Getting relief from their overwhelming struggles.
Learning “how to” change what is not working.
As one family member said after being told she had to change, “I need to know how to make changes.”
Families want the “how to” not the “being told what to do” in their relationships with each other.
Find out more….
My daughter (who lives with bipolar disorder) was getting more frustrated with us jumping in flooding her with ideas. The constant battles indicated something wasn’t working.
Change was needed. After her first episode, I was fearful of triggering another episode. Frustrated she said, “Mom you don’t listen, by the way quit telling me what to do and help me problem solve!!!”
The word “Listen” struck a nerve with me. I thought I was listening. What I didn’t realize was I jumped in telling her what to do and didn’t hear a word she said. Finally figuring out what listening was, I said, “I am understanding. I am not hearing what you’re saying.” She said, “Yes.”
This was our first step, even though I was scaling the edges of fear of what to do next. I was hanging on to the success of her saying “yes” and for once there was less conflict between us.
It was a slippery slope, yet we were making some progress. Change is a process. The habit of fixing was not easy to change. I slipped many times. I was recognizing the difference between her responding favourably instead of reacting with frustration. With practice shutting my mouth more, rather than talking, I was making progress with her; sharing more of what she was feeling and thinking.
When you focus on listening you will hear words they are saying to give you clues of how to help them. This was a wake-up call to change, fixing to listening.
Fear of causing a conflict was getting in the way of being aware I needed to listen instead of jumping in to fix her problems. Thus, listening to her saying, “Don’t tell me what to do, help me problem solve!”, was the beginning of our relationship working.”
- Tip toeing or walking on egg shells. Fearful of conflict or at a loss of what to say or do to help a family member.
- Jumping in to fix situations not in their control. Feeling desperate to rescue a loved one from pain by jumping in to help.
- Feeling hopeless anything will change. Feeling helpless about knowing how to facilitate healthy change in the family.
- Communication style involves yelling and emotionally charged exchanges. Rather than constructive, honest and healthy conversations.
What I Learned To Do Was:
- Reflect back what I heard her say, “I understand you are not feeling heard, you don’t want to be told what to do, but want help to problem solve”. She agreed.
- Quit vomiting ideas of what to do, but asked if she was open to hearing ideas to consider. Her responding “yes” was an indication things were on track of what she was needing. She wanted to be part of the process of figuring out what to do.
- Work on problem solving. She was willing to hear ideas plus contribute her ideas. This makes a difference in what happens. Once the ideas have been determined, say, “whatever choice you make will be the right one for you.” The responsibility is for them to decide, so they take ownership of the what they will do which empowers them. Telling them what to do puts the responsibility on you instead of them.
The Feeling of Hopelessness Changed to Hopefulness.
- What you say
- What you do
- How you think
- How you feel
Managing these 4 areas in your life, will give you more energy. Create confidence in what you are saying to others, be conscious of the choices you make and clear the mind of non-factual data.
The antidote to anxiousness is appreciate something in your day.
The Lesson to Listening is This:
When you listen, reflect what you hear, ask if you understood them and if they nod yes, you will discover they will engage in more conversation.
Jumping in to fix with your list of ideas, overwhelms them. Shutting down is an option you don’t want, you want an environment that allows everyone the ability to express themselves without causing conflict, but creates open honest, healthy conversations.
Making change is a struggle when you are doing something different than what you have been use to doing. It may appear nothing is working when you are making changes, however, with persistence you will discover positive results are happening.
IT IS A PROCESS. Be patient with yourself and your loved one. You only have control of what you do, not what your loved one does.
“You can’t start a new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
LUV Listen, Understand & Validate
Families Helping Families 10-week sessions are making a difference when honest conversation tools are applied. The KEYS to honest conversations is having family members willing to engage in sharing what is happening in their life. Instead of tip toeing, thinking there is no hope for change and fear conversations will turn into battles, learn HOW TO start a conversation, engage family members and have sustainable results.
Using the LUV formula – Listen, Understand, Validate
Express what you feel and think to have positive outcomes
Engage family members in conversations to resolve issues
“Reflecting back on our journey when conflict was more common than calmness, our approach to communicating with each other had to change, especially with me”.
Once the 10-week session is completed, the next step is joining the monthly maintenance meetings.
Families Helping Families 10-week sessions will be conducted starting Tuesday, August 14, 2018 and Thursday, August 16, 2018.
Airdrie: Tuesday, September 11 to November 13, 2018
Calgary: Thursday, September 6 to November 8, 2018
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SESSIONS AND HOW TO REGISTER GO TO:
(click EVENTS for more info)
(click SHOP to Register)