Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Raising Kids While Not Losing Yourself


As women we hold space for different identities throughout our lifetime. Some we are born into and some we step into.

One identity many women have the honor of stepping into is motherhood. As soon as that baby is placed into your arms your title quickly changes to “Mom” and your identity follows.

As you embrace this new identity it can be easy for other roles or identities to slip away as motherhood is a 24/7 job.

With the birth of each child, you may find yourself thrown into the deep end of navigating the challenges of postpartum difficulties, surviving more sleepless nights than you can count, comforting sick and cranky toddlers while trying to manage your emotions, running kids to and from sporting events and school, and the list goes on and on.

If you are not careful and intentional, you may find that you are drowning in the depths of motherhood, unable to recognize your former self – the fun, smart, energetic, ambitious woman you can hardly remember now.


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How to Drive Your Employees Crazy in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Give them responsibility without authority – Many of us have had this experience: You find an item in a store that’s marked down to a sale price. The clerk scans the bar code and the regular price pops up on the screen. You point out that the item is marked with a lower price and get “the look”.  It’s the look that means, “There is nothing I can do about this. I have to go by what the register says, or I get in trouble. And, before you ask, my manager is at lunch.” While you are rightfully annoyed by the snafu in your purchase, stop for a minute to put yourself in the shoes of an employee who is perfectly able to see the problem – i.e. the clearly marked sale price – and has no authority to do the right thing because the machine hasn’t been updated. There they stand, helpless, frustrated and directly in the crosshairs of your glare. 

Employees who are well trained and given the authority to take...

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Spring is a Great Time for a Fresh Start

I can only imagine how desperately the residents of the eastern states are longing for the snow to melt and the air to warm up. I grew up with “real” winters but have been in Arizona long enough to forget just how stuffy and stifling it feels to live in a house that’s been shut up tight for months. Here in Tucson, we didn’t have to struggle through massive snowstorms or debilitating cold, but there is still something about Spring that energizes us to say, “Out with the old; in with the new!”

What are some of the things in your life that need a fresh start, a do-over or just a one-way trip to the trash can?  Here are some things we all need to clean out from time to time. 

Resentments – No one benefits from a grudge.  You hold on to the anger and pain hoping it will somehow make the other person miserable, and it just doesn’t work that way.  If the resentment is against someone you know – or even love –...

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The Power of Words

Most couples who come for marriage counseling initially report experiencing very low levels of marital satisfaction. One couple I worked with told me at their first session that they had already planned to divorce, but thought they owed it to their children to try counseling.  

The couple admitted that the majority of their conversations were filled with sarcasm, criticism, and other negative forms of communication and neither one could stand the hurt and anger any longer.  

I suggested a challenge: Refrain from all negative comments and interactions for two weeks. The plan was that if they started to argue or fight, one or both needed to call a time, respectfully step out of the conflict, and focus on cooling down emotionally.   

Two weeks later both reported they had reduced their negative comments and conflict by at least 75 percent. They were pleased with the change – especially for their children – but they didn’t really feel...

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Bend or Break - Which Will You Do?

Unlike pieces of hardware that weren’t made to bend or flex, humans were designed with this capacity… and for good reason. We are bombarded daily with challenges and demands that can place pressure on us, especially in our relationships.  If we want to be strong and resilient when the stresses of life come our way, we need to know whether we are likely to bend or break. 

Some of the common pressures in the workplace involve changing deadlines, increased responsibilities, cancelled meetings, uncontrollable market or economic trends, long hours, demanding supervisors, negative co-workers and the list goes on.

Successful people don’t snap under these pressures because they have learned to be more flexible. This doesn’t mean they don’t care and it doesn’t minimize the significance of the stress. It means they are able to put their circumstances in perspective, which allows them to think, feel and behave in ways that will keep...

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Getting Control of Your Anger - Part II

In my last blog I shared the first four of seven practical tips for managing your anger well. They were:

1.  Understand what anger is

2. Control your initial response

3. Acknowledge your anger and its source

4. Tell yourself the truth

Those are the critical first steps to balancing the inner issues (thought processes) that set you up for either success or failure in anger management. Now let’s look at some external actions and choices you can make to help you put a stop to unhealthy reactions to anger. 

5. Limit Your Exposure to the Things That Trigger Your Anger

Repeated exposure to stressful images, thoughts and situations can intensify your emotional response. If you find that your anger escalates when you watch the news, read the newspaper, or talk about an offense or injustice with a friend or co-worker, then you may need to significantly reduce or eliminate these activities. This could mean hiding posts from certain Facebook friends or other social media...

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Getting Control of Your Anger - Part I

One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.

How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well-being, and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life.

Today we will look at the first four of seven practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively. 

1. Understand What Anger Is

Anger is a natural, God-designed emotional and physiological response to negative or threatening circumstances in life. When you believe that you have been treated unfairly or harshly, or when you experience frustration associated with an unmet need or goal, your mind and body prepare for action. It is this...

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7 Keys to Letting Go of Regret

Living with regret is like walking through life dragging a heavy ball and chain around your ankle – it will do nothing but slow you down. Regrets keep you focused on the past, which robs you of the present and tricks you into believing there is no future.

These 7 keys will help you take another step toward freeing yourself from the weight of regret, beginning to move forward again, and creating real change in your life. 

1. Accept the past, no matter how you feel about it. Remind yourself that feeling guilty can’t change what has happened and dwelling on it won’t keep you from making future mistakes. In fact, the stress of regret may actually increase the potential for mistakes.

2. Admit to yourself that you aren’t perfect and that mistakes, even big ones, are a normal part of life. Forgive yourself and move forward. Remember that new successes help fade the memories of past failures.

3. Whenever possible, make reparation, or in other words, do what you...

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10 Communication Tips That Will Improve All Your Relationships

By far, the number one problem identified by married couples is that they can't communicate effectively. It's actually somewhat hard to believe that this problem is so pervasive in homes today when you consider that these same couples often claim to not have difficulty communicating with friends and co-workers. What's up with this?

One of the main reasons couples have such a difficult time communicating at home is because their conversations involve "high stake" relationships along with "high stake" issues that are often highly emotionally charged.

I have found that one of the best ways to guarantee better communication when engaged in these difficult conversations is to learn how to be a skilled listener. I'm confident that if you consistently practice the tips below for the next thirty days you will see the quality of your communication improve significantly. Start putting these tips to work for your relationships today!

1. Listen twice as much as you talk

"It is far better...

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A Great Way to Communicate Affection Without Talking

I frequently hear women express concerns about their husbands not communicating affection or what they think and feel about many topics – especially about them, personally, and their marriage. The husband usually responds with comments like, “You know I’m not a talker” or “I can’t communicate as well as you can.”

Although most men do have the ability to effectively communicate with their wives they often don’t, and there are many different reasons that we won’t go into now.

Before we go farther, let me clarify that there are some couples in which it’s the wife who has the greater challenge with communication, but since the majority of “non-talkers” are men, we will assume this in order to keep it simple. If you are/have a quiet wife, feel free to apply the information as it suits your situation. 

When I’m working with couples who are frustrated about one-sided communication, I often recommend a...

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