Discover How To Own Your Worth In Relationships

We love the people who matter to us in our lives. But they have flaws and sometimes those same people we love disappoint us. They treat us unfairly or misunderstand our needs, leaving us feeling hurt, angry or let down. Mindfulness skills can be used to help us preserve self-respect in our own relationships and to guide us toward more healthy relationships too.

When your discomfort alarm rings and you find yourself feeling upset about an interpersonal interaction, first notice your experience without critiquing it. Ask yourself, “Is this fair to me?” If someone is asking you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, or if someone’s behavior ignores or dismisses your feelings and needs, this is NOT fair to you!

Then, take notice of what you’re experiencing and what messages this experience might bring you. If you decide that the situation isn’t fair to you, think about whether you REALLY need to apologize to anyone for what is happening. You may have the urge to apologize, or you may wish the situation were different, but overapologizing puts you in a position of compromising your self-respect and taking responsibility for a situation you don’t own. Remind yourself that it’s OKAY to say no! For example, if you really don’t want to go shopping or meet with a friend for lunch, you don’t need to apologize for wanting time to yourself.

Next, take notice of your values for yourself and in a relationship. With many of the adults in sessions, kids and teens in sessions, I work with them to complete a set of standards to write out in clear language all the ways that want, need and deserve to be treated in a relationship. I also have them write a clause for “dealbreakers” or ways in which another might act or treat them which would be cause for terminating the relationship. I would encourage you to think about your own set of standards, or even a family set of standards!

Finally, be truthful with yourself. Holding a Mindful awareness of our experiences helps us to take notice of our truth in a gentle, compassionate, and nonjudgmental way. If you have a friend who behaves in every way you outlined on your dealbreakers list, it’s time to GET REAL! Think about whether there are any problems you can solve with assertiveness skills and in relationships that cannot be repaired or are too toxic, work towards distancing yourself and setting limits.

Relationships can be tricky, especially when you feel lonely or want so desperately to be connected that you may end up keeping people around who aren’t nourishing and positive for you in your life. Weigh and consider how to focus your life’s energy on the people you love and who bring you joy by setting an intention to bring closer to you those who already meet your set of standards.

P.S. We go through these skills in more depth through a 8 session group in Mindfulness Matters!

Space is limited to ensure that everyone in the group feels heard and has a meaningful experience.

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Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the New Year!

Please comment and share what you hope Mindfulness will bring you! Mindfulness, even in small increments, really does matter!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

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How Can You Connect More In Your Relationships?

Relationships can be some of the most incredible experiences of our lives. They can also be hard.

You want to feel connected to your partner, but it feels like there is a wall up between the two of you.

You want to understand your partner, but sometimes it feels like you’re speaking two different languages.

You have the same argument again and again. You can predict exactly how it will go, yet can never come to a resolution.

You may be facing a crisis, like infidelity, in your relationship and you’re trying to figure out if you even want to stay.

Maybe you find yourself listening to your partner, but focusing more on what you want to say next. And maybe you find yourself holding back on what you want to say out of a fear that it will cause a bigger issue.

One of the most important skills in relationships is effective communication. We may not ordinarily have trouble communicating and exchanging ideas or information with our partner, but find that when difficult situations come up, we can’t seem to get on the same page.

Most of us are guilty of these mistakes. In fact, these kinds of communication challenges can sometimes become so ingrained that many of us don’t even notice when we’re guilty of them. However, the consequences of ineffective communication take a toll. Feeling unheard can lead to resentment, frustration, and pain.

I want to point out that, sometimes, the best communication will still end with the acknowledgment: “We disagree.” But that’s OK‐it’s far better than the alternative: “I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

The ability to express your own ideas effectively is only half of what it takes to be a good communicator. Listening is the second half. This means more than simply hearing words. It means hearing, thinking, interpreting, and striving to understand. If we’re thinking about the next thing we want to say, we aren’t really listening. We’re just hearing.

Reflections are a powerful tool to improve communication between you and your partner. Using a technique called reflection can quickly help you become a better listener. When reflecting, you will repeat back what your partner has just said to you in your own words. Those who haven’t used reflections fear that it’ll seem like they’re just parroting the other person without contributing to the conversation. However, reflections typically result in a positive response.

Those who haven’t used reflections fear that it’ll seem like they’re just parroting the other person without contributing to the conversation. However, reflections typically result in a positive response.

So, what do reflections actually do? They act as confirmation that we heard, and more importantly, understand, what our partner has said. Reflections validate a person’s feelings by showing that we get it.

Often, a concern I hear is that it might seem like a reflection would kill a conversation ‐ there’s no new question to answer. Paradoxically, though, the opposite is generally true. Reflections encourage more sharing because our partner can trust that we are listening.

Learning to use reflections does take practice. As you first begin to practice it’s typical for reflections to feel a bit forced. But if you implement reflections regularly, they’ll quickly start to feel natural once you and your partner begin to notice how helpful the responses are. Oh, and start with less serious or neutral topics, at least in the beginning!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!