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The Anatomy of An Argument

Fighting More Effectively in Your Relationship

As a woman, the only time I’ve ever heard a man say to me, “We need to talk about this,” has been when I had a male boss asking me to come into his office for some pow-wow time over an activity I did right or wrong.  From my personal backstory, I have a tendency to assume that my boss wanted to point out something I did wrong. Never did I believe for a moment that he wished to unload his  fears or share his concerns about the stress of his role or his emotional mindset. “No news is good news” was applied truth, and I became familiar with the world of wishing to hear nothing at all versus cringing over the fear of being reprimanded or embarrassed over my mistakes.

On the other side of that equation, I believe men have heard this statement quite frequently from their partners, and their feelings of shame are magnified times a hundred in comparison to mine. I feel for the man hanging an imaginary tail between his legs as he slinks towards his wife (or his husband) and hears what he perceives to be a long list of his shortcomings, failures, and mistakes. What’s worse is that after that scenario ends, the partner who has just unloaded his or her feelings often says, “I feel better, now that we’ve talked!” while the receiving partner feels like his head and heart just got treated like a garbage disposal. How do you avoid such a situation? My suggestion involves two steps: understand the anatomy of an argument before it blows up, and move the tension towards connecting.

In this blogpost, I’m focusing on the first half: understanding the anatomy of an argument. In the next blogpost, I’ll show you a few effective ways to move your understanding into connecting dialogue when the time is right. Before I get into the anatomy of an argument, let me introduce a rather revolutionary thought.

Aggression Health care Relationships Seattle Washington

Mad World

My Mad Word by Imei Hsu, RN, LMHC, Artist

It’s a Friday morning, and I am sitting at my computer, mind humming along at 500mph, yet I feel paralyzed. I typically like to write about subjects I feel well-versed in, and murder isn’t one of them. Yesterday, I convinced myself I am in the perfect position to write about the shooting in Seattle that took place on Wednesday May 30 2012 which claimed the lives of six seven people, including two musicians known to the tight community of performance artists among whom I rub shoulders. But the reality of my position as a therapist is really no different than the shock and loss that seems palpable among 600,000 who were alerted that a shooter had claimed the lives of innocent people and then turned the gun on himself. Perhaps the only difference is how the Internet has helped elucidate a community’s concerns and fear not just about the increase in violence but about mental healthcare in our state in our mad, mad world.

What Goes Wrong
This morning, I saw this tweet on my feed:
@Kirotvsouth: Mason sheriff confirms murder suicide in Potlatch near Shelton.
Woman shot her boyfriend then herself.  She was having mental health issues.


Anti-Gay Bullying Must End

This is not a forum for politics. It is a webblog for services provided through Seattle Direct Counseling, which include compassionate therapy for people from all walks of life, culture, ethnicity, economic status, appearance, and sexual orientation. However, the following post intersects with the current political scene because of a plea by Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns, who revealed personal elements of his own painful history with anti-gay bullying in the effort to send a message to young gay teens, “Life gets better.”

Joel Burns, “It Gets Better” (click on the link to view the video, until I embed the video)

The majority of recent teen suicides in America due to bullying have been either directly related to the teens being identified or perceived as being gay. In one case, the victim explained how bullies told him he should hang himself for being gay, and after enduring what seemed like an endless amount of emotional and physical brutality, he did just that.

Seattle Direct Counseling will always be a safe harbor for anyone who wishes to create their best life, despite the presence of bullying, pain, persecution, or loneliness that accompanies that path. No matter what your orientation, you are home – and safe – here.