Relate Well! Blog

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

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Divorce

With the divorce rate in the United States over 50% we can’t help but wonder whether those who choose to call it quits have thought through the decision carefully enough – and if they may have been able to salvage their sacred union.

In marriages involving unrepentant adultery, chronic abuse, addiction and abandonment, the option to stay together may not be tenable. However, a large number of divorcing couples just claim to have “drifted apart” or “fallen out of love.”   

A sincere examination of the questions below may help you make the best decision for your future. Ask yourself these ten questions: 

  1. Does your spouse have a sincere desire to work on your marriage? 

If your partner is willing to take responsibility for their part in your marriage problems and has expressed a desire to work on restoration, it is worth making the effort before deciding to divorce.  

  1. Are you emotionally attached to someone other than...
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How Good Deeds Can Affect Your Life

You just never know what impact your actions may have on someone else’s life... or yours. I have a favorite old story that illustrates this fact very well.

Late one night, back in the 1960’s, a man saw a woman standing on the side of the highway in the pouring rain. When he noticed her car was broken down, he decided to interrupt his own plans to stop and offer her a ride. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance towing her car and put her into a taxicab. Although she was clearly somewhat distressed and in a hurry, she thanked the man and took time to write down his address.

Now soaking wet and late, the man went on his way.

A week later the man received a large, unexpected package. It was a giant color TV, which was the latest and greatest technology at that time. The note attached to the package read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but also my spirits. Then you came along....

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Resolving a Bad Relationship at Work

The average full-time worker with two weeks of annual vacation spends up to 250 days or 2,000 hours each year on the job. Unfortunately, many employees spend this time interacting with co-workers they don't get along with, making their work situation almost intolerable.

If you have a problem with a co-worker and you're growing weary, don't despair. Although you can't guarantee cooperation from the other party, there are some practical things you can do in an effort to turn the relationship around. Review the tips below to see how you can confront bad work relationships.

  1. Take a good look at your own attitude and behavior first.

Before you complain or point a finger at your co-worker, take an honest look at how you might be contributing to the problem. Are you letting your feelings make you snappy, over-sensitive, jealous or uncooperative? Addressing your own negative attitude or behavior can often help decrease the distress brought on by the bad relationship and help...

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How to Fill Your Child's Emotional Tank

Many families have experienced an unusual level of stress this year due to job loss or changes, online schooling, social isolation, and anxiety about illness affecting them or someone they love. Some of you may feel as though your physical and emotional reserves are depleted. If you, as an adult, feel as though you’re running on fumes, you can imagine that your children, who don’t have your years of maturity and experience to draw upon, may be running on empty emotionally. 

Kids who are stressed or depressed may act out their feelings with misbehavior, back-talk, appetite changes, aggression, poor sleep or bad dreams, headaches, tummy-aches and unexplained crying. As a parent, you may not be able to fix everything that’s going on, but you can put some small habits into your relationship to strengthen your children’s resilience. 

Here are some ideas that will help refill their little emotional tanks: 

Demonstrate simple kindness. Say...

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5 Keys to Building Greater Stress Resilience

The first month of the new year has already proven to be a continuation of challenges and stress for many people in our country and around the world. 

With the ongoing needs to cope with and respond to the pandemic, as well as significant political events and transitions, many people face enduring uncertainty and discouragement. They were hoping that, once 2020 was over, life would settle down a bit – but most of the same stressors are still interfering with “normal” life. Clients frequently ask how they can learn to cope more effectively with the stress and negative emotions these challenges present. 

My recommendations for navigating this new year are the same ones I do my best to focus on every year. For me, these 5 intentional strategies have proven extremely effective in keeping me focused on what I need most to strengthen my resiliency to all types of stress. 

Here they are: 

  1. Commit to growing deeper in your faith. 

In an effort to...

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Is It Too Late to Mend a Broken Relationship?

The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with friends and family to experience the joy of laughter, reminiscing, and renewing connections.  However, it’s also a time when many people face the painful reality of not being with someone they love because of a broken relationship. 

During the holidays, I often meet with clients who are grieving due to being estranged from a parent, sibling, or other close relative or friend. 

Recently I had a woman ask me if it was too late to try and mend a relationship with a brother she had a falling out with three years ago.  I have summarized my response to her below. 

As long as the person you had a falling out with is still alive and is mentally competent it is never too late to make an attempt to restore the relationship you once had with them. 

You can not control the type of response you will receive, or whether or not you will even get a response, but you can control what you attempt to communicate...

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Do You Worry About What People Think?

It has been said that more people are held captive in the prison of their own minds then in all the jail cells in the world… and worry is their Warden.  There are countless things we can worry about, but I have worked with many people who significantly struggle with the worry of what people think about them. 

Many of the decisions you make on a daily basis, e.g., the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, what you say in a conversation, or who you associate with, are governed, in large part, by a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process that attempts to influence what people think about you.  We call this process impression management. 

As humans, we all have needs for belonging, affection, and acceptance.  To not think about how others perceive you to some extent is to deny these needs.  Unfortunately, many people are trapped by a powerful impulse to over engage in impression management.  In other words, they are overly focused on...

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Are You Poisoning Your Relationships?

Imagine you are sitting in a coffee shop, chatting with friends. One of your friends reaches into their pocket and brings out a vial of poison and begins sprinkling it into each person’s cup. Wouldn’t that be shocking? You can imagine that you would be very unlikely to invite that person to coffee again!

You will not likely ever have that exact experience, but did you know it’s possible to poison yourself and your relationships without even being aware of it? Nearly every day I talk to men and women who are either engaged in, or hurt by, behaviors that are a form of relational poisoning. The damaging toxin is gossip.

You would be hard pressed to spend a day in any workplace, social media site or other gathering and not be exposed to some form of gossip. Gossip involves the spreading of rumors or information about others. Although there can be sociological benefits associated with some forms of gossip, today I want to address the epidemic...

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You Are Right!

There was a cute meme circulating on social media at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdowns, while most of us were spending a lot more time at home. It said, “I always thought the reason I didn’t clean the house was because I didn’t have time. Now, I know that’s not the reason.”

Believe it or not, there is a lot to ponder in that simple meme! Long before social media existed, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Your brain believes whatever your mind tells it to. You see, our brains are hard wired to find evidence among all the stored memories and experiences we’ve had in the past to evaluate and support anything that we think today. So, if you think, “I can’t do it,” your brain will find evidence of any time that you have struggled, failed or given up. So, if you tell yourself that you don’t have time, resources, or ability to succeed you will most likely...

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How to Tell if Work has Taken Over Your Life

You may be thinking that your life needs more balance, more time spent doing things you enjoy and less time working. Perhaps you’ve even mentioned this to your spouse, girlfriend, best buddy, doctor or co-workers. 

If you have, it is likely that at least one of these people raised an eyebrow and explained the facts of life to you. That is, that nearly everyone is overworked these days and you should get used to it. Besides, there’s that one friend who says, unsympathetically, “I work a lot more hours than you do, so you have no reason to complain”. 

Some jobs have natural cycles of busyness and down time (tax professionals between January and April, summer tourism, retail stores at Christmas, etc.) Peaks and valleys may just be normal, but when it never seems to let up you begin to feel that nagging doubt. That feeling that you shouldn’t always be so stressed, so tired, so short on time, coupled with the knowledge that you...

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