What to Say When… You Would Give Anything to Retract an Email Message

We’ve all been there. You draft a private email message but accidentally send it to the whole group. Your mind races as you recall what you said and how it will be received by friends or coworkers who you were not supposed to have copied on the message. You might try to retract or recall the email message but you have no success. When you are the sender of an unintended email message, what should you say? Read More »

How to STOP the (Digital) Drama

Do you have a hard topic to talk over with someone? Perhaps you need to circle back to a bad situation and offer an apology. Maybe you need to ask someone to act better next time. Whatever your challenging topic is, emails, texts, tweets and Facebook messages will all fall short.

Why? Because all these forms can sound harsh. Even if you thought about your words and chose them carefully, they can lack a gentle tone of voice for softening your message. Also, it’s hard to gauge through email and texts when to stop.  Read More »

Simple Strategies For Getting Your Happy Relationship On

As a psychologist, I’ve spent time with hundreds of unhappy couples. They usually arrive with many stories to tell about how their partner has upset and disappointed them. Rather than having them repeat their laundry list of complaints, I try to switch things up. Often, I ask them to tell me what their partner is concerned about. It’s interesting to watch how long they can talk about the other person without launching into their own version of events. Read More » When Sorry Isn’t Enough.

What to Say When… You Are Being Pestered

Most people agree that “Yes” should mean “Yes”. What is the flip side of this concept? It’s simply that “No” means “No.” This is a boundary, a limit, and a big stop sign. “No” is a complete sentence. It sounds like this, “You don’t need to understand me or agree with me but please back […]

What to Say When… You Need More Help

One day, I was tempted to launch a zinger at my husband. He was cleaning a spot on his shorts.  I thought about saying, “You could just run a whole load of laundry for a change” but the last part would have been a FOUL: A zinger with no previous clear request. I bit my […]

Six Things I Learned in August

One of my friends, Emily Freeman, is inviting bloggers to share what they have learned this month. The lists are full of random insights. Here is mine: 1. Sometimes I get tired of offering apologies for myself and for my three unruly kids. I usually don’t mind apologizing. However, when my kids go on play dates and […]

When Is It OK to Cut Off a Relationship?

A male reader named “Krist” posted an interesting question on our Facebook page. I thought others might have the same dilemma so I asked him for permission to share my reply here. He agreed and he offered for me to use his real (and uncommon) first name. Krist wrote: “I recently read the book you […]