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    How to better connect with other people

    After over a year of profound social changes that have significantly reduced the opportunity for meaningful interaction, it’s not difficult to see why some of us have forgotten the art of connecting with other people. 
    Here, Psychologist Luisa Williams gives us top tips to increase connection and explains the multifaceted benefits of sharing better bonds with other people.
    We are all social creatures that crave interaction. But what we truly need is connection – a genuine bond with someone that goes beyond spending time with them and enjoying their company.
    When we connect with someone, we feel a sense of belonging that improves our well-being. Positive relationships with people don’t only make us less lonely but also increase life longevity and build our resilience. Connection helps us feel supported and more resistant to life adversities.
    But, if it has so many benefits, why do we find connection with others so difficult?
    An inability to connect might stem from low self-esteem. When we think lowly of ourselves, we’re afraid of being vulnerable enough to share personal struggles with others. A fear of vulnerability might be linked to trust issues. If you were hurt in the past, it’s natural you don’t believe in other people’s intentions.
    In some people’s cases, it’s a matter of a different worldview. If you experience mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, trauma history or personality disorders, you might feel isolated and struggle to relate to other people and their perspectives.
    But no matter what’s holding you back, you can learn how to better connect with others, and begin to enjoy the benefits of connectivity. Check out the tips below:
    Connect with a smile
    Smiling is one of the tricks that make others see you in a positive light. It conveys positive emotions and boosts your mood. When you smile at someone, they’re more likely to respond with a smile as well, which strengthens the bond and positive associations. Essentially, smile is a social tool. It lets others know you want to engage with them and that you’re someone they can trust.
    Practise social skills
    We all need social interaction, whether we’re lonely or not. However, problems arise when we turn to other people to receive validation or distract ourselves from negative emotions. Sometimes, we end up seeing our relationships as a transaction. In the end, we fail to commit and make an effort. If you want to build a true connection with others, you have to start seeing them as someone you can grow with.
    The first step is to become a great listener. Good listening skills let others know you care about what they have to say and that you’re interested in them as a person. Make sure you’re actively listening – make eye contact, respond with nonverbal cues and wait for a pause to ask questions about what is being said.
    If you struggle with concentration, visualise what the other person is saying. Make a mental note of what they like and dislike. It will help you get to know their boundaries and further strengthen the bond. If you know what’s important to someone, you’re less likely to jeopardize your relationship. Don’t forget to engage in small talk. It will allow you to showcase your personality and encourage building on the relationship.
    Get to know them
    Be present and forget about distractions. When you want to get to know someone, you have to make an effort and focus all your attention on them. Make sure you don’t look at your phone or worry about all the things you have to do when you get home.
    Develop interests. One of the most important steps is sharing mutual interests. Your likes and dislikes might be already obvious to you but if your life revolves around school or work, you might struggle to think of things you’re passionate about. Of course, most people enjoy watching TV or playing games but the key to building a relationship with someone is finding something you can both grow doing. You can start by trying out new hobbies. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and consider signing up for a new class.
    Lastly, learn to recognise when they feel uncomfortable or upset. Pay attention to their body language and changes in demeanour. Notice if they’re exceptionally quiet or struggle to keep eye contact.
    Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable
    Vulnerability. It’s defined as ‘uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure’. Most of us take risks frequently: we order food from a new restaurant, we cross the road when the light is red, and arrive late for work. But when it comes to people, we tend to play it safe. We hide our feelings and distance ourselves.
    Vulnerability is the price of connection. Connection is about stepping out of your comfort zone and being open with another person as much as they’re open with us. If someone shares their personal struggles with you, don’t be afraid to respond with the same.
    However, make sure you connect with yourself first. Try to sit with your thoughts and feelings. Write them down and try to link emotions to what’s going on in your life. This will help you spot a pattern and better meet your needs. For example, if your job is stressing you out and you don’t have time to rest because you work overtime, you might think of adjustments to complete your tasks faster.
    Be authentic and let people get to know the real you. If you find it difficult to open up and feel comfortable around someone you don’t know well, remind yourself that everyone has flaws. Write down your strengths and make sure you read them regularly. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A genuine friendship is based on trust and helping each other get through difficult times.

    If you’d like to hear more from Luisa on a range of other topics, visit My Family Psychologist. More

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    Why am I so angry?

    Luisa Williams, CEO & Founder of My Family Psychologist, joins us to share insights on anger responses and how to recognise when recurring anger may be caused by more persistent underlying problems.
    Why am I so angry?
    Life is full of twists and turns. Its challenges sometimes force us to change direction or adjust to a new reality which includes dealing with difficult emotions. If we don’t get the job we want, we might feel disappointed. If our relationship ends, we might experience pain and sadness.
    Anger is an emotion some of us experience frequently. It can be triggered by being disrespected or treated unfairly. It might be triggered by unexpected situations that interrupt our goals. Or, it can be a response to stress. Imagine you’re late for work and stuck in traffic. This would make anyone at least slightly annoyed at a given moment. When anger is a response to an unpleasant situation, it likely comes and goes quite quickly without causing further issues.
    While anger might seem like a straightforward emotion that’s an interpretation of whatever is going on in your life, it often implies there’s something else hidden underneath the surface. If you find yourself dealing with anger on a daily basis, your anger is likely a part of a bigger problem.
    Unhealthy responses to anger
    While anger is often a natural response, it can easily escalate and turn into an emotional outburst or even aggression. When our anger is triggered by the words or actions of other people, we might struggle to feel understood and take out our frustration on others to avoid being hurt more. Unhealthy anger can take on many forms:
    Passive aggression
    Have you ever given someone a silent treatment because they made you angry instead of trying to talk things through? Have you ever pretended everything was fine when you were upset about something your loved one did? Passive aggression is a strategy that helps us avoid confrontation but only adds to the problem. While we might choose not to fully engage with anger to avoid being vulnerable, suppressed anger doesn’t go away and can turn abusive. When you act in a passive-aggressive way, you place your needs and pride above other people’s feelings. Your refusal to communicate increases frustration on both sides and makes you feel even more hostile.
    Open aggression
    Just like passive aggression, open aggression is a harmful way of expressing anger but it’s directly aimed at other people. It’s a way of confronting someone while disregarding their feelings. Examples include shouting, throwing things, sarcasm or violence. Releasing anger might feel powerful. It might make you feel in control while serving as protection that shields you from further getting hurt. But in reality, it puts a barrier between you and your loved one and hurts both of you.
    Turning anger inwards
    Anger is often intense and might be triggered by the way we feel towards ourselves. When someone lets us down, we might blame ourselves for trusting them and having high expectations or believing we were good enough. If anger is mixed with the feeling of guilt and shame it might be used as a form of punishment. For example, you might self-inflict an injury to deal with overwhelming emotions.
    If you tend to deal with anger using the strategies above, you may struggle with self-control and expressing emotions in a healthy way. Anger aimed at yourself decreases your self-esteem. Anger aimed at other people shows disregard for their feelings and needs. It might make communication difficult. It might escalate and lead to undesired behaviours. It doesn’t only strain relationships with other people but can cause a range of health issues such as headaches, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety and digestion problems. Additionally, when we feel angry our body releases cortisol (the stress hormone) that increases our heart rate and blood pressure, triggering a ‘fight or flight’ response. This causes inflammation and stress.
    Anger and mental disorders
    Anger can be connected to many other emotions like guilt, shame, anxiety, stress, feeling overwhelmed and irritability. It might be also related to underlying mental health issues some of which are described below.
    Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)
    IED is marked by explosive outbursts that occur suddenly and often not in proportion to the situation. These might include verbal aggression, shouting, getting into fights, threatening, or assaulting others or property damage. The episodes are often marked by increased energy, racing thoughts, tingling, tremors, palpitations, or chest tightness. The cause of IED is unknown but the risk factors can be a history of abuse or having another mental disorder that is characterized by disruptive behaviours.
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition which symptoms include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviour. People with ADHD experience emotional dysregulation which makes it difficult for them to manage emotions and keep their intensity appropriate to the situation. The main risk factors for developing ADHD can be genetics, low level of activity in the brain parts responsible for attention and activity or prenatal exposure to alcohol or nicotine.
    Personality disorders such as BPD
    Borderline Personality Disorder is another disorder associated with emotional dysregulation. Individuals with BPD struggle to manage intense emotions which often seem an inappropriate response to a situation. Explosive anger experienced by someone with BPD is one of the diagnostic criteria and might be accompanied by shouting, aggression and even self-harm. The main cause of the disorder is a history of trauma or exposure to distress as a child.
    Conduct disorder
    Conduct Disorder is a pattern of antisocial behaviours in children that might involve property destruction, theft, deceptiveness, animal cruelty and aggression towards people. Children and teenagers with conduct disorder misbehave frequently and find it difficult to manage emotions. The possible causes include defects or injuries to certain brain areas linked to regulating emotions and behaviours, genetics, and a dysfunctional family environment.
    If you feel like your anger is impossible to manage and takes over your life, we recommend seeking professional help.
    Contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat. More

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    5 tips for Father’s Day without the kids

    Father’s Day without the kids can be challenging when you’re separated or going through a divorce, particularly if you aren’t seeing your children on the day.  
    Perhaps you don’t see your children as much as you would like at the best of times, or maybe communication between you and their mother has broken down, and you are in the middle of a court process that will ultimately decide how your children divide their time.  
    Or maybe it just isn’t your scheduled time with the children, and you haven’t been able to negotiate a swap.
    If this is you, then the media hype surrounding Father’s Day might seem overwhelming, and it can be easy to lose yourself in feeling low or angry, concentrating on what you have lost and the “what if” questions that might be swirling around your mind.  
    I am here to reassure you that you do have a choice.  You can make a conscious decision to do something differently, to choose how you react, to reframe your thinking – and your choices will have a significant impact on how you feel.
    Focus on what you CAN do 
    Instead of focusing on what you can’t do or no longer have, shift your focus onto what you CAN do. While it’s true that Father’s Day this year might be different, and not the same as before, you can change your approach and focus.
    Ask yourself how you could make it better for you.  Can you Facetime with them, wherever they are?  Could you arrange a special trip out with them for the next time you see them?  Could you write them each a card?  Brainstorm a list of choices and decide to do one of them.
    On the day itself, shift your focus and do something that YOU enjoy and that you know helps you to feel good.  Arrange to see a friend, go for a long run or cycle – whatever it is that feeds your soul.
    Focus on the time you DO have 
    If your children aren’t with you this Father’s Day, focus on the time you DO have with them, rather than dwelling on this one day that you don’t. Choose a different day to celebrate with them. Do something special with them next time you see them – it may be easier to book on a different date, and you may have more choice.
    If you haven’t already, I suggest you create a list together of things you would all love to do, places you would like to go, people, you would like to see.  Keep it on your fridge and cross them off as and when you do them.  Save these new memories by taking photos and putting them up on a memories board.
    Your children will take their cue from you. If you are angry and resentful, they are likely to feel conflicted and stressed. When you are upbeat and talk about what you can do next time you’re together, they will take your lead.
    Tell the story differently
    Every time you talk about Father’s Day, notice the words you use, and how they make you feel.  The words you use, and the story you tell can have a big effect on your feelings.  Every time you talk about how terrible you feel, how sad or angry you are, you associate into those feelings all over again. 
    Instead, try talking about what you are going to do instead, and notice how that feels different.  Notice also how people start to respond differently to you – instead of feeling sorry for you, they may start to tell you how impressed they are, how proud they are of the way you are dealing with this.  
    Choose to stay off social media
    Whatever you do, don’t indulge in a little of what I can “torture by social media” – don’t go onto your Facebook or Instagram feed to see what all your Dad friends are doing, the fun they’re having.  Take a day, or better still the whole weekend, off your social media accounts.  
    If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same outcome – so if it isn’t working, do something else!
    It is your choices that will make the difference.  When you perhaps feel that everything else is out of your control, your choices and decisions are 100% within your power to make.  
    When you choose to shift your focus, tell your story differently, and protect yourself from social media, you are making active choices to do something differently – and you will get a different outcome.
    Article by Claire Black from Claire Black Divorce Coaching
    Claire is one of the UK’s first accredited specialist Divorce Coaches, a former lawyer, and Advanced NLP Practitioner. You can get in touch with Claire at or call 07722 007528
    Get in touch 
    If you would like any advice on a family law issue, please do contact our Client Care Team to speak to one of our specialist family lawyers here. 
    If you are struggling to deal with Father’s Day with the kids after a divorce or separation, the following websites have some useful tools and advice. 
    Families need Fathers 
    Hear other father’s experiences
    Separated Dads 
    Men’s Advice Line
    This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.  More

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    Attachment trauma: Why can’t I have real love?

    Louisa Hope, from Therapy Knutsford, joins us to share insight into attachment trauma and how it can manifest in our relationships, as part of our Stowe Guests series.
    As children it is our birth right to feel safe, protected, loved and nurtured, all of which support the development of secure and loving attachments. However, if these needs are not met, we can experience trauma which can have long-lasting effects on our emotional well being and the ability to build healthy relationships.
    What is attachment trauma?
    Attachment trauma can occur in childhood if a caregiver repeatedly gives confusing boundaries, withholds support, is neglectful or abusive. This kind of trauma can be very debilitating, diminishing our self-worth and affecting how we relate to love and connections later in life. Childhood wounding can run deep and even though as adults we may be able to rationalise our childhood experiences, we can hold onto beliefs on a deep core level that we adopted as a young child; “I’m not enough”, “I can’t have real love”, and “I’m not worthy”.
    Attachment styles
    Attachment trauma impacts our attachment style as adults. Instead of creating secure attachments we can become insecure when in love, needing reassurance, close proximity and constant validation. This anxious attachment style may in turn cause anxiety to increase the deeper we fall in love, with the potential to create a state of hypervigilance.
    Alternatively, those who have experienced attachment trauma can develop an avoidant attachment style where they pull away from a partner when the relationship becomes too intimate or loving.
    The early subconscious beliefs we carry within can remind us to keep our distance or cling on tight, and we require our partners to cater for these needs from historical wounding. Oftentimes we develop push-pull relationships where we use protest behaviour to get our needs met, causing the connection to become needy or distant, toxic and painful.
    People pleasing
    Trauma often goes hand in hand with poor boundary setting. We first learn how to create safe boundaries from our parents, but if these boundaries were violated or interchangeable, we may not know how to say no when something does not feel right, and we become ‘People Pleasers’.
    As a result of this, we often learn to over-compensate for a lack of love and validation which can affect our own ability to create safe and loving connection. This overly accommodating behaviour is alluring to the narcissist, and other types of abusers. We often find a deep need to fill the void of love and validation created by trauma, leading us into relationships that will perpetuate old familiar patterns, reaffirming our already brittle view of relationships.
    The benefits of healing
    Healing attachment trauma is a phenomenally powerful way of restoring our ability to give and receive love safely, and experience authentic lasting connections.
    When we heal childhood trauma we can also heal the associated attachment wounding, empowering us to move away from anxious or avoidant styles, and rebalancing towards a more secure form of attachment. This has huge benefits, such as:

    Increasing the joy we can experience in relationships
    Improving our physiology as the expectation of more trauma subsides
    Allowing our nervous systems to return to their parasympathetic state.

    These benefits in turn have huge impact on our health as we are no longer on alert when in love and can relax into the arms of our loved ones and really feel deep, meaningful, secure love.
    Moving forward
    We know so much more about the way the subconscious mind works and how to harness its power to heal and reverse old limiting beliefs.
    With support, those who have experienced attachment trauma can heal. Recognising your attachment style and it’s causes will help you build your relationships, set clear boundaries and improve your life.
    Get in touch
    Contact Louisa Hope at Therapy Knutsford for a free, confidential discovery call on 07510 714447 or visit or email:
    All sessions include follow-up support. More

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    Why You Should Give Your Kids an Allowance

    By Tanni Haas, Ph.D. | Contributor

    Experts agree that an allowance can teach kids important money management skills, like how to save for things they want, how to budget their money, and how to choose between competing spending goals. Personal finance expert Brad Munson says an allowance “is a great way to teach kids about the real value of money, how to be organized and responsible, and how to plan for the future.” Financial counselor Ray Martin, who’s the author of several books on money management, adds that an allowance is a great opportunity for kids to experiment with money and to learn from their mistakes. “It’s a way for them to learn big lessons with small amounts of money at an early age.”

    It’s important that you talk to your kids about the value of money, and it’s best to do so in the context of an actual allowance. Certified financial planner Marty Allenbaugh says that talking to your kids about money without giving them an allowance is like trying to teach them how to play the piano without ever letting them sit at the keys.

    Research shows that giving kids a regular allowance while discussing with them the importance of money makes them more financially responsible as adults. They become, as personal finance expert Evonne Lack succinctly puts it, “less likely to arrive on your doorstep years from now with a duffel bag full of dirty laundry and a mountain of credit card debt.”

    If an allowance is such a great tool for teaching kids money management, at what age should you start giving them one?

    Many parents start at age 8, but experts agree, as Mr. Martin puts it, that it’s the kid’s “aptitude not the age that really matters.” So how do you know if your kids are ready to receive and learn from an allowance? Research shows that they are ready to benefit from an allowance once they have reached certain developmental milestones, like 1) understanding that money can be exchanged for things they want, and 2) they can confidently add and subtract.

    And, here, kids differ widely. While some kids reach these milestones at age 4 or 5, others get there by age 8 or 9. “So if your child tends to shrug at money, losing it before it can find its way to his dusty piggy bank, hold off until you see signs that he enjoys saving it or thinking about how he might use it,” says Mrs. Lack.

    Finally, but not least importantly, what amount should you give your kids?

    Experts agree that, as a rule of thumb, you should give them $1 per year of age on a weekly basis: for example, a six-year-old would receive $6 a week and a ten-year-old $10 a week. The advantage of this approach is that kids get an automatic raise every birthday, eliminating the question of when their allowances will be increased. If you are really lucky, it may even reduce sibling arguments, because the younger kid will understand why the older siblings get more.

    Parents should feel free to deviate from this rule of thumb depending on whether they live in an expensive or inexpensive area, their particular financial situation, how many kids they have, and which regular expenses they or the kids are expected to pay for. As Susan Borowski, the author of “Money Crashers,” puts it, “If a straight $5 or $10 per week (or even per month) makes more sense to you than paying a dollar per year of age, then pay what works for you.”

    If your kids are very mature, you can discuss this issue with them and reach a mutual agreement on a reasonable amount. It’s useful to go through such a process with your kids, says Mr. Martin, because it “helps to develop budgeting skills, teaches responsibility, and prepares them for the realities of personal money management.”

    The allowance shouldn’t be too high. If you give kids too much, they won’t learn how to budget and allocate money because they never get a chance to prioritize among competing spending goals.

    However, the allowance shouldn’t be too high. If you give kids too much, they won’t learn how to budget and allocate money because they never get a chance to prioritize among competing spending goals. Ron Liebler, the author of “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money,” says to “give your kids just enough so that they can get some of what they want but not so much that they don’t have to make a lot of difficult trade-offs. Let them own those, so they know what it’s like to make financial decisions that resemble grown-up ones.”

    Whatever amount you ultimately decide on, make sure to follow a consistent schedule and stick with it – whether weekly or monthly. As child psychologist Dr. Mary Kelly Blakeslee says, “random payments will be frustrating and confusing, and will reduce the opportunity for learning.”

    Editor’s Note: Click Here for insights on how you can help your kids maximize their money management skills.


    Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences & Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College. More

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    That’s a Good Question! Podcast Episode 8: How dangerous is it to use steroids?

    Donald Hooton, Jr.

    The course of your life can change directions in an instant. In July 2003 and in his senior year of college, Donald Hooton, Jr. was preparing to start a career with his business degree. That’s when he got the call from his sister that their 17-year-old brother Taylor had passed away. What shocked their family the most was that Taylor had committed suicide. All of the family had just one question. Why?

    It was the detectives who found the steroids in his room. At that time, the Hooton family didn’t see the connection, but they’ve learned. They’ve learned about steroid use and its psychological effects, and the link to suicide. And they learned the use of steroids is likely far more pervasive than you ever imagined.

    In the midst of their grief, his family could never have predicted how, through their tragedy, they could impact the lives of so many others for the better. Now Donald works every day to honor his brother’s legacy at the helm of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, the nonprofit started by his dad, Don.

    In this important podcast, you’ll hear directly from Donald, Jr., and learn about how he is helping turn his family’s tragedy into triumph for families across the U.S. and abroad.

    Donald thinks about his brother every day. “I hope he’s proud of the work we’re doing and what his legacy has become and how many lives have been saved,” he says. “I hope every time his story is shared it’s making a difference.”

    The Taylor Hooton Foundation is the leader in education on appearance and performance enhancing drugs. To learn more or to schedule an ALL ME® Assembly Program at your child’s school, visit or More

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    Time to talk: Communicating with your partner

    Communicating with your partner
    Good communication is the foundation of a good relationship. Without it, resentment, fear or distrust can build up, and there’s nothing like this trio to cause relationship problems. 
    So it is no surprise when Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, reports that many couples seeking counselling from them say that communication breakdown is one of the main reasons.
    To understand how better to communicate with your partner, Luisa Williams, CEO & Founder of My Family Psychologist, joins us to explain the four key communication styles and why understanding them is important in forming and maintaining all relationships.  
    Communication is an important aspect of life that can impact how we form and maintain relationships.  
    Having a good understanding of our communication style can help develop self-awareness and identify our areas of improvement and strengths, resulting in strengthening our relationships, reducing conflicting situations, and expressing our needs.  
    Communication styles are influenced by external factors that are then internalised. These styles are not fixed but transition and adapt to the scenarios we face.  
    There are four main communication styles:





     Assertive communication 
    The assertive communication style is a widely accepted style that is considered an effective communication style.  
    It is focused on the needs of the communicator and those with who they are communicating.  
    Theses communicators value their time, rights, needs and themselves- as well as others.  
    They are driven by their desires and needs as well as respecting others desires and needs.  
    They are straightforward and direct in expressing their opinions, advocate for their rights and someone who states facts (without labels or judgments). They are fair, honest, open to criticism or bargaining whilst ensuring others understand and interpret the situation at hand in a realistic manner.  
    Others will feel that they can trust the assertive communicator at their word, that they know where they stand, that they have been listened to, considered, and respected. 
     In summary, the assertive communication style consists of: 

    Direct communication 

    Appropriate honest 

    Advocates for oneself 

    Utilised “I” statements  

    Listens and does not interrupt  

    Express emotions  

    Passive communication 
    This style of communication focuses on the needs of others rather than the needs of their own.  
    They are driven by the desire and belief to please others and avoid conflict. 
    They typically are indirect about their thoughts or feelings and will submit to other desires.  
    They struggle to take responsibility for decisions, have no opinion, agree to others without question, talk softly, do not express their feelings, and avoid conflict or confrontation.  
    Others may view a passive communicator as frustrating, confused about their needs, and some may advantage of the individual.  
    In summary, a passive communication style consists of: 

    Indirect communication 

    Denies personal needs  

    Apologies for emotions  

    Defers to other opinions  

    Minimises one’s experience  

    Prioritises other emotions  

    Passive-aggressive  style of communication 
    People who communicate in a passive-aggressive style may appear passive on the surface but can act out their needs in an indirect way.  
    They are driven by beliefs such as “I’ll please you, but I will get back at you”. 
    They have difficulties expressing and acknowledging their anger, resulting in feeling trapped, unable to confront conflict or their needs.  
    They often sabotage themselves due to unclear intentions, and their expressions do not match their emotions.  
    Passive-aggressive communicators may be sarcastic, ‘two-faced’, spread rumours, give silent treatments, talk about others behind their backs rather than confronting others and indirectly aggressive.  
    Others may feel they are frequently left feeling confused, angry, hurt, or resentful.  
    In summary, the passive-aggressive communication style consists of: 

    Indirect communication   

    Denies difficult emotions  

    Indirectly expresses anger  

    Backhanded compliments  

    Denies there is a problem  

    Feigns cooperation 

     Aggressive communication 
    They focus on their own needs and disregard the needs of others.  
    They are driven by beliefs such as “I’m right, and you are wrong”,, and “I’ll get what I want no matter what.” 
    They come across as bossy, condescending and threatening.  
    They often are close-minded, interrupt or speak over others, put others down, use threats and are not effective listeners.  
    Others may feel defensive, humiliated, hurt, afraid, disrespected, and can resort to fighting back, being resistant or defiant.   
    In summary, an aggressive communication style consists of: 

    Inappropriately honest  

    Dominate others 

    Does not listen  

    Critics or blames others 

    Low frustration tolerance  

    Only uses “you” statements  

    How understanding your style can help when communicating with your partner
    Understanding the styles of communication is just beginning. Now,  it’s time to take that learning and develop self-awareness by exploring and understanding your style of communication,  your behavioural tendencies and personal needs. 
    Whatever your goals relate to your relationships, family, work, finances, you need to learn to communicate effectively to achieve them.  
    This does not mean talking the loudest, getting the last word in or pretending everything is fine. Powerful communication comes from understanding your needs and learning how to express them clearly — while also valuing the messages you receive from others.
    Starting to practice better communication today will help you build your relationships, set clear boundaries and improve your life. 
    Get in touch 
    If you need some advice on communicating with your partner, please contact My Family Psychologist. 
    We offer specialised counselling services for adults, couples and children, as well as mediation services. Get in touch and see how we can support you when you are going through a difficult time. 
    Visit the My Family Psychologist website here.
    Family law advice 
    For any family law advice please  contact our Client Care Team to speak to one of our specialist lawyers here
    References More

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    That’s a Good Question! Podcast: Episode 7

    In this episode, we visit with Dr. Shanna Garza the Clinic Director of Girls to Women and Young Men’s Health and Wellness, an Adolescent Medicine practice in McKinney, Texas.

    Dr. Garza received her B.S. in Biology from Emory University and attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. Following her medical education, she completed a Family Medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. She is a board-certified Family Medicine physician with over 13 years of experience working with children, teens and young adults.
    Eating disorders are a health issue Dr. Garza’s clinics contend with on a regular basis.  There are a lot of societal issues impacting the way young people, especially girls, see themselves and judge themselves. Preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may signal an eating disorder.
    What is the risk of dieting to young people? Is there a difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating? How does social media, diet talk and body shaming lead to eating disorders? 
    Dr. Garza shares important advice for parents to help our kids navigate this very dangerous and even deadly health issue.  More