relationship - Laura Giles, LCSW
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relationship

be unmanipulatable

How to Be Unmanipulatable

Okay, first off, let me tell you that there is no way to be 100% unmanipulatable. However, there are ways to reduce your vulnerability, and this article will look at those. Ready? Forget About Stereotypes The first thing you need to do to reduce your vulnerability to manipulation is to forget about stereotypes. Manipulative people don't always look or talk like thugs. They aren't always mean or pushy. The scary thing about monsters is that they look like people. They look like your parents, the guy next door, your teacher, the preacher, and you. If you think you can avoid them by staying away from people who (fill in the blank), you're wrong. They aren't wearing signs that say, "I manipulate people." Grow Yourself People allow themselves to be manipulated. Manipulative people search...

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Disillusionment Is the Beginning of Love

Aren't fairy tale romances so sweet! Who doesn't want to be love bombed, struck with the certainty that this is "the one" and live happily ever after? Unfortunately, that's not how life works. And when we use that as our template for what a fulfilling relationship looks like, when the disillusionment hits, that's when the relationship tends to end. Don't give up before success happens! Disillusionment is the beginning of love. Say what? Yes. Think about the word. Disillusion means to free from illusion. That space after the honeymoon phase is real life. It's what you really look like when you have bills to pay, obligations to meet, and aren't in Prince Charming mode. Prince Charming is not sustainable and not real. It's easy to love that guy, but what about...

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How Nice is “Too Nice?”

Most of us were brought up to be nice. It makes relationships easier and living more hospitable, but where do you draw the line? How nice is too nice? What's "Nice?" Before we talk about how nice is too nice, let's define what it means to be nice. Nice is being pleasing, agreeable, friendly, polite, and kind. These are all things that we want, right? What could be bad about that? When we are too nice, it comes at a cost to ourselves. We teach people how to treat us, and when we put ourselves last, we show others that that is where we stand. That's where we are most comfortable. So we get more of that and don't get our own needs met. What "Too Nice" Looks Like: You over give of your...

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be a participant

Are you a Bystander or Participant in Your Life?

Some people observe life. Some live life as an object and let life act upon them. Others participate. If you want to live fully, be a participant in your life. Observers Observing is a great skill! It helps you to take in data so that you know what's going on around you so you can act effectively. However, if you never get in the game, you're not living. You're watching life happen around you. Everything is vicarious. This can keep you safe because you never get your feelings hurt, and you get to sit back and talk about what could have, should have, would have. This is not a substitute for experience. Life is meant to be experienced. A life without experience is no life at all. You might as well watch a...

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It's a wonderful life

It’s a Wonderful (Codependent) Life

Who doesn't love movie therapy? It's the Christmas season. It's a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. It gets me all teary eyed every time I watch it. AND it's a great illustration of what codependency looks like. Want to learn? Come on! If you're not familiar with the story, our hero is George Bailey, a stand-up, down to earth guy who wants to be an explorer. He does all the right things in life, but ends up in a situation where he's contemplating suicide. In order for his guardian angel to get his wings, he has to do a good deed. So he goes to earth to persuade George to change his mind by showing him that he actually has had a great life. Got it? Okay, now...

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gaslighting

What You Need to Know About Gaslighting

Social media is fabulous for getting the word out about anything. I'm so happy to see people openly talking about mental health and things like gaslighting. Unfortunately, the downside is that the information isn't always accurate. So, let's talk about what is gaslighting. Gaslighting is not simply lying. Lying is confusing and destroys trust. Lying is a part of gaslighting, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Gaslighting is also not saying no. People are allowed to disagree and set boundaries. Gaslighting usually includes disagreeing with you, but again, it's more than that. Gaslighting is the intentional manipulation of reality to make the receiver of that information doubt him or herself, question her sanity, or stay off balance. The term comes from the 1940's movie, Gaslight, In the movie, the husband raises and...

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withholding love

Are You Withholding Love?

Withholding love is a common relationship tactic that many people use to avoid being hurt, deal with their emotions, or control their partner. There are many ways that it can show up. Perhaps you are withholding love and don't even know it. Let's explore this and see. The Silent Treatment or Shutting Someone Down Sometimes we all need some space to figure out our thoughts and feelings, and it's better to take a break to get clear. If you state that that's what's going on, that's not the silent treatment. The silent treatment is a deliberate refusal to speak with someone or acknowledge their existence. It's designed to punish the other person, show displeasure, or sometimes avoid conflict. Shutting someone down is not allowing them to speak. Withholding conversation is a form of...

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30 days no contact

When To Go “30 Days No Contact”

There are times when you just need to take a break from your relationship or your family. For those times, there is "30 days no contact." Let's talk about what that is and why and how you do it. What is 30 Days No Contact? 30 Days, No Contact is just what it sounds like. It's a planned time out of 30 days that involves no phone calls, texts, emails, or visits. You can't drop lunch by outside the door. You can't send messages through third parties. There is no checking up on them to make sure they are okay. Your friends or family can't do that for you either. This is time for you to focus on you, not them. Why Do 30 Days No Contact? 30 Days, No Contact is a...

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all love is love

All Love is Love

So much pain in this world comes from the perception that there is not enough love. People don't see love because it doesn't come in the package that they think it should come in. There are so many qualifiers for types of love that we can miss it while we're standing in a sea of it. If you want shift your relationship with love, learn to see that all love is love. Love is an energy that just wants to flow. It doesn't care if you direct it towards your plant, boots, mother, baby, lover, or God. It isn't a lower quality love if it doesn't rage within you or it's expressed in small acts of kindness. All love is love. Love doesn't care if you send it out and the object...

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