Nagging your partner really doesn’t help!

dripping tapNag, nag, nag…. Do you really think nagging your partner is going to change them?

‘A nagging wife [or person] is like water going drip-drip-drip on a rainy day’ (Proverbs 27:15).
How irritating is that. It’s enough to make you want to run away and live on the roof!
‘Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife [or person]’ (Proverbs 25:24).

Have you heard the saying ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’. What terrible advice to give anyone. How about this for better advice.

If at first you don’t succeed REVISE YOUR STRATEGY AND THEN TRY AGAIN.

No matter how much you nag your partner, it’s not going to change them. Agreed? A change of strategy is needed first.

  1. Despite irritating behavior BELIEVE that your partner means well for you and isn’t actually out to get you with their irritating behavior. What you believe affects how you behave.
  2. Love your partner exactly as they are.
  3. Try focusing on their good qualities, actively showing appreciation with words and gestures. Don’t just focus on the negative. Try ignoring these for a while.

FOCUS ON THE BEHAVIOR

What behavior is it exactly that irritates you? Telling your partner that they’re thoughtless or inconsiderate or selfish or anything else like this doesn’t give your partner any clue as to what you’d like them to do differently.

Let’s try an example:

 “You’re so thoughtless you never think of me, you just watch TV all the time”.

In your opinion your partner might be watching too much TV, but that’s your opinion and you won’t get any change with accusations like this. Try to stick to “I feel statements” WITHOUT BLAME.

“I feel ……. (name your feeling) when you ….. (name the behavior) ……. because ……”

“I feel unloved when you carry on watching TV while I’m trying to talk to you because I’d really like to have some quality talk time with you.”

Much better! Now you can negotiate any behavior change and come to an agreement.

And please don’t say things like “My partner SHOULD know by now, I don’t know why I have to keep on repeating myself!” That fact that they might not remember is not an indication of their not loving you rather an indication of their forgetfulness. Just repeat yourself as if it’s the first time.

Related posts:5 Tips for restoring a hurting marriage 

The real definition of relapse and why it matters

Drug and alcohol addiction is often a concurrent problem with depression. Many times drugs and alcohol are used as self-medication for depression. These might seem to help but when the addiction sets in its another story. To successfully treat depression any addictions, that started off as a coping mechanism, need to be faced.

lapse-or-relapse

Laura, who has battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout her adult life, contacted me asking me to share a link with you about relapse and why it matters. Laura, thank you for being so open and I’m sure that many readers can identify with you in their own struggles.

This is what Laura wrote:

My name is Laura, I work as a writer and editor. As someone who has battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout my adult life, I’ve always been ashamed to be open and admit it, but since I’ve been receiving treatment I’ve decided to talk more freely about my issues.

Nobody really likes to speak about it, but relapses can and do happen and it’s a major factor on the road to recovery from any sort of addiction. I know from my own recent past it’s often been two steps forward and one step back. I’ve recently been lucky enough to help edit this great article on how to define relapses. It’s important anyone with an addiction knows that it’s not necessarily the end of the world.”

You can read the article here.

 

The old farmer and his horse

blessing-or-bane If you are feeling depressed or feel that your circumstances have got too much for you, take inspiration from this ancient Chinese story about an old farmer whose only horse ran away.

Knowing that the horse was the mainstay of his livelihood, his neighbors came to commiserate with him. “Who knows what’s bad or good?” said the old man, refusing their sympathy. And indeed a few days later his horse returned, bringing with it a wild horse. The old man’s friends came to congratulate him. Rejecting their congratulations, the old man said, “Who knows what’s bad or good?”

And, as it happened, a few days later when the old man’s son was attempting to ride the wild horse, he was thrown from it and his leg was broken. The friends came to express their sadness about about the son’s misfortune. “Who knows what’s bad or good?” said the old man. A few weeks passed, and the army came to the village to conscript all the able-bodies men to fight a war against the neighboring province, but the old man’s son was not fit to serve and was spared.

Can you relate this to your own life?

I know several people who were retrenched from their jobs. At the time it seemed like a total disaster. However life carries on and with hindsight they could look back and see that it was that disastrous experience that pushed them in another direction where they were much happier and more successful. I suppose the most important point is not to let yourself get stuck – you have to keep on moving forward, keeping your eyes and ears open to new possibilities to follow. For myself, I’m actually grateful for having had depression. It was terrible at the time, and I certainly wouldn’t want to go through that hell again or wish it upon anyone else. BUT… it grew me as a person, and pushed me into learning all the knowledge I needed for recovery and which I share with you here on my website.

I would love to hear some comments from you. Have you had an experience that, although seemed disastrous at the time, pushed you in a direction of greater satisfaction? Please share in the comments section. Go here to Start your journey of recovery.

Start your Journey to Recovery

It’s great you’re serious about conquering depression. Here I’ll share all the information you’ll need to set you on the road to recovery. Sound too good to be true? Well all I can say is that the tips and techniques I share will you on this website, worked for me and that is why I want to share it with you. You might feel overwhelmed and that too is understandable. Faulty thinking is the root cause of depression, anxiety, anger and even perfectionism. It took many years for your thinking to develop into what it is today, so… depression recovery will take a while, but the main factor is determination, especially a determination not to give up. 

Don’t feel overwhelmed!

depression recoveryI promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel, rather than the headlights of an oncoming train! Just the fact that you are reading this shows that you are serious about conquering depression. It really is a debilitating place to exist, so well done, let me walk with you on your journey to recovery.

Many people blame their depression on life events, or their upbringing, or their spouse. Does that sound familiar? The problem here is that you become a victim, depending on others for your happiness. Yes, bad things do happen to good people, but I’m sure you don’t want to live the miserable life of a victim. BE A SURVIVOR!

One step at a time

depression recoveryIt’s a huge topic, so whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I just remind myself of “how do you eat an elephant?’ To which I reply ‘one bite at a time!’

Depression Recovery

Depression Symptoms

Have a look if you recognize yourself in these depression symptoms. You can evaluate the severity of your depression by filling in this Depression Inventory. Good idea to print yourself a copy so you can keep a regular check on how you are progressing. Please don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for medication – doing so is a sign of strength, not weakness. Don’t listen to friends who tell you not to take medication – these friends are usually quite ignorant about the medical aspects of depression. Depression isn’t just a psychological problem. It is also a physical illness that needs treatment. 

Chemical Imbalance

Many people blame their depression on having a chemical imbalance. Yes, that’s true… BUT usually not the only cause. Take the medication but also learn to change the way you think. Stressful thoughts lead to the chemical imbalance and so learning to change the way you think will help sort out the chemical imbalance.

 Suggested order of reading

1. Some questions and answers about depression

2. Understand how depression progresses into a physical illness. In this article  I work through the below diagram to give a better understanding of many aspects related to depression such as stress, medication and why it’s important to learn to change the way you think. Remember knowledge is power.

depression progression

 

3. Cognitive Distortions List

Please print out this list of faulty thinking, (pdf) of cognitive distortions. You can also view it here for a quick look, but a printed version is really essential.  I cannot emphasize how valuable this list will be to you in your recovery. Have a look at the list.  Can you see where your thinking is going wrong? Good. Even people who aren’t suffering from depression recognize themselves in this list. Recognizing yourself is great as it will indicate your areas of weakness in your thinking. The second page gives step by guidance for checking out where your thoughts could be going wrong, reevaluating your thoughts and replacing your thought with one better grounded in reality. Okay this might sound complicated. It is a big topic, but believe me, it will become clearer further along the road.

4. Mood Analysis When you reach  this point you’ll have a greater understanding of depression. Now you have to put what you have learnt into practice. You need to practice listening to what is going on inside your head – listen to the thoughts that are directing your behavior. Just think about it as like driving a car. when you were learning, you had to think about each action. However after years of practice your driving becomes automatic. The same with our thoughts. They become automatic and… Well read the article…!

5. More examples on mood analysis here. It’s REALLY important to come to grips with this.

6. More  Examples of faulty thinking … I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to come to be able to analyze and replace ones thoughts.

7. And finally here are some more coping skills for when you feel like giving up or procrastinating as is so often the case with depression.

I have several posts that relate to depression and the easiest way of finding these is to look at Categories and click on depression or whatever takes your fancy.

Book recommendations

My all time favorite book for overcoming depression is Feeling Good – A New Mood Therapy by David Burns. If I had to recommend only one book on depression, this would be it – it changed my life and could do the same for you. Follow my link to Amazon for this book as well as a selection of his other books.

David D. Burns - The New Mood Therapy

David D. Burns – The New Mood Therapy

For more of my book recommendations click here.

Love your Inner Child

chinoI came across this amazing series of photos, “Imagine Finding Me” by the Japanese London – based photographer Chino Otsuka. With incredible skill she digitally inserts herself into old photos, so that she is standing next to her younger self.

The images got me thinking about “the inner child” ...

We were all children, that’s a no-brainer but what most of us are not aware of is that we still have that child living within us.  Whenever you think, feel or behave in a way you did when you were a child, it is your inner child that is acting out. A lack of awareness of your inner child will leave you wondering where so many of your behavioral, emotional and relationship difficulties stem from. Usually they can be traced back to your “inner child” acting out.

Ask yourself…

You’re an adult, but have you really grown up?
Is your unconscious inner child, the emotionally wounded, hurting child, controlling or influencing your adult life, trying to make your adult decisions?

For many it is a hurt, fearful angry little boy or girl (in an adult body) who is making adult decisions.  No wonder our relationships go wrong, and then we feel anxious, insecure and inferior, all the feelings we had as little children when we did something “wrong”.

Can you recognize behavior or reactions that you don’t like, that could possibly stem from an inner child deciding how you should react? What about temper tantrums, sulking or plain irrational behavior. These behaviors might be appropriate for a child, but they’re definitely not appropriate for an adult -your inner child is acting out and having control!

Action Plan

1. Become conscious of your inner child. learn to recognize when the inner child is directing how you behave.
2. You have two ways of reacting to your inner child.

Hate: You can get cross with yourself, with your inner child, just as your parent did to you when you were little and did something wrong. Isn’t it true that we so often hear the reprimands of our parents in our minds. You can carry on hating and blaming your inner child for all your  ills and remain a helpless victim. You can futilely attempt to force others into fulfilling your infantile needs, but this is also doomed to failure.

Love: It is only through loving your inner child that this child will ‘grow up’. Take your inner child seriously, consciously communicate with that little girl or boy within. Listen to how they feel and what they need. Unfortunately for most of us, certain infantile needs were, maliciously or not, unmet by our imperfect parents and they never will be.  A child grows up when it receives proper parental supervision, protection and support. But the only parent who can now do this is YOU, the Adult you.

Visualization: When the inner child reacts badly, reassure your inner child. Close your eyes and visualize yourself holding hands with a little version of yourself. Call that child “Little  ….. (insert your name)” and talk to that child in a loving non-judgemental way eg. “Little John. it’s okay you were trying your best, it didn’t quite work out, but don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you and together we will try again next time… we’ll keep practicing, til together, we get it right….)

The process of healing is a journey and not a quick fix and I wish you well on your recovery. If you want to ask me any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask something in the coment box.

For more on the inner child click here.

To see more of the amazing pictures of the adult Chino Otsuka inserted into the childhood photos of herself click here