How to Turn Fear and Vulnerability Into Strength and Empowerment

Michael doesn’t walk, he swaggers. He doesn’t talk, he commands. When his children and friends head for the exit, he figures they just don’t have the guts to handle such a big, important man. But he has an ulcer and he can’t sleep. Lately, he’s been having nightmares about being trapped. Deep, deep down, he’sContinue reading “How to Turn Fear and Vulnerability Into Strength and Empowerment”

Take the Quiz: Are You Unwittingly Hindering Communication?

We want to help our children when they come to us with a problem. So we console, interpret, advise, distract or praise. Or we interrogate, lecture, moralize or order. We might even blame, criticize, ridicule, shame or withdraw. However, all of these responses are problematic—whether with our children or with the adultsin our lives. TheyContinue reading “Take the Quiz: Are You Unwittingly Hindering Communication?”

10 Paths to Mutual Respect and Genuine Intimacy

A good marriage is created when each spouse appoints the other as “guardian of his/her solitude,” to quote a line from a poem by Rainier Maria Rilke. And it’s this kind of committed partnership that forms the basis for mutual respect and genuine intimacy. Here are 10 ways to contribute to the development of thatContinue reading “10 Paths to Mutual Respect and Genuine Intimacy”

Getting Through Grief

Every death is different, and every relationship is different, which makes the experience of loss and grief different for everyone. Grief is a journey, and when someone dies, those of us who mourn will take that journey in a unique way. It’s a journey through some of the most emotionally intense and painful passages ofContinue reading “Getting Through Grief”

10 Hidden Symptoms of Substance Addiction

Substance abuse doesn’t always announce itself with a staggering gait or red eyes. Here are some often-missed clues that someone could be struggling with an addiction. 1. Lying and promise-breaking. These include the oft-made (and bro- ken) promise to “never do it again,” whatever “it” is. 2. Recurring financial difficulties. Repeated money crises, a lot ofContinue reading “10 Hidden Symptoms of Substance Addiction”

What’s Your Joy Quotient?

The level of joy you experience is often a direct reflection of the degree to which you’re living the life you want to be living—what many call “living your dream.” That dream could be as small as “I always wanted to be a dad” or as large as creating a one-person show and taking itContinue reading “What’s Your Joy Quotient?”

How to Turn Critiques into Helpful Comments

She just heard your presentation to the Rotary Club and is telling you that you were too quiet, didn’t get to the point quickly enough or lacked a compelling example. Your breathing goes shallow and your body stiffens, your heart speeds up, and you look around to see if anyone is in earshot of thisContinue reading “How to Turn Critiques into Helpful Comments”

An Important Relationship Survival Skill

Using inflamatory language— especially during a conflict—can cut in ways not easily healed byapologies. Whether they are cruel and aggressive wisecracks or retorts that penetrate like a fast-flung dart, these types of comments escalate a fight like nothing else. And when the zingers begin to outnumber the kind words spoken to each other, it mayContinue reading “An Important Relationship Survival Skill”