Don’t say YES when you want to say NO

Don’t say YES when you want to say NO

If you are a person that wants to be “nice” and “not cause problems”, but you suffer in silence and believe that nothing can be done to change the situation you need to read further. Learning how to be assertive can help you overcome fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger. Asserting yourself involves advocating for yourself in a positive, honest, and respectful way. Assertiveness means that you are communicating in a clear, direct, and honest way about your needs, opinions, and feelings. Being assertive will help you improve your relationships, relieve stress, make you more confident, and less resentful.

Here are ways to start being assertive: When you start using the below techniques it’s important to start small so that you do not overwhelm yourself.

  1. The best way to start using effective assertive language is to use “I” statements to express what you are thinking and feeling. So for an example, instead of saying, “You are mean to me!” you can say, “I feel hurt when you call me stupid.”
  2. Rehearse what you want to say and be clear in what you want. Those around you are not mind readers.
  3. Practice saying no.
  4. Express yourself in a calm manner. Take deep breaths if you need to.
  5. Don’t apologize or feel ashamed or guilty for expressing a need or want.
  6. Use confident body language and tone. Best way to do this is by practicing in front of your mirror.

Assertiveness takes time but be persistent with your efforts and you will see the pay off.

Danger! Work Zone (Affair Zone)

 

flirty work

Work is the #1 breeding ground for affairs.  In the past this statement only included men but with more women in the workplace, women are just as likely to cheat with someone they work with.  The cause of this is most likely opportunity and time spent.  Most people spend more hours at work than they do quality time with their spouse.  In my work as a marriage counselor I have never (so far) met anyone who set out to have an affair.  Most of the time it starts with a cup of coffee or lunch.  Emotional affairs are an especially dangerous part of many modern marriages.  The tragedy in this that a spouse has most likely mentioned their discomfort with a friendship, but the offending partner refuses to set a boundary.  And before you know it, oops it just happened!

How can you avoid workplace affairs from starting?:

1. Keep good boundaries.  When your work friend starts discussing their relationships or dating issues, or begins to ask about yours, limit your contact immediately.  As a matter of fact send them this article and they can schedule online if they need someone “Who understands me.”  Back away from that mess and protect the sanctity of your marriage.

2. Display pictures of your spouse and family at work.  If they want to try to be a ho, at least discourage them by making them look at your happy family everyday.

3. Wear your wedding ring to work EVERYDAY.  There is no excuse for constantly forgetting your ring when you go to work.  You are fooling yourself, but you are not fooling God.  You are preparing for a possible affair, just in case, you decide to have one.

4. Call your spouse from work everyday, just to check in.  There is no reason not to talk to each other all day with the kind of technology we have available.  If your spouse has expressed some discomfort about a work friend and you really want to be accountable to your marriage, pay attention to how your friend acts when you appear to be happily talking to your spouse.

5. Have lunch weekly with your spouse if at all possible.  If you want to spend time during lunch with your friend from work, invite your spouse along.  Make that tramp look him or her in the face on a regular basis.  The constant contact will display your solidarity as a couple, and send their focus to the next married friend.  Oh you thought you were special, PLEASE, they are on to the next one.

6. If you have lunch with a c0-worker or co-workers let your spouse know.  Don’t casually mention it later and make it look like you were trying to be sneaky.  Especially don’t let them find out on social media after you and your co-workers are tagging your location and taking pics of your food.

7. Talk to your spouse, tell them about your day.  Put the same effort into communicating with them as you do with your work friend. If you are having trouble talking to your spouse talk to a happily married, same sex friend.  They may be able to give you Godly, wise counsel on making your own marriage happy.

8. Make your friend a friend of the couple.  If you can’t invite them to dinner at your house with your family, or they don’t show when you do, they have ulterior motives.  If you refuse to acknowledge that, force the issue or cut it off, so do you.

If you are defensive when asked about your relationship or refuse to end friendships your spouse asked you to, you are already crossing a line into an affair.

Your emotional/physical affair is taking place in a world of fantasy.  They only like everything about you because they don’t live with you everyday.  So you ruin your marriage that may have just needed more attention for a relationship with your work friend. Guess what? It might start off all good but eventually you leaving your clothes everywhere, your moodiness, selfishness and sexual techniques will get old.  All of that weave, extra makeup and sleeping in pretty clothes wears off.  What did you end up with? Somebody who you didn’t even really know what they looked like because you only saw them at work with all that extra crap on.

What does the word (Bible) say?:

Proverbs 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Don’t get mad at me God said it…

Emotional Bank Accounts

emotional bank accountWhen it comes to improving and maintaining our relationships with others, I really like Stephen Covey’s concept of the Emotional Bank Account. If you’ve never heard of this, it basically means that anyone with whom we have a relationship with, whether it be our spouses, significant others, coworkers, family or friends, we maintain a personal “emotional” bank account with them. This account begins on a neutral balance. And just as with any bank account, we can make deposits and withdrawals. However, instead of dealing with units of monetary value, we deal with emotional units.

The emotional units that Covey speaks of are centered around trust. When we make emotional deposits into someone’s bank account, their fondness, trust, and confidence in us grows. And as a result our relationship develops and grows. If we can keep a positive reserve in our relationships, by making regular deposits, there will be greater tolerance for our mistakes and we’ll enjoy open communication with that person. On the contrary, when we make withdrawals and our balance becomes low or even overdrawn, bitterness, mistrust and discord develops. If we are to salvage the relationship, we must make a conscious effort to make regular deposits.

Covey’s describes six major ways of making deposits into these Emotional Bank Accounts and how we can avoid making withdrawals.

1. Understanding the Individual

In Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the seven habits is “seek first to understand then to be understood”. Truly understanding what others are feeling is not always that easy. We must remove ourselves from our egocentric viewpoint and put ourselves into the shoes of others.  Shoes because understanding how a person thinks isn’t always enough.   When you walk in someone’s shoes you are more able to empathize with them and see things from their point of view.

Truly understanding someone requires us to concentrate on what the other person is trying to say, not being distracted while they are talking and thinking of what you are going to say next.

2. Keeping Commitments

When we break our promises to others, we make major withdrawals from their Emotional Bank Accounts. However, keeping commitments is not just relegated to promises. It also includes things such as arriving home at a decent time and getting places on time, fulfilling our roles, and honoring the words that come out of our mouths.  Basically saying what you mean, and meaning what you say.

3. Clarifying Expectations

There is nothing more frustrating in a relationship than not understanding what is expected of you. Although many of us wish we could be, we are not mind readers. And because each of us sees life differently and has different backgrounds and life experiences, expecting someone to just “know” is not only unfair but completely unrealistic. It’s important that the person you are dealing with, knows exactly what is expected of them. Doing this will keep them out of the dark and allow them to relate you confidently, knowing that what they are doing or attempting to do what is in line with your expectations.

4. Attending to the Little Things

Everyday courtesy, kind words and warm smiles are the little things that brighten up a relationship. It shows recognition and an awareness of others. It’s interesting, but within our relationships, if you want success, it’s the little things that really become the big things.  One of the ways to easily learn how to fulfill your mate’s needs is to learn their love language.  Here is a Five Love Languages link to completes a free online assessment to find out what yours and your mates are.

5. Showing Personal Integrity

Nothing is probably more damaging to a relationship, then a lack of integrity. Being that the Emotional Bank Account is based upon trust and honesty, you could essentially be doing all of the previous things, but without trust, it is to no avail. Integrity means wholeness, completeness, or soundness. In this case soundness of moral character. Integrity meaning what you do when no one is looking.  Honesty is keeping your promises, being wholly truthful with others.  Your lack of integrity and honesty with others also affects how your mate views your integrity and truthfulness with them.

6. Apologizing Sincerely When We Make a Withdrawal

We are all human.   We make mistakes, which we hopefully learn from. Knowing when you are wrong and admitting your mistakes prevents the wounds that you’ve caused in others from building resentments and allows them to heal. When appropriate, sincere apology will keep your relationships accounts in the positive, allowing you to maintain the balance that has been created in your application of all of the previous steps.

 

50 Shades of Porn

50 Shades of Porn

Every woman feels lust. That’s a good thing, because it keeps us wanting to be closer to our mates. But when we take that lust and channel it into voyeuristic, distorted and downright unhealthy ways, we end up emotionally dull and even depressed. I have never heard a woman who has read pornography say that it enhanced her life. Not one. But I have listened to many parents (mothers and fathers) who have felt the intense pain of emotional and family destruction because of it. Don’t fool yourself, it’s powerful stuff. And the place that it takes you is nowhere good. I can guarantee that (Dr. Meg Meeker on 50 Shades of Gray).

We are living in a time when we need strong women to stand up for what is good and right for ourselves and for our children. Doing this requires that we exercise self control and live a life of discipline. Every one of us feels lust, but we need to respect it and make sure that it goes in a healthy direction, not a destructive one (Dr. Meg Meeker on 50 Shades of Gray).

Let’s be honest ladies. 50 Shades of Gray is porn for women! In addition to that, it is centered on violence. This book honors and glorifies bondage. It glorifies dominance and sadism. It honors masochism. Masochism is deriving pleasure from one’s own pain or humiliation. If you were to come across your husband watching porn on the internet would you be upset? Them watching porn online is the same thing as you reading 50 Shades of Gray. Let me explain. Men need visuals, women need romance that appeal to their minds like 50 Shades of Gray.

This book carries so much falsehood. After reading such books women expect to get affection from their husbands the way it’s made up in these books. It can break your marriage because a book like this can take your physical desire away from your husband. You get entangled finding pleasure in something other then your spouse.

So if you are entangled in this pornography how do you get out of it? Start by identifying triggers that make you vulnerable. When you recognize these triggers find healthy ways to meet those longings. You have to limit your access to your sources of temptation as well. Get rid of 50 Shades of Gray. Get rid of movies that you know are wrong for you to watch. Set up an accountability partner that can help you stay accountable. Overcome your addiction to porn or erotica by getting help. If you are feeling a mixture of denial, judgment, fear, and guilt, give us a call. That’s what we are here for.

Maybe You Should Pray…

FFC image Maybe its time to Pray

One September morning in the year of 2002, I suffered a great tragedy in my life.  I lost my mother.  My mother was more to me than a parent, she was my best friend.  I can remember throughout my childhood how she loved and protected me. If I wanted something in life and didn’t know how to get it, I would go to her.  If she could not tell me how to go about getting it, most times she would get it for me.  I guess you’re thinking I was spoiled? I was!!! It was not a rotten spoiled. It was a loving spoiled.  Although I pretty much got what I wanted, I still recognized the boundaries and dared not to cross them.  You see my mother was an anointed and powerful woman of God! She was God’s prophet. When she spoke, you can rest assured that I listened and always tried to obey. This woman taught me many things.

Of the many things, there is one thing I will never forget. I’ll never forget the power of prayer!  My mother lived a life of prayer. She would wake up praying.  She would pray while she was going about her daily routines.  She would go to bed praying.  I never really understood why she would pray and talk to God so much.  However; now that I am older and much more mature, I completely understand why she prayed the way she did.  Prayer is direct communication with God. It is through prayer that we build our relationship with Christ, Holy Spirit, and God. In other words, we have to talk to Him daily.  There has to be a dialogue. The more you communicate with Him, the more intimate your relationship with him becomes.  My mother had built a close, intimate relationship with God.  I now understand how she was able to continue with life, even when life was seemingly winning. It was prayer that helped her through and it is prayer that can help you through.  What am I saying? I am saying that God is waiting on you to make the first move. Reach out to Him!  Talk to Him! Spend time with Him! PRAY!!!! Stop worrying so much and pray.  Philippians 4:6 tells us; to be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known unto God.  In other words, pray about everything and worry about nothing.  Your prayers are powerful.  Your prayers can move mountains or obstacles in your life (Matthew 17:20).

Do yourself a favor and start praying.  God wants to be included in every aspect of your life. He wants to be included in your marriage, with your children, on your job, in your health, in your relationships, etc. He just wants you.  So start today and do as my mother taught me; PRAY!!!