Relationship Problems, Concerns, or Issues
Interpersonal relationships may involve persons with whom we have strong emotional ties, including friends and family, and/or persons who we may not have an emotional connection to, but are still consistent parts of our lives, such as co-workers, employers, and/or employees. A healthy individual requires healthy relationships, but for countless reasons, relationships of all shapes and sizes can get stuck in repetitious cycles that may be unhealthy and stressful. Therapy can be a place to navigate through and improve the quality of interpersonal relationships by developing new levels of self-awareness and insight as well as by fostering practical relationship skills and overcoming interpersonal challenges. Some areas of focus might include couples or marital therapy, learning to be more assertive, overcoming shyness, ending unhealthy relationship patterns, dealing with anger, or ending vicious cycles of spousal abuse.
Being able to communicate effectively will ensure the stability and longevity of important relationships, including those with our kids, siblings, friends, and coworkers. Gottman focuses on what he calls the emotional “bids” being made in communication – that is, a gesture, a look, a touch, tone of voice… anything that is intended to make some kind of emotional connection with the other person. Readers will learn to identify their own “bids” and how they respond to the “bids” of others. Strategies are offered to develop more effective emotional communication skills to improve meaningful relationships.
Drawing on the concept of mindfulness, Richo makes suggestions on how we can be more loving, realistic, and present in adult relationships. The five hallmarks of ‘mindful loving’ are described as: 1) attention to the present moment, 2) acceptance of ourselves and others as we are, 3) appreciation of all our gifts, limits, longings, and existential human predicament, 4) physical affection, expressed in respectful ways, and 4) allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all the joys and pains, without trying to control it. Potential readers should find something helpful in this well-written book on relationships.
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