Monday, November 9, 2015
How do you know if your spouse is unhappy? There are definite signs. I'm featured in a new article in The Huffington Post which describes the specific signs of marital unhappiness. Check out the article here!
Monday, November 2, 2015
There's no question that children can trigger their parents when their children act out, leading to overwhelming frustration and anger. The key for parents is to make sure that there is nothing they are doing that escalates their kids' defiant or otherwise annoying behaviors. Check out these three behaviors parents sometimes engage in which accidentally reinforces the bad behavior, and causes the kids to take the outburst to an even higher level. The last thing we want to do is make a problem worse, so watch out and avoid all of the behaviors below!
Matching your child's negative feelings
Hands down, the worst thing a parent can do when their child is upset is to react with the same level of frustration or anger the child is showing in the first place. Picture it: Your 12-year old daughter yells that you lost an article of her clothing, and she refuses to get in the car for school until she has it. A common - but faulty - reaction for the parent is to get angry right back and say something to the effect of, "Why can't you manage your own things? You need to find it now, or else!" While it's understandable that the parent gets angry, showing the anger only ignites the fire further. When your child has an outburst, you must remain cool and calm above all else. Try saying this instead: "I know you're frustrated, but getting angry with me only makes me angry. I will agree to take two minutes now and help you look for it, and if we don't find it by then, you will have to go to school without it. I'm sorry, honey, but that is the best I can do on such short notice, and appreciate the fact that I am offering to help you." (You want kids who aren’t bratty or entitled? Well, then, when you do something nice for them, remind them to thank you if they don’t think to thank you on their own.)
Labeling your child
When your child is having an outburst, their emotions are spiraling out of control and they simply don't know how to calm themselves. The good news: That's something you can help them with! But too often, parents get frustrated and label their child in an already-heated moment. I’ll share some of the ways parents label their kids which end up escalating the crisis: "You lose everything. What is wrong with you?" "Are you angry again? You're always angry about something!" "I'm sick of your tantrums. Why can't you just be happy?" When parents make any of these comments, they frustrate the child even more, and this is often when the tears start. Avoid using labels or generalizing too much, especially when your child is already upset.
Comparing your child to another child
Parents, please don't ever compare your child to another child. When parents do this, it often takes the following form: "Why can't you be more like your brother?" "Your sister never gives me a hard time like this. Why do you always do this to me?" "My friends tell me their kids never treat their parents this way. Why can't you be more like them?" No child ever - in the history of the entire world - improved their behavior because their parents pointed out to them that another child was a better child. Instead, these comments make the child even angrier to the point that the parent becomes an opponent. Even though it's perfectly normal – or even inevitable? – to compare your child to another child in your head, never say these hurtful words out loud. There is simply no better way to screw up a child’s self-esteem than to suggest that there is something inherently wrong with them.
The takeaway: Parenting is the most challenging job in the world, especially if you have a child who is hyperactive, defiant, or overly emotional. Make sure that you avoid these behaviors above, and simultaneously build in time with friends for much-needed venting. Odds are that you probably need a break today or sometime very soon!
Feel free to check out my book on relationships, Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love Deserve, here!
Conventional wisdom suggests that approximately ten percent of adults are in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, which means that there’s a decent chance you’ll come across some of these men and women in the dating world. If you enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink but aren’t an alcoholic yourself, can you date someone who is stone-cold sober? The answer, in short, depends on how central a role alcohol plays in your life. Let me explain.
You know how some people call themselves “foodies?” There’s not an equivalent term to describe men and women who are connoiseurs of alcohol, but they certainly exist. Leaf through a glossy magazine, and you’ll likely come across at least a few advertisements for glamorous wine festivals or beer-lover events. Because I live in California which is home to endless vineyards, wine is all the rage, and it’s common for those who can afford it to head to a weekend in Napa Valley or a local vineyard for a little R & R. If you are someone who doesn’t just drink alcohol but actually celebrates it as a lifestyle choice, dating someone sober means that many of the activities you enjoy won’t be shareable with your partner. Ask yourself: How would this feel?
On the other hand, scores of men and women enjoy an occasional drink but, overall, alcohol is a take-it-or-leave-it thing for them. The point of this article isn’t to designate which way is better or healthier – because we already know that alcohol in moderation and making wise choices is fine and good – but the point is to know who you are.
If enjoying drinks is a staple of your social life, consider how drinking would be if your partner isn’t feeling the same buzz. Would you be fine with that or would you feel like you’re not having as much fun as you would if you were dating someone who was sober?
What it would be like for your partner: Some sober men and women don’t want to be around someone who is drinking because it reminds them of what they can’t have, or it could trigger alcohol cravings. Other sober individuals don’t have a problem being around others who are drinking. If you date someone who is sober, you need to clearly ask the following question: “Are you comfortable if I drink in front of you?” Sober individuals know themselves well enough that they will tell you the truth.
What it would be like for you, the social drinker: Picture yourself having a drink or two, and sitting across from your sober boyfriend or girlfriend who’s drinking, say, an iced tea or soda. Would you feel guilty? Would you not enjoy drinking as much if your partner isn’t joining you? Some social drinkers who date sober individuals choose to drink when they’re out with others but not in the company of their sober partner. If you refrained from drinking with your partner, would you secretly feel like you’re missing out? Even worse, would you start to feel resentful that you have to make this sacrifice?
Keeping it all in perspective
As much as people preach about there being lots of fish in the proverbial sea, we all know the reality: It’s not every day that you meet someone to whom you feel sexually and emotionally attracted. When you meet someone you really like, you shouldn’t give up on that person for a trivial reason. Sure, drinking may be a part of your social life, but are you sure that it’s worth giving up the chance of a trusted relationship because you can’t share a pitcher of margaritas together? Ultimately, these are decisions that you have to make for yourself.
A few quick tips
The best thing you can do when you meet someone sober is to talk about the possible issues with your new date; run the issue by a few friends and family members; and listen to your instincts which will tell you whether someone is worth the sacrifice. At the end of the day, I find that some of the best romantic relationships are some of the least codependent. In other words, two people can have a fulfilling, lasting relationship even if one member of the couple chooses to pursue certain activities – say, a night out over cocktails – while the other person does something different. No relationship will ever be perfect and every relationship – even the best ones – involve some degree of sacrifices.
Feel free to check out my book about relationships, Overcome Relationship Repetition and Find the Love Deserve, here!
Saturday, October 10, 2015
I want to thank the thousands of readers of my book, Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve. Five years later, my book has been selling a few hundred copies per month, something I never would have counted on when it first came out.
Most importantly, though, so many people having picked up my book makes me feel good for the change it can unleash among readers. My hope is that that readers can learn to seek out more appropriate romantic partners so they don't have to keep breaking up with others time and again. Relationships can be such a warm and helpful buffer in our lives, making the hard times in life more bearable. I pray that everyone who has read my book has had a happier - and longer-lasting relationship - because of it.
If you're still single, may you find someone who sees your worth from the start, someone who will work hard to keep you over time!
You can check out my book here!
Friday, October 2, 2015
Yesterday another college campus was under siege from a school shooter. As of the most recent reports, nine people were killed and others were injured. According to a news report, all the firearms the shooter had were obtained legally.
I wonder what motivated the shooter's grievance against Christians, as it appears that he was targeting these specific students. I also whether he had ever had any contact with the mental health system. Had a threat management team ever had a previous reason to meet with him?
My prayers go out to everyone affected in this tragedy. Let's hope that we figure out how to better keep our campuses safe.
Monday, September 14, 2015
My new article for Psychology Today is about narcissistic parents. I give six specific signs of narcissistic parenting. What's interesting is that even in the rare event that a narcissist would be so self-reflective, the narcissists reading the article would never see that they are guilty of any of the behaviors I discuss. That's narcissism for you! I'm sending love and empathy to all the children of narcissistic parents.
Check out the full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201509/6-signs-you-may-be-narcissistic-parent.
Feel free to check out my book Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve here: http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Seths-Love-Prescription-Relationship-ebook/dp/B004DI7FIK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442260852&sr=8-1&keywords=dr.+seth.