Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Challenge: A 24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!

First of all, let me say that modern technology is terrific. I love it… and we have a new phenomenon – cell phone addicts! We even have a new phobia – nomophobia: the fear of being out of cell phone contact. Welcome to the digital age!

Can you remember a time where people just used to have conversations? If someone is talking to you, you should be listening to them. Not to worry. Your cell phone will still be there at the end of the conversation, then you can check it or whatever yo do with it. There is a reason that when you get text messages, they stay there on your phone. They won’t go away until you delete them. No need to rush to read your texts. There is a reason it’s called an in-box. Text messages stay there so you can go back and look at them later. Here is the point! If you are with people… be with the people! We all need to interact and talk more face-to-face and enjoy the moment.

CELLphobiaA recent study on cellphone activity conducted at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, found that college students spend nearly nine hours per day on their cell phones.

The report, “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction Among Male and Female College Students,” revealed that of the 164 students surveyed, 60% admitted that their excessive phone use might be an addiction. Smartphones are so ingrained in daily life that it’s not surprising that addiction to such devices is on the rise.

One student recently said, “If I don’t feel my phone vibrate within a 15-minute time range, I check it,” he says. “Now that I think about it, I might be addicted to my phone.” Might be? Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at. It’s been said that the average person spends 4 years of their life looking down at a tiny screen. Do you? Do you tune out from people trying to have a conversation with you by constantly checking your smartphone screen?

CellPhoneFastWe can’t escape social media “and” we can control how it gets in our way of good communication with a real, live human. Are you a cellphone addict? It’s time to take a break from your online life to experience real connections. When you’re in public and you start to feel alone, put your hands behind your head and step away from the phone. We are beginning to be a generation of idiots… smart phones and dumb people. We need to relearn being in the moment. Remember when we just ate the food instead of Instagramming it first?

Remember when you had one phone at home and it was plugged into the wall? You couldn’t take it with you. When you returned, you pushed a button and listened to your voice-mail.

Here is my one-day challenge to you. Let’s call it a “24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!” A sort of digital detox. Just for one day, when you are with your partner or friends, turn your cell phone off or better yet… leave it at home. Ignore your smart phone for only 1 day. Don’t use apps, or play games, or Twitter, or Facebook, or engage in idle texting or check the weather. Look up, and look around. Perspective is a beautiful thing, and it’s hard to get any when your face is glued to a screen. When you return, you can check your texts and your voice-mail. Perhaps it will help you feel really present, and more in-the-moment. I think we could all benefit from an occasional digital diet.

But today, there you are, with your sweetheart looking at your smartphone or tablet, swiping, scrolling, texting, reading, while she sits across the table. Not a good scenario. Obviously we all need to stay connected with e-mail, work and friends, “and” still be present with our close friends and partners. Cell phones can be corrosive to the relationship. Our smart phones are hurting our relationships – and that’s hurting us.

Recently, Applebee’s – the world’s largest casual-dining chain – filed a trademark for something called “No Tech Tuesday,” which is rumored to be in anticipation of a program of the same name.

Here are a few horrifying facts that are intended to cause you to put down your phone.

• Using a cell or portable electronic device while driving increases the risk of crashing by 300%!

PutDownYourPhone2• The average time your eyes are off the road when texting is 5 seconds! At 55 mph that is enough time to drive the length of a football field.

• in 2011, 3,360 people died in a crash related to distracted drivers.

• Parents on smart phones often ignore their kids.

• A study in the Journal of Hospital Infection showed a greater risk of contamination in medical wards where mobile devises were being used.

• A study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reported that heavy use of cell phone use increased depression as well as sleep disorders (specifically in men).

• A microbiologist at the University of Arizona concluded that cell phones have more germs than toilet seats.

• THe iPhone keeps track of a lot of personal information. Your phone is constantly tracking your coordinates and saving them to a secret fie. Which means that if someone gets access to your phone or computer, they can tell exactly where you’ve been.

Somewhere I read that 33% of people would rather give up sex than their cellphone. What is this world coming to? You don’t own your phone. Your phone owns you and that is a sad state of affairs.

Even the Pope got on the bandwagon. Speaking to a 50,000 strong crowd of German altar servers recently, Pope Francis warned of time wasted with eyes glued to screens.

iPhones, Androids and smart phones are everywhere and there are some places they shouldn’t be. I was saddened to recently see a good looking couple having a candlelit dinner together and both of them had their cell phone and were checking things out between bites. NO! It should and could have been a very romantic time together. It would have been much wiser to silence the ringer, put the phone away and ignore it until the date was over. You should be having meaningful conversations not being digitally connected to each other. I thought you were supposed to give your partner – not your smart phone – your full attention when on a date and that conversation was a two-way street. I was tempted to walk over and say, “Put your cell phones down, look each other in the eyes and talk to each other, for God’s sake!” It’s a matter of respect! Here’s a tip: Keep your cell phone off the table during meals so that you’re not interrupted or tempted to fiddle with it when you’re with the one you love.

It’s time we put down our phone and reconnect with each other. Connections are made by people, and not technology.

Perhaps this video poem will inspire you to take on my “one-day challenge” and put down your smartphone!

And finally…

BONUS Articles: 5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones
Put the Cell Phone Down
How to Persuade Someone to Stop Using Their Cellphone During Lunch With You
Cell Phones, Bras, and Breast Cancer Risk

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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Resist Exercising Your Voice Power…

Filed under: Communication,NO YELLING!!,Relationships,Respect — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Positively No Yelling in This House!! That should be a rule you never break!

Practice voice modulation; change your voice pitch and avoid crescendos at all cost. Raising your voice to your partner (some would call this yelling) is the worse form of communication. It is emotionally abusive, unfair and shows a high level of disrespect for your love partner.

NOyellingIf your partner raises their voice, whether man or woman, back off physically from them, lower your voice to slightly more than a whisper sending a signal that you are not willing to listen if the yelling continues. Let them know that you are willing to mutually discuss the situation in a calm and respectful manner.

respectIf you cannot peacefully reach this agreement, leave the scene of the disagreement.

Generally speaking, a louder voice demands attention. If you go away, you deny them the attention they so disrespectfully demand. It is a smart partner who withdraws rather than becoming a partner in a shouting match.

A quiet loving voice manner is respectful and will always get you more of what you want. It is not necessary to raise your voice when talking face-to-face. It demonstrates immaturity and is childish.

Watch your decibels.

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
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
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Friday, October 2, 2009

LoveNote. . .

Filed under: Fear,LoveNote,Relationships,Respect,Trust — Larry James @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , ,

In healthy love relationships we neither lead nor follow. We walk hand in hand, side by side.

When it is appropriate, we can, without fear, let go for a while, always being nearby to love, to share and to support. Love is no tug-of-war.

We trust and respect our love partner giving them the freedom to be who they are, always with our love and best wishes.

Below is a “LoveCloud!”LoveCloud2

lovenotes

Copyright © 2009 – 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 a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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
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