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Too Nervous to Have Hard Conversations? Here are 3 Ways to Make it Less Difficult

It is inevitable in life that you will be faced with situations in which it is essential that you have an uncomfortable conversation. Look, I know that you want to be liked. You care about being seen as cooperative and agreeable. I get that it is a risk to come off as unlikable (especially for women). But we all need to face up to reality. Every aspect of our lives that allow us to thrive are threatened if we don’t accept that sometimes we have uncomfortable communication. Let me say it another way: we can’t have integrity, boundaries, morals, character, thoughts and feelings if we aren’t willing to express them when it’s important to do so. Even if other people don’t like what we are saying. Even if it will be awkward or there will be some feelings involved. These     . . . read more

Couples Counseling is Worth It. Here Are 5 Ways It Can Help

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was like the movies and relationships were “happily ever after”?  That would be easier, and less work. But the reality is that real relationships in real life come complete with joy and love and mess and responsibility and sometimes pain. Honestly, that’s what makes real relationships amazing. I work with couples who want to have a deeper bond and lasting connection. Relationships are important to me. They’re important to everyone. That’s a biological fact of being human. We are a social species and hard-wired to attach to others. It’s why relationships can produce so much joy and it’s why they can trigger other deep emotional responses as well. Relationships take a lot of work and effort. But we don’t always make relationships a true priority. Why should we bother working on relationships? Because when you     . . . read more

Why Women Are Anxious and Frustrated at Work

Here’s the reason no one is talking about If you were an honor student growing up, you might be screwing yourself over at work. Let’s start with a story. Amanda was detail-oriented and highly competent. She did her job reliably well and got along with her colleagues. From the outside she appeared successful. However, she felt chronically frustrated because she often felt dismissed or talked over in meetings. She didn’t feel she was being paid fairly for her work quality. She also felt anxious much of the time and struggled to speak up about these feelings. Deep down she questioned if she deserved the things she wanted. Was she truly good enough? When I met Amanda I told her this: you are stymied by the schoolgirl mindset. Her response was probably the same as yours: What?! Let me explain. My     . . . read more

Burnout and the Culture of Impossible Expectations

“No one knows this because it seems like I have it all together, but inside I’m dying.” When you hear people’s deep dark secrets like I do as a therapist, you hear things like this frequently. This is because basically every human I interact with is going through something similar: the profound pressure to do “the right thing” in every area of life, while making it look easy. And expecting it to feel good. It’s the promise and temptation of being one life hack, career goal, or achievement away from perfection. You can be: as slim as a nearly disembodied head with barely a body to hold it up as productive as a super computer as cool and interesting as a celebrity (and employ a staff to pull that off) all while also having a loving relationship and friends. And     . . . read more

5 Skills for Confident Communication

Do you often leave interactions feeling like you didn’t make your point? Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel like people don’t really listen to you? It’s time for you to uplevel your communication skills so that you can confidently engage your audience. Whether at work or in your personal life, satisfying connections, effective conversations, and the ability to appropriately influence others are important skills for your overall well-being. Stop wasting your energy on poor quality interactions and up your communication game with these 5 key skills and go-to action steps. Skill #1: Set the intention Be aware and thoughtful in your interactions. I often hear people complain that they are stuck in the same unproductive or unpleasant conversations with people. This is often because we are not actively working to be intentional in these conversations. Here are 3 action     . . . read more