Ian and Sue Wallace Counselling

Ok Guys how to keep the love of your life happy

There are basic stereotypical differences between the male and the female and one is that the Male as a species has been brought up, and given the role, of fixer. He, or she if the process has been instigated in the female of fixer, will generally see his/her function as one who takes charge and fixes, does something a task or a job to take control of the situation and fix it. In some instances this is the function which is needed but in an emotional support role with the love of your life it isn’t, it just frustrates the love of your life and instigates arguments or a detachment, withdrawal process.
So to keep the love of your life happy and contented only fix it if they ask you too and if they don’t then this process, I will share, will bond you both and make them completely happy and contented in your relationship.
The fix it process when your partner is emotionally distraught is to completely and utterly concentrate on what they are saying, you attention is totally on the things they are saying and sharing, close your mouth and open your ears. Don’t interrupt with words just use sounds of agreement and support, mmm ohh etc. This process of attentive listening, turn the telly off, don’t answer the phone, no interruptions. This is the fix listen support and don’t take control.
If you do this then your partner will be eternally grateful and be completely happy with the support you have shown them, instead of saying you should do this or I would do that. That is the way to alienate and dismiss their emotional pain as the pain is usually due to someone else taking control of them and you’re just doing the same, taking control.
So shut up, listen and acknowledge their pain, that’s the fix that is required.
For many more insights into having a happy life log on to www.seekingchange.co.uk and if you like it then share it, you may be helping someone you know have a happier life.


Insecurity and understanding who really has the problem

In this world I find a lot of people coming to me for issues around their relationships and how they are not feeling fully fulfilled and happy in those relationships. This is not uncommon as most people at some time in their lives feel unfulfilled in their relationships, this can be due to lots of different things their partner not pulling their weight, work life balance is out of kilt, not spending enough quality time with their partner, not feeling they are heard, these are the general issues I see. In this process some people feel unable to say to their partner what it is that they are unhappy or unfulfilled about in the relationship.

Most of my initial work with couples is to get them to talk and share their thoughts and feelings, mostly one partner will not feel secure enough in the relationship to share these negative aspects with their other partner. This insecurity in themselves does not help them to share as the fear of rejection is a major part of the insecurity drive. This has usually become an issue years previously with some negative aspect of their upbringing either due to bullying or critical evaluation from people who were a major influence in their lives. This builds a process of rejection and insecurity for them which does not help them to share or make choices or decisions on their own, they usually then find a strong partner who will take the lead or make the choices for them. This initially is a good thing, as it creates security for them, but as with all things it normally becomes too restrictive for them and over sometime years they build resentment which has to have an out somewhere and that creates conflict in their relationships. In this process of fear of rejection part of my work is to engage with the insecure person to build confidence, self-esteem and help them to have a voice.

One thing which always helps is to make them aware that the people who have criticised or bullied them in the past are the problem and that they just externalised the problem on to them. A statement, once they trust me, which always brings tears is saying to the insecure person “they are not the problem and have never been the problem” this awareness helps them to disengage with their negative view of themselves, given by others, and I then discuss why that statement is true as anyone who feels the need to put another person down by bullying or negative criticism is always the one who has the issues. As no one would need to put another human being down if they felt secure themselves, they are the insecure person they just put that insecurity on to others so they don’t need to own or have it themselves. So if you know someone who feels this way and doesn’t have a voice or fell insecure let them know that
They are not the problem and never have been


Phones for you but they alienate everyone else

I have been observing people over the last few years, as mobile phones have become more prominent and accepted as a way of life. They permeate all of our aspects of life, everything we do has an app and a program to help us achieve it, they follow us report on us and have a major effect on how we communicate and interact in our lives with other people around us. I watch amazed at how focused we are with them, engrossed in their blips, buzzes and ringtones. Reacting with great speed to them as they interact and interrupt our lives, the phone being more important than the people we are with or even the things we are doing. I see people at dinner tables using reading and exploring the world with the phone, even though they might be with a group of people, they are immersed into this insular electronic phone world, fully focused on the ever increasing sized screens.
It strikes me that as I work with ever increasing people having difficulty in communicating and socialising that this may be down to this “phone for you” dysfunctions, ever evading intrusion into our world. It’s a well-known fact now that babies need a parent’s eye contact and if they don’t get it then it does impede their developmental mental process. The eye contact between the parent and the child releases chemicals which engage with our development in a healthy way without this visual interaction it impedes that chemical process and as an aspect of this our mental development.
I have a theory that if we have relationships with an electronic interfaces then that indeed may affect our socialising development, we quite literally find it hard to talk to a person. Electronic interfaces have a hard time transferring emotions between ourselves and whoever or whatever we are communication with, how frustrating is it when you call a call centre and the last thing you get connected to is a person, lots of electronic interface prior to or instead of a human one, asking questions, inputting information to an electronic interface but not engaging with a human. We then can’t understand how to engage with another human, in order to create friendships or relationships, we can find the right words or actions for this human interface, we stumble through this process and then revert back to our little phone comfort fix, it doesn’t ask us awkward questions or ask us to explain ourselves, it just gives us facts, or not, shortens the interactions with emotional faces so we don’t have to type it in or think too much ab out what we want to say. A new experience at the dinner table, I have seen, is that everyone puts there phone in a basket at the end of the table and no one answers them or interacts with them, what a refreshing process that could be if we all did this.
So in conclusion a phone does not always help you, it can alienate you and restrict your interactions within the world. Free yourself from it for a number of hours a day and talk and express yourself with another human being in those hours, before it’s too late.

Friends are people you know and spend time in each other’s real company, not through an electronic device they are acquaintances.
Don’t get the two mixed up.


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What about you!

So you want to help others that’s a great motivator to make a difference and one which all therapeutic helpers can engage with. Without this motivator most charities and helping bodies would not exist, it’s the giving and caring process that makes the world the place it is. We as professionals will normally have the same motivator, ok we get paid for it but that’s not the main reason most of us commit to turn up and do the work day after day. It’s this helping drive which makes us the people we are and as I have said that is great but what about the title what about you.
We can lose sight of our own needs and our mental health with this complicated drive of helping. Have you ever left your work and mentally taken your Client home with you worrying about them and their life, this as we all know is not a healthy process. You have to disengage from your work to enter your life, without this disengaging we would be exhausted and being unable to carry all our Clients on our backs, which would weigh us down enormously. So although it will not be our most prominent driver, US, we need to give ourselves as much respect, importance and validation as our Clients, after all if we are not healthy we can never help our Clients.

This, what about us, process is hard to engage with as I have said but we have to fight against our priority driver, the Client, and balance ourselves to have a similar prominence and importance. Make sure you don’t underestimate this delicate balance and tip more towards the Client making sure you give yourselves the validation you deserve, don’t feel guilty giving yourself that time and space to gain a mentally healthy life, whatever helps you to relax and de-stress use and if you find yourself mentally taking your client home then see whether something in your life which has not been fully dealt with is engaging, reflect on this and deal with the issue you still haven’t fully engaged and dealt with. Reflect each week on the following questions,

Have I spent enough time on me?
Is the balance between my time and the Client in harmony?
If your answer is no then deal with it re-balance and make your own needs as important as your Client’s.


The process of change

When looking to effect change with anyone the only way you can do this is by being responsible for your own process, thoughts and deeds. In the therapeutic process, either with a therapist or even on your own by using self-help books etc, you have to be able to accept that you are responsible for your own decisions. If you want to blame your position on someone else then it follows that it will be hard to take proactive action and move forward, as victims never change alter or progress. This is a hard thing to do for a lot of people, especially in any initial situation which has only just occurred sometimes the grief process of loss has to be worked with before this can happen. As I have stated previously in these pages loss is anything which presents change, in order for any change to occur there will be loss, if you travel onward from one place to another you have to leave where you have been, so you incur a loss process.

In my therapy rooms I try to ascertain whether the Client is able to accept responsibility if they are not able to do so then I have a direct conversation with them about this aspect of change, so they can then make a decision whether we need to deal with the loss first before we deal with the change they want to make happen. This process tends to stop the work being longer, if we work on the change before the loss then we will naturally not achieve the result the Client wants as we are working at cross purposes. This tends to stop people engaging and then disengaging when they see no real result from the therapy we are conducting. If the Client can take responsibility then we can walk down the path of change together, this is easier with one person in the room when I am dealing with a couple then it’s much harder as each may not want to take their own responsibility, rather they would like to blame the other person in the room for what is occurring and the position they find themselves in.

This blaming is not taking responsibility, recently I was working with someone for a session were every time we started to look at what they could do to make they’re position different they used the deflection word, BUT, to signal they were not ready to move or change. So we started to deal with the loss they were experiencing, the person they were with had changed so much they were grieving for that person to return and when we started to work with the loss they saw that they had to make a choice in staying with this new person or leaving to find a new way to live. Although this was hard it helped them to see they had choices and they needed to make one in order to have a different life. Even if we sit on the fence and take no action we are still choosing to do so.

Visit Seeking Change to find more helpful tips and tools to make your world better.


Responsibility and the change process

When looking to effect change with anyone the only way you can do this is by being responsible for your own process, thoughts and deeds. In the therapeutic process, either with a therapist or even on your own by using self-help books etc, you have to be able to accept that you are responsible for your own decisions. If you want to blame your position on someone else then it follows that it will be hard to take proactive action and move forward, as victims never change alter or progress. This is a hard thing to do for a lot of people, especially in any initial situation which has only just occurred sometimes the grief process of loss has to be worked with before this can happen. As I have stated previously in these pages loss is anything which presents change, in order for any change to occur there will be loss, if you travel onward from one place to another you have to leave where you have been, so you incur a loss process.

In my therapy rooms I try to ascertain whether the Client is able to accept responsibility if they are not able to do so then I have a direct conversation with them about this aspect of change, so they can then make a decision whether we need to deal with the loss first before we deal with the change they want to make happen. This process tends to stop the work being longer, if we work on the change before the loss then we will naturally not achieve the result the Client wants as we are working at cross purposes. This tends to stop people engaging and then disengaging when they see no real result from the therapy we are conducting. If the Client can take responsibility then we can walk down the path of change together, this is easier with one person in the room when I am dealing with a couple then it’s much harder as each may not want to take their own responsibility, rather they would like to blame the other person in the room for what is occurring and the position they find themselves in.

This blaming is not taking responsibility, recently I was working with someone for a session were every time we started to look at what they could do to make they’re position different they used the deflection word, BUT, to signal they were not ready to move or change. So we started to deal with the loss they were experiencing, the person they were with had changed so much they were grieving for that person to return and when we started to work with the loss they saw that they had to make a choice in staying with this new person or leaving to find a new way to live. Although this was hard it helped them to see they had choices and they needed to make one in order to have a different life. Even if we sit on the fence and take no action we are still choosing to do so.

Visit Seeking Change to find more helpful tips and tools to make your world better.


Working with Clients who have controlling behaviour patterns

When working with clients who have the above but would like to change, then its a good idea to see where these controlling behaviours originate from, what scripts or influences they derived from. In working with Clients I have found that the way they talk can change the interaction with the people they are seemingly controlling, I day seemingly as the controller will often see it as caring not controlling. I ask the controller to look at their communication style and change a couple of things within it firstly
Use offerings not statements
When talking to others then ask using offerings don't tell using statements and example of this would be saying “Would you like a drink” instead of “Your having a drink or you need a drink”.
Use ownership of your expressions do not externalise it on to others and example of this would be I am feeling insecure, not I am feeling insecure because you do that.
Following these basic rules of communication interactions can help people to be different and allow the dialogue and relationship between them to be respectful and connected.


Living in a box

Have you ever thought that everyone you meet wants to put you in a box which then makes them feel more comfortable? Humans can’t stop making judgments about people this is not because they want to judge people but it’s an instinctive reaction which helps us to feel safe. The problem with judging is that we can only use our judgement based on our own past experiences or our understanding of what we have been taught.
This process of labeling, putting people in boxes, is a safety process and is usually totally unfair and indeed wrong. No matter how trained we are as individuals or professionals in accepting of others and not judge them we still find our thoughts judging them, the difference being we might not act on those thought judgments but instead wait until we see them to be the reality or not of that judgmental thought.
In this process of putting people in boxes it also helps us to see which people we would like to associate with, if they wear the same clothes or have the same views then we might feel more connected and possibly more comfortable with them and align ourselves to them, even fighting for them if need be, in a sense it’s a family thing they seem part of our social or cultural family so we defend them or support them.
Systems theory is based on this principle, one or more people aligned together under a similar identity, view or role. We connect with different systems for different reasons and can be connected to many different systems at the same time, similarly to this being in the same box or in the same family. The world revolves around this principle and makes us feel safe, accepted and connected to most aspects of our life.
When we feel isolated and not connected to a system or a box most people will feel uncomfortable and insecure and indeed when moving from one system to another they may feel in limbo or insecure.
Being in a box is not necessarily a problem if you put yourself in that box it’s only a problem if someone else does that for you and you have no choice of being in that particular box.
Try not to act on judgments until you see whether your perception of that judgement is a reality then you will find you’re less anxious and more accepting.


The wonder of Humans

I am constantly inspired in my work as a Counsellor, Coach and Teacher about how Humans can come through major adversity and still be able to cope, live and prosper. It’s amazing how well we can change things to make a positive aspect and grow through the traumas that we have to experience in our human existence.
I have a view that the only way we do grow is to overcome these adversities and if we find we have never experienced one or come through one then we simply stay as we were and never move forward. I have always seen within the people I work with that confidence grows through us experiencing things and overcoming them, this builds our confidence and hence it builds us. If we never experience anything in our life which test our resilience then we simply stay as we are, we try new things experience new challenges and that is what grows us and develops us as humans. The main process of growth and change in my opinion is taking responsibility for our part in the things which we encounter, this taking responsibility is the core element of change and growth. If we remain non-responsible we become the victim and as such we don’t move forward in our worlds and our life’s nothing changes and hence we don’t grow in ourselves, our confidence or our self-esteem.
Be heartened from the fact that we can never make errors, things can have a different outcome from the one we were expecting which might dis-hearten us but there can never be an error as all movement even the slightest ones has a forward process and as such change us or how we view the world. Grow from this fact and try new and different things as you will change yourself through this process, don’t see these aspects of not totally achieving your original goals as a negative one, more importantly see what you have achieved, even the slightest shift or change is a positive one.
So if you have a goal then rejoice in what you have achieved don’t be despondent in the fact that it didn’t turn out as you expected, enjoy what you gained from it.


The grass is greener-is it really?

We often hear this term and phrase said to connect with why we leave one situation to connect with another but is it really the case.
When we move from one relationship, career or situation to another we look at the things we are not getting or receiving from that left process, we see the negatives, that our needs are not fully being met. So in exploring where we can receive those needs that are not being met we look outside our current connections and in doing so try to get those unfilled needs met by another party. As an example in a relationship if we feel that our need to be heard is not being met by our primary partner then we explore a fuller being heard communication process with other people, who might be in our social circle or at work etc. In doing so we hopefully find someone who can listen and fully hear us, as we possible do them, this usually builds an emotional relationship which is outside of our current primary relationship partner. Then we are having those unfulfilled needs met which might be 15% of all the needs we have so it looks to us that the “Grass is greener on the other side” but in getting those needs met we usually don’t look at the other needs that we have which are being provided by our current primary partner.
This then provides a false view of our overall situation, humans are usually motivated by greed we want everything or more than we currently have, which distorts the reality of our situation as we are having possibly 80% of needs met by our current relationship partner, we never usually have 100% of our needs met by anyone. In connecting to get that 15% we jeopardise the 80%, as most primary relationships work from a specific couple aspect, so if more people connect to the primary relationship partners then most couples would feel this was an infringement on their primary relationship and would want to marginalise or expel that person from the dyadic relationship.
So hence in this example we get 15% and lose 80% so is the grass greener. In my professional opinion it is always more helpful if they as a couple communicate together the needs that are currently not being met and see if those needs can be attained in the primary relationship prior to seeking an external person to supply them. In this way you get 95% of you needs being met. Always a more healthy and connected process for a happier future.


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