Trust Me: They Can Handle It

Recently, I was in New York City. My wife and I were going to the symphony with another couple and we planned to go out to dinner first. My friend’s wife was supposed to meet us at the restaurant, because she had to work late. Just before ordering, my friend got a text from his

By | October 11th, 2017|2 Comments

Don’t Shy Away from What Your Relationships Are Telling You

I have a friend who constantly argues about money with his wife. He thinks the conflict is about how his wife spends too much money while he tries to save by bringing his own lunch to work, making his own coffee in the morning, choosing the least expensive item on the menu when they go

By | September 28th, 2017|0 Comments

Providing Our Own Needs

When we don’t get what we want in our relationships and we lose ourselves in our own neediness, then to be happy, we have to figure out how we can provide ourselves what we’re not getting from someone else. We have to figure out how we can make ourselves feel secure, warm, loved, comfortable, important,

By | September 10th, 2017|1 Comment

Independent Enough from Ourselves

All conflict in relationships comes from dependency. Whenever we depend on someone else for our well-being, there’s potential for conflict. That’s not to say that all dependency is bad—because it’s impossible to be in a relationship without a certain level of dependency—but when there’s conflict, we know it’s because we’re being too dependent. When we

By | August 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

Step Four & Five: Re-Engage and Repeat

A few years ago, a friend of mine and his wife had a baby. I took a step back from worrying about what gift to get them, reflected on how often we joke around, and decided to give them a gag gift. I took a container, labeled it “SURVIVAL KIT” and filled it with things

By | August 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Step Three: Decide to Make Changes

Now that we’ve gotten some psychological distance and done some self-reflection, we’re ready to make a decision about how we want to change (or not change). Keep in mind: The decision must be tied to the insight we’ve gained about ourselves during our self-reflection. In this step, we’re not making the changes, we’re deciding what

By | August 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Step Two: Self Reflection

I overheard two sisters talking the other day. The older sister was maybe 7 years old, the other was 4 or 5. The older sister asks: “Why do you always copy everything I do?” “I don’t know,” the younger sister replies. “Well, stop it!” “I can’t,” the younger sister says. What a great interchange. It

By | July 26th, 2017|3 Comments

Step One: Stepping Back

The first step towards becoming Independent Enough is to get all the “noise” we may have about other people, or a specific person, out of our heads. Impressions, ideas, beliefs, conclusions, and guesses about why a person is acting the way they act or saying the things they say—this is all noise. Stopping this noise

By | July 17th, 2017|5 Comments

Let’s Review

According to the longest study of adult development ever conducted, the key to living longer and healthier and having a clear mind is maintaining good, solid relationships. Seriously.  Not eating vegetables, not exercising, not drinking water, not money, fame or status, but our relationships with others is the key to our well-being. Knowing this, it

By | July 9th, 2017|2 Comments

The First 100 Days

There’s been a lot of talk about the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Lots of looking back and evaluating what’s been done—good, bad or indifferent. What would happen if each of us did the same thing? Suppose each and every one of us looked back every 100 days and assessed what we’ve done—good,

By | May 10th, 2017|0 Comments