Marriage Tip: Be Intentionally Grateful to Your Spouse

Try it.  Don’t talk about it, think about it or put it off.  Just be intentionally grateful about something, anything will really do, which is far better than nothing.  Even if your spouse misunderstood your last comment, argued with you over something meaningless, made a thoughtless remark, or turned a casual comment into a lecture opportunity, show gratitude in a way that matters to them.  It is not about finding the right moment, because it will never come.  It is about creating the right moment in the mist of wrong moments to be grateful.  You can be grateful by making a positive comment about your spouse not a passive aggressive sarcastic remark.  You can be grateful by doing something for your spouse not doing something that you have asked them repeatedly to do and it still is not done.  You can be grateful by giving something to your spouse not by giving them something that is really for you.  You can be grateful by spending time with your spouse not by demanding your spouse spend time with you.  You can be grateful by gently squeezing your spouse’s hand not by yanking their hand.  So what are you waiting for, go be grateful to your spouse.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Is Your Child Becoming Like Their Narcissistic Parent?

Woman Holding Blank FrameIt can’t be.  While the narcissistic parent is insensitive and uncaring, your child seems overly compassionate, caring, and highly attuned, almost to the point of compulsion, to needs of others.  Your child fails to see anything wrong with the narcissistic parent and believes the parent to be near perfect.  Gratitude and praise flow off your child’s lips as such a welcome change from the demoralizing comments emanating from the narcissistic parent.  So your child couldn’t be narcissistic, right?  Wrong.

There is a budding type of narcissism known as the inverted narcissist and is occasionally seen in children of narcissistic parents.  Basically it works like this.  The child idealizes the narcissistic parent to the point that he or she gets satisfaction out of pleasing the parent who is difficult to please.  Your child gives the narcissistic parent an unending supply of adoration and admiration which the parent in turn craves.  Because the child supplies the narcissist’s needs with excessive praise, the parent then becomes possessive and dependent as an addict is to a drug in an unhealthy manner.  Your child figuratively becomes the mirror which the narcissistic parent uses to view their inflated ego.

What can you do?  There really is no use in identifying all of the flaws of the narcissistic parent because it will only serve as a point of contention between you and your child possibly ending in alienation.  Instead, don’t burst your child’s bubble about the narcissistic parent but don’t lie by agreeing with your child either.  Rather listen to your child’s point of view and don’t take advantage of your child’s giving nature.  This will naturally set you apart from the narcissistic parent.

What can you say?  As the non-narcissistic parent, you might not be in the best position to bring clarity to your child’s opinions about the narcissistic parent.  More than likely you will be too emotionally involved to think clearly and present an alternative opinion.  In addition, you need to focus on non-manipulative communication with your child avoiding such pitfalls as guilt tactics or bribery.  So find a safe adult person that your child can confide in to discuss any issues related to the narcissistic parent.  This person should have a full understanding of narcissism and not be subject to the same idealization as your child.

Will it get better?  Yes but not without some hurt feelings along the way.  Eventually the narcissistic parent will disappoint the child because the facade cannot be maintained for too long; however it may not happen until adulthood.  In the meantime, don’t do anything to destroy your relationship with the child; your child needs a strong parental bond because the narcissist is not empathic.  Your child may want to spend alone time with the narcissistic parent and naturally you will want to protect your child from potential harm.  Yet, this alone time may just be what is needed to bring about clarity for your child in the difference between the two parents.

Narcissism is hard to deal with by itself.  If you are struggling with it, imagine how hard it is for your child who does not have the life experience to tell them something is wrong.  At some point in adulthood your child will confront you about the narcissistic parent so be prepared to be honest about your own struggle and successes in dealing with narcissism.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

DISC Personality Profile: Putting It All Together

You have completed the tests and have a better understanding of yourself through the DISC personality profile having gained new insights as to your strengths and weaknesses. But how does your profile fit with others?  How does it relate to your spouse’s profile, your co-worker’s profile or your child’s?  How can the pieces fit together to form a functioning group dynamic?

Each personality profile in DISC: dominating, influential, steadfast, and conscientious, are different pieces of a whole package.  The goal is not to become all things rather it is to recognize the value in each part, utilize your strengths to achieve results, and supplement your weaknesses by working with people who are strong where you are weak.  When you do this you will discover how much more enjoyable life can be, how much less anxiety you will have, and a huge reduction in everyday stress as you will no longer be trying to be something that you are not.  Setting boundaries in your life based on your strengths will now become easier and you will no longer be as tempted to take on tasks that are outside your strengths.

Positive attitude.  If you are a dominating or influential person then seeing the glass as half full will come more naturally.  Having fun and getting things done now are all about the positive possibilities in the moment and what can happen in the future.  This of course does not mean that a person in either of these profiles will not be negative on occasion because when a dominating or influential person is stressed, they tend to become almost aggressively negative and angry.  However it does mean that their natural tendency is to have a positive attitude.

Negative attitude.  If you are a steadfast or conscientious person then seeing the glass as half empty will come more naturally.  This is because no one else in the room cares to do things as right as you do or cares as much about keeping the peace.  Both of these tendencies are isolating in nature as more people just want to get things over and done with instead of being careful and more people stir up conflict then try to keep the peace.  Of course you can train your brain to think more positively however, this will not come naturally and will require more effort on your part then for a dominating or influential person.

Task-oriented.  Both a dominating and conscientious persons are task oriented as opposed to people oriented.  For them, people are a means to an end or a necessary evil to accomplish a goal.  A person in either of these groups will usually prefer to get the job done alone as other people tend to muddy the waters and require too much precious energy that is better served accomplishing the task at hand.  However lacking their people skills might naturally be, they can learn to incorporate others into the task at hand to help elevate some stress.

People-oriented.  Both an influential and steadfast persons are people oriented as opposed to task oriented.  For them the whole purpose of work is to do it together and their relationships at work are more important than their tasks.  If a person is struggling with a personal problem, they will forgo a deadline in order to help the other person out because the relationship matter more than the work.  However difficult it may be to keep an influential or steadfast person on track, they can learn to see completing tasks as a way to preserve relationships which will matter far more than a deadline.

By looking at how all of the pieces fit together you can begin to see the value in each group.  For instance, if your spouse is relational and you are task oriented, then they should be in charge of setting the social calendar with limitations on the frequency of outings.  Or if your co-worker is constantly seeing how things are falling apart, then having them work together with a person who looks on the brighter side of work is a healthy balance.   Opposites attract and complement each other making all the pieces work together is a cohesive manner.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

For Personality Test Junkies

Big 5 Personality Test Result

Big 5 Personality Test Result (Photo credit: London Permaculture)

Here is a great website for those of you who are personality test junkies.  Some are more fun than others and more helpful than others but basically good nonetheless.  Personality tests are useful when you are struggling to discover your strengths, have trouble communicating  effectively with others, or are having relationship problems.  Once you understand your personality, then it becomes easier to communicate with others and accept others for their differences.

http://similarminds.com/personality_tests.html

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Helpful Website for Dealing with Personality Disorders

Fog

Fog (Photo credit: jrodmanjr)

Every now and then you come across a helpful website with a ton of information about a topic that must be shared.  This is one of those times.  This website titled “Out of the FOG” (FOG = fear, obligation, and guilt) is appropriately titled for those who find themselves married to, parent of, child of, or friend of a person with a personality disorder.  Several of the personality disorders are listed but the two that are most likely to drive someone to counseling is Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.

This very helpful website outlines the difference between the two, in addition to other personality disorders, and offers constructive suggestions for how to manage your feelings.  A person with a personality disorder is not likely to come to counseling as they believe they are right, justified, perfect, or clear thinking but they will insist that others seek counseling because they are demented, out of touch, crazy or losing it.  Usually they are not far off as a person with a personality disorder can definitely make someone think they are demented, out of touch, crazy or losing it!  But in reality, they are not.

So sit back and read a couple of the posting to learn more about how to manage your relationship with a person who has a personality disorder.

http://www.outofthefog.net/index.html

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Personalities: Do You Know Someone Who Always Likes to be In Charge?

Dominating Dan storms in the house after a long day of dealing with completely incompetent people and is more frustrated than ever that Human Resources will not let him fire his entire staff.  Not only is his staff incapable of keeping a deadline but he has to tell them what to do every step of the way.  “Why can’t they think for themselves?” he mutters, “Life would be so much easier if everyone did what they were told when they were told to do it.”  Dan looks around the house seeing the kids playing with unfinished homework still on the dining room table and explodes.  He yells for the kids to stop having fun and get back to work so they don’t grow up to be as incompetent as his employees.  As usual nothing is finished on his timetable as he has previously instructed and everything is always late.  If only the world had more disciplined and motivated people like him then everything would be fine and the world would not be in such chaos.

Sound familiar?  If so, then your someone is a “D” in the DISC personality profile which is “Dominating”.  Their motto in life is to “Get it done now”, for them completing a task on time is the most important element.  Competition is their best friend as there is no need to push them to complete a task, just the mention of someone else accomplishing a task is enough to propel them into action to out-perform everyone else in their path.  They are self-motivated, determined, driven, goal-oriented over-achievers.  If you say something can’t be done, just watch them prove you wrong.  They get energy from knowing they have out-done their friends, spouses, children, co-workers, pastors, parents, and anyone else in their life.  But be warned, they are not afraid to step on your back to get where they want to be or to throw you under the bus if in the end it helps them.  For them, the ends do justify the means and life would be so much better if everyone was just like them.

As a Spouse.  Expect them to insist on winning every argument and wanting to be control of all aspects of your life.  They want to know who, what, where, why, and when not because they care about the details but because they like the control.  Sometimes it will feel like you are the child and they are the adult and when that happens, they have you exactly where they want you.  Since they are focused and driven, they are likely to delegate relational issues but want to maintain overall control over everything else including the kid’s schedule.  They can smell a false sense of control a mile away, so faking that they are in control will not work but will back-fire instead.  Since they need to be in charge of something at home, let them have their area of choice just don’t make it relational in nature.

As a Friend.  If you ask them for advice, not only do they willingly give it to you but they tell you all about how they have done it better in the past.  If you take their advice, you are their new best friend but if you reject their advice, you better have your armor on because they are coming after you with a vengeance.  Because they like to take the lead on things, as long as they are directing the friendship things will be just fine but if you try to direct the friendship they will drop you like a hot potato and accuse you of being a fake friend.

As a Co-Worker.  They don’t play nice with other children, so at work, they are the least likely to get along with others.  They do much better in leadership positions so they naturally take the lead on nearly every project even if they are not the expert.   But if you try to lead instead of them, you will be met with such sharp criticism that you will never try it again.  Let them take the lead and follow their lead because even if it is the wrong direction, they will protect you.  But if you confront them, you are left without any protection and are more likely to become the object of their next target.

As a Child.  Again, they don’t play nice with other children so they are usually the ones ordering everyone else around.  They have a natural knack for finding the flaw in everyone else but if you point out their flaw you will be met with a harsh rebuke or a temper tantrum.  Since they are task-oriented, they are likely to excel in school as the idea of doing better than their siblings or classmates motivates them beyond their natural talents.  This strong determination is well-praised in school so it reinforces the behavior driving the child to achieve more, be better and be stronger but it carries with it the price of isolation from peers as other child do not enjoy being on the losing end of an unknown competition.

More than likely you have already identified a boss or entrepreneur who fits this description to a tee as these positions seem to suite them well.  They are hard-workers and expect others to work as hard as they do all the time.  The biggest problem is that they work too hard and alienate themselves from others in the process.  The stress of their profession and the need to achieve can be a deadly combination as they are likely to have stress related health issues as well.  So the next time you encounter a Dominating Dan, remember that there is a price to pay for all the success and choose to show them compassion instead of jealousy.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Personalities: Do You Know Someone Who Is the Life of the Party?

Party Patty bounces home excited about another day being around people even if she was just at work.  So what if all of her work did not get done today, it can wait till tomorrow.  So what if she didn’t make her sales quota that will happen next month.  The most important thing is that she hosted the best 50th birthday party for her friend at work.  “Why can’t we all have some fun at work?” she questions, “Life would be so much better if everyone just took time out of the day to enjoy it and have a little fun.”  Patty hears her smallest child banging on the clean pots and pans which have been removed from the cabinet and sits down next to her to make some “music” along with her.  Dinner is late as usual but who cares, life is too short to live by a deadline and there is always a frozen pizza that can be heated up.  Looking around the house, there are several started but unfinished projects on the already messy kitchen table but what’s the big deal, there is always tomorrow.  Dinner will just have to be in the family room again or maybe they can go out to eat instead.

Sound familiar?  If so, then your someone is an “I” in the DISC personality profile which is “Influential”.  Their motto in life is to “Have fun”, for them enjoying life to the fullest is the most important element and everyone around them knows this is their motto.  They are the life of the party and everyday is a new exciting adventure from the second they wake-up until the moment they fall asleep.  Even their dreams are filled with fantasy as their lives seem to be Disneyland-ish.  If you are having a party, invite them and the party will be great, neglect to invite them and it will be a flop for sure.  If they are having a party, be prepared to meet the strangest group of people you could imagine as they have “friends” from every walk in life.  But while their “friends” are a mile wide, their “friendships” are about an inch deep.

As a Spouse.  There is never a dull moment with this personality type as you literally never know what the day or evening will bring.  Don’t be shocked about some new recipe experiment as they most likely won’t prepare the same meal twice, won’t wear the same clothes twice, or won’t want the same group of people over twice.  Their parenting style haves lots of room for flexibility and discipline is definitely be lacking but the kids will love it and that is all that matters, having others like them.  In life and especially on vacation, expect that they have no plan what-so-ever but prefer instead to fly by the seat of their pants in making nearly every decision.  Just don’t hand the checkbook over to them as their creative style will likely spill out in creative financing and creative spending.

As a Friend.  Who doesn’t want a friend like this?  They bring their own excitement, have tons of stories, keep the conversation flowing, seem interested in everything you say, and have tons of ideas about everything.  The biggest problem is they are not very reliable as a friend as they are likely to leave you hanging for another greater gig going one at the same time.  They over-book, over-commit, over-promise, and over-smooze which can cause problems in your friendship only if you take it personally.  They don’t mean it personally as they just want to be liked, it just happens.

As a Co-Worker.  If there is a promise of recognition at the end of any goal, they will work towards it.  But if not, don’t be shocked if your project gets put on the back-burner and they have lots of back-burners.  They  are rarely on-time as 30 minutes late is normal, don’t keep a deadline because something else more interesting always comes up, and are likely to be more interested in making friends then in working.  But the office will not be dull with them around as they single-handedly keep the energy alive and thriving.

As a Child.  They are the fun child who needs to have tons of activities as they are always on the go wanting more, seeing more, and doing more.  This child is great with new people and is likely to be found talking to anyone who will respond back to them.  They will walk up to perfect strangers with the greatest of ease and start conversations making them sound older and smarter than their peers.  Wonderful performers, these children are likely to engage in any activity that allows them to be on stage in front of an audience.  And when there is no audience, they will create one though both good and bad behavior.

Fortunately this personality has a natural salesman like ability that enables them to literally sell the shirt off your back to you as their acting skills are well above average.  They are fantastic at any customer support, teaching, training or any environment which requires good people skills or a performance as all of this comes naturally to them.  In the most tense of situations, they have the ability to ease the air with a couple of jokes and return high anxieties to normal levels.  So the next time you come across a Party Patty, realize they will want to be your friend and even call you their best friend but you should take a number as there are likely to be a dozen other besties.

 

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.