address of this page is http://sfhelp.org/relate/guide4.htm
April 01, 2014
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Objective - studying Lessons 1-4 will empower you to
assess the quality of any relationship so you can reduce any
stress and raise your satisfaction from it. The
concepts in this lesson apply equally to the dynamics among
your personality subselves and the people in your life.
This brief YouTube video outlines the main topics in this Lesson:
At the end I mention "...lesson 4 of 8." I've reduced that to seven
Break-the-Cycle lesson proposes options for optimizing your relationships.
The lesson assumes you've made significant progress on
Lessons 1 thru 3. You can assess your knowledge of these lessons by taking these
quizzes. . If you feel knowledgeable
enough, you can skip some or most of the "review" items in these
Lesson 4 is
divided into sequential modules:
1) relationship basics
2) relating to yourself,
3) how to solve relationship problems
4) primary relationships, divorce, and ex-mate relations; and...
5) relating to a
Lesson 5 in this
online4 course focuses on family relationships, and Lesson 6 focuses on
parenting children and teens.
Lesson 7 focuses on stepfamily relationships.
Why Study This Lesson?
Overall, do your current relationships enhance or degrade the quality of your life? Would you like to improve the quality of your
relationships if you could?
We humans are social animals. Adults, kids, and infants need other people
to help fill a range of needs like companionship, affirmation,
love, support, learning, stimulation, and belonging. Many factors determine
our relationship satisfactions, and our society doesn't teach people how
to understand and manage these factors well.
The evidence is everywhere - divorces, domestic violence, abuse,
neglect, abandonment, "not speaking," affairs, crime, and so on.
any time the existence and/or actions of person "A" has a "significant
effect" on person "B," they have a "relationship." Using
this definition, how many relationships do you have now? Among them,
identify the most satisfying relationship you have. Now think of one
or more stressful relationships. What makes the difference? This lesson
offers a practical answer.
You can only control your half
of any relationship. Do you know how to optimize your half now? Do you know how to identify "relationship problems"
and negotiate effective solutions? Can you choose "compatible" people to
relate to, and avoid "problem people?" Did the adults who raised you
know these things? Are you teaching the young people in your life how to
The main reason to study
this lesson is to raise your awareness of the
relationships that shape the quality of your life and your opinion of
yourself. Another reason is to grow your ability to analyze and resolve
"relationship problems" effectively. On a scale of one (very ineffective)
to ten (very effective), how would you rate your abilities to do these
two things now?
A third compelling reason to study this lesson is to help you evolve a
high-nurturance family (Lesson 5), and improve the lives of a
multi-generational fan of living and unborn people that you are affecting.
Status Check -
mentally Review the top five of your current life priorities. Is
progress with Lessons 1-3 (reducing wounds / learning communication skills /
grief) included? With your priorities in mind,
rank how important improving
your relationship skills and satisfactions is now:
_ very important _
moderately important _ unimportant.
If you have limited time and patience, and/or you're a
visual/auditory learner, get a preliminary understanding of this
lesson by viewing all
the videos in YouTube playlists 4a (relationship basics) and 4b.(marriage and divorce).
They total about 15 hours. Most of the articles below include
one or more of these videos.
You'll get the most from investing time in this self-improvement Lesson if your true Self
guides you and you choose an
undistracted time and place to learn. You can enhance your learning by
finding a like-minded partner or group to discuss these learnings with.
Module 1 - Relationship Basics
This module exists because our wounded society struggles with
"relationship problems" without understanding what causes them
and how to
resolve them. This module will help you grow a knowledge base for the other four
modules in this lesson. Check each step off after you complete it.
you treat yourself as well as you treat people you care the most about? My clinical observation over 30 years is
that most Americans treat themselves poorly - i.e. unhealthy diets, too
little exercise and quality sleep, too little preventive health care, and
choosing unbalanced, stressful lifestyles.
I propose this is
largely due to the pervasive [wounds + unawareness]
cycle that is
relentlessly degrading our society.
The purpose of this module is to increase your
awareness of how you treat yourself, and to motivate you to improve that.
perspective on your unique personality (Lesson 1)
__ 4-19) Review this
comparison of true Self and
false-self behavioral traits. Does your Self (capital "S") guide you
in most calm and
stressful situations? If not, keep working on
__ 4-20) _
Read this perspective on wholistic
health, and then _ rank yours from 1 (low) to ten (high)
yourself? Vividly picture the person/s you love most now. Enjoy the feeling of
respect, delight, and admiration you have for them. Then study your
reflection in a mirror. Do you feel the same about that
Are you :living on purpose"?
Experience this brief video ("the Dash")
on what you do with your life Then experience "The
Man Who Planted Trees"
Consider these ideas on awareness.
Then try this simple self-awareness exercise at random times for a week or more. See what you learn.
Identify your current
as judged by your actions, not your words. Is maintaining your
wholistic health among
_ Review this sample Bill of Personal Rights.
Then _ draft your own , and use it in conflictual or
uncertain situations. Option - encourage any young
people in your life to make their own Bill.
Review these ideas about the skill of assertion
(Lesson 2). Then rank yourself as
an asserter from one (ineffective) to ten (very
effective). Do you usually rank your needs as equally important as other peoples' needs?
("No" suggests psychological wounds.).
Premise - a "relationship problem" occurs whenever the attitudes,
and/or behavior of one person significantly hinders another other person
from filling some primary needs. Our society doesn't teach people how to avoid or resolve relationship problems effectively.
That's why this module exists.
Study these nine common barriers to
satisfying relationships. Are they affecting your life?
__ 4-42)Study this proposal for analyzing any
relationship or social-role problem effectively
__ 4-53) Learn
options for dealing with
scapegoating, being a "black sheep," and/or bullying.
__ 4-54) Identify several "significant' relationship problems in your life
now, apply what you learned in this module, and see what
happens. Option - journal about your experiences.
Module 4 - Primary Relationships, Divorce, and Ex mates
Current and former primary relationships have some unique features. This module
focuses on optimizing such relationships. Option - see the
related YouTube videos in playlist
4b in the "Gerlach" channel. Here
"marriage" means a committed primary relationship.
__ 4-55) Review
these four factors required for
__ 4-56) Read this
proposal on the keys to a satisfying marriage and
compare it to your experience.
__ 4-57) Study
this worksheet on what needs typical mates
try to fill in their relationship.
__ 4-70) each of
you mates fill out this strengths/stressors profileand
discuss it honestly together
My experience as a family-systems therapist for
33 years is that
trouble and divorce are caused by...
wounds + ignorance of
grieving, communication, and relationship basics (Lessons 1-4 here)
public denial of, and tolerance for,
the lethal [wounds and ignorance]
If this is so and you experience "marital problems," then
counselors, therapists, and marital programs who aren't aware of these
causal factors or minimize them. Such well-meaning helpers usually focus
on superficial issues, not the
primal ones - specially not on
Module 5 - Relationship with a Higher Power
Many psychological wound-reduction experts propose that a firm belief in
a benign (vs. stern, jealous, wrathful, punitive) Higher Power is essential
Grown Wounded Children (GWCs) are either...
indifferent to spirituality,
atheists or agnostics,
passive believers in a Supreme Being,
active believers who pray and worship
regularly. They may have a fear-based faith (e.g. fearing
sin, God's "wrath," and eternal damnation) or a nourishing faith in a benign,
loving, responsive God.
Some of the latter have a one-way relationship. They do not expect to
converse with God. Others are open to a two-way (mutual, interactive) relationship with
their Higher Power - i.e. having meaningful real-time dialogs.
Premises - a two-way spiritual relationship is achievable by anyone who
intentionally increases their
seeks to be guided by their true Self.
This is a complex topic which deserves its own Web site.
The "assignments" below
are offered to increase your awareness and enhance your relationship
with a reliable, caring Supreme Being.
__ 4-71) Define
the difference between religion and spirituality out loud.Are you religious, spiritual, both, or neither?
__ 4-72) With
your Self (capital 'S')
in charge, read this perspective on toxic and
nurturing religion (vs.
__ 4-73) Meditate
and reflect: which childhood people - specifically - most influenced
your religious faith and practices? Why?
__ 4-74) Reflect:
were those people following someone else's idea of God, or had they
formed their own opinions from reflections and mature
__ 4-75) Do you
feel you were encouraged to explore and form your own understanding and
ways of worship, or were you required to accept someone
__ 4-76) Define _
"prayer," _ "effective prayer," and _ "answered prayer" out loud.
__ 4-77) if you
pray, do you listen for a response (thoughts, feelings, hunches,
and/or "senses")? If not, why? If so, do you
trust and follow your "still, small voice"? If not, why?
__ 4-82) Congratulations
- you've finished Lesson 4! Take
this quiz again to assess what you've learned
here. Then (a) keep working
on Lessons 1-3, and (b) move on to
Lesson 5.- improve your family's
Options - re-study and discuss
selected topics here in important relationship
conflicts and/or on anniversaries.
Consider alerting other family
memberrs and friends to this ad-free online course.
This fourth self-improvement study guide provides 82 "assignments"
in five modules to help you
internal and external relationships - including with your Self and your Higher Power.
The guide proposes
practical options for analyzing and resolving common relationship problems.
These assignments will help you choose and evolve more enjoyable relationships
and significantly reduce stress. They're based on