Articles on Relationships

Are You Angry? Good!

By Neill Gibson and Beth Banning

Do you feel guilty or confused when you get angry? Do you look for reasons that justify your anger? Anger isn’t the problem. And guess what, neither are you. You heard right. Anger is not the problem. The problem is being unable to identify what’s making you angry so you can do something about it. Read on to discover what’s causing your anger and how you can use your anger to help create the life you really want.

Be Careful What You Hear During the Holidays

By Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of year. Family gatherings, busy schedules, entertaining, and the bustle and pressure of expectations around gift giving. In this training excerpt, world-renowned peacemaker and author, Marshall Rosenberg, gives frank advice to keep our compassion in check by shifting our thinking.

Being Me, Loving You: A Simple Exercise to Inspire Connection With a Loved One

By Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

In this simple exercise, Marshall Rosenberg touches on some of the key aspects of applying NVC to create loving relationships with our intimate partner, friends, and family while maintaining our own autonomy, personal integrity, and values. Complete this exercise now with someone close to you and watch powerful connections transpire.

The Big Cover-Up: How to Stop Hiding Behind the Stories We Make up About Ourselves, and Finally Find the Love We Want

By Tiffany Meyer and edited by Lucy Leu

Just weeks ago my partner and I had reached our biggest moment of disconnect, and our relationship was hanging on the brink of disaster. But before we started round number three, listing everything that was wrong with the other person, we decided to stop, take a break and get clear. What I discovered was this — we’d created the biggest cover-up story in history. I had covered up my heart under the story I’d made up about myself. And worse yet, I couldn’t even hear the man I love. Why? Because I’d buried him deep under the story I’d made up about him.

Compassionate Communication: Confessions from a Cling-on (PDF)

By Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

Using humor and anecdotes, Bryson helps us move beyond destructive inner dialogues to empathic connection.

Couple in Conflict: Ending the “He Said/ She Said” Game (PDF)

By Ron Gibbs

Power struggles, miscommunication, judgment, blame — isn’t this the stuff relationships are made of? Not according to Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Do You Want to Be Right or Have Meaningful Relationships? You Can’t Have Both!

By Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

Bryson uses humor to demonstrate the powerful impact of empathy in improving the quality of your intimate relationships.

The Fear Within: Transforming Debilitative Fear from Ruling Your Life and Your Relationships

By Tiffany Meyer

Just the other day a wise friend described fear — of intimacy, of abandonment, of being vulnerable — as a form of emotional control, especially when it creeps its way into an intimate or personal relationship. Control? But, wait a minute, how can my fears control my partner?

Feel a Fight Coming On? Find the Clues to Transform Your Intimate Partner’s Anger into an Opportunity for Connection and Growth

By Wayland Myers, PhD.

The most common emotion I’ve seen couples struggle with is anger. This is what often happens: Someone gets angry (usually because they are hurting or afraid). The couple comes together to try to resolve the anger. So far, so good. But then the trouble starts — their dialogue is filled with ways of speaking and thinking that tend to make matters worse, like blaming, shaming, accusation, criticism, name-calling, defensiveness, and even silence. The new pain is added to the initial pain, and an ever-mushrooming spiral of pain is born. What a lovely outcome. But, gratefully, there’s hope.

Finding Compassion in Divorce (PDF)

By Susan Allan

This year 70% of all U.S. marriages are expected to end in divorce. The Holmes Schedule of Stressful Events ranks divorce the second most stressful life experience, followed only after the death of a spouse. While some marriages end amicably, many end with partners feeling angry, resentful, or overwhelmed with emotional pain. When it is understood that more than half of all divorces render one or both partners homeless, clients admit that divorce is one of the most challenging experiences they may face.

Five Surefire Ways to Ruin a Relationship

By Rachelle Lamb

For years I have been speaking and writing about how our communication can greatly enhance our relationships and life experiences. For something completely different, I thought I’d offer readers some surefire ways to effectively ruin relationships.

Five Tips for Enjoyable Holiday Gathering

By Neill Gibson and Beth Benning

Are you wondering how your next family gathering will turn out? Is it tough to relate to some of your family members? Do you sometimes leave feeling drained and wondering why you went at all? It can be different this year. Imagine walking into your next family get-together feeling excited about being there and knowing that you will leave feeling happy about the whole experience.

Got Conflict? 5 Paths That Lead to Genuine Cooperation in All Your Relationships

By Neill Gibson and Beth Banning

Have you ever noticed how many people in conflict end up playing the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong!” game? Why this is so common, especially in intimate relationships? If you ever play this blame game and you’d like stop, then it’s time to transform your right-wrong thinking.

Healing From the Blame That Binds (PDF)

By Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

“Just as blame is a protective move based on fear and ignorance, compassion is a corrective countermove based on courage and understanding,” says Bryson in this in depth exploration of the destructive power of internal and external blame. Learn to transform blame and moralistic judgment into a reconnection to human needs.

The Power of Silent Empathy: How to Break Down Barriers to Connection When Words Don’t Work

By Rita Herzog

When I first learned about the concept of silent empathy during a workshop with Marshall Rosenberg many years ago, I didn’t know how soon I’d have the opportunity to try it out. I was visiting my daughter for four days and even though it seemed to be going well, I must have been acting in my old mother role, making comments about her life, analyzing her behavior, giving her my view on everything – and all unasked for!

The Price of Nice (PDF)

By Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

Bryson explores some of the cultural conditioning that leads us to put our needs aside and be “nice” instead of speaking from our heart. Understand the impact of this “niceness”; as needs remain unmet, and our focus is continually drawn away from meeting basic human needs.

Valentine’s Intimacy: As Good as Chocolate but Without the Down Side

By Neill Gibson and Beth Banning

This Valentine’s would you like to recapture that yummy closeness you want with your mate? Is it time to infuse your relationship with the chocolate-like sweetness of intimacy once again? If this sounds good to you, read on to discover our seven-step recipe for coaxing that confectionary delight of intimacy back into your relationship.

The Value of Taking a Step Back: Keys to Have a “Fight to the Life” Instead of “to the Death”

By Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT

Have you ever gotten a fishing line all tangled up? You got so frustrated you just started yanking on the different loops of line, which of course made the knots and tangles even tighter and more difficult to untangle. Wouldn’t it be great if you could notice the minute you were starting to tangle things up in a discussion with your loved one? To be able to stop and take a step back — a time out — before the frustrated yanking occurs?