Workshop 4 relationships 2: Family and Friends


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Workshop 4/6: Deals with stress between family and friends in relationships. The major causes of stress: Sibling Rivalry, Revertigo, Holidays. How to deal with unresolved Conflict. Strategies for dealing with Passive and Aggressive Behaviour, Personality stress. It also covers internal and external loci of control, optimism, social support, letting go a relationship and Loneliness.

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  • What causes Holiday stress: Doing too much. Eating, Drinking and Spending too much. Too much togetherness. Not enough togetherness (loneliness). Seasonally Affective Disorder. Minimising Holiday stress: Set Your priorities. Take shortcuts. Be smart with holiday eating. Change your expectations for togetherness. Take turns with relatives. If you always travel, host at your house. Just say No. Set a schedule. Breathe!
  • Handling Sibling Rivalry. 1) Don’t take it personally. 2)Find Support elsewhere in your lives.3) Don’t perpetuate Sibling Rivalry.4) Accept the reality of the situation 5) Invest in your own Family. 6) Let go. Revertigo . Regression to behaviour patterns relating to parents of siblings when they were growing up. Stressful to be pulled towards old patterns and traditional roles. Most conflict with people we know well is based on repeated patterns. Unwanted repetitive episodes in a conversation. Handling Revertigo: 1) Change the dynamic: new activities, topics and avoid the old triggers. 2) Change your response: if you normally meet a challenge with a challenge, try a question. 3) Look at the “choice point” where you can alter the tone and direction an exchange takes place.
  • Choice Point: “That’s the most stupid idea” Altered this conversation.” Here’s how that might look: Stephanie: “At first, I thought it was but listen….” Or “something new can seem to be, but listen for a minutein a minute why this one isn’t.”   Instead of Reacting by attacking, she chose acknowledge that he may have a point but he’ll think differently when she finishes speaking. This is responding rather than reacting: It gives the other person a chance to rethink whether he or she wants to argue. It’s the other person’s choice point. Most people respond to such generosity in conversation with returned generosity.
  • Strategies to handle Unresolved Family Conflict. Try to resolve the Conflict. Forgive and forget. Let go of feelings of resentment and anger BUT be careful of what you expect in future without actively harbouring resentment. Cut the person out of your life. Last resort.
  • Dealing With Passive behaviour? Be specific and direct in your communication with the person, asking for clear information or feedback. Encourage the person to express themselves, express confidence in them. Model to them how to be assertive in communication. Challenge their behaviour in a gentle and firm manner, giving them your experience of their passiveness. Handling Aggressive Behaviour: Challenge directly the behaviour and be firm in your rejection of this behaviour. Name the behaviour as unacceptable, not the person – separate the two clearly. Remove yourself from the situation if no other response works. Do not react, speak slowly, deliberately and from your own sense of confidence and power. Stick the content of the experience, never personalise it Communicate the impact their behaviour is having on you and/or others and that it is totally unacceptable. Model more appropriate behaviour yourself in the communication.
  • Traits of perfectionists: 1) All or Nothing thinking. 2) Critical Eye. 3) Push V Pull 4) Unrealistic Standards. 5) Focus on results. 6) Depressed by unmet goals. 7) Fear Of failure. 8) Procrastination. 8) Defensiveness. 9) Low self-esteem. Key Characteristics of Type A Personalities. 1) Time Urgency and Impatience. 2) Free-Floating Hostility or Aggressiveness. 3) Competitiveness. 4)Strong Achievement-Orientation. 5) Facial Tension (Tight Lips, Clenched Jaw etc.).6) Tongue Clicking or teeth Grinding. 7) Dark Circles under the eyes. 8) Facial Sweating (Forehead and Upper Lip). Type A Traits Can be altered! 1) Changing work life. 2)Changing Thought Patterns. 3) Fake it till you make it. 4)Start Journaling: Events, feelings, solutions. 5) Face your fears. 6)Breathing.
  • ‘ locus of control’ refers to whether you feel your life is controlled by you or by forces outside yourself. Internal or external. Internal locus: feel they have a choice in their lives and control over circumstances. External locus: at the mercy of external events. Locus of control shaped by events: Childhood. Adulthood. Habitual thinking patterns. Changing your locus of control can reduce stress. You have a choice If you feel trapped make a list of all possible courses, brainstorm. Use a group/ friend to look at new ideas. Any and all ideas, just write them down. Evaluate. Notice your language and self-talk. Do you speak in absolutes? “I have no choice”, “ I can’t”. Attitude: Optimism V Pessimism
  • Anger and Stress Perception: Example Being cut in front of while driving. Lack of respect or a threat to safety or hostile gesture. Purely accidental and not worth worrying about. Personality : Powers of observation: notice things that make them angry. Less comfortable with change. Low tolerance for frustration. Attitude: Habitual. Negative. Optimism V Pessimism. Do Your find yourself constantly replaying something in your mind? Rumination: Reflection and Brooding. Reflection can be helpful: reflection on a problem can lead to a solution. IN general and brooding in particular associated with less proactive behaviour. Co-rumination, rehashing with friend and talking to death brings stress. The toll of rumination: Stress response (Raised Cortisol). Negative frame of mind. Less Proactive behaviour. Self-sabotage. Hypertension. Distorted Thinking: Your mind puts a “spin” on events. Where does it come from? Perception. 10 most common mental attributes:All or nothing: “always” and “never”.Over-generalisation.Mental Filter : 10 things go right, one goes wrong. Disqualifying The positive (flukes). Jumping to Conclusions. Magnification and Minimisation. Emotional Reasoning. Should statements. Labelling and Mislabelling. Personalisation.
  • Everyone experiences loneliness: but very few talk about feelings associated with it. When: Anytime BUT Holidays, Occasions: Valentines and Birthdays, Extreme stress. Effects of Loneliness. Physical Pain. Depression. Physical Health. Loneliness: what can you do? Join a class. Volunteer. Find Support Online/ Peer support. Strengthen existing friendships. Get a pet. Cognitive behavioural therapy (Loneliness and feeling depressed are synergistic, Sometimes “getting out there isn’t enough”.) Peer support: Social Group. Cultivating a Circle of Friends. Cultivating a Network . Benefits of Peer support: Belonging is extremely important for emotional health and well-being. One or two close friends act as support. Provide support, information, advice, contacts .
  • Workshop 4 relationships 2: Family and Friends

    1. 1. The Ultimate Stress SurvivalThe Ultimate Stress Survival Guide:Guide: Relationship Stress 2.Relationship Stress 2. Family and FriendsFamily and Friends
    2. 2. Family StressFamily Stress “All families and most friends bring with them emotional baggage from the past.” Dr. Kathleen Kelley Reardon. Types of family stress: Holiday stress. Sibling rivalry. Unresolved Family Conflict. Personality Traits.
    3. 3. Holiday StressHoliday Stress What is Holiday Stress? What are the causes Holiday stress? How do you Minimise Holiday stress?
    4. 4. Sibling Rivalry andSibling Rivalry and RevertigoRevertigo Occurs when a parent appears closer to/ more supportive of one particular adult offspring. How do we handle Handle Sibling Rivalry? Revertigo: Regression to parent/sibling behaviour patterns. Old patterns and traditional roles: Stressful. How do we handle Revertigo?
    5. 5. RevertigoRevertigo Scenario: Dave: “That’s the most stupid idea I have ever heard” Stephanie: “What makes you so clever then?” Dave: “I’m not a clever clogs but I know when something is ridiculous.” Stephanie: “You’re ridiculous.” Where is the choice point in the scenario? Is Stephanie responding or reacting? What could she have said to change the course of the Conversation?
    6. 6. Unresolved Family ConflictUnresolved Family Conflict Unresolved Family Conflict.  Difficult to let go of conflicted family relationships.  Trust on both sides is compromised.  If un-resolved will re-occur. Continued Tension and resentment. Strategies to handle Unresolved Family Conflict.  Try to resolve the Conflict.  Forgive and forget.  Let go of feelings of resentment and anger BUT be careful of what you expect in future without actively harbouring resentment.  Cut the person out of your life.  Last resort.
    7. 7. Behaviour TypesBehaviour Types Aggressive Assertive Passive What is it? Standing up for our own rights by violating others’ rights What is it? Communicating in a clear, honest, candid way which respects our point of view and that of others. What is it? Not able to stand up for your rights, or doing so in a way that is not heard How is it expressed? Expressing needs, thoughts/feelings inappropriately, assuming our opinions are more important than others How is it expressed? Expressing needs, thoughts/feelings appropriately, while acknowledging the rights of others. Finding common ground where conflict arises How is it expressed? Expressing needs, thoughts/feelings in an apologetic, cautious, self damaging way, believing needs are less important than others’ Characteristics Arrogance, Attacking, Contempt, Belittling, Bullying, Intolerance, Intimidating Characteristics Calm, Composed, Focused, Sensitive, Clear, Respectful, Win- Win. Characteristics Unsure, Weak, Timid, Long- winded, Indecisive, Apologetic, People pleasing. Handling Passive behaviour. Handling Aggressive behaviour.
    8. 8. Personality StressPersonality Stress Common Factors causing stress Associated with Personality: Perfectionism. Type A Personality. External locus of control (blaming others/events). Poor Communication. Unhealthy Behaviours. Anger. Rumination and obsessing. Distorted thinking.
    9. 9. Dealing with DifficultDealing with Difficult People.People. Keep conversations Neutral: Avoid divisive issues. Accept the reality of who they are: Can You change them? What happens if you try? Know what’s under your control: Change your response. Assertive Communication. Create healthier patterns: Its a 2-way thing. See the best in people: Try to look for positive aspects. Remember who you are dealing with! Let go or get space!: Minimise or cut ties. Explain why.
    10. 10. Perfectionism and Type APerfectionism and Type A PersonalitiesPersonalities Traits of Perfectionists. Key Characteristics of Type A Personalities. Negative effects of Type A Personalities: Hypertension. Heart Disease. Job Stress. Social Isolation. Type A Traits Can be altered! Dealing with Type A Personalities. Assertive communication/ Conflict resolution techniques. Healthy Boundaries.
    11. 11. Locus of ControlLocus of Control ‘locus of control’ refers to whether you feel your life is controlled by you or by forces outside yourself. Internal or external. Locus of control shaped by events: Childhood, Adulthood, Habitual thinking patterns. Changing your locus of control can reduce stress. You have a choice Notice your language and self-talk. Attitude: Optimism V Pessimism
    12. 12. Other factorsOther factors Anger and Stress: Perception,Personality, Attitude. Do Your find yourself constantly replaying something in your mind? Rumination Reflection V Brooding The toll of Brooding Distorted thinking. Optimism V Pessimism
    13. 13. Unhealthy responsesUnhealthy responses Unhealthy Responses Caffeine, Smoking, drinking, compulsive spending, emotional eating. Staying Healthy Diet: Limit/ Avoid Caffeine/Nicotine. Exercise regularly. Sleep. Sex. Relaxation: Meditation. Massage. Breathing. Play.
    14. 14. Social SupportSocial Support Time Management: Nurturing and going out having fun. Assertiveness: Strengthen your relationships. Listening to your friends: Its important to give as well as receive. Ask about feelings and listen. Reflect back what you hear. Focus on them and their feelings. Listen to your Intuition: Build a healthier social circle.
    15. 15. Letting go aLetting go a Relationship.Relationship. Make a list of friendships in your life. Circle the names of those who are positive. For the remainder asses and circle those who are positive. Cross off those who are negative. Focus on the ones who are circled. Let go or reduce contact with those that have been crossed off. Exercise: Assessing a relationship.
    16. 16. LonelinessLoneliness Everyone experiences loneliness. When? Effects of Loneliness. What Can you do? Peer support Benefits of Peer support