What's In a Negative?

I've always been a big fan of Mother Theresa (who isn't?), and when I heard something about her recently, it made me admire her even more. Apparently, when asked if she would attend an Anti-War rally, she used to say, "No, but when you hold a Pro-Peace rally, count me in!" Why would she say this? After all, what's wrong with an Anti-War rally!? Turns out, when we focus on the negative (even if it's "anti"-negative), our minds still register the negative thought. Better said: just the MENTION of a negative thought can prompt the mind to focus on the negative. Instead, those who want to attract positive thoughts and energy make a habit of evading negative thoughts and focusing exclusively on t

I AM Enough

It's hard to believe how often our past makes its way into our relationships, but you only need to listen to couples seeking help to find out how much our childhood determines our conflict-style and dynamics. One of the most significant ways our past creeps into our relationships is via that feeling that "I am enough" or "I'm not ____ enough." This can play-out in a few ways in our relationships, and I hear versions of this all the time in session. The most common way the idea of "being enough" plays-out is when one person has never been "________ enough" for their parents. For example, "I was never pretty enough for my Mom." Or, "I was never smart enough for my Dad." If you hear it enough,

When Is It Too Late To Save a Marriage?

I get asked the question all the time: When is it too late to save a marriage? It's a tough question to answer - after all, each marriage is unique and has its own dynamics, past injuries, and challenges. However, when couples come to me for help, I often assess for a few key indicators, so I can see how big the mountain is to climb. The biggest indicator I look for is withdrawal - who has withdrawn from the marriage and how far has it gone? Here's the cycle I most often see: One person feels unimportant or devalued in the marriage and makes attempts to "protest" or get attention. This can take the form of complaining, picking fights, or criticism. Of course, these behaviors just push the ot

Can A Great Relationship Shield You From Negativity?

The research is clear: Being in a satisfying relationship can predispose you to all sorts of wonderful things. For example, those who report high relationship satisfaction tend to live longer, have a better job, and have lower stress. However, the flip-side is also true: Those who report low relationship satisfaction report poorer health, bad job performance, and high stress. In essence, being in a good relationship is REALLY good for you, whereas being in a bad relationship is REALLY bad. When it comes to conflict, the research shows this to be true, as well. Studies show that, even if a conflict is a big disagreement, which means it has negative attributes, such as criticism, anger, and de

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