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Bully-Proof your Child

A BULLY-PROOF VEST FOR YOUR CHILDREN Since 9-11 happened, our cultural climate has been filled with fear and hate.  Our children are exposed to more and more bullying on television, in movies,  in social media, and even in political ads and debates.  When the police or FBI go into a dangerous situation, they wear a bullet-proof vest.  When your children or grandchildren are subject to the abuse of mean people at school, …Read More

Disengaging from Partner Discussions

    THE ART OF DISENGAGEMENT   Sometimes disengagement is very painful for one partner, who may for the moment be clinging to or pursuing the mate in order to unload his or her distress. Other times, roles can be reversed. This article is for both of you.  To be done without creating new problems, healthy disengagement requires a 4-step process: Understanding, Envisioning, Preparing, and Succeeding.  Understanding Understand and remember …Read More

Neutralizing Emotional Bullies

    NEUTRALIZING EMOTIONAL BULLIES               When you think of a bully, most people think first of physical intimidation. But as adults, we more often encounter emotional bullies. These people figure out what kind of emotional scenes we can’t tolerate, and then dramatically produce or threaten these very scenes. They do this to manipulate us, into meeting their needs, for dominance, entertainment, revenge, or most often, just for the …Read More

How Do You Respond to Anger? Good and Bad Ways found in the Bible

  USING ANGER TO MAKE OR SOLVE CONFLICT by Dr. Paul Schmidt   Resentment vs. Peacemaking   Anger is the normal human response to injustice.  When faced with hurt, it guides and motivates our efforts to correct an unfair situation. When justice is seen through the eyes of divine love and mercy, the anger is God’s, and it is a powerful force influencing others.  When the focus of our hurt …Read More

Reversing Unhealthy Relationships

It seems to me that most Americans have one or more people somewhere in their family or friends that they just can’t get along with. The way it feels is like, “I just don’t feel comfortable around them. I can’t be myself. They make me feel and act crazy, so I prefer to avoid them.” To create and maintain healthy relationships with our friends and family members, we all need …Read More

Coping with Difficult People (Part 2)

This column and the previous one are for people who are deeply frustrated with someone at home or at work. If most other people have the same problems getting along with this difficult person, your first step to making your peace is to understand your enemy. Last week I explained how during hard times growing up, we all develop a character style. That’s the characteristic ways we’ve developed to handle feelings and relationships, …Read More

Coping with Difficult People

Perhaps you’ve got someone in your life that year after year you just can’t get along with. Let’s call this person “Pat”. You might want to ask yourself these questions: 1. Do other people have the same problems with Pat? If some people do not, find out how they get along with Pat, and imitate their approach. If you’re related to Pat as a spouse, a former spouse, a parent, …Read More

Forgive? Why? Who? What? When? and really, How?

Perhaps the number one killer of mental and relational health is the refusal to go through the learning experience of emotional pain.  But I believe our next biggest mental health buzz kill is our refusal to forgive others and ourselves. I just have to take a stab here at trying to reduce just a little bit this colossal waste of serenity. Forgiveness is a private act.  It is first of …Read More

The Lost Art of the Effective Apology

THE LOST ART OF THE EFFECTIVE APOLOGY Imagine that you have messed up big time—physically abused your child, cheated on your wife, stole money at work, or lied to your husband about where you were.  And let’s say you really want to make sure that both you and the people you’ve hurt can trust that you have learned your lessons of how and why not to do that again.  How …Read More