Posts tagged healthy relationships
How to handle tough personalities

We’ve gotten a lot of requests for this one.

They often sound something like: “I’m a good communicator, but it’s just that my coworker/ roommate/ mom/ boyfriend’s second cousin is awful at communication.”

But no matter how horrible of a communicator they are, you can use this trick to work within their limited communication skills and get your point across.

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The normal you wish you were

“It’s hard spending time with people who are the normal you wish you were,” said one of my closest friends. Her husband was struggling with a dependency on alcohol, and he found it painful to hang out with friends who could have a few drinks and call it a night. He would regularly talk himself into thinking he could be “normal” like them and just have a few drinks, but “a few” invariably turned into “too many” for him, and he would end up feeling shame about not being able to control his relationship with alcohol.
 

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The fastest compatibility test you've never heard of

Okay, we’ll run with the title and make this quick. When someone new is entering your life, whether it’s a friend, a coworker, a romantic interest, or someone else you’re still figuring out how and to what extent you’d like to fit them into your life, try asking yourself:

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The conversation hack you've never heard of

Imagine you’re in an animated conversation with someone. You both laugh at something together, but then your chuckles trail off and you’re left in silence. What now?


Do you say something immediately? Do you wait for the other person to say something, no matter how long that takes? Do you jump in with whatever enters your head? Of course, it likely differs from situation to situation, but you probably average some number of seconds before you say something new if the other person doesn’t say anything, and you probably don’t stray too far from that average too often.

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What to do about anger

Has your anger ever led to an action you regretted? Maybe you sent a text you didn’t feel great about, maybe some words came out of your mouth more harshly than you’d intended, or maybe your anger came out sideways and you spent some time silently fuming and distracted from your everyday life. Since anger can compel you to take action before thinking, it can be useful to have some tools ready for the next time you’re feeling peeved.

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Ashley KirsnerSkip the Small Talk, Skip the Small Talk blog, Skip the Small Talk blog post, Skip the Small Talk blogpost, anger, angry, feeling angry, how to deal with anger, how to cope with anger, mindful, mindfulness, deep breaths, deep breathing, I'm so angry, I'm angry, express anger, expressing anger, how do I tell someone I'm angry, metaconversation, metaconversations, art, music, calming, calming music, DBT, dialectical behavior therapy, coping, how to cope, how to cope with feelings, feelings, emotions, overwhelming, overwhelming feelings, I'm feeling overwhelmed, feeling overwhelmed, support hotline, hotline, suicide hotline, journal, journaling, free write, freewrite, freewriting, free-writing, free-write, exercise, Maslow's hierarchy, self-care, anger physiology, fight or flight, fight or flight response, rash, rash decision-making, decision-making, problem-solving, how to make a decision, how to solve a problem, how to be angry, healthy relationships, healthy relaitonship, how to have a healthy relationship, how to have a healthy relationships, how to have healthier relationships, how to maintain your relationships, how to maintain your relationship, how to have long-lasting relationships, how to have better relationships, how to make your relationship last, how to make your relationships healthy, how to have healthy relationships, how to make your relationship healthy, deal with feelings, how to deal with feelings, I'm furious, I don't know what to do, what should I do, explosive anger, What to do with anger, what to do about anger, what to do with anger, anger problem, I have an anger problem, I think I have an anger problem, do I have an anger problem, problem with anger, problems with anger, do I have a problem with anger?, vent, just want to vent, just want to talk, blogsComment
Three relationship tips you won’t find in Cosmo

Whether you’re looking for a good fit with a friend, a romantic partner, or even a new workplace, you’ve probably heard tips like “communication is key” and “stick with someone/somewhere that encourages you to grow” and “go with your gut.” Sometimes even those clichés can be useful, but there are some other “tells” about how any given relationship is going that can be easy to miss if you’re not looking for them, especially since they aren’t as culturally emphasized as platitudes like “follow your heart.” Of course, these aren’t going to be the *only* things you should pay attention to, but they can all be easy to overlook, particularly if you are focusing some portion of your energy on appearing desirable to the other person/ workplace/ whatever.
 

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Ashley Kirsnerrelationship health, romantic relationship, relationships, relationship, relationship advice, romantic relationships, boyfriend, girlfriend, how to keep your girlfriend, how to keep your boyfriend, strong relationships, healthy relationships, how to have a healthy relationships, how to have healthier relationships, how to have healthy relationships, healthy relationship, how to have a healthy relationship, how to make your relationships healthy, how to make your relationship healthy, should I break up with him?, should I break up with her?, should I break up?, should I break up with my girlfriend?, should I break up with my boyfriend?, metaconversation, metaconversations, meta-conversation, meta-conversations, boundary, boundaries, relationship tip, relationship tips, three relationship tips you won't find in Cosmo, Cosmo, Cosmo Magazine, cosmo magazine, cosmopolitan magazine, tips you won't find in cosmo, tips you won't find in cosmo magazine, respecting boundaries, respect boundaries, set boundaries, set boundary, vulnerability, keeping track, better relationships, deep relationships, deeper relationships, emotional labor, stable relationship, stable relationships, should I marry him?, should I marry her?, should we get married?, is he the one?, is she the one?, how do I know?, how will I know?, how do I know if he's the one?, how do I know if she's the one?, talk to him, talk to her, communication, communicating, Skip the Small Talk, skip the small talk advice, advice, love advice, loveComment
A simple way to take your relationships up a notch (or five)

Five to one: According to one of the most prominent social scientists in the field of romantic relationships, John Gottman, that’s the ratio of positive to negative interactions in stable relationships. Couples were significantly less likely to get a divorce when they had about five positive interactions for every negative interaction they had.

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The secret to long-lasting relationships

What do the following have in common?
 

  • A “define the relationship” conversation with a crush
  • Mentioning to your roommate that you never check your Facebook messages
  • Telling your friend that the way he acts when he’s angry is scary to you
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Ashley KirsnerSkip the Small Talk, healthy relationships, relationships, relationship health, romantic relationships, platonic relationships, friends, friendships, how to make friends, how to have better relationships, better relationships, relationship, relationship advice, healthy relationship, deeper relationships, managing relationships, how to go deeper, going deeper, how to have a deep conversation, how to have a hard conversation, hard conversation, hard conversations, conversations, conversation, communication, communication problems, how to communicate, how to communicate better, communicating, communicate, communication skills, how to improve communication, having communication problems, metaconversation, metaconversations, meta-conversation, meta-conversations, skip the small talk, how to skip the small talk, learn how to skip the small talk, real talk, deep conversation, deep conversations, how to have deep conversations, how to talk about something hard, how to bring up something hard, how to bring up something hard to your boyfriend, how to bring up something hard to your girlfriend, romantic relationship, girlfriend, girlfriends, boyfriend, boyfriends, romantic partner, romantic partners, significant other, how to keep your girlfriend, how to keep your boyfriend, how to keep your significant other, long-lasting relationships, the secret to long-lasting relationships, how to have long-lasting relationships, how to make your relationship last, how to make your relationships last, how to make your relationships last foreverComment
The Vulnerability Paradox

Have you ever felt comfortable telling something intimate to your hair stylist or bartender or ride-share driver, and then finding yourself feeling warm toward them, and perhaps inclined to tip more? Have you ever developed strong feelings for someone you were dating in a low-stakes context, like someone you knew you didn’t want to be with long-term?  Then you are likely familiar with what I’ve deemed “the vulnerability paradox.” According to the vulnerability paradox, a pattern I’ve noticed in myself and others, it’s often easier to open up to those we are not relatively close to, yet, the very act of opening up brings us closer.

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A Better "How are you?"

Cultural niceties can make it challenging to answer “How are you?” honestly if you are feeling much more than, “Fine, thanks. How about you?” If you change up the phrasing of your question even slightly, though, it can often be enough to disrupt the automatic process that leads to uninformative and uninteresting answers. Here are some options for making it easier on others to answer you honestly, even if they’re not feeling “fine.”

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The single most surprising way to get close to people

We'll cut to the chase. It’s boundaries, or more specifically, setting boundaries liberally and respecting them consistently.


Surprised? Think about it this way. Boundaries come on a spectrum, which looks different for each person-- there are smaller boundaries, which might look like, “Please lower your voice; my roommates are sleeping” and bigger boundaries, which might be more like, “Please don’t come to my house again.”


What a lot of folks don’t realize is that setting and respecting smaller boundaries are the single best way to avoid the big boundaries.

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The four words that change the way people talk to you

Imagine you’re hanging out with a friend.

 

You’ve been chatting for a bit, and they reveal something more vulnerable about themselves than they usually discuss with you. Maybe it’s admitting that they feel lonely at work, or maybe it’s talking about their history with depression. Whatever it is, it’s a level or two deeper than your usual conversations.

 

How do you respond?

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If you have trouble skipping the small talk, this might explain why

I recently found myself in two almost identical social situations with one small difference that changed everything about the way the interaction went down.

 

A few months ago, I had some new friends over my house when one of my friends took advantage of a brief silence:

 

“Can I ask you all a weird question?”

 

We all nodded and leaned forward a tiny bit in our chairs.

 

“Is a hamburger a sandwich?”

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