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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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The Gift of Time

There are times that I am just grumpy. Not because there is really a problem or issue. But more, perhaps, because I didn’t sleep well or need food. Sometimes I am grumpy for a reason. I got into a fight with my husband or one of my children. However, I have learned, when I am grumpy, this is not the time for me to speak.

My mother taught me, “If you cannot say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I think that there is a great deal of truth in that old saying. But I would like to add one more piece to it. Eventually, things need to be worked out. So, when I am grumpy, for whatever reason, I give myself some time. I eat if necessary. I do some journaling/running/thinking to get centered about what is really bothering me, make sure that I am in a kind space and then go back to the person that I am having an issue with. Then I can have a productive discussion to resolve any outstanding problems.

Unfortunately, many people feel that they need to resolve things immediately, before they are calm, perhaps before they are even clear about why they are upset. Typically what arises from that situation is a bunch of hurt feelings. We say things that we only mean in that moment. Our relationships are damaged, sometimes beyond repair.

So, wait. Get centered. Be kind to people. You lose nothing by doing so. Very few fights need to be resolved NOW! Oftentimes, they can be resolved much better and easier later. Stop, breathe. Ask yourself what is really important, what do you really need. Challenge yourself to look at the person across from you and kindly and lovingly and tactfully, ask for what you want. You can do this. Just give yourself some time.

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