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5 entries from February 2011

Do Your Friendships Feed You or Bleed You? | Psychology Today

One important aspect of living authentically is living in truth. From the standpoint of relationship, this means not living in state of denial about the conditions that surround a relationship. It also means not passively accepting the negative aspects of the overall circumstances that surround us. With regard to friendships in particular it means not holding space for those aspects of others' personalities and social comportment that are either toxic to us directly, or just negativity that we would be better served to avoid.

via www.psychologytoday.com

I thought this article was really interesting. I love his statement that one important aspect of living authentically is living in truth. I have often said that the most powerful lies we tell are the ones that we tell ourselves. Read this article and enjoy.


Taking Responsibility versus Taking the Blame | Psychology Today

The tipping point is really about our perspective. Rather than maintaining ourselves in a place where we are exercising an evolved sense of "me-and-you" (ethno-centricity), we can get stuck in "it's all about me" (ego-centricity) -- especially when confronted with the strong emotions of another person, or an emotionally charged situation. That sort of thinking is both the root of self-blame, and a barrier to recognizing relative responsibility.

via www.psychologytoday.com

I thought this was a pretty interesting article. Dealing with self blame vs. personal responsibility is something I do a lot in my counseling practice. Clients often tip the balance too far one way or another. What about you? What are your thoughts on this article? Do you struggle to go too far one way or another? Why do you think that is? How do you think you could change that?


Your Spouse Should Be More Important Than The Kids

A truth of relationships that is often overlooked and pushed back against is the truth that your spouse should be more important to you than your children. In fact, nothing on this earth should be more important than your spouse. I know this goes against our cultural values but let's be honest, our cultural values hasn't exactly produced the most secure marriages.

This is a truth for so many reasons.

Eventually, your kids will leave the house and you will be in a house with just you and your spouse? It is important that the person your spending your golden years with isn’t a stranger. 

More to the present day, your kids know that they shouldn’t be ahead of your spouse. I challenge anyone to find a healthy relationship where the kids are more important than the spouse to one or both of the people in it. They simply do not exist.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that the kids shouldn’t be important. But they should not be more important than your spouse. This is not a gender specific problem either. Sometimes, it’s Dad. Sometimes, it’s mom.

This sets up the entire family structure for difficulties. The kids will feel less secure. When they feel less secure they will eventually act out. They want to know that they are secure.  The biggest source of their security is from their parents. More accurately, they derive their sense of security from the health of the parent’s relationship. Don’t believe me? Read the book, The Surprising Legacy of Divorce.  

Ask yourself this question, When my children are married with children, do I want their spouse to love them or the kids more? This is important because your kids are probably going to follow the path that you lay out for them. In other words they will seek someone like you.  Be honest, you married someone like your mom or your dad.

Marriage takes work. It’s far harder when it doesn’t have the priority it should have in your life.  It sounds noble to say that your kids are more important than your spouse, but in reality it’s  the best recipe for disaster. Your spouse is looking to you to answer the core questions of his/her life. It’s impossible to answer those questions if they are not the most important human in this world to you.

And not to be too melodramatic but if you don’t answer those core questions, someone else probably will. Those answers are called affairs.

 


The Dependency Paradox: Freedom is found in...

There is a really great principle called the The Dependency Paradox. This states that the ability to depend on a close relationship partner when needed actually allows one to operate more autonymously. This means that the more connected you are to someone, the more dependent upon them you are the more freedom you actually have.

This goes so against our culture of independence. We are told so often that we have to seek independence to be happy and free. I wonder if what we actually need to seek is interdependence and vulnerability to be free.

What do you think this would look like in your relationshp?