Posts Tagged ‘love’

Curing Resentment Flu

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

As a woman, sometimes it’s easier to blame everyone else for how crummy we’re feeling when we feel overwhelmed, unsupported, exhausted, ignored, or rushed. We catch resentment flu when we feel run down from spending too much of our time and effort on making everyone else happy, instead of first turning to filling our own love needs before we nurture others. Applying your own oxygen mask first during a crisis applies in this scenario. We often need an extra dose of love vitamins during the holiday season to ward off any ill feelings toward our loved ones or mere by-standers. If you’ve caught resentment flu, we’ll teach you how to get better soon with the tips below.

John Gray, Ph.D., author of the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus relationship book series, playfully uses this term to describe what happens to a woman when the score that she is mentally keeping in her head is uneven—whether it’s 0:1000 or 5:20. Martians generally keep score by assigning points based on the size of the accomplishment. The story goes that on Venus, score is kept differently than on Mars, because every gift of love is scored equally—1 point. On Venus, little things are important as they make a big difference. For women, noticing the little things, means that you care and are paying attention. If Martians redirect their energy and attention, then they can be more successful in supporting their Venusian partners and friends. When Martians are talking to Venusians the quickest way to score points is to NOT try to fix her, change her, or make the conversation about you. If the score is uneven, there may be resentment flu in the air.

This tool doesn’t need to be used solely within a love relationship between the opposite sexes. It can also be used with friends, family, or same sex partners if the intent is on finding creative ways to show your appreciation and kindness towards one another. The other person does not need to know the score, or that you are even using this tool. The intent is a quick check-in with the only person you can control in this situation: you. Ask yourself how you can optimistically reframe how you are showing gratitude in the relationship.

If you like having fun in your relationships, then here are a few entertaining ways that men and women can pump healthy doses of love into their relationships throughout winter flu season.

How You Can Score BIG Points with Men:

You can score points with men by doing things, but most men will give you BIG points for when you respond with appreciation for their efforts to help. Showing appreciation is high on most men’s love needs. Praising what they are doing well, will usually net you more of the same behavior, because you are positively reinforcing what you like, instead of nagging or putting him down for what you don’t like. The quickest way to start feeling better is to catch a man doing the things you like. Show appreciation by verbalizing what he is doing that helps you. The more you thank a man, the more he will want to do things for you.  This has worked for me with every man or boy I’ve shown appreciation to whether they are related to me or not.

Another way to score big points with a man is to overlook his mistakes. If he gets lost driving, for example, graciously forgive him. Refrain from giving him a hard time, or pointing a finger at his error. You will score big with him. Remember men give 50 and 100 points at a time.

How You Can Score LOTS of Points with Women:

  • Give lots of hugs throughout the day.
  • Any time you do something without being asked, you score a bonus point.
  • Any gentle, non-sexual touching scores you a point.
  • Notice out loud when she looks cold, and then ask if you can turn the heat up…score 1 point for each thing.
  • (Offering to build an open fire may score more points than just flipping the heat switch to on.)
  • Three times a week spend the first twenty minutes giving her your undivided attention. The longer she shares, the more points you get.
  • Plan a relaxing or romantic getaway.
  • Tell her in advance about the getaway=more time for her to share with friends=more points.
  • Leave little notes lying around, post on the mirror, leave in her purse, put on the fridge, on her dashboard, on her computer. Every note scores a point.
  • Do easy things on her to-do list, eg pick up the kids, drop something off, call somewhere for her. Again, each thing nets a point.

Women spend much of their time planning, thinking, and nurturing their relationships, because this is how they show their love, and it’s what’s important to them. When men reciprocate these small acts of love, then women feel cared for, treasured, and loved.

The point scoring analogy is only to be used with humor and good will. Check-in with your emotions. Regardless if you’re male or female, young or old, we are all individuals and we all attach different meanings to acts of love. We all get off-balance during times of heightened activity or stress. Scoring points is a fun tool to assess the health of our relationships, and place attention back on what matters most: connecting and having a good time together.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

Strengths-Based Teamwork

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Successful business ventures often rely on the communication savvy of everyone involved in the deal. Relying on one person to lead or motivate a group leads to: reduced functionality if that person is absent, a stressful environment, unhealthy communication patterns, and increased conflicts. We all come from different backgrounds and families. What’s amazing is how we come together as a team to produce finished products. Here are 3 ways you can set yourself and your team up for success. They all involve self-reflection, greater self-awareness, and implementation of new skills based on both your and others’communication strengths.

  1. 1. Use DISC Profiling to Rephrase Your Wants

DISC is an inventory that is taken specifically with the work environment in mind. It identifies your adapted behavior in the workplace, as well as your natural style. Bringing in someone to facilitate taking the DISC profile and interpreting the results with your team adds value to how well your team interacts with one another.

One of the fun things I did at the last corporate DISC training was to ask each participant what their pet peeve was (instead of what words to avoid or not to use) in regards to how other’s communicate with them. We also spent a great deal of time on what does work for each participant. We collated everyone’s results in a table for easy reference back in the office. During team training that teaches you communication skills, you learn more than just tendencies or preferences, you get to implement the knowledge right away, which ensures that you retain this information for later use.

It is critical to know that the greater awareness you have of your style and how to adapt how you communicate with others in the group based on their style is what sets you and your team apart from other groups operating by chance alone. Doing DISC as a group allows everyone to see patterns and how objectively to make changes in the way they speak and interact so the strengths of all team members are utilized rather than just the more extroverted or dominant communication and personality styles.

  1. 2. Understand Gender Communication Differences

While DISC identifies your adapted and natural communication styles, going one step further to understand how men and women prefer to communicate leads to even greater results.

  • Men tend to use communication to solve problems.
  • Women tend to use communication to connect.

For example, at work—a woman’s natural inclination to take into account how a decision affects all parties involved both short and long term. Calling on this strength during a sale or when weighing options ensures greater logistical planning than a more single-minded approach. Calling on a man’s inclination to either solve a dilemma, or shelve for later is helpful in keeping negotiations focused with the end in sight.

Mars Venus Coaches in your area can facilitate DISC trainings for your organization and offer free Stress Management Seminars and workshops geared to getting what you want at work and gender differences in selling and buying. If you’re pressed for time you can also read the following online articles or take aneWorkshop too!

  1. 3. Practice Conflict Resolution Skills

It is critical to know that under stress, we tend to do two things:

  • We revert to our natural DISC style—graph II, not our adapted DISC style—graph I. This is because under stress it is harder to mask our natural preferences for communicating.
  • We become more like our gender, because of our physiology and the way blood flows in our brains according to our sex.

Therefore, utilizing an objective observer or a facilitator that interprets how you work as a team is more helpful, then just reading about it or studying these skills alone.

The following are the 3 steps to conflict resolution and what primary DISC gravitates to each of the steps.

1. CREATE SPACE. S’s bring all views, ideas and opinions into dialogue.

Change location to a neutral place

-Use active listening to explore rather than condemn opposing views

Take breaks often to cool off during negotiations

2. ADD VALUE. C/I’snaturally use their skills to add value and make sure all voices are heard.

Cs (Ts) add value by generating logical alternativesto the conflict issues

Is (Fs) add value by creating options for growthfor all parties so no one leaves feeling empty handed

3. SEEK CLOSURE. D’s ensure an end result.

agree on decision principles before making decisions (i.e. equal input)

-take one step at a time and define the steps

-once steps are outlined and decided upon, close the book on conflict

The bottom line is to turn what you learn into translatable skills. Learning communication and resiliency skills that focus on your strengths enable you to stay present in the moment. When you are able to operate continually from this place of presence, then you will find there are no fights, conflicts will decrease, and both your productivity and efficiency will improve. If your entire team can identify what best works for them and how to adapt to other people’s preferences, then the climate and culture at work will cease to feel like “work,” and more like play—just like it felt as a kid on the playground at recess playing kickball.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Mars Venus Coaching

Corporate Media Relations

6 Ways Our Heaters Stop Loving & Our A/C Gets Stuck

Friday, May 20th, 2011

At Mars Venus Coaching we use words like: love tank and love heater. Regardless of the terminology we use, when it comes to relationships we are all looking for the same thing: love. We want our partner to love us for who we are with our limitations, after all we’re not perfect. But can we really love our partner for who they are after we’ve experienced their daily limitations and imperfections? If we feel any blame toward our partner, it makes it even more difficult to accept, understand, and forgive our partners limitations. Learning to love them when times are difficult is when our love actually grows. Having an open heart, rather than a closed one is how to make unconditional love automatic.

Our hearts close up when we don’t work to address past feelings that threaten our current relationships. If we weren’t told as children it was okay to have some of these feelings, and that we would still be loved; then it is something we need to do for ourselves as adults so we can grow, mature, and have healthy adult relationships. We tend to repeat patterns, until we learn a new way to break them, and move on. Beneath each of the ways we stop loving our partners there is a solution for how to overcome these tendencies. Generally speaking women relate more to some of the tendencies and men to others, but we experience all of them to some degree. The six ways in which we stop loving our partners when we cave in to re-experiencing past feelings are:

1. Loss of Trust. Suddenly you may find yourself wondering and trusting if your partner is doing his or her best or that they care. You question and doubt their best intentions.

Even though he or she would risk their life to save yours, you begin judging them as if they do not care about you.

For Women: Re-parent by slowly opening up and care for yourself. Temporarily stop depending on your partner, and nurture your female side.

2. Loss of Caring. You stop caring about your partner’s needs and feelings. You justify this by the mistreatment you’ve suffered at their hands. We said we would risk our lives to save them, and suddenly we don’t care about them.

For Men: Trust yourself to be successful in the future. Stop depending on your partner’s trust in you to feel successful. Nurture your male side.

3. Loss of Appreciation. Sometimes overnight you begin to feel as if this relationship gives you nothing, whereas other times you had been so grateful and happy. It feels like you are doing everything, while they do nothing. Having this sudden memory lapse, you are now feeling deprived and totally no appreciation for your partner.

For Women: Re-parent yourself by respecting and supporting yourself and nurture your female side.

4. Loss of Respect. Suddenly you feel like withholding love and punishing your partner when just a while ago you wanted only to love and support your partner. Even though you genuinely feel like making your partner happy, now your main focus is caring about yourself.

For Men: Re-parent yourself by appreciating yourself for all you do, suspend needing your partner’s acknowledgement and appreciation temporarily. Nurture your male side. Do not feel like you have to surrender your sense of self in order to please your partner.

5. Loss of Acceptance. All at once you begin noticing everything your partner does wrong or needs to change. This is the same person you felt was perfect and perfect for you, and now out of nowhere you have a compulsion to change, improve, or rehabilitate them.

For Women: To re-parent, slowly open up and take time to understand and experience your feelings and validate your own needs. Release the need to change him.

6. Loss of Understanding. Suddenly while our partners are saying something, we become critical or judgmental of their feelings and reactions. We do this by minimizing their pain as if it doesn’t really matter. However, if they were physically wounded, we would still risk our lives to save them. Even though this is the most important person in our life—we quickly become disinterested and impatient with them. When they are sharing their feelings, we become defensive and feel as if we’re being attacked.

For Men: To re-parent slowly open up and appreciate yourself for all that you do, even if your partner is not doing this. Graciously excuse yourself, go into your cave, and do something that nurtures your male side. Take the time to consider what her feelings are without feeling pressure to immediately respond and say something.

If we find our hearts closed or closing down, it is our responsibility to open them back up. We are no longer children, and as an adult in an adult relationship, we have to take responsibility for our actions. By taking responsibility even if you still feel defensive, you’ll release yourself from negativity, and be able think logically about what was being said. By nurturing your female side if you’re a woman and your male side if you’re a man, you bring value back to yourself, while working through the feelings.

Childhood feelings threaten our responsibility if we find ourselves feeling it is the other person’s fault for not doing x, y, or z or doing a, b, c, to us. It is by acknowledging you feel blame, and then deciding for ourselves that we are committed to forgiveness, that we’re able to come back to our adult selves and release our immature feelings. Next time we’ll talk about how to nurture your male/female sides.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching – The Oxytocin High on Mother’s Day

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about oxytocin and its many benefits. There’s nothing like the rush of oxytocin to fuel your day. As a mom, as a daughter, as a friend, as a business woman—it doesn’t matter what title is attached to your name as a female, what matters is knowing how to produce oxytocin for yourself. Recently, during one of the monthly stress seminar’s I present to both men and women in my community to help them understand how their physiology affects how they cope with stress, and how it actually increases stress for the opposite sex if you aren’t respecting and working with the differences…I had an aha moment. True, I had my mother-in-law in the audience, and one of her comments re-sparked what my purpose is as a Mars Venus Coach. Being that we’re just around the corner for Mother’s Day, as I was interacting with the crowd, I realized the greatest gift I could give to all mom’s in my world is: the gift of how to make your own oxytocin.

Are you familiar with oxytocin? Have you heard it called the love and nurturing hormone? Until recently, oxytocin was only thought to be produced when mothers were breastfeeding their babies. Recent studies now show women are capable of producing oxytocin on a daily basis. We just didn’t know that some of the activities we were engaging in do this, and some don’t. We know now what activities stimulate oxytocin production, and which ones don’t. Oxytocin is now known as a stress-reducing hormone for women. Why this fact is important, and how we can produce more oxytocin is a gift to spread to as many women as possible is the sad fact—we aren’t doing enough of these activities, and consequently our health, our relationships, our abilities to reproduce, our jobs, our children—they’re all suffering.

Men produce a different stress-reducing hormone—and it’s something we’re more familiar with hearing about: testosterone. However, there’s a couple of catches. Women produce testosterone too, however, it does little to reduce our stress. It actually impedes the production of oxytocin for us. And, guess where we make a lot of testosterone on a daily basis? At work—basically, whenever we’re competing, and being rushed from one thing to the next. In addition to testosterone production, we also have excess cortisol (the stress producing hormone, also known as the squirt of energy that helps us fight or flee a situation), that prevents us from properly producing enough oxytocin to keep stress levels low.

My mother-in-law during the stress seminar commented that she wished she knew this information early-on in her marriage and career. Knowing how to stimulate the levels of oxytocin in your blood CHANGES everything! Your waistline for starters—it will shrink. Your relationships as well—you’ll focus on the ones that help you produce more oxytocin, and less testosterone. Your happiness too—90% of the oxytocin you are responsible and capable of producing, you don’t need anyone else to do it for you. You can do it with minimal cost, or you could go all out cialis price online. The knowledge is what is imperative.

In our society we are now doing everything contrary to keeping the hormones in our bodies balanced. So, we need this information to help us re-focus on nurturing ourselves first. Nurture and love yourself first by doing activities that produce the love and nurturing hormone, oxytocin. Then, and only then, can you begin to take care of others, both in your family, with neighbors and friends, and also in your professional line of work too.

An easy way to identify if you are in a primed state to produce oxytocin is if you are feeling any of these feelings, then you are UNABLE to produce oxytocin. Identify one of these feelings, and then switch to an oxytocin producing activity to get the nasty cortisol and testosterone out of your system. Oxytocin decreases when you feel:

• Alone
• Ignored
• Rushed
• Overwhelmed
• Unsupported
• Unimportant

Another important thing to remember is if other people are demanding, requiring, or expecting you to do x, y, z for their benefit, then it is very difficult for oxytocin to be released…, because you are being rushed and unsupported. If you find that your kids, husband, friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, or customers are making you feel this way. What you have to do is then figure out a way to release yourself from being guilted into performing tasks for others. Sometimes all it takes is re-framing the situation for yourself. Other times you will have to be assertive and use your conflict resolution skills to take things off of your to-do list, or to negotiate and ask for their help in return for what you’re doing for them.

Activities that you can do to produce oxytocin for yourself are:

• Plan a special occasion
• Schedule a walk & talk
• Grow/make something
• Create a “Have Done” list
• Reach out to friends
Hire a coach

Activities you can do for the mom’s in your life to help them produce oxytocin are:

• Hug them 4x a day
• Leave them a note
• Take them out on a special just because occasion
• Give them a flower
• Notice, listen, & compliment them
• Give them a spa day
• Help them without being asked

Just remember—nurturing yourself and the mom’s in your life is not being selfish or frivolous. It is taking an active stance on the most important ladies in your life so they have lasting health and happiness.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

Single Ladies Give Yourself a Gift This Year!

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Oxytocin is a stress reducing hormone released in women. When a woman does somthing that produces Oxytocin, her Cortisol (stress hormone) levels begin to drop and she starts to feel less stressed and more relaxed. Below is a list of 10 sure fire ways a women can produce Oxytocin for herself this coming Mother’s Day. Some of them might just surprise you.

1. Get a massage

2. Get your hair done

3. Get a manicure or pedicure

4. Take yourself on a shopping spree

5. Volunteer or give to a charity

6. Go to the theatre, a concert, or dance performance

7. Host an intimate gathering of your closest friends

8. Spend time at the beach, a river, or a lake

9. Go to an art musuem or a cultural event

10. Hand write your future self (and a few close friends if you like) a love note

Valentine’s Day For Empty-Nesters… “Hello Stranger!”

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Valentine’s day is here. Sometimes we assume that if you’ve celebrated one or twenty Valentine’s days with your honey, the preparation will be the same, and you’ll know exactly what your spouse expects. The reality is we may find ourselves year to year still wondering if what we’re doing for our spouse is actually fulfilling or satisfying their needs. You may do and get things for your spouse based on what advertisers say you should do, or what you think you would like if you were in the other’s shoes. But do we really know? Have you asked for clarification? Do you tell your spouse what makes you fulfilled?

If we are feeling the symptoms of an empty nest AND one or more empty love tanks (we have ten) at Valentine’s, then it may take all of our energy just to summon up the effort to recognize the value our spouse brings to our marriage. Forget a card or flowers or even the thought of a romantic evening. This may have all stopped long ago. Some of us may merely be throwing money or words at our relationship, and think it is still working, but our heart hardened a few years back. And now in addition to the kids leaving home, we are faced with the dilemma of staying in the same car with our spouse or looking elsewhere for a new car to make us feel young or in control.

However, if you think back on all of the Valentine’s you’ve celebrated with your partner, you may discover it is like looking at a scrapbook of snap shots depicting the state of your marriage as you celebrated this day each year that screams “be romantic or else!” Trying to remember where and what you and your spouse did for each of the past Valentine’s may be a fun way of re-connecting, laughing, and returning value to the time you’ve spent together raising yourselves.

If you have been like every other busy family in past years slogging through work and a myriad of after-school activities, sports practice, work related social functions, chores, fitting in workouts, running errands, and paying bills—when your kids get ready to or have just left home to pursue their interests and make their way in the world, the house can feel empty all of a sudden. You wake up looking at your partner, and you don’t know who you are let alone who the other person is anymore. Sometimes this wake-up call even occurs before your kids graduate from high school! Realization dawns that all of the time you spent lavishing unconditional love and support on your kids as you grew them into the young adults they are today—all that time is about to become available again.

This free time can be unsettling, exhilarating, terrifying or all three, because now you have a chance to re-focus on yourself and your needs. This also means getting re-acquainted with your spouse if in year’s past you were busy raising your child(ren). An easy way to re-focus on how you and your spouse will continue to grow together on Valentine’s is a romantic candle-lit dinner. Sometimes a special dinner at home—get take out if possible so no one has to cook—with the lights down low is cheaper, but more intimate than driving, making it on time to the reservation, and conversing in a crowded restaurant. Now is the perfect time over a candlelit dinner to ramble on about those unfulfilled dreams and wishes, and re-evaluate how you and your partner can make action plans by chunking your dream into bite-sized goals to help make each other’s dreams a reality.

How we decide to cope with this new-found freedom can either make our marriages stronger or break them apart. Using Valentine’s day to your advantage, by rekindling romance and talking about how to make both of your dreams a reality is the initial solution to becoming comfortable with the kids being away from home. The second part is checking-in with ages and stages, to see if you’ve been hitting the milestones. If you have an empty love tank, then chances are you’ll need to figure out what the needs are that were not met in previous stages of development, so you can start filling those love tanks and get back on track. Attending a Mars Venus workshop or reading one of Dr. John Gray’s books (author of Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus) that explains ages and stages in an easy to understand format with The Ten Time periods are efficient ways to begin work on the long-term solution of living a fulfilled life.