Mind-Reading is Bad for Relationships

Mind-reading glasses?Are you good at reading people? Do you easily pick up on the moods or feelings of others? If the answer is Yes, here’s some food for thought.

For some years I facilitated therapy groups for people interested in personal growth. This involved interviewing potential new members to make sure the fit was right for both the person and the group.

It was through one of these interviews that I met Enola (not her real name), who told me an unfortunately typical story of a childhood filled with material things and virtually devoid of emotional connection. Read More

Social Insecurity

Photo: "Scared" by graur razvan ionutWhen I was a teenager, I frequently felt like I didn’t quite know the right things to do when it came to interacting with people. What do I say in this situation? How do I word that request? What can I expect here? What was expected of me there?

I woke up the other morning to the spontaneous discovery that somewhere deep down inside me, I still feel like that kid who doesn’t know the rules of social engagement. Read More

How to Assert Yourself Without Being Mean

Someone asks you to lend them money. Not a lot. Just enough so you’ll miss it and wonder if you’ll see it again. You’d rather not lend it, but you can’t say no. You give it up, then resent the person for not paying you back without your having to ask.

You visit the home of an acquaintance and she says, “My dog is super friendly. Let me know if he’s bothering you.” Fifteen minutes and a gallon of slobber on your pants later, you offer a silent prayer of thanks when the dog gets bored with you and decides to torment his chew toy instead. Read More

When Adult Children Won’t Talk to Their Parents

Photo of estrangement by T. GilbertsonThere’s an article about estrangement on my website that gets more feedback than any article I’ve written before or since. In that article, I offer strategies for the person who’s been cut off by someone and wants to get back together.

The gist of it is this: Like it or not, whether you agree with them or not, the “cutter-offer” perceives a reason for cutting you off.  If you want to reunite, it’s up to you to make amends rather than expecting them to see the error of their ways. Read More