Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Ten Ways To Make A Man Feel Bad About Himself

There are things that a woman can do to shame her man or make him feel bad about himself. Men, even though they may not openly show it, are vulnerable and have a fear of being hurt. They are not as emotionally “tough” as they might try to portray. Women are often surprised to discover this and men are not very quick to bring it to a woman’s attention.

Here are 10 things that women do that can lead to a man feeling bad about himself and, ultimately about her and about the relationship.

1. Flirt with someone else when he is around.
2. Make fun of him, especially when someone else is around.
3. Ignore him when he asks you a question.
4. Talk frequently and at length about all of the wonderful things about another man, like a guy at work, the man next door or one of his friends.
5. Turn your head when he tries to kiss you or refuse to hold his hand if he reaches out in a gentle and loving way.
6. Never ask about his day, his work or his activities.
7. Talk negatively about his mother or his best friend.
8. “Forget“ about a date, cancel at the last minute or just stand him up.
9. Poke fun, even in good humor, about some aspect of his physique.
10. Roll your eyes, sneer, or in any other ways, put down or make fun of what he says or how he expresses himself.

Next we will share the list of 10 things to make a man feel good about himself … besides avoiding these pitfalls.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do You Wonder If Someone You Love Depressed?

Is Someone You Love Depressed?

Living with someone who is depressed can look and sound very differently than what you would normally expect of a person suffering from depression. For some it may have more the appearance of anger and irritability. For others, it may seem like laziness or irresponsibility. While for others it may seem like a deep sadness with a lot of tears and sad, unhappy and negative talk.

Here are some questions for you to consider when thinking about someone you love who does not seem to be acting in ways that are healthy and positive.

* Has there been a change in sleep habits? Does your loved one sleep a lot more or a lot less than in the past?

* Has there been a marked change in his or her eating habits, eating a lot more and gaining weight or eating a lot less and losing weight?

* Does your loved one seem to be a lot more unhappy and negative and have difficulty recognizing the good things in life?

* Does he or she seem to have a lot of trouble with making decisions?

* Is your loved one more forgetful and seem to have difficulty concentrating?

* Do you notice frequent irritability or an underlying anger?

If you answer “yes” to several of these questions, the answer may be that your loved one is suffering from depression.

Some beginning things for you to consider as a way to be helpful are:

* Educate yourself about depression. Learning more about it may help you find ways to talk with the person you love about your concerns.

* Talk with them and acknowledge the positive things about him/her and your life together. Know that it may be hard to hear positive talk. You do not want to come off as “fake” so you will want to keep comments small, specific and behavioral like “Thanks for getting the children today.” “That color really looks nice on you.” “I appreciate your ideas about this and will absolutely use them.”

* Recognize that depression is not something one chooses and can readily change. It is not about being lazy or irresponsible and a “cure” does not happen overnight. Some live with sad or down times off and on throughout their life and will often struggle with and look for ways to cope with it effectively.

* Remind your loved one of things that they have done in the past to feel better and get through tough times. It may be that these same things will work once more.

* Take care of yourself to make sure that you, and your children, do not “catch” the depression. The “blues” and negativity can be contagious so you want to find ways to immunize yourself and prevent its spread.

* If your loved one will not talk with a therapist or the doctor, consider going yourself.

Do you have other ideas about what has been helpful for you? We welcome your comments and feedback.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tip of the Week, April 19, 2009

“I knew couples who’d been married almost forever ­ forty, fifty, sixty years, seventy-two, in one case. They’d be tending each other’s illnesses, filling in each other’s faulty memories, dealing with the money troubles or the daughter’s suicide, or the grandson’s drug addiction. And I was beginning to suspect that it made no difference whether they’d married the right person. Finally, you’re just with who you’re with. You’ve signed on with her, put in a half century with her, grown to know her as well as you know yourself or even better, and she’s become the right person. Or the only person, might be more to the point. I wish someone had told me that earlier. I’d have hung on then; I swear I would.”
Anne Tyler, "A Patchwork Planet"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Connecting: Men and Women Do It In Different Ways

Men and women view love, experience closeness, and derive comfort from intimacy in different ways. Men and women both value love and want a close, caring relationship and yet, there is generally a difference in the way they relate to intimacy.
Here are some of the ways that men and women feel loved and connected.

What Women Want:
Conversation. Talking about the day, the relationship, feelings … about each other and the life together.
Listen. When she talks, put down the remote or computer and pay attention to her. Ask questions that show you are interested in what she is saying and how she is feeling.
Advice only when asked. Even though men have a natural tendency to want to help solve problems, women just need to have someone who listens and is interested in what she is saying.
Affection. Women really like physical and non-sexual signs of affection like holding hands, kissing gently and warm hugs.
Love. Women want to be told that you love them in a way that is meaningful. This does not have to mean flowers and gifts. Rather it can be the words with a loving gaze.
Honesty. Women want someone that they can trust, who will be open with them and not “sugar-coat” reality. Women are stronger than men think and can often handle the truth and forgive more easily if they know what has happened.
Apologies. Women want men who are not afraid to say that they are sorry or made a mistake. They respect vulnerability.
Help. Women want men who are not afraid to help them with housework and children. One research study found that men who helped with housework and chores reported happier sex lives.

What Men Want:
A playmate. Men want someone who will be involved in activities with them.
Respect. Men want to feel like their partner values and respects them and show it in the way that they talk to and about them.
Affection. To the surprise of some women, men also really like physical and non-sexual signs of affection like holding hands, kissing gently and warm hugs.
Appreciation. Men need to feel appreciated and their efforts recognized, even for simple things like taking out the trash or emptying the dishwasher.
Support. Men want someone that they can talk to and count on to be a shoulder to lean on. They do not want a lot of advice, just someone who lets them know that she is on his side. Men appreciate kindness and caretaking.
Sex. Men feel more connected during and after sex and often find that this leads the way to more conversation and affection.
Honesty. Men want women that they can trust to be open and direct with them.
Humor. Most men like someone who has a good sense of humor and a positive personality.
Appearance. Men, like women, have certain ideas about what is attractive to them. Certainly, women who take care of themselves, physically, emotionally, mentally and fiscally are important to most men.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Am I Anxious Or Do I Just Worry A Lot?

Sandy worries about her marriage and that her husband may find someone else more interesting or attractive, even though there is absolutely no reason to think that. Tina worries about her daughter and all of the possible problems that she might, and many that she might never, experience. John constantly expects to be fired by his boss.

While these might be normal concerns for some people, for Sandy, Tina and John they are worries that often keep them awake at night or cloud their thinking during the day.

Anxiety, in its simplest form, is useful because it helps people prepare for real or imagined fears, losses or difficult times ahead. When it becomes overwhelming, then it is time to think about doing something about it. Consider the possibility of talking with your doctor, especially if you have any physiological symptoms.

Medication may be the first thing that many people think about; however, if the anxiety is not crippling (losing work, school or a lot of sleep) then learning some anxiety management techniques might make a big difference and provide the opportunity to manage the worry on your own.

Here are some suggestions for things that you can try yourself.

Educate yourself about anxiety
. There are quite a few good websites that have a lot of good information about anxiety, anxieties.com is one. Recognizing that some of what you experience is normal is a step towards finding ways to caring for yourself.

Slow down on any caffeine
through coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. These substances increase your heart rate and affect ability to remain calm.

Find a way to incorporate 30 minutes of aerobic exercise into your daily routine 5-6 days a week. Research has shown many psychological benefits to raising and maintaining an elevated heart rate.

Practice deep breathing. Take slow, deep breaths and slowly let them out. Notice the relaxation in your body as you do so.

Put your fears down on paper and identify any that are irrational
. Write replacement thoughts that are more realistic. Any time that you notice the irrational thought, change it to a more realistic one.

Shift your thinking
from your body and your worry to other things. Take a walk, read a book, watch a movie, call a friend.

Develop some coping thoughts
that you can use when these thoughts intrude into your mind like “I have made it through tough times before and I can make it through this.”

Stay in the present
as much as possible. Pay attention to what you are seeing, hearing and smelling in the present.

Write in your Gratitude Journal
every day. Put down three things that you like and really appreciate about your life just that day … and what you did to make a difference.

What have you found that helps? We would be interested in your ideas and suggestions.