Posts Tagged creative

Are You In a Healthy Relationship?


Are You In a Healthy Relationship?

by YourTango Experts

Are You In A Healthy Relationship?This guest article from YourTango was written by Susan J. Elliott.

In the years I’ve been counseling and coaching, many people say, “I know I’ve been in sick relationships, but I don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like.”

There are many long and complicated answers to this, but there is also a simple one: healthy relationships make your life larger and happier; unhealthy relationships narrow your life and make you crazy.

Healthy relationships do not include mind games, mixed messages, or control.  There is not a back and forth or continual makeup and breakup, or “I’m sorry, please forgive me” every week or so.

 

In healthy relationships, there is a partnership and a nurturing by both parties of that partnership.  At the same time, each person recognizes the need to have interests and time away from their partner to nurture themselves. They don’t need to have the same interests, but rather the same view of life. Healthy love is about taking care of yourself and taking care of your mate… and those things are in balance to the point where they seldom collide.

What is Real Love?

Healthy people lead to healthy relationships and healthy relationships lead to real love.

Real love does not seek another person to fill up what we are lacking. It takes a complete, whole person to really love and overly needy people cannot do it. Real love is balanced. Both partners love in fairly equal amounts. While the balance may shift back and forth, it is not lopsided. If you love someone who is not loving your back, or not loving you the way you love them, then it’s not real.

When you place expectations on people to fill your empty places, that is not healthy. It’s nice to have a partner, a companion, someone to help you weather life’s storms, but it is not okay to look for someone to complete you or fix your broken places. That is not real love; that is dependence, co-dependence, and unhealthy neediness.

Real love does not play games, cause us to lose sleep, friends, jobs, money, time and value in our lives. Real love is an enlarging and not a narrowing experience. And finally, real love does exist. But it is true that in order to find the right person, you need to be the right person.

To be the right person you have to do your work, examine your failed relationships and, find the patterns. Go to counseling if you have historical issues. Find out why you are attracted to a certain type that is not good for you. And, at the same time, build your life so that you are an independent, interesting, and attractive person.  You will attract other independent, interesting, and attractive people who are capable of good and loving relationships.

As I say over and over again, water seeks its own level. If you are attracting and attracted to unhealthy and dysfunctional, you are unhealthy and dysfunctional. Do your work so that real love and lasting love has a chance to walk in.

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6 Ways Men and Women Communicate Differently


6 Ways Men and Women Communicate Differently

6 Ways Men and Women Communicate Differently
By YOURTANGO EXPERTS

This guest article from YourTango was written by Richard Drobnick.

Men and women are different in many ways. They see the world through completely different perspectives. The key to understanding their differences is in the way that men and women communicate.

Here are six important communication differences that you should be aware of, to help improve your communications with your partner and make them smoother and more effective.

1. Why Talk?

He believes communication should have a clear purpose. Behind every conversation is a problem that needs solving or a point that needs to be made. Communication is used to get to the root of the dilemma as efficiently as possible.

She uses communication to discover how she is feeling and what it is she wants to say. She sees conversation as an act of sharing and an opportunity to increase intimacy with her partner. Through sharing, she releases negative feelings and solidifies her bond with the man she loves.

2. How Much Should You Say?

He prioritizes productivity and efficiency in his daily life, and conversation is no exception. When he tells a story he has already sorted through the muck in his own head, and shares only those details that he deems essential to the point of the story. He might wonder, “Why do women need to talk as much as they do?” Often he will interrupt a woman once he has heard enough to offer a solution.

She uses communication to explore and organize her thoughts — to discover the point of the story. She may not know what information is necessary or excessive until the words come spilling out. But a woman isn’t necessarily searching for a solution when she initiates a conversation. She’s looking for someone to listen and understand what she’s feeling.

3. What Does It Mean To Listen?

He is conditioned to listen actively. When a woman initiates conversation he assumes she is seeking his advice or assistance. He engages with the woman, filtering everything she’s saying through the lens of, “What can we actually do about this?” Learning to listen patiently — not just passively — doesn’t come easily to him.

She sees conversation as a productive end in and of itself. If she feels sufficiently heard or understood she may not need to take further action to resolve a problem or “make things better.” The fact that she has been listened to assuages her anxieties and dulls the pangs of negative feelings. Sharing with someone who understands and loves her heals her from the inside and equips her with the emotional tools necessary to handle the trials and tribulations of the outside world.

4. When She Is Feeling Down …

He will want to tackle her problems head on, like a fireman. He feels impatient to put the fire out as quickly as possible. For him, the quickest way to put the fire out is by giving solutions. Because he wants so badly to provide for his spouse, he may take her mood personally and defend himself. He might hear things literally, not realizing that when his spouse is upset she will use words as tools to explore and express difficult emotions.

By using words as tools to explore and express her difficult emotions when she is upset, she is able to process her negative emotions and let them go. She values support and nurture, and is most fulfilled by sharing, cooperation and community. When he shows interest in her by asking caring questions or expressing heartfelt concerns she feels loved and cared for. He is fulfilling her first primary love need.

5. When He Is Feeling Down …

He will often withdraw into his “cave” (becoming quiet and withdrawn) when he’s upset or stressed. A man’s “cave time” is like a short vacation: he reduces stress by forgetting about his problems and focusing on other things like watching television, reading the newspaper, or playing video games.

He might avoid communication with his spouse during times of duress. If she persists with nurturing questions or criticism, he withdraws even further, fearing that his partner doesn’t trust him to take care of business on his own. However, with her support and understanding, a man will return and be more emotionally available, caring, and loving.

She might interpret her spouse’s silence as a sign that she is failing him or that she’s losing him. She instinctively tries to nurture him through his problems by asking an abundance of caring questions. Or she may react defensively out of fear that her own need for healthy open communication is not being respected within the relationship.

Ultimately, she can do more for him by appreciating his space, which shows him that she trusts him to work out the problem on his own. Trusting is one of the greatest gifts she has to offer him. In the meantime she should do something nurturing for herself, so she won’t resent him when he emerges from his “cave time.”

6. Communication Breaks Down When …

He feels like he’s being told what to do. The most important thing to a man is doing a good job. When his competence is questioned he’ll not only feel hurt, but he’ll throw up a wall of resistance, and communication begins to breakdown. He thrives in an environment where he’s the expert. Rather than being told, “You should do X” he is likely to respond better to, “What do you think of X?” The trick to improving him is to resist telling him what to do.

She hears from her spouse that her problems aren’t as real and pressing as they seem in that very moment. Her spouse may mistakenly think he’s being helpful in providing “reality checks” like: “You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill” or “You’re getting overly emotional about it.” To her it feels like he is attempting to minimize her feelings or talk her out of having them.

Men and women desire to satisfy their partners, but they may miss the mark because it is truly difficult to understand and accept our partner’s different ways of communication. Men and women need education on these differences to help their relationships, so they do not end up in a frustrated state of resentment and feel stuck.

If a couple is feeling stuck, I suggest they read or listen to couples self-help books together. If the couple still feels stuck, then they should always seek professional counseling and get back on the road to better understanding and communication.

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Self-care and Creative Achievement | The Creative Mind


Self-care and Creative Achievement | The Creative Mind

Self-care and Creative Achievement
By DOUGLAS EBY

Developing our creative ideas and projects demands focus, energy and emotional balance, in addition to tools and materials.

Especially if you are a highly sensitive person, as many or most creative people are, you will be more effective and productive in your creative life by exercising conscious self-care.

Creativity and life coach Jenna Avery notes that for “Sensitive Souls, standard formulas don’t work well, like 40-plus-hour workweeks, commutes, fluorescent lights, and cubicles.

“We require physically and emotionally supportive environments along with plenty of independence and privacy. In addition, each sensitive person has specific challenges – such as people, noise, or light. It’s important to know which of these are significant for you and to learn how to address them.”

She adds, “For example, you might bring in an incandescent lighting source or create a cubicle of plants to define your space. You might also learn protective energy techniques for interpersonal challenges.”

From article: “Work that Works for Sensitive Souls: Six Steps to Transforming Your Career” by Jenna Avery.

Jenna Avery is a highly sensitive coach and intuitive who offers Self-Study Classes for Sensitive Souls, a Writers Circle group, and other programs for creative people at JennaAvery.com.

Whether you are working on your own or in a business setting, you may face challenges interacting with other people – as well as getting help and support from them. So paying more attention to how you feel and function with others can be a form of self-care.

A former psychotherapist, Lisa Riley now provides Creativity Coaching.

In her article “5 Ways to Be Kind to Your Creative Self” she notes it is “common for artists and creative professionals to be their worst critic. As creative individuals we beat ourselves up if our productivity or level of creativity doesn’t match up to our expectations.”

Dealing with self-criticism and “learning how to treat yourself with kindness is essential to your professional development and most importantly in surviving the challenges of pursuing a career in a creative industry.”

Here are her suggestions for ways to be compassionate towards yourself, to help support your healthy physical and emotional life as a creator.

1. Acceptance

Accepting things as they are is a great way to give yourself permission to be exactly where you’re at in your creative process even if that means struggling to maintain motivation or coming up with ideas. In other words, not judging your current situation as good or bad, but that it is what it is.

2. Letting Go of Expectations

Sometimes, we place too rigid or high expectations on ourselves. For instance, some creative professionals have this idea that success means creativity would come easy for them, when in reality, creativity is an ebb and flow process.

So, always evaluate if your expectations are reasonable or unpractical and don’t be afraid to modify them in order to be more flexible.

3. Say Kind Words to Yourself

It’s interesting how without question, many of us treat our loved ones, the people we care about with loving-kindness. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we’re not so kind. We are quick to judge and tell ourselves unkind words. Adopting a nurturing and supportive inner voice is a huge part of practicing self-compassion.

Become aware of the statements that you tell yourself. Are they nurturing or are they critical? Are they supportive or are they judgmental? Are they kind or are they mean?

4. Focus on the Successes in your Past

When we’re struggling with our creativity, it’s easy to lose sight of our past accomplishments. We begin to define ourselves with struggling. Don’t forget how far you’ve come and what you have accomplished this far.

When we forget our strengths, talents and past accomplishments, we judge ourselves negatively versus treating ourselves with kindness.

5. Small Achievements are Equally Deserving

Whether your art is showcased in a local paper versus a national art magazine or you directed a commercial versus a blockbuster, it’s important to give yourself credit for even the small achievements. Even if you haven’t yet arrived at your ultimate goal, your small successes are vital stepping stones.

So, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for even the little accomplishments.

Read more articles by Lisa Riley on her blog, and see her multiple Products for Your Creative Success on her site The Art of Mind.

[Photo: Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown, from my Facebook page The Inner Entrepreneur.]

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