How to Listen Without Getting Defensive in Relationship Conflict

HOW TO LISTEN WITHOUT GETTING DEFENSIVE IN RELATIONSHIP CONFLICT

Kyle Benson

defensive

Understanding your partner requires the capacity to listen. Really listen. Couples are advised to hear each other’s complaints without feeling attacked, and as great as this sounds, it’s often unrealistic.

When something you said (or didn’t say) hurts your partner’s feelings, there’s a strong impulse to interrupt with, “That wasn’t my intention. You’re misunderstanding me,” even before your partner is done talking.

Unfortunately, when the listener reacts to what the speaker is saying before the speaker gets the chance to fully explain themselves, both partners are left feeling misunderstood.

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5 pieces of garbage you should throw out of your life

5 PIECES OF GARBAGE YOU SHOULD THROW OUT OF YOUR LIFE

Courtnie Erickson

We all have something that is smearing our view of life. Here are 5 pieces of garbage you need to stop hoarding.

It seems like everyone is in a race to be the best — the best parent, the best spouse, the best neighbor, the best PTA president. To become the best, people often lose sight of the things that really matter. Unfortunately, I’ve even seen this in my own life. As my husband worked toward a law degree, I pushed forward, day after day, trying my best to be a supportive wife — the best homemaker, the best mom, the best neighbor, etc. But I often found myself burned out and discouraged. At times, I just couldn’t do it.

This shouldn’t have happened. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to become consumed by the need to be the best in every aspect of life, and neither should you. As I contemplated what I needed to change, I realized I was carrying garbage. I was holding on to habits and thoughts that were tearing me down. I needed to throw things out and never look back again.

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8 toxic habits that are destroying your happiness

8 TOXIC HABITS THAT ARE DESTROYING YOUR HAPPINESS

Melinda Fox

If you want to be happy, you need to quit these 8 habits most people are doing every day.

Believe it or not, you are sabotaging your own happiness every day. But you can change that. Here are 8 things destroying your happiness that you can eliminate from your life with a little effort.

  1. Mind reading

Thoughts like, “She must think I’m so stupid,” or, “They must be so bored right now,” enter most people’s heads throughout the day. These thoughts don’t necessarily represent truth but are made-up assumptions about what other people are thinking in their minds.

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5 behaviors you can spot in toxic people before their true self comes out

5 BEHAVIORS YOU CAN SPOT IN TOXIC PEOPLE BEFORE THEIR TRUE SELF COMES OUT

Kim Giles

If you’re in a relationship, be aware of these early signs of a toxic person.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and it’s funny how often at the end of a bad relationship, we wonder why we didn’t see the red flags sooner. Were they there? Should we have seen them? How did we miss them?

The truth is, we see what we want to see most of the time. At the beginning of any relationship, we are primarily looking for the good, especially if we want it to work out. We do this at work and in our personal relationships, but there are a few early warning signs it might help to flag when you see them. This may save you from unrealistic expectations and real disappointment. It might also mean protecting yourself and using some caution around people who could be toxic.

Here are five behaviors to watch for early in a relationship:

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Defensiveness Doesn’t Protect a Relationship

DEFENSIVENESS DOESN’T PROTECT A RELATIONSHIP

Kyle Benson

defensiveness
Being defensive blocks connection, compassion, and isolates you from your partner. Instead of focusing on we-ness, a defensive person focuses on me-ness. Defensiveness is one of the most dangerous signs of toxic fighting because it creates never-ending cycles of negativity.

Taylor: You never make love to me anymore. (Criticism)

Sophia: Well, you never take me out on dates. (Defensiveness)

When I see couples like Tyler and Sophia act defensive towards each other, it makes me smile. They have yet to realize they just want more out of each other.

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7 common things that are surprisingly bad for your marriage

7 COMMON THINGS THAT ARE SURPRISINGLY BAD FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

Lindsey Miller

Thanks to the internet, it’s extremely easy to find information and advice on marriage. In fact, sometimes advice you don’t even want is just thrown in your face and you have to take it with a smile (and a grain of salt).

To make things even more confusing, sometimes the advice you get is completely opposite from what you’ve heard before. Someone tells you you should never go to bed angry, but the next day someone else says you should absolutely go to bed angry. How do you know what to believe and practice?

Ultimately, you have to figure out what’s best for you, but no matter what, there are seven things that aren’t ever great for your marriage:

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If you answer yes to these 8 questions, you are in a happy relationship

IF YOU ANSWER YES TO THESE 8 QUESTIONS, YOU ARE IN A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP

McKenna Park

Are you truly in a happy relationship? Will the two of you stick it out for the long run, or are things headed downhill?

With pesky doubts and second guesses that are prone to pop up once you start dating someone seriously, it can sometimes be hard to tell if you’re really in a good, happy relationship. By answering these eight questions, you can gain some insight and clarity into your love. But remember, it’s important to be honest with yourself and truthfully answer each one.

  1. Are they on your mind quite a bit?

How often does your mind gravitate towards thoughts of them? A good sign of a happy relationship is if they are the first person you think of when you wake up.

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5 Easy Ways To Uncomplicate Your Life

5 EASY WAYS TO UNCOMPLICATE YOUR LIFE

Angel Chernoff

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci once said that, and I don’t think anything could be closer to the truth.

But how can we bring more simplicity into our complex lives? How can we uncomplicate things for ourselves?

It’s time for a reality check…

Life is actually pretty simple, but we insist on making it complicated!

Here are a few easy ways to uncomplicate it:

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The Little Things That Will Make or Break Your Relationship

THE LITTLE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Caroline Sweatt-Eldredge

He comes home from work exhausted again. After yet another frustrating meeting that could have been covered in an email, a tense conversation with a co-worker about the state of the break room refrigerator, and predictably awful traffic on the way home, he crashes onto the living room sofa, lets out a deep breath, and turns on his favorite show. All he wants to do is decompress in silence.

As if on cue, he hears the back door open. His wife is home — and somehow she’s more chipper than ever. As she enters the room and removes her coat, she takes a moment to pause at the front window, saying, “What beautiful weather — it’s just lovely today.”

What should he do next? The answer may matter more than you think.

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Trust in Relationships is Built and Broken in Everyday Conversation

TRUST IN RELATIONSHIPS IS BUILT AND BROKEN IN EVERYDAY CONVERSATION

Ellie Lisitsa

Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Intimacy: See Fear, The opposite of.

Well, not really. Not entirely. Fear was taken from the reality of Merriam-Webster. Intimacy was taken from the reality of human relationships. But, ultimately, it’s true – when we are afraid of the consequences, we cannot trust our partners to listen to or fully support us. When we are anxious about their reception, it’s terrifying to consider revealing our deepest feelings, hopes, or dreams.

And why should we make ourselves completely vulnerable when we are afraid? Our internal wiring does its best to prevent us from opening our hearts to those we fear will hurt us emotionally, let us down, or leave us, and this – in the language of evolutionary psychology – may be called an adaptive trait! It’s healthy. We need to protect ourselves!

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