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What it Takes to Stay Together

Note from Hannah: This is a long one. But hey, it’s about long-term relationships. It’s a summary of what I’ve learned in an ever-growing number of years of life and professional experience. Hope you can commit to reading it… Relationships are complicated, that’s for sure. There are a lot of pressures that pull couples apart. At the same time, there are many ways to strengthen a relationship for couples who want to be in it for the long-haul. Here’s the deal: you can’t wait until things are bad. You have to intentionally, proactively, and continuously keep tabs on how things are going. Here are my thoughts on things that help committed and motivated couples stay together: GENEROSITY It goes a long way when both partners give without keeping score. When we give of ourselves, others want to give back. There     . . . read more

Not Saying Has Consequences

I’ve come to believe that not saying anything is the most over-used communication strategy in couples. It’s not a bad strategy when used appropriately. For example, there are many things you might choose not to talk about because they are minor and would offend for no reason: a style choice, a passing grumpy mood, a silly mistake. The saying, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, makes sense to me. No need to criticize without a purpose. However, it’s also important to remember that the saying is not: if you have something unpleasant, difficult or emotional to say, don’t say anything at all. Too often we avoid saying something that might be hard or prompt an emotional response. The belief is that if we abstain from saying anything then we are not responsible. Our     . . . read more

Two New Workshops this Fall

I’m pleased to announce two new mini-workshops, specifically for women, to take place in my office at 203 Anderson Street in Portland, Maine. These are intended to be small and highly interactive, so space is limited. Getting to “No” Guilt-free Tuesday, September 24th 12:00-1:30pm This mini-workshop is for nice women who need specific strategies for how and when to say no, all while overcoming guilt. Whether you are over-extended at home, work, or both, this workshop is designed to give you the tools and confidence you need to stop the stress of never saying no. You will learn: Why no is nice How to gracefully, but firmly, say no When it makes sense to say no Why relationships suffer when you fail to say no How relationships benefit when you say no more often How to recognize unrealistic expectations of     . . . read more

Curiosity and Relationships

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Portland therapist, Bonnie Dunn, LCSW. It’s part of the New Perspectives series where writers give us their take on emotional wellness and the human experience. In honor of July 4th, Hannah did a post about Freedom.  Her last line was:  “Freedom is a stance of curiosity, experimentation and play”.   I’m pretty sure Hannah was referring to that healthy curiosity about life and people, and for the record, I think she’s right about how important it is.   But sometimes, showing curiosity about other people is seen as invasive, an intrusion into a person’s privacy. Don’t get me wrong – we’re a society that was built on a person’s right to personal freedom and privacy – our famous “right to remain silent” that protects us from the prying of others.  And that’s a     . . . read more

Assertiveness

  Assertiveness is… caring about a situation, cause, one’s self, or a relationship enough to speak or take action when needed. preserving one’s integrity, duty, connection, or worth. well-intentioned words or actions for the benefit of truth, justice, fairness, safety, well-being, or connectedness. exercising a human right to set and maintain boundaries, which are the basis of healthy, functional relationships. a respectful exchange of words, ideas, or actions that leads to a productive outcome. validating the feelings of all involved even when there is discord and disagreement. using skillful communication to motivate others to listen and respond appropriately. In short, assertiveness is a way of communicating that allows us to have authentic, connected relationships and a thoughtful, effective response to disagreement, discord, difficulty, and disregard.   Want to learn more about assertiveness? The Women’s Mini-Workshop on Assertiveness is this Thursday     . . . read more

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