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Got Relationship Problems?
By Beth Banning and Neill Gibson

Learn to Create Magic in Your Relationship
Are you as happy in your relationship as you'd like? Do you ever feel frustrated or confused about how to get the love and respect you desire? Or do you feel anxious what the future holds if you stay in an unhappy relationship. If so... it may be time for you to discover how to create a little magic in your relationship.
Keep reading this article below >>

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NVC Quote of the Month

"As NVC replaces our old patterns of defending, withdrawing or attacking
in the face of judgment
and criticism. We come
to perceive ourselves
and others, as well as
our intentions and relationships, in a
new light. Resistance, defensiveness, and violent reactions are minimized.

"When we sense ourselves being defensive or unable to empathize, we need to (a) stop, breathe, give ourselves empathy,
(b) express nonviolently, or (c) take time out."


Relationship Problems?... continued

The suggestions in this article may be just what you need if you've ever heard yourself say things about your relationship like: "Is this all there is?" "Will I ever really be happy?" If so, you're not alone. We believe people in less that satisfying relationships ask these questions out of a basic human desire for happiness.

If you don't feel happy and fulfilled in your relationship, it seems inevitable you'll start to question what's going wrong. And as far as the question, "Will you ever really be happy?" our answer is: It depends. Are you willing to take responsibility for your own happiness?

Before reading the rest of this article, we invite you to view this video we made about one of the things we believe prevents many people from having the happiness they desire.

    View the Video now: Be Happy

Welcome back. As you read the following three steps you'll see how the ideas you found in the video will support you in beginning to make conscious choices about your relationships.

Step One: Uncover the Internal Root of Your Unhappiness

We believe the root of most people's unhappiness in their relationships begins to form long before they reach adulthood. This may be true for you as well.

You may have heard the saying, "No matter where you go, there YOU are." If you feel dissatisfied in your current relationship we recommend that you start making changes from the inside out. This is the most reliable way to start finding yourself in places that you want to be.

You can begin this process by first identifying specifically how you feel when things aren't going the way you'd like in your relationship and then asking yourself: "When is the earliest time in my life I remember feeling this way?"

You can almost bet that the first time you felt this way was sometime in your distant past, most likely when you were very young. As we pointed out in the video, the odds are that something happened that was painful, and because of this pain you developed a limiting belief about yourself and others.

In our work with people we find that, when you account for various ways of saying the same basic thing, these boil down to about seven to ten core limiting beliefs people hold about themselves, and a matching set of limiting beliefs they hold about others. We believe that every limiting belief we hold as "the truth" leads us to react in ways and make decisions about how we treat ourselves and others that reduce our ability to be happy.

As an example, we once worked with a couple where one person discovered they held the limiting beliefs, "I am powerless" and that "other people are manipulative and demanding." How do you imagine this person felt when their relationship partner did something they didn't like? How do you think they reacted as a result of holding these limiting beliefs?

This person told us that they would feel angry and resentful because they believed that they were being controlled. They also said they felt scared about not getting their needs met and what their future held.

When this belief was triggered in specific situations they predictably ended up feeing angry and acting cold and distant or sometimes simply giving in to the other person and feeling resentful.

We strongly suggest that you explore how you feel at times when things aren't going the way you'd like and then try to discover your own limiting beliefs that trigger how you feel at these times. As you do so you will become more aware of what is happening in you at the unconscious level that is feeding into the patterns that you don't like in your relationship.

We found it's nearly impossible for people to make any external changes in their life if they are unaware of what's going on internally that's driving their reactions. Once you've identified these limiting beliefs it then becomes possible for you to choose whether or not you will continue to believe that they are true. And more importantly, to choose what you want to hold as your truth in the future.

Choosing what you will hold as true about yourself and others is critical, because as we are very fond of saying, what you focus your attention on will grow.

Step Two: Stop Blaming Others for Your Unhappiness

Do you think someone else has the power to cause your emotions, to "make" you feel unhappy, anxious, withdrawn, sad, lonely, etc.?

Believing this is true puts all the power for how you feel into the other person's hands. You give all control of your feelings over to them. Even worse, can you see how easy it would be to become angry, resentful or depressed if you believe the other person is exercising this kind of power over you?

We teach that it's impossible for anyone else to "make" you feel any particular way. It is always YOUR beliefs and the thinking these beliefs produce about your situation that cause your pain.

Do you want your happiness to depend on whether other people act in the ways you want? Or would you prefer to have your happiness come from the inside -- from responding to circumstances in your life in harmony with what you value?

The next time you feel any way you don't enjoy -- stop and figure out what underlying beliefs are creating the thinking that causes you to feel the way you do. See if the show isn't being run by some core belief like, "I not good enough and other people are uncaring."

Then examine these underlying beliefs and choose whether they are the most empowering beliefs you could possibly have. If not, figure out something that is truer than "I not good enough and other people are uncaring." Something like, "I am lovable and other people are caring when their needs are considered."

Choose a belief that feels better. We guarantee it's always more accurate! And even if you can't prove it's true in absolutely every circumstance, you're still more likely to get what you want if you start pursuing what you want with a more open and positive set of beliefs.

Step Three: Identify What's Most Important to You at a Core Level

Unfortunately, we are not taught how to identify what's most important to us. Actually we are taught just the opposite, to value other people's opinions more highly than our own. However, if you want healthy, satisfying relationships you first have to know what is important to you, because you can't figure out how to get something if you don't know what it is. This requires learning how to go deep inside to discover what you most genuinely value -- what you most want to experience in your relationships and in your life.

Downloading our free Values Exercise is a good starting point for learning this skill.

Whenever the person you're in a relationship with behaves in ways you don't like, you can use this exercise to discover what you value most deeply that's missing in the situation. From that moment forward, you can start turning your attention to ways you can begin to experience these qualities you desire most -- ones that would bring more joy to your life.

The ability to quickly determine what you value that's missing in any situation is the first and most important step you can take in making sure that you begin to get it. When you combine this skill with a set of chosen beliefs about yourself and others, you put yourself in a position to take actions that are a reflection of what is most truly important you. Actions that you will be much less likely to regret later. After all, how often have your limiting beliefs helped you take careful aim at your own foot and then pulled the trigger?

Start Creating Your Own Relationship Magic

We don't give people about advice about whether they should or shouldn't stay in their present relationship. What we suggest is that, unless you discover the core limiting beliefs that are creating the quality of your current relationship and your unhappiness with it, and then start making conscious choices about what you want instead, things will most likely continue to go the way they have in the past.

Imagine what it will be like when you have learned to:

    Uncover and transform the internal root of your unhappiness.
    Take responsibility and stop blaming others for how you feel.
    Identify and act on what's most important to you at a core level.

In our experience, this is when it becomes possible to make conscious choices and take actions that will help you create a relationship full of the authentic happiness that you most desire. The changes you can experience in your relationship when you learn to master these three steps may seem like magic, but it's magic that is conjured from the heart, not by sleight-of-hand. And isn't that the best kind of magic for creating the kind of relationship you want?


Neill Gibson is coauthor of the PuddleDancer Press booklet What's Making You Angry? He and Beth Banning are the founders of Focused Attention, Inc. and recently published a new, best-selling set of eBooks called, The Marriage Guide Series available through for $.99 to $2.99. (You can read these on any kind of device you own with free readers available from


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New Cover Survey ROUND 4... continued

If you didn't see our prior messages about the new cover design, here's the scoop.

We're gearing up to reintroduce Dr. Rosenberg's bestselling book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, with a new cover design. We would greatly appreciate it if you would take just five minutes right now to participate in ROUND 4 of the survey to help select the best new cover for the NVC book.

Help us select a new cover for Marshall Rosenberg's bestselling title and you could win the NVC Starter Kit Book Package from our online NVC bookstore!

As a Thank You for Your Time...

When you provide your name and email address at the end of the survey, your name will be entered to win the entire NVC Starter Kit Book Package from our online NVC bookstore. All you need to do is complete our survey no later than midnight PST Sunday, August 25, 2013.

So please take this quick survey now!

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If you complete the survey, whether or not you provide your name and email, you will receive a coupon code good for an additional 20% off the total of all products in your next order from the online NVC bookstore, where everything is already discounted from 30% to 50%! (This coupon expires August 31, 2013.)

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And as always, thank you for your support!

The PuddleDancer Press team


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