Here is a list of seven things to give up in your life. If you give up on them, then your life will be a lot easier and you will be much happier. We hold on to so many things in life that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering. It's time to allow yourself to be stress free and happy. Starting today give up on all those things that no longer serve us and embrace change.

  1. Give up your need to always be right. Are you always wanting to be right - can't stand it when you are wrong? Even if it risks ending a great relationship or causing a great deal of stress and pain for yourself and others. It's not worth it. The next time you have the urge to be right, ask yourself this question: "Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?" Wayne Dyer. Is your ego really that big? Does it really make that big of a difference?
  2. Give up on blame. It's time to stop blaming others for what you have or don't have. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your own life.
  3. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. I see this all the time in my practice, people are hurting themselves with the things that say…

Read more: Is it time to give up?

Three Things Never to Say in an Argument


"Most couples have not had hundreds of arguments; they've had the same argument hundreds of times." Gay Hendricks

It's true, disagreements and even arguments are a normal part of being human. I mean really, if we all got along all the time, life could get boring. Couples are always asking me for help with communication. Most couples are stuck in attack and defend mode. I often train couples on how to listen to one another. Although, this may sound obvious when you are in the middle of an argument, it's not always obvious.

Couples are always telling me that they say the same thing over and over, but nothing changes. One thing I have found is that when you are in a relationship it needs to be equal. In a relationship there are two people and both people are valuable. The next time you find yourself in an argument with your partner stay away from saying:

  • You Never
  • You Always
  • Anything Insulting or Acting Superior
Everybody has limitations, stop pointing out your partner's limitations and throwing them in their face. This is when the damage is done. When you are in an argument don't act superior with your partner. Remember, they are human and they have feelings too.
For some this may sound easy or even obvious, but for others this can be a struggle. If you find after reading this article that you and your partner are still having difficulty communicating, please call me at (650) 892-0357 for a consultation.

Read more: Three Things Never to Say in an Argument

Five Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship


Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are based on friendship. Couples are always asking for help with communication, respect and intimacy. And, I always tell them to work on rebuilding the friendship. Studies show that a good friendship is essential in a relationship. When you have a good friendship the rest will follow. The following tips can help you create and maintain a healthy relationship:

  1. Speak up. Just like you would with a friend. When something is bothering you, it's best to say something about it instead of holding it in.
  2. Accept influence from your partner. Your partner's wishes and feelings have value. Take time to hear them out and try them. Let your partner know the effort you are making to keep their ideas in mind. This will also show that you respect your partner, which will help build the friendship.
  3. Compromise. Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship. It is important to resolve conflicts in a fair and rational way. When you are working on a compromise stay away from being critical and defensive with one another. 
  4. Be supportive. Encourage your partner. Spend time talking about your dreams with your partner. Healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down.
  5. Respect your partner's boundaries. Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you have to share everything and constantly be together. It's important that you have time for your friends, hobbies, exercise, etc. 
Remember your partner is someone you love and you want them to love you back. By incorporating these techniques you will build the friendship in your relationship. This will help build a healthy relationship where you have good communication, respect and intimacy. For more help, please call me for a consultation at (650) 892-0357.

Read more: Five Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Five Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship


Is it time for a cost-benefit analysis about your relationship?

One of the first questions I ask couples when they come in for counseling, is to do a cost-benefit analysis of their relationship. Most couples have never done this. A cost-benefit analysis can be as simple as What are the costs and benefits of staying together or breaking up. You can also take it a step further and ask these questions:

  1. Think about all aspects of your relationship and how it impacts things such as: having fun, family, love, religion and spiritual connection, activities you enjoy, interest and hobbies, your friendships, personal goals and your dreams.
  2. With regard to your relationship at its worst, what are the qualities you don't care for in your partner and in yourselves? In what ways do we ourselves emerge or not emerge?
  3. If you could remodel your partner, what would you like to emerge, what traits would you want to add? What traits would you want to delete? Do you think that these changes are do-able or impossible?
  4. Think of yourselves as parents. What is your assessment? How would your children benefit or suffer from a breakup of your relationship?
  5. If we were to split apart for good, think of the disaster scenario that could follow. Describe it. Think of the ecstatic fantasy that could follow. Describe it. How likely do you think each scenario is?
As many of your know I have been trained in using the Gottman Method for couples, and if you've been reading my blog then you know I absolutely love this method. I have seen it transform couples. It's both practical and something that anyone can learn. In Gottman, we strive for the "good enough" relationship rather than the perfect relationship. This helps take the pressure off and makes it more enjoyable. If after answering these questions you find that you and your partner need more help, please call me at (650) 892-0357 for a consultation.

Read more: Five Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship

Three Benefits to Saying


I hear this all the time in my practice. 'I don't want my child to only hear no.' And, I tell them their child doesn't always have to hear no. But, they do need your guidance and assurance. I also hear, 'I was always told no as a child and resented my parents for this.' And, I tell them your child won't grow up to resent you, in the long run they will respect you. I also hear, 'I just can't say no." And, as I have said in the past start to practice saying no, and it will become easier. As your child gets older here are the benefits they will learn from their parents saying no to them:

  1. This is how your child will learn to say no. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I cannot tell you enough, how much I hear this in my practice, 'I just can't say no or set boundaries for myself.' I hear this from adults that I see all the time. I've also noticed that children that have been picked on at school, sometimes their parents have a hard time saying no or setting boundaries with them.
  2. This will help your child feel confident. I also hear this a lot, 'my child doesn't like to try new things they just aren't…

Read more: Three Benefits to Saying "No" to your Child

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94404

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