Needy & Clingy People in Your Life – Why Keep Toxic Relationships? (417 words)

Danielle, a member of my Facebook Relationship Glue Group recently posted an answer to my question about “need verses want.” She stated, “I think a ‘needy’ person can have a healthy, fulfilling relationship, but it involves them being aware of their ‘neediness’ and making an effort to really look at themselves and find out why they are needy.”

This is a good time to talk about needy people. And while I am on the subject I’ll also cover clingy people. They are considered one in the same by many.

Needy People

If you are the kind of person afflicted with the “Savior Complex” then a needy person is your saving grace. You can do so much for them, denying yourself, and feel oh so good about yourself…until…they heal, and no longer need you. That is so sad. Then the relationship is over. For the needy person, he or she will hang around–as long as all their needs are being met. Danielle makes a great point that alludes to the needy people being aware of their neediness. However, I’m not convinced that these needy persons can overcome their pathology…and I could be wrong. My pathology…I’m a control freak, I know it, I try to overcome it, and yet frequently its ugly head pop up when least expected. It has been a problem my entire life.

My belief is that I manage my controlling nature rather than overcome it. If you know you are needy, you have a lot of work to do if you desire a mutually beneficial relationship. Try fulfilling your neediness by DOING for your special someone. Take that “hole” and fill it with activity that serves your spouse in the method they prefer to be served and your need to be loved, nurtured, and appreciated will be fulfilled.

Clingy People

Needy people are frequently also clingy people. To most mentally healthy persons, clingy equals suffocation. Control freaks like me can also be clingy, just ask my wife (and I’ve been working on it for our entire 35 years of marriage). For clingy and needy people, if you can (metaphorically) hold your special someone to you like you would hold a fencing foil or a bird; just tight enough not to lose it, but not so tight that you strangle the life out of it–you have a chance.

This idea is encompasses both the science and the art of successful relationship development. For successful and fulfilling relationships, it’s all in the implementation. Happy loving…

Don’t Listen to the Negative if You Want Your Relationships to Thrive (417 words)

In a relationship, unfortunately, the negative force generally is victorious over the positive. This “truth” is almost always the case. If one wants the relationship to fail and one wants it to succeed, you can be assured that the relationship will fail. How does it affect you?

Ignore the Negative

I’m not suggesting that you become an ostrich and put your head in the sand but rather suggesting that you limit negativity around you; especially people that are negative on relationships. There is not much value in a sitting around with relationship losers and commiserating about how their partners were schmucks. If you allow this unfiltered negative information to enter your subconscious, you are truly sabotaging your relationship(s). If you unknowingly slip into the negative syndrome, you will surely kill your relationship. Yes, I know it is work to overcome the negative…but how much is your relationship worth to you?

Dealing with a Negative World

Think about it, the modern day media thrives on negative stories and sensationalism. Are you letting their messages reach your subconscious mind in an unfiltered manner? Do you leave the television or radio on for background noise? If so, you are allowing all the negativity to reach your mind–unfiltered–for the good of your relationship–stop it! Rather than become a relationship loser yourself, facilitate nurturing, love, and respect in all that you do. And, start by spending less time with your relationship loser friends.

One of the greatest books that made a difference in my life is, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He talked quite a bit about what you feed your mind. He suggested having your goals written and reading them every night before retiring and every morning when rising. He also suggested mental visualization exercises.

Feed Your Mind

Try this; at night before you retire spend a minute or two with your “virtual” mastermind–persons in your head, living or dead, of whom you respect their opinion. Ask for relationship guidance of these “virtual” luminaries and let your own subconscious seek answers. This is surely better than using relationship losers for guidance.

Here’s the rub for women; if you buy what John Grey says in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (and I do) then you will always be fighting the tendency to solve your relationship problems by committee–asking several of your friends for their advice–and this is an affront to trusting yourself.

Want wonderful relationships? Be careful to whom you listen…

Speak to Be Understood In Your Relationships (560 words)

Are You Oblivious to the Clues?

One of my favorite cartoons says it all. Visualize this: the husband, with kind of a duh look on his face coming home, as he opens the door to enter–a spear slams into the door. The caption reads, “While he though their argument was settled at breakfast, Jim sensed that Sally had some unresolved issues.”

Honestly, don’t you feel this way about your sweetie sometimes? Sure you do. So what’s a person to do–give up? Let’s face it, you really do know if your communication is being received–it’s just easier to stay in your comfort zone and be oblivious. And yes, this goes for both guys & gals alike.

What Are You Really Trying To Say?

Communication is an interesting phenomenon, there is the sender and there is the receiver–and rarely does the exact message sent get received in accordance with the sender. Nothing new here–sure, I know. However, the real issue is do you give a rat’s behind about the other? If you do, you’ll go to the effort to get them to feed back what you sent so you can determine if the message was received anywhere close to what was intended.

In today’s hurry, hurry, hurry, world–communication truly suffers. Decide to be part of the solution rather than the problem and take the time to be certain of how your communication is received–otherwise you’ll be like Jim in the cartoon with the duh look on your face, never quite understanding why your sweetie is ticked off.

Need That Loving Feeling?

You know that you need that loving feeling, but…why aren’t you getting it? Perhaps it is because you are only putting out what you want? There is more to the world than…just getting what you want. What about your partner?

Receive What You Send

Come on, let’s be honest with one another…can we? If you treat your partner like crap, what do you expect? But you say, “I’m treating my partner great!” Are you? Your partner’s perception is his or her reality. If you are doing things for them (making relationship bank deposits) that they do not see as useful or valuable–guess what? They’re not! If you do something for another person that you might like them to do for you; that’s nice. But the act is of very little value, if any, to the receiving person. Why? Because you are not doing for them, something that they value. And then you get all pissed off because they are not appreciative of your gesture. Wow, what did you expect?

Ask First, Do Second

Yep, ask your partner what they need, and/or hold as being valuable. Then do that, not what you have been doing. It is simple as that–trust me. But wait! You still think they really like what you like–you’ve got to get a clue. Their perception is their reality, and there is no way that you will change their reality following your current course. Better, work to develop strategies and tactics that will allow your partner to reveal to you what it is that they really want. Think about it–you have nothing lose.

It is all about communication–speaking to be understood and understanding what has been said. Wishing you all the best in getting that loving feeling…

Understanding Our Hard Wiring for Relationship Success (470 words)

Not long ago, I asked this question of my Facebook friends, “Wondering…what have you done today to elevate your relationships both at home and work? Did you make a Relationship Bank Deposit today?”

A particular response I enjoyed was:
“My best reply after countless cups of coffee and the entire day off is…to elevate one’s own self-awareness is indeed to make the best deposit possible in another’s emotional bank! Self-awareness is highly effective in our attempts to be tolerant and accepting of others, regardless of our own agenda or ability to comply.”

Our Wiring

I believe that it is safe to say that most would agree on the idea that women are hard-wired to nurture. However, few would say the same for men. As such, nurturing for men must be learned. Nurturing was generally not part of a boy’s elementary and secondary school education. Add the complications of young woman’s expectations of young men, and we have plenty of “defective” guys running around out there.

First, nurturing for men tends not to come naturally and takes quite some time to learn. Women, here is the cruel truth; deal with it. I could go into great detail, but suffice it to say…this is one that not likely to change any time soon.

Second, women are accountable to help men learn to nurture–yep, I said it! Women must put an effort into helping men learn that which society kept from them. And men are accountable to make an effort to learn the odd concept of nurturing others.

Third, both men and women must be accountable to themselves to tell their partner of their needs–rather than to keep those needs bottled up inside and hope the other will somehow just know what they want–like that’s gonna happen? If you are not receiving what you need, you will not particularly feel like nurturing your partner so it is important that both partners get what they need from the other.

Fourth, guys have to get their heads out of their rear end and realize that it is okay to be loving and nurturing and still be masculine. Based on all the feedback I receive, few women really embrace the bad boy for any length of time, and certainly not in the long-term.

Fifth, gals…let me say this as plainly as I can. Guys don’t like games! Do not wonder what he meant, for God’s sake, ask him! Most likely, he meant exactly what he said. Most likely, there was no hidden meaning in, “Honey, I’m exhausted.” If women will start taking a man’s words on face value, we will all live so much more happily.

Sixth, enjoy each other; the differences, the similarities, and all that comes with being in a relationship with another human being. We humans are wired to connect.

Successful Relationships: Getting What You Want From Others (429 words)

Getting what you want from others is important in all successful relationships. My suggestion is that you deliver value first. I call thisMaking Relationship Bank Deposits.

Relationship Bank Deposits

You’ll find, is one of the important elements of building and developing successful relationships. Interestingly enough, too many folks want to make relationship bank withdrawals before they make deposits. I realize that this is of course, not you, however it is something important to watch in nurturing long-term relationships. Following the age-old idea of giving first and receiving later (I know, instant gratification is today’s standard for so many), allows you to bank some relationship points for a relationship rainy day. This idea is crucial because you know that there will be conflict some time down the road.

Living In a Glass House

I have found it to be true in my relationship with my wife of 35 years, Regina, that when I give first (living in a glass house, I admit my imperfection here) she responds quite well. It is human nature to be appreciative when another does something–providing that the something is considered to be valuable by the receiver of the value.

Guy Talk

Talking to the guys briefly; women are wired to nurture. As such they tend not to ask for what they need as much as they perhaps should–not as much as guys generally do. So your assignment is to preempt the situation by doing things for them they would not normally expect of you–thereby making an unrestricted Relationship Bank Deposit. Unrestricted simply means, no strings attached–you did something nice without immediately expecting something in return.

Gal Talk

Ladies, your job is to not read anything into these acts of kindness; but to just accept and enjoy–difficult as it is. For women this is not always easy as women are quite used to the male/female quid pro quo of…dinner for bedding. Ladies, in order to break this cycle, please do not hint…just tell ’em what you want.

Value In Your Life

For everyone…here is where this idea creates value for your life. Just do nice things for others and it will come back to you–somewhere or time when you least expect it. And do lots of nice things for the person with whom you enjoy a romantic relationship. Just do this and I guarantee your relationship will be even better than it is now. And if your relationship is a bit on the rocks, allow some time for theRelationship Bank Deposits to work. I wish you wonderful loving…

Relationship Success For the Holiday Season (693 words)

During the traditional Christian holiday season; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year-there are some honest relationship challenges. Let’s start with the relative from Hell, you know who I talking about. You would rather crawl on your hands and knees over 5 miles of broken glass than to see them yet another holiday. And to make the situation even more excruciating, this relative from Hell is an in-law.

Dealing with the Relative from Hell

In this dynamic you have two competing goals; first you want to respect your sweetie and in turn show respect for his/her relatives. Second, you want to maintain your sanity throughout the holiday season. I believe both are possible by slightly shifting your view of this nasty relative. Big problem folks generally are very small persons inside. You really do already know that this, pain in the rear, relative truly does have huge self-esteem issues so that knowledge should make it just a bit easier for you to exhibit your best “holiday tolerance.”

I realize that sometimes just being in the same room as this person makes you want to puke, however for the sake of your sweetie, your family, and yourself; shift your view. Two tactics that will help you survive the encounter; consume less alcohol and ask plenty of questions. You might be thinking, come on Ed, I need a bottle of “Jack” just to be in the same room with this person. No you do not; what you need is to moderate your alcohol consumption so you can “control” the situation.

You control the evening by either sitting in the corner with an honest and joyous smile-controlling your emotion or you “control” the other person with questions. Keep them talking, show a modicum of interest and internally enjoy the folly of their idiocy; but keep the enjoyment to yourself. Additionally, since you have made reasonable relationship deposits with this relative from Hell, when their idiocy just becomes intolerable, send them on a different course with an intelligent (and appearing honest) question. Pre-plan these questions before the visit and you’ll be ready. Taking this approach will truly help you to exhibit your best “holiday tolerance.”

Spouse Holiday Expectations

Trust me on this one; if you have never asked your honey about his/her holiday traditions and current expectations-you have got a problem. Too frequently each member of a “couple” will think they are doing what the other wants but in reality they are not. This dynamic just breeds contempt.

You will have honest issues such as which relatives do we visit when. This is an area where both have to be flexible and tolerant toward the needs of the other. Talk about your plans sincerely and each partner must be both honest in your expectations and tolerant of the needs of your partner. Do this and there will be a happy middle ground.

Enjoy the Holidays

Why do you run yourself ragged in an effort to create the “Martha Stewart” holiday experience? This kind of holiday experience only focuses on the external. While there is nothing wrong with having a festive holiday environment; it should be more about the relationships than the trimmings.

Give of yourself; this can be even more seductive than the giving of bobbles and brands. Save some money and running around this holiday by giving your special someone a coupon book filled with acts of personal kindness. Be creative and seductive-you will be amazed with the response you receive from your honey.

During holiday gatherings be “mentally and emotionally present” and enjoy the fellowship of your family and friends-even the relative from Hell. Yes, there will be traffic and people driving that must have purchased their driver’s license from the Internet. However, all of that “stuff” is simply the “dust in the conduit” of getting from where you are to where you want to be.

Just in case you are wondering about me-I am blessed with fabulous parents-in-law-I look forward to their visits. And since my wife emigrated with her parents from Austria when she was young, none of her other relatives live here in America. Now, talking about some of my relatives; that’s another story.