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How to Deal With Difficult People

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Guest Nicole

Sabrina here and I'm going to share a few insights that will
actually change your life.

Few things are inevitable in life: death, taxes.... and dealing
with difficult people. From work to friendships to romantic
relationships, difficult interactions can hit us from all angles
and can take a heavy toll on us.

A few days ago, I was doing some much needed
reorganizing and I found this packet from a class I went to

many moons ago.

 

I can't remember who taught it, but
the packet was filled with amazing and humorous "rules" for
dealing with difficult people.

Within these humorous insights are pearls of wisdom that can
help you keep your cool during an argument or any other
trying exchange
.

I really wish I could give you the source, but no names were
written on the sheet so all I have is the information. I couldn't
keep it all to myself though, so here are some amazing (and
I'd even say life-changing) rules.


The 24 Hour Rule
It is imperative to wait 24 hours before reacting when we feel
angry. This is because:
- natural consequences will take care of the problem
- you can calm down and come up with a different
perspective
- the issue is no longer important


The Elephant Rule
Picture that a huge, fat elephant is coming your way. What
do you do? You move away and let the elephant go by. The
same is true when someone negative, angry or bitter is
coming your way. Instead of getting in his way, just move
and let him go by. Don't provoke or try to argue with him
because he might stamp you.

The Madhouse Rule 
While walking, you see a sign on a building that says
"Madhouse" and for some reason you hear a man shouting
from one of the windows saying: "HEY!! You man, are so
crazy!"

Do you really believe him? Do you take it personally? Do you
let it bother your? Or do you ignore him and think: "Poor guy,
he is locked in the madhouse and yet he thinks that I'm the
crazy one."

You might find it humorous or might even feel compassion,
right?

Well, you could have the same attitude towards other
people, especially with strangers, people that hardly know
you, or people in the street. For examples: why bother to
react when another driver insults you? Or when a coworker
is trying to push your buttons and you know it? This would be
a good rule to apply.


The Hospital Rule
Imagine a very sick person that is lying on a  hospital bed,
hooked up with so many tubes that it's almost impossible for
him to move. You are sitting on the other side of the room
feeling very thirsty. You notice that there is a glass of water
right next to the sick person.

What do you do? Do you ask him to pass you the glass?
After all it is just a small glass, no big deal, right? It is
obvious that you would not bother him; you know better than
that because he's so sick! You don't expect him to pass the
glass to you and you don't get angry or take it personally.

And that is exactly what you should do when you are with
people that cannot understand what you need, or are
incapable of doing, saying, or giving what you would want. It
is much better if you do not ask them, and do not expect
them to do something for you.

Trust me, you will definitely live better and you will have less stress in
your life.

 

 Sabrina Alexis

A New Mode 

 

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Guest Nicole

Sabrina here with more rules for dealing with difficult
people.

When you can learn to keep your cool in trying situations,
your level of stress with dramatically decline and you'll
have healthier, happier interactions with anyone who
comes into your life.

Let's dive back in with more rules to follow to help you get
there:


The Blind Man Rule 
Have you realized what happens when you see a blind
person alone trying to cross the street or standing in the
middle of a crowded place? Somehow, you feel that you
are blessed because you have your sight to see and guide
you.

You can see where you are going and what to avoid. If you
see that this person needs help you would probably
approach him and offer your assistance, right? You would
not hesitate to help if you were needed.

Well, in life sometimes we meet people that come across
as difficult but underneath the surface, they are really blind
even if they have sight. Yes, there are people who have
limitations, a disadvantage, who have been hurt
emotionally, who feel lost or damaged.

If we could only understand them and feel compassionate,
we would then try to help them instead of being hostile.

Probably, and without looking for it, we would get more
than what we gave. Not to mention that in this way, we
improve the relationship, sweeten someone's life, and
improve the flavor of our life.

The President Rule:
Who holds the most important position in the government?
"The President"
Who is the person that has the highest position in a
corporation or firm?
"The President or the CEO"

How do we treat people that are in these high positions?

We treat them with extra consideration. We try hard to be
polite and to be extremely careful with everything we say or
do. Otherwise we could get into trouble.
Therefore, we don't make fun of them, we treat them with
respect, we try to be helpful, we address them with a good
tone of voice, gentle words, and do our best to be on their
good side. In other words, we behave our best.

The Bee Rule 
Sometimes, whether we like it or not, there are people that
try hard to provoke us. No matter what we do there are
overbearing, like a bee buzzing around out heads. And
when a bee stings, it really hurts.

With these people it is easy to lose control and react in a
negative way.

What do we do then?

The key here is PREVENTION. We protect ourselves by
being prepared. We tell ourselves beforehand that no
matter what the other does, we will not let him/her push our
buttons.

We'll remain calm and deal with the situation without giving
away our power, without being in a reactive mode.

In an encounter with a difficult person, remember:
a. Many times you have to deal with that person whether
you want it or not.
b. Don't be judgmental; everybody has his own issues.
c. Find the good intentions in others. Give them the benefit
of the doubt.
d. The more effort you put into getting along with another,
the greater the benefit for yourself.
e. Treat others the way you would like to be treated
f. Learn, keep, and frequently use the 7 rules
g. Remember, the person that has to change is the one
who can and is eager to make the change.
h. Keep in mind that being complacent and sometimes
giving in does not mean you are relinquishing your power.
i. Remember many people are just not aware of their
behavior. Nobody wants to think or himself as being mean
or difficult. After all, everybody wants to have a good life.

Recipes for Life: 

Ingredients:
1 cup of self-control
1 bunch of perspective
1 slice of purpose/target
3 drops of acceptance
1 pinch of noble eyes

Condiments:
Cleverness, endurance, and hope

Preparation
1. You always have a choice to control yourself. 
Nobody can make you feel, say, or do something that you
don't want. You are your own chef, therefore you are
responsible for your actions.
2. The only person that you can change is yourself. 
When you accept and change your behavior and/or
thoughts, you can relate to others in a new and fresh way.
Trying to change others is a fruitless task, with dashed
hopes and full of disappointment
3. At all times remember your goal. These will empower
and provide strength, patience, and a clear point of view,
helping you to act calmly and wisely.

Sabrina Alexis

A New Mode  

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      When my friends lied, I felt disrespected and unimportant. They didn’t seem to care about me or trust me enough to tell the truth. This made me feel bad about myself, as though I were not important or trustworthy enough to be told the truth.
      When I found out the extent of one of the lies, I felt like a fool. Technically, my one friend didn’t really lie. She just told me “part” of the truth. It was as though she were testing out whether she was safe to be vulnerable. (She told many other lies, but this was just one of them). But it backfired. When I found out things were worse than she’d made them seem, I felt tricked and deceived. Again, without meaning to, she’d made me feel bad about myself because I felt like somebody who could be conned.
      I thought less of my friends. I knew they were willing to “cheat” in relationships. When we lie, we are stealing social commodity without having earned it. People can lie their way into power, and in one instance with a friend, she lied her way into moral superiority. Still, none of the authority or moral superiority (such a thing exists, and while it’s misused, it’s not a bad thing not unlike intellectual superiority or athletic superiority. It just is. An appropriate use of those two examples of superiority might be to lead a team or teach a class.)
      I felt sad and lonely. When we think we are getting to know somebody, we are giving them parts of our hearts. But when they lie, we know they’ve actually held back their hearts while we’ve been giving them ours. This made me feel lonely and dumb.
      I felt like I couldn’t trust them. The only thing more important than love in a relationship is trust. Trust is the soil love grows in. If there’s not trust, there’s no relationship. When my friends lied, our trust died. As much as I wanted to forgive them, and feel like I did and have, interacting with them was no longer the same. I doubted much of what they said. Sadly, I think both of them began to tell more and more of the truth. But it didn’t matter. Once trust is broken, it’s extremely hard to rebuild.
      If they didn’t confess (or lied in their confession) I felt like they didn’t care enough about me to come clean and make things right. They were still thinking of themselves.
      Here’s what didn’t happen.
      I didn’t think less of them. While I was angry, I wasn’t angry because I thought they were a bad person. The person who lied probably assumed I felt such things, but I didn’t. What really happened was I felt terrible about myself and when somebody makes us feel bad about ourselves, we tend to get hurt and move away.
      To be sure, somebody who lies has a lot of other stuff going on and it’s not so easy to come clean.
      For a liar to change, they need a lot of help.
      Lying is manipulation, so if a person is a manipulator and gets caught lying, they are most likely going to keep manipulating. They may tell more lies to cover their lies, or manipulate by playing the victim. They may try to find things other people have done that they see as worse and try to make people focus on that. What they will have a hard time doing is facing the truth (which would be the easiest way out of their dilemma. It’s just that they don’t know how to do it. (They’re survivors, scrappers and have learned to cheat to stay alive socially.)
      If you’ve lied in a relationship, though, and are truly wanting to LEARN to live on the up and up, what can you do? Well, there’s plenty.
      Life isn’t over yet. Here’s some places to start.
      Confess. And don’t half confess (just another lie) but actually confess.
      This may take some time for you. You may have to sit down with a pen and paper and write it all down. Your mind will want to lie, but you have to tame your mind. It may take you some time to even understand what the truth really is. You’re going to feel ashamed and at risk, but you have to go there anyway. People are much more kind and forgiving than you think. 
      And if they’re not, you should confess and find people who are more safe.
      Accept the consequences. You’re going to have to pay for your lies.
      People will not and should not trust you as much as they did before. However, getting caught in a lie and confessing a lie are two different things. The former will cost you everything. The latter will cost you a bit, but you can rebuild quickly. Another thing to consider is that the truth might have lost you a small battle, but you’d have won the war because in the long run people would have trusted you. From here on out, be willing to suffer the slight, daily consequences of telling the truth. You’d be surprised at how much less tension there is in your life when you walk openly and honestly.
      Don’t expect the relationship to be the same.If the person doesn’t forgive you, just know you can move on.
      You’ve confessed and hopefully apologized and you aren’t beholden to them anymore. They need to wrestle with forgiving you and that’s now their burden. It’s an unfair burden, but we all have to face such things.
      Don’t lie anymore. It’s not important that everybody like you or approve of you. Allow people to get used to who you are. Telling the truth may mean you don’t get to be in control anymore or that people won’t like you as much. That’s fine. At least they are interacting with the real you. The deep connections you’ll make from telling the truth are worth it.
      http://storylineblog.com/2015/05/22/the-devastating-power-of-lies-in-a-relationship/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      “Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
      I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
      I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
      Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
      The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
      Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
      I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of the blue, and before you know it, we were meeting.
      It could have been our final goodbye, the closure we needed. Or maybe even in the back of my mind, it was the new beginning that I’d secretly imagined.
      I don’t know. I walked out to see her after a five-year hiatus. In our memories were the international long-distance romance we had, the difficult marriage we had endured, and the painful divorce we had gone through together.
      When we initially parted ways, she was still pursuing her education and getting adjusted to life in America.
      Yet, today she was different. She spoke of her new travels, new experiences, new house, and new job.
      She talked about the ups and downs of the different relationships in her life.
      Close friends, social events, and the search for the “one”—her “one”—were her focus.
      As we spent the day together, a startling but simple realization came over me.
      She had moved on.
      Life was on the up and up. She seemed to have let go of everything we had shared.
      She was a bird that was soaring, while I felt like a bird that hadn’t gone very far from the same branch I was still sitting on.
      She seemed to have moved on like our past had never happened. I was holding on like it was still happening.
      I realized it was way past time to completely let go of what we had shared.
      She had moved on, and I need to finally move on as well.
      If your ex has already moved on, perhaps my lessons will help you do the same.
      Shift your perspective on the relationship.
      Whatever story you’re telling yourself about the relationship, you need to be retell it. You’re likely holding onto the sad and tragic version. You were left behind as the victim as your ex was the heartbreaker who didn’t give the relationship a chance.
      Shift the story to the one that is the most empowering for you. How about a story of how you both gave it your best? You fought, you loved, you laughed, and you cried. You tried over and over when things didn’t seem to work. You fought, forgave, broke up, got back together, and finally called it off for good.
      You both gave it your all but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was you coming to the conclusion that you were different people, both good people, who were incompatible for each other. You both helped each other grow and become better versions of yourself.
      The more you can flip your perspective on your ex and the relationship, the easier it will be to move on.
      Release blame, anger, and resentment once and for all.
      If you haven’t completely let go of the relationship, you may still be holding on to instances of on injustices by your ex. You may still be feeling betrayed, hurt, or angry about something your ex did.
      Until you can let go of these feelings of resentment on anger, you’re not going to be able to let go or move on.
      You’re not going to lose anything by releasing these feelings, but you will gain your peace of mind and freedom.
      Let go for yourself.
      Even if your ex was entirely at fault and deserves the worst kind of karma, you’re not going to get caught up on it. You are not the universe’s policeman.
      Your ex is human and made mistakes. You’re going to release the resentment and anger and forgive your ex for what they did.
      If you made mistakes, you have to be willing to forgive those too.
      When you don’t forgive your ex or yourself, it keeps the past injustices and pain still burning like it happened today.
      Forgive for yourself. Forgive for your peace of mind.
      Thank your ex for how far they brought you forward in your life.
      Instead of focusing of how much better off your ex is doing or how you’re falling behind, while they are moving ahead, reflect on how far you’ve come yourself.
      While our marriage was difficult and our divorce was soul-crushing, honestly, I grew so much from this relationship. I had so many insights about myself, made drastic life changes, and became an entirely new person.
      You can either compare and mourn or thank your ex and appreciate how far they’ve brought you along.
      You might not have welcomed the pain, but it’s likely made you into a newer and improved version of yourself.
      Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
      Yes, when you’re comparing yourself to your ex, you might feel bad about yourself and like you’re stuck, but it’s not wise to compare yourself to someone else. If you feel a need to compare, then compare yourself to where you were before.
      In my case, I was stuck in dysfunctional relationship patterns, I was carrying around a lot of emotional baggage, and I was stuck in a soul-crushing career.
      Regardless of where she’s at today, enough therapy and learning has helped me become a new person. I have many more tools to navigate life, and I’m doing work that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work.
      I’m living more in line with my values today and have the freedom to pursue my creativity and writing.
      You don’t have to be soaring like your ex.
      Just remember that you’re not stuck crawling like you were in the past.
      Remind yourself that today is the only thing you can do something about.
      You cannot change the past, the relationship, or your ex.
      You cannot go back and un-do your mistakes or do something different.
      There’s no point in wallowing in regret, past disappointments, and failures that you can’t do anything about.
      Focus on what you can control—the changes you make today.
      You can become the person you’re capable of becoming today.
      You can create the life you want today.
      Keep bringing yourself to the moment you can do something about: the present moment. In this moment, you can shift your perspective. You can make different choices. You can create the life you want.
      Live less in the futile past and more in the hopefulness of today.
      See the uncertainty in your life as an adventure.
      The most difficult part of my marriage ending was the uncertainty of my life.
      See, when you’re married or in a relationship, you have a location. The world identifies you in a certain way. You know who you’re spending your weekends with or who you have to plan the holidays with. You know who you list in the relationship column of Facebook.
      Yet, after a breakup, all these questions are uncertain and more than likely, unknown. I’ve discovered that I, and humans in general, hate uncertainty.
      We would rather tolerate an unbearable situation than the unknown.
      You can view uncertainty as a tsunami about to happen or a surfing vacation in Hawaii.
      The more you see your future life as an adventure that is filled with excitement and novelty, the easier it will be for your to welcome in the life waiting for you.
      Pursue the life you visualize every day.
      You can get stuck focusing on where your ex is at or what your ex is doing, but this is neither healthy nor productive.
      Instead, get super clear on what you want.
      What is the life you envision for yourself every day? What values and principles do you want to guide your life?
      How would you like your life to look each day?
      Now, you may not be able to create that life instantly, but you can start doing small things each day that get you closer to the life you want.
      If you envision spirituality in your life each day, create time for a spiritual practice or class.
      If you see creativity in your life each day, make time for your creative ventures.
      If you see self-care as a necessity for your best life, reduce your commitments and take better care of yourself.
      You might not have the life you envisioned right now, but if you start taking small steps each day to live the life you want, before you know it, your visions will be your reality.
      What’s helped you let go of the past when your ex has already moved on?
      https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-move-on-when-your-ex-already-has/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Lindsay Dodgson/Business Insider
      May 11, 2017
      Unless you're a genetic anomaly, it's likely you will meet people you don't like throughout your lifetime. Whether it's your mother-in-law or one of your colleagues, you're bound to come across someone you simply don't click with.
      According to Deep Patel, author of the book A Paperboy's Fable: The 11 Principles of Success , it helps to remember nobody's perfect. That includes you.
      In a blog post for Entrepreneur.com , Patel highlights some tips successful people use to deal with people they don't get along with. After all, it's unlikely you'll simply be able to avoid people you don't like - in fact, Patel argues if you restrict who you can work with, you are only limiting yourself.
      Instead of burying your head in the sand, try and shift your perspective in the ways successful people do. Here are some tips from Patel and other sources such as Psychology Today .
      1. Accept that you can't get on with everyone.
      As much as we hope to like everyone we meet, it often simply isn't the case. Patel says the first step to dealing with the people you don't click with is accepting nobody gets on with everyone, and that's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, and it doesn't mean they are either (not necessarily, anyway.)
      According to psychologist Dr Susan Krauss in a blog post on Psychology Today , it's likely that you and the person just aren't a good fit. Consultant and author Beverly D. Flaxington explains in another blog post on Psychology Today that our behavioural styles can get come between people. Some are dominant, whereas others are timid. Some people are optimists and others consider themselves "realists."
      A research paper by Hamstra et al looked at something called "regulatory fit," which translates as: we are much more likely to put effort into the things we like doing. Chances are you don't enjoy interacting with the people you don't like, and so you don't put much effort in. Over time, this lack of effort can turn into contempt.
      2. Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying.
      Krauss says you could try and look at how people are acting differently. Your in-laws might not have meant to imply that you aren't smart, and your co-worker may not actually be trying to sabotage you.
      Even if the person you're having difficulty with is aggravating you on purpose, getting angry about it will probably just make you look bad. So try and give them the benefit of the doubt.
      3. Be aware of your own emotions.
      Patel says it's important to remember your own emotions matter, but ultimately you alone have control over how you react to situations. People will only drive you crazy if you allow them to. So don't let your anger spin out of control.
      If someone is rubbing you the wrong way, recognise those feelings and then let them go without engaging with the person. Sometimes just smiling and nodding will do the trick.
      The key, Patel says, is in treating everyone you meet with the same level of respect. That doesn't mean you have to agree with a person you don't like or go along with what they say, but you should act civilised and be polite. In doing this, you can remain firm on your issues but not come across like you're attacking someone personally, which should give you the upper hand.
      4. Don't take it personally and get some space.
      More often than not a disagreement is probably a misunderstanding. If not, and you really do fundamentally disagree with someone, then try and see it from their perspective.
      Try not to overreact, because they may overreact in return, meaning things escalate quickly and fiercely. Try to rise above it all by focusing on facts, and try to ignore how the other person is reacting, no matter how ridiculous or irrational. Concentrate on the issue, Patel says, not the person.
      If you need some space, take it. You're perfectly within your rights to establish boundaries and decide when you interact with someone. If you feel yourself getting worked up, take a time-out and get some breathing space. President of TalentSmart Dr. Travis Bradberry explains it simply in a post on LinkedIn : if they were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? No, you'd move away and get some fresh air.
      5. Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee.
      Usually, the way we communicate is more important than what we actually say. If someone is repeatedly annoying you and it's leading to bigger problems, Patel says it's probably time to say something.
      However, confrontation doesn't have to be aggressive. Patel recommends you use "I" statements, such as "I feel annoyed when you do this, so could you please do this instead."
      Being as specific as possible will make it more likely the person will take what you're saying on board. It will also give them a better opportunity to share their side of the story.
      Krauss says it might be a good idea to use another person as a mediator in these discussions because they can bring a level of objectivity to a situation. You may not end up as friends, but you might find out a way to communicate and work together in an effective way. She says learning to work with people you find difficult is a very fulfilling experience, and it could become one more way of showing how well you overcome barriers.
      6. Pick your battles.
      Sometimes it might just be easier to let things go. Not everything is worth your time and attention. You have to ask yourself whether you really want to engage with the person, or your effort might be better spent just getting on with your work, or whatever else you're doing.
      Patel says the best way to figure this out is weighing up whether the issue is situational. Will it go away in time, or could it get worse? If it's the latter, it might be better expending energy into sorting it out sooner or later. If it's just a matter of circumstance, you'll probably get over it fairly quickly.
      7. Don't be defensive.
      If you find someone is constantly belittling you or focusing on your flaws , don't bite. The worst thing you can do is be defensive. Patel says this will only give them more power. Instead, turn the spotlight on them and start asking them probing questions, such as what in particular their problem is with what you're doing.
      If they start bullying you, call them out on it. If they want you to treat them with respect, they have to earn it by being civil to you, too. Dr Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist, explains in a blog post on Psychology Today that workplace gossip and bullying can be a method of power play, or a way of bullying others into submission.
      If you want to be sneaky to get someone to agree with you, there are psychological tricks you can use. Research suggests you should speak faster when disagreeing with someone so they have less time to process what you're saying. If you think they might be agreeing with you, then slow down so they have time to take in your message .
      8. Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness.
      If someone is really getting on your nerves, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. However, you should never let someone else limit your happiness or success.
      If you're finding their comments are really getting to you, ask yourself why that is. Are you self-conscious about something, or are you anxious about something at work? If so, focus on this instead of listening to other people's complaints.
      You alone have control over your feelings, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Instead, remind yourself of all your achievements, and don't let someone gain power over you just because they momentarily darken your day.
      This story originally appeared on Business Insider.
      http://time.com/money/4774379/how-to-deal-with-people-you-dont-like/
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Relationship issues are inevitable; they are a part of our human experience. And this part of our life, essential to our well-being, can bring us to our knees or make us feel bad about who we are.
      Have you ever heard yourself say these things?
      "I hate the way you make me feel." "What you are doing makes me insecure, and when you stop doing that, I will be happy." "I can't deal with the way this relationship makes me feel anymore." We are all affected by our relationships in some way. However, no matter what you are experiencing, there is one thing you can always do that will immediately affect how you feel and, in addition, will empower you and make you feel good about who you are instead of leaving you feeling depleted, exhausted, or lost. So what can you do in the moment that you are at your wit's end, feeling hurt, upset, or confused?
      Simply reconnect to yourself and use this very challenge, issue, or difficulty to become stronger and more of who you are meant to be. Use this challenge to become stronger and more powerful instead of allowing it to break you down or make you feel like a victim.
      Here are three ways to take back the reins of your life and immediately change how you feel about yourself and your relationship:
      1. Let go of the concept of "right and wrong."
      Very simply, instead of focusing on what the other person did or didn't do, observe how you're feeling and identify what you need. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to yourself instead of being paralyzed and disempowered by pointing the finger at the other person.
      If you've ever said, "If you would just change, everything would be OK," you know how easy it is to focus your attention on what the other person has said or done. The next time you find yourself doing this, ask yourself, "If this is the perfect person to help me become who I'm meant to be, what am I supposed to be learning from this relationship?"
      2. Give up trying to change the other person.
      Although this isn't easy, make a commitment to yourself to work on accepting the other person as they are. Each person brings their own "stuff" to a relationship—we all have our own history with our own issues, wounds, and challenges to overcome.
      The next time you feel yourself taking on the other person's issue or trying to "fix" them, remind yourself that the only person you can change is you. And affirm for yourself, "I will focus on how I'm being affected and what I need to work through and will allow the other person space to work through their issues as well." By declaring this, you will be better equipped to not take on the other person's issues or take their actions personally.
      3. Learn how to stop basing your worth on the condition of your relationship.
      Give yourself the gift of diving deeper into your own inner exploration and development. By doing this, you will become more at peace with who you are and will know at a deep level that you are OK—even when your relationship isn't perfect or when things are happening that are hurtful or upsetting.
      Begin by making a commitment to your growth. Affirm that reconnecting to yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. Then take one simple action this week: Start reading a self-help book, research a personal development course, or take 10 minutes each day to check in with yourself and identify what you need by asking, "What can I do in this moment to reconnect to who I am and what I need?" A few examples could be writing down three things that make you feel good about yourself, looking at some photos that bring a smile to your face, or spending some time in nature today.
      Relationships are in a constant state of flux and bring a level of complexity to our lives that is out of our control. The one thing we always control is whether we will use our challenges to grow, expand, and become more of who we are meant to be or, instead, allow them to hold us back and limit our potential.
      Today, make a declaration that you will use even the most difficult relationship in your life for a monumental purpose—your life's purpose—to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. And then do just that.
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29951/the-one-shift-that-will-immediately-change-how-you-feel-in-your-relationship.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170424
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      ‘I’m busy,’ signals you don’t have room for friends; be specific or cut back your calendar
      I recently asked a friend I haven’t seen in months if she wanted to get together and catch up. I envisioned us gabbing over cocktails at the new Vietnamese restaurant in our neighborhood. Or maybe I could fix her dinner.
      Her reply: “Sure. Why don’t you stop by for 45 minutes to an hour on Monday night around 8:30.”
      Continue reading
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      We all want to feel understood, respected, and appreciated in our relationships. But life can often get in the way and undermine the connection we used to have with our significant other, leaving our love feeling lackluster. It doesn't take much to feel like you're moving in opposite directions.
      Then there are the couples that appear to have perfect relationships. They light up when they see each other, speak highly of their significant other, and rarely seem to bicker. It's easy to assume that there is a magical connection between them that only a few get blessed with.
      But what if they were doing a few simple things that were responsible for keeping their relationship healthy?
      There are some basic things you can do to foster that sense of deep love and connection, even when you feel like your relationship is already starting on the back foot. These tips have the ability to significantly improve how happy and satisfied you both feel in your relationship. It's these behaviors that keep those happy relationships flourishing.
      Here are 3 ways you can start fostering positivity in your relationship:
      1. Start with your personal happiness.
      Happy people create positive relationships. If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you will always feel let down. When you're happy within yourself, you reflect that back into your relationship. Start with recognizing how you would rate your level of happiness currently. If you're not as happy as you'd like to be, ask yourself, "What can I do to support myself to feel happier?" The answer could include restarting a hobby, beginning a new health routine, connecting more with friends, or taking steps to follow a passion that is deep within your heart. The crucial element is that you need to step up and take responsibility for your own well-being. By taking action, you will feel more empowered and recognize that happiness ultimately has to be an inside job. This change in energy will move into your relationship.
      2. Look for the good.
      We're all happier when we feel appreciated. It's therefore hardly a surprise that relationships need more positive interactions than negative ones if they are going to thrive. Dr. Gottman's famous research found that you need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction if your relationship is going to stay happy. Begin with consciously watching for what your partner is doing right, rather than consistently focusing on what they are doing wrong. Look for opportunities to voice your appreciation and aim to add as many positive interactions into your shared experience as you can. Feeling positive emotions is a precursor to a happy relationship. You have the ability to focus your attention so that you look for and appreciate the good in your partner. This simple action ultimately helps to remedy the balance of positive-to-negative interactions and set a relationship back on a healthy track.
      3. Make space to nurture your connection.
      Positive relationships are sustained by a foundation of strong connection. Just like a small child needs attention to feel truly happy, a relationship needs nurturing if it is going to continue to stay healthy. It is important to put time aside exclusively to connect with your significant other. Rather than assuming it will just happen, create it. It may be a monthly date night (where, thankfully, there is no TV to distract you), taking a walk together, scheduling a vacation, or choosing to fall asleep while cuddling on the couch rather than going to bed alone. Remember that time and energy dedicated to fostering your union is essential. Where your energy goes your attention flows. Attention is the fuel that will help your partner feel important and valued in your life, which will likely lead to the reciprocating of care and kindness.
      Even when your relationship isn't as happy as you'd like it to be, there are things you can do to improve it. When you take care of yourself and resolve to show up positively for your partner, things begin to flourish. The result—you'll feel both happier in yourselves and in your coupling.
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29027/3-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-your-partner.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170316
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Opposites attract, so date someone who's nothing like you. But, wait a minute—isn't it important to find someone who has a similar background, values, and goals? There's so much conflicting dating advice out there, how can you possibly figure out how to find love?
      While it's true that finding a partner with qualities that differ from yours can add balance and excitement to a relationship, problems can arise when there are too many differences. The more compatible you are with your partner, the more successful your relationship will likely be.
      Here are seven areas of compatibility to examine when choosing a partner. They don't all have to line up perfectly, but the more aligned you two are, the better the relationship will be.
      1. Temperament
      Do you get along well most of the time or find that he/she irritates you on a regular basis? Do you find yourself saying, "If only she'd think before she spoke" or "I wish he'd be less lazy"? Is he overly anxious? Does her alphabetized music collection make your skin crawl? What you see is what you get; so if you don't like your partner's temperament, don't try to fix it. Find someone whose personality is more compatible with yours.
      2. Communication style
      Are you direct or indirect in communicating what's important to you? Are you passive while she's assertive? Do you hold things in until you explode or speak your mind clearly and directly? If you can both communicate clearly and in a similar fashion, you'll have a much higher chance for a successful relationship.
      3. Friends and family
      Do you like and get along with each other's friends and family? Do you agree about how much time to devote to both? And if you're both single parents thinking about tying the knot, are you clear about how you'll parent? If friends and family issues become too stressful, they will have a very negative effect on your relationship.
      4. Nutrition and fitness
      Are you a gluten-free vegan while he is a Big Mac addict? Do you surf the waves on the weekend, while she's home surfing the web? This may seem like a minor point, but think about how many meals you will share with each other. How do your partner's food choices and attention to fitness align with your lifestyle and values? If you're not a good match in this area, you will probably have big challenges in your relationship.
      5. Financial
      Many people say that they are seeking a partner who is financially secure. In today's volatile financial market, financial security is not something you can count on. A few more appropriate questions are, "Are you responsible with finances? Are you generous? Do you contribute to charities?" Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. It is helpful if you share similar financial goals and habits.
      6. Education
      I don't believe you have to be with someone who has the exact same level of education. In fact, there are many brilliant people who never graduated college (Steve Jobs, Rachael Ray). However, couples who share similar backgrounds in education (and that includes self-study), life, and professional experience are usually better suited for each other. They have more in common and can relate to each other in a deeper way. They are on the same wavelength and truly "get" each other.
      7. Intimacy
      There are many things that come under the category of intimacy, including romance and public display of affection. Some couples have different sexual needs, which can lead to anger and resentment. An essential component of a lasting loving relationship includes having similar ideas about frequency and style of intimacy. So if you're more Mr. Fifty Shades and she's Ms. Low Libido, you will have issues in your relationship.
      What can you do if you are not compatible?
      It doesn't have to mean things can never work, but these are your options:
      Accept things as they are. Work on yourself and the relationship. Leave the relationship. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. You partner will only change if he/she wants to.
      If you are dating to find a lasting, loving relationship, it is far more effective to choose a compatible partner from the start than to try to fix a relationship with a weak foundation. Don't be afraid to walk away if your basic needs are not met. There are millions of singles in the world. Move on and find a better fit. And make sure to use the most powerful four-letter word in dating—"Next!"
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29324/7-signs-youre-dating-the-right-person.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170315
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Being mistreated at work can make people take out their frustrations on loved ones at home. But a new study suggests that getting more exercise and sleep may help people better cope with those negative emotions by leaving them at work, where they belong.
      People who burned more calories on a daily basis—by doing the equivalent of a long walk or swim—were less likely to take out their anger about work issues on people they lived with, the researchers found in the new study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
      The researchers used activity trackers to record sleep patterns and physical activity of 118 graduate students with full-time jobs. Each participant, and one person he or she lived with, also completed surveys about sleep, exercise and feelings of mistreatment at home or work.
      Previous research shows that employees who are belittled or insulted by colleagues are likely to vent their frustrations and behave angrily toward people outside of work, says study co-author Shannon Taylor, a management professor at the University of Central Florida's College of Business.
      The new study backs up this idea, but offers a bit of good news, as well: Employees who averaged more than 10,500 steps a day or burned at least 2,100 calories were less likely to mistreat their cohabitants than those who averaged fewer steps or burned fewer calories.
      The researchers even calculated the exact energy expenditure needed to protect against work-to-home emotional spillover. Burning an additional 587 calories, the equivalent of a 90-minute brisk walk or an hour-long swim for a 195-pound male, can “substantially reduce the harmful effects of workplace undermining,” they wrote.
      The findings also revealed that when employees felt they had a bad night’s sleep because of work issues, they were more likely to be grouchy at home. “When you’re tired, you’re either less able or less motivated to regulate yourself,” says co-author Larissa Barber, professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University.
      Physical activity seems to counterbalance poor sleep, Barber says, because it promotes healthy brain functions needed to properly regulate emotions and behavior. “This study suggests that high amounts of exercise can be at least one way to compensate for sleep troubles that lead to negative behaviors at home,” she says.
      Barber acknowledges that finding time to work out and get a full night’s sleep can be difficult when work pressures are mounting—and that often, job stress can directly relate to sleep quality. (Her previous research suggests that not only can a bad day at the office keep us up at night, but that poor sleep can also affect how we interpret events at work.)
      But, she says, making the effort to burn some extra calories—and blow off some steam—can be worth it. It’s not only good for you, says Taylor, but it can benefit the people you live with as well.
      “I would advise people to think of sleep and exercise from an investment perspective rather than another task on the to-do list,” Barber says. “It may seem like more work upfront, but the boost in motivation and energy can help you avoid sinking deeper into workplace stress and productivity problems.”
      http://time.com/4665623/exercise-work-stress-sleep/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      I received the below question from someone recently, and it reminded me how difficult it can be to distinguish the things that truly matter in a relationship from the things that we have been told "should" matter.
      Question: I've been dating Josh for about three months. He's a great guy, good-looking, smart, and most importantly, he treats me with respect. However, I've had a tough dating and relationship history. I was engaged to a guy who never followed through with his promises and broke off the engagement. I was married to a man who cheated. As you can imagine, trust has been difficult for me.
      I've been working on myself, and I now love and respect myself so much more. Because of that, I've been able to slowly develop this wonderful relationship. I don't want things to go wrong.
      Here's the problem: Josh has never said, "I love you." I feel that he really cares, but I'd feel so much better if I heard those words. Am I being silly or insecure? Or should I be concerned if he doesn't say those three magic words?
      Here's what I told her. I hope it helps you, too.
      Josh sounds like he's a good partner for you. He respects and cherishes you, which is fundamental to a lasting relationship. He honors and values you because you've learned to love yourself and to stop tolerating liars and cheaters.
      It sounds like this is a much healthier relationship than you've ever experienced. Let's celebrate that!
      You ask about those three little words; when is the right time to say, "I love you"? It sounds like you're ready to profess your love, and he might not be there yet. Here's how to know where you stand.
      Watch his actions, not his words.
      If he's showing you that he cares for you, that's what matters most. As you probably know, words are not as important as follow-through and consistency.
      I would be more concerned if he said "I love you" after only four dates, and his actions didn't match up. How do you know if his actions mean that he loves you? I have created an assessment to help you figure out if someone loves you, whether they've said it or not:
      Is this person calling and texting consistently?
      Do you get together on a regular basis?
      Is the relationship escalating and growing?
      Do you feel valued and cherished by this person?
      Do you feel safe with them (emotionally and physically)?
      Are they considerate, kind, and thoughtful?
      Do you feel good about the relationship when you're with them AND when you're not?
      Is this person open to talking things out when you disagree?
      If you can answer "yes" to all of the questions above, that person cares deeply about you and prioritizes you in their life.
      It's helpful to know that people express their love in many different ways, and it's not always in the way that we expect. In the wonderful book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman lists the five ways of expressing love as follows:
      Words of Affirmation
      Quality Time Giving Gifts Acts of Service Physical Touch I suggest you take the love languages assessment to find out what your preferred language of expression is. I highly recommend that you ask Josh to do the same so you can learn his love language too.
      Understanding the way you each express love is one of the keys to accepting and embracing your partner. It can lessen the anxiety you feel when you aren't getting what you need in a relationship.
      So, is it really important to hear the words "I love you"?
      I believe those three words are highly overrated. They can be meaningful if they're said in the right context and with sincerity. But they can mean different things to different people. To one partner, "I love you" means "I think you might be the ONE I've been searching for my whole life." To the other, "I love you" means "I like you a lot, and I want to sleep with you."
      There are many other ways to express your love. So, remember to watch what he does more than what he says. Understand each other's love languages. And once you've done that, you'll be able to take a deep breath and stop worrying so much about whether or not someone says I love you. Do you feel loved? That's all that matters.
      By Sandy Weiner/MBG
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
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