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LINK:  Why you might want a men’s group

You might want to keep building on the success that you are having right now! And you know that the people who are the best at what they do are always looking for another edge … another way to practice and get stronger.

You, like many men, may have had some hard knocks in the past couple of years … and now you’re trying to figure out what’s next.

You might want to stop taking your anger out on the people you love, or on strangers or on YOURSELF.

You might think that the world needs more good men.

You might want to be part of the solution to the epidemics of depression, violence, and isolation that impact men, women, and children.

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This meeting’s topic was Health, but one of our men had a need to discuss something else, and we honored it.  We’ll postpone the topic of Health until next time (unless another need arises).

(We try to respond to what the men in the group need, rather than some sort of arbitrary objectives.  Our men need to know that we’re there when they need us.  We actually had a great meeting, with all the men contributing something of worth toward this man’s topic request.  We’re maturing as a group.  Cool.)

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This meeting’s suggested topic is Infidelity.

This has been suggested as a topic for our consideration and was recently a topic shared between our men at a recent meeting.  Clearly there are some of us who need to talk this out.  Lacking time to think hard on this topic and write a short essay, I provide the following interesting links* to other information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infidelity
http://www.truthaboutdeception.com/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200809/does-being-true-your-heart-imply-emotional-infidelity
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/200809/emotional-infidelity
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/393/infidelity
http://www.onlineschools.org/blog/infidelity/

* much of the information on the web is directed to victims of infidelity rather than a broader discussion.

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Our topic will be Fathers (Father’s day is June 19th).

OK, so I started writing various bits to introduce this topic, which we’ve covered previously, trying to get a spin that did not sound too terribly much like Stefan’s previous, very eloquent piece.

Concurrently, I was researching an author of a book I recently acquired – John Lee, author of My Father’s Wedding.  I came across this short article he wrote entitled Healing the Father-Son Wound.  It encapsulated so much of this topic I thought I would let John’s words stand as an example of what many of us face in our relationships with our fathers (past or present).

  • Consider your own father story – where has it led you?
  • What claim/hold does it have on your life?
  • Where would you like it to lead?  How do you want your father-son story to end?

As always, looking forward to meeting with you guys.

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Hello all, our next meeting will be on Monday June 6, 7:30-9:30.  The topic for the meeting will be Healthy Communication.

How we communicate can be crucial in the success or failure of our everyday relationships.  In the last meeting we expressed an interest in exploring all the different qualities of healthy and successful communication.  Here are some questions to think about:

What are qualities of a relationship where healthy communication is practiced?

How would you rate your own communication in relationships?

Are you the listener?  The talker?  Or do you have a good balance with both?

Are there tools one can use to practice proactive listening?

When someone you are close to confronts you and is mad or unhappy, what is the best way to communicate?  Does it automatically trigger anger or other strong negative emotions in you?  If so how do you manage your own feelings in that situation?

Society gives us the opportunity to communicate with mass amounts of people at the same time.  How do we manage an overflow of communication?

Are there tips for verbal and non-verbal communication?  ie., body language as a way to show you are interested in what the other person is saying.

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We will be meeting Monday, March 14th.
From 7:30-9:30pm
Our theme will be boundaries.
We set them, we break them, we seek them, we push them.  The process of growing forces us to confront and establish boundaries. Boundaries are what give us a sense of self, individuality and autonomy.  Boundaries are also set by the external world, constraining our expression, movement, and complete freedom.  The boundaries of our bodies are skin, a permeable membrane protecting us from the raw experience of the world directly on our nerves. The boundaries of our emotional space are somewhat less clear, feelings can invade our interior life flowing past a blurry boundary between yourself and other.  And our minds are even less bounded, and yet still we have a sense of where we end, where the unknown hazy universe must exist beyond. Social interactions have implicit negotiations around boundaries, from partners to strangers in public spaces we are faced with the need to create and feel out invisible boundaries. Boundaries may represent limits we are uncomfortable crossing, or zones we create to feel safe. Our lives consist of dynamic interweaving of boundaries constantly shifting and changing.
Boundaries are edges, membranes where most of the activity, the growth and change happens. Shifting boundaries represent opportunities for new possibilities, but frequently come with discomfort, pain and fear. The maintenance of boundaries may forces us into conflict as the world around us seeks to settle into new relationships.
  • What boundaries are you working on changing?
  • What are boundaries you’ve worked to establish, that you fight to maintain?
  • How do your inner boundaries manifest in external expression?
  • What does boundary mean for you? What value do you place on boundaries?
  • What growth have you experienced at your boundary edges?
  • How do you think about the world beyond your boundaries, what is its character?
I look forward to meeting with you

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We will be meeting Monday, 2/21/2011.
Our theme will be conflict.
Conflict is an inevitable part of social relationships. To live and interact with others will push us into situations where what we want, need or feel is different that those we live with. This difference will result in a pushing of wills, one against the other. It may be softly, or it may become physical and violent. Often our greatest conflict is with those we are closest with.  We may be able to maintain civil, respectful, peaceful relationships with those who are more distant, but when it comes to close relationships we are more easily stirred to confront our differences.
Our own personality will drive how the conflict arises and how it is resolved, if it is resolved at all. We may prefer to be conflict avoiding and strive to quickly diffuse conflict. Or we may feel that the measure of our commitment is the level of fight we bring. We may feel conflict is productive and helps clear the air, or we feel it’s damaging and negative.
How is it that the natural disagreement which arises when two people spend time together can take on such opposite perspectives?
  • For you is conflict something you step up to, or shrink away from? Why? What would happen if you did the opposite?
  • How can conflict be productive? What makes good conflict?
  • How can conflict be harmful? What makes it so negative?
  • How can we become skilled at conflict, so that we can avoid the negative and produce the positive?
  • Our conflict style may change with different opponents, how so?
  • What is your “natural” fight style? How does it change with your lover? Your boss? Your client?
I look forward to meeting with you!

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