Posts tagged: Relationships

How to use positivity to transform difficult holiday celebrations

December 20, 2016

The holidays can be tough. Sure, there’s pie and presents and fa la la la la, la la la la. But there are also difficult family dynamics, often left over from years gone by. Those dynamics can lead to upsetting conversations (and on the heels of an vitriolic election season, politics might put extra strain on your relationships). Sometimes, it might even feel like your whole family tripped head-over-heels into a time-traveling vortex as everyone slips into familiar roles: the overbearing parent, the constant screw-up, or the goody-two-shoes, to name a few.

But wait — don’t reach for that third glass of spiked eggnog just yet. There’s hope for this year.
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Getting unstuck from parenting power struggles

October 24, 2016
parenting struggles

Meghan is the parenting columnist for the Washington Post and a certified parent coach. She is the mother of three daughters and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, area. You can follow her online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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There are so many places to get stuck while parenting: From power struggles to chores, from sassiness to ignoring, there is no shortage of ways and reasons to struggle with children.

Before you can deal with the drama of your children, you must figure out why you are struggling with your children.

Key questions to ask yourself about why you are struggling:

  • Am I having the same struggle over and over about the same topic with my child and expecting different results?
  • Am I angry, resentful, or sad about something from my childhood?
  • Am I always disagreeing about parenting with my partner?
  • Am I
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If I have to spend one more minute with this person, I might scream!

July 26, 2016
annoying coworker

We all have “that” person at work, that annoying coworker with an uncanny ability to get under our skin — even make the environment feel toxic. Whether it’s the office know-it-all or a passive-aggressive button-pusher, every interaction makes our blood boil.

Unfortunately, dodging them in the hallways or fantasizing that they’ll get fired only works for so long. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to face them. (Sound of sad trombone.)

The good news is, it’s possible to feel better. The harder news is, doing so is up to you. It’s not enough to behave impeccably despite someone acting horribly; your reactions to them are making you unhappy. So it’s time to change your reactions.

Here are six things you can do to keep “that person” from ruining your day
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Why don’t I click with the people around me?

January 27, 2016

Stuck Moment: I don’t know what it is. I like these people, a lot of them are my friends, and there’s nothing wrong with this party. I just feel like no one actually cares if I’m here or not. Or maybe it’s me. Maybe I don’t really belong here. I feel so out of sync.

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It’s more common than you might think. We’re living our lives, going out and about in the world, but deep down, we realize something’s missing.

We’re not alone, yet we don’t feel connected. That necessary human bond between us and the people in our lives is tenuous. When we dare to reflect on it, we find ourselves admitting to a kind of loneliness. We don’t feel understood. And we don’t know what to do about it.

Our mothers might tell us to get out more, that we just haven’t met the right people. And maybe so.
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6 ways to deal with an angry person

September 22, 2015

Stuck moment: Man, I hate it when she gets on a righteous anger rant. I never know what to say, and it’s such a waste of energy and time. She’s a great person otherwise, but I’m not sure it’s worth hanging out with her anymore.

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Someone feels wronged, and we get to hear all about it. Uncomfortable!

A natural tendency is to say, “calm down.” Or explain the other side. Maybe we match her angry words with some of our own. Or remain silent. All human responses, but not all that effective. That’s because we’re not acknowledging how the angry person feels, which more than anything will help her calm down.

Think about it:

  • If we don’t appear to understand, we risk fueling the fire.
  • If we say nothing to avoid conflict, we risk allowing ourselves to be mistreated.
  • If we challenge her anger, we risk losing control of our emotions too.

The better we
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Bad ways to make a good impression

July 28, 2015

Every so often we find ourselves out of our element when we’re in a situation with other people and feeling unsure. Could be anything, really. Meeting with new business acquaintances. Attending someone else’s family picnic. Caught in a group share-a-thon.

Before panic takes over, we search for a way to fit in. Most likely, we summon lessons of yore, some steadfast this-is-how-you-act-so-people-will-think-well-of-you belief.

Then, finally, the incident is over. We got through it and that’s that. We ignore the smidge of discomfort that’s telling us we may not have made the best impression. Relief often overpowers the desire to reflect.

So let’s pause here for a moment.

Now that we’re feeling balanced again, we have an opportunity to revisit how we act in uncomfortable situations — especially if, deep down, we wish we had a better answer.

To get started on updating your response, here are nine go-to beliefs that can give
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How to avoid falling into the judgment trap

July 17, 2015

You’ve firmly decided to break that bad habit. After acknowledging an area where you can be better, you’ve put yourself in a place of thoughtful humility. Bravo!

Now, with eyes and mind wide open, you embark on your journey — hopeful and determined and ever attentive to your progress. Naturally, you begin noticing things you never saw before, in yourself and in other people. How they act, how they react to you, what beliefs they have, whether their behavior agrees with your newfound way of doing things. And quite unintentionally, you might find yourself getting a little judgy.

Why can’t he do it this way? Doesn’t she have any awareness? I’ll never be as good at it as that person. And now your motives are getting confused: Are you trying to better yourself or compete with others?

Okay, we admit that casting judgment is part of being human. But when we’re working
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Are you too nice for your own good?

June 29, 2015

Stuck moment: You know, he never even said “thank you.” I didn’t have to drop that off at his house for him. And this is like the third time I’ve done it this month. He’s being such a jerk, but I’m the one who ends up paying for it by being late for work.

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The other day we heard something ring true on television, and it got us thinking. In the latest season of Orange Is the New Black (spoiler alert), we learn that assistant warden Caputo gave up his dream of being a musician to parent the child of another man. So he’s furious when the mother of the child decides to leave him. But here’s what she says:

“You can’t spend your whole life holding the door open for people and then being angry when they don’t thank you. Nobody asked you to hold the ****ing door!”

It’s a
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Does sticking to the rules get you stuck?

May 8, 2015

Stuck moment: I’ve lived in this building for eight years, and I like the place just the way it is. But now this idiot — who moved in, what, last week? — is campaigning to have the lobby redone. No, thank you. Everything is perfectly fine as it is. Why can’t people leave well enough alone?

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We all like a sure thing. Sure things mean safety and comfort and confidence and success. But sometimes, when we hang on too tightly, we get stuck in a sneaky way.

It usually happens when someone challenges — intentionally or otherwise — the way we believe things should be. It hits us in the gut. Puts us off-kilter. Maybe even threatens our security. A chorus of “No! That’s wrong. That’s not how it’s supposed to be,” rings in our head. In our heart we wonder, “I’m following the rules, so why aren’t
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25 ways to build trust

April 21, 2015

Stuck moment: Everything has become such a big deal and is taking way longer than it should. People are definitely holding back. I think he might purposely be misleading us. I don’t know what to believe anymore.  

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Trust is a dusty concept these days, bordering on old-fashioned.

Sure, we could never rely on the weather report, but now it seems like deceit is pouring down all around us: identity theft, computer hacking, bandwidth throttling, WikiLeaks, sports stars trying to get away with murder.

What’s next? The conspiracy theorists turn out to be right? Scary.

Scarier still, we think, is the finding that we don’t trust each other any more than we do the Artful Dodger watching our stuff in line while we run to the restroom.

About a year and a half ago, a poll found that only one-third of Americans believe most people are trustworthy.
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