure
We have seen clearly in my previous set of posts how an inner critic is formed from the defense mechanisms used by the wounded, criticised child and how these can be taken forward into adulthood…Re-parenting your Inner Child — Dr Nicholas Jenner
Change is considered to be an important aspect of life. Every single person goes through some change or another. A change of environment; change of friends; change of priorities; change of interests; and many more such things. Some people love the change, some don’t. And some, literally resist it. People will tell you, “Resisting Change […]Resistance To Change — Kaahsh
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is no laughing matter. It is a devastating mental disorder that can easily turn one’s life into a living hell. But that does not mean we cannot use a little bit of humor to cope with this terrifying disorder. While OCD itself is far from being funny, the situations that can […]OCD & Humor – Is Life A Tragedy..Or A Comedy? — Overcoming OCD
The front door is the first thing guests see upon entering your home. Inside the house, the interior doors also matter. Let’s talk about the psychology behind color today, as it relates to the doors of your residence.The psychology behind color selection of doors — When Women Inspire
Think back to when you were five years old and the way that you viewed the world. If you were raised in a good family, then you can relate to the fact that almost everything around you was based on the idea of having fun. At that age, you didn’t have responsibilities, expectations, work or pressure. You just lived you life having fun. As you grew older, you learned the importance of being honest with yourself and others; living an honest life.Living An Honest Life — DSM (Defeating Stigma Mindfully)
Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is a form of psychotherapy developed by Paul Gilbert for people struggling with shame and self-criticism. It is an integration of ideas concerning: Jungian archetypes; evolutionary approaches to human behavior, suffering, and growth; neuroscientific and cognitive-behavioral ideas… […]The Concept of Compassion in Psychology — Human Performance Psychology
Mindfulness skills are quite handy when it comes to food. Not because mindfulness became trendy over the last couple of years, but because it can nurture your self-awareness and expand your senses. Who doesn’t want to enjoy food even more? By being mindful, you can deepen your relationship with food. Suddenly, you may find yourself more appreciative of the people who work to grow your food, or even realise that you can waste less food.Bringing Mindfulness to the Table — The Wellbeing Blogger
Haven’t you noticed how confident individuals have a certain charm in how they present themselves? They have a swagger in their walk and a captivating smile. Confident individuals are self-assured. Confidence allows them to have a positive view of themselves. You can be like that too! You know how much you are able to achieve. But first, you will need to figure out the following: Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem?
Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem? — Sky Is The Limit
The brain is one of the most important parts of the body. Without it, you will be unable to live. The brain controls every part of a human’s body…
Psychology is a science of mind-behaviour and its conversion int to many sub-fields of conscious and sub-conscious to synthesise human character. In simple terms, it’s exactly what the definition of Law of attraction is. Now let’s see how. We are what we think, what we think converts in to our feelings and how we feel determines […]
5 Strategies for Reviving Your Relationship
The couple sat on the couch facing me, sad and sullen and talking about divorce. They seemed to have many reasons to stay together: a toddler son, a newly purchased house, a history stretching back to their high school days. So why was the wife insisting on divorce?
“He bought an Alexa device when he knew I didn’t want such a thing in the house.”
On one level, it seemed so frivolous. On another, it made perfect sense. This was a wife feeling that, again and again, her preferences and opinions had been ignored.
While some couples part in the wake of a major crisis — an infidelity, domestic abuse — others split after a series of small cruelties that can add up to emotional estrangement.
What are the little cruelties that add up to marital distress? They’re as unique as the couples involved.
There was the couple I met when I arrived at their spacious home to interview the man, a prominent doctor, for a magazine article. His wife welcomed me warmly, brought coffee and was returning with a plate of pastries when her husband said brusquely “Just set that plate down and get out! We have work to do.” Her face burned with humiliation and anger as she silently withdrew from the room. The doctor didn’t miss a beat, turning on the charm for the interview as I sat there stunned.
Then there were the couples who came for therapy:
The wife who never let her husband forget that she thought she had “married down” and who corrected every statement he made — incorrect or not — with a running commentary on what he was saying, questioning both his accuracy and intelligence.
The husband who belittled every interest and pursuit of his wife as “stupid and insignificant” and fondly called her an “airhead.” When challenged by others, he would smile and say “Aw, she knows that I love her!”
The husband who escalated ordinary disagreements to major crises by giving his wife the silent treatment for days at a time.
The wife who had a habit of blaming her husband every time anything went amiss — from a balky computer to a rained out picnic — with one phrase: “Can’t you do anything right?”
And there was the husband who snapped at his wife whenever he had a bad day at work and then wondered why she tended to keep her distance.
Of course many of these “little cruelties” are not little at all and some indicate larger problems within the marital relationship. But the fact is that casual cruelty, careless words and thoughtless actions can add considerably to marital tensions.
Working with couples, I often stress the importance of being kind to each other, even when depressed, mad, exasperated, disappointed or otherwise challenged. So much more is possible if disagreements are resolved amicably, if spouses are as courteous to each other as they are to good friends. Some people talk to their spouses in a way they wouldn’t dare with friends.
“Yeah,” one husband in therapy told me. “If I talked to my friends the way I talk to my wife…well, I wouldn’t because it would hurt their feelings.”
And he thought his wife’s feelings weren’t hurt? He squirmed a bit. “Well, she’s my wife. She should understand that I need to blow off steam. That’s just the way I am.”
Just the way I am.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that in couples counseling as a way to justify casual cruelty. It’s a way to say “I don’t intend to change” or “Pleasing you isn’t worth any discomfort on my part.”
It’s a relationship dead-end.
So what can you do to change a relationship headed downhill?
Think before you speak. Is that “just kidding!” comment or barbed humor likely to hurt your spouse? Is that casual aside or that verbal victory worth the cost to your relationship? Consider that it’s more important to be kind than to be relentlessly right.
Remember that your spouse is — or could be — your dearest friend. So treat him or her that way. If you wouldn’t say or do what you’re about to do to a dear friend — why in the world would you say or do that to your spouse?
Change established patterns. This is as necessary for the victim as well as the perpetrator. As long as you don’t speak up, your spouse has little incentive to change.
Eradicate hierarchical thinking in your relationship. Get over yourself. Those married to people they consider beneath them in social status, intelligence or education may not only inflict considerable pain and hurt on their spouses, but also miss the joy of realizing the spouse’s unique strengths and talents. Growing up poor or middle class instead of rich doesn’t mean a person lacks class. The absence of a college or professional degree is not an indication that a person lacks insight or intelligence (and the acquisition of such a degree is no guarantee that a person is insightful or wise). Besides, there are many kinds of intelligence. In real life, emotional intelligence may far exceed intellectual ability in becoming a successful human being.
Don’t minimize those little things. Maybe they’re not so little to your spouse. Maybe the accumulated weight of small hurts, flashes of anger, and small betrayals is adding up to a big problem.
After all, it’s the small things, the casual, passing, little cruelties that can erode love and good will.
And it’s the small moments of connection and caring, of thoughtfulness and of kindness, one after another after another, that can help love to grow and flourish.
In marriage and in life, those small things can make a huge difference.
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