Five Things I’ve Learned This Week – 09/18/13

counseling

Five Things I’ve Learned This Week or Was Reminded Of:

1) Emotional blackmail/manipulation is real and painful (actually really painful). I started reading “Emotional Blackmail” by Dr. Susan Forward and I highly recommend it for men and women who think they may be doing life with someone who utilizes fear, obligation or guilt (FOG) to get their way in the relationship. There are great scenario studies, as well as concrete suggestions of how to change the dynamics of the relationship.

2) Being lonely as a college student is not unusual anymore. Old people like me use to just assume that all college kids were having a blast with friends and a busy social life but in the last few years I have noticed a distinct trend in more college kids not connecting with other students. Getting involved in an on-campus organization is often the connecting point needed to get students headed in the right direction.  A lonely college student rarely does well in their classes and often will return home early and feeling defeated.

3) How we interpret other people’s behaviors is the key to either seeing their actions as loving or offensive. It never ceases to amaze me how just a shift in perspective can change our attitude about someone and their intentions toward us.

4) Great quote: “Real soul mates are eternally bound – they will change each other in ways that you never imagined and they will make it through the most difficult of times” – R. Singh.

5) Setting boundaries with our family of origin isn’t unloving or rejecting them. It is respecting ourselves as adults and attempting to maintain a connection that is healthier than maybe had been in previous times. If family members try to use guilt when you set healthy boundaries, try picking up the book I referenced in #1.

What’s on your list? 

Five Things I’ve Learned This Week – 07/24/13

counseling

Five Things I’ve Learned This Week or Was Reminded Of:

1) Personal change is really hard for people. We will make all kinds of excuses and rationals for not doing what is in our long-term best interest. We have to be very careful not to extend a poor quality of living by doing mental gymnastics to justify keeping the status quo. If in doubt; ask a trusted close friend if you are making excuses and see what their answer is to you. The truth is that you probably already know without asking. Most of us do.

2) The summer between high school graduation and college is a challenging time for many young adults. As parents and family members, we need to be patient with the struggle of growing up. Not everyone is going to embrace the changes that come with ending high school and judgement is the last thing these young adults need.

3) The silent treatment in relationships is damaging and leads to all sorts of ills. If we have a problem with someone, we need to speak up and share it. Manufacturing silence is passive-aggressive.

4) Feeling lonely is a normal human experience. Not a feeling anyone particularly enjoys but the alone times are great for reflective soul searching and finding strength within ourselves that maybe we didn’t know we had.

5) Many parents have started the internal countdown to school and will do a happy dance after drop-off on the first day. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed by 24/7 of kids during the summer and let’s try to appreciate every day we have with our kiddos. Before we know it, they will be gone to work and living in their own homes (hopefully!). Adult children at home is a topic for a blog maybe.

What’s on your list?