Saturday rolled around, and Ashley needed some help. All week, she had balanced work, the kids, and a long To-Do list. Her husband, Ryan, had a busy week, too. But, she was hoping he’d lend a hand with their weekend activities. Frustrated, she found Ryan sitting in his man cave watching sports. How could he just sit there for hours when she was so overwhelmed? What Doesn’t Work: Boiling inside while your partner is uninvolved and oblivious to the problem. Most couples have different levels of energy and different priorities. Accusing one another of being in the wrong without understanding their perspective can backfire. Don’t assume that your spouse is too lazy or too uptight. Mutual solutions are found when both parties openly express their needs.
Kate had the babysitter settled in for the evening with her three kids. There was only one problem. Kate’s husband, Jon, was running late…again. He comes from a family of people known for running late. In fact, his mother is jokingly referred to as “the late Mrs. Brown.” Kate silently fumed while waiting for Jon to get home. She had reminded him to leave work in plenty of time to meet friends for dinner. Their lateness made her feel embarrassed when they were typically the last couple to show up. Would he break another promise to arrive on time? Fifteen minutes later, Jon rushed through the door blaming traffic and saying he was sorry for running late. They jumped into the car and sped off to their event. What to Say: Kate: While we’ve got a few minutes together, I need to talk to you about something that is important to me. When we show up late, it makes me feel embarrassed. Jon: Gosh. I know you think I always run late. But, you are too uptight about being on time. Kate: When we arrive late, I feel like we waste other people’s time. Jon: OK. I didn’t know that you felt that way. I’ll try to leave work earlier next time. Kate: Thank you. This means a lot to me, and I have no problem driving myself if you get stuck at work. Why This Works: By starting the conversation, Kate avoids giving Jon the dreaded silent treatment. Nobody likes to be in a tension-filled position with someone who says through clenched teeth that everything is “just fine.” Kate puts Jon on notice that he should arrive when he agrees to arrive. And she offers to drive herself without him if he’s late in the future. What Doesn’t Work: Nagging. No one likes to be nagged and no one really wants to be a nag. Read More »
It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself cross-wise with someone at work. When that happens, here is my advice. These questions will serve to give you time to think, information about their complaint/s, and your listening just might help them to calm down. What many people really need is a good listening to. Read More »
Dear child of mine, I want to sit down and catch up with you. I want to be the most important person for you to visit with today. I don’t want to look at the top of your head while you work on your laptop or check the status of others on Facebook. Please be all here when you are with me. If you must pull out your phone, I’d prefer for you to briefly manage your business in another room then return to join in completely. If I could have one wish today, it would be for us to enjoy a conversation so deep that you would not want to pick up your security blanket. Read More »
I want to thank you for all you’ve done for me. You gave birth to me and you raised me with loving care. A person couldn’t ask for a better mom than you.
However, I’m firing you. You’ve brilliantly worked yourself out of a job and I’m fully grown now. I’m thirty years old but you treat me like I’m only ten. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” You offer reminders at every turn this feels like control more than support and I don’t think you intend this. Read More »
Have you ever been put in the “dog house” without fair notice? Do you find that your housemates, friends, or team members are mad at you for not doing something that either was not on your radar screen or was not as urgent as they seemed to think it was? Read More »
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 […]