Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Are You Guilty of “Inattention?”

Filed under: Listening,Relationships,Respect — Larry James @ 6:30 am
Tags: , ,

Everyone is inattentive sometimes. However, for some people inattention becomes a serious condition that leads to significant problems in their relationships. Times of inattention are a part of life. Your spouse is an imperfect human being… just like you.

InattentionI’m not talking about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nor am I talking about the following non-medical causes of inattention. Poor attention spans can be a result of:

• Being tired
• Sleep deprivation
• Hunger
• Being unfit

I would like to call attention to those people who – intentionally or not – flat out don’t pay close enough attention to their relationship. They let things slide past them as if their partner were not even in the room. Often a moment’s inattention can cause a lasting resentment from your partner.

When you are listening to your partner, sometimes it is natural to be distracted by the running commentary in your own head. You may find yourself engaged in your own response. You are being inattentive; you don’t actually hear what your partner is saying. Never skip over the listening stage of the conversation. This is a common complaint from women who request coaching about how to get their partner to listen to them.

It’s frustrating to suddenly realize that you’ve been talking to your partner and they haven’t heard a word you were saying. That’s just plain rude of your partner! It causes you to feel invalidated when you are not being heard.

“External factors in the home also make it difficult for couples to be attentive to one another. Household chores, tending to children, working from home, and a host of other necessities can definitely present challenges to communication. This is true even among the most loving and supporting of couples.” ~ © 2014 MarriageMoment.org

Inattention can be another word for “taking your partner for granted.” If you want your partner to stop taking you for granted, be ready to accord them the same degree of respect that you would like them to extend to you. There is also a phenomenon that sometime occurs called selective inattention. They’ve heard all that before and therefore choose to blank it out. (Note to women: If you are a nag, that could be another reason for inattention, however that is a topic for another time. 😉 ) Taking someone for granted and selective inattention are the first steps in the wrong direction!

Rather than becoming upset or angry when your spouse appears to be inattentive, accept responsibility to gain their attention. When the words, “We need to talk” are heard it makes most men quiver with fear. So, instead, when you need to have an important talk, choose a good time and quiet place to initiate conversation. If your partner had a tough day, is tired, has a lot on his/her mind, is busy with an important task, etc., it may be wise to wait for a better opportunity to talk. And talk you must. Never let important conversation slide.

FULLattentionHere is an over-simplified solution: When your partner talks to you… turn down the TV, get rid of any distractions and LISTEN! Paying attention takes conscious effort. It is highly conducive to building a sense of connection to your partner. You say, “I love you” in a very special way when you pay attention to your partner! It’s truly a matter of respect!

If you are the partner who is not being heard… it may be necessary to make a request. I once put on my “feelings” hat and said to my partner; “Can you understand how frustrating it is for me to tell you something that I consider very important only to have to repeat it because you are not paying attention when I speak? It feels like your not interested in what I have to say.” I got a quick apology and her immediate attention.

If any of this rings the bell for you, it is important to understand that you have valid emotional needs, – one of which is being heard – and when those needs are ignored, relationship conflicts arise.

If you want to improve your relationship and reap the considerable benefits of a good marriage there are proven things that you can do to increase the strength and health of your marriage. The first is to pay attention when your partner speaks. Have a chat. Talk in a loving way about how “listening” is missing.

If you find that despite your best efforts, your partner refuses to treat you with respect with the selfish act of inattention, perhaps it is time to examine deeper issues in your relationship with the help of a relationship coach.

It is hard for anyone to live without some appreciation now and then. Remember that when their inattention begins to improve… acknowledge how that feels – show them some appreciation!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

It’s Not About The Nail

Filed under: Listening,Relationships,Video — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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“Please don’t try to fix me. I just need you to listen.”

Every man has heard these words. That’s when they need to shut up and simply listen…

BONUS Articles: No More “Mr. Fix-it!” – For Men Only
I’ve Got a Secret! – Wanna Know What it is?
#1 Solution to Communication…

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2 Hot Ideas for a Better Relationship

Filed under: Communication,Listening,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

There are many things you can do to promote a healthy love relationship. I’m sure that you have discovered several on your own. In my many years as a relationship coach, two things seem to surface when couples hit a snag in their relationship.

WhenSheSpeaksFor the Guys

Listen to your partner when they need to be heard. Listening (in a relationship) is an art. It takes practice. It not the kind of listening that signals, “Yeah, I heard that… now what?” It the kind of listening that lets your partner know that you really care about what she is saying. When she speaks… you must focus on what she is saying. Make eye contact. Drop what you are doing. Turn off the TV and really pay attention to what she is saying. Don’t get defensive. Just listen. If she is speaking about a bad day, resist the urge to “fix-it!” She really doesn’t want a Mr. Fix-it, she wants a committed listener!

For the Gals

Say what you want, clearly. Don’t hint. Guys don’t get hints. That’s the way their brain is wired. Men cannot read your mind. Don’t have any undelivered communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No wonder you think that he doesn’t listen. He doesn’t have a clue about what you are talking about. I’ve been criticized for saying, “Say things worth listening to,” as if I meant that you don’t. The point is, when you want your guy’s attention, wait before you speak until you have it. If he is not in the listening groove… be patient until he is. Then, be clear and specific about what you want.

mrsAlwaysRightFor Everyone

Almost everyone agrees that communication is the number one problem is most relationships. Communication is about speaking and listening. It’s not about always trying to defend your position or holding on to being right. It’s also about negotiation, compromise, and much more. Learn to be good at it. When one person is speaking (no interruptions), the other is listening (paying attention), and vice versa. Maintaining respect for your partner’s point of view is critical regardless of whether there is agreement or not.

Your comments are always welcome!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Listening to Jazz…

Filed under: Communication,Listening,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Some of you know that I love jazz.

Sometimes I’ll dawn a headset, dim the lights and kick back in my recliner and just listen to jazz. Sometimes I am so inspired by jazz that it commands that I come to my computer to talk more about it.

Relaxed, I surrender to the music. And I know this may sound crazy but while listening – in essence – become one with the music.

Young woman with headphones.Some of us listen to jazz on a much deeper level than many others. You can listen to jazz in many different ways. We all hear it but do we all hear it the same way? I don’t think so. Some of us can listen and just enjoy the music, others – while listening – have learned to hear it all and still be able to individually hear each player at will.

To me it’s fun to be able to – at will – isolate the sound of the lead sax player. Listening carefully, I sometimes wonder, before each note was played, if he knew what the next note was going to be. If what I believe to be true is that each note is divinely inspired, he knew intuitively that he needed to trust whatever note he played would be the right next note. I guess that partly suggests why I love jazz.

Sometimes knowing that I can listen individually or all together allows a tear to fall. I get a little emotional. Joy nearly overwhelms me. I am so into the music. It’s almost like listening with a vengence. My body often moves a little in time to the music and in between times it respects the music enough to lay silently and just listen. I know that my body, mind and spirit can be inspired by jazz and they often conspire to persuade my body to again swing a little with the music.

I’m thinking that if we attacked our relationships with a listening for opportunites to compliment our partner, learn her favorite color, know his likes and not so likes, share your innermost thoughts and feels, etc., than maybe our relationships would be better. Are you listening to your relationship? What are you hearing? We all need to learn to listen differently, especially to our relationship. What do you think?

Jazz is so spontanious. That’s another great thing to have in your relationship. Spontaneity. Doing things so often that you hardly realize that you’ve been doing the same things all the time – that’s called boring. No wonder some people just quit and move on. If there is creativity somewhere in there – for your own sake – shake it up a bit and aways remember you must never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.

When I hear jazz I often feel that I know what note is coming next and that the player knew what note was coming next too. If creativity and inspiration truly have a connection to something greater than we are, perhaps that’s where the next note comes from. Listening with a knowing.

A knowing that came in a flash of sudden awareness that we know we can control our very own thoughts enough to litterly change the course of our relationships and our life. We can listen differently. We often listen to only what we want to hear. Now we know we can choose differently too. By the way, one of the things that truly makes a relationship work is to be a committed listener – not just talk all the time.

We get to choose what we want from our relationship. That’s right… we get to choose.

Are you one of us?

BONUS Article: I’ve Got a Secret! – Wanna Know What it is?
Shh!
I HATE You, Daddy!!!!!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Perhaps it’s Time to “Sitr Tihngs uP!”

If your relationship is kinda lying dormant… mix it up a little. Begin to do things differently. Don’t get bogged down with the same old boring routine.

“Sitr Tihngs uP!”

I kid you not, when you mix things up in a relationship, all kinds of fun stuff can begin to happen. Breaking things up a bit triggers something in your brain that adds back in that sense of newness and excitement you might be missing from the early days of your relationship. If your relationship is stagnant, stirring things up will add spice to a boring relationship. This is the big secret to spice up a boring relationship.

BEtogetherThere are all kinds of diversions that continually draw your attention elsewhere… children, a miserable job, the car needs new tires, etc. Everyday annoyances that build up over months, years, or even decades. We fret about the past and we worry about the future. We strain toward tomorrow and we struggle against yesterday.

Fuhgeddaboudit! Change your mind. Everyone has the unique ability to do that. Cut out all the crap that you know is a distraction. Focus your thoughts more on your partner and your relationship.

Try this: Out with the old activities, and in with the new! Doing the same old thing forever and ever can negatively affect the romance and intimacy of your relationship. It is time to take action! You need new ideas to help you stir things up a bit.

There is a line in my Wedding ceremony that says, “Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place. Often when I am talking with a couple about planning their wedding ceremony, one or the other of them will say, “We need to do that!” It’s easy to slip into an attitude of taking your partner for granted. You know you love each other but fail to say it aloud as much as when you first met. That is a mistake.

BedroomMovesIf passion has subsided… maybe you need a change of scenery. Be determined to beat boredom. Get creative – together. Move the furniture around in the living room. Don’t neglect the master bedroom. Make it a romantic love nest. Remove the television. Use your master bedroom for sleeping and making love… not necessarily in that order.

Challenge your own status quo. Plan some special time to be together – just the two of you. Tease each other with text messages. Leave the children in the care of a responsible adult and go on a date. The kind of date you had when you were first together. It will give the two of you something to anticipate and work toward, together. Having a goal in your sights will help take the edge off what can often feel like monotony in everyday life.

If you are like most couples, you both work, you’re tired and when you get home you want to grab something cold to drink, turn the TV on and crash. Stirring things up triggers the brain to think new thoughts and feel new ways. That is always a winning combination. Pull yourself out of the rut you’re in. Your “tiredness” can turn to excitement and suddenly inspire you to stop being a couch potato and be adventurous.

Go to a park, sit under a tree, spread a blanket, and just talk to each other – not about the kids, not about work, just communicate with each other. BE in the present moment. Breathe! If your partner is the most special person in your life, say so. Words do have power and if said genuinely, they convey your intentions, emotions and feelings in a very special way. Remember sweet talk? Talk like a lover. Don’t hold back. Be a committed listener.

True partners share the good and the bad about their lives and their relationship. It’s really great to have a safe place like your relationship where you can discuss your innermost secrets and desires. Often couples who have been together for a long time forget that being together is not just about loving each other, it’s about expressing that love in a way that demonstrates the love and respect you feel for each other.

I don’t believe that you can ever be together too long to begin again. Someone has to take the first step. Fear of what your partner will say if all of a sudden you begin expressing your love in ways that hasn’t happened for a long time will keep you both stuck! It’s time to super-charge your relationship. If your relationship is in the “drift” mode and you have become distant, reconciliation can be a big step in the right direction. Make some new promises. Recommit to each other. Be together and start over.

There is a scripture in the Bible that reads, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 ESV). Work together to inspire, challenge, and encourage each other to “Sitr Tihngs uP!”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

De-Stress… Don’t Think!

Filed under: Listening,Romantic Tips! — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

How long has it been since you put on a good pair of headphones, dialed up some smooth jazz (any music without words will do) and just listened to the music?

IheartMUSICOr is music something that just plays in the background? You know it’s there because every once in a while your thoughts get tired and they stop working just long enough for you to notice the music – that doesn’t last long either – then it’s back to doing the laundry, taking the car to get gas, or as some people call it, “The same boring job.”

Something you must know about me is that I love jazz, all kinds, and one evening I decided to watch something that I had recorded on my DVR and in my headphones I heard some very energizing smooth jazz show up. My TV starts up with Music Choice. It was a catchy tune so I decided to let it stay on and as soon as it was over I’d watch a movie.

I have always had a good ear for music. I took piano lesson from 5 to 10 years old and my teacher died of cancer. That was the first time that someone I liked very much died. I never took another lesson. My dad taught me 4 chords on his guitar and after hours of practice, my sister, Jean and I placed second in a local talent show. We ended up singing on a weekly local radio program. We were known as Larry and Jeannie.

I played cornet in the high school band until my asthma got the best of me. I switched to snare drums. I had two semesters of “Music Appreciation” while in high school. When I was in the Navy I was in the drum and bugle corp. Practice got me out of nearly all inspections because we practiced while the other sailors had to shine their shoes and look impeccable.

I was stationed in Adak, Alaska for 18 months – by choice, I might add – and volunteered to be a late night DeeJay on AFRS (Armed Services Radio). After the Navy my very first job was at a radio station that was just going on the air. That was in a tiny town called Irvine, Kentucky. I was the very first voice on the air. I stayed in radio broadcasting for a little more than twelve years.

Got the point? Music has always been an important part of my life although I still can’t play the piano, or guitar, or cornet. or drums. 😉

I LOVE jazz! However, it usually is just music in the background while I work. I rarely ever sit down with the intention of just listening to one of the nearly 600 jazz CDs I have. Tonight, I never got around to watching a movie. I settled into my recliner as I thought, “I have so many things I Want to do and so little time.” Even though I was trying to concentrate and relax and just listen to the music my mind took side trips. This time I noticed side trips were happening. It’s easier to just let your mind wander from thought to thought than to know that you need to take a break and just de-stress.

With the music still in my ears I began to wonder if I could actually “listen” to the music and only the music and not have my mind trying to interrupt again and again. I began by taking a few deep breaths (do that now – feels good, right?).

I began focusing on one particular instrument in the band, then another. Deciding to do that kept my interest in the music. For about the first 15 minutes my thoughts would not let me focus totally on the music. I once caught my self thinking, “I really ought to check my e-mail or check in at Facebook.” Another time, I realized that my feet were keeping time with the music. As I kept trying… I got totally into the music. I was beginning to really relax and truly enjoy the music.

All I was thinking about was the music that was causing me to think less about anything else. Everything was okay, until I thought that. 😉 I was really enjoying the music, hearing all the notes, following the drums, then the sax, noting the percussionist, etc. That went on for about 2 hours. In the end I was so relaxed and feeling stress-free that I was beginning to get drowsy. Started to go straight to bed, but instead, here I am putting my thoughts about the experience into words thinking they might help you de-stress.

For me it was a great process that made me stop tapping my feet, thinking about the stack of files on my desk and in the end, I was relaxed and inspired and darn near ready to hit the sack!

When you are feeling stressed your mind goes a little wacky – it’s just a big bundle of thoughts, each trying to get or keep your attention. When I made my self focus on the music, I had a feeling of being in control again. It felt good. Why not try it?

Set aside a time when you know you won’t be interrupted – turn off your cell (and your computer), sit back, put some of your favorite music without words on (words distract you), and prepare to exercise the discipline to not think… just listen, until the practice of being totally aware and present spreads to all areas of your body. I saw this as a musical form of meditation. This process helps you perform tasks more skilfully, makes you emotionally resilient, guides your spiritual paths and improves your relationships. Why wouldn’t you want that?

One more thing. I said all that to say this, “effective listening” is a prerequisite to having a healthy love relationship.

BONUS Article: I’ve Got a Secret! – Wanna Know What it is?

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guard Your Heart…

Cheryl Ries, Guest Author

Some things are really not hard to see, it is just our own stubborn refusal to truly notice all the warning signs and the obvious hazards posted there as we swing open yet another wrong door.

When we listen – when we pay attention – when we heed our own inner voice of precaution and when we observe the intentions of others through behavior and action instead of just focusing on the words which can prove empty, we then are able to see without our blinders what is really meant for our protection and our best.

Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. That, in essence, means that whatever choices you make and whatever direction you are now headed must offer first a way to preserve and protect the soul and spirit which lives within you.

IndianProverbIt is wonderful to imbibe in life with a free and fun spirit, sampling and tasting in great variety what is presented, but your ability to choose determines your own ability to reside peacefully and without damage to the inner essence of your own life.

“If your heart has been broken the best way to fix it is to allow time for healing, then open it up again and allow only Love, happiness and joy in. Open your ears to only what the heart needs to hear. In a full heart filled with Love there is room for everything!” ~ Larry James

Choose wisely. Learn to learn from each and every endeavor which doesn’t suit you or in fact has hurt you in part, for in that lesson availed you will find great wisdom and purposeful motivation to change the course you are now on!

Go forth with the most important goal of self-love, which then ensures self-protection and self-preservation! Learn to accept each step as a means to an end through learning to do and to be better and wiser as you go!

cherylriesCopyright © 2012 – Cheryl Ries. Cheryl Ries is a friend who is in the process of writing her first book. This is a preview of things to come. She likes to take a bite out of life’s big juicy apple… and believes that richness is measured in friendships, family, love and what you give away. Visit Cheryl’s Facebook page.

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Call Me Maybe (or NOT!)

Filed under: Communication,Listening,Relationships,Respect — Larry James @ 11:55 am

In every relationship it is important to communicate or stay in touch with your loved one. Today there are many ways to stay in touch.

A new device hits the market and everything changes – but, really, not everything changes. Communication itself has not changed; it is the means we actually use to communicate that changes almost daily.

tincanphonesAt a recent trip to a fast-food place I observed a couple, probably in their 50’s. They were chowing down for about 25 minutes. She was on her cell phone for the first 4 or 5 minutes. On my way to get a drink refill I noticed that he was playing Angry Birds on his smart phone. She did most of the talking, mostly asking yes and no questions. Her voice was loud. If you don’t want anyone to hear your conversation don’t use your phone in restaurants. Chances are those near you don’t want to hear your conversation either. I only heard him utter 4 words during their dinner: “Huh?,” “Yeah,” “Yep,” and “Okay.” Several times he just shook his yes instead of speaking. How sad. Do your best to never let your relationship slip into a “no communication” mode.

There are many ways to communicate nowadays. From smart phones, text messaging (a text cannot only be misunderstood but also misread and misinterpreted), Skype, webcams, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, the facilitation of communication has never been more available. The way cell phones are made today you can do just about anything with them; you can talk, send text messages, take pictures, video record, voice record, listen to radio, download and play Mp3’s, and surf the internet. There has been more and more discussion about how this technology is affecting our relationships and interaction with people in our everyday lives.

coupletalking2Divided attention and distraction are only two of the issues. The lack of visual cues including gestures, facial expressions and posture creates challenges. Miscommunication is another common problem. Not having a phone nearby seems to help foster closeness, connectedness, interpersonal trust, and perceptions of empathy — the building-blocks of relationships.

Don’t make your phone the lifeline for your love life. Sharing emotions over the phone could threaten your relationship, a new Purdue University study found. When far-apart couples revealed feelings, they were less likely to idealize each other, which can lead to dissatisfaction. “If self-disclosure isn’t accompanied by body language, it can be hard to convey understanding,” says study author Ji-Yeon Lee, PhD. If she unloads over the phone, you would be wise to describe your “physical” reaction by saying, “I wish I could hug you,” or “I wish you were here with me now, etc.” This requires really paying attention to what your partner is saying. Not actively listening is a pure form of disrespect. That is often easy to do in long conversations by phone.

Another recent set of studies by Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex showed that our phones can hurt our close relationships. Amazingly, they found that simply having a phone nearby, without even checking it, can be detrimental to our attempts at interpersonal connection.

It’s one thing to use the phone to occasionally stay in touch, however, if you are spending the day with people you really care about, you might want to reconsider the next time you reach for your phone to reply to a text message or check sports scores.

“For couples in which things have been so difficult that they both are considering ending the relationship, problems arising from a difficult phone conversation may push their relationship to the tipping point,” says University of Minnesota professor, Paul Rosenblatt.

pillowtalkFace to face is always best. When communicating face to face, nonverbal behaviors provide context clues for the words we use. Sarcasm and jokes without nonverbal context cues can cause frustration. So, it’s best to use your phone for short, quick check-ins instead of long conversations. Long phone conversations seem to inhibit feelings of intimacy you’d otherwise get when you’re sitting face-to-face with someone.

Dr Daniel Kruger, University of Michigan, the lead author of another study, said that women’s desire for communication, emotional bonding and affection is at peak when their partners fell asleep after having a passionate session of love.

“Rarely is there a time when it is appropriate to withhold relevant communication in a love relationship. Communication is too important to take casually. Say what you mean. Say what you feel in a loving way and say it nevertheless. When you say what you know needs to be said, you will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing.” ~ Larry James

Secret revelations about yourself to your love partner; the relevant truth – meaning revelations that relate to the love relationships’ well being – make for intimate conversation that can assist a healthy love relationship to grow more passionate and deeply more intimate.

P.S. Pillow-talk is fun too! 😉 Pillow talk plays a vital role in happy relationships.

“My wife wrote an e-mail to me saying she was concerned that we have communications issues. I immediately sent an IM asking her to clarify. She messaged me on Facebook saying not to worry but that sometimes we’re not as connected as she’d like. I tweeted her that I love her more than anything. She texted me that she loves me too and was tired after a long day of work. So I leaned over and kissed her good night.” 😉

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I’ve Got a Secret! – Wanna Know What it is?

So many of the couples that come to me for relationship coaching have a dis-ease… it’s called: audioapathy.

Audioapathy is a word I coined to describe the condition often experienced when partners become apathetic about listening when their partner talks with them. It is a dreaded dis-ease that can poison your relationship. Although it appears that men are more affected than women, some women also get it.

notlisteningIneffective communication can make us sad, resentful, upset, angry and more.

It’s important to approach difficult conversations with a spirit of understanding. For your partner to respect your feelings and needs, you need to feel safe to share your true feelings with them. If you don’t things usually get worse.

When your partner talks with you, do you think they feel heard? Do they have your full attention? Knowing how your conversations have gone in the past, do they already have an idea about how you will react before they even speak? This can cause you to become isolated from one another. Can you imagine how this causes them feel? When you are not listened to, remember how it caused you to feel? It can cause you both to drift apart. If your not listening causes them to shut down you have something that you need to do about that.

“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge, LCSW

It takes two people – both working on the relationship – together – to make it something of value.

The secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Many of us are poor listeners. We lose interest as soon as out partner begins to talk about something that has been a concern or that has caused conflict in the past. We find ourselves dipping into our bag of tricks and using anything to avoid that conversation and it’s usually begins by not listening.

“According to the University of Missouri, it takes 25 percent of our mental capacity to hear what someone is saying, leaving the other 75 percent to wander wherever it wants. However, discipline and active engagement in the conversation can significantly improve your listening skills.” ~ Lily Obeck

just-listenListening can help you bridge the communication gap. Not listening usually leads to misunderstanding, frustration, irritation, hurt feelings and more conflict. It can cause your partner to shut down completely. Hearing what they are saying is a physical ability while listening is a skill. Listening skills allow one to make sense of and understand what your partner is saying.

The next time your partner wants to talk, stop whatever you are doing – turn off the TV and your cell phone – and make time to listen. It shows interest in the one you love. Don’t interrupt. Avoid distractions. Maintain eye contact. Nod your head. Never challenge your partner’s assumptions. Listening demonstrates respect. Listen with the intention of really hearing what they are saying. Be patient and understanding. This kind of active listening ensures that you are truly listening to the words that are being spoken.

It’s not as hard as it sounds. Simply keep your mouth shut. Not only will they be more willing to talk to you, but also you will discover that you are being more interested in what they have to say. You will also find that you will both become more interested in talking about the things that really matter.

They are not always right but neither are you. When you listen it’s easier to understand why they feel the way they do. Listen carefully. Digest what was said and perhaps take a brief time-out to think about how you will respond. Effective communication is not about you getting YOUR thoughts and feelings across when THEY are talking.

Yes, communication seems to always be at the top of the list of relationship problems. Bad communication is at the root of many serious marital problems, and is one of the leading causes of divorce. Being apathetic about listening is the nail in the coffin.

Sometimes it’s wise to enlist the help of a third party to help you get a clear perspective of what is really going on. Never be afraid to seek help.

So… again, the secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Really listening!

BONUS Article: #1 Solution to Communication…

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shh!

Filed under: Communication,Listening — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Quiet please! In some relationships… it’s a noisy world.

Sometimes it is best to just listen. Don’t talk.

shhFew things are more frustrating in a relationship than having to repeat yourself because the person you are speaking to isn’t listening or both parties are so determined to get their own points across that they have little regard for what the other is saying. We all like to broadcast their thoughts and feelings, however not at the same time.

Listening and making constant adjustments is not just a short term quality solution. It creates a feedback loop between both partners and allows for both to be heard. Like I said before, sometimes it is best to just listen. Stop what you are doing; no texting, turn off the TV, and stop working on your computer. Make eye contact to show you are interested. Don’t interrupt. Especially if there is disagreement present.

No multi-tasking is allowed while listening. If only we’d listen and stop thinking about what we’re going to say next, we could pick up crucial hints about what our partner is communicating. Let your partner talk until they have said all they need to say, then acknowledge that you heard them and then shut up. Save your comments for another time.

justlistenEffective communication is the most vital component in having a healthy love relationship. Communication occurs when one person talks and the other listens. The “effective” part of communication is one that includes clarity in expression and the mutual exchange of thoughts and feelings.

When couples don’t listen to one another, the result is often frustration, anger, misunderstandings, and hurt. Listening means hearing what is said in terms of understanding, giving the information room in your head, and listening with an open mind to let the information be well-received.

shhhListening to your partner opens the door to trust and communication on a much higher level. Giving your partner their due respect when they are trying to communicate with you only increases the power of the relationship, increasing the chances for a life of happiness and joy.

Listening is a gift you give to your partner. Give it freely without conditions. Listen with affection to your partner; be in their shoes when they speak; listen with patience; listen without arguing, or changing the subject. Listening is an inspired solution to a happy and healthy relationship. Listening is an art.

Shh! Quiet please.

BONUS Articles: Do You Have Audioapathy?
No More “Mr. Fix-it!” – For Men Only

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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