Relate Well! Blog

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

10 Resolutions for Building a Strong Family

Building and maintaining a strong and loving family in today's culture takes a determined will and a conscious and sustained effort on the part of every family member. With so many things competing for our time and attention it is easy to lose sight of the value and significance of the close, loving relationships our families can provide. 

It's often been said that when a person comes to the end of their life they realize that the only things that really matter are the loving relationships that were established and cultivated throughout the years - especially those with family. 

If you want to build a firm foundation of love and support for your family that will stand the test of time and weather the storms of difficult life circumstances, we encourage you to embrace these ten resolutions for building a strong family. 

As a family, we commit to...

  1. Live our lives according to what we value and believe - 
    even when it isn't popular!
  2. Respond to each other with...
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The Best Gifts

Some people have the “gift” of gift-giving. They have a knack for knowing what will make someone happy and finding it. They never get tired of hearing, “It’s perfect! How did you know I wanted that?” Most of us aren’t quite that gifted, so we turn to other people or even the Internet for ideas.

A recent browse on the GiftAdvisor.com website revealed hundreds of ideas. For example, the plant-lovers in your life might like the Avocado Tree Starter Kit or the Redwood Bonsai Forest. Campers would appreciate the Jerky of the Month Club and your favorite thrill-seekers would be ecstatic to receive the Shotgun Ride-Along in a Stock Car. Your Irish friends might like to own a tiny plot in their homeland for only $29.99 and for those who appreciate the finer things in life you can buy a membership to the Lobster of the Month Club – but be aware that you can buy 11 acres of land on Mars for about the same price!

At this highly consumer-driven time of...

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Keys to Talking with Your Teen

Knowing how to engage in constructive dialogue with your teenager is one of the most important skills a parent can possess, but it is also one of the most challenging things to pull off well. Generally speaking, teens are not always eager to participate in a “serious” conversation with their parent(s). Nevertheless, by understanding how to effectively talk with your kids you can decrease the occurrence of destructive conflict and increase the likelihood of sending the message to your child that they have been heard and that they are valued and respected.

Your teens face important issues every day. Their ability to make good decisions about drugs and alcohol, sex, friendships and school performance is significantly enhanced by open, honest and direct communication about these issues with you. The stakes are high – one bad decision can literally affect a teenager for the rest of his or her life. When you have constructive dialogue with your teen you are also modeling...

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When Your Fears Are Real

As Halloween approaches, we are surrounded by scary images. Giant spiders, grinning skeletons, ugly witches and flickering jack-o-lanterns can give you the creeps as they seem to pop up everywhere you look. You may be brave enough to venture into a haunted house and allow the ghouls and ghosts to scare you out of your wits, but deep down, you know it’s not real. Before long, you come out into the light and tease your friends about how loudly they screamed.

If only every scary thing in life were so simple! The incidence of anxiety is increasing in the US, thanks in part to the speed with which we can hear or read a barrage of bad news all day, every day. Many people are afraid to let their children play because they’re sure they will get hurt or a stranger will kidnap them. They worry constantly about the state of the nation and are convinced the world will end soon. Some people are panicking over every minor ache or pain because it could be some new disease that was just...

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Relationships Under Construction

For many of us, few things are as irritating as having a road you frequently travel come under construction. You often have to deal with dust, delays, bumps and detours for many months. The upside to having to endure the challenges of construction is that if the job is well done it will make your future travel much easier and enjoyable – the same is true for relationships under construction.

Like roadwork, successful relationships, whether at home or work, require a process of assessment, planning, and construction. Whether you are building a new relationship or attempting to improve an existing one, if you fail to adequately prepare and build you will not be able to effectively meet the demands that come your way.

Assessment

Building or improving a relationship begins where you are right now. What values need to be in place? Is your foundation set on honesty and trust?

Planning

Talking about shared interests and things you have in common can draw you closer to someone....

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Growing Through Change

The beginning of Autumn signals a welcome relief from blistering summer heat in some parts of the country. In others, it is the harbinger of dark, cold winter coming. Regardless of where you live, seasonal change is inevitable, but growing through change in your own life involves a choice.

Seasonal changes almost always require adjustments – to the thermostat, to your choices about what to wear, to your favorite warm or cold meals and drinks, and to your activities. But whether you’re reaching for an ice cold water bottle or a pumpkin spice latte, it’s time to say, “See you later” to the passing season and “Hello” to the new one!

Seasons of life aren’t always about the weather, of course. They’re about natural progressions and cycles that occur in our lives that include birth and death, youth and maturity, practice and mastery, needing and giving, sickness and health, gain and loss. Changes are inevitable, and yet they can still...

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Recovering from a Broken Friendship

Relationships… we were created to desire, seek and be enriched by them. When they thrive, the joy is intense. When they break, the pain is devastating.  But as difficult as it is, there are steps you can take to get over – and get through – a broken friendship.

Let me introduce you to Cindy and Lisa, who met each other at work and soon began developing a very close friendship. They spent time together on the telephone, hiking, taking their children on outings, and playing tennis. They encouraged, advised and comforted each other and trusted one another with their greatest hopes, dreams and fears.  

Five years into the friendship, Cindy sensed that Lisa was beginning to pull away. The telephone calls decreased, invitations to dinner became infrequent and the usual warm greeting exchanged in the office began to feel awkward and forced.

At first, Cindy shrugged it off by telling herself that Lisa was just busy with her family and other commitments....

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The Advantages of Teamwork

Times are changing in the world of work these days. Technology has made it easier, more efficient and more cost-effective for a lot of people to work remotely from home (or anywhere). There are tremendous benefits for people who require flexibility in their work schedule due to childcare, eldercare or their own physical or mental health concerns. Besides, it’s amazing to be able to do your job while lounging on the beach or sitting in a coffee shop!

But as helpful as it is for some people to telecommute, it can also lead to isolation and loss of focus if not managed well. Your success and satisfaction in your job may depend on making it a priority to spend time regularly with others in your workforce.

So, for those of you who are spending a lot of time away from the office and for everyone who is working in a company facility with co-workers, I want to share some of the advantages of teamwork.

Two (or more) heads are better than one

Have you ever noticed how one idea...

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Self-Talk: What Are You Saying?

Self-talk is what psychologists refer to as the continual mental dialog you have with yourself. It can serve many purposes. It helps to release stress, evaluate potential threats, solve problems, make decisions, form objective judgments, generate positive emotions and behaviors, and construct and reinforce realistic self-beliefs. Simply stated, sometimes talking to yourself (either silently or out loud) can help you work things out.

“The most influential and frequent voice you hear is your inner-voice. It can work in your favor or against you, depending on what you listen to and act upon.” –Maddy Malhotra

Unfortunately, for many people, their self-talk is fueled by the internal voice of a brutal critic or what psychologist Eugene Sagan calls the pathological critic – the negative inner voice that attacks and judges you. It might sound like your own voice or your mother, father or other influential person in your life. It’s a voice you are...

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Fear – The Great Impostor

Fear wears many masks. Some of these masks include procrastination, avoidance, perfectionism, anger, passivity and impatience. These behaviors and emotions often reflect fears of failure, rejection, abandonment, loss of security, looking foolish and being taken advantage of. The negative attitudes and actions we possess will only change when we begin challenging our fears.

Here’s how:

Understand your true worth.

Your value as a human being is not based on the opinions people have of you or what you accomplish or achieve. Therefore, the experiences of rejection, failure, criticism and abandonment, although painful, can never diminish your true worth because it is inherent!

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” Karl Menninger

Take positive action.

In other words, be willing to risk. Inaction or avoidance only breeds fear. Start off with small, relatively safe risks and then work your way towards the actions you...

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