5 Star Relationships

In this edition of “Brandler Bits”, learn all about the criteria that make up a 5 star relationship.  Recommendations for  how to improve your relationship are addressed as well.

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100 day challenge–100 days later

Hopefully you have watched all the videos on the 100 day challenge. Just to refresh your memory, since there 100 days between Valentine’s Day and Memorial Day(hence the 100 day challenge) you can improve the relationship that you are in just by doing a few simple things.

Here is the follow up video on 100 day challenge

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Big Yellow Taxi

Don’t it always seem to go

that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

 

I was contacted by fellow blogger “Ruby’s Reflections” .  She wanted to be a guest blogger since we both like to write about music and change.  Here is her post.:

 

Sometimes you think to yourself “I could do better than this guy/girl I’m with.  I should look for something/someone new and more exciting, prettier/ more handsome, sexier, funnier, richer, more educated….”  So you get rid of the “old” and/or push the “old” away, and you find someone “better”.  But soon you realize “Hey I miss what I once had with that first one, but now it’s too late to get him/her back.”

So in the words of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”, before you “pave over” what you currently have in your life, take some time to really think, reflect, and ask yourself, “Could I just be honest with the one I love, and let him/her know I think we have something good, but it could be even better, maybe even GREAT if we work on it? Do I care enough about this person to do the work…..before I just give it all away?”

So remember… that new “paradise” that you are always seeking and think that you might have found, can just as easily end up as your next parking lot. So before you “move your car” into what could be a future “empty parking space”, please first take a look at what you’ve already got…it might just be worth saving!

 

Great post Ruby.  Sage wisdom about “looking before you leap”

Change is possible

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Communication (part 7)

Another blog about communication?    We are communicating about communication for the 7th time.  This must be an important topic or I am an incredibly redundant communicator.

To read the first 6 entries, click on the links below:

crimes between us

listening to you

communication part 2

what’s old can be used in the present

prepositions

communication strategies

Communication can occur in many ways:

    • People can talk about the day; “how was your day?”
    • They can address feelings as part of that day; “I was really angry at my boss today…”
    • They can share more personally;  “The reason I was angry at my boss is he had that smug look on his face like my dad did”.
    • They can share their deepest darkest feelings “that look, that smugness, I wanted to slap it off of him, like how my dad slapped me, how he beat me, how he embarrassed me in front of my friends, all with that look”

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#008000″ class=”” size=””]in order to have intimacy you have to be vulnerable[/pullquote]

To go from superficial to intimate requires a loving, trusting relationship.  It requires that the listener listen and be able to hear what’s being said.  The listener needs to be nonjudgmental and be unconditional. The speaker has to know that what they are saying is safe.  They have to know that it will be heard and not used against them in a future fight.  If he or she is able to take the risk they will have  the intimacy and closeness that is necessary in a good healthy, stable relationship.

This is really risky and it is WAY easier to have superficial, a little off the top relationships.  It is even easier to tell people what they want to hear, and take no risks at all.  In  this video from  Grammy Award winner Tracy Bonham, she tells the mother what she wants to hear:

 

In this conversation between mother and daughter, the daughter gives all of the right answers.  She tells her mom, how great she is doing, how “everything’s fine” . She is able to be authentic and personal with the audience as she tells us all of he pain.  It is only at the end of the song when she says “I miss you  I love you” is she communicating in a genuine way.

We ultimately get to chose the quality of our relationships.  Do we want the mother -daughter relationship in “Mother Mother”  or do we want something else?  If we want something else, then it requires healthy risk taking.  It requires having the communication skills to handle the storms that may occur–the misperceptions, the arguments, the conflicts.  It requires speaking in ways that our partners can hear.  It requires  the hardest skill of all, listening.

If we listen and we trust, our relationships can grow. They can grow deeper, and become more meaningful. Meaningful interpersonal relationships are what we need to be good people, to have a good quality of life, and have inner peace. It starts with the risk.

Change is possible.

 

 

 

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The truth shall set you free

Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you

Billy Joel

Honesty. A vital construct that improves the quality of people’s lives. Seemingly it should be easy for people to acknowledge their wrongdoings and say ” I messed up” However this seems to be harder than I think since famous people (Brian Williams, Lance Armstrong, #13) have the hardest time doing so. (This lying issue has been covered in an earlier blog–go to lies lies and more lies to read more)

Honesty in interpersonal relationships is critical to intimacy, growth and change. It seems to me that many people tell half-truths, white lies, and justify their dishonest behavior. As you would expect, the lies grow, the relationship gets further apart, until the big BOOM occurs. The truth that sets you free causes a boat load of pain to the other person.

Take infidelity. I have never worked with a person who wanted to be unfaithful to their partner. Distance and misery breeds close connections with another. Lack of communication and dishonesty breeds incentive to cheat. At the end, you have an unfaithful partner leading a double life of lies and deceit and an unknowing partner whose life will change dramatically when this affair is discovered. A simple remedy is in order– telling the truth. Saying “I messed up” or those seven difficult letters “I’m sorry” is far simpler than delivering a trauma laden truth bomb destined to crush everyone within a family!

Why don’t we do this? Why is it so hard to say “I messed up” or I’m sorry”. Are our self-centered ego’s so out of whack that we cannot deliver honest bad news and “feel bad” moments? Are we really protecting a softer fragile ego which would make us look bad? Are we so afraid of the shame and guilt that will occur?

Addicted people are aware that in order to have a meaningful recovery, people have to make amends. They have to say “I’m sorry”. They have to say “I messed up” They have to make the relationship better. They need to work on forgiveness.

Forgiveness is one of those words that we all think we know about, but we really don’t. In the most recent tragedy in Charleston, Arthur Hurd, the husband of his murdered wife said to the murderer, Dylann Roof ”I forgive you” . He added “I would love to hate you but hate’s not in me. If I hate you I’m no better than you.” In this moment. Mr. Hurd freed himself. Forgiveness is the elixir to pain. It does set you free.

In order to forgive, we have to be ready to do so. We have to be able to let go of bitterness and pain and hurt. It doesn’t excuse the injury; it makes us better because we’ve freed up the resentment and pain. In relationships this works best as a dual process. The offending spouse apologizes, the hurt spouse forgives. They then work on healing together. Forgiveness is very powerful. I can heal my hurts without another. I have to make the decision to forgive. Once I make the decision, I get my power back. I am no longer the victim; I am the victor. Forgiveness is the truth that sets ME free!

Change is possible.

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