Overcoming the Family Gathering Syndrome
In this webinar replay, from the 7th of Nov 18, we shared the following tools:
- The safe word and its bigger sister, the scheduled check ins.
- How to make your commute calmer by NOT CARING about being late and allowing infinite amount of time for dress up and make up
- How to add a back rub to a family gathering and you know what that means. This Family Gathering is going to actually be FUN this year
Transcript of the webinar about the Overcoming the Family Gathering Syndrome by the Generous Marriage Podcast Team
Hello everyone. This is a Webinar by Shachar Erez and me, Ziv Raviv and it’s a generous marriage podcast webinar on a topic that is important for everyone these days. Related in a way to holidays, stress. Um, and I’m going to share my slides here. We are generous marriage podcast, proudly present, overcoming the family gathering syndrome. So the family gathering syndrome is something that is not going to be solved. I’m going to give you a hint by not attending the family gathering. So we just want to set up the scene. We want you to attend the family gathering and the family gathering syndrome is going to happen for pretty much every single family because families are families, our families.
For some of the Families-Family Gathering for some reasons are a Nightmare
So let us start by checking if you’re in the right place. Um, and we will introduce ourselves and we will go into this journey together. So you are in the right place guys. If, uh, you are married or in a deep, meaningful relationship or even if you, you know, strive to be in a deep, meaningful relationship and what to get some, some better understanding on that. Um, definitely if you have a lot of monkeys that you carry around on your shoulders, you know, all of those responsibilities with kids and careers and stuff like that, the family gathering syndrome might affect you even more. And then therefore, it’s important that you’re here. Um, we’re going to share with you information that will help you if you’re concerned. If you already know, you feel inside Thanksgiving is coming, thanksgiving is coming, and just around the corner after that, there’s Christmas and Oh my God, this is so expensive. This is so stressful.
The family gathering is going to happen and the time is running out and you’re concerned, or maybe you’ll even terrified by the upcoming family gathering. So, in all of those situations, you’re in the right place as well as if you even just, no. Yeah, you don’t. You don’t. You’re not. Uh, it’s not, uh, maybe you know that some, some of the family gatherings for some reasons are a nightmare. Uh, and there’s a reason. It’s because of that human being that you cannot even say the name right now. Oh, if you just, you know, listen to the generous marriage podcast over at generousmarriage.com and you understand what we’re all about. And that is, you know, to create a more generous marriage, um, for, for as many people as possible trying to help promote the values of a generous marriage, then you’re in the right place. So when, when we’ve decided to talk about, uh, they topic, he could about, because of the upcoming holidays. You did some research and found out a few things that are very practical. I love how in every episode of the generous marriage podcast, we fight those practical tips that can be used. So let us know, um, from your from, like guide us through the main takeaways that people can take for, uh, for overcoming generous, for overcoming a, the gathering syndrome. Like wha wha what is avocado all about? What is that? So let me start by saying hello. I haven’t said hello. Yeah, I apologize for that. Hi everybody.
Using Secret Safe Words When You’re Under Stress
I’m excited to be here and so yeah, let’s start with some value, some tips. So I guess the main thing we, I encourage you guys to do is, is make sure you’re connected. You’re a team going through this challenge of their family gathering. And Avocado is just a, an example of a secret safe word you can use when you’re under stress, when you were distressed and you need your partner to notice that you need some help. You need some rescue, you need something. Set, a safe, a secret, safe word ahead of time that you can use at the gathering and your spouse, your partner knows that it’s time for rescue. And we will explain more in more details how to use the safe words technique. But even if you just, you know, take this into consideration that you have someone in the family gathering and usually till spouse obviously, and that spa, that partner of yours wants to help you. Once they hear the safe word, once you tell them, hey, pass me the avocado. They know that you’re under stress. You, they know they need to rescue you. Maybe take you aside, maybe just even just replay, uh, like, uh, do a moment where you exchange looks. That is by itself a valuable.
Why Should We Plan for the Failure?
So the second tip is all about planning the failure. What is that all about? Why should we plan for the failure? Well, we want to be ready. We want to consider ahead of time. What are the upcoming challenges? Usually we know, I want to say all of them, but for sure most of them, you know, we, we kind of know who’s going to be, uh, triggering us. What kinds of things will be hard for us. Wouldn’t be stressful for us. And it’s good to plan ahead to, to have a plan of what to do when you’re triggered, what to do when overwhelmed, what to do when you’re stressed, how can you help each other? How can you support each other? Yeah. And how can you support yourself, you know, not just each other. Yeah, sorry. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, uh, planning for the failure is also a means to communicate with each other because actually most likely you have different fields. Towards, uh, definitely gathering in different struggles. So for your spouse, it’s might be uncle Joe and he’s discussions on politics. That can create a terrifying effect, especially nowadays with everyone, you know, voting and stuff like that. And uh, for, for you it might be food or something of that sort. So there’s all sorts of reasons why it’s going to be hard on you.
In planning for the failure actually prevents the failure in a very good and ironic way because many times just talking about it makes you want more prepared to respond in a more like mild way. So you’re triggered but not as hard as if you didn’t have time to kind of talk about what, what is scary for you so you can be more effective yeah. And help them yourself and your partner. Yeah. Yeah. That’s actually a tip that even if you’re going by yourself to a family gathering, just sitting with yourself for five minutes and doing some like self-meditation by thinking about what is the worst case scenario, um, knowing that you’re going to go there anyway and try to prevent that, then that is something you can do. And obviously in a, in a partnership situation that will be useful.
The Difference Between Secret Safe Word and Check-ins
So we have, uh, three main takeaways. So tip number three is to schedule two check ins. What is the difference, Shachar between like the secret safe word and the checking? What is that? Well, the check in is a scheduled ahead of time. There’s something to wait for, you know, that Eh, you know, this time or before Dina or you know, it, it could be a time on the clock or it could be an event that triggers this checking that, you know, you have this moment with your partner to have a, to breathe and to connect and to check in and see what’s happening. Okay. Connection makes a lot of difference. You know, it’s, it’s the hardest for humans to be alone. So when you know, you have your partner there, things are easier.
Yeah. That’s the idea of the checkins and having two of them, you know, if, if you’re spending your whole day with your family at a Thanksgiving gathering, so maybe one, you know, Eh, Eh, after a third of the time and another one after two thirds of the time or whatever you think might be useful to connect. And when you connect, it’s better if you can do it by yourself. Like go aside have a reason it planned in advance, why you need help to find something in your luggage or why you want some fresh air and you want to go outside and darling, please come with me. Uh, and then you know, you, you alone and just by that, taking some, some air inside of you and being together, and we’ll give you a few, a few additives of how to leverage that schedule. Checking into even a deeper relaxing moment that will make it easier for you to come back. Right? So it’s a moment to connect and the on your own. Just you and your partner taking down the intensity of the gathering and a refreshing in a sense or a reconnecting and refreshing and rejuvenating. Yeah. Yeah.
Importance of Scheduled Hug and Back Rub
So a tip number four for you, it’s like the bonus round, uh, is the scheduled hug. Now it’s, it’s known either isn’t each known Shachar, scientifically that touch and hug is actually, is physically important. Like what is that all about? It is touch and especially a hug releases of this good and hormones that make us feel good and connected and loved and raise our and mood and take down ug negative feelings. They say at least not at least that they say that the 10 seconds or 20 seconds like a long hug is even better. There is a really time to feel on this exhausting and one of these good hormone too, to let them in and do their work. So really take your time with a hug that you know ahead of time that you can wait for it. And even if you’re triggered, even if uncle Joe is a mess. Even if I don’t know what’s happened, there is a breath in that check in and there is a breath gang up and then there’s a hug that you can rest and then soften your connection. So scientifically proven guys, uh, we just, you know, plan for that hug in long, long hug and that, even if just by you talking about the fact that you will hug that by itself, uh, sounds, uh, relaxing factor.
But then there’s also tip number five and that is for the scheduled the back rub, which again might not be suitable for everyone, but again, but if you do that. If you decide in advance at the end of the day, Darling, I’m going to give you a back rub and whatever happens with that happens. Maybe you will be too tired for that. Maybe not. Uh, but, uh, definitely consider it’s talk about it. Will that be possible? Uh, you know, talk about that with your spouse because if it is something that you both want in agree about them, it can actually make your family guttering fun for one more reason.
Let’s Play Who is the BITCH
So we’re going to play a game now and this is the game of who is the bitch and a, I hope that I didn’t insult to anyone or offend anyone by playing this game. Uh, and by claiming that you guys in your families, just like I do have one in my family. There’s always one for some reason or even more than one. Um, bitch. And when we talk about that, uh, we, we mean sometimes it’s your, it’s your mother in law, sometimes it’s your uncle Joe. Uh, sometimes your brother is divorced and he’s bringing, he’s annoying girlfriend into the family gathering. And sometimes we should, you know, we should be honest here and open and watch this webinar without your kids, with you. But, uh, it might be your teenage kid that is, you know, being a bitch and behaving in a very egocentric where way and just, uh, terrorizing everyone. So for all of you, try to think for a second. Who is it for you because it’s going to help you later on, you know, plan for the failure.
Right. Um, do you have a bitch in your family? Okay, well, sometimes my kids can be very challenging. It’s not the two-year-old anymore. But sometimes it’d be like a terrible too, especially when he’s overwhelmed and there’s too much noise and stress, they can act out. Yeah. Yeah, they can. They can definitely take our energy and our focus and, uh, and you know, have us with them for the entire time and stopping anything else that we might want to do. And that is, uh, for each of us, uh, I will own challenges that even can change, uh, throughout the years. It’s terrible and I love him, but yet, you know, let’s be honest. Sometimes they can be challenging. Yeah.
So here’s the agenda for today. Now that you know a little bit about who, what are we trying to accomplish? We’re going to overcome the FGS, the family gathering syndrome. And in order to do that, we’re going to understand what it is. We’re going to just introduce us a little bit better. I, in case you haven’t went into the generous marriage.com site lately. Uh, then we you to know, well, we coming from. And then we’re going to give you four different steps of how you can overcome the family gathering syndrome. It’s going to be very generous with details and we’ll, we’ll wrap up with this notion of the generous partnership armor. Ooh, that sounds exciting. We’ll get the only, it’s the end of this webinar. Shachar. Are you ready? Are you, I’m excited. Let’s do this.
What is Holiday Stress?
So the family gathering syndrome, man, this sounds very scientific to me. This is where you, uh, you need to explain to us because you are a counselor. You’ve studied this in, in America, in California. You’re a licensed counselor in a California, even in Israel. I’m just a businessman at a podcaster. I need you to, and to explain to me what is holiday stress and what’s that all about? Well, the just the way it sounds a holidays are, you know, they can be a time of gratitude and family and unity and great stuff, but they’re also very stressful times. People get super stressed over. There’s a list of things or fourth people get stressed about. Yeah, we’ll get into in a minute. Yeah, we have ever there even have the statistics here. The American psychological association did a survey and they found out that 44% of women and 31% of men report an increase of stress during the holiday season. You know, that’s almost half of the people.
I personally, when I see these statistics, first of all, for my point of view, like if 45% of the women, uh, stressed, that affects 44% of the men as well. So it was like so, so like some of those then those 30% it or not stressed by the holidays, they are stressed by, by, by the wife’s being smashed. And if there no other lab then, then it’s what I feel is the reality, which is like 60 or 70% of human beings of suffering because of the holidays. They actually suffering out of having a holiday. Yeah. And do you know anybody that lived in, in, in the, in the states or you know, in places where there are these holidays, it’s just all over. It’s, it’s a really beautiful time of the year and there’s a lot of beauty in it, but there’s also just stress. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not Enough. Yeah. Stress. Yeah. So basically, um, the, this is where I kick in and talk about stress and guys stress is dangerous. I mean, uh, it is a well known fact that it causes like a million diseases including heart attacks and if you eat avocado that can actually prevent heart attacks. Us, you know, use the avocado is a keyword with your wife to prevent the heart attack. So, uh, we, we, we so seriously, you know, we live in the age of stress. We, this is a super stressful time anyway and the holidays are just adding more stress. Yup. Any two are stressful to our overstress life anyway. Yeah. So let’s the Avocados then be prepared. Yes.
What are the Main Sources of Stress?
And, uh, in order to really understand stress and what we will focus on today, we want you to know that you are affected by different types of stress. Um and those stresses, uh, related to, you know, the holidays. So tell us a Shachar. What are people’s survey of the APA? They found what people say they are stressed about and it’s lack of time. Lack of money. Pressure of giving or getting gifts and the actual family gathering. So, you know, people, there’s not enough work days and a will I make enough money. And will I have time to prepare for the gathering and get the gifts and do everything that’s around the holidays and send the holiday cards and call my loved ones and say, Eh, merry Christmas. Or, uh, you know, for Thanksgiving, just so many things to do. And it seems like there’s not enough time and not enough money. And how will we get everything done? Yeah, of course. Actual family gathering itself for many, many people, it’s intense. It is. For me personally, I feel just the fact that, um, we are out of the regular day to day habits. Yeah. It’s very hard to maintain your habits with, I don’t know, exercising or food or even time with your kids. Um, and even like TV time, like limiting the TV time for my young kids is way, way harder when you are visiting the grandma and father and stuff like that. So, so, uh, stress is also for me personally, it’s related to not having my regular day to day or regular week and that it’s, it can even become a boy, like a in a level of unease that you, you miss, you, you just miss that regular weekend or that tonight. Yeah. It really helps us regulate and helped us be more calm and when we’re out of their routine it brings up anxiety and stress. Yeah. And obviously if you have a baby that’s, you know, that’s when lack of 14 team can, can really make a kid like a baby, not sleep well. And then everyone else dressed for that. So there’s so many reasons to be stressed. We’re going to try and help you overcome the family gathering stress.
Who is the team behind the Generous Marriage Podcast?
But before we do that a little bit about those lovely kids that we raised, each of us separately, um, in, in our life. So Shachar tell us a little bit about yourself. I love these pictures. Thanks for putting them. So I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist. I was licensed in California a while ago and I moved back to Israel a couple of years ago and now I’m licensed here and I work mainly here and also over Skype with clients at the states. I’ve been married to this beautiful Judy for 11 years. We’ve been together for 13 years with two kids. Spelling at Nyan was six and a half and two and a half. And I like to say that I love helping couples fall in love again. I really get great pleasure and fulfillment at that. And, and if you don’t mind me saying about you Shachar after seeing you, you know, uh, execute your, your, your beliefs and help people. Um, it’s almost like in the spiritual way you fulfill your calling. Um, when you help others fall in love again. And that is beautiful, man. So, uh, that was me being generous.
So, uh, yeah. Um, so I am a businessman. I am also a podcaster. I love podcasting and I love being in touch with people through that and build big businesses around, um, communities. I married to my wonderful water and a fun fact about them is that she is in charge on a pest control in our house. We live in a, in a mountain. And, uh, just just a few minutes ago we had this huge spider creeping all over the floor over here and she was a capable of releasing him safely into the wilderness that is outside my home. I home and we are married for 18 years and we know each other since we will 17. So I’m like 40 now. It’s quite amazing. And, uh, I, my point of view in all of this in the generous marriage podcast is how important your relationship with your spouses for your success in life and in business. I always am shocked on how, how important it is again and again when I witness, um, the relationship between your relationship and your business in life. And this is something that was so curious for me because of my passion for business that, uh, it was, uh, important for me to reach out and, and be in touch with you, Shachar and work with you on this fascinating project called the generous marriage podcast. Yeah. You know that people that are in a loving relationship that are in a happy relationship live longer, are healthier and make 20% more money. Where is that? It goodness meant research. It’s funny. Yeah. That’s a good incentive.
Overcome Family Syndrome in Four (4) Steps
Um, so let’s do this. How to overcome holiday stress all. Overcoming the FGS, the family gathering syndrome four tips, guys. This is it. This is where you park your car and you, you, you write down the following four steps and a Shakar. I will need your help later on in each of these steps to give us more details about the system that we’ve designed. But we basically are going to give you the tips that you need on what you need to do differently before the actual gathering. Probably the most important bit. Uh, and then literally on your way there. On the commute, on the plane, whatever it is that you do in order to get there. Once you go into the teleporter and immerse yourself into the journey. Uh, there something that you need to do there. Then, um, at the gathering itself, a few tips on how to operate the system that we’re teaching you. And finally a few tips on after the gathering. So if that is all making sense, let’s talk about step one on before the event, the family gathering. And that is the preparation conversation. So Shachar take it away.
Step 1 – The Preparation Conversation
This is really one of the biggest keys that you need to prepare in Nay, I don’t like the word, but if you’re prepared things, would it be easier? So it’s really about sitting together with your partner and what we call planning for the failure, meaning, visioning the gathering and then trying to see upcoming obstacles where you might fail, where are you might get triggered, where are you, where would you might get overwhelmed? Who is the bitch the way? Is it because it’s like let’s be prepared for all the bad stuff that might happen and then be happy when they don’t. Yeah, no. So this is how to do this conversation because the topic is stressful. We might get stressed in this conversation, so we want to make sure that we’re regulated. One of the best ways to keep us regulated and connect it to our partner is starting with gratitude. Thank you. Thank you for doing this for me. It with me. Thank you for being such a great partner. Thank you for agreeing to prepare for this. You know, this is stressful for me. Thank you for sitting down with me and preparing. That’s a great way to open your own heart to your partners hard to, to connect and, and to start this conversation on a positive note. Yeah. And in general, gratitude was well researched as well. We talked about it in the podcast and you know, if you fill up a journal with gratitude entries every day for 21 days, your brain actually changes and you, you, you think differently about the world. Do you perceive things differently? So starting there with that moment of gratitude towards your spouse or maybe even towards the life in general. You know, towards the fact that, well, we’re lucky to be alive here and go and eat good food. You know, there’s a lot of good things about the situation as well, right? It’s actually a reminder that the holidays should be, holy should be fun, should, the gratitude is a big part of the holiday. There’s a lot to be grateful all the time. Even in the hardest times. There’s, if you look around and you find something to be grateful that, Yup.
And it’s really supporting in becoming a team. And as I said earlier, when we feel we have a team, when we feel like we have someone has our back, things are easier. It’s easier to go through challenges when we know that our partners with us, the one that we know that our partner has our back. So it’s really about declaring we are a team, we’re gonna do this. We’re going to go through this challenge together as a couple and we’re gonna be generous with each other and we’re going to enjoy it. You know, that’s the main goal here. That this could be fun. This should be fun, not just stressful. Yeah. And by talking about what will you do to enjoy it, that will give us a bridge, give, give you, you know, and a connection point where, you know, okay, this is the part that will be actually fun for us. So let’s focus on that on the positive. And at the same time, you know, be aware that there are some, some hurdles that are around the corner ahead of you and by being a team you can overcome them. So it’s very important to talk about the support you need and is there a right way to ask for support Shachar? Yeah, yeah. Um, I dunno. It’s, Eh, I remembering that Eh, you probably probably need different kinds of support. The support, the things that are supportive to you might be different than what is supportive to your partner. And that’s okay. And they might be the same. Maybe touch is works for both of you. That’s yeah. What, what kind of support you need. What if that uncle starts to talk about politics? What could you do then what could you have partner do then. What if, eh, eh, your mom is nagging you about something. What could your partner, how can they share? Can they support you? Then prepare for the failure and think about the best way to be supportive and ask for it. Yup. And we will talk later on on this tool called the non violent communication tool. NVC, nonviolent communication. And what do you need to know for now is that when you are talking about the support that you need, try not to talk about it in a way where you say what you need them to do, but talk about to what you need. Like, I need, um, uh, that someone will protect me for talking about politics with uncle Joe. Instead of saying, I need you to stop your uncle or your brother from talking about, So you see the differences. It’s very subtle, but it’s important.
And also, uh, there is another tip here. Try to talk about it in a positive way. Not in a negative way. Try to say what you need, not what you don’t need because that might sound a criticism. Yeah. Yeah. Nonviolent communication is part of it is avoiding criticism. So you want to say, if the, this uncle starts annoying me, what I need is for you to do this and this for me. It wasn’t the best example of what I need is to feel this way or another. And, and which is different than saying don’t do that, which, you know, probably see some, some past experience where your partner wasn’t the most supportive to you. So we want to be positive about it. Not Negative. Yeah. Yeah. Was that clear? I, it was, let me give you an example. So a lot of time for me, the mistake that I do as a partner is to like not notice that my spouse needs my help. And then I might, um, just go and sit on the couch or even close my eyes on the couch and then I, I am not available for her. So what she might say is not talk what I do. Like, Hey, I remember you fell asleep on the couch, uh, just after dinner. But instead of that, just explain to me what was the things that she needed. Like she might say, I felt alone when I had to handle the kids by myself. Um, and I want to handle the kids. All three of them. With someone that workd with me with the kids, right. And then obviously once, once I see it this way, I understand, oh, she’s not thinking that I did something wrong. She just needs me down. Right. Nice. Thank you for this. Yeah.
Step 1.1 – The Safe Word
So step number two in the preparation is to actually talk about the safe words. Here’s a few tips about that. And, um, basically, you know, you already explained Shachar the, the, the, the idea with avocado, you decide about the awards that if you mentioned it means you, you’re under stress and you want some help and you talk about it in advance. You talk about what happens when you say the words and you, you use this special question that, you can even practice this. This question is just amazing because, because it’s portraits, partnership and that is the, how can I support you question why, why is this question so, so you know, creates such a big connection between partners because it shows that you’re interested in supporting your, your partner and it shows that you’re curious about the best way to support them. And I don’t know what else. I think it’s, it’s just like them, the actual skeletal of any partnership is towards to support each other. It feels generous. Yeah. Asking it this way, it feels generous, Eh, you don’t decide on the best way to support your partner. You cannot ask. You show that you want to support and you ask what would be the best way to do that? It’s a great question to do it, not just for the holidays, you know, almost everything. Yeah. Like even a in other way to say it is what will make you feel supported. Um, because a lot of time like support is a feeling in a way you feel supported. That’s important, not just to actually support that. It’s not just about the actions, it’s about what is perceived as support. Yeah. And uh, the bonus points we mentioned that before detached the long hug. Um, so once you decide on that safe worlds, talk about it in the fast. Talk about the fact that if you manage to grab a 22nd hi after mentioning Avocado, then it’s a good idea to use to use the physical touch. Yeah. Or even just sometimes, you know, when I’m stressed all I need this to feel my partners a hand on my shoulder or on my back or maybe on my, uh, on my leg, you know, just any super, eh, regulating for people. Right from, since we were babies forever. For most people’s, even to people who are sensitive to touch, light touch, but a certain type of touch. So you can talk about that as well. What kind of touch you might want. And people that are more sensitive to touch can show their partners what kind of touch and other people that just give me a touch, whatever, you know. That would work for them yet, Eh, yeah. Touch is a great way to help us to soothe them to regulate. Yeah.
So step three, after you’ve discussed, uh, the, the safe word, you need to go ahead and talk about the checkins. So, um, let’s go through the process on this one. You, you need to schedule two of them. That’s the, that’s I will tip. Of course, you might have a longer stay with your family then you might want to schedule more than two, maybe once a day or whatnot. But you scheduled time. Well, you are alone and where you can even vent out. Now when you are doing this exercise, we talked about it too on the, on the podcast, on the generous generous podcast about how there is a bad way to complaint. Uh, tell us about that. We took in the podcast, we’re talking about the venting conversation and it’s kind of similar hair that you can vent about everything and anything other than your partner. Okay. Okay. So it’s, it’s a time that you just need to release and you can bring out the worst in you. You don’t need to be enlightened at all. Just bring out everything that is stressful and annoying and [inaudible] put it out. And the partner who’s listening is supportive. It’s just listening and curious and supportive. Doesn’t take sides or it does she, he or she look, take sides. Your side, you know, it’s really about taking your partner’s side and making them feel like you’re a team. Like if this home rather shape and uh, it’s you against the world. Yeah. So first we don’t want to be against anybody, but the, the, the idea of this conversation is to vent and to reconnect and Eh, feel like we’re partners.
Again, use the magic question of how can I support you? That always works. It’s really great. Question two. Do I feel, um, partnership just by knowing that I’m going to listen to my wife venting but she’s, she, she will not vent on me just by knowing that you will, she cannot vent for me in the checking. That makes me feel so safe that I want to support her. Cause I know what I’m expecting. I don’t need to like get ready for, oh, here it comes here at, see I, I’m one of the people that she’s going to complain about. No, you’re safe. And so this is uh, going to help you. Yeah, you’re safe. And even if she does, eh, vent about someone who’s important to you. Maybe it’s your mom that you love her and your wife has a hard time with, with your mom. Don’t protect your mom. It’s not about that. And it’s not about showing your wife any deep insight or any wisdom. It’s really about venting and reconnecting and feeling like a team. Yeah, I love that regrouping as a team and again, in the checking, don’t forget to touch again. Touch is really important. We’ll talk about that. We talked about that on the, on the podcast and the first episode where, you know, we discovered the five love languages. Uh, and, and yes, physical touch is really important.
Step 2 – On your way there
So, uh, let’s, let’s talk about step two. You know, I, I, up until now, it was actually step 1.1, 0.2, 0.3, now it step two, which is on your way to the actual, the actual family gathering. Now there are four tips which will will be, some of them are related to the men and some of them related to the women. And um, I will start with a couple of tips that will actually help, um, the men around us and that is related to transition time in single focus. So, uh, this is again, it’s already going to be stressful. You’re already stressed by the holidays and the family gatherings and that no bitch. But, um, when you’re on your way to the event, I, it’s very important to understand that there is a need for mainly for men and for people that are affected by a high dose of this testosterone in their brain, which is usually men. Um, there is a real physical need for transition time and the way that transition time walks is that for example, once you get into the car and you’re focusing on driving, you are not ready yet to talk. You need some, some time between that or once you’ve basically every, any change you make in the atmosphere and immediately you need some transition time before you are available. And that’s ties also to the way that single focus walks, which is again at this tester on in your brain type of phenomena and many men basically thinking this way with single focus. And the way that single focus walks specifically on your commute is that there is the path in the car. Were you just trying to find the highway and there is the highway. Now fighting the highway is hard. You need to focus where to turn, uh, the other cars around you, how’d you, it’s, it’s, it’s stressful.
So you need to use every single bit of your focus on that. But then once you’re on the highway and you just need to drive straight for 50 miles. So, I don’t know. Then we, we are relaxed again and then we can listen to you talking about your mom or talk about the food or the gifts or whatnot. Right. Single focus means that you’re, you’re we men, it’s mostly a masculine thing. We were focused on one thing. We’re on a mission and while we’re on that mission, everything else is a disturbance. So relate relating can be annoying while were in single focus trying to fulfill a mission. So if we’re focused on getting on the highway or finding it, the exit or whatever is the, we’re focused on, it’s not a good time to talk to us about anything. Even minor things in don’t get insulted if we, we don’t even hear you a while, Um, while you are a one where I’m focusing on something else, like finding the right lane and right road and stuff like that, it’s really good. It’s really feels, uh, for us. Uh, we feel understood when you noticed that we’re busy. And do you acknowledge that? And because we are like, our brain works this way. Um, but at the same time we men, oh, mostly men, we have our share of generosity to, to do, you know, there are some things that we can do better to help our spouses. Um, so Shachar, please explain to us, uh, that type of generosity almost in every couple.
There’s one partner, it was more stressed by being late, right? It’s really important for them to be on time. And there’s one partner that’s really important for them to be there untressed to be in flow, right? So one partner gets stressed because they want to get there on time and the other gets triggered by that stress of the first partner. By the lack of stress almost. Yeah. So, so one partner just wants to be there on time. It’s super important for them and the other one’s to flow, wants to, to be there, but to be there, not stress because if they come stressful, stressed out, they want enjoy the gathering as much. And even if there’s a small difference between the tendencies, it creates by itself like a stress center in this stress land. And that’s not good for both of you. Actually, you know, it’s funny, but in my clinic, if that’s a really common fight that couples come in and fight because there are later meeting me and like their counselor, you know, that’s a little bit the shame to fight over over that. So for. So our advice for the gathering is decided ahead of time that being late is not an issue. Of course, don’t be super, super late and to avoid the whole gathering. But pre more relaxed about it and we’re talking to the partner that is more stressed about being late. Usually try to work with your mindset that for this gathering it’s okay. It’s okay to come a bit later. Yup. Be Generous about it with each other. Yeah. And a part of what we do in, in preparation for working on, on material for the generous marriage podcast, we research a lot of, of other thinkers on the field of uh, relationships. So there’s a lot of good information, valuable books and audio books and programs by Alison Armstrong.
And she talks about how women has a connection to like the 10 to two to the environment through making things beautiful. So the, the, it is very spiritual but um, can be witness to very easily of how a lot of time many, many women, you know, they, they, they really care about making stuff prettier and beautiful and even perfect and uh, make up and dressing up and fixing your hair. All of those things that makes a women more feminine. You want them, you want your spouse to glow. And that’s again, it’s a term that Alison Amstrong gives us a lot. It’s just something these, this ability for, for a women too to glow for us. We actually see you with that makeup and with it the dress we just, uh, mesmerized by you. And that’s very important. Allow that to happen. And not to put a time cap on that really like once you put a time cap, okay, you need, you have 20 minutes for makeup, then you’ve killed the glow. The makeup will be there, but you’ve just created a masculine women woman for you. So your wife is now masculine. She’s under stress of time. You cannot connect to the thermal and do your spiritual beauty fire as a women. But with the, with the, with that time cap. So again, this is a way for you to be generous and to decide that it’s okay to, to wait and take your time and whenever you’re ready and allowed that to happen, allow, allow the, the dressing up and the makeup phase to go on as long as it is, it needs to. Yeah. Beautiful.
Step 3 – at The Gathering
So now let’s go into the actual gathering. Uh, we buy now, you’re already like a generosity ninja with all the tips that we’ve given you. But here’s a few additional things that you should take into consideration. So we really, when we need you to know this thing called NVC, nonviolent communication, um, Shachar maybe can you tell us a little bit, is this a big deal in the world of counseling to understand the NVC? Yeah, it’s a big deal in the world. I think it’s a big deal. In other worlds as well. And in a business, in education and in, in many fields. It comes from a guy from San Francisco, Marshall Rosenberg, who passed a few years ago. He created this format and the idea is to communicate effectively. Nonviolently meaning communicating the way that the other can actually hear and respond and not have to be okay. Defending yourself for yourself, not having to be protective of themselves. And he created the format that helps with that. And we’re going to expand the format in a, in a second, in a minute. But before that I want the essence of it is being nonviolent is being not aggressive, not say criticizing, not blaming. Trying to speak softer, even in which we are triggered trying to make a soft startup too to help the other. So even if it’s an argument, if it’s a little bit of a conflict, trying to help each other be nice to each other, it’s a family gathering. We want to enjoy it even if they stopped because really triggering for us. Let’s try to talk about about it in a constructive way that wouldn’t, Eh, hurt us. I want to just to mentioned how important this is. Like when you train yourself to use NVC, it becomes a tool that is useful in anything you do. It’s useful with your relationships. With your customers. It’s useful with your kids. It’s obviously useful with your spouse.
So just today it’s, it’s quite a coincidence. My Kid, uh, he done, he’s five and he came to me and he wake woke up late and he told me he thinks it’s a good idea that he will stay home today and I need you to go to the kindergarten so that I could focus on, on my work. I work, uh, on all of my podcasts and schools for my home and he was insisting, insisting that he should stay home with me while I work. Which didn’t like, it really triggered me honestly. I was upset about the situation. I was, I felt helpless. I felt like, um, I don’t know what I can do. And I even felt a little bit like this tendency to be violent, like to just take him and put him into kindergarten, dammit. But I stopped myself. Just the fact that I wanted to be, you know, physical with him and take him. Just take him there and knowing that he will cry for me being, uh, aggressive this way. Um, I, I decided, uh, to, to use NVC to use the nonviolent communication. And I just started to say, you know, to, to use the system like with observing what I see and with sharing with him what I feel. And I didn’t even manage to do the whole, the whole NBC just by starting to talk a little bit softer and explaining how I feel and immediately it made a switch. So, and he went well to the kindergarten and he hugged me and gave me a kiss and it was perfect.
So, so let’s talk about going back one slide so we can talk about the format and then we’ll go to the examples. So the idea is to start with an observation. Observation means there is no criticism or self explaining or you want to be as close to reality as possible without adding your own. What’s the word? Remarks on it. And then you want to talk in “I” statement. Talk about yourself. I statements I feel I need, I would be willing to. That’s way more effective than talking about the other you when we talk about the other, it feels like blaming criticism and then the other has to be defending themselves and it just doesn’t work well. So observation, feeling, need and a request. Would you be willing to let’s show an exam. Awesome. I think this is the, at least is it the type of tactics or systems that Eh, an example really helps and practicing really helps as well.
So, uh, let’s take this example, which is a like, raise your hand if this ever happened to you. And for me it happens like every single time. So, um, the mom in law is nagging about the food. You already ate a lot. You don’t want more food and she thinks telling you, you know, take it out of these, did you try this one? So they’ll observe phase is saying something like, I noticed you made so many amazing dishes for today’s wonderful meal and mmm. Feeling will would be, I feel so full right now. I might actually burst. And then the I need statement would be, I need to take a break from eating till tomorrow morning at least. And then would you be willing to not offer me any foods tonight? Now if instead of that, like if you say to this way, they’ll, the sentence at the end sounds like an option. Like you don’t know if she will say yes or no, or at least that’s how you strive to, to toward yourself. Um, to phrase it. But then if you said it differently, like you are asking me for, you know, to eat so many dishes and you make me feel full and bloated and um, and you’re going to stop this right now. Like all of that type of sentences. I like to obviously create a scene it with your mom in law. So like changing every sentence to an I statements though. Observe the feel, not showing any criticism will actually allow her to listen to you. To notice that you have a need here. It’s not about her, it’s about you and your physical size of your stomach. Right, right. And it’s good to end with a request, which is different than a demand. We’re not demanding where requesting and they can say no or they can say yes but or they can say, you know, they can agree but do it in a different way and you can negotiate on what would be the best. But when we demand people don’t react well to demands. Asking is more effective. Yup. Cool.
Step 4 – After the Gathering
So step four after the gathering. Um, so uh, these again, uh, some tips that will help you reconnect after the situation that might have been easier for you because you followed out the steps one, two, three. But it’s still, it’s been somewhat hard. So how can we communicate after the gathering in order to reconnect, Shachar? Yeah, no. After the gathering you can breathe and you can slow down and it’s less intense and you can use the time to reconnect as a couple. And the, you know, use the venting conversation, Eh, process that we talked earlier and also just process what was happening. You know, why you’re in the gathering. There’s not really time for processing. It’s more about venting and you can actually process. So what is so annoying for me with Uncle Joe? Or why did I get so triggered when your mother in law, when my mother in law is offering me too much food? Like there’s an opportunity for growth, opportunity to know yourself better and understand yourself better. And if you really do this process next time, it might not be as triggering or maybe not at all even. So there’s a lot of benefit in processing and d and Now after the gathering you have time for it. Also. It’s a good time to thank your partner. You came out of the rabbit hole, you came out of this challenge. Thank you for being there for me. This worked really well and you know, just uh, be grateful for each other. Yup. And then, uh, you will hear us talk about, uh, you know, the date nights and we’d talk about it in our email list. We talk about it in the podcast and this is an opportunity. The gathering is over. You can start talking about dates and dates for the date, like a date for the date. Um, and basically, you know, the date night is an Institute, you know, I honestly think you need to be crazy. Do not take part in a weekly dates.
You, you really need to understand how important this is. And this is another thing you can do right now just after the gathering on your way back or whatnot, open up your calendar and decide when is your next date. Yeah. Date nights are super important. Longer term relationships are based on friendship. And after the friendships comes, intimacy and sexuality and date night, Eh, helps all of this stuff. Date night is a time in the week that it’s just you and your partner and you can play and you can connect and it can be romantic. It can be special. And they finish with just not so special. It’s still a good time to reconnect to each other and fill up eh, your emotional bank account. You know, there’s this, uh, um, metaphor coming from the renowned a couples, a researcher, Dr John Gottman, and he says that couples have this emotional bank account that when it’s full, it’s easy to be generous with each other. If you miss each other and something happens, it’s easy to go over this hurdle and the love is flowing. Friendship is flowing. Generosity’s flowing. When the emotional bank account is low, every little mistake is a fight. Every little when you miss a bid for connection, a huge conflict. Life is like, ah, and the lot life relationship is annoying. And when you’re in the red a with the emotional bank account, this is dangerous. You should go to therapy or you might break up, you know, every word you say becomes a blow up. The currency in this emotional bank account is connection. Every time you turn towards your partner and a great connection, you invest money in this emotional bank account. You know, it can be a look in the eyes, it can be touched. It’s going to be offering tea, bringing flowers. Being grateful is like gold is a lot of money in the bank account. Saying sorry, a lot of money. Having great sex is a lot of money. Uh, speaking of sex, um, you know, that’s, that’s the two, the two together, the date night and the emotional bank accounts. Two of them are huge factors in creating sex opportunities. But I also want to mention on the emotional bank account, that’s it’s way more beneficial for you business wise, you know, um, Eh to, to do a lot of small things in comparison to like one big thing. So if you bring out flowers once a week, it will be not good enough in comparison to just smiling 10 times a day. Right. And tannic towboats um, your spouse 10 times a day. And there’s even the ratio that, uh, Gottman, John Gottman, the Gottman Institute, that measure, then he recommends, what is that ratio? 20 Times more turning towards your partner, 20 times more than turning away from your partner. So creating connections 20 times more than missing out on a connection. Yeah. And so it’s all the time. It’s just what you said earlier. It means all the time smiling to each other, looking at each other, you know, not just, uh, being stuck on a, on a, on our phones, on our, on, on Facebook and in a really attending to the connection to our partners.
So, so to, so we want to give you a few final tips, um, before we, we wrap up. Um, so Shachar with the APA and what, what can you share with us? There is the same a American psychological association that we use the statistics from their survey earlier in the webinars. So the same survey also finds that women get more stress, remembered the, I forget the actual number. I think it was 44% of women and 31% of men. Yeah. And the big part of the reason that we want to get more stressed that even in 2018 when uh, there’s much more equality, still women are more busy, are, are working harder at preparing the meal and preparing the gathering and cleaning after it. And men are better at taking time off and resting and women still feel responsible for doing all this stuff and feel shame if they don’t. So this tip is actually for the guys is be generous, you know, help your wife, Eh, give a hand with the dishes or give a hand with pre preparing the meal or whatever you can do. Or even just use that question, how can I support you? That that could go far, you know, depend depending on the, on her love language, but even just asking that can make her feel cared for and supported. And there is another research by Gottman shows that women that perceive that their husband’s help around the house, and let me say it differently, has been that their wives, eh, perceive them as helping more around the house, have more sex. Okay. Helping your wife with cleaning and all this stuff and not that you should help your wife. It should be equal these days. Yeah. But if women think that you’re more of a partner and you’re sharing the responsibilities, we’ll have more sex. I think that’s a good motivation. Good motivation. Um, and to that. And um, yeah, we actually wrote that.
All right. So we want to wrap up guys and the quick view with, uh, this one last gift for today, which is this idea of the generous partnership armor. So first of all, and another way to say it in my words is that you’re fucking crazy. If you’re not doing a weekly date night, it’s super important that you go on and work. MMM. You know, dude, everything you need to do in order to create a situation where you have a weekly date night and actually you, you might even want to have a date, a meeting with your kids too. But that is a topic for another day, uh, for now on the, on this, you know, partnership, um, uh, armor, uh, make it generous. Invest time in your partnership. And our mission here in the generous marriage podcast is to help you with that, to actually give you the stories of what happened when people used, uh, the generous way, uh, in the partnership. And to show you the research of what, we don’t want you to just take it from us. Just there’s a, a way that many of those topics will actually, well research and Shachar you, you are a scholar on these fields so you know how to find the right, uh, results in the right research. And there’s also some tools that some of them are tools that we’ve, uh, created versions of those tools according to basically your, uh, your, uh, your work as a counselor. And some of those tools are things that we’ve tested personally. Uh, in my relationship with my wife, fought them and in your working relationship with your wife Judy. And so we share all of these in the generous marriage.com website and we welcome you to try them out there free and to help us spread the word that generosity is important. Shachar generosity. Is it, is it, uh, also getting people some results in the hurdles with the relationships? Yeah, know that’s fine. That’s what I’m, uh, tried to teach and educate and help couples achieve being generous with each other. It just creates this flow of love and connection and life seems brighter and you’re generous with each other.
So, um, we want to let you know guys that you can actually support us back if you’ve enjoyed this webinar and we definitely media support. So what we hope you can do for us is basically, you know, make it post on Facebook and tell them, you know, generous marriage.com. Go check this out. We will put this Webinar for free also on our website. We’ll transcribe. So it’s easy to read if you don’t have time to listen. If you want to look for just this specific part. Uh, and we continue in our journey of creating tools and resources that are available, available for free to help partners, Eh, make the partnership more generous. Make your relationship with your spouse, smoke intimate, uh, have more sex, go your business small easily this way and so on and so forth. So I’m not sure why guys, you’ve showed up today. Maybe it’s because you know that the family gathering is important for you. Eventually there’s a lot of fluff in meeting your family and maybe you know that you are a little bit concerned about it. Or maybe you even know more than that. You know that your marriage requires some work. Um, like does anyone, does it need to walk a little bit more on the marriage? I mean, seriously, even even therapists go to therapists. Of course, I think there’s like 10% of the people who don’t, they’re like unicorns there. Wow. But most of us human beings, you need to attend peer relationships.
And so we recommend you guys to check out the generous marriage podcasts, um, explore the different principles of how to make your marriage more generous. There’s 12, free episodes. Each of them has a story about a couple that has been through a hurdle. Some of those hurdles are amazing stories and have used some tool that Shachar given to them and these giving to you as well so that you can make your marriage more generous. And we also back it up with research and we even created this a bonus, a pdf which is free on each episode of the generous marriage podcast. And it’s, sometimes it’s a game, sometimes it’s a tool. It’s something that if you use it, it will help you make sure you understand the principles of being generous. And it’s something that you can have fun, even have fun in your date night with those tools. So finally we ask you guys to just take a moment and go to generous marriage.com and look around, maybe listen to the podcast. Maybe share it with a friend, and then go and talk about that on social media. It will really mean a lot to us.
So any questions? See, um, if you have any questions, let us know. We will stick around after the end of this recording as well. But, uh, this is, uh, how do you feel? I feel good. This was fun. I hope people get a value from this. I hope this was useful for them and yeah, I’m happy to answer questions right now or even through email. Uh, what’s our, even now with teen teamgenerousmarriage.com. Yeah. So, yeah, please. Uh, and, and even on Facebook you can comment and ask questions. Whatever way works best for you. Let’s be in communication. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m going to also type it in on the chat so everyone can see it. Guys, if you have any question about one of the bonuses all about, you know, the tools. Um, it’s not enough to learn generous marriage way. It’s also about practicing. So it’s about practicing. And you don’t have to take every single principle, every single tool. If you don’t like avocado, don’t eat avocado. Just, you know, I too try to be vulnerable with the try to come to your life, to your partnership, where you’re trying to pull to, to move the relationship to the next level or to repair your relationship, which, which sometimes you need to do. And then that’s when those principles come in very, very handy. Uh, Shachar want to take a moment to thank you for doing this with me, for, um, being patient for my questions and for finding out all the right tools that helps me personally, not just in my relationship with water, but also with my understanding of Oh, of all sorts of, of situations that opportunities to be generous. So thank you, Shachar. Thank you, baby. I love working with you. I think we’re a good example of being a generous team. I feel that are generous with me. I hope you feel that as well. I do. And with that said, we will a guy see you in the upcoming Webinar, uh, and in, if you want to learn more about when these death happening, simply go to the generous marriage.com website and just join our email list and we will let you know, we promise about, uh, the next webinar. We have some real exciting topics coming up and a that will surprise you and delight you and help you on your journey to becoming more generous human being in your partnership. Thank you everyone and talk to you soon. See you. Thank you so much.
Weekly episodes with stories, tools and research that will help you make your marriage generous
Shachar Erez, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 12 years married, father of two
Ziv Raviv, 16 years married, father of three