Our goal this month on Studio 5 is to help you “Live without Pretending.” We’re giving you a chance to put that theme into practice, starting with the conversations you have every day. Therapist Julie Hanks says it’s time to stop pretending you’re fine, when you’re not.
When someone asks, “How are you?”, do you automatically say, “I’m fine”? If so, you’re not alone. “Fine” seems to be the default answer for many of us. Sometimes we’re not fine but we feel like we should be fine. Here are some ways to stop pretending you’re find and become more authentic.
Did you know that Cosmopolitan Magazine has a regular marriage column? I didn’t know until I interviewed with the talented and witty writer Kristina Grish, who chronicles the ups and downs of her own marriage in her monthly Cosmo “Love, For Keeps” column.
Check out page 122 of Dec. Issue (yes, the one with the lovely and insanely talented Taylor Swift on the cover) or download the pdf below.
The approaching holidays can be exciting, overwhelming and hard all at the same time. Here are some tips to not only survive but thrive during the festivities.
1. Live “whole-heartedly” during the holidays
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston coined the phase after conducting thousands of interviews studying happiness and connection. ”Whole-hearted living” means letting ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen. Loving with our whole hearts, even when there’s no guarantee. Focus on what is really important.
It’s been reported by the US Department of Justice, that one-in-four women and one-in-13 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. That’s a staggering statistic, and members of the LDS Church are not immune.
This is the time of the year to say goodbye to summer and hello to increasing responsibilities and the longer ‘to-do’ lists. Here are some tips on keeping the love alive while the pile up continues to grow.
Use Technology to Your Advantage – we have technology buzzing all around us. Why not use it to your advantage? Sending a quick text, an email, a chat or a phone call can take just a few seconds but can send an important message – I am thinking about you and I love you. If you can’t seem to remember to do this try putting an alarm on your phone for random times during the day to remind you until it becomes a habit.
Prioritize and Plan Ahead – When the ‘to-do’ list gets longer we often get lost in the have to, want to, and should do’s, but the clarity of which tasks are the highest priorities seem to get a little cloudy. It is important to prioritize what is important… your relationship. Plan ahead for a date night during the month or week and stick to it. Get the babysitter well in advance and don’t change it. Even if something comes up it sends a powerful message to yourself, your partner and others when you say no because your relationship with your significant other is more important. When things are planned ahead of time they usually come to fruition rather than just saying, “when we have time” because you likely will not have extra time.
Keep Rituals – we should all have a few rituals in our relationship, a kiss before leaving, a couple of minutes after work talking, a glass of warm milk at night together, pillow talk before bed… whatever your rituals are, keep them going. Most of the rituals couples develop are not time consuming, but if you do not remember to do them they quickly get lost in the noise of busyness. Rituals tell your partner you are there, and there is stability in the relationship, something to count on.
Do not let emotions slide – One of the first things I see slide when we are busy, is emotional connection. You don’t have time to sit down, let alone talk about your feelings, right? Wrong… this is the time you need emotional connection the most. When life is busy and chaotic it is essential to feel close to your partner. It gives you a sense of support and confidence that is unique and allows you to focus on whatever you have to do. When we feel emotionally connected we do not need to spend time and energy worrying about the woes of the relationship.
Accomplish tasks together when possible (be creative) –Whenever you can check off a task from the list together and make it time for the two of you it can increase closeness. So, if you have to run errands do it together, make dinner and talk about your day at the same time, even working side by side on your computers can be fun and relationship enhancing if you make it that way.
Be Flexible - We are often told to divide and conquer but sometimes just being flexible is better for the relationship.
“If only they’d see things the way I see them, and do things the way I do them, life would be so much easier!” Sound familiar? It is very common in relationships to spend most of your time and energy on trying to get your partner to “see things your way” or to prove that you’re right and they’re wrong-to attempt to change them in order to make your relationship better. How is this working for you? Probably not very well. The problem with this strategy is that it places blame on the other person, causing them to feel defensive. From then on, they spend all of their time and energy trying to fight back, rather than attempting to listen to and understand what you’re saying. Pretty soon, one of you gives up and walks away, leaving the problem hanging awkwardly out in the open.
Rather than continuing this pattern, try something a little different and unexpected the next time you and your partner have a conflict.
As with the past 10 years, this upcoming September 11th marks the anniversary of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center. Many of us can still vividly recall exactly what we were doing at the moment this occurred. For me, I was awakened at 5:45 am with a phone call from my mother telling me to turn on my TV immediately. I watched CNN and saw the second airplane hit the building on live television. I watched the towers crumble and our world as we knew it forever change. I was living alone in Los Angeles and that day, the whole city shut down out of fear that we would be the next target.
A lot of us may have “difficult” mothers-in-law. Here are 20 ways to help you make things a little less difficult.
1. Understand the Problem
Is there a specific reason that she is being difficult? Most people have a reason and aren’t just difficult to be difficult. Your mother-in-law might be feeling less important. You just took her baby boy! You’re now the number one woman in his life, not her and she may not be quite used to that. It’s difficult for mothers to stand back sometimes and learn to be second.
2. Take a Different Perspective
Honestly think about what it is she might be feeling right now. Perspective is how we view the world, so what happens when you try to take someone else’s perspective? Put yourself in her shoes. Your understanding might become different.