On the evening of September 27, 2014, the bodies of Springville, Utah couple Kristi and Benjamin Strack were found dead in their beds. Tragically, their three children were also found dead, and investigators determined the cause of all 5 deaths to be an overdose of lethal drugs.
Human beings are prone to mistakes, and we all have the experience of doing or saying something that has hurt another person (even someone we value and love). In order to repair those precious relationships, it is often necessary to apologize. But simply saying, “I’m sorry” is rarely enough. Here are 5 steps to giving a powerful, sincere apology:
1) Own Your Part
To truly mean that you are sorry, you need to own up to the specific thing you said or did that contributed to the other person’s pain. Take full responsibility for the part you played. Avoid general statements (“I’m sorry for whatever I did to hurt you“) or making reservations about the mistake you made. Have the courage to own up to your fault.
We’ve all known someone who is judgmental. It’s an unfortunate character trait and is often easy to spot in other people, but can be a bit more difficult to see in ourselves. But the truth is that we all could stand to be more kind and accepting of others. Here are 4 strategies to become less judgmental:
Q: I need help on this issue. I feel myself getting jealous all the time with my husband, and I don’t want to be like that. My last relationships were a disaster. My kids’ father cheated on me our whole 15-year relationship; I didn’t know he was cheating until towards the end. Then my next relationship, he went to Florida and brought someone back with him and they started living together right away. That was a 3-year relationship I had with him. I always think my husband is cheating on me or talking to someone. It’s like I don’t want him going anywhere without me. I love him, and I don’t want to be like that with him. He’s never given me a reason to think this. Please help me.
A: While it’s common for unresolved hurt from past betrayal to bring out insecurities in a current relationship, ironically, it may end up pushing your husband away if you don’t resolve your past hurts. When you bring up your jealousy with your husband, make sure that you own that it is your past, not him, that is the problem. Please meet with a therapist to address the underlying emotions that are feeding your jealousy and lack of trust. Thanks so much for writing in. Watch the video to hear my complete answer.
Take good care of yourself and your relationship!
Being a good parent requires a tremendous amount of time, love, and energy, but what happens when a well-meaning mom or dad becomes too enmeshed in their children’s lives? Over-involvement can unknowingly do damage to kids, who then become responsible for their parents’ well-being and happiness. On the other hand, parents who can draw a separation between themselves and their children are emotionally healthier and are actually able to give more to their families.
Below are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not your kids define you (along with some strategies to help you reclaim yourself if you find that you’ve taken on a little too much):
“Assertiveness” is a word that can have some negative connotations. Some might equate being assertive with being pushy, bossy, or controlling. But in reality, assertiveness is a communication skill that can help us express our feelings and needs and ultimately grow closer in our relationships. The truth is that assertiveness is extremely important in having the life we want. Here are some strategies to help you be more assertive:
Have you ever gotten bad vibes from one of your children’s friends? Maybe you felt like he/she was a negative influence or was causing your son or daughter to be unhappy. It can be hard to know when you as a parent should get involved and when it’s better to just let things be.
As a licensed therapist and a mother of four children, I am certainly familiar with this scenario, and I recently sat down with LDS Living Magazine to offer my views on it. Here are a few strategies for what to do when you don’t like your kids’ friends:
No matter what great things we accomplish or how much confidence we build, the truth is that all of us have weaknesses and insecurities. And sometimes, unfortunately, they can get out of hand and interfere with our lives. Have you ever felt a strain on a relationship because of a nagging insecurity of yours? If so, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that the way we feel about ourselves, for good or for bad, is a critical factor in how happy we are in romantic relationships.
Q:I’ve come to realize for the last fifteen years that I have no self esteem, and I try to accomplish tasks that are far too difficult to make me feel slightly okay and keep myself non-suicidal. And when I fail, I feel so terrible; like I want to die.
I’m not a suicidal person. I’m not, I just have issues with my self-esteem. I have had problems with bullying for many, many years, and only have friends over the internet, not in real life. This has resulted in my low self-esteem, I think.
To make myself get through a day and feel half decent, I try to accomplish a task. However, when I fail at this task, I feel completely worthless. My family doesn’t care, and I don’t have anyone to turn to on this matter. Can you please help me?
A: I am so sorry to hear of your pain over the last 15 years. If you’ve been bullied for years it makes sense that your self-esteem would become very fragile. I suggest that you get into therapy, particularly group therapy, to start expanding your relationships and learn how to trust. Please take a few minutes to watch the rest of my response in the video below…
Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW