Wednesday, February 14, 2018

True love takes work.

Couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who sweep difficult issues under the carpet, according to a survey of almost 1,000 adults.

Many couples mistakenly believe that avoiding discussing sensitive issues means avoiding an argument, which, in turn, will be good for their relationship, said Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations.

“But the biggest mistake that couples make is avoidance,” he said. “We feel something but say nothing. At least until we can’t stand it anymore. So we wait until we are certain to discuss it poorly before we bring it up.

“We tend to avoid these conversations because we are conscious of the risks of speaking up, but unconscious of the risks of not speaking up,” he said. “We tend to only weigh the immediate and obvious risks without considering the longer term costs to intimacy, trust and connection.”

More than four in five respondents to the survey said poor communication played a role in a previous failed relationship.

One half cited poor communication as the significant cause of the failed relationship. But crucially, Grenny said, fewer than one in five believe they are usually to blame when a conversation goes poorly.

“The biggest unconscious mistake couples make is failing to take emotional responsibility for their feelings,” he said. “We think others are ‘making’ us feel the way we are – and fail to see our role in our own emotions. That’s why when we discuss our concerns with our loved one we are so often filled with blame and provoke defensiveness.”

Grenny said the three most difficult topics for couples to discuss were sex, finances and irritating habits.

“The success of a relationship is determined by the way in which sensitive issues are debated,” he said. “True love takes work. Real intimacy is not just about love but is also about truth. And crucial conversations are the vehicle for surfacing truth in a way that accelerates a feeling of intimacy, trust and connection.”

How To effectively argue with your partner

• Manage your thoughts
• Soften your judgments by asking yourself why a reasonable, rational and decent person would do what your partner is doing
• Affirm before you complain
• Don’t start by diving into the issue. Let your partner know you respect and care for them first
• Start with the facts
• Strip out the accusatory, judgmental and inflammatory language
• Be tentative but honest
• Having laid out the facts, tell your partner why you’re concerned. But don’t do it as an accusation: share it as an opinion
• Invite dialogue
• If you’re open to hearing your partner’s view, they’ll be more open to yours

source

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Loneliness is no longer just a personal misfortune

BBC news
(April 2013)
Some people seek isolation, but few choose to be lonely.

"We have data that suggests people's social networks have got smaller and families are not providing the same level of social context they may have done 50 years ago.
It's not because they are bad or uncaring families, but it's to do with geographical distance, marriage breakdown, multiple caring responsibilities and longer working hours". - source

* * *
(Feb. 2017)
Tackling loneliness - some ideas:

Spend time with your cat (or pet of choice)
"I am 79 years old and was always feeling lonely in the evenings - I told my daughter that I would like a kitten, so she searched a cat sanctuary and I chose a little black one and called him Barney. He was eight weeks old when I got him, and he has completely changed my life around because he wants attention all day. I cannot imagine my life now without him. I am disabled but manage to look after him very well, and he is a happy little boy of five months." - Joan Gutteridge (on the pic)

"My cat - she is a constant companion at home and a real comfort. I have to keep going to make sure she has everything she needs, and she relies on me as her significant other. She has become more cuddly, which I find makes me happy." - Kerry Williams

Volunteer for a charity
"When I reached rock-bottom, I signed up to volunteer for two charities - one helping disadvantaged families and children, and the other in conservation work. I also joined a community choir, got an allotment - and adopted a cat. I am beginning to feel a lot more connected to my community, and a lot less lonely." - Nancy Saunders

* * *
(Dec. 2017)
Half of people aged 75 and over live alone - about 2 million people across England - with many saying they can go days, even weeks with no social interaction at all.

Loneliness is no longer just a personal misfortune but has grown into a social epidemic. - source

* * *
(Jan. 2018)
Minister for loneliness appointed to continue Jo Cox's work
The Commission on Loneliness was first set up by Ms Cox, who was killed before the EU referendum.

How to help lonely elderly people

- Start a conversation. Stop and talk. Don't hurry them.

- Offer practical help, such as shopping, posting a letter, picking up prescriptions or walking their dog.

- Offer to accompany them or give them a lift to medical appointments, the library, hairdressers or faith services.

- Share your time - volunteer with an organisation that has befriending services matching you with an isolated elderly person for home visits or regular phone calls.

- Help with household tasks - offer to take out the rubbish, change light bulbs, clear snow, put up pictures.

- Share a meal - take round an extra plate of hot home-cooked food or a frozen portion.

- Listen and don't make assumptions. People can feel lonely even if it looks like they have a busy and full life.

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