The Best Way to Handle People Who Talk Too Much

Do you struggle to deal with people who talk too much? This is a surprisingly common problem.

More surprising, though, is the fact that many just live with this difficulty instead of finding ways to better cope.

Here are some quick suggestions to be more intentional so you’re less frustrated.

The Specific Reasons You’re Frustrated

Ok. You walked away from that conversation irritated once again. Why were you bothered? That’s the first question to ask.

Once you know the answer, your solution will be way easier.

Most people enjoy conversation. We usually feel validated when we make verbal exchanges about our lives and what’s going on.

Mutual sharing on both sides happens. The result is energizing and works to strengthen relationships and improve our lives. Sometimes, those conversations can be quite long without ever feeling draining.

When mutual sharing doesn’t happen, though, a five-minute conversation can drain the life out of you quicker than an hour-long one.

Besides the fact that someone you know talks too much, there likely are other underlying and specific problems that bug you.

It could be that the person you have in mind talks too much because of the following:

  • They only talk about themselves
  • Are consistently negative
  • Generally engage in conversation at inconvenient times
  • Talk about things that don’t interest you
  • Are prone to conflict with you
  • Don’t come across as trustworthy
  • Are entertaining romantic interest in you–which, if you’re reading this article because of them, you don’t feel the same way.
  • Several other possibilities

Once you’ve decided on a more specific problem, you’ll be able to come up with a more specific solution.

Stop Worrying About Being “Nice”

Yes, you want to be kind. That’s likely one of the reasons you have a hard time with this one. But is being “nice” in conversation really being nice?

Here’s an all-too-common scenario:

The person in question has now been talking for 20 minutes. Your eyes started glazing over 17 minutes ago. You’re engaging in a plethora of head nodding and uh-huhs and disheveled, anxious eye-contact. But the person you’re talking with (or more accurately, the person who’s talking to you) isn’t picking up on the cues that you’ve sunk into the perilous swamps of one-sided conversation and that you’re struggling to come up for air.

What you need to come to grips with is that the uh-huhs, head nods and pitiful eye-contact you’re exhibiting leave you feeling guilty for not being more engaged.

By pretending to be engaged, you’re actually not being “nice” even if the person rattling off to you hasn’t noticed.

Instead, be prepared to be honest. Admit if the person talking to you lost you or you’re too busy or whatever the reason.

If you need an excuse to exit the conversation, you needn’t lie. Your life is busy enough without having to do that.

You have kids to pick up, bathroom breaks, pressing calls, texts and emails and the list goes on.

Stop worrying about being “nice” and just be honest even if there’s risk of hurt feelings. By so doing, you’ll be well on your way to acing the talk-too-much problem!

Another way to deal with this challenge is to set a specific amount of time aside in your mind. It could be five or ten minutes. After the time is up, kindly but firmly share that you need to get going.

There’s a reason that person that frustrates you is in your life. It’s likely beneficial for them to share with you. By striking a balance, you can be an encouragement and help without becoming overwhelmed! If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

First Date: 3 Red Flags to Avoid

It’s time for your first date. You want to make the best-possible first impression. But first impressions are a two-way street.

What if that first date winds up being an epic fail and it wasn’t because of you?

Worse yet is another fear. What if your first date gives you some serious red flags and you don’t even notice them? Because you don’t notice them, you later find yourself deep into a toxic relationship?

Although there’s a host of potential red flags, here are three to consider.

Your First Date Only Talks About Themselves

Want a major Red Flag?

You’re an hour into your time together and your date hasn’t ceased talking about themselves. It’s almost like you’re invisible—like you’re not even there.

Have you noticed or are you blindly overlooking that fact?

Your relationship will always struggle if only one side is numero uno.

Things aren’t likely to get better, either. Most sensible people are on their “best behavior” for first dates.

What’ll happen when familiarity sets in? The odds aren’t very good that your opinion will matter or that you’ll be valued.

All your needs, hopes and dreams will be eclipsed by the narcissist you’ve made such a large part of your life.

Your First Date Pressures You to Be Physical

You shouldn’t feel any pressure to be physical on your first date. Your date needs to respect that fact or you’re starting out on shaky ground.

No, you don’t owe your date a thing if they buy you something to eat or a memento.

Take some control and avoid opportunities or places that could lead you to compromise or even danger.

It’s best to decide ahead of time on this issue. If your date can’t respect your boundaries on a first date, tell them to get lost.

Your First Date Is Too Pushy

Your initial date should be relaxed. It’s better if you don’t go to a fancy dinner or do something that could feel high pressure.

If your date tries to make things feel otherwise, they could be intentionally (or unintentionally) moving too fast.

They may fear losing you and feel the only way to prevent that is to do something big.

The truth is that there’s already enough pressure on a first date as it is. Find something to do that’s fun and relaxing instead of cramped and potentially stressful.

There’s no need to feel pressured into another date. You’ll need time to process that later.

In Conclusion

Watch how your date treats other people and then decide if you’d like to be treated the same way.

No date will be perfect just like you’re not perfect. This needs to be understood.

At the same time, you want to look for patterns that could cause you more grief than it’s worse. And if you find patterns like that, put the brakes on and then change lanes. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Why What I Admire In You Also Says Something About Me

If you ask 100 different people who they admire most and why you’ll get dozens of different answers.

But did you know that what we admire in others tells us something about ourselves? And it’s not just superficial tidbits that can be unearthed through such an observation as we’ll see.

What You Admire in Friends

What you admire in friends tells you something about yourself.

Perhaps what you appreciate and admire isn’t exactly enduring. It could be simply that you’re drawn to and admire people who wear nice clothes and look a certain way. Or maybe you admire a certain socio-economic status.

Even with superficial admiration, you can learn something. We all are superficial to an extent so it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person if you admire traits that are only “skin deep”.

But let’s dig a little further. Perhaps you admire friends who have grit. Friends who had to overcome significant adversity.

If so, it’s likely you had to persevere despite overwhelming obstacles or that you currently are doing your best to make an attempt at it. This likely causes you to appreciate music artists who make songs about overcoming obstacles and causes you to admire those artists.

Maybe you love fitness or adventure and you admire those who hold similar likes, desires and activities.

Regardless, when you discover what you admire you’ll understand yourself a lot better. These admirations aren’t mere coincidences.

Sometimes what you appreciate in someone could get you into trouble. Admiring traits that aren’t, in fact, admirable could tell you that you’ve strayed a bit from where you want to be.

The Components of Purpose

When we get into things like the greatest contribution you can make to humanity, things can get hazy.

Finding the big “why” to your existence isn’t easy for most people. Some never find it. Some compare finding this “calling” to digging it out from the rubble of a collapsed building.

To find such a purpose is frustrating and sometimes agonizing. There are a series of successes and failures along the way.

Sometimes, you may just long for someone to throw you a clue. If you want a clue in this painstaking process, stop and think about who you admire.

Could it be that you are supposed to become what you admire most in others?

No, not a re-creation of someone else. Just you at your very best.

That you are to become someone who others will admire. A signpost in the dark night of others finding their way.

So, when you look at others and admire them. Stop and take notice.

Sure, what you admire might be their hairstyle. But, then again, it could cut to the very core of who you are and who you’re supposed to become. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

The Problem with Assuming Others Are Perfect

The primary problem with believing others are perfect is that you believe a lie. And believing lies about how life works can cause you to say and do things that aren’t in your best interest or the best interest of others.

Before you go beating yourself up about doing this, first realize that virtually everyone is tempted to believe that others are perfect at times.

What are some specific problems you might experience if you falsely conclude that others are perfect? Here are some possibilities.

Discouragement

Surprised by this one? I bet not. That’s because when you assume other people you know (or apparently don’t know that well) are perfect, you look at yourself and immediately put yourself down.

You know better than anyone how many flaws you have. But you hardly have a shred of evidence about the flaws of the person you’re measuring yourself by.

You conclude that you don’t measure up and in a big way. The specific things you compare to the “perfect” person may vary widely from the perfect relationship, house, kids, career, to education and on the list goes.

But the result is predictably the same. You want to go into your room and pull the covers over your head. The sun’s shining outside as you do so. You just don’t care, though.

You wrongly assumed someone was perfect who wasn’t and drew unfair and inaccurate conclusions about yourself. You decided for the moment that you are worthless.

That’s a big mistake and couldn’t be further from the truth.

Envy and Jealousy

Besides discouragement or even depression because of the comparison game, you may experience a very different emotion: jealousy, envy and maybe even hate.

You’re over your initial discouragement and now it’s time to retaliate. It’s time to fight.

And fight you should. You should fight every temptation to label yourself with words like useless, worthless and loser.

There’s just one problem with envy, jealousy and hate. You make an unsuspecting bystander the object of your bitterness and hurt.

False ideas are your real enemy, not people.

Ironically, that same person you’re jealous of may envy you and feel like you’re perfect. After all, they see all of their own flaws. But they have zero data about you.

You May Have an Affair

You may severely damage a committed relationship by imagining someone else is “perfect.”

You may regularly tell yourself how “perfect” a different person is and how flawed your old partner is. But the time will come when you see all the flaws of your new flame for what they really are.

Those flaws may, in fact, be greater with your new partner than if you’d just stayed put.

Summing Things Up

We’re all very imperfect people. It’s easier to admit that about ourselves than others. Don’t believe the “perfect people lie.”

It will only cause you unnecessary problems. You are far more valuable than your problems and imperfections. Be the best you that you can be.

That’s what the world needs most from you—a fully alive you! If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Balance Dating When You Have Kids

If you have kiddos in addition to a developing relationship, you know firsthand the challenge this can be.

Sometimes it feels like a tug-of-war match. The only thing is, you feel that if both sides don’t win, then everyone loses.

If you’re looking for some tips to help, here are a few.

Good Enough is Good Enough

The first thing to realize is that you won’t magically find the perfect, ideal balance. As bad as it sounds, you’re looking for good enough–Good enough with all its rugged edges.

This will be roughest at the start of your relationship. That’s because there should be a healthy distance of your potential mate from your children.

Because you do so much separately, either your date, children or both will feel left out at times.

You want to protect your children and rightly so.

What if they grow attached to your date faster than you do and the relationship abruptly ends?

What if you “make” your kids abruptly accept your date as a part of the family when the date hasn’t earned that honor yet?

Sometimes it will seem like one side is more of a priority. Just work at making a balance.

As the relationship progresses, this will become easier once the time is right to spend time with your significant other and children at the same time which leads us to our next point.

Just Ask Them

We all can be good at feeding “the elephant in the room.” You know, the nagging fear that your kids or date aren’t getting enough quality time. We tend to avoid touchy subjects instead of tackling them straight on.

Ironically, this usually makes more work for us in the long term.

Ask your date and kids if they’re getting enough time with you. Sometimes the responses you get will be emotionally charged and leave you scratching your head.

You’ll wonder if they are accurate assessments or just feelings. You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

But at least you won’t be playing the guessing game.

One caution with this: be prepared that you may receive an answer you don’t want.
Prepare yourself beforehand not to become angry or defensive in that case.

You want to keep lines of communication open. You also want to make sure that you don’t discourage transparency and honesty from your date or kids.

Do Things Together

If your date and children start doing things together at the proper stage in the relationship, things will gradually become easier.

As the level of commitment increases, so should the time you all spend together. At first, you’ll have to decide when to even introduce your date. Then, you’ll get to decide how to slowly include everyone.

Dating emotions can be strong. You know that already. Don’t make these decisions on the highs and lows of emotions. Ask the opinion of those closest to you or a skilled therapist.

This likely won’t give you an exact answer. But you won’t be shooting in the dark anymore. You’ll likely hit close to where you should be. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Introduce Your Kids to Someone You’ve Been Dating

Looking for the ever-elusive relationship fairy to give you the nod? For her to tell you that you should marry your partner?

Good luck with that one!

Although there are plenty of emotions that go into a budding relationship, deciding if your partner is the one doesn’t need to be a mystical decision.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding. But here are some ways to help determine if your partner is “the one.”

Most Of The Time, You’re Happy

This is an important one because if you ask 10 different people how they knew their spouse was the one, you may get ten different answers.

It may have been because their partner made them laugh, was kind, romantic, responsible, physically attractive or any combination of things.

But boiled down, it meant that, most of the time, they were happier with their partner than unhappy.

It sounds very similar to what makes someone conclude they have a satisfying job. Most of the time, they are happy with it so they stick with it.

Conversely, if you increasingly find you’re unhappy in your relationship, this could be a sign to hold off.

Others Say Your Partner’s The One

You shouldn’t necessarily give up on a relationship if someone close to you doesn’t like your partner.

However, if you have more than one close friend or family member who thinks your significant other is the one, that’s worth paying attention to.

Your friends and family are able to maintain a less biased view of your relationship. While you’re worried about your relationship working and doing all you can to make it a success, they’re just watching.

Most of the time, those who know you best have a pretty good idea. They can easily tell if you become a better person because of the person you’re with or the opposite.

If you’re consistently happy, they pick up on that. If there’s a consistent dark cloud over your life that wasn’t there before your relationship started, there’s no way those closest to you won’t notice.

Spend A Lot Of Time With Them

Lastly, spend plenty of time with your partner before deciding to marry.

Spend enough time with them to know if you’re happy most of the time with them or not.

Marriage never should be a knee-jerk or desperation move. Those who hope marriage will “clean up” their relationship problems are almost always disappointed.

Make the reason you marry be because you can’t imagine going through life without your partner.

The more time you spend together, the less you’ll second guess your decision. You’ll just know. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Single Parent Dating

There’s no way around it. Single-parent dating can be a challenge.

Don’t let that discourage you, though. The ultimate goal of single-parent dating is an eventual happier life with increased stability for all. And that certainly is possible.

How so? Here are some quick tips to help you get there.

Plan Time for Everyone

The infatuation or “in-love” stage of a relationship is a blast. The temptation is to unknowingly spend all your time with your new-found potential mate.

This can lead to emotions for your children that are difficult to keep in check. They’ll likely feel they already lost one of their parents and now they’re losing you.

Fear, anger, sadness and jealousy are normal emotions for children to struggle through during just about any single-parent dating scenario at some point. If most of your time goes only into your dating relationship, your children will really struggle.

Also, if you’re not careful, you may feed into unrealistic expectations of how much time you’ll be able to devote to your potential mate in the future. You certainly don’t want to create the bad habit of neglecting your children once the relationship grows more serious.

At times, you may wonder if your kids are totally against your date. But that may not be the case at all. They just desperately NEED time with you.

So be sure to spend time with your date and children separately and, later, together when the time is right.

Your Children Are Dating Too

The reality is when you date someone when you already have kids, your potential mate has children or both, everyone’s involved in the dating process.

This means that if you can’t see a healthy fit with your date into your family, then it’s best to end the relationship sooner than later.

This also means that even if you think you’ve found “the one” there needs to be sensitivity towards your children.

Be careful about showing affection too early in a relationship around them. This could be difficult for your child to handle.

Also, realize that just as you’ll experience ups and downs in your dating relationship, so will your child.

At one point, your child may be excited about the prospect of a new family dynamic. Another time, they may be strongly opposed.

Frequently talk to and prep your child about where the relationship is going being careful only to share what is necessary.

Only include your children in activities with your date when things become more advanced. Especially young children can develop a quick attachment with your potential mate.

It could be a challenging loss if they build a relationship with your date only to see it dissolve before their eyes.

Wrapping Things Up

Sound challenging? It is.

But is it possible to have success in single-parent dating and reach a conclusion everyone’s happy with? Yes.

It’ll be work. Then again, is there really anything good that doesn’t require work?

Keep researching ways to become an all-star at single-parent dating, talk to others who’ve been through the process and consider reaching out to a trusted professional to increase your chances of success.

With the help and encouragement of others, you can do this! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What Your Mate Needs From You

What do we fixate on most in our relationships? The exact opposite of this title.

If we were honest, we’d admit that, much of the time, we think, “What I need from my mate” as most important to us.

But the surest way to get what you need in a relationship is to give your mate what they need. What you need will naturally flow back to you in that case.

Does this mean we should do unselfish things with selfish motives? No. Instead, it highlights how important it is to take care of our mate.

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you do just that.

Listen Without Judgment

Everywhere you turn there is criticism. A lot of the criticism is true. We all have problems and shortcomings after all. But consistent criticism and judgmental tendencies from others cause people to shut down.

As a result, most people find it difficult to be honest with others. What if those we thought were trustworthy use what we tell them as ammunition against us instead of understanding better where we’re coming from?

In your relationship, your mate needs the ability to share about the messy details of their lives. They need the ability to do so without attacks and judgment.

This is crucial because attacks and judgment are everywhere. Your mate requires a safe place to share their thoughts, process shortcomings, admit fears and talk about their dreams.

This must happen without someone stepping on their thoughts and feelings and driving them into the ground.

The best thing to do is let your mate vent and share their feelings and emotions without you initially evaluating whether they are correct. Do your best to refrain from getting angry if something is said that upsets you.

If you quickly interject disagreement with how your mate processes life right away, they’ll be less inclined to be open with you in the future.

Your mate needs the ability to express their feelings and get them out. If you’re patient, you’ll be invited to offer advice or input at the right time.

The proper time to offer advice almost never means doing so in knee-jerk fashion.

Wait and then wait some more as you stay attentive. Doing so will strengthen your relationship, increase transparency and, as a result, build trust.

Your Mate Needs a Friend

Your mate needs a friend that will be there for them no matter what.

You and your mate require other friends besides the two of you. But your mate should be your best friend.

Will you get warm and fuzzy feelings every time you’re in the room together? No.

Will you constantly feel romantic thoughts towards each other? No. That will come and go.

But what you need is a fellow life journeyer who will never leave you. Who takes on the resolve to get through life together with you in the good circumstances and the bad.

Your mate needs someone who makes them a better person. That doesn’t always mean happiness. But it means something even better than happiness: purpose.

It means that, together, you work to make the world better than you found it. It means that you leave a lasting contribution that makes a positive difference.

That is where the deepest and most satisfying form of happiness can be found! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

3 Ways to Stop Settling for Less Than You Deserve

This subject can be a bit tricky. Taken to one extreme, we can become spoiled, privileged-thinking people that only care about our own needs.

Taken to the other extreme, we can feel like it’s bad to aim for good, meaningful and healthy things in life.

How about we cut to the chase and explore the balance between those two sides.

Non-Abusive Relationships

Let’s be up front, no one deserves that. In every single relationship, both parties hurt the other. Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen even when we make great strides at improvement.

But what is one to do when there becomes an ongoing pattern of physical, emotional or verbal abuse? “Business as usual” is not a realistic option—no one deserves to be treated like that.

Finding a competent, caring professional to help work through this can be beneficial. There are also times, for the safety of a spouse, children or both that temporary or permanent separation is the best option.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, get help as soon as possible. No one deserves that, not even your dog. You deserve love and affection—everyone does.

Follow Your Heart

When you come up to the end of your life, others aren’t going to experience your regrets. You’re the only one who will vividly feel those.

Oh, there are so many people ready to assign you to a box, though. They say, “This is who you are, this is all you’ll ever be.”

But you have your suspicions and for good reason. You don’t fit into their carefully crafted compartments. You have creative abilities and talents that must find healthy expression.

There is no one in the world like you. Act like it! Be different!

The world doesn’t need more conformists. What it most desperately needs is for you to be you—to follow your heart.

Ignore the current of conformity. Blaze your own path. And never apologize for it.

Of course, there will be naysayers along the way. But there will be those even if you conform. So, don’t bother being like everyone else. How drab that would be!

You deserve better. Painfully pick through the rubble of life to unearth the reason you were born. And once you find out, never let go of your dreams, your heart.

Everyone has dreams they must listen to and follow. Everyone deserves to follow their hearts.

Be Loved For Who You Are

Let’s wrap things up with a reminder that you deserve to be loved for who you are. Being asked to change who you fundamentally are to be deemed “lovable” is not fair practice.

If there’s something you know you need to change, then you owe it to yourself to get better. If it’s something you can’t or shouldn’t change, then don’t.

Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are, not for what others think they should be! Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Agree to Disagree

The other kindred saying to this title is “pick your battles.”

Imagine a nation that went to war over every petty provocation. That would be disastrous, wouldn’t it? And plenty of innocent people would get badly hurt in the process.

No one would deny there are times when a hard stance should be taken. But pushed too far, key relationships dissolve. Children become bitter towards their parents. Parents towards their children. Friends stop getting together.

There are certain things worth fighting for. Still, battle points often need to be dropped, axes buried and good will must prevail though complete understanding of the other side may not.

Is it time to agree to disagree? It could be. Here are some things to think about as you strive for an answer.

So Incredibly Different

It’s remarkable how differently people think and act. Even within the same family, members often shake their heads during tense times. How are such varied viewpoints possible within a close-knit group?

Step outside of your family and bring in different ages, races, nations, genders, childhoods and life experiences and things get way more interesting.

The first thing to remember is that this world is incredibly diverse and that isn’t about to change anytime soon. There’s no way everyone will ever fall in line and start thinking and acting exactly like we do.

Anyone who’s about to embark on a crusade to get others to think like they do at all costs is in for disappointment. Not to mention, a life strewn with wreckage of broken relationships.

Deciding on the Cost

Here’s a quick way to decide on whether to agree to disagree or to hold your ground. Picture a scale in your mind with a place to set something on two opposing sides. You can even draw a picture of this scale.

On one side, mentally place or write down the costs of dropping the conflict. On the other side, write down the cost of not giving in. After you’ve taken a close look at your results, decide on what to do.

Whichever side will cost you and others the most is generally the one you’ll want to avoid.

Most of the time, the necessary or best choice is to agree to disagree. Yet, there are times when this isn’t the best option.

We all tend to be biased toward our own preconceived ideas. Include a trusted friend into deciding what is best. This will help to bring in a more objective opinion.

In conclusion, agreeing to disagree, when done properly, is a huge way of showing you care. It’s a bold though friendly way of saying that you value a person’s friendship more than being right or pushing your own agenda. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.