Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For Anyone In a Relationship

If he's ever ignored you, hasn't done what he KNOWS will make you happy, acted like he "forgot" to do the things that make you happy – or DELIBERATELY set out to hurt you by not doing what makes you happy or DOING what makes you UNHAPPY - I know how unappreciated you feel. And what's so amazing, is that this kind of thing is sometimes the EASIEST thing to FIX! The trick here is to completely turn around the way he sees you, the way he experiences you, and the way he feels compelled to ACT around you - basically to rewire his responses - and as hard as it sounds - it's not - you can do it (if I did, any woman can). The simplest, fastest way to start this in motion is to Appreciate Yourself. Okay - this is like cheating, because it's what you read in magazines - it's the EASY thing to "say." And yet, I know, if you're anything like me, saying "I'll appreciate myself" is anything BUT easy. So - this step is more about a new Tool for appreciating yourself that IS easy - and fast. Try this:

Step 1. Every time something happens that doesn't feel good - at work or with your man - check in on how you're feeling and what comes to your mind to say in response. Chances are your first impulse is to blame someone - either the person at work or your man. And right after you think of that - if you're like me - you go right to blaming YOURSELF. (This is really the same for all of us – some of us HIDE our people-pleasing instincts and desire to beat ourselves up about things – but those impulses still have really LOUD voices inside us and sometimes those voices make us do things that don't serve us at all.) And then, we might go to blaming our "luck" or someone from long ago, or our parents...and by that time we've dragged down our energy and then our spirits go spiraling down, too. So - you might find yourself blaming your man or yourself or someone else out loud, or keeping it to yourself, but that's where you're putting your energy (as it's going downhill). Step 1 is simply to NOTICE yourself doing this. That's all - just notice. Then...

Step 2. Immediately wrap your arms around yourself, hold on, hug yourself hard, and say - out loud if you can - "WOW - I'm so brilliant to have caught myself blaming him, and me, and that other thing! I'm amazing! I'm so amazing because I'm able to SEE how amazing I am! My only job is to love myself - and what in INCREDIBLE job I'm doing right this minute of loving myself. Wow – I am hugging myself even though things don't feel good - I'm just wonderful!" If you're in the middle of a date, or a business conference, or at a party - take yourself to the bathroom to hug yourself - don't put it off to later if you can help it - the faster you step in after the "Blaming" voices start up, the BETTER.

3. Now - Step Three is what you do after you hug yourself. And it's got to be something completely DIFFERENT than what you normally do when a man does something that sets you off. So, try this: If he's forgotten to do the last-minute shopping he promised to do, or to take out the trash, or if his idea of a New Year's date is "hanging out - maybe" - or if he hasn't called at all - or that person at work who makes your life "difficult" has gotten even more intense – ask yourself (after the hug) what it is you WANT to do. See if you can come up with your response - your normal, usual impulse in this situation. Is it to tell him what an idiot he is? Is it to try to make suggestions for him? Is it to reason with him about his promises and how you feel about it when he doesn't do what he says he'll do (like call)? Is it to go out with girlfriends someplace loud where you can't talk to anyone and most often don't have a very good time? Now - DO SOMETHING ELSE. (It really helps if you'll sit down, right now, and make yourself a list. I call this a CHANNELING list, and my new Circular Dating program will tell you exactly how to work this list - for now, just make a long, long, thorough list of things you LIKE to do, things that feel GOOD when you do them, and that take your mind off your "blame" thoughts. If "blame" has given way to ANGER right now - that's GOOD! (On your list, make sure you write things that you need energy for - running, volunteering for something for your community that requires physical effort, taking an art class or a dance class - and put a little star by those things to let you know they're good for when you're ANGRY.) So pick something off your list - the more physical the better - and DO IT. If you're at work, or in the middle of a dinner party, or in the middle of a date - I know you can't just run out to the yoga studio or walk in the park - but you CAN (especially if you're in the bathroom already, hugging yourself) do SOMETHING very different from what you'd usually do. You can look at yourself in the mirror, touch your face with love and total attention. You can write a quick, wildly loving poem to yourself (grab your purse with a small journal and pencil in it at all times when you walk away from a "blaming" situation to hug yourself in a bathroom or back room). If you've been standing with your man, having what could so easily turn into an argument, and then excused yourself to go to the bathroom or bedroom to hug yourself, perhaps you don't have to do ANYTHING! That's right. Perhaps it's DONE. No closure, agreement, or discussion required. Or - you could come back and say something like "This feels so bad. We seem to always argue over the same there something I should know? Are you angry with me? Is it something I'm doing that's making it so hard for us to communicate? I'd really like to listen to you if you have any ideas about how we can solve these things. What do you think?" Now - this is pretty advanced communication. Not only are you appreciating YOURSELF - you're appreciating HIM. And how does this work to turn HIM around? To instantly make him appreciate you? Because he WANTS to appreciate you. He really does. He's just blocked from it because of his own issues - including basic male cluelessness. So the moment he EXPERIENCES you appreciating YOURSELF - he FEELS better. And then when you add to that by GENUINELY (can't fake this, remember) appreciating HIM - he's blown away. It's like the way we feel when a man impulsively, out of the blue, walks over to us, takes us in his arms and gives us a gentle, sweet kiss. We just feel good, we forget about the icky stuff, we move from a tight, defensive place to a warm, open, loving and feeling loved place. And the same thing happens to him. Only, for him, it's not reaching over to kiss him that does it for him. It's Appreciating him. Exactly the way he is. And when you can do that in a tense, upsetting moment, when you can listen to him and hang onto your own feelings and words while he's talking - it's like MAGIC for him. He appreciates you because he feels accepted for who he is, and appreciated for who he is – by YOU! Turning your relationship around by BEING the things you want to be with your man (like sensual, enjoying all the wonderful things y our man does for you, receiving all the love he gives you...all the things you want) will actually make him want to DO all that for you.