5 Ways to Reframe Being Bossy in Work and Life… (Read Time: 4 min.)

woman  7Sometimes, someone will call you bossy and it’ll be spot on.  In that moment, you’ll need to take a step back, reflect, and shift.  There are other times, however, when someone calls you bossy and it’s not an issue of control so much as it’s a matter of you standing up for your needs, desires, and level of self-worth.  In those moments, it’s important to stand your ground, not take the other person personally, and reframe the insult so that you hear it but you don’t embrace it.

How do you do that?

Here are 5 ways to carry out self talk that views bossy in a positive light:

  1. I am demanding.  I know what I want and I’m unwilling to settle for less.  It might make other people insecure but that’s a challenge to them to be more, not to feel like less.
  2. I’m a natural leader.  My talents have equipped me with the ability to make clear, carefully thought out decisions in less time than most.  I know how to ask to have my needs met and I know how to find, create or obtain the resources necessary to do that.  People who have this ability respect what I bring to the table.  I don’t flaunt my power.  I embrace it.
  3. I listen to my inner knowing, trust my instincts, and act without looking back.  I have an inner wisdom that I trust at all times.  I don’t doubt my Higher Self.  I trust it and take action.  There’s no need for second guessing in my inner world.
  4. I am determined, persistent, focused and clear.  I consider the options, listen to opinions but I am not swayed by either.  I listen to my intuition and stay on course.  I own my mistakes, learn from my failures and keep it moving.  That is what makes me a champion.
  5. I value myself highly because I know that I bring tremendous value to the world.  I know my value.  My confidence is well deserved.  Honoring myself gives other people permission to honor themselves.  There’s no hiding my light going on here.  I shine brilliantly because I can and that encourages others to do the same.

Each of the above 5 statements could be taken as “bossy”: demanding, rigid, stubborn, and stuck up/conceited.  If someone has the audacity to call you that to your face (and you know there are no grounds in reality for it), thank them for the compliment and continue these five points of self talk.  At the end of the day, no one can tell you who you  REALLY are but you so speak into your life who you know yourself to be.



How to Get Marital Peace When You’d Rather Be Anywhere But Home… (Read Time: 4 min.)

coule 6You run your show.  You bring home the bacon.  You’re the one wearing the pants… and the BOTH of you know it.  But, lately, things haven’t been easy.  There’s been tension in the air, things left unsaid, household responsibilities left undone, and outside of talking about bills, birthdays, and chores, there hasn’t been much to say… that won’t bite you in the butt later.

Can you relate to that scenario?

How you deal with marital stress will determine a great deal about how the rest of your marriage goes.  Stress is nothing new nor is it unique to the woman breadwinner but how it shows up in the marriage has a lot to do with who’s wearing the proverbial pants… and who is not.  Even though you signed up for this (and sometimes you didn’t), there may be parts of you wondering, “Why am I the one with all of this financial pressure?” or “Why can’t I take it easy, pursue my dreams, and have the lighter load?”  The moment you start feeling like this, guess what?  You’re in a particular phase of marriage that ALL married couples go through.  It’s called the devaluation stage.  Rather than give in to it and begin looking for the exit door, own up to it, get familiar with it, and find your way to a better place  WITH your spouse by your side.

The question becomes:

“How do I do that when I spend most of my time nagging my spouse to do things he KNOWS he’s supposed to be doing?”

Here are 3 simple steps to cultivating marital peace (esp. when it’s the last thing you feel like doing):

Step 1: Do a Spouse Appraisal.  Yup, appraise him.  Just like you would a house.  In other words, detach from the emotional upheaval that your dissatisfaction, nagging, and anxiety have caused, take a step back, pull out a pen and paper, and spend 3-7 days observing your spouse.  In your notebook, answer the following questions:

1) What did my spouse do today that pleased me?

2) What did my spouse do today that annoyed me?

3) How did my spouse help in our household today?

4) What did my spouse forget or not do today in our household that really needed to be done TODAY?

5) What did I love most about how he behaved today?

6) What bugged me most about how he behaved today?

At the end of each day’s observation, compare your responses and see if there’s more good than bad.  Ask yourself, “How did my mood, my day, and my thoughts impact how I evaluated my spouse?” and write down those answers as well.

Step 2: Comparison shop.  This is a fabulous notion discussed by Sharyn Wolf in her book, ” This Old Spouse.”  In other words, when you get fed up with your spouse, think seriously about the grass you think is greener on the other side.  Look at your friends’ marriages and your divorced friends’ dating lives and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Would I want to have THEIR marital problems in place of mine?
  2. Is that grass really greener… or is it turf?
  3. What lessons am I learning in this marriage that, if I don’t get here, I’ll simply take with me to the next relationship?
  4. Would I really be happier without my husband or am I making MY happiness his responsibility?  Is that fair?

Step 3: Identify your REAL needs and ask to have them met.

This is a two-part step.

Part 1: Identify your REAL needs.  When you’re nagging your spouse, what is it that you REALLY want?  Do you want to be heard?  Do you want to be seen?  Do you want your spouse to show his care and affection by jumping up in that minute and taking care of the laundry or the garbage or whatever else you’re asking him to do?  What is the emotion or the desire that you have underneath the discussion you seem to keep having?  Once you get clear on your needs, you’ll better communicate them to your spouse.

Part 2: Ask to have your needs met.  Not demand.  Not order.  Not control.  When you’re in a loving mood (keep in mind that loving is your natural state and you can get into that mood at any moment you choose; just watch a cute kitten video on You Tube and tell me if I’m wrong), sit down with your spouse, look him deeply in the eyes, caress his face, and lovingly ask for what you need WITHOUT expecting that he jump up in that second to prove his love by getting it done in that minute.  Ask, trust that it will get done, and move on to the next thing.  You’d be surprised how trust (of the self and your spouse) mixed with affection and love do the trick EVERY time.

Now I have a couple questions for you…

Knowing these 3 tips can save your peace of mind.  Taking action on these 3 steps TODAY  will change your life.

Having read this post, what steps will you take to get marital peace? 

Which of the 3 steps resonated with you most and what do you plan to do about what you’ve learned here?

Reveal what you plan to do in the comments below.  I’m always checking and commenting 🙂

Women Breadwinners & Romantic Love: What Stage are You In? (Read Time: 3 min.)

couple 13What do you do when your marriage feels more like work and less like play?  How do you make a good marriage great when you barely have time for a regular date night?  What can you do to bring the love back to the life you’ve built with your spouse?

It begins by knowing what stage of romantic love you’re in.

If the honeymoon is long gone and the spontaneity out the window and the last REAL date night is a date you can’t even remember, you may be in a stage of romantic love that doesn’t feel romantic at all.  In her book “This Old Spouse”, Sharyn Wolf talks about the four stages of romantic love:

  1. Stage One: The Idealization Phase- In other words, “You are the most wonderful, amazing person I’ve ever known.  Even your annoying aspects thrill me!”  Remember that?  Remember when your spouse could do no wrong?  When even the annoying things were so endearing?  This phase is the first and it lasts the shortest length of time.  When the honeymoon’s over, you know it.
  2. Stage Two: The Disappointment Phase- You get that your partner is human but their quirks are getting to be a bit much.  Instead of working on the house, you find yourself mentally working on them… and you want your partner to change (and change fast!).
  3. Stage Three: The Devaluation Phase- You’ve stopped trying to fix your spouse.  You’re fed up, sick of nothing changing and the only conclusion you can come to is that the problem is not the relationship; it’s him.  You’re looking for the exit door and the longer you stay, the more you become convinced that out is the only way to happiness.
  4. Stage Four: The Pride and Appreciation Phase- You see the problems.  You know the issues.  You’re choosing to be committed to building something stronger than what currently exists.  You get that marriage is work and that it’s not all going to be roses and candy.  Instead of complaining about what’s not working, you focus on what is and you do the work of seeing your partner as being on the same team (and not an opponent).  You come out of this stage knowing that you stayed the course, you did the work, and the marriage that has resulted is the product of time, wisdom, and commitment, not whim and fancy.  Most people don’t make it to this stage.  They decide in Stage 3 that the “other” person is the problem, drop him like it’s hot and find out that the next person is the same problem in different packaging.

As women breadwinners, it’s critical to look at your marriage through the lens of these four stages.  When you know what stage you’re in, you know what’s coming down the road and you’re better able to cope with it.  Rather than going by emotion or circumstance, you can look at the marriage within the context of the phase you’re in and make a conscious decision about what you’ll do next.

Keep in mind one thing: 

The notion of “soulmate” is relative.  In other words, there is no such thing as a perfect partner but there are people out there who could be perfect for you.

Before you decide that your marriage is over or that your spouse is not the one for you, check the romantic stage you’re in.  At the end of the day, the lesson you refuse to learn with one person you are doomed to repeat with the next.

Choose to get the lesson THIS  time around.