The benefits of asking more questions.

Counseling questions

Asking questions.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.

Many people don’t like to ask questions for fear; it will make them seem dumb. There’s an old saying that the dumbest question is the one you don’t ask. Research on asking questions shows that you can receive a lot of benefits from asking more questions. Learning to ask thoughtful questions can improve your knowledge and your career. Asking questions can show that you’re interested in what others have to say. Here are some ways in which asking more questions might benefit you.

Asking questions improves emotional intelligence.

High emotional intelligence can be a beneficial skill, particularly if you’re in a job or a situation that requires a lot of interaction with other people. People with high emotional intelligence are better at recognizing what their friends and partners are feeling, and it improves their interpersonal relationships.

Very few people announce what they’re feeling. Many people have trouble identifying their own feelings. Learning to understand what those around you are feeling can prevent a lot of problems. Asking people how they feel about things helps you learn to recognize other’s feelings and your own.

If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

A lot of errors and misunderstandings could be eliminated if only people would ask more questions. The people you’re talking with generally won’t know how much you know about the topic. Too much explanation may come across as demeaning and insulting. Too little explanation creates misunderstandings. By asking informed questions, you tell your conversation partner what things they need to explain better.

Good questions build relationships.

Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the other person and help build good relationships. By asking questions about the other person, you give them the opening to tell you more about themselves and their thinking. Allowing others to open up and talk about themselves deepens your connection.

Asking questions increase learning.

One way to consolidate learning is to ask questions about the material you have just been presented. If you’re reading something, pause periodically to ask yourself questions about the material. If you find it difficult to answer those questions, you need to reread or study the material more. Asking and answering these questions helps you to reinforce that learning. Asking questions of someone who is knowledgeable about a subject may reveal information you would not have learned otherwise.

Use open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions, ones that can’t be answered with a yes or no, increase communication. Closed-ended questions of the yes or no variety reduce communication. Too many closed-ended questions can shut down communication entirely and may come across as interrogation. Try asking people to tell you more about the topic. Encourage your conversation partner to expand on what they’ve already said.

You need to balance asking and answering questions.

Most people like being asked questions, but if you only ask them and never answer them, they find it hard to trust you. Good communication flows in both directions. If you want people to trust you and you expect them to answer your questions, you need to be trustworthy, and you need to answer their questions.

For more on the value of the skill of asking more and better questions, see the article in the Harvard Business Review titled The Surprising Power of Questions.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Amused

Amused.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

― Plato

“your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”

― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

“I think hiccup cures were really invented for the amusement of the patient’s friends.”

― Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Posttraumatic growth.

Injury

Trauma.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Surviving a trauma can damage you or make you grow.

Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) But it’s important to know that not everyone who experiences trauma is affected in the same way. Some people recover from traumas quickly, and they never experience a stress disorder. Other people deal with stress in one way or another, and over time that effect diminishes. Therapy, both professional and the self-help variety, can be useful in limiting the impact of trauma.

Some people, however, not only survive the trauma but grow as a result. It’s useful to know that the way you think about the trauma can determine whether your life is ruined or you develop a new sense of meaning and purpose. Look at this quote from Victor Frankel.

“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.” —Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

The concept of posttraumatic growth hasn’t gotten the attention it needs.

Sometimes, I can’t tell you how often, as a result of experiencing trauma, people experience sudden, dramatic growth. They learn new things about themselves and redefine themselves.

Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun coined the term “posttraumatic growth” to capture this phenomenon, defining it as the positive psychological change that is experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.”

There are seven ways in which adversity may result in sudden growth.

1. Adversity may create a greater appreciation of life.

Some people who have experienced a traumatic life experience report that afterward, they are glad to be alive. Having had a challenging experience may shift your vision from what’s wrong in your life to noticing all the positive blessings you have.

2. Surviving a traumatic event makes you appreciate the relationships you have.

After a trauma, some people have a greater appreciation for their relationships. Friends are more valued, and conflicts with family seem less important. Within a second chance at life, trauma survivors may decide to put more time and effort into their relationships.

3. You might experience increased compassion and altruism.

If you have experienced a traumatic event yourself, it’s easier to empathize with other people and what they are going through. Part of the healing process may be being of service to others who have gone through or are going through similar challenges.

4. You might identify new possibilities or a new purpose in life.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of life, thinking your struggles will never end. But, surviving a traumatic experience can be an opportunity to reevaluate what you’re doing and why. In the aftermath of traumatic experiences, people suddenly are open to new possibilities or discover a new purpose for their life.

5. You may become more aware of personal strengths.

Struggling with a challenge may make you realize all the other strengths you have. As people go through rehabilitation and recovery, they may become aware of a great many underutilized strengths.

6. Surviving trauma may result in enhanced spiritual development.

Even the most skeptical person may discover they have relied on their spiritual connection to get through the traumatic experience. Many trauma survivors report a renewal and rededication to their spiritual and religious beliefs.

7. Creative growth may be a result of traumatic experiences.

Negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, and grief, are common responses to trauma. Trying to avoid those emotions can lead to emotional numbness and avoidance. Getting stuck in the trauma can make things worse. What you focus on, you get more of, and concentrated on the pain inhibits your ability to see the positive in life.

Creative people and particularly creative people who have always been too busy to express themselves in creative ways may find that after a traumatic experience, they feel the need to express themselves in innovative ways. Sometimes challenging experiences are the catalyst for taking chances you have been avoiding.

Have you experienced trauma in your life? Has it been a source of growth for you?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Concentration.

Concentration.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Concentration.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”

― Oprah Winfrey

“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?”

― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

“That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times and concentrate on the good ones.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

 

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Sunday inspirational quotes, feelings, emotions, concentration, concentrate,

Is your relationship healthy?

Couple not talking

Unhappy relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

What should you look for in a healthy relationship?

It’s easy to spot an unhealthy relationship. The couple never gets along. They fight about everything, and there’s a lot of collateral damage when they fight. When there is an unhappy relationship, family, friends, and even the children wish this couple would call it quits. But just because there are no outside signs of conflict doesn’t mean that this is a healthy relationship.

The notion that in healthy relationships, there are never any conflicts is a myth. The idea that people in a good relationship are soulmates who need to be together continually isn’t accurate either. To have a healthy relationship, there needs to be a balance of togetherness and individuality. People in a healthy relationship do have disagreements and conflicts, but they can solve them without harming each other or the relationship. Here are some of the signs of a healthy relationship.

There are no topics you can’t talk about.

Are you able to talk about what’s on your mind? In a good relationship, there are no topics that are taboo. You shouldn’t have to censor what you say to your partner. That doesn’t mean that rude or hurtful comments are okay. In healthy relationships, you can talk to your partner about anything, you don’t have to feel like you’re walking on eggshells, but you need to say things respectfully.

You can still be you while being a part of an “us.”

Being in a couple-relationship involves a balancing of the individual and the couple. In the early stages of getting together, couples typically go through a period during which they can’t get enough of each other. In the early stages, they want to spend every minute together. But for the relationship to develop, the two people need to reach a point where each of them can be a separate “me” while still being a part of “us.”

Not being able to transition from creating an “us” to balancing your individual needs and interests with the things you do together as a couple can result in an unhealthy relationship. If your partner is pathologically jealous and doesn’t want you to do anything or go anywhere without them, that’s not love. Not allowing your partner to have separate feelings and interests creates severe problems in a relationship.

You can disagree without hurting each other.

In a healthy relationship, you can disagree. You don’t feel the need to force your partner to change their thinking. If disagreement threatens you or your partner, it’s a good indication that this is an unhealthy relationship.

You look for solutions, not who’s right.

“Right fighting” continuing arguments to prove that you’re right and your partner is wrong, is both a sign of and a cause of unhealthy relationships. In healthy relationships, you can look for “win-win” solutions. If you feel the need to fight to the bitter end and approach every conflict thinking that one of you must be right and the other is wrong, you’re not in a healthy relationship.

You don’t have to change each other.

Getting into a relationship, expecting your partner to change leads to incredible conflict. If either one of you feels that your partner needs to change for this to be a good relationship, you’re headed in a terrible direction. Certainly, people do change both when they get into relationships and when they lead them. There’s plenty of room for both personal growth and growth as a couple. But if you’ve convinced yourself that your partner needs to change for you to be happy, you need to take another look at yourself.

You don’t need something to happen to be happy.

The belief that something must happen and then the two of you can be happy together is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you’re not satisfied and not getting along, thinking that having a child, moving to a different city, or getting a new job will fix this are likely signs that this is not a healthy relationship. If you don’t enjoy the process of where you are going, you’re very likely to be disappointed when you get to your destination.

You make decisions together.

Every couple evolves how they handled decision-making. If your relationship is characterized by one person having all the power and control, and they make all the decisions regardless of what you think, this is an unhealthy relationship.

Your relationship creates more joy than pain.

Every relationship has some problematic patches. But if the bulk of your time with your partner is painful and you struggle to hold on to small patches of joy, you’re in an unhealthy relationship. The joyous times should far outweigh the pain.

You’re able to divide up the duties fairly.

There are myriad ways in which couples divide up duties. I read somewhere that 50-50 marriages do not work. Generally, each person in a relationship feels they are doing more than half the work. But when you step back and look at it, both of you need to agree that there’s a fair distribution of the duties.

You appreciate your partner and feel appreciated.

If you don’t appreciate your partner and they never show you appreciation, this is not a healthy relationship. Knowing that each of you cares about the other helps the health of the relationship. Couples who expressed their appreciation for each other build their relationship. Taking each other for granted is a sign your relationship suffers from ill-health.

In a healthy relationship, you trust each other.

In healthy relationships, people trust each other. If you don’t trust your partner, it can feel like you’re living with the enemy. Sometimes something has happened in the relationship to make one partner distrusts the other. If that’s happened, you need to be working on rebuilding that trust. If you came into the relationship with “trust issues,” this is your issue, and you need to be working on it. People with trust issues may need to seek individual counseling. Healthy relationships are characterized by high levels of trust and acceptance for each other.

Neither of you holds on to resentments.

Resentments poison relationships. The resentments you harbor that you haven’t been able to release prevents you from being happy. Both people in a relationship need to be working on getting rid of their resentments. Unhealthy relationships are characterized by high levels of resentment on both party’s parts.

The two of you are emotionally intimate.

In romantic relationships, physical intimacy helps build the couple’s relationship. But physical intimacy by itself is not enough. Healthy relationships need to include emotional closeness. If you don’t feel you can share your feelings with your partner, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

You feel safe when you’re with your partner.

Your partner should make you feel safe, and you should make them feel secure. Any relationship where someone feels unsafe is inherently unhealthy.

You can talk to each other about anything.

Open communication is essential for a healthy relationship. You should be able to talk with your partner about anything. That doesn’t mean your partner needs to agree with either your thinking or your feelings, but they should be open to hearing what you need to say. If there are things your partner wants to talk about that you don’t want to hear, you probably have work to do on yourself.

You both make repair efforts.

In healthy relationships, whenever there are problems, both parties need to make repair efforts. If you or your partner are holding onto grudges, unwilling to give in or even to discuss possible solutions, these are all signs that this is an unhealthy relationship.

You appreciate them and know they appreciate you.

Being appreciated and giving appreciation are not just nice things to have. High levels of appreciation flowing in both directions are essential for a healthy relationship.

While none of these characteristics are inherently all or nothing, each of the things I’ve described above is a good indicator of the health of your relationship. If your relationship is unhealthy, or simply not as healthy as you would like, you’ll need to decide if you are willing to work on yourself and work on your relationship with your partner. If you’ve discovered you’re in an unhealthy relationship, consider getting professional help either for the two of you or for each of you individually. Please don’t spend the rest of your life in an unhealthy relationship wishing that it would somehow miraculously change. Professional help is available for relationships and individual emotional problems.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Aging.

Aging.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Aging

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

― C.S. Lewis

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”

― Mark Twain

“When I was your age, television was called books.”

― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today October 2, 2020 – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today October 1 2020 – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today September 30th – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?

Sasquatch Attacks Book – Free Today

Today September 29th – Sasquatch Attacks  – Kindle edition will be free on Amazon.

Sasquatch Attacks.

Sasquatch Attacks is an action-packed time travel thriller mystery.

Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

Earl and Nancy, lost in the past, are looking for a way home. Sasquatch bars their way. Will they survive their time in the desert?