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Using Feng Shui To Create Healthy Relationships

healthy relationships

Healthy relationships

Using Feng Shui To Create Healthy Relationships


Healthy relationships the Feng Shui way

Detoxify and brighten your interactions with all the folks in your life.

Want less negative energy in your relationships?

First, a confession.  I am not an expert in Feng Shui. Feng Sui? Fung Sui? Fung Shui? — I’m not even sure how to spell it. My expertise is in relationship skills and marriage advice, and especially in turning toxic relationships to positive ones.

At the same time, relationships, like areas in a home or office building, involve energy flows, positive and negative. Feng Shui, from my limited understanding, offers ways to keep the positive energies flowing and to minimize the presence of negative energies. Positive energies bring happiness; negative energies detract from happiness.

I’m delighted to report that the following three basic principles from About.com on how to Feng Shui your house or office can offer a useful strategy for clearing the negative energy from relationships.

These principles apply to all healthy relationships. You can clear the negative energy and augment the positive with all your loved ones–spouse, kids, elders, lovers–as well as with your friends and your co-workers.

Spreading negative energy in relationships invites depression in those with whom you interact, triggers annoyance at you and increases the odds that people will want to keep distance from you. Positive energy in your interations makes you safe and appealing to be with.

# 1. Clutter: “Clear Out Your Clutter.  Get rid of everything you do not love in your house.”

Clutter in a house is easy to see; clutter on your desk at work is too.  But what constitutes clutter in a relationship? As I’ve written in an earlier posting, there’s a handful of little words that make big messes.  Here’s a quick list of them.  The less often you use them, the better.

a. But, which deletes what came before, demoralizing the person who has just told you something.

b. Not, which puts darkness where light belongs.

c. You, when it points a critical or acusatory finger at the person with whom you are talking.

My blogpost on Clearing Emotional Clutter from Your Relationships offers futher details.

# 2. Sunshine: “Have Good Quality Air and Good Quality Light.”

Good relationships need breathing space. With colleagues, clear division of labor gives boundaries and spaces between what you do and what others do.  With your boss, room to make many decisions on your own gives you space.  With lovers and spouses, allowing time for each of you to be on your own, and space to each have your own viewpoints and activities, is essential.

With kids, beware of hovering over-protectively or telling them too much about what they should do.  Kids need space to be creative on their own, to hear their own inner drummer, to make mistakes and learn from them.

Healthy relationships also thrive with the light of positivity. Agreement, appreciation, shared laughter, attention to each other, praise, and shared affection are essential. My post on ways to convey positive energy offers more information on this topic.

# 3. Tone: “Always be mindful of the feel of your home.”

Too few people focus sufficiently on the tone of their voice, ignoring negativity that’s quite obvious to the receiver.  Any tone of “I’m right; you’re wrong,” gives what Eric Berne once termed an “I’m ok; you’re not ok” message. So does irritibility, annoyance, sarcasm, contempt or anger.

Anxiety is another emotional spoiler.  While occasional anxiety can alert you to a problem that needs your attention, frequent or on-going anxious energies signal cognitive patterns you might want to change.  I’ve written several posts (this one and this one) on how to minimize the extent to which anxiety clouds your relationships, plus another on decreasing performance anxiety.

Criticism is a sure way to spread negative energy to others.  Offering feedback about your reactions and neutral information about the natureof a problem are fine.  Criticism though, especially when it is spoken with an irritated tone of voice, conveys a You’re Not Ok message.

Telling others what to do is right up there with tone of voice and criticism when it comes to spreading negative energy.  All of us want to be the captain of our own ship so beware of pressing the “Don’t control me!” button.  Requests are fine, if they are genuinely questions.  Demands are not, including subtle comments like “I need you to …” or “I would like you to …”

A work situation is somewhat different. There employer and employer have agreed that one will tell the other what to do in exchange for salary or wages.  In other relationships though, skip the dictating.

Telling kids what to do is ususally unnecessary as well. It just engenders negative resistance. Instead of telling a child, “Wipe the milk from your face!” you’ll receive a more positive response with a cheery “Milk-mouth alert!”  For more on getting kids to do what you would like them to do without telling them what to do, see my post on using play instead of discipline.

In summary, to Feng Shui your relationships:

1. Clear the clutter by being wary of the little words that make big messes.

2. Give each other air and light via plenty of space and the positive energy you emanate.

3. Be mindful of tone: Stop arguing by deleting negative energy in your tone of voice. Avoid criticizing and telling others what to do.

Then, voila!  Healthy relationships and a more joyful, positive, and loving life!

Photo of Feng Shui Crystals By Takkk (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Author’s Books

Susan Heitler, Ph.D., is a Denver clinical psychologist who specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, anger, narcissism, parenting challenges, and marital difficulties. An author of multiple books, articles, audio cd’s and videos, Dr. Heitler is best known in the therapy community for having brought understandings of conflict resolution from the legal and business mediation world to the professional literature on psychotherapy. David Decides About Thumbsucking, Dr. Heitler’s first book, has been recommended for over twenty years by children’s dentists to help young children end detrimental sucking habits. From Conflict to Resolution, an innovative conflict-resolution theory of psychopathology and treatment, has strongly influenced the work of many therapists. The Power of Two and The Power of Two Workbook, and also Dr. Heitler’s  website for couples called PowerOfTwoMarriage.com, teach the skills for marriage success. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Heitler coaches boards of directors in skills for collaboarative decision-making and, in the world of professional sports, Dr. Heitler serves as mental coach for a men’s doubles tennis team. Education Dr. Heitler graduated from Harvard  University in 1967, and earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from NYU in 1975. Awards and Accomplishments The editors of the master therapist video series Assessment and Treatment of Psychological Disorders selected Dr. Heitler from all the marriage and family therapists in the US to demonstrate the theory and techniques of couple treatment.  Her video from this series, The Angry Couple: Conflict Focused Treatment has become a staple in psychologist and marriage counseling training programs. The editors of the Psychologist Desk Reference, a compendium of therapeutic interventions, selected Dr. Heitler to write the chapter onTreating High Conflict Couples. Other editors of books on counseling theory and techniques have similarly invited her to contribute chapters on her conflict resolution treatment methods. Dr. Heitler’s 1997 book The Power of Two (New Harbinger), which clarifies the communication and conflict resolution skills that sustain healthy marriages, has been translated for publication in six foreign language editions–in China, Taiwan, Israel, Turkey, Brazil and Poland. Dr. Heitler has been invited to present workshops on her conflict resolution methods for mediators and lawyers, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists throughout the country.  She has been a popular presenter at national professional conferences including AAMFT, APA, SmartMarriages, and SEPI and has lectured internationally in Austria, Australia, Canada, China, Israel, Lebanon, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Heitler is frequently interviewed in magazines such as FitnessMen’s HealthWomen’s World, and Parenting.  Her cases have appeared often in the Ladies Home Journal column “Can This Marriage Be Saved?”  She is often interviewed by Denver TV newscasters for her perspectives on psychological aspects of current events. In May, 2004 Dr. Heitler appeared on the CBS Early Show where anchor Harry Smith introduced her as “the most influential person in my life—my therapist.”  He encouraged his viewers similarly to seek therapy when they are emotionally distressed and pre-marital counseling when they are contemplating marriage. Most recently, Dr. Heitler, three of her adult children and one of their friends were awarded a U.S. government Healthy Marriages Initiative grant to produce interactive games for teaching marriage communication and conflict resolution skills over the internet.  Seehttp://poweroftwomarriage.com to experience their fun, low-cost, high-impact methods of teaching the skills for a strong and loving marriage. Personal Dr.  Heitler and her husband of almost 40 years are proud parents of four happily married adult children and are grandparents, thus far, of a a baker’s dozen grandchildren.

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