Thanks for your question. Becoming a good listener is an essential piece in being a better communicator. Being an effective communicator will almost always improve the quality of your relationships.
What stands in your way of listening to her? Do you find yourself becoming defensive when she brings up issues? Do you often find yourself thinking of what you want to say next? Do you take her words personally, preventing you from having the ability to problem solve?
Here are some tips that may help you with being a better listener:
1. Concentrate on what you are hearing, not on what you will say next.
2. Ask questions if you need clarification or don't understand.
3. Summarize what you're hearing after every couple of minutes to make sure that you're not missing anything.
4. Ask your partner what she needs from you. Is she expecting advice or does she simply need to vent?
5. Keep eye contact and avoid using non-verbal cues that demonstrate defensiveness or irritation such as eye rolling or crossing your arms.
6. Remember that it's okay to disagree and, if this is the case, then decide as a team, how you want to move forward.
I hope this helps. Good luck to you!
One of the most difficult challenges we face is not being heard! It is incredibly frustrating and hurtful when others, especially parents, do not listen. While your parents surely love you and want to understand you, it may be difficult for them to fully understand your feelings and experiences. They are quite a bit older and have likely not dealt with some of the struggles that you face.
I would suggest communicating your feelings to them about not being heard. Talk to them during a non-emotional moment when the discussion is not already heated. In other words, do not wait until an argument ensues to have an open discussion with them about how you are feeling. Prepare them by asking them what time is good for them to talk. Let them know you have something important to get off your chest. Try and avoid using exaggerated or extreme language such as "you NEVER listen," "you ALWAYS say..." and stray away from placing blame. Instead of beginning your statements with "you" try using "I" by letting them know how their behavior effects you. Finally, let them know that they are important to you and that having their trust and support would mean a lot to you. Perhaps giving them suggestions as to what you wish for and would like to see change would help them to better understand.
I would also suggest that you seek guidance from a therapist, teacher, or school counselor if possible. Most schools have counseling resources on sight in which a trained professional is available to talk with students looking for help.
Best of luck to you.
I believe that counseling (and finding a GOOD therapist) will be of significant help when the individual seeking therapy desires change, improvement, and overall growth. Most counseling involves homework and a level of commitment outside of session that also contributes to resolution of problems and an ability to cope with stresses in a productive way. Here are some of the key ways that therapy can help.
1. Helps to define the problem and gain a clearer understanding of where it originates.
Many people seek counseling because of symptoms they are experiencing. These can include feeling sad, increased sleeping, substance use, panic attacks, self-harm, isolating one’s self, academic decline, etc. Often times, people are not aware of what is causing these symptoms. Having a therapist to help guide and explore why the symptoms are occurring and where they come from will give individuals increased insight and awareness into their problems.
2. Allows for a safe outlet to vent.
Not everyone likes to share their problems with close friends or family members. Maybe they don’t want others to know of their flaws. Maybe they don’t want to burden others with their problems. Or maybe they just are not comfortable talking about themselves. And in some situations people do not have the option of talking with someone they know because they have no friends or family. While talking with those we know can help bring some relief it is also nice to talk with someone like a therapist who is objective and emotionally removed from given situations. Counseling gives a safe outlet in which one can express their personal feelings and thoughts without feeling judged.
3. Counselors can offer various problem solving solutions.
A good therapist usually will not directly point their client in the direction they need to go. Counseling is about growth and teaching the client to identify triggers and use effective coping strategies that will bring about emotional and psychological relief. Counselors will help clients to explore the various options available in given situation, based on the client’s needs, wants, and values and will help them to choose the option that best fits with their desired outcome.
4. Gives one the tools needed to cope with current and future problems.
Many individuals that seek therapy have never learned good coping strategies. Perhaps they did not have parents or caretakers to model productive ways to cope or maybe the symptoms they are suffering from are overbearing and take away the energy needed to cope. Different diagnoses require different tools; however some are beneficial for any problem and any individual. These include but are not limited to relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, development of healthy routines, using mindfulness, improving communication skills, and recognizing and changing maladaptive thought patterns. A good counselor will teach clients how to use these tools, will often practice them during session, and will assign homework for further practice and mastery of the skills.
What exactly is it that you are looking for? Different people define themselves in different ways. For example, one person may define himself by his values and morals while another identifies herself by her personality and characteristics. Still, another person may define himself by his interests and hobbies. Learning who you are as a person can take time and life experience. At the same time, who you are may change according to what experiences you have had and how you have dealt with them or felt about them. Try viewing the journey of finding yourself as exciting and ongoing. Allow yourself to feel emotions and learn how they relate to the experiences you have. This may help you to know more about what you value, what you like and dislike, and what you want for yourself in life. Best of luck to you!
Taking accountability for your actions and seeking help is an excellent first step. I wonder where the anger is coming from. Learning what is at the root of it can shed some light on what the problem is and can provide some relief in itself. I would also suggest doing some self-exploration and see a therapist for individual sessions in order to gain a clearer insight as to what the cause is. There are also several actions you can take on your own to help control your anger and communicate more effectively. Here is what I would recommend you try:
Take time outs: When you feel yourself becoming upset, excuse yourself and take a time out to either think about the most appropriate course of action or redirect your thoughts all together. Often when we become angry, it is difficult to see the issue clearly, as our emotions get in the way.
Do deep breathing exercises: Close your eyes. Breathe in slowly to the count of 4. Breathe out even slower to the count of 6. Practice this for about 5 minutes, 3 times a day and focus on nothing except your breathing during this time. Once it becomes routine for you, it will be easier to apply during situations in which you are angry or upset.
Change negative thought patterns: Try and recall or be aware of your thoughts, particularly when you are feeling angry. What are these thoughts telling you? Are they valid or logical? Is there factual evidence to support the negative thoughts? Often the answer is "no." Learn to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with logical and more positive ones.
Communicate effectively: As a speaker, you want to use "I" statements by telling the other person how you feel instead of blaming him/her by using "you" statements. For example, you might say something such as, "I feel sad when you don't come home at a decent hour and I don't get to spend time with you" versus "You always stay out late and don't even care about me." The speaker should also avoid using black and white language such as always, never, etc. As the listener, you want to validate what you hear so that the other person knows that you are listening. You will also want to be responsive and offer fair solutions.
I wish you luck in using these tools and learning about where your anger comes from.
It doesn't feel good when it seems that your partner no longer cares or cares less for you, especially if your feelings have not changed. It can be scary, frustrating, and lonely. Have you tried talking to him about your concerns? I would suggest to start there. There may be several reasons for his actions, some of which may have nothing to do with how he feels for you. Learning about what is going on for him will likely answer your questions and, depending on his response, may cause some relief.
When initiating conversations about subjects that are sensitive, there are a few things that you want to remember. Tell him how you are feeling and what you are experiencing, rather than blaming him or telling him what he is doing wrong. Avoid using extreme, black and white language (i.e. always and never). For example, you may say something such as, "I feel confused that we are rarely intimate and I'm wondering if you've also noticed this change" versus "You are never intimate with me anymore." Don't be afraid to ask him questions. You deserve to know what is going on, as his behavior is effecting your well being. I like to ask open-ended questions instead of yes and no questions. It allows for more clarity and deeper explanation. Lastly, ask yourself (and possibly him) what part you play in the recent changes. Does he feel that you've been distant? Does he need something from you? Let him know that you are willing to work things out as a team. If communication attempts fail, seeing a couple's therapist can be a great benefit. Having an objective party to coach you through this difficut time can give you the support that will create lasting changes in your relationship.
Best of luck to you!
What a tough situation you must be in, feeling torn between your parents and someone who is very special to you. I would say the first thing you want to do is (if you haven't already), have a calm reciprocal conversation with your parents, telling them how you feel and letting them know what you need from them. If communication attempts are unsucessful then you will need to make a decision with how you would like to move forward. You, unfortunately, will not be able to change your parent's feelings or opinions but you can agree to disagree on certain matters by keeping them separate from the relationship you have with your parents. It always helps to try and see things from another angle. You might want to, for example, try and understand your parent's perspectives and let them know you understand that they are upset. Validating other's feelings can be very helpful with communicating effectively.
Are you living with your parents and do they support you? If so, are you willing to give that up should you decide to not follow their rules? Know that there is nothing wrong with being happy with someone or loving somebody so deeply. Your feelings and actions certainly do not make you brainwashed or a devil worshipper. Not everyone will always approve of the choices we make and sometimes we need to be okay with that. Best of luck to you.
I can imagine how incredibly difficult this must be for you. Having past traumatic experiences creap up on you without warning can be very scary and stressful. You may be suffering from symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting evaluated by a professional would be a good step to take next. By seeking treatment and having a therapist who you trust and can connect with, you will gain the ability to think about your experiences without it significantly interfering with your daily functioning. A therapist can also help you to develop new coping stragies to be used during recall of these experiences and help you to adopt healthy thought patterns. I would also recommend that you seek support from loved ones. Sometimes just talking about your experiences and associated feelings will alleviate some of the emotional troubles you are suffering from. Lastly, you may find meditation or mindfulness work to be of great benefit. Having the ability to live in the present moment should reduce the effects of your traumatic experiences interfering with recalling your past or looking forward to your future. I wish you all the best!
That's a good question. I would say learn to pick your battles. What types of behavior/situations can you let go of? If you allow yourself to worry about the various areas in life that you cannot control, you will find yourself stressed out and unable to manage everything. Know that toddlerhood comes with lots of "no's," tantrums, non-compliance, and a growing need for independence. When your toddler does something that you don't approve of, remain calm, explain to him/her the appropriate way to act, and model it for him/her. Remember to give your toddler praise when he/she does something good or acceptable. Be consistent and follow through with your instructions. Finally, know that you are not alone. Parenting comes with its set of challenges but all you can do is your very best. Good luck to you!
Good for you for recognizing that a change has to be made quickly. Regardless of whether or not your girlfriend leaves your relationship, taking control of your anger needs to happen sooner than later. If left unresolved, it will follow you into any relationship you have. Have you talked to a therapist? I would suggest you take that step first. A therapist will help you explore the source of your anger and teach you new, adaptive ways of dealing with your anger. Until you're able to get some professional help, I would advise that you start recognizing when your emotions are becoming escalated and take a time out before the anger turns into aggression. If you feel yourself becoming heated, excuse yourself from the situation, go to a quiet place or on a walk, and practice some deep breathing. Clear your mind of the problem and focus only on your breathing as you inhale slowly counting to four and exhale slowly counting to six. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't work right away. Deep breathing takes practice! Return to the situation or your girlfriend only once you have calmed down and are confident that you are not going to hurt anyone. You might also want to ask your girlfriend to remind you to take a break when she recognizes that your emotions are escalating. Know that with help and support, especially from a therapist, the issues you have can be resolved and new ways of coping can be learned. Good luck!