Ask Alaina

Do you have a question for the Relationship Coach?

Ask me anything about your life, relationships, family, friends, unwanted behaviors, etc. I’m here to help.

Submit your questions confidentially using the form below and I will answer you in a future post or private email as soon as possible. Don’t worry, I wont publish your name without your consent. (Feel free to make up a clever description to sum up your question, like ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’)

Thank you much!

Alaina

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Things to know about a woman……. part 1

Well said!

Relationship Reinvented

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Things to know about women!

When she stare’s at your mouth!

[Kiss her!]

When she pushes you or hit’s you!

[Grab her and dont let go!]

When she start’s cursing at you!

[Kiss her and tell her you love her!]

When she’s quiet!

[Ask her whats wrong!]

When she ignore’s you!

[Give her your attention!]

When she pull’s away!

[Pull her back!]

When you see her at her worst!

[Tell her she’s beautiful!]

When you see her start crying!

[Just hold her and dont say a word!]

When you see her walking!

[Sneak up and hug her waist from behind!]

When she’s scared!

[Protect her!]

When she lay’s her head on your shoulder

[Tilt her head up and kiss her!]

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When she steal’s your favorite shirt!

[Let her keep it and sleep with it for a night!]

When she tease’s you!

[Tease her back and make her laugh!]

And when…

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HEART RULES – Chapter Two: A Force Called Love

A Cosmic Ride

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The fountains mingle with the river

And the river with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix forever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine,

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with mine?

-Percy Shelley

 

 

When we first appear in this world, we are held in arms, cocooned, cuddled and soothed. We need comforting – because it’s very scary. Here we are, all alone suddenly, in this new little body, in this strange place. We have come from somewhere that knows ‘connection’. And then, with our birth, we have to learn ‘separation’.

 

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience…..

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”     – Teilhard de Chardin

 

From that moment on, our task is to learn to be an independent being, and yet our innate knowingness tells …

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Heart Rules – Chapter 1: The Work of Love (2)

A Cosmic Ride

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Love and Fear

All emotions carry a vibrational frequency. Love vibrates rapidly. It makes us feel ecstatic, it makes us laugh and as we smile all the way to the heart, we spin. Fear, on the other hand, vibrates slowly. It makes our gut knot and our physiology tighten as adrenalin floods into our bloodstream, preparing us to flee.  When we don’t free, our bodies become confused and exhausted – leading ultimately to stress-related disease.  Researcher David Hawkins, author of Power versus Force, has been able to demonstrate the vibratory rate of various emotions and it is true, love and its associated emotions (joy, happiness, peace) vibrate much more rapidly than fear and its associated emotions (hate, anger, envy, grief).  All emotions, on the scale of emotions, sit somewhere between love and fear.  Some emotions sit nearer to the love end, while others are placed down at the…

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A Cosmic Ride

 

For one human being to love another:

That is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks,

The ultimate, the last test and proof, the work

For which all other work is but preparation.

R.M.Rilke

 

 

Preparation, says Rilke. What can we do to prepare ourselves for this most important task – that of loving another human being?  As Rilke solemnly cautions – this love business is hard work! So how do we prepare ourselves if loving another isn’t so much about finding the right person, as being the right person?

What does being the right person even look like?  This is a question that cannot be answered in a paragraph. Might be a good time to go and make yourself a cup of tea.

Okay, you’re back ? Take a deep breath. Now,  I want to say at the outset, I am coming from a place that…

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The End of “I Told You So”

photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjook/

Does hearing “I told you so” aggravate you as much as it does me? Isn’t it frustrating to watch someone else continually ignore your advice when you know it would solve their problems? If you answered yes, read on, this post is for you.

As humans, our brains are naturally resistant to manipulation for our protection. That means we are programmed to reject ideas that we don’t generate for ourselves. Simply, we need to come to our own conclusions to direct our behaviors.

This feature is hard-wired into our nervous systems for good reason; it has enabled us to survive as best we can in our natural environments. It does however block us from hearing information that might help us.

In other words, if you tell someone else what they need to do, they aren’t going to do it, even if it’s the perfect solution for their problem or situation because they didn’t figure it out themselves. To offer someone the advise you know they need, guide them to discover it themselves instead, by asking questions that will direct them to the right answer.

Asking the right questions is the best way to resolve any problem for yourself, or someone else. Check out The Solution to Any Problem You Can’t Shake for more on this.

In this example, a Father is trying to tell his son to speak to his supervisor:

Father:  “Son, you have to be upfront with him, and tell him that you deserve to be heard.”

Son:      “Dad, he’s not going to listen to me.”

Father:  “Thats why you need to TELL him that you should be heard”

Son:      “Dad, the man doesn’t care! He’s not going to hear me say anything, because he  doesn’t LISTEN to me!”

Father:   “Listen, kid, you’re never going to get where you want to go unless you stand up to this @sshole.”

The Father is right, his son needs to find a way to be heard if he wants to get ahead, but he hasn’t given him any useful advice to do this. It would seem that the Son has the same problem with his Father as he does with his boss.

This type of pattern is very common, and difficult for both Father and Son to notice. The Son considers his Boss’s behavior to be “normal,” as he is used to being told what to do instead of heard by his own father.

Moreover, the Father doesn’t realize that he is relating to his Son the same way the boss is, which is why all his well-meaning advice to his child will not help his son to handle the conflict he has with his boss differently. (More on patterns of relating in a future post.) He calls his son’s boss a name, attributing blame for the problem elsewhere. None of what the father has said will help his child.

Hearing the conversation, the Mother steps in:

Mom:  “Why doesn’t your Boss listen to you?”

Son:    “He thinks he knows everything.”

Mom:  “Well, how can you show him you have information that might be useful?”

Son:    “I suppose I could ask if he has considered the factors I know he hasn’t.”

Mom:  “But how will you do that, if he wont listen to you?”

Son:    “He likes to make all the decisions, and if I ask him if he thinks something else is relevant in order to make it, he’ll tell me why it is or isn’t relevant to consider.”

Mom:    “How is that approach different from what you’ve been doing?”

Son:     “I have been trying to TELL him what he isn’t addressing, which seems to annoy him and he dismisses anyway, but if I ask instead, he’ll probably answer my questions, and also consider what I’m saying.”

Mom:     “I think thats a good approach! What else could you try, if that doesn’t do it?”

Son:      “Well, I could also ask HOW he arrived at his decision to understand how he thinks better.”

Mom:    “What do you think that would do to help you be considered?”

Son:      “Well, I’ll understand what is important to him in making decisions, so I’ll be able to contribute more of the type of things he’s looking for in future situations.”

Mom:     “Why do you think that will help?”

Son:       “I think it will show him that I’m interested in learning from him, and that I respect him.”

Mom:     “So you think if he feels respected and understood, that he will listen to you?”

Son:       “Absolutely!”

Mom:     “Why do you think this way is better than how you have been doing it?”

Son:       “I think he felt like I was trying to show him I know more than him, which I know I don’t, but I see why he wasn’t responding to me now.”

Mom:     “Well, I think your right, and these new ways of approaching him are worth a shot! You may also want to consider asking him what he needs you to look into for him, so you can be sure that what you give him is of value to him.”

Son:       “Yes, thats also good. I will try all these things.”

The Mother was able to help her Son generate new solutions, by understanding where he was running into trouble, while the Father simply added to his frustration and doubt. Additionally, asking her Son questions and allowing him to consider the dynamic he couldn’t separate from, the son was able to see why he wasn’t getting the results he intended for himself, without attributing any blame to his boss.

After listening to her son’s ideas, she was able to suggest an additional strategy he might consider, that was in-line with his goals and the solutions he had already identified on his own. He was able to accept it, because she offered it to him as something he could choose for himself, or reject.

The way you present solutions to another is more important than what you’re actually saying. Remember this next time you try to influence someone to change what they are doing. Instead of “here’s what you need to do,” ask “would this help?”

When you allow people to chose for themselves how to respond to their challenges, everyone wins. If you tell them what they need to do, you take away their power to come to their own conclusions and be successful. Adding “I told you so” makes you right, them wrong, and adds insult to injury.

Have you tried this? How does it change your ability to help another solve a problem?

People Pleasing

How do I stop worrying about always pleasing others?*

Hey everyone! I’m a 20 year old female and a junior in college. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a people-pleaser. If my friends or family are unhappy, I’m not happy. I’m always afraid that I’m letting them down, so I’m constantly anxious about doing everything right and I’m constantly afraid of being judged. Also, I can never find anything nice to say about myself, but I can come up with thousands of nice things to say about others.

So my question is: how do I stop worrying about what others think of me and start being happy for myself for a change? This is a big problem, so any help would be great. Thank you!

*****************************
Dear People Pleaser:
It’s a great thing that you realize what you are doing isn’t helpful for your own life, and asking for advice on how to make a change. You deserve to be happy in your own skin. I hope this helps.

It seems that it’s very easy for you to be supportive and helpful of others, so maybe it would help if you start thinking about the nice, helpful, amazing qualities about yourself that you would have no trouble seeing in anyone else. For example, if a friend was being bullied, I’m sure you would be able to help them by pointing out all the positive things about them the bully made them forget. When you notice yourself “bullying” yourself, step back and advise yourself in the 3rd person, the way you would for someone else, and honestly identify the many redeeming qualities you have (ex. supportive/kind).

You should judge yourself against the same standards that you judge others by, and see the best in yourself as you do for others; it’s only fair. Nobody is perfect, not even you. We all have good and bad qualities that combine to make each of us unique. Being that you don’t expect perfection from anyone else and easily recognize their good parts, do the same for yourself!

When you have the same balanced view of yourself as you have of the people around you, you will realize that, who you are, for better AND worse, make you fabulous. Also, if you don’t judge and make others self-conscious, or expect perfection from them, don’t you also think you deserve the same consideration yourself? Give yourself the benefit of your kindness!

Best of Luck!

Alaina
*Originally posted on Yahoo!Answers
Are you a People Pleaser too? Was this helpful? 

Do you have a different question for the Relationship Coach?

Ask me anything about your life, relationships, family, friends, unwanted behaviors, etc. I’m here to help.

Submit your questions confidentially using the form below and I will answer you in a future post or private email as soon as possible. Don’t worry, I wont publish your name without your consent. (Feel free to make up a clever description to sum up your question, like ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’)

 

Albino Black Sheep

I grew up in a quiet, New York City suburb. We did everything together, knew each other’s families. The streets were safe, the schools were good, and there was not very much to worry about. It was a nice place to grow up.

We were insulated from the “real world” in our cozy little city. Life was comfortable and safe, and it made growing up much easier than it could have been. However, the consistency of our environment had a similar effect on the people living there.

My friends and I were all pretty much the same. We dressed the same, talked the same, drove the same cars, knew the same people, dated the same guys, and went to the same colleges where we pledged the same sororities and declared the same majors. Oddly enough, we were even pretty much the same height and weight too. Maybe there was something in the water.

When I entered the “real world” for the first time, after college, I was surprised at the variety of people that existed. I was shocked at how few people there actually were just like me and everyone I had ever known. People of all shapes, sizes, colors and ethnicities replaced my cookie-cutter expectations. Curious by nature, I drank in the diversity I had never known.

Often, I found myself most at home in the company of self-professed “Black Sheep.” I began to think of myself as an Albino Black Sheep, someone who appears to be “status quo,” but is not quite.

Appearances can be so deceiving. Before knowing what was actually out there, I was sure I wanted to be just like everyone else I knew; I had no idea that life was even possible beyond the borders of the box I spent most of my life actively trying to stuff myself into.

For a while, I relished in my Albino Black Sheep identity. It enabled me to have the best of both worlds for a short time. My predisposition to and understanding of how to keep pace with my peer group allowed me time to keep blending in, while my true nature had the opportunity to explore other options among my Black Sheep compatriots.

Eventually, though, I had to make a choice, because, to move forward in life, the time comes when all of us get to decide to sit at the adult table or stay with the kids.

I convinced myself I enjoyed being the adult at the kids’ table.  From there, I rationalized; I was able to influence them to make the right choices. That role was consistent with my Albino Black Sheep disguise too, so nobody would know the difference. I knew the truth then, even though I did not admit it to myself. That is when “hypocrite” became a more appropriate description for who I was pretending to be.

Fast forward through life knocking me around for a while; to the day I reluctantly accepted the truth. The past, the life we think we want, and the life we are meant to have cannot exist at the same time. To earn your place at the adult table, you must come to accept the past, forgive yourself for believing what it made you think about yourself and your life, and just be who you actually are, doing what you’re meant to be doing.

As someone who had to learn the hard way, I am the first to admit there is a certain amount of comfort that comes with conformity. It is a false comfort. Even when the environment, appeasing your parents, and keeping your friends seems to compel your cooperation to maintain the status quo, when you find yourself trying too hard to fit in, ask yourself why you want to.

 Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricardo/

There are no Albino Black Sheep. You are either one or the other, not both at once. I merged the two categories into a third to comfort me during my transition from one to the next, and ended up getting comfortable neither here nor there.

Thankfully, life kicked my ass hard enough to move me through my self-inflicted gray area some time ago. Expressional Constipation and the like are just the annoying hangover effects my years of denial still have on me now; blogging about them has been helpful to flush them fully from my system.

Have you been trying to grow but also stay the same? Are you like me, and also experiencing side effects long after you finally made the change?