Christian Roommates – Finding Good Company

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By , February 15, 2020 10:35 am

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In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul wrote: “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.?This statement should be your guiding light when selecting your next roommates.

In the same way that your family influenced you growing up, the people you live with now will also change the way you speak, act and think. This is great news if you pick solid, Christian roommates who will help you to grow. Proverbs 27:17 says that “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.?…

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In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul wrote: “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.?This statement should be your guiding light when selecting your next roommates.

In the same way that your family influenced you growing up, the people you live with now will also change the way you speak, act and think. This is great news if you pick solid, Christian roommates who will help you to grow. Proverbs 27:17 says that “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.?
However, the influence of your roommates can also corrupt your good character according to the verse from 1 Corinthians. Rather than being sharpened, you can be slowly whittled away. The worst part is, this happens slowly and gradually and you may not even realize you’re changing.

So how can you avoid bad company in your new roommates? Make sure you choose people that you are familiar with. People who you’ve had a chance to watch for a good year or so. This will ensure that you know the person you’re about to move in with. Spend some time with them in a variety of situations. Is there anything questionable about their beliefs or activities? Ask a couple people for advice as well. Some of your friends may have seen a different side of your potential roommate.

What if you’re not thinking of moving in with anyone you know? What if it has to be someone random? This is most likely the case if you’re moving into a dorm your first year of college. You’re really going to have to rely on God to provide you with someone who will be good company. Either way, it may be good to have some up front conversations to lay down a framework for what your apartment/dorm will be like. You can let your roommate know, gently of course, that drugs and heavy drinking aren’t cool with you and that you’re not really into partying too much. Don’t come across as self-righteous and your roommate will understand.

If you’re in a situation where you’ve been thrown in with a roommates with bad character, find some support outside of your dorm. Join a church nearby or find an on-campus group to hang out with. A group that can sharpen you and give you advice and help. Through them, you might even have an opportunity to change your roommate into good company.

Commitment Phobia: Are You Commitment Phobic?

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By , February 12, 2020 12:53 pm

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Marilee, a client of mine, was commitment phobic. “I’d love to be in a loving relationship,?she told me in one of our counseling sessions, “but I’m not willing to give up my freedom. I have a great life. I love my work and my friends. I love to travel and take workshops and classes. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can or can’t do. I don’t want to deal with someone feeling hurt because I want to work rather than be with him. It’s just not worth all the hassle.?

Marc…

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Marilee, a client of mine, was commitment phobic. “I’d love to be in a loving relationship,?she told me in one of our counseling sessions, “but I’m not willing to give up my freedom. I have a great life. I love my work and my friends. I love to travel and take workshops and classes. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can or can’t do. I don’t want to deal with someone feeling hurt because I want to work rather than be with him. It’s just not worth all the hassle.?

Marcus, another of my clients, was also commitment phobic. “When I’m not in a relationship, that’s all I can think about it. I really want someone to play with, to love and to grow with. But soon after getting into a relationship, I start to feel trapped. I feel like I can’t do what I want to do and I start to resent the person for limiting me. Most of the time, she has no idea what’s going on and is stunned by the break-up. She thought everything was fine. After leaving her, I’m back to square one ?wanting to be in a relationship. This has happened over and over again.?

Commitment phobia has its roots in the belief that when we love someone, we are responsible for their feelings rather than for our own. Once we believe that we are responsible for another’s feelings of hurt or rejection as a result of our behavior, we believe we need to limit ourselves in order to not upset the other person. Then, instead of standing up for our own freedom and right to pursue that which brings us joy, we limit our freedom in an effort to have control over the other person’s feelings. This will always eventually lead to resentment.

“Marilee, ?I asked in one of our phone sessions, “What if you picked someone who also loved his work and his personal freedom??

“Frankly, I can’t imagine that. Every man I’ve been in a relationship with has wanted to spend more time with me than I have with him. Am I just picking the wrong man over and over??

“No,?I replied. “But you are not standing firm in your freedom from the beginning. You give a lot at the beginning because you enjoy being with him, but, as we’ve discussed, you also give yourself up a lot at the beginning. You make love when you don’t want to. You stay up later than you want to for fear of hurting him. Then, when you do start to tell the truth, he is surprised and hurt. Until you are willing to risk losing him from the beginning rather than lose yourself, you will continue to create relationships that limit your freedom. You end up believing that it is the relationship that limits you, but it is your own fears and beliefs that keep limiting you.?

In my sessions with Marcus, he discovered that he had no idea how to stand up for himself in a relationship. As soon as a woman wanted something from him, he gave it to her. He just could not bring himself to say no. Then, of course, he ended up feeling trapped.

Marcus discovered that his fear of saying no to a woman came from two sources:

1) He believed he was responsible for her feelings, and that he was bad if he did anything that upset her.

2) He was afraid that if she felt hurt, she would get angry and reject him.

As a result of these two fears, Marcus continually gave himself up in relationships. However, giving himself up created such resentment toward his partner that he eventually didn’t want to be with her anymore and left the relationship.

In order to have both our personal freedom and be in a committed relationship, we need to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings rather than the other person’s feelings, and we need to be willing to lose the other person rather than lose ourselves. Commitment phobia heals when you become strong enough to be true to yourself, even in the face of another’s anger, rejection, or loss. If you want to have a loving relationship, then you need to do the inner work necessary to develop a strong adult self who can be a powerful advocate for your personal freedom.

Are You Sucking the Passion Out of Your Relationships?

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By , February 9, 2020 4:30 pm

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Since relationship is the main focus of your life, when you’re not in a romantic relationship, you’re probably looking for one. You can teach others how to love and “do?intimacy.

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If you are a Lover, your passion is connection, the intimacy of giving and receiving. Whether you are sharing your gifts and talents with the world at large, or you are having a one-on-one love relationship, marital relationship, friendship, a family member, or a relationship with a co-worker, you enjoy fusing your essential being with everything in life. Connecting with other people makes you feel grounded, secure, needed, valued, supported, happy, good about yourself, comforted, and loved.

Since relationship is the main focus of your life, when you’re not in a romantic relationship, you’re probably looking for one. You can teach others how to love and “do?intimacy. When the Lover is in bloom, you light up the world. Your enthusiasm, creativity, charisma, and openness make you irresistible. Your glow ignites the glow in others and helps them grow into their full potential. Lovers are wonderful people to know and love.

But as the day is followed by the night, the Lover’s glow casts a shadow. At their worst, Lovers are “energy vampires,?over-connecters who fuse with a grip that can be intensely smothering. As the Vamp, they can be desperately needy, self-centered, and depleting. In anger, they can whip up a storm and strike out with lethal words, wanting to hurt those who have hurt them. Vamps can burn out the people in their lives with drama after drama.

Vamps can be very charismatic and sexy in relationships. When they turn their attention in your direction, they can charm the pants off you. As long as the experience lasts, you’ll feel as though you are the most brilliant, fascinating creature in the universe. The trouble is, it may not last long. As soon as they’ve got you hooked, they are likely to move on to greener pastures because Vamps are attracted to the unavailable. Deep inside, they feel unworthy; therefore they don’t want to be members of any team that would have them. Lovers have a special talent for intimacy, but until they learn how to be self-nurturing and to give without expecting something in return, they often use moments of connection to feed off the energy of others. They seduce you so that you’ll validate them in the mistaken belief that this gives them an identity. Sadly, they often don’t know how beloved and wonderful they are.

If these words seem a bit harsh, just remember that the Vamp is only the unhealed aspect of the Lover. Every “Passion Signature?or, the signature style you express yourself and seek fulfillment, has light and dark qualities. We all have our share. Knowing the drawbacks to your Passion Signature can help you overcome your commitment phobia and discover your full potential.

In my book, The Passion Principle: Discover Your Passion Signature and the Secrets to Deeper Relationships in Love, Life and Work, you will find a guide for overcoming your Vamp qualities and having the committed love relationship and marriage you deserve.

Are You a Jealous Lover?

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By , February 6, 2020 7:13 pm

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Nothing can ruin a relationship or marriage faster than jealously. Jealousy creates anxiety, anger, loneliness, hate, fear. No one thinks clearly when jealous.

Having a relationship with a jealous person is tough. The jealous person acts untrusting or unworthy. Jealousy makes the person unattractive, even repulsive.

No one wants a jealous mate and no one likes being jealous. Here are some ways to get over your jealousy…….

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What do you do when that little, green eyed monster, as it’s so often called, jealousy bites you? It can happen to the best of couples, no matter what stage your relationship is in. Sometimes, it feels like there is no defense against this ridge building phenomenon. Most people are not jealous by nature but jealousy is usually put into action by some event, situation or another person.

If you are insecure about your relationship and very dependent on your lover you are likely to be jealous. After jealousy creeps in we begin to spy on our lover, worrying about the situation and reviewing the evidence. Suspicion is a strong emotion here.

If we decide there is a threat to our love, we can have a very wide range of responses like clinging dependency, violent rage at the competitor or the partner, self-criticism, and depression with suicidal thoughts. But is there any way to conquer this feeling and overcome jealousy?

Here are some ways you can handle jealousy

1. Isolate the cause of jealousy. You may think that jealousy is caused by your partner looking sexy or by a certain person at work. But that isn’t the real cause. That is just a symptom. Try to understand what the real cause is, so that you can then work on finding a solution.

2. Focus on eliminating one jealousy trigger. You also need to realise that jealousy can be overcome easily. So start out by focusing on an activity where you work through one of the main triggers for your jealousy and try to find the cause.

3. Build up your self-esteem. Most of the jealousy situations are caused by the jealous lovers feeling that they are not good enough for their partners. They feel inadequate and they feel that their partner would leave them for someone else, if given half a chance. So one key thing to work on is to build up your self-esteem.

Communication in the Workplace – New Tips and Strategies

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By , February 3, 2020 10:19 pm

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Communication in the workplace is very important but with so many people involved, all with different personalities and varying levels of understanding – communication can be difficult and misunderstandings can arise.

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Communication in the workplace is very important but with so many people involved, all with different personalities and varying levels of understanding – communication can be difficult and misunderstandings can arise.

Workplaces can be hectic places where messages are flying left, right and centre: that’s prime territory for miscommunication. Try to avoid that by following a few simple guidelines.

How you need to communicate in the workplace varies a little according to your job responsibilities. Those differ sometimes in whether you have responsibility for and authority over certain other staff members. It’s important to realize that you only have authority in so far as you can get people to follow you. How successfully you get people to do that comes down to communication too!

Communication is vital in any workplace and here are some of the essential ingredients for good communication in the workplace:

1. Give clear instructions

You save time in the long run by taking time to give even simple instructions clearly and make sure they are understood. Leave a pause for people to ask questions – or invite them to do so. It’s much better if a task is understood from the start rather than you having to go back and do work again because it was done wrongly the first time.

2. Be constructive, not critical

Supervisors and bosses can all too often become critical.

Often people who have tried to organize their work or solve workplace problems themselves have been severely criticized for the solution they have implemented. Is it any wonder then why they don’t bother trying to sort anything out again? That’s not an efficient way to organize a workplace.

The main trouble with this approach arises because the natural response of someone who is being criticized is to switch off and not listen. Nobody learns anything or moves on in that way.

The other side of the coin is that when employees are empowered to make some decisions themselves, managers get more time to get on with their own job and really progress a
business. For this to work, people need to feel safe to explore alternatives, give suggestions and ask questions.

Managers also need to make sure they ask the right questions to inspire their employees and to help them to think through solutions.

3. Let people know the ‘bigger picture?

What are you all aiming for? People will work harder and smarter if they know how the work they’re doing contributes to an end product.

4. Communicate messages effectively

Workplaces often have many people working there. Messages need to be passed on efficiently through whichever medium – face-face, telephone, e-mail etc.

If you have a message to pass on, make sure you do it accurately, to the right person – and in a timely manner. If the message is long – type it rather than relying on your memory.

5. Give people the freedom to organize at least some their work

If people are clear about what needs to be done, they can understand and set a list of priorities for their own work. This keeps people motivated to work hard, but also, it makes
them work more efficiently as they know what has to be done and can switch between tasks accordingly. There’s no need for them to stop work having hit a snag when they can get on with another project.

6. Make expectations clear

End a conversation with something like,

“So – am I right in thinking that you think the project will be completed by the end of today??

Then, if people anticipate a problem, they have the opportunity to tell you if there’s going to be a problem with that. That gives you the chance – and responsibility – to help them.

7. Treat people like individuals

Everyone has different needs and different personalities. Different people will all react well to slightly different approaches. It’s good if you can find out what approaches work well for your colleagues and employees; that way, you will get the most out of each interaction and everyone will be happier.

It all comes down to communication skills – or lack of them. It’s completely your responsibility for making yourself understood – no matter how many times you have to try – and it’s the other person’s responsibility to let you know every time they don’t understand something: communication in the workplace relies upon it.

Deadly Relationship Habits

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By , February 1, 2020 1:00 am

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How many of you have ever been involved with a significant other who wanted you to do something you didn’t want to do? I doubt that I’m the only one. By virtue of a significant other relationship, there will be times when our partners will want us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do and conversely, there will be times when we will want our partners to do things they don’t want to do.

This is perfectly normal. The key, however, is what we do about it. Can you remem…

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How many of you have ever been involved with a significant other who wanted you to do something you didn’t want to do? I doubt that I’m the only one. By virtue of a significant other relationship, there will be times when our partners will want us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do and conversely, there will be times when we will want our partners to do things they don’t want to do.

This is perfectly normal. The key, however, is what we do about it. Can you remember the behaviors your partners used to get you to do things their way? Dr. William Glasser, in his book called, Getting Together and Staying Together, talks about the seven destructive relationship habits. They are: complaining, criticizing, blaming, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing or rewarding to control. Do you recognize any favorites?

I like to add guilting to the list—this seems to be a favorite behavior of mothers. I know, because I am one. You can recognize this pattern in martyr type behavior. Saying things like, “After all I’ve done for you, you can’t do this one little thing for me??I’ve actually heard some mothers play the “childbirth card? You know the one. It sounds like this: “I was in labor with you for 36 hours! All I’m asking for is this one thing.?
I know for me, I am a world class nagger—just ask my children. The question of “Will you clean up your room today??can be asked in a variety of different ways, with varying tonal inflections and volumes to convey a variety of meanings. By the time I’ve reached the end of my rope, it would frequently sound like, “How can you be so lazy! If you don’t do it right now, I am going to do something to hurt you!?(This pain usually took the form of haranguing my child for an extended period of time.) Does this sound familiar?

With regard to nagging, it is my belief that after you’ve said it three times, your significant other has probably heard you and is not planning on obliging you any time in the near future. Repeating your request most likely will be unsuccessful at getting you what you want.

Complaining and criticizing are other behaviors we often engage in to get our loved ones to do something they don’t want to do. Does this sound familiar? Why can’t you be more like _____________? Do you have to do it THAT way? Why can’t you ever do something I want? You never do things the right way. You are so lazy, stupid, frustrating, aggravating, etc. Do these sound like relationship strengthening behaviors to you?

I think the blaming, threatening and punishing behaviors are self-explanatory. Blaming sounds like: It’s always your fault. Threatening goes like this: If you do or don’t do ______________, then I’m going to (insert something you won’t like). Punishing often takes the form of withdrawal. It may be that we give our partners the silent treatment or we may withdraw affection or at least our enthusiasm during intimacy.

The last destructive habit to discuss is called bribing or rewarding to control. This may require a little more discussion. Bribing or rewarding to control does not mean the same thing as negotiation. Negotiation in a relationship is very healthy and necessary to the long term success of the relationship. It involves two willing partners, each interested in helping the other person get what they need, while at the same time meeting their own needs. Bribing simply means that I am going to dangle a carrot of what I think you want in front of you to get you to do the thing I know you don’t want to do.

I can remember often asking my youngest son to pick up his room. His room was always a mess and quite possibly a health hazard. I remember one day, I decided to put my nagging behavior away and try something new. So I said something like this: “Kyle, if you clean your room today, I’ll let you have a friend come over and play.?Do you know what his answer was? He said, “I don’t want a friend that bad.?And the room didn’t get cleaned! What a surprise!

Bribing or rewarding to control also needs to be distinguished from spontaneous rewards. Can you feel the difference between these two scenarios? You want your partner to attend an office party with you that he or she does not want to attend. In your best attempt to bribe him or her, you seductively express what you might do when you come home from the party.

Compare that to, you ask your partner to attend the party. He or she agrees. You go and have a wonderful time, spontaneously enjoying some quality intimacy upon your return home. Do those circumstances feel different to you? I bet they would to your partner.

No one likes to be controlled no matter how subtly or skillfully the controlling is administered. External control is one thing human beings are almost guaranteed to rebel against.

The bottom line is that we often engage in destructive relationship patterns with those people we claim to love the most. We typically don’t use these destructive behaviors with our friends. If we were to try, we soon wouldn’t have any friends left!

When we think about our progress over the past 100 years in terms of technology and relationships, it is very clear that we have made great strides in the technological field and very minimal gains, if any, in our relationships with each other. Can you think of things we have available to us today that didn’t exist 100 years ago? Today we have cell phones, computers, satellite, televisions, DVDs, CDs, space travel, etc. The list is virtually endless.

One of the reasons we have made such huge gains in the technological field is because those who are working at making those advances are willing to try a new approach when their approach is no longer working. They adjust their behavior to fit the situation. This is simply common sense.

However, in the area of interpersonal relationships, would you say that people get along better today than they did a century ago? Do husbands get along better with their wives? Do parents get along better with their children? Do teachers get along better with their students? Do neighbors get along better today? Most would admit that there has been little, if any, improvement.

The reason for this lack of progress in the relationship department is that when our external control behaviors don’t work to get us the results we want, we take those same behaviors to the next level. We are convinced that they will work if only we do it more often, harder or faster. In other words, we get a bigger stick!

The reason this mentality has survived the ages is because we can usually crank up the pressure or find the one punishment or threat that will work to get us what we want. Did you hear me say external control doesn’t work? Of course it works! That’s why we use it. The question remains: At what cost?

When we consistently use external control behaviors in our relationships with those we love, what does it cost? It costs us the relationship. I’m not saying the relationship will necessarily end, although that is a definite possibility. What I am saying is that we keep whittling away at the foundation of our relationship and then wonder why there has been no relationship progress over the past 100 years or even longer.

There are alternatives. There are ways to simultaneously honor ourselves and our partners. The first step is to recognize when we are using external control behavior. We will probably be able to recognize it long before you feel able to do anything about it. This is acceptable. Of course, the best case scenario is that from this moment forward, every time you consider externally controlling your partner, you stop yourself and use a caring habit instead.

However, if that is not what happens in your case, don’t despair. Recognizing external control is the first step—bringing it into your conscious awareness. Once it’s there, then you can make a decision about what you are going to do about it.

To learn about excluding external control from your life and implementing the caring habits in your relationships, visit www.TheRelationshipCenter.biz and check our calendar for upcoming teleclasses, chats and workshops.

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