Sometimes we convince ourselves that taking time to recharge is a luxury we can’t afford. However that is not true. Whether we can proactively allot an hour a day for ourselves or we have an unplanned ten minute gap between two meetings, we have time to take for ourselves.
We all give and receive love differently. This makes connecting with a partner, friend or family member with a different love language challenging if we do not realize what our different love languages are. In 1992, Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, where he outlines each form that we can give or receive love and affection from meaningful people in our lives. You can have more than one love language and most likely identify with each, however we all express love primarily through one of the five languages of love below. By understanding our love language and that of those around us, we can begin to develop a map of how to enhance or maintain our connection to important people in our lives.
A traumatic event is an occurrence that overwhelms our stress response system. When we endure trauma from someone close to us we can develop a trauma bond, especially when we experience trauma repeatedly by an attachment figure. A trauma bond occurs when the abused develops sympathy or affection towards their abuser. This can happen over any time period and rarely, if ever, develops into a healthy relationship. A trauma bond can cause the abused to experience guilt, confusion and self-judgment when analyzing their feelings towards their abuser, however this type of bond, while unhealthy, can originate from a protective place in the abused person.
Adult-ing can be really hard. One thing that makes it easier is having a healthy social circle of people you can rely on in times of stress. However, I often hear from clients how difficult it is to expand their social circle and increase their supports. After college or high school we kind of run out of the large pool of prospective individuals that we can potentially make into long lasting friendships. After school, we move away, have difficult schedules that don’t seem to match up or just end up with very different life stages or interests. So where do we go from here? Here are some ideas for working on strengthening and expanding your social-circle:
It’s a known fact that our species are social beings. We evolved by living in communities relying on one-another to help us meet our daily needs like: food, child-care, shelter, safety, and of course emotional well being. Nowadays though, that sense of community seems to have dissipated in our individualistic society. Life get’s busy, we …
The first three minutes of a conflict have a direct relationship with the outcome of that conflict in particular, and the future success of that relationship in general (Schwartz- Gottman & Gottman, 2015). It can be very challenging to get our point across while also not becoming overly activated to the point where we shut down or start throwing metaphorically punches at the other person. This can be even more of a daunting task during an emotionally charged situation. Below are what Schwartz Gottman & Gottman refer to as the “Four Horseman of Relationship Apocalypse,” which can lead to resentment, fractured communication and feeling disconnected from your partner. The first two can be viewed as figurative “weapons” to put down our partner while the last two can be seen as symbolic “shields” to protect ourselves during an argument.