Blog Items

Creating the love you want in your intimate relationship

 

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The effects of interpersonal trauma on relationships

If you are drawn to reading this article, it may be that you are already aware that trauma you have experienced in the past may be affecting your ability to feel secure and close in your relationships now. Interpersonal trauma is a term used to describe harm done to a person by another person, through abuse, neglect or betrayal.

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Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance your Intimate Relationship

The research is clear - emotional intelligence is more important than anything else, including IQ, in predicting how well we do in life. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is also critically important for the quality of our relationships. Workng on our EQ may be the most important thing we can do to ensure our most important relationships are in good shape. So what is emotional intelligence?

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Getting the 'music' right in our most important relationships

Most of us know the importance of positive communication in relationships. Strategies used include using "I" rather than "you" statements (saying what I feel and think rather than focussing on what is wrong with you), reflective listening (paraphrasing back to my partner what I have heard her/him say, to show that I have listened and taken it in), being interested and curious about what my partner is saying (and showing this through questions such as "can you tell me more about that?") and there are many more of these.

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Is it me or is it you - moving beyond blame in intimate relationships

It's only natural to try and make sense of problems we are having in our relationship by going on a hunt for whose to blame. It makes sense, doesn't it... if I can locate the problem in you or in myself, then I can fix it! In some situations this may be helpful. More often though, playing the 'blame game' can result in either feeling bad about ourselves or about our partner, becoming defensive or feeling hopeless, and therefore getting stuck about how to change the problem.

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What NOT to do when fighting with your partner!

The last time you got into a fight with someone close to you, what emotions did you feel? How did you act? Did you criticize the other person, call them names, or roll your eyes as you sat in stony silence? Did you get defensive when they tried to explain what was wrong? Or were you able to joke around and lighten the mood?

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Thinking about nonverbal communication in your relationship

It's great when we are able to talk things out with our partner - define the problem, generate possible solutions together, and have the trust to experiment in arriving at the right solution for you as a couple. This is an example of a 'top-down' process from a neuro-biological perspective; that is - the pre-frontal cortex (the verbal, analytic part of the brain) is online and able to do its work. The problem for so many of us is that when we're feeling distressed, especially in the context of our most important relationship, that part of the brain is off-line.

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Growing pains in intimate relationships

It's a wonderful thing to find the one you want to be with at a young age! However, starting your committed relationship in your teens or early 20s can bring its own challenges. We all have a lot of growing up to do as young adults. The tasks we face are daunting - decide who we are, what we stand for, how we want to contribute to society through work, in other ways. Ideally, we can do this growing together with our partner. It would be great if our development takes us in a similar direction rather than a different one.

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Listening to the music of your relationship.

So much of what we communicate is beyond words - our tone of voice, the way we hold ourselves, our stance. We know what an intimate partner means and how that meaning can change with the tiniest change of inflexion at the end of a word, or the lift of an eyebrow, for example. Yet so often we don't target these things for attention, when thinking about how to communicate differently.

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What do I do when nothing seems to help my loved ones?

Many of us have the idea that to be the best partner or family member we can be, we should be doing all we can. We share our loved ones' struggles and anxieties, and at times it's hard to stay strong and provide all the help that we would like to. In many situations, though, the truth is there may not be much we can do. In so many situations people's struggles are often their own - coming to terms with being diagnosed with a serious illness, losing a job etc.

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