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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

Generosity and Love

I’m weary of assigning one day of the year to celebrate love. I’d like to re-frame Valentine’s Day a bit, if I may. How about if it’s one day of the year to be reminded how to stay loving? I believe that it’s in our words, thoughts, and actions that we truly express love. (Not so much in chocolates, flowers, or sexy…whatevers). When we really make the effort to be loving, we are being emotionally generous. I think this is what fuels a loving relationship throughout the years. Some ideas to help love flourish through generosity: Be generous with your assumptions. Try not to automatically assume that your loved one’s actions or words were ill-intended. Much of the time, mistakes are not intentional, let alone meant to be hurtful. Be generous with your words. Provide words of support, validation, positive     . . . read more

Recent Guest Post by Hannah: How To Be a Drama-Free Bridesmaid

I was recently asked to guest blog for GCDSpa, a terrific local business that has personalized beauty products for every occasion. I was asked to weigh in on an important topic: how to survive (or even thrive) the in the role of bridesmaid. Here is what I had to say: Being a bridesmaid can be a rewarding and memorable experience. You are supporting a friend or loved one as they enter into a marriage. There are pretty pictures, touching moments, and many opportunities to bond with her as she goes on this important journey. On the other hand, as too many people know, it can also be stressful, filled with conflict or disappointment, and sometimes even end a friendship for good. Most of us have heard such horror stories. Few brides or bridesmaids start with the idea of destroying their     . . . read more

Why No Is Nice

I often hear stories about people who over-extend themselves. Maybe its making cakes for a school function, loaning money, running errands for a family member, or donating time. People often say yes when that’s not what’s right for them. I believe saying yes when really you need to say no is a big problem. I’m not against generosity, charity, or volunteering. These are good things that you should do as much as possible, but not more than possible. When you try to do something you really can’t, it doesn’t end up with a positive result. (You can see my skill for forming obvious conclusions). Here’s how it plays out: You are asked to do something. You are not truly wanting/able/willing to do this something. But you feel bad so you say that you will. You do the something. It takes     . . . read more