Monthly Archives: May 2014

When Love is a Choice – Step-Relations, Expectations, and a Response

By Monica Nelson The movie, Love Actually, is a story that focuses on the love or hopeful love relationships between many diverse couples. While the majority of those relationships are of the romantic variety, the relationship that fascinates me the most is the one between a father and his step-son. Early in the movie, you see them both saying farewell to the link between them, the adult character’s wife and mother to the boy. This relationship is the most heart-warming of the ones in the entire story. The majority of the others are brought together by the chemistry of love. But this particular relationship is not sexual, nor is it … Continue reading

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Be Careful How you Classify Someone, Even if You Mean the Best By It

By Monica Nelson Many, many years ago when I was a young single adult, I became friends with a woman who wanted to set me up with all of her husband’s single friends. She was so adamant about doing this and wanted so much to see me connected to one of them that she tended to “talk me up” a lot. On one such set-up she told the man that I was a model. (Not true. I had taken modeling classes but had never worked as one.) On the night we were to get together, she and I traveled to a practice session (her husband and his friend were both … Continue reading

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How to Stop Manipulative or Controlling Behavior in Close Relationships

By Monica Nelson Last week we talked about how manipulators who are also emotionally intelligent people can covertly exploit you. You are in particular danger if you are a sensitive and highly empathetic person. One word of warning before we start: If the manipulator or manipulators in your life are also physically abusive, you must take the proper steps to separate yourself from them. If you choose to use these steps to work on the relationship, be sure to do so in a safe environment with others present. Counseling settings are appropriate as safe environments. I urge you to take the time and effort to ensure your own safety. First … Continue reading

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Is Emotional Intelligence a Double-edged Sword? – Beware the EI Covert Emotional Manipulators

By Monica Nelson Empathy is a strong and mostly positive character trait. We value empathy for its power in encouraging good moral behavior in society, teaching our young the difference between right and wrong, and creating a philanthropic sensitivity toward the less-fortunate in our world. But, like so many other things, empathy can be exploited. And often is in the hands of skillful manipulators. Manipulators come in all forms. Some are driven by character deficiencies, others by low self-esteem and painful or tragic pasts. Some, however, are simply born that way. But the very worst are those who know that they are manipulating others and continue to do so for … Continue reading

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