I Pad, IPhone, “I Messages”?

i Pad IPhone I MessagesEveryone knows what an i Pad and an iPhone are now a days, but what about “I Messages”?  “I Messages” are a form of verbal communication, via face-to-face with an individual or sent through the Apple (or Android) devices.

“I Messages” contain a formula where one can use this verbal communication style to express their feelings about an action that took place.  Furthermore, the formula states what is necessarily needed to correct the action for future references.  So, what is this so-called “formula”?

Here you go:

“I feel (INSERT EMOTION) when you do (INSERT BEHAVIOR). I need (INSERT DESIRED ACTION).”

In the first part of the “I Message”, state your feeling/emotion.  For example: upset, hurt, disappointed, happy, loved, etc.  When you state your feeling first, the other person you are communicating to will be less defensive.  That’s right, less defensive.  You are taking ownership of your own feelings and not placing blame on someone else making you feel a certain way!  Make sure to NOT say “I feel like you…” or “I feel as if you…”  These beginning statements DO NOT express an emotion.  If anything, these two statements will place the other person on the defense.  So, keep it sweet, short and simple with “I feel (emotion)”.

The second part is where you insert the other person’s behavior that assists you in feeling a certain way.  Some examples of how to state a behavior could be: “I feel happy when you hug me” or “I feel depreciated when you call me names”.  You are connecting the emotion with a particular behavior, but not blaming that person for your emotions.

Once you have stated your feeling and the other person’s behavior, what do you want more or less of?  The last part of the “I Message” is what you desire.  So, going further with the examples I provided previously, your needs may sound like: “I feel happy when you hug me.  I would like more hugs from you.” or “I feel depreciated when you call me names.  I deserve to be appreciated by my partner.”  Make certain to place reasonable and achievable requests that you and/or your listener can accomplish together.

So at first, the “I Message” formula may sound robotic, but give it your own flair and try it out!  Let me know how the formula has worked for you and your listener down below in the comments area.  Happy communicating!

Make Your Resolution Come True!

Make your resolution come true

Happy New Year my friends! This week I really wanted to share with you about my New Year Resolution. There is just something about the start of the new year that feels fresh about starting anew. The most common New Year’s resolutions are to quit smoking, lose weight, and spend more time with family. For Christians like myself the common goals of praying more, reading the Bible every day, and attending church more are echoed across the globe. These are great goal and resolutions. Unfortunately, these goals and resolutions fail too often. Wanting to start or stop something looses its value if it does not have the proper motivation behind it. For example, why do you want to lose weight? Do you want to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution. In this New Year I am praying for wisdom in regards to what resolutions I should make. In addition, I am praying for wisdom as to how to fulfill the resolutions he reveals to me. I plan to rely on God’s strength and not my own. What about you? What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Megan’s Leap List 2015

I learned about Leap Lists last year and decided to do one yearly ending on my birthday.  I did this last year and was somewhat successful. What I did find out is that I need support to keep them in mind.  So I will be trying to recruit my friends and family to write a leap list, that way we can support each other.  Read last year’s list and the concept of leap lists here.

My list for this year will include some things from last year, that I still want to do, in red.  I’m not discouraged because as long as I have a goal, I am growing and learning.

Leap List Things To Do Before the End of This Year When I Turn 43.

1. Read the Bible and/or a devotion every day of this year, even holidays, special events, etc.

2. Make a tangible $24,000 that I can actually see, not going right back into the business.

3. Attend a conference out of state that has something to do with my profession.

4. Teach at least 4 premarital or marriage enrichment groups.

5. Go to Europe to visit my beautiful daughter while she studies abroad this semester. *With the whole family.

6. Lose a minimum of 40lbs.

7. Plan a conference for and about minority mental health.

8. Serve on a non-profit board in some capacity.

9. Grow my hair back out.

10. Streamline my business, including running it more efficiently, hiring an administrative person and writing a more specific training program for my staff.

(I know it says 10 things, but I’m ambitious)

11. Travel somewhere for a vacation that I have not been.

12. Go on a girls trip.

13. Teach line dancing or fitness classes.

14. Take dancing lessons.

15. Open another office location or get a single larger space.

16. Do something physically adventurous. (indoor skydiving, zip lining, run a half marathon…)

17. Get a tattoo.

18. Speak on panels, write articles, etc. Become an expert.

 

Leap List Things I Accomplished in 2014:

1. Taught line dancing for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Arlington Alumnae Chapter.

2. 80’s Costume party for my 42nd birthday.

3. Spoke to a group about my business.  4 times at MBHPN.

4. Streamlined my business.

5. Dyed my hair.

What’s on your leap list?  I would love to read about what other people are thinking of doing before their next milestone.  Post it here on our blog or on our Facebook page.  I think this is an awesome discussion topic to start off the year! Check out a visual of my list, probably more than what’s on here on my Pinterest board here.

Inviting God

Inviting God

If you do not pray as a couple I encourage you to start. Here are some ways to do that:

Start by praying silently together. Sit down together and hold hands. Discuss your mutual concerns and start to pray silently. As you get more comfortable with silent prayer you can finish your silent prayer aloud by taking turns expressing thanksgiving and praise. You can also take this time to thank God for being present with you and hearing your prayer. Another way to pray is out loud together. Prayer does not have to take hours, but can be as simple as a few minutes a day that you set aside to invite the Lord into your marriage. You can pray for God to bless your marriage and also to protect it. Thank God for the things he is blessing you with. The goal is to pray together consistently.

De-Stressing Your Holiday Season

Bear Lights ScarfMany of us are excited and ready to enjoy the holiday season. However, many people are dealing with family disharmony or grief over the loss of a loved one. Those people often deal with stress and depression during the holidays. Most of us are focused on what we are “required” to buy everyone and the pending debt that comes from keeping up with the Joneses.

To help you to cope with some of your holiday stress and depression read the following suggestions:

Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season, not Apple, Android, Windows, etc.

Set realistic goals for the season. Commit to only what you can do or buy without stretching yourself too thin or going into debt. Prioritize.

Stretch out your holiday visits and activities. Alternate the years that you will travel to visit family members with staying home and having a more relaxing holiday with your immediate family. (Personal Note: This year I prepared the whole Thanksgiving dinner the day before so that everything only had to be warmed up on the actual day. My family said it was the best Thanksgiving we’ve had in years because I was able to watch TV and play games with them instead of cooking all day!)

Be grateful for the blessings you have. Don’t focus on the “the good ole’ days.” Volunteer and do something for someone else.

Start a new tradition or way to remember someone special that was lost.

Have fun doing free activities.   For example, drive around to look at over the top Christmas decorations. Many neighborhoods have contests and some people just like to do it up every year!

Enjoy the holiday season and be blessed!

Megan R. Lee, LPC-S

Clinical Director of Family First Counseling

Read more articles about topics related to relationships and family on our blog RealPeople|RealLife|RealTalk