Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

Moving my Site

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Photo by ‘the meassure of mike’

Today is my official ‘Last Day at Work’ – After 25 years of working in the field of trauma recovery, I am retiring and closing my clinical mental health practice. That is an odd feeling, and I am sure I am going to write some more about the impact of that step. Although, everybody faces such a move at some point.

My focus in the future will be on writing. As you may or may not know, I have recently published my first book ‘Delicious Love Forever: Recipes for Lasting Loving Relationships‘, in which I combine my passion for great relationships and the 3 Principles with my love for sweet cakes and tarts and … all things yummy. You can check it out on Amazon.com – and buy it if you are so inclined.

To have a website that is more suited to my writing, I migrated from wordpress.com over to wordpress.org because of the more suitable set-up there. Those of you who have subscribed to this blog and have not automatically received notification of my last blog-posts, please go over to gudrunfrerichs.com and subscribed again there. I am afraid the technicalities of this whole moving thing is beyound my computer skills.

Thanks for having been a supporter of this site – all the posts here have been moved over to my new one, and you can be assured I will keep writing!

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Only One Step to Happiness: End of Story

rel ships happyOver the last 20 years positive psychology and positive thinkers have suggested that by simply following a number of steps ‘Happiness’ is in our grasp. Who would not like the idea?  But wait a minute …. if there were only 3, 5, or 7 steps to Happiness, would people not have achieved it by now? People are not stupid – at least not the majority. So what is wrong with the picture?

Happiness is not a commodity, a trade-able good that can be acquired by following a prescribed formula – like how to start your car’s engine. (more…)

The Art of Listening

woman-listening“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.

In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong

wrong rightNumber two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.

To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless.  (more…)

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 1)

broken heart 2Most people want to be happy, or at least content. For most people that involves a caring family, partner, or friends. When we have found someone with whom to share our life, dreams, or difficulties.

More and more people understand that there is no such thing as a soul mate, THE ONE that makes me happy. Any relationship can work out as long as people want to make it work. That leaves the onus squarely in the court of each individual. There are 5 mistakes which – if you can avoid them – will almost guarantee you a sustainable, loving relationship.  (more…)

The Secret to Harmony in Relationships

swansSometimes our relationships are nothing like we’ve imagined it. Sometimes we come to a dead-end and find that we don’t have a clear idea where to go from here.
What is the secret of people who have great relationships, who have loving intimate partners, get along well with their kids, have friends who are fun to be around, and colleagues who are supportive and co-operative?
A common misunderstanding is that you have to find the ‘right’ partner, the ‘right’ boss to work for, the ‘right’ friends. And if that is not helping, you have learn how to communicate better, how to listen actively, how to challenge effectively – in summary  how to do things right.

Looking For New Love

It is not unusual that a relationship comes to an end. Whether people lose a partner through death or through a separation, getting over the loss is never easy. After a time of grieving the loss of a partner and the dream of a life together, people may start looking for a new partner.

Hopefully by now people have matured and don’t get attracted by superficial qualities. If people have approached ‘mid-life’ there is usually a sense of having no time for silly games. A new relationship will show much promise if people look for someone who is interested in establishing a lasting relationship rather than in a fling. This involves finding a person who is available rather than someone who has lots of excuses for not being able to form a commitment.

Look for a partner who is emotionally open, is comfortable with their vulnerabilities, and is willing to take responsibility for his or her own feelings. Is the person you are interested in honest, is respectful, has integrity, and is trustworthy? If you can answer these questions with ‘yes’, you are well on your way.

A totally other issue is, of course, having a good look at yourself. How well do you know yourself? Are you aware of the ways you contribute to relationship problems or even break-ups? Before you go about looking for a new partner, maybe it’s a good time to look at your own ‘skeletons in the cupboard’. It might be a good idea to get help with this self-exploration to make sure that you don’t trip over your own outdated beliefs and understandings. You can contact me if you would like some assistance in exploring these issues for you.

How open are you to a lasting, intimate relationship? Do you find yourself getting fearful, suspicious, and not trusting when it comes to making a commitment? Do you avoid showing your vulnerabilities and your honest thoughts? Are you avoidant and defensive? If this is the case, you might sabotage your relationships without being consciously aware of it.

Are you quickly interpreting other people’s actions? A major problem in relationships is that people draw conclusions without checking out with their partner why s/he has been acting they way they have. Mindreading is so common a mistake that it is almost tragic how many relationships suffer under people’s reluctance to discuss with their partner what was really going on.

Having realistic expectations of one’s partner is another key to successful relationships. Avoid thinking that through the power of your love your partner will turn into this wonderful person/prince. Modern relationships are not fairy tales. They are about understanding that your feelings are created by your thoughts and taking responsibility for them. Be sure that you have loving feelings towards the person in front of you and not towards a set of potentials that you fantasize into that person.

Last but not least understand that love is not something that you can find – like a set of keys you’ve lost when you were out jogging. Love is not a certain thing; it means many different things to many different people. Love is most of all a verb. To love someone means to demonstrate caring, supporting, understanding, respecting, appreciating, and enjoying another person. Long-lasting love means to demonstrate love mutually to each other over and over again.

Love has very little to do with ‘chemistry’, the stuff that makes ‘the earth shake’. Not that these experiences aren’t pleasurable. Love, is much more ordinary. This reminds me of movies where actors/actresses are cast because there is a ‘chemistry’ between them that translates well on screen evoking the pretense of love. Sometimes these actors are becoming a couple after they’ve finished the movie. However, often these relationships don’t last very long. Chemistry in itself is not enough. Love is like a garden that needs lots of constant attention.

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