Speaking vs. Stuffing Your Truth – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

Most of us do not easily speak our truth. Our behavior is determined by years of conditioning. We are told, “Be nice and polite,” and “Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.” We may be so bogged down with shoulds and shouldn’ts that we find it hard to identfy our true feelings and needs, much less respectfully and responsibly communicate them to others. There are basically four options when it comes to speaking vs. stuffing your truth: Option number one is to stuff our truth down — also known as passivity, and this can potentially lead to problems with substance abuse and/or feelings of depression. Option number two is to blast our truth out — also known as aggression. This can be seen as violence, yelling, road rage, or even being sarcastic or mean. Option three is a combo plate, which is known as passive-aggressive. It might seemkind, but it is really aggressive. For… Continue reading

Taking A Look At Our Familial Communication – By Jackie Stein, Family Recovery Life Coach

As we start the New Year, I’ve begun thinking of ways we can refine and develop our family communication skills. Communication is the method we use to exchange information. In the family unit, it can be between partners, between parents and children and between children. Communication can be with words but can also be with gestures and/or behavior. When we communicate using gestures or behavior alone, sometimes signals get crossed, because personal perceptions are overlaid. Think of your reaction when you say something and your partner or child rolls his or her eyes. What they are “saying” and what you are “hearing” may not be the same thing. By the same token, written communication is often misconstrued as well. Think about the recent phenomenon of text messaging and tweeting. Use of just words and no intonation allows the message recipient to spin the language based upon how they hear internally… Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery By Rosemary O’Connor – Communication is a Skill; Worry is an Unnecessary Evil – Review By Jackie Stein

The next two chapters of Rosemary O’Connor’s book, “A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery — Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Kids”, deal with very important topics for anyone in sobriety, but maybe more so for Moms than anyone else. Without good communication skills, our relationships with our kids can be severely damaged.  And if we are overwrought, our kids pick up on that and are severely affected. Being a Mom ain’t easy, but it is so worth it. One of the best things about 12 step programs is that we learn all the good and bad ways to communicate. I have often thought that the world would be a better place if everyone had a 12 step program. Communication is a vital part of working the steps. Before recovery, my communication skills were relegated to loud and raucous arguments or intense silence. I didn’t understand that… Continue reading