4 Keys To Surrounding Yourself With People Who Inspire You to Grow

How to Create Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Relationships

Sometimes the people you love the most can also hurt you the most. Why? Because you love them!  We want to trust the people closest to us with our most vulnerable aspects of self.  Friends, lovers, siblings, relatives, and even parents or your own children. We can’t imagine being rejected by them, or worse! – Us rejecting them.

But if you find that someone in your inner circle continues to say things that put you down, or you feel bad more often than you feel good around them, that the happiness is being sucked out of you in their presence, it’s time to consider what’s best for you. 

•  Know you have a choice.  The great thing with friends is that you can choose them.  If your friends put you down more often than lift you up, it will make you miserable.  You can change this by letting them know.  They may not realize that the things they are doing are making you feel so bad.  If they stop, great!  If not, then you have a choice to make.  I hope you choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.  

•  Speak up.  It’s a bit harder with family, probably because of cultural rules around family loyalty.  Allow yourself to put these rules aside for a while, and dream into what you would do with ______ if he or she were an acquaintance.  You can love from a distance, choosing to spend less time and energy on the plight of that loved one.  Again, I hope you would choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.  

If you dread being around someone you’re close to in your family because of the hurtful things they say, try talking to them and telling them how you feel.  If the response isn’t what you were hoping and they aren’t willing to change, then accept this and keep your distance. It doesn’t mean you never speak to them again, it just means you have to put yourself first. You need to choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.  Instead of seeing them so regularly just because they’re family, you can choose to see them as much as you can manage. It’s ok to do this.

My father was such a relative. Whenever I was around him, he would inevitably blow up at me, tell me off, and leave me devastated.  I stopped visiting him; I made sure that we were never alone together (He was nicer around strangers);  yet, when he was dying, I could still show compassion.

•  Let go of the fear.  Fear will come up when making these changes. You care for these people so worrying what they will think or if you will hurt them is natural. There will be uncomfortable feelings in the beginning, but it’ll pass. The person will eventually accept your choice. Remind yourself that you are doing what’s best for you and that you have a right to choose to surround yourself with people who inspire you to grow.  Take small steps.

•  Be open to new relationships.  We worry that we won’t find fulfilling relationships, so we stay stuck in unhealthy ones. I was one of these people.  As I gained the strength to change –  I chose to surround myself with people who inspired me to grow.  I learned that healthy relationships do exist. You have a choice. This is your precious life. Don’t waste it with who people who bring you down. You deserve the best.  Take a small step today by spending more time with the people who believe in you and appreciate you. Keep taking small steps and eventually you’ll be surrounded with great people who make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Taking care of yourself

Taking care of yourself

Article Sources –

http://www.inthesoulshine.com.au/blog/4-steps-to-creating-healthy-fulfilling-relationships

Creating Trust in a Relationship

Worth reading! From Off the Web!

“I never dreamed he would cheat on me!” 

AngryCoupleSilloeutte

Love may be intoxicating, but trust is what makes it safe. Trust is based on a shared understanding about what each person in the relationship expects of the other.

The wise couple develops an explicit, concrete agreement about what is and is not okay in terms of interactions with, and especially attractions to, people outside their relationship. When they have absolute confidence that the other person will stick with the agreement, they each relax and trust.

Here is How to Negotiate a Healthy Couple Contract:

  • Be Open About Your Expectations
  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Read the rest HERE:

Creating Trust in a Relationship  By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

The Single Best Piece of Marriage Advice Ever Given

Worth Reading! From Off the Web!

I Think there is some good points in this article!  Especially:

“If you’re smart about it, you’ll rise above the inevitable setbacks and stresses of a shared life, and you will make it your lasting mission to bring out the absolute best in your spouse.”

How do you do this?
You have to banish contempt. Contempt is an acid, and it etches ugliness into love. To banish contempt means that when your husband has given in to his least attractive tendencies, his most fearful, or fearsome; when your wife has lost her focus, her patience, or her heart … This is the moment when you must see through the annoying, demanding, complaining, failing, faltering wreck in front of you—and find the strong, kind, fascinating, functional person you know your spouse wants to be.
You have to learn to be a critic without criticizing. The origin of the word critic is the Greek word kritikos, which—strangely enough—does not mean “able to pick at flaws incessantly” but does mean “able to make judgments.” This is a crucial difference. The kind of criticism that helps marriage is the kind you learned in English class: studying something so well that you can find its hidden patterns and its deeper truths. If you apply this kind of criticism in marriage, it is actually possible to stop a spouse in mid-spiral (sometimes even in mid-sentence!) and say, “Excuse me, no offense, but I don’t think you are being the person you want to be.” The pronoun is vital. The difference between “who you want to be” and “who I want you to be” is the difference between encouragement and nagging: spark and ash…”
If we don’t develop a sense of grace and an open loving heart, then we should at least let our partner go. It is a very crude, immature, and base character who thinks the only hold he or she has on the other is to keep them feeling insecure about themselves.

Read the rest here –
http://time.com/3909505/marriage-advice/?xid=emailshare

How to Communicate Effetcively

Communication Skills using the

Awareness Wheel

I remember reading somewhere that the average person has about 3000 thoughts per minute, along with the corresponding emotions, expectations, and conclusions. I don’t know how they came up with 3000, but lets assume it’s true – That’s a lot of stuff going on! If you want to be clear and congruent in your communications, it’s essential that you slow this process down. You have to learn how to check in with yourself.

One of the tools I use with my clients in therapy is called The Awareness Wheel. Once mastered, it helps the user understand their experiences (awareness), and, if desired, communicate clearly to someone else.

Each experience can be broken down into the following five categories:

AwWheel

  • Sensing or the Facts- what you have seen or heard. They are behavior descriptions, as if seen from a video camera, without evaluation or ascribing meaning.
  • Thoughts – what you tell yourself the facts mean. They are the interpretations, beliefs, conclusions, or stories you tell yourself about what is going on.
  • Feelings or Emotions – Keep it simple: Happy, sad, mad, or afraid.
  • Wants or intentions– What you think will fix the problem.
  • Doing or ActionsWhat you actually do.

Becoming a better communicator

  • Perception Check: This is my guess, am I accurate?  Sometimes it is a good idea to test, clarify and alter your interpretations by moving back and forth between the sensory data and your interpretations. (FACTS and THOUGHTS)

A common problem in relationships that often occurs is the result of confusing FACTS with interpretations about what is happening. Our interpretations generate emotions, and we can be caught up in our anger or hurt because our interpretation is different from our partners. The model helps you to clarify interpretations and emotions by going back to the original sensory data (what you saw, heard or felt) and checking each other’s interpretations. You may or may not get to agreement on the meaning of what you witnessed, but it’s helpful to know what each of you is thinking and perceiving.

  • Use Responsible “I” Statements  

Speaking as though we know the “other’s” intentions, feelings, or thoughts is offensive. By using “I” statements, we show that we are speaking responsibly about something we should be an authority about – ourselves!

  • Reflective Listening or “Mirroring”

Reflective listening consists of slowing the conversation down, while assuring your focus is on being a good listener and not your defense! After a sentence or two, you, the Listener, repeat back in your own words what you think your partner is saying. You then ask if you heard them accurately and completely. You keep trying this until your partner says, “Yes, I feel understood.” Then you switch, and you say a few sentences to your partner, and they repeat what they heard back to you.

Exercises using the Awareness Wheel

  1. Get to know yourself. Journal regularly about your experiences using the Awareness Wheel. Learn the difference between FACTS (what you have seen or heard); THOUGHTS (interpretations/ stories I tell myself about the Facts)); EMOTIONS (body-feelings – Happy Sad Mad Afraid); WANTS (goals or intentions – what you think will fix the problem) and the ACTION taken. Keep in simple.
  2. Practice expressing your Awareness Wheel, through writing first, to another person. Remember to use responsible “I” statements. Ask yourself:*** “ How can I say this in a way that the OTHER person is most likely to hear me?”

For example:

“When _(Facts)_   I thought    (Thought/Belief)    and I felt  (Emotion)  . What I’d like is  (Request/Want)What do you think?” (invites sharing)

Or:

“I felt _(Emotion)  when you _(Facts)_ because  (Thought/Belief)  , and I want _(Request/Want)_. What do you think?”

For example:

Let’s call my clients Joe and Jess.

Jess comes home after a frustrating, but productive day at work. She gets out of her car, and notices, again, the dead spots on the lawn (sensory data). She scowls (feelings- anger) and thinks (thoughts), “How many times do I have to ask Joe to fix the sprinklers!!!” (Wants and actions).

She enters the house and hears a football anouncer blaring from the TV (sensory data). She roles her eyes (feelings: sad/disappointed)  and thinks, “He’s not even with the kids. It’s like I have THREE children instead of two.”

Jess goes into the kitchen to find her mother feeding the kids their dinner, and is so thankful that she at least has her mother!  Jess thinks she wants a divorce.
Because Jess has worked with me for a while, she decides to not act on all these conclusions, but goes to her room to journal about first. 
After summarizing the last 5 minutes (as written above), she asks herself : 

“ok, so WHATS the issue?”.

I don’t feel supported;  and I’d like a more equal partnership. 

She practices her approach in the journal first, remembering the advice :”How can I say this in a way that Joe is more likely to HEAR me?”

Can I talk to you about some things? (Invites participation). 

Ok. This is just my perception, ok? When I got home today, I noticed the dead grass again, then I walked in to find you watching TV while mom was feeding our kids. (SENSORY DATA). And I Thought to myself ‘Joe isn’t taking our talks seriously!’ … because – I mean – how many times have I asked you to help me take care of the house better? How many times have I told you that the kids need more time with you (prior Wants and Actions)??  Naturally, I am incredibly frustrated (Feelings)! I’m seriously getting to the point of giving up (Want), and I may want a divorce.(future Action).