What Is Anxiety?

If you’ve ever felt anxious, you’re not alone.
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about the unknown. Perhaps a job interview, giving a speech or going on a first date may cause individuals to feel fearful and nervous.
But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, or and are interfering with your life then, you may have an anxiety disorder.

What Causes Anxiety?

It’s important to note that anxiety disorders are not the result of personal weakness. For some, it is a strength that you onboarded early in life to protect yourself and others from drama and more trauma.
From scientific research, we know that anxiety is caused by a combination of factors, including brain chemistry and environmental factors.
Life challenges and different circumstances can often cause anxiety to drive our emotions. It can get so intense that the feeling of powerlessness can be destabilizing.
What’s more, if anxiety is not treated, it can lead to deep feelings of depression and other challenging health problems. And, when anxiety is treated, some find underneath the anxiety may be a mound of depression. The anxiety can act as a gatekeeper to keep you from feeling depressed. So, often the two go hand in hand.

How Anxiety Affects Relationships

Most individuals who experience anxiety often feel relationally challenged with people and situations. People who experience intense anxiety, struggle to live their everyday life healthily.
Unfortunately, anxiety can lead to a pattern of attracting addictive relationships, which can result in love addiction and even serious codependency issues.

Do I Have Anxiety? Here Are Some Common Signs

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has an anxiety disorder, here are the most common anxiety symptoms:

Most Common Signs Of Anxiety Disorder:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid breathing and shortness of breath – leading to not enough oxygen
  • Difficulty falling asleep or interrupted sleeping patterns and insomnia
  • A fear that something terrible is going to happen to yourself or your loved ones
  • Stomach problems – indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Restlessness and feeling unable to relax – feeling tense most of the time
  • Constant “thinking” resulting in fatigue
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
  • The inability to let go of worry
  • Feeling fearful all the time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks

Anxiety And Depression

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may also be feeling depressed. Although anxiety and depression can occur separately, it’s common for both to occur together.
Anxiety can be caused by clinical depression. Likewise, severe depression can be triggered by an anxiety disorder.
The good news… symptoms of both conditions can be managed with the same treatments: professional counseling, medication, and lifestyle changes.

What To Do If You Experience Anxiety Disorder?

If you think you are in experiencing an anxiety disorder, the first step is to get diagnosed.
You will need to be patient, as an anxiety diagnosis includes a lengthy process of physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and psychological questionnaires.

How To Deal With Anxiety

Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can explore treatment options. For some individuals, lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms.
In moderate or severe cases, however, counseling or medical treatment can help to overcome the symptoms and help you lead a healthy life.
The good news is you’re not stuck with this forever. You can learn how to calm anxiety and create a healthy relationship in the future.
Recovery starts with being aware of and recognizing the symptoms. It is about healing yourself and being committed to healing.

Let PIVOT Advocates Help!

We recommend that you seek support from professionals. Remember, you are worthy of happiness, love and a healthy relationship.
The Glass House offers intensive relationship building skills workshops designed to repair and restore relational challenges as well as calm down the nervous system and begin to tolerate feelings that occur. This is a BIG help to reduce anxiety brought on by relationship challenges.
What’s more, you can work with the PIVOT Advocates whenever it suits you. Our coaches can help you with your relationship conflicts, enable you to express your desires and emotions in a healthy way, practice vulnerability in relationships, and assist you in achieving a greater understanding of yourself.
Whether you choose our couples or individual coaching programs, you can expect swift progress towards healthier and happier relationships. We’re here to help.

What Is Codependency?

The traditional definition of codependency is a relationship that is focused on one person fixing and/or controlling another person resulting in their own lack of self-care. “If you are ok, I am ok”. Controlling, nurturing and maintaining the existence of another individual who is emotionally and/or chemically dependent on and engages in undesirable behaviors is a relational recipe for disaster.

Codependency: What Is It And What Are The Signs?

As an example, a classic codependency model is an alcoholic husband and his enabling wife.
Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity and worth.

Understanding Codependency

Codependents are individuals who give of themselves to others and compromise their ability to care for self. Although the act of giving more of themselves make codependents believe they are “loving more” than the other person, this is not healthy behavior. Love and codependency are far from being the same thing.
Why? Because this leads to enabling. Enabling is a destabilizing behavior to the codependent person because it brings intense feelings of anxiety and fear that a loved one will not be ok. This becomes a difficult feeling to tolerate.
Codependent people often experience an array of conflicting emotions such as anger, guilt, grief, fear and shame. This is because they feel powerless over not being able to change, control, or help another person, which leads to feeling destabilized.

What Are The Signs Of Codependency?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one is showing some codependency signs, here’s what you should look out for.

Most Common Codependency Symptoms:

  • Feel most comfortable when they are giving
  • Try to please others instead of themselves
  • Have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility
  • Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem
  • Try to be all things to all people all the time
  • Unable to say “no”
  • Seek out chaos and then complain about it
  • Get angry when somebody refuses their help
  • A tendency to have their self-esteem connected to “doing”
  • Try to prove they are good enough to be loved
  • Try to be perfect, and expect others to be perfect
  • Have self-blame and put themselves down
  • Can express signs of control issues
  • Feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others

What Causes Codependency?

As children, we are vulnerable and utterly dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. However, if you have suffered abandonment issues or grew up with an unavailable parent, then it means you may have taken the role of caretaker and/or enabler.
In other words, you have put your parent’s needs first, above your own.
What’s more, dysfunctional families don’t acknowledge that a problem exists, and as a result, the family members respond by repressing emotions and disregarding their own needs.
When the child becomes an adult, this leads to repeating the same behavior in their adult relationships.

Can Codependency Be Treated?

Treatment for codependency starts with exploring childhood issues and being aware of dysfunctional behavior patterns.
It is about healing deep-rooted feelings of hurt, loss, and anger from past wounds. Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love.
We recommend that you seek support from professionals and talk about the pain that’s inside of you.

How To Overcome Codependency In Relationships

While overcoming codependency is no simple task, there are techniques you can use to minimize its effects. Here’s what you can do to heal from codependency:

  • Practice independence.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Keep your expectations in check.
  • Make peace with past mistakes.
  • Set healthy boundaries.

Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom and say farewell to your relationship problems. And we can help!

PIVOT: Your Key To Breaking Codependency Patterns

Our PIVOT coaches will provide you with support and healing. We help codependents by focusing on creating healthy boundaries, building self-esteem, learning how to say “no” without guilt, and cultivating deep self-care.
Our clients include family members and spouses of addicts of all kinds. We also get individuals who struggle in the workplace or in the home with codependency, as well as individuals dealing with depression symptoms.
Attend intensive workshops at our retreat: The Glass House, or schedule a one-on-one session with a PIVOT Advocate who will create an individual coaching program designed to repair and restore relational challenges. We’re here to help.

What Is Depression

Many people may use the word depressed when they’re describing times when they’re feeling sad, low or down, especially during challenging or stressful moments. However, it’s normal to feel down when you’re going through a difficult time.

Depression vs. Sadness: What’s the Difference?

Depression is much more than just feeling sad.
So, what is depression, then? Some people describe feeling depressed as though they are “living in a dark hole” or have a feeling of “impending doom”. Or, they feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Or some feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever symptoms you may experience, depression is different from normal sadness.

The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

The reality is that depression engulfs your day-to-day life in every way. It interferes with your self-care, ability to work, have fun, socialize and show up for your close relationships.
Unfortunately, depression leaves you feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless with little to no hope of feeling that things will get better.
People who are experiencing depression struggle to live their everyday life in a healthy manner.
Often people who are depressed become love avoidant in their relationships. They feel it is too hard to simply “show up” therefore, they make their intimate relationships fall apart.
On the other hand, depression can also play a role in codependent behaviors in relationships, where individuals sacrifice their own needs for the sake of pleasing their partner, dealing with low self-esteem, fear, resentment, and a myriad of other painful emotions which may lead to depression.

What Are The Signs of Depression?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has depression, here are the most common depression signs and characteristics to look for:

Most Common Symptoms Of Depression:

  • Disturbances to normal sleep patterns – either too little sleep or too much
  • Loss of appetite or can’t stop eating – either one extreme or the other
  • Finding it hard to concentrate and previously easy tasks now seem difficult
  • Having difficulty remembering things
  • Having feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Having feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Finding it hard to control negative thoughts
  • Feeling irritable, short-tempered, angry or more aggressive than usual
  • Feeling down or ‘numb’ for longer than two weeks
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Negative self-talk
  • Experiencing anxiety symptoms 
  • Loss of pleasure in activities
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Problems with emotional intimacy
  • Lack of energy, or feeling fatigued
  • Experiencing thoughts of self-harm, suicide or that life is not worth living – if this is you, then you must seek immediate help

What Causes Depression?

There are several possible causes of depression.
Stressful or traumatic situations in life can trigger depression. Or it can be a reaction to a distressing situation like loss or stress (reactive depression).
Or depression can develop due to a combination of factors – life events or biological factors (genetics, hormones or an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain).

Depression And Anxiety

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may also be feeling depressed. Although anxiety and depression can occur separately, it’s common for both to occur together.
Anxiety can be caused by clinical depression. Likewise, severe depression can be triggered by an anxiety disorder.
The good news… symptoms of both conditions can be managed with the same treatments: professional counseling,  medication, and lifestyle changes.

What To Do If You Experience Depression?

If you think you are experiencing depression, the first step is to get diagnosed.  Depression is a condition that can only be properly diagnosed by a licensed health professional.
Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can explore treatment options. For some individuals, lifestyle changes or joining community support groups may be enough to cope with the symptoms.
In moderate or severe cases, however, Individual therapy or medication can help to control the depression symptoms and help you lead a healthy life.

How Do You Fight Depression?

The good news is you’re not stuck with this forever. You can heal from depression and create a healthy relationship in the future.
Recovery starts with being aware of and recognizing the symptoms. It is about healing yourself and being committed to healing.
We recommend that you seek support from professionals. Remember, you are worthy of happiness, love and a healthy relationship.

Here’s How PIVOT Can Help

The Glass House offers intensive programs designed to help individuals suffering from depression through positive psychology, clearing the negative self-talk, understand what family of origin challenges could still be driving the depression,  and improving day to day self-care.
Also, through our one-on-one coaching programs with a PIVOT Advocate, you will learn how to change unhealthy patterns that prevent you from living a happy life. We’re here to help.

Common Relationship Problems: How To Resolve Them?

Both new and long-term relationships bring a fair share of challenges. Learning how to identify both relationship problems and solutions is one of the key steps to establishing emotional intimacy with your partner. However, revealing the underlying problem and coping with it in a healthy, constructive way is far from easy.
In fact, some individuals avoid addressing certain issues with their partners because they don’t want to admit that the problem exists in the first place. Others believe that by showing that something bothers them in their partners’ behavior, their vulnerability will be interpreted as a weakness.
However, to maintain a healthy, strong relationship, you need to learn how to recognize a problem and prevent it from causing a conflict with your partner. Only then will you be certain that you’ve found the right person and have a relationship worth fighting for.

What Are The Most Common Problems In A Relationship?

Whether you and your partner argue frequently or almost never get into conflict, you probably still experience certain obstacles in your relationship. While some of these issues may seem irrelevant or temporary, they may be triggered by serious underlying problems. Leaving them unresolved can truly sabotage your relationship and even cause you to become depressed.
So, the first step in overcoming relationship challenges is detecting and understanding the problem.

5 Most Common Problems In A Relationship

If you’re not certain what exactly has come between you and your partner, take a look at some common problems individuals often experience in their relationships:

  • Inability to communicate with each other

Maintaining an open, honest communication can be difficult when you’re emotionally involved with someone. For some people, expressing their feelings or confronting their partner is truly challenging as it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, some couples who’ve been in a long relationship may let their previous problems prevent them from truly listening to each other.

  • Feeling bored and stuck 

This is a common problem among long-term partners who feel that their relationship has nothing new to offer. They feel as if they’re stuck in a rut, always doing the same things and knowing almost everything about each other. If you’ve experienced the same problem, you may have wondered whether you’re with the right person.

  • Growing apart from each other

If you’ve been with your partner for years, you’ve probably shared numerous experiences. However, the problem arises when one of you has changed significantly over the years, while the other person remained the same. Whether it comes to gaining new interests, achieving business success, or simply adopting new habits, you or your partner may feel as if the other person has “changed too much”, which can affect your relationship.

  • Experiencing trust issues

Whether because of negative relationship history or a problem that has occurred between you and your partner, you may lose trust in your partner or have a problem establishing it in the first place. This can lead to a great number of other problems as trust is the foundation of every relationship.

  • Having trouble committing

If you or your partner have commitment issues, you may find it hard to maintain or even enter a relationship. This is a common problem among individuals who have an ambivalent or avoidant type of attachment style.

What Causes Problems In Relationships?

These issues are both a problem and a cause. For instance, trust issues can be a cause of jealousy in a relationship. However, you also have to consider what has led to these trust issues in the first place. Have you experienced infidelity in the previous relationship? Do your trust issues stem from your relationship with your parents?
Finding the exact reason behind certain problems will help you overcome them and help you build an even stronger relationship with your partner. If you want to understand yourself and your partner better and find a solution to your relationship obstacles, start by gaining a deeper insight into their cause.

  • Self-abandonment: It’s natural to put your relationship before some personal wishes after carefully considering your unique situation. However, completely neglecting yourself and focusing solely on your partner can result in a range of different problems, including resentment, anger, low self-esteem, and even depression.
  • Intimacy issues: If you and your partner have the fear of intimacy, you may be reluctant to commit fully to each other or experience serious communication problems. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings or concerns, not wanting to get too close to your partner.
  • Incompatibility: Some people are simply not compatible in one or more aspects. Whether it comes to your sexual relationship, personal goals, personalities, or attachment styles, compatibility problems can sabotage or damage your relationship.
  • Codependency: Being in a codependent relationship is unhealthy for both partners. It leads to completely neglecting yourself, experiencing self-worth issues and self-criticism, and constantly seeking validation from your partner.

However, it’s important to mention that a relationship problem can be a result of multiple causes. It’s not always easy to discern what exactly triggered an issue between you and your partner. This is particularly common among individuals who are in a long-term relationship because numerous factors are in play.

How Do You Know If You Are The Problem In A Relationship?

It’s easy to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your relationship and it’s far from easy to take responsibility for certain problems. However, two people are responsible for keeping a relationship healthy, so you have to ask yourself whether you’re causing certain issues.
Of course, if you’re the problem, it doesn’t mean that you’re sabotaging your relationship on purpose. Some behavioral patterns and previous experiences may be affecting your attitude toward your partner and preventing you from resolving certain conflicts.

Signs That You’re The Problem

So, if you’re wondering whether you’re the reason why your relationship has hit the wall, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you often go off topic when arguing with your partner?
  • Do you think you’re superior to your partner in any way?
  • Do you lash out easily regardless of the problem?
  • Do you avoid admitting you’re wrong?
  • Do you have a problem saying sorry?
  • Are you happy with yourself?

How Do You Fix Relationship Problems?

Overcoming relationship challenges requires a lot of effort and work since there’s no single solution you can try. However, if you’ve found a person you truly love and want to see your relationship work, you will work on resolving your issues together and support each other along the way. Here’s how you can start:

  • Work on yourself. To be truly happy with your partner, you need to be happy and satisfied with yourself. From changing negative behavior and habits to working on your personal growth, taking steps to improve yourself will reflect on your relationship.
  • Nurture your communication. Communication is the key to resolving problems and conflicts. Don’t hesitate to speak up when something bothers you and truly listen to your partner. Discuss your issues openly and avoid criticizing your partner.
  • Stay honest, open, and calm. It’s important to stay calm during an argument to resolve a problem. Try to control your anger and express it in a healthy way. Additionally, stick to your promises and be honest – always.
  • Show appreciation. If you notice that your partner is really trying to change and work on your relationship, express your appreciation. Make sure to do the same for other gestures they do for you. If your partner feels unappreciated, this can really affect your relationship and their self-esteem.
  • Be patient. Resolving relationship problems is a process that takes time, especially if you need to change some well-established behaviors.
  • Consider relationship coaching. If you feel that you’re not making any progress or cannot identify the exact problem in your relationship, consider seeking help from a coach or joining an intensive workshop.

Resolve Your Relationship Problems With Life-Changing PIVOT

Strengthening your relationship through problem and conflict resolution is truly rewarding. However, it requires you and your partner to overcome numerous challenges and face your problems honestly, which can be difficult and emotionally exhausting.
Fortunately, you can find the help and support you need with us. Our experienced PIVOT advocates are here to help you gain a deeper understanding of your relationship, reveal the problems that have been sabotaging it, and finally reach the resolution you need.
The PIVOT process is carefully devised to help you alter the negative behavioral patterns by addressing the underlying issues. By reaching out to us, you’ll have an opportunity to join our high-result intensive coaching retreat at the Glass House or work on your personal growth and self-improvement through our individual PIVOT coaching. Start your personal and relational transformation today!

How Do I Recognize And Enhance Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship?

Are you feeling uncertain about the level of emotional intimacy in your relationship? Are there any indications of emotional intimacy issues that you’re somehow missing? How can you tell if you and your partner have established genuine emotional intimacy? If so, how do you build on it?
Read on to find out whether you have managed to build an intimate connection with your partner and learn how to improve intimacy in a relationship and further enhance the closeness between you and your partner.

What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Intimate With Someone?

First of all, relationships are not easy nor simple. Falling in love with someone may be spontaneous and come natural, but things in a relationship might not go as smoothly. It takes hard work to form a lasting, meaningful connection with someone, develop intimacy and build a relationship that has the potential to last a lifetime.

What Is Considered Intimacy?

Intimacy is manifested through emotional, mental and physical closeness between two people in a relationship. Passion and physical intimacy are certainly exciting. But it is emotional intimacy, closely intertwined with mental intimacy, that is an absolutely necessary part and the basis of a lasting relationship.
Having genuine emotional intimacy with a partner means that you have a relationship built on mutual understanding, support, love, and care. You are always there for each other, but you don’t pressure each other into opening up about things you’re uncomfortable with until you’re ready. Your relationship is built on patience, empathy, and kindness. As a couple, you are in-sync and ready to overcome any challenge you may be facing down the line.
They say couples who laugh together, stay together. Couples who stay together also tend to:

  • Show affection physically,
  • Express loving emotions verbally,
  • Have intellectual discussions,
  • Share experiences with each other.

What Are The Four Types Of Intimacy?

Intimacy comes in four main forms, all of which are important for building a healthy and long-lasting relationship. These are:

  • Emotional intimacy: being emotionally intimate with someone means being able to share your deepest feelings, insecurities, and dreams without fearing judgment. You should feel valued and understood by your partner.
  • Physical intimacy: while most people associate physical intimacy with sexual intercourse, it actually involves much more than that. It is about sensual expression and activity that brings you closer.
  • Intellectual intimacy: discussing your viewpoints and beliefs with your partner without fear can help deepen intellectual or cognitive intimacy. Both of you should feel like your opinions and thoughts are valued in the relationship.
  • Experiential intimacy: this form of intimacy is built by sharing experiences and activities with your partner. Whether it’s traveling together or enjoying a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant, shared experiences can deepen your bond immensely.

Can A Relationship Survive A Lack Of Intimacy?

Love and affection are basic human needs. Lacking intimacy in a relationship can bring about a wide range of problems for you and your partner, especially if you used to be closer or if one of you is more willing to work on building intimacy.
A relationship without intimacy can survive only if both partners are ready to put in some effort to create a deeper bond. If you both decide to work together to rebuild intimacy, then, yes, your relationship will most likely survive and may even transform into something entirely new and beautiful.

How Can I Improve My Partners Intimacy?

If you feel like your partner is no longer as intimate with you, don’t despair. There are numerous ways in which you can rebuild the connection between you two. Here’s how you can build intimacy in your marriage:

  • Provide emotional support
  • Share your thoughts
  • Spend more time together
  • Share exciting experiences
  • Spend less time on your phone/computer
  • Show appreciation with loving gestures

Signs Of Emotional Intimacy

There are several signs of emotional intimacy that you can easily recognize:

  • You’re not trying to change each other: you accept your partner for who they are, and they reciprocate. If this lasts past the honeymoon phase, you can rest assured that the love you have for each other is unconditional, which is a sign of a healthy relationship in which both partners are free to be who they really are.
  • You make each other better humans. You push each other to be better. It’s as if the purity of the love you have for each other is making you kinder.
  • You are compatible with each other in the sense that matters most: the core principles and values you both uphold. If you share a similar life philosophy and moral standards and feel like you’re each other’s intellectual equals, you are on the same wavelength and you have a relationship that’s built to last.
  • You communicate on a deep, meaningful level. You are always having conversations that revolve around expressing and sharing innermost feelings and emotions and it feels natural. Honesty and openness between partners are the cornerstones of a healthy relationship.
  • You are still the same independent individuals as before. Unlike two people in a codependent relationship, you two are in love with each other independently and perfectly comfortable being apart. By being careful not to suffocate each other, you’re giving yourselves the space to breathe and a chance at a happily ever after.

Can A Relationship Coach Help Me Build Emotional Intimacy?

If you have decided to work on your emotional intimacy issues, speaking with a relationship coach would be the best course of action. Here’s how an intimacy coach can help:

  • They will encourage you to share positive feelings with your partner. This may include telling your partner you love them more frequently, or simply showing appreciation for the actions that your partner does. No matter what exact words you use, sharing these positive feelings will help deepen the bond between you and your partner.
  • An intimacy coach will teach you to speak about your fears. If you want to deepen intimacy with your partner, they should be allowed to see the parts of you that you deem unacceptable or shameful. By showing these aspects of yourself and sitting with your vulnerability, you will find it much easier to feel relaxed and accepted.
  • They will teach you how to accept and acknowledge your shortcomings. In order to create closer bonds with people, you will have to learn how not to be defensive about the parts of you that may be seen as weaknesses. An intimacy coach will encourage you to admit your faults and help you be more direct and honest when sharing with others.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy With A Partner?

Spicing things up in the bedroom is relationship 101. But working on building emotional intimacy with someone takes a more subtle approach. Now gorging on spicy baby back ribs while watching a Conan McGreggor fight may not be your ideal way to spend date night, but if your partner’s into it, rest assured it’s one way to spice things up at a deeper level.
Remember that it’s the little things that count. You’re showing that you care enough for your partner to listen and remember the things they like and care about.
Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

  • Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities together.
  • Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding.
  • Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy.
  • Compliment each other and remind each other of all the things you love and appreciate about each other.
  • Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive.
  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy.
  • Create an atmosphere of emotional safety.

7 Ways To Build Intimacy In Your Relationship

Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

1. Share experiences

Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities with your partner. Trying something new can bring you closer together and help you create new memories that you will cherish for years to come.

2. Don’t fear conflict

Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding instead of avoiding all forms of conflict. Both you and your partner should strive to create healthy boundaries and feel free to talk about your concerns and fears.

3. Express yourself

Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy. Showing your love and appreciation without fear will make your partner feel safe and loved, as well as deepen your connection.

4. Give compliments

As time goes by, many couples stop giving compliments to each other because they feel like everything has been said. Make sure to remind your partner of all the things you love and appreciate about them.

5. Love yourself

Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive. Self-care can come in many forms, whether it’s taking up a new hobby, achieving career goals, or simply finding more time to spend with your friends.

6. Be vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In fact, avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy. Guarding your feelings will only distance you from your partner instead of bringing you closer together. Make sure to speak up about your fears and insecurities.

7. Provide support

Let your partner know that they can rely on you for love and support. Create an atmosphere of emotional safety and try to be a good listener. If your partner feels cared for, they will surely reciprocate.

Restoring And Improving Emotional Intimacy

Building emotional intimacy with a partner requires ongoing work from both partners. Trying to rebuild and restore emotional intimacy takes even more hard work, patience and dedication. Whether you’re attempting to save a relationship that lost its spark or start a healing process after a critical period, difficult times may lie ahead. But to quote Elvis Presley: Let’s not let a good thing die.
So what can you do to restore and improve emotional intimacy?

  • Focus on your personal growth,
  • Improve your communication and practise active listening,
  • Spend quality time with your significant other,
  • Romance isn’t dead: even the smallest romantic gestures can go a long way in helping you rebuild intimacy.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy In A New Relationship?

Maybe your partner is just having a bad day, but you’ve already started seeing red flags and having terrifying visions of the worst-case scenario where you have drifted apart and damaged your relationship beyond repair.
Sometimes when you’re in a new relationship, things can get really awkward really fast. We’ve all been there. The ebb and flow of relationships is frightening, especially if you’re just starting to get emotionally intimate with someone. You may start to feel that you’re growing distant from your partner. On the other hand, you’re afraid to address the topic because you don’t want to put a strain on your partner or come off as overbearing or paranoid.
But instead of fearing what the future may bring, be proactive. Just because you’re in a new relationship doesn’t mean you have to walk on eggshells. In fact, if you want to make a relationship work, you have to have an honest approach from day one and feel free to express any concerns, fears or suspicions you may have. This is as important as taking affirmative action and expressing the love and appreciation you have for each other.

Emotional Intimacy Does Not Equal Perfect Harmony

As with any relationship, conflicts are inevitable, especially once partners in a budding relationship have taken off their rose-colored glasses. But partners who want to make their relationship work and who are putting their time and energy into building emotional intimacy may avoid getting into conflict with each other for the first time for fear of losing their partner.
Surprisingly enough, conflicts in a relationship can prove useful: they can help clear the air and help you and your partner reach a higher level of mutual understanding and intimacy.

Learn How To Improve Intimacy In A Relationship At PIVOT

Here at PIVOT, we are all about helping you grow as a person and providing you with the support and guidance you need to form relationships that will last. Whether you decide to attend emotional intimacy coaching sessions by yourself or together with your partner, our PIVOT Advocates are here to promote your personal growth.
You may also benefit greatly from a retreat or building intimacy in a marriage workshop at The Glass House. Consult PIVOT Advocates to get a comprehensive overview of the PIVOT process and all that it has to offer. Contact us today!

Are They Right For Me? Here’s How To Tell

Being in a relationship isn’t always easy – not only does maintaining a relationship require you to put in a good amount of time and effort in order to make it work, but it can also cause great pain and distress if you’re not careful. Overcoming relationship challenges is oftentimes exhausting – handling conflicts with your partner and letting your guard down in the relationship can take a toll on anyone.
Because of this, many people are hesitant to commit once again if they’ve experienced controlling or codependent behavior in a relationship. Unless you’ve known your new love interest for a really long time, it can be difficult to figure out if entering a relationship with them is a good idea. After all, not all people are who they appear to be. So, how do you know if the person you’re interested in would be a good match?
In this article, we’ll share some of the most common relationship red flags as well as give you some tips on spotting a controlling person. Read on!

What Are The Red Flags Of A Relationship?

Once you enter the dating scene after being in an unhealthy relationship, it’s only natural that you’ll feel reluctant to give your heart to the first person that comes along. If that’s the case, you should look out for these warning signs before entering a serious relationship:

  • They don’t express their true feelings. Honesty is key in any relationship. If your love interest can’t seem to communicate their thoughts and feelings openly, they may not be right for you.
  • They are unpredictable and immature. Your partner should be at the same level of maturity as you. If they can’t seem to get the hang of their own life, don’t expect them to be there for you when you need them the most.
  • They struggle with building trusting relationships. If they aren’t willing to open up and be vulnerable, you may want to stay away. We all have our own issues, of course, but having to break your back to make your partner trust you is not a good sign.
  • They are possessive and jealous. Controlling behavior is a major red flag. If your new love interest tries to keep you away from your family and friends and wants to know where you are at all times, it’s best to run and never look back.
  • They are hiding their past. While you don’t have to know everything about your partner’s past, you shouldn’t be kept in the dark, especially if they have a history of illegal or suspect behaviors.
  • They can’t get over their past relationships. If they keep talking about their ex, they are probably not ready to commit to you. Blaming an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend for everything that went wrong is another red flag, too.
  • They are abusive. This one’s a no-brainer. Abusive and aggressive behavior, whether physical or psychological, especially in the early stages of dating, should never be tolerated.

How Do You Know When A Relationship Is Wrong For You?

Just like with everything else in life, nothing is black and white in relationships. All couples have their own struggles and doubts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire relationship is unhealthy. That being said, some relationships are simply not healthy for both parties.
Here are six questions you can ask yourself to evaluate whether your relationship is worth fighting for:

  1. Does my partner take away all of my time and energy?
  2. Do I feel like an independent individual in this relationship?
  3. Is the relationship affecting other aspects of my life negatively?
  4. Do I feel good next to my partner?
  5. Am I certain of their feelings toward me?
  6. Has my relationship negatively affected my mental state?

If you relate to one or more of the abovementioned questions, you may want to consider breaking off the relationship. This would be the best course of action especially if you’ve experienced signs of depression or have trouble functioning in your daily life because of the distress your relationship has caused you. If you can’t break it off, you may struggle with attachment wounds.

Signs You’re In The Right Relationship

While no relationship is perfect, there are ways to tell if your relationship is healthy both for you and your partner. You’re on the right track if you and your partner:

  • Are still attracted to each other.
  • Accept and respect each other.
  • Nurture healthy ways of resolving conflicts.
  • Recognize each other’s needs
  • Get along with each other’s friends and families.
  • Feel comfortable and true to yourselves when you’re together.

What Are The Signs Of A Controlling Person?

Controlling personalities have their way of sneaking into your life, even if you know a thing or two about emotional manipulation. That is why keeping an eye out for toxic behavior when dating is essential if you want to protect yourself from pain and disappointment.

Common Controlling Behavior Patterns

Look out for these signs if you suspect that your current or potential partner may be a controlling person:

  • They criticize you for the littlest things. These individuals love making you feel small by pointing out even the smallest of your mistakes and flaws, whether they are related to the relationship, your appearance, or your professional life.
  • They try to drive a wedge between you and your friends and family. Controlling personalities will work subtly but diligently on making you feel isolated from your family and friends, so look out if your partner is trying to separate you from the people you love.
  • They gaslight you. Controlling individuals have a tendency to make you second-guess yourself and even doubt your own sanity. If let’s say, you’re upset about them saying something insensitive, they’ll pretend they never said it and that you’re imagining things.
  • They make their love conditional. If you hear something like: “I’d love you so much better if you lost some weight” or anything along those lines, you may be dealing with a manipulative personality. They always make you feel like you have to change for their love.
  • They are paranoid and jealous. When these individuals say they want you to themselves, they mean it. Controlling personalities tend to be extremely jealous, possessive, and at times paranoid.
  • They may be abusive. While they may not show their true colors at the start of the relationship, aggressiveness and abusive behavior may show up later on. People with control issues aren’t strangers to all kinds of physical and psychological abuse.

What Causes Control Issues?

Exactly what leads to control issues isn’t exactly clear. One thing is certain, however – the roots of controlling behavior patterns more often than not reach back to the person’s childhood. Many controlling personalities had unhappy childhoods and were raised by neglectful, absent, or abusive parents.
Another possible cause may be particularly low self-esteem. Even if they seem intimidating, powerful, and in control, or at least they want to be perceived that way, their control issues possibly stem from hurt, neglect and deep insecurities.

The PIVOT Process: Your Key To Better Relationships

At PIVOT, we love helping our clients fix their relationship problems or heal their wounds after an unhealthy relationship. Whether you need codependency coaching or struggle with building trust in your relationships, the knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates can help. We offer different forms of support, including couples and individual coaching for relationship problems, as well as intensive 5-day retreats at The Glass House.
Transform your relationships today!

Why Feeling “Not Enough” Is Impacting Your Relationship

Do find yourself thinking, “I’m not enough,” “feeling like I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy of love?”
Or do you feel that you work hard to be the best, but you should be more, do more or be better? Otherwise, you don’t measure up.
Maybe feeling not good enough triggered if your friend didn’t call when she said she would, or someone rejected your ideas or perhaps your relationship ended.
If this is you, then you may have childhood wounds that haven’t been healed.

Why Do I Feel Like I Am not Good Enough for Anyone?

As children, we are completely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. Most importantly, we want and need to feel loved and accepted by our primary caregivers.
Imagine a baby who’s desperate for attention, but his mother ignores him. Think about how impressionable that is for him. When babies and children don’t have a proper connection, they will crave this and grow up feeling that they are not enough.
For example, if this child was raised by a dysfunctional family, say with a narcissistic parent, then the child does not understand why that parent is not capable of empathy or love. Or an alcoholic parent who is sometimes available and other times is not able to function.
Children who live in these situations may try to fix the problem, by thinking “if I were a better child, my daddy wouldn’t drink.”
This leads them to feel that they need to be better and that somehow, they are not good enough as they are.
As they get older, they’ll continue to feel like they’re not enough, and in later years, they may turn to fixing others, food, alcohol, porn, relationships, or drugs to fill that void.
The good news is that there is hope for changing the negative self-talk of feeling like you’re unworthy or feeling insecure and not good enough.
But first, if you’re in a relationship, here are five signs that feeling this way is impacting your relationship:

Five Signs That Your Relationship Is Affected

If you rely on your partner to feel like you’re ‘enough’ — attractive enough, fun enough, smart enough, kind enough — then you’ll never be entirely happy. And it can impact your relationship because you look to your partner to fix this you.
Here are five signs that your “not good enough” thoughts are impacting your relationship:

1)   You can’t totally trust your partner

Although you crave love, you may be experiencing trust issues that make you unwilling to attach to someone emotionally. If you don’t fully trust your partner, then it’s difficult to open up emotionally, which can stop your relationship from growing.
Trust issues typically come from past hurts or unhealthy family relationships during childhood.

2) You compare yourself to your partner’s ex

It’s natural to be curious about your partner’s ex. But if you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to them or worrying you don’t measure up, then that’s a sign that your feeling of “not good enough” is taking over your relationship.
Remember, your partner chose you. They are not with their ex any longer.

3) You expect your partner to reassure you continually

Everyone wants some reassurance from their partner now and then. But if you constantly need them to validate you, their love or your relationship, then that’s a sign that negative thoughts are taking over your relationship.
This can lead to an increased fear of losing the relationship because you feel dependent on your partner as the “fix.”

4) There’s distance in your relationship

Being in a relationship is healthy when it provides the feeling of being loved, supported and emotionally close with your partner. Healthy relationships give your relationship an intimate connection for you both.
If you have trouble with building emotional intimacy and communicating, or you feel alone, and keep your partner at a distance, then this may be due to you feeling like you are not enough and therefore your relationship will not be healthy.

5) You assume the worst about your partner

No matter what happens, you assume the worst about your partner. If they haven’t answered their phone, it’s because they’re cheating. If they’re not with you, then they must be betraying you.
Feeling not good enough for a partner can make you believe that If they don’t say they love you all the time, then they’re “not into you.”
This changes the focus of your relationship for your partner to need to prove their feelings and their actions.

Am I Good Enough? Healing the Wounds

If you recognize any of the signs above, then just know that you’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with feeling not good enough for someone.
The good news is that you can heal yourself and experience self-acceptance so that you can have a healthy relationship.
As certified relationship coaches and therapists, we encourage our clients to not be hard on themselves. You are not “broken” or flawed.

Wave Your Insecurities Goodbye with PIVOT

The first step to overcoming insecurity is recognizing you feel this way. We recommend that you seek support from professionals to help you explore childhood abandonment issues and focus on healing your wounds with self-love and self-acceptance.
Remember, you are worthy of love, happiness, and a healthy relationship. You don’t need to look outside yourself for happiness and self-worth.
If you are ready to heal your feelings of not enough, then contact PIVOT. We can also help you if you’re struggling with depression, experiencing feelings of anxiety or need help overcoming codependency issues in your relationship.
Apart from individual and personalized solutions, we also provide intensive relationship coaching at our retreat center, The Glass House. We’re here to help.