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Why Communication Has a Lot to Do with a Blender

What does a blender have to do with communication you ask? Well, pull a chair up to the dining table, and I will tell you:

First, I want you to consider a scenario where someone prepared you a nice meal that you enjoyed. Envision that plate of food. What made it so enjoyable or delicious to you? How did it smell and taste? Were those sensations distinct from one another? How was it organized on the plate? Did your friend take your taste into consideration when making the dish? How much time went into preparing it?

Now, I want you to envision something entirely different. Imagine rather, that person took those same ingredients, piled them into a blender, sent them for a whirl, and poured you a nice thick glass full. As you take a big swig, can you distinguish clearly between all the ingredients? Does it slide down the throat nicely, or are your reflexes pushing it out? Are you feeling nauseous just thinking about it? What’s wrong? It’s the same ingredients, same food. Why not eat it this way?

It doesn’t take a world class chef to tell you why that wouldn’t be the same and why this concoction definitely would not be appetizing. Now, consider how communication is the exact same way as this meal. If we really want someone to digest what we are saying, we need to thoughtfully take our time, take their tastes into consideration, and plate it nicely for them. If we want someone to take in what we are feeding them, it needs to be palatable to them. Sometimes in communication, we take the haphazard route of throwing it all in the blender and serving a cup full of sludge. Then, without any consideration for the other, we can’t understand why they didn’t take in our cup of sludge.

So, does this mean for effective communication we should just serve up cake every meal? No! We all know that would lead to a sick or even dying body (or relationship). Like it or not, sometimes we need to eat things that aren’t our favorite in order to be healthy. Are you willing to take the time to find the preparation of that ingredient that tastes the most palatable for your partner, child, etc.? Some people like broccoli cooked and some like it raw. Some like it covered in butter with salt and pepper.

In my experience as a therapist, I’ve watched countless hours of couples serving one another “meals.” As they progress in the therapy process, they learn to put the blender away and begins plating beautiful meals for one another, after which no one has a problem listening or digesting.

For help putting your blenders away and plating some really nice dishes, consider making an appointment today.

Kathleen Baxter MS, LMFT

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Are You Self-Aware or Self-Absorbed?: Julie Hanks, LCSW on Studio 5

We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much?  Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:

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Normal or Not? Bedtime Issues

normal or not bedtime issues

It’s another round of “Normal or Not” with Todd and Erin on Rewind 100.7 where LCSW Julie Hanks fields listeners’ questions. Today’s topic: bedroom issues!

One woman can’t go to bed without doing her hair, and another man gets upset if his wife doesn’t go to bed at the same time as him every night. Listen to the segment to find out if these behaviors are normal or not.

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When Adorable Traits Become Annoying: Julie Hanks in WSJ

fatal attraction

Have you ever been annoyed by certain habits or quirks of your partner that you once found endearing? Perhaps you were drawn to a man because you admired his work ethic, but then later came to see him as a workaholic. Or maybe you initially liked how a woman was dedicated to physical fitness, but eventually felt she was self-absorbed. This phenomenon, which experts refer to as a fatal attraction, can wreak havoc on relationships.

Julie Hanks had the opportunity to give her insight on this topic in a new Wall Street Journal article out today entitled, “How to Cope When You and Your Partner are Falling Out of Love.” She and other relationship experts discuss how to appropriately handle this fatal attraction in such ways as recognizing that every character trait has pros and cons, reflecting on what you do appreciate about your romantic partner, and considering how the other person brings balance to the relationship.

Click here to read the article in full.

 

 

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5 Conversational Pet Peeves: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

5 Conversational Pet Peeves: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

There’s an art to good conversation, and sometimes we don’t get it quite right. When it comes to conversational mishaps, there’s impolite…and then there’s annoying. Certain patterns are not only irritating but also don’t work or move the relationship forward. Here are five conversational pet peeves to avoid (we’re all guilty of at least a few!) :

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Surviving the Bomb: First Steps After the Affair

Finding out that your partner has been unfaithful has the potential to be one of the most devastating experiences a person can encounter in his/her life.   A common and appropriate reaction, given the circumstances, is panic.  There is generally nothing short of a roller coaster of emotions, and as a result, many couples do unintentional damage before they can seek help.  This is to be expected as no one tells you what you should do in the immediate aftermath of an affair.

The main goal is to limit the destruction in the time between finding out and getting help.  Here are some crisis control tips to follow until you can get some additional help:

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Ask Julie: What Should I Say? Julie Hanks on Studio 5

Straightforward advice for your toughest relationship situations!

This week on KSL TV’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker I tackled viewer’s tough relationship dilemmas in a new Q & A segment called “Ask Julie.” Topics included:

  • How should I handle my manipulative mom?
  • How to I tell a friend I need distance?
  • How do I tell my mother-in-law to stop treating me like a child?
  • How do I tell my neighbor to stop ruining my fence?

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8 Phrases That End a Relationship Fight: Julie Hanks in Redbook Magazine

Wasatch Family Therapy Couples
Julie Hanks, LCSW was interviewed by Redbook Magazine to discuss why/how some phrases work well when ending a fight with your partner. Many of these phrases are meant to clarify, pause, or help you re-connect when things start to go South.

Read the article online!

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The Resolution That’s Not On Your Radar: Julie Hanks interview Shape.com

The Resolution That’s Not On Your Radar: Julie Hanks interview Shape.com

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Losing 5 pounds? Getting more organized? I interviewed recently with Shape Magazine to talk about a resolution that you may not have considered…improving your emotional connections.

Here are a few of my tips on how to strengthen your face-to-face relationships with loved ones…

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Creating Connection: Are You the Sun or North Wind?

Marriage Parable: The Sun and The North Windhappycouplev2-banner

A traveler was walking alone down a country lane. The Sun and the North Wind decided to have a contest to see who could remove the traveler’s overcoat. The North Wind tried first. He blew and he blew around the traveler as fiercely as he could, trying to rip the coat from the traveler but the traveler wrapped his coat more closely around him and held it tighter. The more the North Wind blew, the tighter the traveler hugged the coat. Then the Sun said, “Let me try,” and as she gently shone her warmth on the traveler, the traveler opened his coat and within minutes took it off (Alison Lee, Ph.D., EFT Community News 2013).

Now, put on your relationship hat. What is this parable teaching about creating closeness and safety in a marriage? Imagine that the traveler is you or your spouse and the overcoat represents vulnerability or risking connection in the relationship. To reach our partner and feel the reassurance that we are loved and cared for, we can choose to “blow off the overcoat” like the North Wind or “to gently warm” our spouse and he/she will remove the overcoat willingly.

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