Memory and Perception

7 Ways to Extinguish Gaslighting

The term “gaslighting” has been coined from a 1944 movie in which a husband who is trying to steal his wife’s inheritance convinces her that she is imagining things when she starts to notice odd and furtive behavior on his part. Their gas lights flicker whenever he is in the attic, searching for jewels he thinks are hidden there. He convinces her that she’s imagining things. Gradually, his lies and manipulation make her, and other people, question her sanity. Gaslighting has become a useful term for what goes on in some emotionally abusive relationships.

When gaslighting, the abuser finds a way to make the victim think she or he is “crazy” by steadily questioning their perception of reality. It only works because the abuser also knows how to appear like a friendly, even loving, concerned friend, lover or work supervisor at least some of the time. The victim can’t believe that someone who loves or cares for them would purposefully and systematically try to hurt them.
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Forgiveness: Why You Should Consider It and How to Forgive

A gift to yourself  

The idea of forgiveness makes many people shout, Never!!  Indeed, resentment, blame, recrimination, and desire for revenge seem so much more natural than forgiveness.

Is there anything to be gained by forgiving an offender?

Formerly associated only with spiritual wellbeing, it is now known that it also enhances emotional, mental and physical health. Releasing resentment, hatred and bitterness breaks the troubling connection with the offender. No longer consumed by what was done to you, you can move away from and beyond the offense. Without the crippling emotions, wounds can turn into strength and wisdom.
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How Lists Can Help You Choose a Mate Wisely

Many singles hope to marry yet lack clarity about what traits to look for in a spouse. Consequently, they may get involved in relationships that disappoint them.

Some people settle for less than they deserve because they don’t recognize their own fine qualities. Another obstacle to marrying occurs when they find an imperfection in a good person which becomes their reason to reject him or her.

I ask women in my Marry with Confidence workshops to make three lists. You can make the same ones. By carefully creating each list below, you’re likely to:
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3 Ways Emotional Vampires Create Work Stress

Do you know someone who, after spending even a little time with them, you feel completely and utterly drained but don't know why?

I bet you do -- ESPECIALLY if you work in a hostile workplace! That’s the definition of an emotional vampire and probably the primary cause of your work stress.

Here are three common tactics emotional vampires use to suck your energy and also some tips on how to stay safe:
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10 Ways to Express Gratitude

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Philosophers and poets have long praised gratitude as one of the most desirable attitudes. Surely, each of us has much to be thankful for. Why not express our gratitude? It costs us nothing, yet yields countless benefits.

Looking for ways to show and acknowledge gratitude? Here are 10 to try that are simple, quick and easy.
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Spot the Fine Line Between Trust & Control

As a society, most of us would unanimously rank trust as an important part of relationships. We want to trust that the people we live with, work with, and love, are going to do everything in their power not to hurt us.

Among the people I work with I often hear the question uttered, “How do I know I can trust him/her?” My simple answer is “You can’t know if you can trust them.” But I go on to explain, “Even more important is to know that trust solely placed in someone else is misguided.”

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Avoiding Projections Through Appreciation

A common way we get into trouble in intimate relationships is through projection.

We project onto our partner how we think they should be or act, usually through the lens of how we learned to be and act from our parents. We may have a fantasy of the ideal partner, or ideal behaviors we want from our partner, and we hold them to these unattainable projections.

The result is disappointment for both parties. Your partner only knows how to be themselves and will resent you if they are seen in and treated through idealized expectations. Thus, there needs to be space to allow your partner to be who they are. You can’t force them to be different, but you can appreciate them for who they are.

This is the foundation of relationship health.
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Is Your Partner Jealous of Your Child?

When you met your partner and fell in love you probably dreamed and eventually planned out a life together. For many this plan included the possibility of children. Fast-forward to having one or more children and all is perfect, right? Maybe not.

Life has a way of taking you through unexpected twists and turns and rarely, if ever, does it turn out the way you anticipated. What if one of those unexpected twists however, is your partner’s jealousy of your children?
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Marriage and Divorce

The 5 Best Traits to Look for in a Romantic Partner

Decades of research have delved into what key ingredients are necessary for true success in any given long-term relationship, including marriage.

While there is no rhyme and reason to explain such success, it is believed that the following psychological traits can heavily impact the success of a given relationship, thereby cementing it into something solid that has a chance of enduring fruitfully over time.

Take a peek at these five traits that researchers and experts use to predict longevity in relationships, and see where you and your partner may be falling short.
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How to Create Emotional Boundaries

Those who have experienced physical abuse are often advised by therapists to create physical boundaries with the abuser. In some extreme cases, that might  warrant a restraining order.

The same method should be employed when toxic emotional abuse arises between two people.

It could very well be that a person turns to abusive behaviors after years of not exhibiting any, which will necessitate the need for a boundary.  
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What’s More Important: Speaking Your Truth or Maintaining Safe Relationships?

We often hear that it’s important to speak your truth -- to express your honest feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. But how often do we create rifts in our relationships following this dictate too rigidly?

We want to be true to ourselves and live with authenticity and integrity. We don’t want to be codependent and conceal our true feelings in order to protect or placate others. Intimacy cannot thrive in a climate of emotional dishonesty and inauthenticity.
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Seeking Perfection—Even Though We Know It’s Impossible

A teenage boy is an exceptional baseball player. Every time he pitches a perfect game, his parents praise him. Every time he doesn’t, his parents lecture him on what he did wrong (and he berates himself). They encourage him to train long hours.

A young woman is convinced she’s too big. Her mother and grandmother regularly shame others for their weight. And they shame her, too. The young woman’s mom sticks to a strict number of calories and only eats “clean” foods. Soon the young woman starts doing the same. She and her mom “bond” over counting calories. Her mom praises her for adhering to a rigid diet and doing endless cardio. She praises her for losing weight. The young woman is terrified of stopping the diet and exercise.
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