What To Do When You Have the Same Fight Over & Over

Here at the Stop The Drama! Campaign Doc Robyn often receives emails asking for advice.  The email below came in this week and we thought it and Doc Robyn’s response might be helpful to more than just the sender.  Here’s a shout-out to the person who was brave enough to ask the question.  We hope her strength is your gain.

Original email (In its entirety, names removed):

I just watched your video on how to make a point productively, and I have a couple of questions for you.

My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year. We love each other very much but have contradicting viewpoints on quite a few topics. For example, I have an almost irrational fear of being cheated on (every relationship I have been in, apart from one, has ended with the man leaving me for another woman), and like to be updated about his personal life, simply for my own benefit and reassurance. However, he is intent on keeping his private life private, to the point he jerks his phone out of my hands should I touch it. I can understand it, really, but my fear keeps me from being able to handle this productively, and it often ends in a screaming match.

I should point out that we do live together, and he’s almost always at home, so if he’s talking to other girls, it.would be at school or online. Anyway, I have tried to explain my fear to him, and he says that if I can’t trust him fully I am “going to lose him by my own doing”. This also often ends in a fight where I have to stomp out of the room to cool down so that it won’t escalate further. After we cool off, I have tried once or twice to talk again, this time more calmly, and he will have none of it.

I genuinely feel like this man is my soul mate for many reasons, and am intent on keeping it together. Do you have any suggestions on how to discuss this in a way that will not start a fight?

He also says, during these arguments, when I ask him to level with me, that he won’t change for anyone, not even me. It hurts my feelings when he says that, as I have changed the majority of my life to accommodate his needs. Any advice on this?

I’m sorry for the lengthy email, and I thank you very much for the reply.

Doc Robyn’s reply:

Thank you for your email.  It is always nice to hear that people are finding my videos helpful.

There is SO much in your email that I could respond to.  Certainly if you were a client we would to explore all of it.  There is no way we can do that via email.  Since you stated that your goal is to make this relationship work, I will respond with that in mind.

Here are a few questions you might want to consider:

  1. When in an intimate relationship with and living with someone, what does it mean to you to have a “private life”?
  2. What expectations do you have about what he should share and what is okay for him to keep to himself?
  3. What do you share and what do you keep to yourself? Are the expectations the same on both sides?
  4. How much of your concerns are really about his behavior (he jerks the phone out of your hands) and how much if it is leftover “stuff” from other relationships?

I would also like to share a tidbit from my life –  I have always lived by the motto “If she can get him she can have him because if he’ll leave he’s not worth keeping.”  And before you assume I feel that way because I have never been cheated on let me assure you that is not the case.  I have been and badly.  It is important for you to realize there is NOTHING you can do to create a healthy, monogamous relationship with someone who doesn’t want one with you.  It is your job to defend your relationship from the men who hit on you.  It is HIS job to defend the relationship from women who hit on him (this also assumes neither of you is actually chasing others). 

A healthy relationship does not involve bouts of screaming, yelling, fighting, crying, demanding and making up.  A good relationship is work.  But it isn’t hard and it isn’t ever miserable.  You deserve to be loved by someone who wants to love you, who cares about you enough to really be there emotionally for you and who is willing to earn your trust.  Is your BF that man for you?  If yes, then enjoy who he is and what you have and stop nagging him about who he’s not and what you don’t.  If he is not, find someone who is. He isn’t going to change.

As always, I wish you the most from your potential!

Doc Robyn

Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known conflict resolution expert, motivational speaker and executive wordsmith.  As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of life through active leadership, powerful teamwork, effective communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills.  She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time.  To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, please contact her here.

Doc Robyn’s Top Tip for Increasing Mental Toughness

Lately I have been following #MentalToughness on Twitter and have been very disappointed with what I have been seeing.  Athletes and even coaches talking about running until they make themselves sick or getting up in the middle of the night to take an ice bath.  Anything you do physically will not increase your mental toughness.  It may show that you have it, or break you if you don’t but it won’t change it.  Increasing your mental toughness is about changing how your mind works in stressful situations and where your focus is.  When I give presentations on this subject one of the skills I teach is the difference between evaluation and performance.  Evaluation is looking backwards to determine how something went and how it might be improved or repeated.  Performance is about looking forward and actually doing something.  Your brain can only do one at a time.  However, how often have you thought in the middle of a game “that was dumb; I wonder if coach is going to pull me out of the game” or “that was great; I wonder if I can do that again”?  Those are evaluation thoughts.  To perform at your peak you need to being thinking exclusively about what you need to do in the next 10 seconds.

I hope you find that tips on increasing your mental toughness helpful.  If you have a question or a topic you would like me to address, feel free to email me at [email protected], comment below or use the contact us page.  I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential.

Totally a side note – how can it be that in all three thumbnails for this week’s video my eyes were closed?!?!

 

 

Jealousy: The Ugly, Green Eyed Monster

Jealousy is something many coaches see on their teams.  However, a lot of emotions are labeled jealousy that aren’t.  When an athlete believes they work just as hard (or harder) and are just as talented (or more talented) than someone else and the other person is given more playing time or the starting spot an athlete will be disappointed or frustrated.  Jealousy occurs when someone thinks they deserve something that they haven’t worked for.  For example, I might be jealous of Bill Gates’ money.  I haven’t put in the investment of time, energy, blood, sweat and tears that he has to earn the money he has.

If you have an athlete who is legitimately jealous, sit down with her and outline what she needs to do to deserve more playing time or that starting spot.  It is extremely important that you are honest about the possibility of her achieving what she wants.  It might be, no matter how hard she tries she won’t get there (I could give 100% to trying to play in the NFL – not going to happen).  Setting appropriate expectations will go a long way to easing jealousy.

I hope you find that tip helpful.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

Thanks for watching and I wish you the most from your potential!

Know When to Take an Emotional Timeout

 

Today Doc Robyn finishes up the video series on the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama! with the final secret, Know when to call an emotional timeout and use it.  All too often as a conversation turns into a confrontation and things began a downward spiral it feels like there is nothing we can do about it.  As soon as you realize a conversation is becoming harmful instead of helpful, take a timeout.  Let the other person know you would like to continue talking about the issue but right now you are not in a place to do so productively.  Set a time to have another discussion after you have cooled off.  That might mean in two hours or two days.  Take time to walk around the block and get yourself back to a level headed place.  This will help you not say things you will later regret.

 

Let me know in the comments if you found that tip helpful.  If you would like to have a copy of all seven secrets you can download them from the bottom of the home page.  If you have a question you’d like me to answer on my video blog, you can send me an email at [email protected].

 

I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential!

Create Team Vocabulary – No-Fail Secrets Series 6 of 7

Hi! I’m Doc Robyn, founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign.  Today I am continuing the conversation about the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama!  You can download your copy of all seven secrets from the bottom of the home page.

Today we are talking about the sixth secret “Create and use a team vocabulary”.  The words we use convey only 10% of our meaning.  The other 90% is made up of what the listener infers from the situation and the body language. The word ‘respect’ is one that often means different things to different people.  I worked with a team with an athlete who would yell ‘FOCUS’ during games.  She wasn’t trying to suggest her teammates weren’t focused or to be rude.  She was trying to encourage her teammates to play to their full potential.  Unfortunately, that isn’t what her teammates heard.  Take the time to have a conversation with your team about what specific words mean in specific situations. It will help eliminate misunderstandings and reduce team drama.

I hope you found that tip helpful.  I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the MOST from your potential.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, email me at [email protected]

 

Ask Before Providing Feedback No-Fail Secrets series 5 of 7

Today I am continuing the conversation we have been having about the Seven No-Fail Secrets to Stop The Drama!  Today’s secret is ‘Ask before providing feedback’.  Giving useful feedback is a great way to help a teammate become better.  However, it is not something you should just blindside them with whenever you think of it.  Instead, check in with them to determine if it is a good time.  Saying things like “I’d like to offer you some feedback” or “Can I share a suggesting with you” will give them a split second to prepare themselves.  And if it isn’t a good time, they can let you know when it would be better.   It is also important to think about what is going on around you.  Giving feedback in the locker room or on the field/court with other teammate around can create an embarrassing or defensive situation.  “Constructive criticism” is a private matter meant to help an individual be better.  There is no need to share it with the whole team.

 

I hope you found that tip helpful.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, email me at [email protected].

 

I look forward to seeing you in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential.

Making a difference, one speaking engagement at a time

You really did such an outstanding job last night! You seem to have hit your stride, and your comedic flair for inciting people to laugh at our flaws is ideal for a world that all too often takes itself too seriously. I think your mission is to improve the micro-worlds we live in–sports teams, at home, at work–one drama queen at a time!

Thank you so much for your support of this organization! (Professional Women’s Group – Dress for Success Morris County)

Danielle Adams
Business Solutions Officer
Affinity Federal Credit Union

Assume the Positive – No-Fail Secrets series 4 of 7

Today’s secret is ‘assume the positive’.  It is really easy for us to make up and assume negative things about people.  “She’s out to get me.” “He is stupid.” “My coach doesn’t like me.”  As I often explain when I give keynote talks, most often people aren’t out to get you even if it feels that way.  When we go to talk to someone with a negative assumption they are likely to become defensive pretty quickly.  If we can make up something positive instead, “My coach is trying to make me a better player”, or at least neutral, “I wonder what is going on”, we are more likely to have a conversation than a confrontation.

If you have a question you would like me to answer you can email me at [email protected], use the contact page, send me a tweet @DocRobyn or message me on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing you again in future videos and I wish you the most from your potential

Put Internal Dialogue into Words – No-Fail Secrets series 3 of 7

Your internal dialogue is the running commentary created in your head by the body language and inflection someone is using during a conversation.  Unfortunately, we very rarely share this information with the person we are talking to until we are upset about it.  You might think someone is being rude or mean when that isn’t their intention at all.  When you put your internal dialogue into words it allows the other person to understand where you are in the conversation and to correct course more quickly when a miscommunication is occurring.

Thank you for watching and I wish you the most from your potential.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, you can email me at [email protected]

 

You are Invited to Doc Robyn’s Talk on Mental Toughness

Topic:   Increasing Your Mental Toughness

When:                                                                             Where:

Saturday November 3, 2012                                           Kendall Park Roller Rink
Presentation From 9:00—10:00 AM                               3550 State Route 27
Doors open at 8:00 AM                                                   Kendall Park, NJ 08824

Nationally known sport psychologist, author and speaker Dr. Robyn Odegaard will give a rare, open to the public, presentation: Increasing Your Mental Toughness.  $10 Per Person – Proceeds to benefit Breakaway Racing.

Download Flyer: Mental Toughness flyer

Questions: Email [email protected]

Breakaway Racing is a world class inline speed skating team open to all interested in the sport of  inline racing.  Please contact Jane Carey at 267-229-8080 for more information

Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka Doc Robyn) is a nationally known speaker, writer, and consultant.  She has a doctorate in psychology with a concentration in sport and performance from Rutgers University. She is CEO of Champion Performance Development (www.ChampPerformance.com), an organization that enables her to combine her skills in executive coaching, organizational development, sports psychology, and public speaking to show her clients how they can achieve success in every aspect of their lives.  Doc Robyn founded the Stop The Drama! Campaign, authored the book Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams (www.StopTheDramaNow.com), and speaks at high schools and colleges, instilling in students the same skills that bring success to her business clients.  She is a sought after expert in leadership, teamwork, communication and conflict resolution for radio, TV and print.   Doc Robyn recommends the presentation for ages 15+.