Yearnings: Follow Your Inner-GPS to Express Your Wants and Needs in a Relationship

Do you feel like you’ve been fighting over nothing lately? Does every little thing become a nitpicky fight between you and your partner?



Are you expressing your wants and needs in your relationship? It’s a tricky question, but one that most of us have pondered before.

We believe (or maybe expect) that a relationship should meet our wants and needs. We hope that our partner will “get” us and do those things that help us feel connected, happy, and fulfilled. But most of us have probably realized that our partners aren’t mind-readers. We have to express those feelings to get them on the radar—but how?

If we want to meet our wants and needs in a relationship, we need to dive in and discover our yearnings. Here’s how.

When the Thrill is Gone

It may sound harsh, but even the best relationships hit rough patches. As the old song goes, “The thrill is gone,” and some of us might be wondering where it went

When a relationship starts, we’re often energized, engaged, and ready to put our “best foot forward.” But after a few months or years, we shift out of the lavender haze and may start to feel a loss of connection. We may feel like we’ve been fighting over nothing lately. Every little thing becomes a nitpicky fight between our partner and us.

After we cool down and step away for a minute, we might think,

  • “If we could just get away for a few days, we’d probably get along better,” or…
  • “If we’d just have sex, I’m sure we would feel reconnected.”

We may feel dissatisfied, but we can’t pinpoint the actual problem. We know that neither partner is having an affair. No one has a substance abuse problem. We still genuinely love and care about each other, but we don’t get the same sense of excitement we once did. We may even find ourselves thinking about other people or remembering other relationships fondly.

Essentially—the thrill is gone. But is it really? And more importantly, can we get it back?The good news is that all of these common relationship feelings are rooted in our yearnings.


We long to have our wants and needs met in a relationship, but we might not know how to get there. These longings are what we call yearnings. They are feelings that we all have—hunger of the soul. They go deeper than “I want to look good naked” or “I want to go on vacation.”


Yearnings speak to the desires of our heart:

  • We yearn to be acknowledged and known.
  • We yearn to be seen, valued, and loved.
  • We year for respect, connection, intimacy.

For most couples, yearnings and unmet yearnings are at the root of dissatisfaction and at the heart of every fight. Our yearnings drive us. Like GPS, they steer us toward the direction of greater happiness and satisfaction. Our yearnings push us toward the things we want.

We often say that yearnings make couples tick, and unmet yearnings tick couples off.

We can imagine for a moment: what it is like when our yearnings are met in our relationship. Think of a time when we got home, and our partner’s eyes lit up when they saw us. They told us how much they missed us and couldn’t wait to hear about our day.

Imagine telling that partner about something extraordinary that happened during the day and knowing our partner is thrilled for us. Envision asking them for something that we really wanted—a dinner, a long walk, a conversation, physical contact—and having them enthusiastically agree. Or imagine telling them something we’re dissatisfied with, and they acknowledge our feelings and work together on a resolution. These would be examples of interactions that speak to our inner yearnings.

When our yearnings are ignored or unmet in our relationship, we may find ourselves drifting in opposite directions. Maybe we’re feeling distant from our partner, but we aren’t sure why. We might be afraid to bring up problems and discuss our feelings because we’re sensing a hidden middle finger (or giving one ourselves). We might withdraw from the relationship and feel a sense of disconnectedness.

Expressing Your Yearnings: It’s Not Actually About His Socks on the Floor

Our yearnings are extremely powerful. They go deeper than wishing that our spouses would stop putting their socks on the floor. But sometimes, something as simple as socks on the floor can make us feel like our yearnings are ignored and brushed aside. If having a clean, organized home is important to one partner but not the other, there might be an incongruency. That difference is underscored when the preference isn’t something that’s been clearly expressed. Often one partner doesn’t realize the importance of picking up the socks, while the other partner feels ignored and frustrated.

Years of socks on the floor pile up, and so do frustrations. Each night the irritation builds as we silently pick up our partner’s socks and seethe about it. Eventually, this can lead to resentment. We make a crack about our spouse’s sloppiness to friends. We make something he hates for dinner. We ignore his comments about his day. We’re silent and angry, and our spouse is confused about why we’re so cold and annoyed with them.

But at the root, we probably grew up in different households with differing standards of cleanliness. To one partner, socks are no big deal—a sign of feeling relaxed and comfortable. To the other partner, socks on the floor are an affront that says, “I don’t care about the work you put into our household. I don’t respect you or notice your efforts.”

We’re often engaged in these little power struggles in relationships, and we aren’t even aware that they’re happening. These little resentments and actions build up and can even cause explosive fights that seemingly go nowhere. Our partner might start picking up the socks, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. At the root of the fight is often an unmet yearning.

Yearnings are significant wants and needs in a relationship. They may be:

  • Yearning to be respected,
  • Yearning to be cared for,
  • Yearning to be safe and secure,
  • Yearning to nurture and grow, and
  • Yearning to be appreciated.

Notice that nowhere on this list is “yearning for picked-up socks.” That’s because the true yearning isn’t really about the laundry pile. It’s something more poignant that runs much deeper. Yearnings are connected to the core of our humanity, existence, and identity.

Wants and Needs in a Relationship vs. Yearnings

It’s important to understand because there’s a difference between basic wants and needs in a relationship and yearnings. We often express what we think are our wants and needs, but when we get them met, we still feel unsatisfied, as though the larger issue still looms.

  • We can want our spouse to have sex with us more frequently.
  • We can want her to clean out the car when she uses it.
  • We can ask him to stop splashing toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

When we express our wants, our partner often complies, but we may still feel annoyed. We feel like we’re nagging them or like we always have to tell them what we want. That’s a sure indication that we haven’t addressed the deeper yearnings behind our desires. A superficial action, like putting down the toilet seat or rinsing a dinner plate doesn’t really address the heart of the issue. We find ourselves running around mopping up water without fixing the broken pipe and addressing the source of the leak.


Real, true satisfaction and intimacy come from expressing our yearnings and understanding why they matter to us. This can happen in or out of a relationship. It’s about first doing the work to understand what’s going on inside our hearts and minds.


The great part is that when we identify our yearnings, we can find many different ways to get them met. It’s not just about relying on one person to do a specific action. We may yearn to connect with others, and we can do that by connecting with friends, coworkers, family, or our spouse.

If our partner simply complies with our expressed demand without understanding or learning our underlying yearning, the interaction might feel hollow or superficial. We aren’t getting those feelings of being acknowledged, appreciated, or loved. We’re simply training someone to pick up socks.

Our Yearnings Matter!

So, what about when we fight? We don’t really yearn to “win” the fight when it comes to fighting. Yes, we may want to express our point; we may think we want to win. But after we feel briefly superior and proud of our status as the “winner,” we might realize that we haven’t solved anything at all.

At the heart of many of our conflicts is fear (or the simple fact) that our yearnings aren’t being met and that we aren’t clearly expressing and requesting them from our partners. Yearning is at the core of our survival. Yearning to love and bond keeps mothers caring for their children. Yearning to be safe, sheltered, connected, and respected all have a biological imperative behind them. When our yearnings are met, we experience a rush of feel-good emotions and chemicals. When our yearnings are ignored, we experience a flood of fear, adrenalin, and stress hormones.

When we understand the neuroscience beneath our yearnings, we can quickly see why they’re so powerful and why they play such a strong role in our conflicts, especially with our partners—the people we rely on and trust.


When we feel frustrated about something our partner did, we can step back and ask ourselves, what is the underlying yearning? What do I really want from them? Is it that I want to be seen? Heard? Respected? Connected? When we identify those yearnings, we can try expressing them.


What would happen if we asked our partner for more physical contact? What if we explained why a clean house makes us feel more secure? What if we “went there” in conversation and brought our yearnings out into the light?

If we want to build stronger connections and get our yearnings met in our relationship, we must first identify them within ourselves. Then we can take steps to express our yearnings to our partner. Acknowledging our yearnings is the first battle, one we must wage within ourselves. As we come to a better understanding of what drives us, we can start expressing those wants and needs to our partners. Ultimately, when we say what we really want in our relationship, we’ll strengthen our bond and start getting closer.

For more ways to strengthen your relationships, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses to help you build stronger connections, discover more about yourself, and move towards the life you want—a life of more. Start getting what you want today!


About the Author

judith

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Understanding Mistaken Beliefs (And Letting Them Go)

We all want to live a great life, but we need to do some self-exploration to get there.

Are you ready to live the life you always wanted? One of the first steps is understanding mistaken beliefs and learning to let them go.


 

Discovering the type of life we want to live requires us to examine our innermost thoughts and desires.

What do we want from the world? What do we believe the world can give us? What do we think about the world around us? What do we feel about ourselves? If we want to live a satisfying life, it means we need to start understanding mistaken beliefs—the lies and misbeliefs we adopt throughout our lives that lead us to certain ideas about the world (that may hold us back).

How do we start identifying and understanding mistaken beliefs? Do we all have them? (We do!) Are they always “mistaken”? Most importantly, how do we let go of these thoughts that hold us back?

Choosing to BELIEVE We Can Live a Life of More

Living the life we want is really a decision that each of us can make. We all have the ability to set our intention about our life, to move toward things that bring us happiness and satisfaction, and to move away from the things that may bring us harm.


When we decide that we’re ready to really go for the life we want, we may think, “great! Now what?” How do we get there, and how do we make this somewhat nebulous idea of “a life of MORE” happen?


Of course, we all want MORE happiness in our lives. We all want more fulfilling connections, better relationships, better careers. We all want to wake up excited to face a new adventure each day. We want to feel confident and in control of our path.

But within each of us is a set of beliefs—something we refer to as our “matrix.” This network of ideas, experiences, and beliefs shape how we see the world around us. It shapes how we see ourselves and what we believe our role in the world is today.

Our matrix was formed when we were very young (much of it before we could even talk). We were small; the world was big. We were dependent on parents and caretakers. We may have seen the world as unsafe. We may have started to believe certain things about our ability and role. Maybe we learned that we were not enough or that we were too much. Perhaps we saw affection as something we needed to “earn.” Maybe we believed that it wasn’t okay to share or express our emotions—that we had to be happy all the time.

It’s not that all of these beliefs are bad, but some of the ideas about ourselves were mistaken. They may have been true and even helpful at the time (like believing that we needed to follow what our parents told us). Now, however, some of these beliefs might be holding us back from living the life we want.

What Does it Mean to Live Our Best Life?

When we talk about what it means to live our best life, I like to recognize that living a full and satisfying life is a decision—one that we can each make. As outlined in my book, The One Decision, living the life we want to live is a choice.

The One Decision was powerfully stated by Shakespeare, who may have said it best: “To be or not to be. That is the question.” To be—to be alive, aware, and to be yourself; or not to be—to be dimmed down, numbed out, unaware. To be conscious or to be unconscious.

Your One Decision can be worded in any way that seems right to you, but it is actually a binary choice, an on/off switch between two opposites:

To be or not to be

A life of MORE or a life of less

Awake or asleep

Deep or superficial

Substantive or vacuous

Real or fake

Light or dark

Spiritual or temporal

Fulfilling deep desires or surface wants

Truth or illusion

Adventure or suffering

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is only one choice. It is either one thing or the other. It is the only choice we have. To pretend that there is any other choice is absurd and completely false.

The One Decision

Of course, we all want to live a life of fulfillment. We may get bogged down with the nuances of the decision: “Am I choosing the right life? What is it that I really want?”

But when we hem and haw over the choice, we’re simply procrastinating our progression. It’s a universal human desire to grow, evolve, and achieve. If we look at human achievements throughout history, we can see that it’s natural human instinct and drive to discover and invent continuously. This applies to industry, art, and science, but it also applies to our inner lives. Within each of us is the desire to become the best person we can be. We’re driven toward making the One Decision: to live the life we want, find greater fulfillment, deeper connections, and experience richer adventures.

Simply by getting up each day, going to work, and interacting with people, we’re choosing a small scale to live our life.


The fact that we don’t lie in bed, get up, get dressed, and leave our house each morning indicates that within us is a desire for more. We want to achieve, grow, and become better at whatever it is we’re doing.


Yet, for many of us, some thoughts creep into our minds—doubts and fears that take over—and tell us that the things we want are unreasonable, unobtainable, or that we are undeserving. We may fear failure, mistakes, embarrassment, rejection, or worse. We may feel uncertain about our place in the world or our best path forward.

Understanding mistaken beliefs is the first step in learning to let them go. These mistaken beliefs keep us from moving forward. They prevent us from choosing to move our life in the direction towards abundance and achievement.

Understanding Mistaken Beliefs and How They Originate

Every person has uncertainties. These doubts and self-limiting beliefs often sound reasonable. In our minds, they’re presented as “facts” or truths. Yet, these thoughts are really a distorted version of reality.

Sometimes these thoughts might be negative. We might take the view that things are against us, that the world is unfair, or that we will never get what we want. We might have self-defeating thoughts or believe that the cards are stacked against us. When we have these negative thoughts, we refer to them as “stinking thinking”—thoughts that stink!

Many of our stinking thoughts are ingrained in our minds. These thoughts block us from seeing our actual value. They tell us to settle for temporary fixes. They push us to zone out with soft addictions and time wasters. This is the voice that says, “It’s too hard. You’ll never do it. Chill out on the couch with a pizza and Netflix instead.”

We may fall into this illusion of “more” by even believing that it’s “self-care” and that we deserve this break. In reality, these actions aren’t nourishing. They do the opposite—they hold us back and prevent us from really going for what we want. We see the path of least resistance as the easiest answer, but it’s also the one that leaves us unfulfilled.

Mistaken beliefs and assumptions spawn stinking thinking. It takes many forms: rationalizing, making excuses, being defensive, overgeneralizing, thinking you are unloved or unworthy, labeling, blaming, minimizing, projecting, being prejudiced, mind-reading, being superstitious, obfuscating, all-or-nothing thinking—all ways of fudging or denying the truth, escaping from the deeper reality underneath.

Stinking thinking robs you of MORE. This false thinking keeps you from achieving what you could and discourages you from trying new things, taking risks, and creating MORE. You may use these thoughts to talk yourself out of pursuing MORE before you even get a fighting chance. Stinking thinking lowers motivation and kills hope. And it’s how most of us think and talk most of the time.

Falling into the loop of stinking thinking, you embrace what is a false reality. You continually revisit your stinking thinking litany: I can’t. I’m too old, young, poor, fat… to do that. If only I were thinner, richer, or more attractive, everything would work out. It’s his fault. It’s her fault. I’ll never be able to have MORE in my life. I already tried that, and I failed, so it’s no use trying again. I’m not smart enough. It’ll never happen. This always happens. It will never get any better. I’m not okay. No one will ever love me. All the good men are taken or gay. Women only want men who are rich and successful. This is hopeless. I’ll start my diet tomorrow I’ll never learn. When I win the lottery, I’ll make my One Decision…

-The One Decision

Now, as we look at that litany of stinking thinking, at least one or two of those lies probably look familiar. These are common thought patterns. They are also invalid.


Understanding mistaken beliefs means acknowledging the reality of stinking thinking: we all experience it, and it holds us back.


When stinking thinking patterns sneak upon us, we have a choice. We can either observe it, acknowledge it for what it is, and move forward, or we can invest in them. What we shouldn’t do is beat ourselves up about them. This humorous approach is part of why we use the silly term “stinking thinking.”

Our students and those who attend our networking events receive Stinking Thinking tokens (they even have a skunk on them). It’s a little funny, but it also helps with understanding mistaken beliefs. When we approach it with humor and compassion, we realize that we don’t need to accept these serious thoughts as reality. We can acknowledge them for what they are and let them go.

Decide to Believe in Yourself

Each of us is a magnificent being, worthy of all the joy and rich experience that life brings. When we start to experience stinking thinking, it’s important to remind ourselves of the important truth instead. You are worthy. You are a gift.

It can be tough to shift our thinking from self-doubt to self-belief. It doesn’t mean we’ll have instant confidence. This acceptance is a slow process that begins when we start to really invest in ourselves and our personal growth.

To love yourself, you must know yourself and align to your truths. This means understanding where your mistaken beliefs originated, acknowledging your emotions and thought patterns, and treating yourself with compassion and kindness.

When we make our One Decision to live a life of more, it’s a leap of faith. We must believe that we are worthy of a life of fulfillment and goodness (we are!). Each person is imbued with great potential for happiness, goodness, and a life of MORE. Understanding mistaken beliefs and learning to let them go will help you move forward on your journey toward living the life of your dreams.

If you’re looking for more ways to live the life of your dreams, please visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses to help you with relationships, career, and personal growth. If you’re ready to live a life of MORE, start today!


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Break Your Negative Thinking Patterns

Maybe you’re sick or feeling achy. Perhaps the day hasn’t gone your way, or you’re frustrated with a situation involving a friend, coworker, or even your spouse. Perhaps your plans were canceled, or someone backed out on you.

A black and white picture of a woman with her head down. Ever get stuck in negative thinking patterns? It’s tough to break our patterns and stop “stinking thinking” but by adjusting your perspective you can make a positive shift.


 

What do we do when faced with frustrating situations? We start a reel of tape looping in our heads, a voice saying, “You’re a loser,” or “you’re lazy,” or “no one really likes you.” Call it depression and anxiety, stress, or negative thinking, it’s no fun, and it can become quite damaging to our mood, mental health, and outlook.

No matter how old we get or how much we attempt to stay upbeat, it’s hard to get our little voice to shut up sometimes—especially when we’re feeling down in the dumps. We’ve all had those moments when we feel down and crummy. We get stuck in negative thinking patterns, and it’s hard to break out.

Stop Your Negative Thinking Patterns—They Stink!

When we get stuck in this negative self-talk and spiral of negative thinking patterns, we refer to it as “stinking thinking.” Why? Well, because these thoughts really stink!


Not only do these negative thinking patterns make us feel bad about ourselves, erode our confidence, and destroy our mood, but they’re hard to turn off. In fact, many of us have been programming our brains for years—our whole lives—to play this negative tape.


This tape of beliefs is part of our makeup, or what we call our matrix. As I work with people on their personal growth, exploring their matrix is a crucial step. When we’re in the process of growing and learning more about ourselves, we often see and start to explore the side of our matrix that’s not-so-positive.

In fact, the more we examine our thinking, try to stop negative thought patterns, and work on shifting our mindset, the harder these negative thoughts seem to fight their way up to the surface. These misbeliefs and negative thinking patterns especially come up when we experience setbacks, frustrations, and mistakes that make us want to throw in the towel (or at least start listing off excuses).

These mental roadblocks are perfectly normal and part of the process. Change is difficult and often a little scary. However, the more we lean into making personal changes and focusing on our growth, the more our minds will throw up resistance. After all, it’s easier to go back to the status quo—it’s more comfortable for our brains (but in the long run, we’re not doing our mental health any favors).

Is Our Changing Negative Thinking Patterns Worth the Effort?

It’s simple to write off our potential future as requiring too much work or being too painful to achieve. It may feel safer to keep on going about our business as usual.

But the reality is that change is constant, and it’s part of life. Whether we’re evolving into our next best self or becoming more rigid and set in our ways, we’re still constantly changing and growing. We have a choice to embrace this shift as an opportunity to learn and to become even better, more engaged, and more confident, or we can choose to resist the change, rely on our old thinking patterns, and zone out with soft addictions and time wasters. It may easier to sit back and take whatever comes our way, or we can open ourselves to the possibilities and gratitude from making the most of our lives.


When we choose to live a life of MORE, then it’s time to roll up our sleeves and do the internal work. Part of the work is exploring our values and our beliefs. To start discovering more about ourselves, we need to peel back the layers of our matrix and expose these underlying misbeliefs.


Your matrix isn’t going to like it when you start exposing it. It’s going to assert itself when you think, I have unique gifts; I can go further than I ever thought; I’m not inherently unlovable; I’m desirable, and there’s someone out there for me, or maybe I’m a lot more spiritual than I think; I can try to find a connection with a higher power. This is why stating positive affirmations alone doesn’t work—in your conscious mind, you say to yourself, I am loveable, and your matrix reacts and fights it with an unconscious response of disbelief that, if translated, might sound something like, Yeah, right. That’s why you’re sitting home watching reruns on a Saturday night instead of being out on a date.

Your matrix will reflexively attempt to restore its version of reality when it hears these positive thoughts. It will be especially assertive when you try to do something that breaks from your programming, and it doesn’t work out. It may even resort to trickery, lying low until it can subtly reassert itself. For instance, you’ve been programmed to believe your limitations, such as you’re unlovable, but…you start a relationship you think might turn into a long-term one. Then the other person breaks up with you, and your matrix says, See, you are unlovable.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

It’s common to fall back into these negative thinking patterns about ourselves, especially when doing the work. When we start to feel hopeful about the future, we set up expectations. Once these expectations go awry, it confirms our fears. We become discouraged.

The truth is, these negative thinking patterns hold us back. They don’t move us forward in a positive direction. They don’t bring us happiness, fulfillment, or satisfaction. They stink. If we want to stop o negative thinking patterns, we must rally ourselves to keep pushing through. We can focus on the deepest desires of our hearts—our yearnings. It also helps to remind ourselves that we’re working toward getting those deep needs met. In other words, we should keep our eyes on the prize (our yearnings!).

How Do You Stop Negative Thinking When You’re Sick?

A while back, I came down with the flu. It was miserable. I was congested, tired, achy, and I felt awful. I came home, and there I was, all alone. I was left with me. In bed. Sick. Feverish. Tired. Listless…but my mind was still active, thinking…

What value do I have if I am just in bed? I’m worthless unless I’m doing something. I’ve got to go to work…

As the thoughts were swirling in my mind, my husband, Bob, called out from the kitchen that he loved me. I heard myself thinking: How can you love me if I’m not doing anything?

So, I asked him exactly that question, and he responded with a smile, “I love you just for being here. You are the sweetest little being I know, even when you piss me off. Right now, you don’t piss me off; I just want to hug you.”

Bob often helps me re-program my mistaken beliefs about myself and my value, which is a process we call rematrixing. All the stinking thinking I have, such as I’m not valuable if I’m not doing something, comes from my mistaken beliefs about myself.

One of the categories of stinking thinking I am most prone to is called emotional reasoning: I feel bad, so I think I am bad. When I am sick and feel bad, I’m especially susceptible to this form of stinking thinking. I realize I need to take this message in: I am valuable and lovable. I matter. I don’t have to earn love. These are the thoughts I need to let in. I repeat them to myself like a mantra, imagining Bob’s loving expression as I say them, soaking it in.


The more I can feel the positive thoughts, the more I can rematrix these positive beliefs to let them settle deeply within myself. The more conscious I am as I do this, the more these thoughts will become my beliefs.


And what happens when I do this? Well, suddenly, I’m relaxing and actually thankful I’m sick. Being sick is a good reminder that I am valuable, I am lovable, that my being is as valuable as my doing.

It happens. We get sick, and we have bad days. Getting through it means reminding ourselves (and listening when others remind us) of our worth.

When Bad Moods Happen to Good People

We all experience a range of emotions on a daily, even hourly basis. No emotion’s “bad” or “wrong.” If we’re feeling fear, sadness, anger, or hurt, it’s an important message our brain is sending us. Our emotions are a gift, a piece of the fabric of our human existence.

So when we feel stinking thinking, or negative thought patterns coming on, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up (falling back into our old line of thinking). Instead, we can think, “I feel this way. Why?” Acknowledge it and explore it.

Now, it’s hard to stop negative thinking patterns when we’re feeling down. When something goes wrong, we’re unhappy, annoyed, or irritated, and we start to fixate (or ruminate) on these thought patterns.

When you feel defeated or unhappy, you find that all sorts of distorted imaginings—what we call stinking thinking—get in the way of your insights. You’ll tell yourself you’re being naïve or that you’re just wasting your time. Being down is your matrix’s way of reasserting itself.

Therefore, reveal to others that you are stuck and ask them to help you create a more objective, more positive sense of yourself. If you are optimistic about yourself and your future, you’ll keep these distracting thoughts at bay and actually be rematrixing. We all need support to be emotionally focused and hopeful as we gain insights into our matrix. We’re not talking about mindless Suzie Sunshine ways of being, but instead genuinely engaged ways of living life.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

When I’m struggling, like when I feel sick, I’ll often ask Bob or even my close friends for affirmation. Sometimes it’s as simple as hearing I’m loved. Other times I’ll ask for a deeper, “Why?”

This affirmation helps me reset my negative thought patterns and reminds me of my value. It reiterates that I don’t need to earn love—I’m a person worthy of love just as I am.

When this is affirmed for me, I often really take time to soak the message in. I may repeat it to myself, envisioning my loving ally in my mind as I repeat the thoughts that I’m valuable. I’m loved, just as I am. My yearnings are being met.

So, when we’re feeling down, negative, and frustrated, we can lean on an ally to help confirm and remind us of our importance. We ARE important. Each person is a valuable gift with endless potential. Rather than focusing on our mistakes and shortfalls, which we all have, remember within each of us lies a unique, special person. What we bring to the world is only ours; our personal potential.

Turn down the volume on your stinking thinking and stop the loop of tape. Instead, acknowledge the ways you are growing and evolving into your next best self.

For more ways on how you can break your negative thinking patterns, please explore our courses available at Wright Now. We have courses to help you explore your potential, boost your relationships, move forward in your career, and live the life of your dreams.

 


 

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

Is Your Relationship Stuck? Here’s How to Break Out of the Boredom

Maybe you feel like everything is going along “fine” in your relationship? Perhaps you’re feeling comfortable and safe in a long-term connection…but are you really just stuck?


Is your relationship stuck? This couple is stuck in boredom, not intimacy.


 

Maybe you’re wondering how to move forward in a relationship. How does your partner feel?

If you feel stuck in a relationship, it’s time to face the truth: If one of you feels stuck, you’re BOTH stuck.

But the good news is, just because you feel stuck in a relationship doesn’t mean that it’s doomed. It means you may be looking to your relationship for fulfillment when REALLY you should be taking a look inward. Happiness isn’t dependent on being in (or out) of a relationship. Each person is responsible for his or her own happiness.

How to Know if You’re Stuck in a Relationship

Are you wondering if your relationship is stuck in a rut? Well, ask yourself:

  • Is it exciting?
  • Is it engaging?
  • Are you growing?

If you answer no to any of these questions, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on ways to move forward in your relationship. Relationship boredom can cause us to seek novelty elsewhere. Many times, it’s not because the relationship is irrevocably broken or damaged, but it’s because we need to work on finding novelty and fulfillment within our own lives. We get bored because we feel we aren’t personally growing. Rather than doing the internal work, we shift the blame to our partner.

Have you ever thought, “He doesn’t make me happy,” or, “I wish she could make me feel better?” If we’re looking for someone else to bring us satisfaction, we’re setting ourselves and our partner up for disappointment. When it doesn’t happen, we feel stuck in a relationship or wonder where we’re going.

It makes sense that we’ve adopted this idea of fairy tale romance, considering that we so often see it portrayed in romantic movies, books, TV, and more. The idea of finding someone who “completes us” or who exists to make us happy is appealing, but of course, it’s also false. Happy relationships take work on both sides independently. No one else is responsible for our happiness.

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a few months or married for 30+ years, you still need to focus on finding a constant state of growth—within the relationship and beyond. As humans, we’re continually evolving, learning, and changing. We’re seeking new stimuli and new experiences. It’s those new insights and happenings that help us discover more about ourselves and strengthen our connection with our partner.

Are You Learning and Growing Together and Separately?

We often start dating someone because we have a lot in common—typically, that means we like the same activities, live in the same area, and go to the same spots. But how important are those commonalities? Do we really need to enjoy the same activities as our significant other?

Common interests are well and good, but they don’t form the core of your relationship. We all enjoy doing things with our spouse or partner that we both find mutually entertaining and fun. Conversely, if we don’t feel excited about the same interests or share the same tastes, that doesn’t mean a relationship is doomed or can’t work.


Life is busy and complicated, but the capacity to learn and grow is always within our ability. With that comes our capacity to love and engage in a fulfilling relationship.


Cheering for the same sports team or enjoying the same music may seem like a common bond, but a strong connection runs deeper than that. We can enjoy completely different hobbies, a different type of job, and different friends and still share a deep connection. Conversely, we can enjoy all the same activities and still feel like strangers.

Relationships should be nurturing—a womb—safe place to grow and find sustenance for your soul. They can be a refuge and a place to help us. At the same time, our relationships should be a crucible—a place to shape and mold us into what we can potentially become. These two sides are not mutually exclusive but rather working in tandem.

That growth comes from learning, sharing, and working on goals together. When you talk to your partner, do you share your hopes and dreams? Do you tell them about the plans you’re working toward in the future? Or do you find yourself discussing the logistics of the day? If your conversations stay in the shallow end of the pool, then it’s time to dive in.

You may even want to approach time with your partner with an agenda! Now, that may sound like the opposite of exciting, but when you go into time together with an intention to share and connect, you’ll find even stronger engagement. Having an agenda helps you set that intention and maximize your engagement, especially if the two of you are busy and those precious moments together go by quickly.

Consider working on a personal goal together by holding each other accountable. If you want to learn something new, be more outgoing, or explore a new interest, set a goal together. You don’t need to complete each step of the activity with each other, but reporting and sharing your experience can help you discover more profound insights and form a more robust partnership because you’re working on a new “assignment” TOGETHER.

Is growing and changing always easy? No, but you should always be in a place of transition and transformation, rather than somewhere you feel “stuck.” If you’re still feeling stuck, it’s time to get to the real underlying issues within yourself.

Don’t Shy Away from Conflict

If we’re feeling bored in a relationship, it may also be an indication that we’ve stopped rocking the boat. If you’re avoiding arguments with your spouse by silently stewing alone—don’t! It’s time to start battling towards bliss!

Many of us were raised to avoid conflict. Avoidance leads to stunted emotions, withholding, and resentment. If you’ve ever given your significant other the silent treatment or felt irritated as you did something for them, you’ve experienced the dangers of staying silent. After time, passive-aggressive actions and reactions start to erode trust in the relationship. We’re constantly frustrated but refusing to express that frustration and get it out in the open.

We need to allow ourselves to feel the whole range of human emotions and express those emotions. Arguing is perfectly okay, as long as it is with intention. Believe it or not–arguing can actually strengthen a relationship. When we argue, we express truth and authenticity. We’re telling someone how we really feel, and that expression is key to building a stronger connection.

Now there are ways we can fight FOR the relationship rather than fighting against our partner. In the book The Heart of the Fight, we explore many common fights and how to set up basic rules of engagement. It’s not about avoiding the conflicts or smoothing things over, but about opening up to each other and finding even more intimacy during our arguments.


Passion is a state of being alive—being emotional and feeling. Sometimes opening up that conflict and expressing those feelings can help us engage more deeply and feel even more passionately about our partner than we did before.


We have different wants and different needs, and those differences lead to conflict. It’s just a fact that all humans face—but a couple that is growing together uses that conflict to connect, understand, and find common ground.

Look at your emotional core and the work you need to do. We often reach to our partners for our own happiness and validation, which can lead to blame and resentment. Take a long hard look at your historical patterns in your relationships and make sure you aren’t falling into common traps like codependency or emotional withdrawal. Try to understand your role in the conflict and how you are reacting to your partner.

Often when one partner is experiencing strong conflict and an emotional reaction, it can stem from our history, our relationships with our parents, siblings, and past interactions we’ve had with others. If you’re feeling that your relationship is fraught with arguments or continuously leaving you feeling frustrated, then you may have some serious reflection and work to do on your own.

The Need for Attention

We all need attention, and our partners do, too. Sometimes the way we acknowledge our partner, their feelings, accomplishments, and disappointments, might not be the way they’re hoping for. Sometimes they may not acknowledge us in the way that we desire either.

Expressing your needs to your partner and engaging in a dynamic relationship is part of the process. The other part is taking personal responsibility for our OWN happiness and our own need for attention. Realizing we have to manage our internal conflicts first is an important step.

Quality communication—talking, touching, supporting, listening, and relating—are at the basis of a strong relationship. We need to examine the ways our partner fills our needs and the way we fill our partner’s needs. Relationships need to nourish us and help us grow and evolve. As you work with your partner and work within your relationship, you may find that those “stuck” feelings quickly dissolve as you both start to evolve.

When we feel boredom or dissatisfaction, it can indicate we need to explore ways to bring MORE learning, more experience, and more purpose to our own lives. We can set these goals for more personal discovery, regardless of our relationship status. Working on ourselves can happen on our own or with a partner, but it’s the counterfoil to our feelings of restlessness.

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, order The Heart of The Fight. We’ll explore how you can get yourself back on track to move forward in a relationship toward the life you both want.

 

 

How to Make a Boring Relationship Fun Again

Relationship boredom. It happens, even to seemingly happy, strong relationships.

Why do some relationships lose their spark? How do you make a boring relationship fun again? Here’s how to overcome relationship “blahs” and reconnect with your partner.


One day, you look at your partner and wonder how you became so distant. Sometimes we get busy, life moves along, we’re going about our day-to-day activities, but we just don’t feel the same spark we once did.

What can we do about it? How do you make a boring relationship fun again? How can you get back the spark?

Is the Thrill Really Gone?

Studies show that boredom is a true relationship issue. Couples don’t break up because of bad stuff…they break up because there’s a lack of good stuff holding them together. When we feel dissatisfied in our relationships, we may start to seek attention elsewhere. We’re looking for novelty.

Think back to the days at the beginning of your relationship. Chances are you were feeling high on your partner. You were stimulated by all this new information. You couldn’t wait to know more about this fascinating, attractive, engrossing person you were dating.

As the years go by, that newness fades. It’s not because our partner has changed or become less fascinating, attractive, or engrossing. It’s because they’re less new. There’s less to discover about them. The fun and exciting exploration wanes.

I was working with Sharon, who told me of her 25-year marriage, “My mother always said, ‘settle for boring and stable over exciting.’ So, I guess I’m expecting too much from Dale. Maybe I should just be happy that he’s a nice guy who’s a decent breadwinner and leave it at that.”

As we explored this a bit more, I said, “Well, what first drew you to him? Did you always find him, ‘boring and stable’?”

“Oh no! When we were younger Dale was always so intelligent and interesting to talk to. We used to stay up having these fascinating talks about science and space. It was like he knew something about almost everything. He was this shaggy-haired, professor who drove around on his moped, played guitar, and read Carl Sagan.”

As we talked further, she realized it wasn’t that she had settled for her husband. It was that she had settled for that status quo in the relationship and in her life overall. She admitted that she wasn’t satisfied in other areas of her life as well—her job, her relationship with her friends. We talked about ways to raise her expectations all around, both of her relationship and herself.


We get used to our relationship routine. It becomes familiar and comfortable. While comfort in a relationship isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s not always conducive to growth.


We can think of our relationships as both a womb and a crucible: a place where we are nourished and nurtured, and also a place where we’re forged and become stronger. In both cases, it’s important to remember that growth isn’t always a comfortable or static state. Sometimes it’s painful.

The spark found at the beginning of a relationship doesn’t go away with time, but you’re used to the thrill of it. This isn’t just relegated to the bedroom “spark” either. The attraction and passion you feel at the beginning comes from intimacy, yes, but intimacy is also born from engagement and connection. Making a boring relationship fun again means finding that connection again.

There’s a great importance of novelty. Trying new things, learning, and discovering are vital to our happiness and sense of purpose. Novelty wakes our brain up; it helps us feel more alive, engaged, and stimulated. When we do something new, life becomes an adventure!

This attraction to the new and exciting goes back to what’s called the self-expansion theory. Our relationships expand and influence our interests. When we try new activities, we start to see life differently. The way we feel changes. Each interaction shapes and expands who we are at our core.

So, the truth of the matter is, perhaps it’s not your relationship that’s lost the spark and needs work. What are you bringing to the relationship and how are you fueling the fire? It’s really the spark inside YOU that needs to be rekindled!

How to Get the Spark Back

If the passion and zest for our relationship starts with us, how do we get that feeling back? How do we reengage and rediscover our partner and ourselves?

Couples grow stronger through affirming, celebrating, and empowering each other. Sharing power, making decisions together, and working as a team.

Carol, another woman I worked with, was a married, working mom of two. One of her children had developmental issues and required a lot of her attention. She was feeling frazzled, unappreciated, and stuck in the monotony of every day life.

She realized part of her frustration was coming from the lack of support she felt from her husband, Dave. It wasn’t that he didn’t help, but he wasn’t as expressive as she would have preferred. “He never says, ‘I love you,’ spontaneously. I feel like he never tells me, ‘you’re doing a great job.’” We talked about the ways Dave did express his affection—through doing things for her and assisting her.

So, how could she shift the pattern they were stuck in? How could she get the affirmation she was craving?

Carol began a new habit whenever Dave did something nice for her. She would say out loud, “Oh you did this for me?! That means you love and appreciate me!”

He would, of course, respond by saying, “Yes, exactly!”

The more he was affirming her, the better she felt. She appreciated his help and naturally, he started doing even more to assist her with the children and around the house. She felt loved and he felt better about himself and more empowered in the relationship.


Sometimes stopping a tedious cycle means engaging in real, truthful communication.


It means that you and your partner need to stop talking about just the logistics and minutia of the day and discuss the big stuff.

Those topics that might even feel scary or “off-limits” are exactly what we should get out in the open. It’s time to “go there” instead of avoiding it.

Now, all couples talk about what’s for dinner, what’s on the agenda this weekend, or who’s going to run the next errand. But sometimes these little topics take over our conversations. We stop discussing feelings, hopes, fears, and our vision for the future. We lose sight of the bigger picture and deeper meaning in our union.

Get back to getting to know each other. Find time to talk about the bigger topics, rather than the logistics of the day. What’s weighing on your heart and your mind? What challenges have you faced recently? What support are you looking for from your partner? What do you appreciate about them and how do you want to support their dreams?

Don’t be afraid to talk about the difficult topics either. Be honest about what upsets you and what resentments you might be feeling. Tell your partner what you don’t like and what’s frustrating you. Agree to speak and listen in turn, without interruption. Express what you’re feeling honestly and truthfully and hold space for your partner to do the same. Conflict and yes, fighting, can bring us closer together. Difficult, honest, and even angry fights are more helpful than bottling up our feelings or sweeping them under the rug. Get it out and battle your way toward bliss.

Making a Boring Relationship Fun Again Starts with YOU

Remember—boredom isn’t just about your relationship. It starts by looking within yourself. Feelings of boredom and disconnection in your relationship are often mirrored in other areas of your life. Are you disengaged with your partner or are you disengaged all around? It’s easy to say, “my relationship isn’t making me happy anymore,” but our happiness is our responsibility.

In our book, The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the Rules of Engagement. These are 7 important rules to fighting fair and productively in your relationship. One of the most important of these rules is that YOU are 100% responsible for your own happiness. Similarly, no one in a relationship can take more than 50% of the blame. Remember, it takes two to tango. It’s not your partner’s responsibility to make you happy, nor is it fair to blame more than 50% of your relationship frustrations on your partner.

What can you do to add more excitement and adventure in your life? How can you become engaged, fulfilled and satisfied? Look at what areas of your life may need some attention.

Get Naked for Greater Intimacy

Excitement in a relationship comes from building a stronger connection and discovering new aspects of our partner. While we may think of the bedroom as the place for intimacy, we can have true intimacy anywhere and everywhere. Sex may be a great way to express intimacy, but it’s not the only way and usually not the best way to express our connection. Our connection comes through being emotionally open…naked and honest with our partner.

When we bring this level of intimacy into every day, each moment of our life together becomes foreplay. We experience greater closeness and joy. Now, this doesn’t come by simply being affectionate with our partner. This comes from digging in and forging ahead together. It comes from teamwork and working together toward a goal. It can be fun, but intimacy also comes from work.

We can liberate ourselves from our patterns and break out of our routine by mixing things up. This means making the choice to fight FOR our relationship rather than fighting against our partner. Fight to bring back the thrill. Refocus your efforts from being annoyed or indifferent toward your partner, to finding new ways to connect. How can you introduce novelty and variety into the every day?


Too many couples settle into boring routines, which is deadly to relationships (Tsapelas, Aron, and Orbuch, 2009). Couples who keep learning, growing, and changing have exciting, satisfying, close relationships. Make your dates count. Exciting dates are better than pleasant ones (Aron et al. 2000, Lyuobomirsky 2013). Go deep. Have a “challenge date” at least once a month. Challenge each other— discuss issues outside the relationship and make observations about how each of you is generating problems for yourself at work, with friends, or in other areas outside the couple relationship. Support each other to keep learning and growing to be your best. Have “show- and- tell” and “inspiration” dates regularly where each of you brings new ideas, demonstrates a new skill, and shares what you are learning and what inspires you.
The Heart of the Fight

So, if you’re ready to make a boring relationship fun again, roll up your sleeves and get to work! Find ways to introduce novelty and excitement into your everyday life. Examine your needs and yearnings and express them to your partner.

Embark on a project with your partner, take a class, try a new hobby, or go on an adventure. Engage in honest, open discussions and focus on bringing the intimacy and connection back to your relationship.

For more ways to strengthen your relationships please visit The Wright Foundation. We have a number of exciting networking events on the calendar, giving you a great chance to connect with others on their journey. Start your self-discovery today and unleash your fullest potential.


About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Have Happier Holidays with Your Family

Awake or asleep? How do you want to navigate the holidays?

Wondering how to have happier holidays with your extended family? The holidays are a challenge, but here’s how to survive (and actually enjoy your holiday season).


Whether you’re going to a family gathering, work get-together, or social function, the holidays are a busy time…and sometimes the busyness translates into stress. The stress is compounded by unfinished business lurking in the dynamics of our family circles. This constant hustle and bustle zaps our energy and leaves us feeling less-than-joyful. We forget what the holidays are all about. In fact, many of us may wish for them to just be over with.

But the holidays are a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family. It’s an opportunity to fill our lives with joyful experiences and stronger connections; all we need is a shift in our approach. So, this year, rather than reaching for the eggnog to zone out, here’s how to engage with others, zone in, and bring more meaning into your holiday season.

If you want to have happier holidays this year, the choice is up to you.

Navigating Through Sticky Holiday Situations with Family

When I was very young, my sister and I were sitting at the kids’ table one Christmas. I believe my sister was about five-years-old at the time. Like many children, she didn’t operate with a filter yet. Typically, she said whatever was on her mind.

A family friend brought their much-doted on, fluffy little terrier to dinner and put his dish right next to my sister, thinking Fido was joining us at the table. My sister piped up and said, “I like dogs, but not THAT much!”

Now, what happened? All the adults erupted in a nervous, uncomfortable laughter. Someone shushed my sister. But the truth was, while her comment was probably a little insulting to the dog’s owners (who were lovely family friends), it was coming from a place of pure honesty. She simply articulated what the rest of us were thinking. The adults might have had sympathy on the surface, but they still gossiped and rolled their eyes about a dog at the dinner table. So which reaction was really any better?


How many of us go into social situations, afraid to pipe up when there’s a dog at the table? We hold back, afraid to say what we’re really thinking. We don’t express what we want and we shy away from conflict.


This means we end up making excuses for avoiding the in-laws. When we do end up at a party, we might feel stressed, annoyed, angry, and resentful. We may feel upset with our spouse for dragging us to a function we didn’t want to attend.

When we experience these resentments and frustrations, it leaves us feeling drained, tired, and less-than alive. We drink another glass of champagne. We watch TV. We wait for it to be over. And these feelings aren’t limited to holiday functions.

As NY Times columnist, Sean D. Kelly wrote, “Think of the way that life really can become lifeless. You know what it’s like: rise, commute, work, lunch, work some more, maybe have a beer or go to the gym, watch TV. For a while, the routine is nurturing and stabilizing; it is comfortable in its predictability. But soon the days seem to stretch out in an infinite line behind and before you. And eventually, you are withered away inside them. They are not just devoid of meaning but ruthless in their insistence that they are that way. The life you are living announces it is no longer alive.”

This holiday season, choose aliveness.

Getting Past What We’re Avoiding

A lot of people are going to drink their way through the holidays. It’s not because they’re happy. It’s because they don’t know how to deal with it. Even those who don’t imbibe still turn to screen time and other soft addictions to help them cope. We turn on the football game, we blast the parades, we pack in distractions because we simply don’t know how to be fully alive and present with others—particularly our families.

If we’re alive and present, we’re going to follow our yearnings. If we follow our yearnings, we’re going to speak up like my sister did to our dog-owning friends. We assume it’s better instead to “keep the peace” but it doesn’t truly bring us peace internally.

We all have family members who button-hole people at the holiday dinners. The uncle who drones on and monopolizes the conversation to all who will listen. Aunt Suzi prattles on and on. She catches peoples’ ear and talks endlessly about topics no one else cares about, while the audience member scans for an exit. We know a simple question leads to tragic entrapment. So instead we avoid.

If we end up in the next room, we find Mom and Aunt Ann gossiping and complaining about the men. Then we run to the next room with the kids who are whining about the adults. We’re simply wandering through, looking for a way out. As the game matures, everyone learns to put on a stiff upper lip, a social look, and save their judgements for the car.

Once they get into the car they unload. What happens? A fight erupts.

This was always the case with my family. A two-hour odyssey “over the river and through the woods” (or in this case through Chicago and past O’Hare) to get to the family was filled with tense anticipation. My father wasn’t looking forward to seeing my grandmother, who had a high-pitched voice like nails on a chalkboard.

The whole way to visit family for the holidays the fight would get going. Not because my mother didn’t agree, but because she was very enmeshed with my grandmother. They spoke so often, in fact, my father bought my mother a shoulder cradle for the phone (back in the days of “landlines”) so she could do dishes and housework while my grandmother prattled on and on—otherwise, she may not have ever gotten anything done.

Meanwhile, my grandfather didn’t like my father because he’d “stolen” his baby girl and was less affluent than they felt she deserved. It took years for my grandmother to realize my mother had actually made a wise move to marry for love.

So, there we were with all this unfinished business driving on the highway; my father upset and irritable; my mother downplaying her own irritation with my grandparents, even though she knew as well as we all did, it wasn’t a pleasant situation.

But on we went, and it was miserable every year.

Now, were we all wiser back then, we would have realized the unspoken feelings and resentments that were building up weren’t letting us feel the joy of Christmas. We weren’t engaging. We weren’t connecting. In fact, there was nothing about the spirit of the season to be found.

Honesty Brings Happier Holidays

The truth is, being honest is the key to bringing about happier holidays. Now, this doesn’t always mean a brutally honest verbal knockdown and drag out around the yule log. When we go into a situation with our emotional guns ablaze, we rarely resolve anything.

But embracing honesty throughout the year will help you have happier holidays. Even if it seems too late to start this year, it’s not. Express your feelings to your spouse about the situation BEFORE you get in the car and head to the events. Agree to a time limit or come up with a codeword when Aunt Suzi corners one of you and starts chatting. Use the time to connect more deeply with your partner and have a little fun with the situation. See yourselves as allies, who are in the situation together.


Beyond the holidays, commit to more honesty and greater aliveness in the new year. This means honestly acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life, your family, and your relationships.


It also means honestly expressing your feelings and engaging in productive conflict as you work FOR the better of the relationship. It may help to remember, one of the Rules of Engagement from our book, The Heart of the Fight is to fight FOR rather than against. Another key rule is to assume good intentions on the part of the other party.

When your father-in-law starts proselytizing about politics or your sister offers up thinly-veiled critiques of your job, operate with honesty but engage with them as a chance to learn. Can you empathize with their point? Can you ask them to help you understand where they’re coming from? How can you learn more about who they are? View it as a chance to learn something new about yourself.

When the dust settles, another key to happier holidays is to really use them as an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate what was good over the past 12 months. Create a ritual where you reflect on the transformative experiences you had this year, including holiday time with family. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about your loved ones?

Use these insights from your reflection to plan with more intention in the next year. How will you bring more aliveness to your life? What will you carry with you into the future? What will you leave behind as you let go of the past year to help you move forward?


This time of year is a powerful opportunity for visioning and setting your intention and dreams for the year ahead.  The same is true for all of us (including your family).


If you’re looking for an opportunity to experience happier holidays and engage with your family during events, use these dreams as a platform for conversation. It’s extremely interesting to discuss with family members their dreams for the next year. Find people in your family who are doing something and talk to them about their dreams and goals. Support them in following their dreams. Support them in stepping out on their own. You may not have the nerve to step out on your own in the past, but you may encourage a younger family member to have the courage to live their dreams.

You can be fully alive and in the spirit of gratitude for the holidays without being “polite” or lying to those around you. In fact, embracing honesty is key to having happier holidays. Use the challenging situations to discover and learn more about your relationships, your family and yourself.

Give purpose and meaning to the holidays and give purpose and meaning to how you want to develop yourself. You might not dive into all of the chaos of the family dynamic or resolve all your issues in one visit but operate with honest and openness as you mix and mingle this holiday.

For more on how to live with more honesty and intention, visit the Wright Foundation website. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you will connect with others and learn more about yourself. We also want to announce the availability of many of our courses for download. Don’t miss out on the special introductory price for many of our courses and lectures.


 About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

 

Relationship Dynamics: Why We Click with Certain People

Have you ever wondered why some relationships just click and others drive us nuts?

A group of friends link arms as they look at the ocean. Significant others, acquaintances, coworkers, friends--our relationship dynamics are different with each person we meet.

 


 

Does your partner ever get under your skin for reasons you can’t quite understand? Do your friends tick you off without meaning to? Do certain people’s comments hurt you (even though you’re sure they didn’t mean it)? You chalk it up to just how it is or how different relationship dynamics play out, but relationships among people are more complicated than that.

When you find yourself really bothered by something someone says or does, it’s a great opportunity to explore the deeper reasons why—to see what’s going on under the surface.

As it turns out, your partner pissing you off by being on the phone, failing to replace the toilet paper roll, or making a joke at your expense isn’t about them being a “jerk.” It’s about the whole history of interactions that came long before they were even in the picture.

This realization may feel scary at first. We all want to believe we’re always in control of our feelings and emotions, no matter the situation, but we’re fooling ourselves. The reality is a significant portion of our personality—our likes, dislikes, beliefs, feelings, and reactions—are set long before we’re even aware of it. Much of this makeup, or our “matrix,” is formed when we’re very young.

So how does our matrix affect our relationship dynamics? How does it play into our romantic relationships and friendships? Does it really all come back to our relationship with our parents? Most importantly, can we change relationship dynamics?

 

How Our Early Experiences Affect Our Relationship Dynamics

Our past experiences have a direct and complex effect on our present relationships. When we’re babies, our interactions with our parents shape and “wire” our brains. We depend on our parents for our very survival; when we’re infants, our mother is our entire world. This shapes us in many profound ways and lays the foundation of our matrix early on. This includes our beliefs about ourselves and our place within the world.

If we don’t decide to examine, explore, and change these beliefs, they will dictate our lives and behavior, including our relationship dynamics. If you’ve ever noticed your partner’s behavior ticks you off because it reminds you of your mother or father, this is an example of your matrix influencing your perception.

So, why can’t we just shut this off? None of us likes to believe that our feelings and beliefs might be beyond our control, right? Well, sometimes, the memories and pieces of our makeup are unconscious. They’re so deeply buried in our core we don’t even realize they’re happening.

Has someone ever just bothered you for seemingly no reason? Maybe you look back later and think, “what was that all about?” or “I don’t know why, but she just bugs me.”

Interactions with others may trigger a series of feelings and emotions for reasons we can’t even understand. We may get hurt, angry, or sad because of the behavior of our partner or friends, but we do not completely understand why these feelings come up. Why do they piss us off so much? This is especially puzzling when little actions of others bother us but don’t seem to bother anyone else.


These early-instilled beliefs, conscious and unconscious, affect our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions. They even affect who we choose to pursue a relationship with.


You may find yourself inexplicably drawn to the “bad boy” or “good girl-next-door” for reasons that aren’t so clear. Or you may find yourself in an echo chamber of friends with similar beliefs, backgrounds, and tastes. Occasionally you meet a stranger that you just hit it off with—you click with certain people for reasons you can’t even explain.

These relationships among people are examples of how your matrix plays a part in how you interact with others, how close you allow them to get, how comfortable you are expressing your feelings, and how you feel about intimacy.

So, does this mean we’re all doomed to feel irritated with our partners for unconscious reasons? Or we’re only going to get along with people who remind us (or don’t) of our parents? No! Of course not.

We can’t do anything to change our past, but we certainly have control over the here and now. Not a single person had a perfect childhood (and if you think you did, you’re fooling yourself!) But how exciting is it that, as adults, we can continue to fill in those gaps, grow, and evolve into our fullest potential? By identifying these lessons from our past, we can use them to form better, more dynamic relationships and deeper connections.


This early matrix encoded in our neural circuitry works almost entirely within our implicit memory, which means it is outside of our conscious awareness. Implicit memories are stored sensations and feelings, which aren’t attached to an explicit event or memory in time. Early memories are formed before we have language, logical thought, or explicit recall (Siegel 2012a). Chances are you don’t remember exact incidents when your parent picked you up in your crib and reassured you as you cried or how often your diapers were changed, what you wore, how your mother smelled, the color of your bedroom, or what lullaby your father sang to you. It is only within the middle of our second year that we start to develop explicit memory where we remember specific incidents and details.

Why does all this matter? Because while implicit memories from the past are stored outside of our awareness, they arise in the present moment, and are masked by what we think we are experiencing in the current moment. Our matrix shapes our present experiences from the implicit foundation. When we are angry, panicking, or feeling deeply hurt, our present feelings often stem from our implicit memories, and we assume the present situation is causing our reaction.

When strong implicit memories are triggered, unbeknownst to us, childhood pain and fear comes raging to the surface. This may happen when you sense your partner isn’t there for you, for instance, and you don’t have a clue that you just activated a pain pocket from your matrix through an implicit memory. You think your charged emotional reaction is all due to your partner’s insensitivity, and while that is a trigger, the bulk of the charge is coming from the past.
The Heart of the Fight


To identify and examine the root of our feelings, in this case, our frustration or anger, we must look closer to figure out what’s triggered our reaction. Our partner may have done something insensitive or just plain crummy. Our feelings are validly hurt by their actions, but it’s important to recognize the hurt is often stemming from several places (not one insensitive misstep).

 

Express What You REALLY Want

We all know we want certain qualities in a relationship, but we may not understand why we want our partner or friends to act a certain way (and why it frustrates us so much when they don’t.) For example, many of us feel frustrated when we can’t seem to get our partner’s attention when they “phub” us in favor of their smartphones. Granted, there’s a lot to be said for putting down your phone and truly engaging, but do you ever ponder why it bothers you so much when someone brings out their phone at the dinner table?


When we’re interacting with someone else, we’re asking for their attention. We’re basically saying, “hey see me!” We want them to see us honestly, in the here and now. It’s a universal yearning many people share—to be seen, to connect, and to engage.


When our partner instead opts for their phone screen, our yearning isn’t being met. Consequently, we feel hurt. Now, it’s not up to them to meet all our yearnings. We are responsible for our own emotions and feelings. But we can certainly explore where our frustrations are coming from so we can speak up and say, “Hey, I feel ignored, and it’s hurting me. Put the phone down!”

As infants, we have a powerful desire to see and be seen. From those early moments, our survival depended on getting attention (in this case, from our mothers.) When we didn’t get attention, we were triggered to cry and make our presence known. After all, we relied on our mother for food, safety, and existence.

Studies show that babies read emotion by looking at their mothers’ faces. When a mother is non-reactive, the baby cries even if the mother is there. We want acknowledgment, not simply a presence on the other side of the dinner table. We want to be seen! We want our existence known! We want our partner to look up from the screen and into our eyes!

No wonder it gets under our skin when our partner scrolls through social media instead of engaging with us over the dinner table. By examining how these feelings started, we can better express our likes and dislikes. We can express our frustrations and ask that our partner acknowledge us and tell us they’re seeing us. We can ask that they listen to us and meet our yearning to be seen and heard. Often, a simple realization and request are all it takes.

When we examine the origin of our feelings, beliefs, and make up—our matrix—we start to understand ourselves more completely. We can engage in all our relationships among people more clearly and improve our dynamics with all those we interact with.

For more on improving your relationship dynamics, visit the Wright Foundation website. Join us for a weekend where we’ll explore these topics in-depth and help you build connections with others seeking to strengthen their relationships and maximize their potential. We also want to announce the availability of many of our courses for download. Don’t miss out on the special introductory price for many of our courses and lectures.

 

 

 

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author, and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University. Follow him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Dating After 40:
What’s Holding You Back?

Dating can seem daunting at any age. Remember your first date? Talk about awkward, right?

Is dating after 40 sound unappealing or scary to you? Do you ever wonder what is really holding you back?


For most of us, after a certain age, dating doesn’t seem much more appealing now than it did when we were dealing with acne and braces. Whether you’re trying to get on the scene after a divorce or after the end of a long-term relationship, it’s hard—especially just getting out there.

The first battle is simply knowing HOW to get back out there. You can feel ready, but what do you do? Wear a shirt that says ready to date (yikes) or ask a friend to fix you up (maybe the t-shirt idea sounds better after all)…?

You might be interested in dating websites geared toward older adults. Or you might try some of the more popular dating sites, as they cater to all age ranges and many interest groups. For some of us beyond the millennial generation, though, online dating might not be within our comfort zone…yet.

So how do you meet people? Dating in the workplace usually isn’t such a great idea. Maybe your friends are mostly married and in relationships. There are networking events and ways to open up a dialogue, but for those of us not accustomed to putting ourselves out there…it can be a challenge.


Listen: if you’re ready, GO FOR IT! Stop making excuses and jump in!


No, you don’t have to wear a t-shirt or ask your coworker to hook you up, but you will have to be open about the fact that you’re single and looking to mingle. You might want to try to dip in your toe online, or you might feel more comfortable networking face-to-face. Embrace it!

Guess what? It’s fun!

Dating is an opportunity to really play as an adult. It’s a chance to meet people and test what you like and what you don’t like. You can learn more about how you interact with totally different personality types and people you would have never considered 15 or 20 years ago. You don’t have to marry them…or even LIKE them! Just engage and start meeting new people.

The world is before you! If you’re ready, GO FOR IT!

The Advantages of Dating at an Older Age

There are a few things you can do to shift your mentality a little when it comes to dating and opening yourself up to new opportunities and experiences. The first thing to recognize is that, in many ways your age and experience works to your advantage.

You’ve already let go of some of the dating “myths” that plague people in their teens and early adulthood. You know there’s no such thing as “the one” and there’s no Prince Charming (or Princess) riding in to swoop you up on his or her white horse and ride away, right?

For some who’ve been on the dating scene for a little while, you might be laughing a little—fairytale romance DEFINITELY doesn’t exist!

In truth, though, who would want that anyway? Love is beautiful in its own right. Relationships with all their messiness, their awkwardness, their burps and (yes, I’ll say it) farts, and who knows what else… They’re full of messiness. There are great things in the mess though, and you know that. You’re not afraid to get a little messy. You know it’s worth it.

Is it a Love Connection?

One of the keys is to assume good intentions and look beyond the superficial. You don’t have to make a love connection on a date, but try to see the other person for who they are. What are THEY looking for? What are your similarities and what are your differences?

Another great thing about dating in the adult world is you’re able to get down to some of the nitty-gritty pretty quickly. In our 20s, we’re often playing the field—trying to figure out what we want and ourselves. We aren’t always honest and upfront with dates and we might avoid tough conversations altogether.

Now you’re ready to put it out there. If someone doesn’t want teenagers in their life and you have two, well, that might be a deal breaker, so you can get it out of the way right away. If someone knows they love to sit at home and zone out in front of the television and you love to travel, you can quickly cross that off the list. If your likes and lifestyles are different but compatible that’s okay, if they’re different and diametrically opposed, that’s okay too—but maybe you’re not a match. You might be great pals but maybe you’re not right for romance. The important thing is to be honest!

Also, as an adult in your 40s, 50s or even 60s, you’ve come to know what you want and expect. You know yourself, your limits, your strengths and your challenges. There’s a great deal of confidence and self-assuredness that comes naturally with age, even if you don’t feel self-assured or confident in every moment.

As an adult, you aren’t about pretense and putting on a façade when you get to know a new person. You can jump right in and be real. After all, if you’ve got kids or eight cats or stretchmarks or a bald spot, you might as put it out there now. There’s no reason to put on a false front and that in itself can be empowering. You know who you are, and you’re working to get what YOU want out of life. The hope is you’ll meet someone who’s the same!

Experience and Connections

So maybe you won’t find love tomorrow. Or maybe you will! Who knows?

The fun thing about dating is it opens up a world of possibility. You can meet new people, make new connections, and form new friendships. You get to try out different relationships and interactions with new people and think, “Is this someone I could grow with?”

Look for those who are willing to continue to learn and engage with you. Find someone who’s not afraid to explore the messy world of relationships. You might just find that you enjoy yourself.

So if you’re asking, should I bother dating? The answer is YES and don’t hold back! Our lives are fuller and richer with more experiences, more connections and more friendships. Meeting new people can only benefit you and help you get even more out of life!

Jump in and see where things take you!

For more on engaging, getting the most from your experiences, and grabbing life by the horns, visit the Wright Foundation. Go forth, engage, and ignite your world!

 


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Parenting & Fulfillment: Embracing the “Being” of Parenthood

What does it really mean to be a mother or a father? What is the true definition of these roles? Can we still nurture and give life, even if we aren’t parents in the traditional sense?

Embracing parenthood as our children grow.


 

Do we need to put our own personal growth on hold while we’re nurturing our children?

It’s no secret parenting is an emotional and in-depth experience. It’s a rollercoaster—a series of ups and downs. Often parents look back on the first years of their child’s life as a blur. We wonder if we did everything wrong. We may even feel like our own needs were put on hold or overlooked during those first years raising kids.

To understand why this is, we must explore the roles of mother and father.

When we hear words like “mother” and “feminine,” we think of emotional, nurturing qualities, especially as they pertain to our roles as parents. Motherhood is the very being of the parental role. “Father” and “masculine” might bring up opposite images—someone who DOES, rather than is. Father goes out, he obtains things to fulfill the needs of his family. He provides.

Now obviously in today’s world these normative gender roles no longer apply as rigidly as they once did, but there’s still a masculine and feminine component. Fathers today can be very nurturing, emotional and caring. Mother might be a high-powered executive and the sole breadwinner for the family, but at the core, parenting requires both the “being” AND the “doing” sides of the coin.

Male and female personality types aren’t cut and dry along gender lines either. Co-parenting and raising children as a family unit, rather than just “being” in the mother role is becoming the norm as we move into a more evolved and modern viewpoint.

Still, there are certain qualities that are assigned to parenting by the very nature of the role—nurturing, growing, connecting and evolving right alongside our children (or our projects, whatever “creation” we give birth to), whether we fall into the traditional roles of father and mother or something else.


Being a parent to the fullest extent is about BEING. It is through being that we can use parenting as a platform for our own personal growth as well as the growth of our children. We cannot simply “do” parenting; we have to BE a parent.


Emotion and the “Doing” of Parenting

Every parent knows there’s a lot of “doing” as a parent, particularly at first—there’s tossing dirty diapers in the trash, warming up bottles, feeding, sleeping, washing, and so much more. While these things involve some nurture and care, they’re definitely process-involved.

Sometimes within the processes of doing parenting, we can forget we also need to embrace the being. The “being” is vital to our own social emotional growth.

As parents, and particularly as mothers, we might forgo our own desires and yearnings to meet the desires of our children. Years pass, and when our kids are grown or have moved beyond the stage where they need constant attention, we might find ourselves less fulfilled, even empty. We might wonder why we spent so much time ignoring our own needs while we focused on the needs of those around us.

During my graduate study work (and in my own journey as a parent), I closely explored this role of motherhood and the dichotomy of being constantly “needs focused” and yet forgoing one’s own needs.

On the purely practical level, there are the basic functions of the job of mothering—feeding, dressing, changing diapers, maintaining nap and sleeping schedules, etc.—that require a significant amount of time for the woman engaged in mothering, especially in the early years. One might assume a woman’s facility with her emotions is not significant in these day-to-day happenings, but that would be a limiting assumption. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 21)

At the core of motherhood and through these practical actions, there’s a great deal of emotion, but these emotions are often undervalued by society, and even by the parents who are experiencing them.

Even from the first moments of being a parent,

she is confronted by her fear and scarcity/survival about being strong enough, or capable enough to birth and feed her baby. She will need to be in a relationship with herself, allowing past fears and beliefs that she is “not enough” to come to the surface for healing, acknowledge that she actually is capable and move to trust—in both herself and those supporting her. Not only will she achieve the desired outcome more effectively she will have experienced it as a fulfilling here and now moment. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 18)

Experiencing Growth Together

Parenting can be both frightening and fulfilling. It can dredge up much of our past and our beliefs about ourselves—the doubts, the feelings of, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and the fears can become almost palpable as we try to raise our children.

At the core of becoming a fulfilled parent is embracing our own personal growth alongside the growth of our children. The amazing thing about children is that they can become our model for how we can go forth and view the world. Children are always open to new experiences. They approach each day as a new adventure. They experience wonder and awe every day.

How wonderful for each of us, if we could learn to apply the same approach! By working through our fears and limiting beliefs, we not only discover and engage, but also thrive and evolve, not only as parents but also as individuals.

Parenting Workshops

The Wright Foundation offers several parenting workshops, including our popular weekend family adventure retreats where parents can spend time with their children and apply the skills they’re learning to their parenting.

By expanding our own social and emotional intelligence and doing our personal growth work, we parents can look back on the years of raising our children as years of fulfillment and joy. We can fully engage and live with intentionality and purpose. Rather than simply “doing what it takes” to parent, we can BE what it takes to parent.

At the very core of parenting is a need to embrace, rather than shirk your emotional side. You must feel your emotions fully and understand your yearnings and innermost desires. Fulfillment isn’t something parents must forgo, it can be found within the act of parenting itself.

For more information on our weekend workshops or opportunities for personal growth at Wright, please visit the Wright Foundation website.


About the Author

Gertrude Lyons

Gertrude Lyons is a human emergence coach and adjunct faculty member at Wright Graduate University. Her academic career spans from a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University, and a newly completed doctoral degree from WGU. Gertrude is a wife and mother of two and resides in Chicago, IL where she continues to learn, grow, and develop her skills as a human emergence coach with the Wright team.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Portions of this post are taken from Gertrude’s doctoral dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering—A Curriculum Evaluation Study.

Passive Aggressive Silent
Treatment: How To Break
the Cycle & Free
Your Relationship

Ever been so pissed off at your partner you put up a wall and enforce “the silent treatment”? (…who hasn’t?!) Or, are you sick of being on the receiving end of the cold shoulder?



Or maybe the two of you are BOTH guilty of this type of passive aggressive behavior. It’s time to break the cycle.

You know the drill. Your partner does something that annoys you, so you think to yourself, “I’m so irritated right now. I’ll show him! I’m not going to speak to him until he notices just how wrong he is—and how frustrated I am.” Then you skulk around, huffing and making just enough noise so he notices you’re there and hopefully realizes you’re ticked off.

Or maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of the silent treatment. Half the time, do you even know what you did wrong? Nope! You can usually sense your partner is mad. While they say they don’t want to talk about it, you’re definitely aware they’re upset. So you tiptoe around passive aggressively and wait until one of you finally snaps and says what’s bothering you.

When this type of silent treatment standoff happens, it goes nowhere. The two of you sit there battling it out, unsatisfied and unproductive. The silent treatment is useless. It satisfies neither of you, and it doesn’t result in any positive outcomes.

The silent treatment is like creating a field of landmines. You’re not waging a war. You’re tiptoeing around trying not to trigger any major explosions. It’s like walking on eggshells—and it can really take a toll on your relationship. In fact, it can be even more damaging than cleaning up the aftermath of a healthy fight and productive confrontation.

Navigating on a silent battlefield leads to paranoia, indifference and frustration. It creates greater distance and pushes the two of you further and further apart. You’re never quite sure how to step or where to go, and so eventually you either become anxious or you just stop caring. Neither one is a great outcome. While no relationship is perfect, the silent treatment can damage even the best relationships beyond repair.

Why We Give Each Other the Silent Treatment

So if it’s so bad, why do we do it?! Even more, why have we done it since we were in grade school and why did we see our mothers and fathers give each other the silent middle finger so many times growing up?

Many of us are raised to believe that passive aggressive silent treatment behavior is just part of being a couple.

The root of our propensity toward the passive aggressive silent treatment begins in childhood during the terrible twos. We’re just learning how to exercise our own will and to establish boundaries. We want things and we’re demanding. When we demanded something from our parents, our siblings or a friend, chances are we were probably shot down. We didn’t always get what we wanted. As children, when we don’t get what we want, we establish the belief that people don’t want to please us—a belief that lasts into adulthood.


Looking for more tips and tools for ending passive-aggresive cycles in your relationship?

Get a FREE 15-minute Relationship Coaching Consultation!


What did we do when we didn’t get what we wanted as a two-year-old? We threw a raging temper tantrum, of course! We probably yelled and cried and stomped our feet. Maybe it worked and maybe it didn’t, but we definitely got someone’s attention. We learned that we could stomp our feet to clue someone in to our displeasure. They might not give in, but in a way, we could punish them. It gave us a sense of control.

So with this belief that people didn’t want to give us our way, we learned to give and accept punishment. Flash forward to adulthood and we’re still engaged in the same self-fulfilling prophecy. When our partner doesn’t give us our way, we’re going to punish them by being silent. Then, our partner gets mad that we’re silent, so they punish us—and round and round we go.

It’s an endless cycle:

  1. My partner doesn’t want to please me,
  2. So I act in a displeasing way,
  3. Which causes my partner to believe I’m a jerk,
  4. So my partner acts in a way that doesn’t please me,
  5. Which confirms my belief that my partner doesn’t want to please me.

Sound familiar?

Recognizing the Limiting Beliefs Behind the Silent Punishment

Unfortunately, none of us were blessed with psychic abilities (and if we were, we’d all be lottery winners). Our partners aren’t mind readers, but yet, we hold out and wait for them to do the things we want them to do. We’re afraid to tell them what we want. Then when they don’t do what we want, we punish them for not reading our minds.

Why? It goes back to our limiting beliefs established well before we were even aware. People that come from mind-reading families tend to believe: If you really love me, you would do X. If I have to ask for X, X becomes less worthwhile. It sounds so adolescent and outlandish, but think back to the last time you or your partner gave each other the cold shoulder. It felt pretty juvenile, didn’t it?

Giving your significant other the silent treatment is really a reflection of your own limiting belief that you’re not strong enough to just ask for what you really want without fear of rejection. When you punish your partner, you’re really diminishing yourself. You’re saying you aren’t equal, you’re weak, and you have to resort to passive aggression over confrontation and conflict. Instead of engaging, you’re disengaging and your relationship is paying the price.


Stuck in a passive-aggressive silent-treatment cycle?
Break the silence and rebuild your relationship.

Reach out to our experienced relationship coaches to learn how to bring out the best in your relationship.


Coming to a Win-Win Outcome: Overcoming the Silent Treatment

So how do we fix this silent minefield we’re battling on? Is it about just letting go of your frustration and irritation?

NO! It’s about embracing what you want, not diminishing it! You need to be able to ask for what you want freely so your partner knows what you want, and then you can make decisions together that make BOTH sides happy! Get to the heart of the fight and embrace the conflict.

When you bristle at something your partner does, like leaving dirty dishes in the sink, teasing you at a party, or not holding your hand in public, get down to the real heart of the issue. What is it you want from your partner? It’s not clean dishes, a better sense of humor, or even a warm hand. It’s respect! It’s appreciation! It’s affection! Those deeper yearnings that counter those limiting beliefs and say, “Yes, I am worthy of respect and I deserve it!”

Articulate your feelings to your partner and let them know what you really want! It takes skills and time to learn how to fully listen to each other and to have productive fights with win-win outcomes, but it can definitely happen! Rather than shutting down, speak up and put it out there on the table. Talk about the situations rather than glossing over them.

Stop Giving Each Other the Silent Treatment – Go For What You Want!

Judith still remembers a moment early on in our relationship when I told her, “I want you to go for everything you want in this relationship—but that doesn’t mean there won’t be times when I’ll want to stop you. So I’m not promising to meet all your wants and needs, but I am saying that, as a ground rule of this relationship, both of us should seek out the fullest satisfaction from each other.”

Many people are more aware of what they don’t want, rather than what they do want. Stop giving each other the silent treatment, and start pleasing each other and going for what you really want in your relationship. Soon, you’ll be battling toward bliss, rather than walking on eggshells.

Learn more by visiting Wright Living. Discover how you can engage, strengthen your relationships, and get more out of your interactions today and every day. You can also join us for our next More Life Training, where you’ll jumpstart your social and emotional intelligence skills and learn how to be your best self!

About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.