Tag Archives: alcoholism

Expensive free advice.

If I could give one piece of advice I would say to “Trust Your Gut”. Clients pay me a lot of hard earned money so that I can teach them to trust and use the gift they already have that is not only powerful but very effective. Their instinct. The problem is they don’t trust themselves enough to listen.

I spend countless hours reviewing with clients what their perspective was at the beginning of a recently failed relationship. I ask them to look back with me and ask themselves in retrospect, did they see any red flags? Did they see or hear something from him or her that struck them as bothersome?
The answer is most always is ” yes…but.”
“I noticed that he drank heavily BUT he was going through a hard time”,  “You know, I did notice that she became angry easily or her reaction was not in proportion to the situation BUT I thought it meant she really cared about me or that I was making too much of it”. Or “..he worked a lot and we didn’t have a lot of quality time together BUT he was trying to make partner and I figured it would get better”, or ” She didn’t share much about her last relationship but I didn’t want to pry”. The bottom line is this folks:
LISTEN to your gut.
Your instinctual sense of something is keenly accurate. Too many people second guess themselves and find that the very thing that alerted them in the beginning of a relationship with that person was very often the impetus of the relationship not working. For those of you who were brought up in homes where there was an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have the best instinct of all. I call this your “Superpower”. When a parent has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, children learn to sense the predictability of unpredictability. Addicts are inconsistent, unpredictable, they break promises, and create an environment of fear that also produces shame in their children. After a while the child develops a very good sense of being able to “read” mom or dad. This default skill develops in adulthood into a sense of “reading” people very quickly and most often quite accurately. Look back now at any relationship in your life that didn’t work for you. Can you recall if the reason was something to do with what you spotted early on and just ignored?
Learn to trust your instincts and listen to yourself, because in the end your probably right.

theresa perfetto ®
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Simple Rules for Communication

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It’s hard to know how to argue. We learn from our parents, and if that tells you anything like most of us, it’s a skill that requires learning. If you follow these basics I promise you that communication becomes easier. I’m talking about how to talk not solving the issue itself.

1. No Name Calling: Do I need to list these? Nah

2. No Interrupting: Let the other person finish. Interruption when a person is trying to share their view STOPS the process and doesn’t allow the other person to be heard. Bite your lip. If you are talking or thinking about what to say next, you are not listening.

3. No Character Assassination:  These are allegations that the person you are fighting with might be a bad or unpopular member of his family, have a bad relationship with his or her friends, co-workers or children or is not respected by his colleagues.  Or that he/she had issues with his or her X that was similar. Not nice, not needed.

4. No Physical Violence: No hitting, throwing of objects, punching, scratching, spitting, you get it.

5. No Leaving the Room: Unless you are going to give yourself a time out to cool off, leaving in the middle of an argument is a power move and avoidance. It makes the other person feel unimportant, disrespected, and cut off. If you feel things are not getting anywhere and escalating, tell the person you’re arguing with that you need time to cool off AND (this is key) TELL THEM WHEN YOU WILL RETURN TO FINISH THE DISCUSSION AND WHEN It should be within 24 hours at the latest. An hour or two would be best. Or if you’re really good 10 minutes should do. Otherwise the topic never gets fully discussed and goes subterranean. Only to come up another time, most likely in the middle of your next fight

6. No Switching:  This occurs a lot when I see couples and it sounds like this:  

Person A ” When you leave stuff on the floor in the bedroom, it makes me feel irritated. I have asked you to work on this and you keep doing it! ”  

Person B “OMG are you kidding me? You leave your dishes everywhere in the house, your one to talk”.

Switching STOPS the process and will easily send you both onto another million tangents that you both are angry about. Lots of couples do this. If you want to bring up an issue bring it up SEPARATELY or at another time. Not this time.

7. No Abusive Language:  In other words no cuss words or vulgarity. It’s easy to say things like this when we are angry. The only thing this does is give us release but in doing so, it  shows disrespect toward the other person and STOPS the process. Use words that mean the same thing. I know it’s hard to find another work for “fuck!”   (My personal favorite), there are a zillion other things you can say when things are heated.

“…you never don’t listen to me! “What?”

Listening . It means SO much MORE then “repeating back” the words the other person has verbalized . It is an act of getting outside yourself, putting your feelings aside, your erroneous thoughts aside, like the grocery list, a call you need to make, your sweater is itchy, etc.  we all know when someone isn’t “really” listening don’t we?
Be present emotionally, be honest, about it. And please have good eye contact, & body language, share your support by asking what the person needs to feel supported and what they need what can you do? ASK.
What you and I need may be very different from what Mr A needs or Mrs X needs. One person might want a hug. Someone else might simply appreciate you asking and that’s enough. Another may need you to demonstrate verbal support by telling them something hopeful.

If you don’t know what to say try, fake it. The words are not as important as the energy behind the intent and your sincerity. And most people? They can tell if you give a damn. I hear it everyday. Doesn’t matter what you say or do. If you really aren’t emotionally present, they feel it. And if you grew up in a home where there was alcoholism, emotional abuse, or mental illness, you can bet you have what I call A
“Super Power”.  A keen instinctual ability to lock on to bullshit. And 99% of the time be right about your gut.
More on that later…
Relationships, friendships, marriages, sibling relationships, co workers and even potential employers are all impacted by your presence, or lack of.

Listening isn’t just being able to repeat the words. It’s making a connection to someone who has reached for you. It’s real, its about THEM. NOT you. Be a good listener. Don’t give advice, or judge, or make a new campaign to “help them” fix unless they ask.
Just listen. Control your need to fix. Just listen. Let a little silence occur in the conversation it’s ok, that’s a moment, your there with them. Your present. And when your present you have given them the best gift ever. You. It doesn’t get any better then that.