Everything You Need to Know About Conflict in Relationships

Some people assume that healthy relationships are without disagreement, argument, conflict, or confrontation. Happily for us all, this is simply not the case. I was a victim of that delusion for oh, say thirty years or so. But eventually, I had to consider the possibility that avoiding conflict in relationships was at least partially responsibleContinue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Conflict in Relationships”

Setting Boundaries 101

Life is all about relationships — with yourself, family, friends, employers, partners, pets, etc. You have a relationship with food, money, sexuality, and other things. Every single one of these relationships is governed by boundaries or a lack thereof. Therefore, learning the fine art of setting boundaries is more of a necessity than you may realize. “Boundary”Continue reading Setting Boundaries 101

Dissociation: When Nothing Else Feels Safe

Dissociation is a physiological response to not feeling safe. It’s not a personality defect or mental illness. If anything, it’s a sign of mental health. It’s the psyche’s last-ditch effort to create some semblance of safety in your world by any means necessary. If your brain preferred helpless, hopeless, powerless, unendurable pain and suffering overContinue reading “Dissociation: When Nothing Else Feels Safe”

Pickles Can’t Read Their Own Label

A client shared this gem with me yesterday about pickles not being able to read their label. I love metaphors, and this one describes the impossibility of objectively analyzing oneself and so much more. Sure, there are many things we can discover on our own. Life, after all, is simply a long journey of self-discovery.Continue reading “Pickles Can’t Read Their Own Label”

Self-Care: Priority or Necessity?

When you’re the only thing on your to-do list, being the lowest priority puts you in the top spot. This is why your self-care might be fantastic when you’re single, then fall apart like a leper on a treadmill the moment you start a new relationship. Self-care is a necessity when you’re single… but thatContinue reading “Self-Care: Priority or Necessity?”

“Why Do You Wanna Put a Label on It?”

Welcome to the Gaslighting Academy. Today, we’ll be discussing an extremely effective way to subvert a perfectly reasonable request to discuss your relationship status. If you want to make emotional immaturity and noncommittal aloofness sound special and romantic, drop this gem as soon as the topic comes up, “Why do you wanna put a labelContinue reading ““Why Do You Wanna Put a Label on It?””

The Vital Importance of Being Seen

Many people don’t realize just how important it is to be seen by others. This is why social media has become a jabillion dollar industry — it provides anyone with internet access the possibility of being seen by an essentially infinite audience. Every second of every day, someone somewhere in the world is uploading a selfie toContinue reading “The Vital Importance of Being Seen”

When Relationships Don’t Feel Safe

Some people were born to two nurturing, physically and emotionally present caregivers who showed them that relationships are safe places to get their needs met in healthy ways. Well, that certainly sounds lovely. But this is not the experience of, dare I say, the majority of humanity. When two people procreate, what are the oddsContinue reading “When Relationships Don’t Feel Safe”

Alternatives To Being Human

Being human is such a sloppy, unpredictable mess, isn’t it? Shame, fear, vulnerability, and uncertainty. Comparison and rejection. Pain and suffering. Humility. Needing to depend on others. And feelings? What the hell are those all about? Yuck. If only there was some way to sidestep the whole harrowing experience. In today’s article, I’m going toContinue reading “Alternatives To Being Human”

Anti-Self, No-Self, and Pro-Self Behaviors

What are your most detrimental relationships patterns? Do you ignore red flags? Settle for less? Lose yourself in the relationship? Attract emotionally unavailable people? Blame and fault-find? Reject others before they reject you? There are hundreds of such obviously dysfunctional behaviors. Many people are even painfully aware of them. I always date projects and fixer-uppers.Continue reading “Anti-Self, No-Self, and Pro-Self Behaviors”