Same Sex Couples and Lessons to Learn About Emotional Intelligence

Same sex couples' successes and failures were studied alongside straight couples', and the bottom line is that same sex couples tend to operate from a healthier set of principles.

Emotional intelligence appears to be higher in same sex couples, where hostile and controlling emotional tactics were fewer. Humor and positive perspective were more often used to start disagreements, and disagreements were more easily forgotten when done. The research goes on to show the differences in lesbian couples' and gay couples' argument patterns, likely a result of gender socialization.

How NOT To Argue

The article below talks about the four things you cannot do when you argue with a partner if you plan to keep your relationship.

The Gottmans refer to these as the "Four Horsemen", or the ultimates in what not to do, and this article does a great job of laying it out there.

Keep in mind that these four things are not easy to change if they are part of your argument style, and contempt is the ringer when it comes to predicting the end of a relationship. If you are stuck in contempt or struggling with ANY of the four, give me a call and we can work on changing not only the argument style but also make sure your voice is heard.

Positive Parenting

Positive parenting. When you are in the thick of parenting, you may not even know what positive parenting means--let alone care. This resource does a good job of showing the difference between limiting feelings and limiting actions--which can be difficult if emotions (the parent's or the child's) are leading the charge.

I once again invite you to join the Gottman blog. They are a wonderful resource for relationships--including those between you and your child. If you are struggling with relationships, please consider giving me a call. I am here to help.

Emotion Coaching for Parents

In a previous blog, I touched on Emotion Coaching in relation to being a better parent. I am providing a link to both an article directly from the researchers as well as the book that provides more info for parents. 

It's an excellent resource if you don't have a parenting plan or if you think your plan doesn't work for your child. 



Scientific American Article on How Anxiety Is Created by Harsh Parenting

No parent wants to create anxiety, let alone an anxiety disorder in their child. All of the parents who show up to my office want nothing more than to find out how their child can cope with the stress that life throws at them--and most of all help their child to take those coping skills into the rest of their lives. 

Anxiety is not always a disorder, and in fact can be a healthy and normal response to extreme circumstances. Our bodies need to respond to extremes, and anxiety is a natural response to that extreme. Typical anxiety should aid in a short term response and then resolve when the extreme is gone. 

 Scientific American has now released research that shows a prolonged extreme style of parenting can create anxiety in children. This parenting style is sometimes called "tiger parenting" or a harsh and emotionally distant style which pushes the child to constantly achieve.

The style is characterized by high control and low warmth. It creates critical interactions without regard to the bond being created. This style is linked to three times higher occurrence of anxiety disorders in children. The article also touches on the repercussions into adulthood. 

As always, I am available for consultation and treatment if you are concerned about your parenting style or the effects on your children. Many anxiety disorders respond to therapy, and in the case of anxiety exacerbated by parenting style, family therapy is a great option.

We Need Compassion More Than Advice

I've been reflecting a lot lately on the idea that relationships are more fulfilling when they are mutual and connected. The idea that compassion connects and advice disconnects is simple but powerful.

When your partner (or child, or coworker, or family member) is reaching out for connection, are you more focused on their thoughts and the solutions, or are you making attempts to know the feeling behind the connection?

Next time you are in a position of frustration in your relationship, try understanding the feeling that the other person is trying to convey, and see if the interaction is more mutual and fulfilling. I'd love your thoughts below.

Compatability is not a Predictor of Successful Relationships

Amazingly, research shows that compatibility, which is closely linked with personalities, is not a predictor of successful relationships. The key appears to lie more in the commitment to stay together. This commitment hinges on several key factors including whether or not there are common goals and whether or not life dreams are supported. 

The article is fascinating and I would encourage anyone facing relationship problems to take a look. As always, if you feel more help is needed, please give me a call and come into the office.

The Four Horsemen: How to Predict The Demise of Your Relationship

Another cornerstone of the Gottman Research and Interventions. If you struggle with your current relationship-- albeit romantic ones were studied, but I think it applies to all relationships really--then you should familiarize yourself with these four predictors of doom. 

I hope that you find the solutions you need in the article, but if you continue to struggle, give me a call and we can set up sessions to tackle the issues together.

Bringing Home Baby

One of the hardest times in a family's journey is when a new baby joins. There is a wonderful seminar that can help ease the transition. It is research based and a somewhat new set of interventions.

If the seminar format does not suit your needs, consider coming into the office. I treat family additions and the stress related to it, as well as the stress related to infertility, prenatal and postnatal journeys.

The Gottman Institute; a good resource for better relationships.

For anyone struggling in their relationships or marriage, please consider signing up for the Gottman Institute's feed on Twitter, Facebook and the listserv through their website. 

The most recent publication which I have found to be helpful is by John Gottman, the founder of the Gottman Institute, entitled "The Man's Guide to Women". It's a must read for anyone struggling to understand alternate gender relationships, and/or to gain perspective into their marital conflict.


Huffington Post Article on Parenting

There is no handbook, but an interesting part of modern parenting is that Facebook offers a community of different perspectives. This article is in response to the group think offered on Facebook and challenges each parent to look at their individual child and their needs.

If you are struggling with behavioral or emotional solutions for your children, set up an appointment with me to get new ideas.