Each of us wants to have that “one special relationship.”
Few of us are lucky enough to find it.
This video will bring a tear to your eye and hope to your heart.
This video will bring a tear to your eye and hope to your heart.
I don’t like people getting mad at me. So oft times, I go out of my way to pre-appease them; assuming they won’t like something and sidestepping the issue all together. Yes, I realize I’m co-dependent and yes, I’m trying to stop; I even tried to form a support group for co-dependents but no one would give me per-mission. (Insert rim shot here…)
What this means is that I become concerned that my politics or opinions might show through my writing, resulting in me being harangued by internet “trolls” who have nothing better to do than spend every waking hour scouring the interwebs waiting to pounce on anything I write. (Self-importance much?)
I’ve been flamed because of my views on guns, political candidates, and even negative communication styles (obviously missing the irony). The column that garnered the most hate mail was a humorous piece where I postulated the theory that, based on a trip to New Orleans, the only foods allowed in the south must be deep-fried. (I was even accused of trying to re-ignite the civil war; really.)
Anyhoo… my concern with attempting to avert these curmudgeons can — at times — cause me to pick and choose my topics and words with extreme care. After all, someone a thousand miles away, reading my piece two weeks after I wrote it might feel awkward and shoot negative vibes toward me. Goodness knows! I wouldn’t want that to happen.
Like I said: co-dependent.
This piece however might cause a ruffle or two much closer to home, including in my own household so I now begin to tread in dangerous places.
New and recent findings, published in the journal Emotion, show that long-term marital satisfaction depends on wives — more so than husbands — regulating their emotions during arguments. Researchers from two major universities found that the happi-est marriages, in both the short and long-term, were those where the wives were able to regain their self-control quickly after disputes erupted.
The lead author of the study (whom I point out is a woman) said, [Read more...]
You weren’t close with Uncle Fred, seeing him only on the holidays or the occasional dinner at your parent’s house. Even though you knew about his heart condition, his death still came as a shock to you. Your natural response to grieve is understandably accompanied by the urge to do something constructive. Since Uncle Fred was a non-immediate family member, you won’t be expected to make any of the arrangements. Still, reaching out to offer help and support would be cathartic.
You would think that, after centuries of dealing with death, there would be a cut-and-dry way to go about it. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Everyone is different and grieves in different ways, and for some reason — even when it’s expected — it takes you off guard. Though you feel helpless and are trying to deal with your own grief, there are things you can do to ease the suffering around you. And that alone can have a therapeutic effect.
Whether you tell the children directly or they overhear a conversation, at one point you’re going to have to deal with explaining Uncle Fred’s death to them. Kid’s Health recommends being honest with your children and encouraging them to ask questions. This might be one of the toughest conversations you’ll ever have with them because, in addition to dealing with death on a personal level, you might not feel like you have the answers the kids are looking for.
According to Dr. Bruce Perry of Scholastic.com, you should share some of your feelings about Uncle Fred’s passing to reassure your kids that their own feelings are valid. Your children will likely have questions about what happens after death, so discussing the passing of a family member is also an appropriate time to discuss spiritual beliefs.
When you have to deal with the death of a family member, no matter how close, it’s a contradictory time in your life. The grieving process itself is a personal one, yet death compels you to reach out to others to give and receive support. It’s important even for those who pride themselves on their strength to lean on friends and family when coping with death. When you’re offering support, don’t be overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.
There are a number of little things you can do such as deliver a homemade meal, offer to run errands, clean the house or simply send a hand-written note to convey your sympathy and concern. If you’d like to send something along with your note, visit a website like FTD for sympathy gift ideas. Prayer plants and different varieties of lilies are always appreciated, but you’ll find other thoughtful items such as food and drink gift boxes, plaques and figurines, as well.
It can be easy to overstep boundaries in your eagerness to help and offer support. Think things through before speaking or acting to avoid making the situation worse for others. Don’t offer unsolicited opinions or advice. Everyone grieves differently, and the things you may have personally found helpful in the past, such as removing the deceased’s pictures or clothing, might be shocking or painful for those closest to him.
Don’t try to rush the grieving period, either. Whether it’s day one or a year later, it’s never appropriate to advise the grieving to “get over it.” Even telling someone that she’ll get over it eventually offers no comfort because, at the time, it feels like she never will. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is stay in touch and offer to be there if any help is needed, whether it be a shoulder to cry on or a ride to the supermarket.
About the Author: Elizabeth Lambert volunteers with several energy conservation groups and loves to write about green living.
My wife, Mary Ann Testagrossa, and I just got back from spending our anniversary weekend together.
Well, technically, our anniversary is August 27. We will have been married 13 years on that date (and we’ve been together for almost 20). Now, I realize that 13 years (or even 20) is not as long as some have been together – but it’s the longest we’ve ever been together, you know?
So, in honor of happier relationships everywhere (whether they be marriages, partnerships, friendships, or just folks living in the same house), I provide a tool to keep them fresh.
Ask and answer these four questions:
What ideas do you have to improve your best relationships? Please tell us.
That’s actually to be expected because accurate communication is not determined by the sender but by the receiver. No matter how well you say something, if the person at the other end doesn’t hear it the way you meant it, the communication was poor.
Before you communicate, ask yourself, “If all went perfectly, what would I want to happen from the result of this communication?”
For example, are you trying to impart information, get someone to change his or her behavior, express how you feel, make someone feel good (or bad)…
If you understand your intention first, it helps you craft your message better.
Determine HOW you are are going to communicate what you want.