Relationships

Marv is Retiring … And Other Important News

After a long and prosperous career as a teacher, school administrator, speaker, author, consultant, and creator of the Without Stress trilogy, it is time for me to embark on yet another phase of my life: retirement.

Realize, though, that this is not an ending to the resources you have known and loved for many decades. Rather, this is the beginning of some great opportunities for you.

One of the top priorities of my retirement transition is to liquidate my remaining physical inventory of books. This means some great deals for you. If you’ve been wanting a copy of one of my books but have been holding off, or if you’ve always wanted a bulk quantity of materials for your school, … >>>

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Why Giving More Creates Stronger Relationships

We all want stronger relationships with our family, friends, and co-workers. But strong relationships don’t happen overnight. It takes consistent daily action to make any relationship better.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the root of so many relationship problems is that people stop giving to each other—or they give the wrong things. This is very common in parent-child relationships. Parents are more likely to give children “things” rather than experiences. Because young people WANT “things,” parents mistakenly believe that is what their children NEED.

Many years ago, Charles Frances Adams (son of President John Quincy Adams, grandson of President John Adams, and President Abraham Lincoln’s minister to England) wrote in his diary one day, “Took … >>>

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The Truth about Raising Teens

Most theories about the stress and strain of raising teens have focused on the wrong things. Factors such as physical changes, emerging sexuality, new social demands, and struggles between being a child and an adult have dominated the parenting landscape for decades. But none of these is the real reason why the teenage years are often so tumultuous.

Realize I’m not saying that raising teens is easy. It’s not. However, we’re looking for solutions in the wrong places. The truth is that this period of adolescence is difficult for both youth and parents largely because the teen becomes so independent of parents that control of the teen is difficult. In fact, the parents’ continued attempts at control often lead to … >>>

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5 Tips for Better Relationships

We all want better relationships with those we care about. Whether it’s a relationship with your partner, kids, friends, or co-workers, you have to work at strengthening the relationship every day. The good news is that when you strive for better relationships with others, you also improve your own mindset and self-esteem. Following are 5 tips for improving relationships with others as well as with yourself.

  1. Give affirmations. A simple acknowledgment can have dramatic results. This is especially important with young people. They want to assert their independence and autonomy. Just acknowledging that you have heard their point of view, regardless of agreement, can have a profound effect on how your growing young one feels about the relationship.
  2. Use quality
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Two Words That Will Change Your Life

I’d like to share with you two simple words that will change your life. Some may even say this is the greatest two-word tip of all time.

These two words are the single, best advice for improving your effectiveness in any endeavor.

I encourage you to write these two words down and perhaps tape them to your bathroom mirror so you will look at them every morning as you begin your day. These two words can enhance your career and bring more satisfaction and joy to your life. If you are a classroom teacher, use the two words with your students. Likewise, if you are in an educational or leadership position, use these two words to prompt improvement in others. … >>>

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Tell the Truth to Build Strong Relationships

We all know it’s important to tell the truth, but we don’t always do it. Why? Because telling the truth can be uncomfortable. It may not make you look your best. However, telling the truth even when it’s difficult is a sure way to build good relationships.

I like the way one wealthy individual told the truth. He was asked how he had amassed a huge fortune. He said, “It was really quite simple. I bought an apple for five cents, spent the evening polishing it and sold it the next day for ten cents. With this, I bought two apples, spent the evening polishing them, and sold them for twenty cents. And so it went until I had amassed … >>>

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Focus on the Future for Better Relationships

If you want less stress and better relationships, then focus on the future. Unfortunately, many people live in the past. They replay conversations and events in their head repeatedly, analyzing what happened and what each party said. While it is good to understand the past so we learn and grow, living in the past often results in negative emotions. That’s why it’s important we all focus on the future.

This advice is especially important today. As we all start engaging with family and friends in face-to-face settings again, focusing on the future will promote healthy relationships. So here’s my best advice: When you interact with family, loved ones, close friends, and other valued people, don’t begin a new conversation with … >>>

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You Can’t Change People, but You Can Influence Them

Many of us try, unsuccessfully, to change people. Whether we want our partner to be more loving or our kids to be more responsible, we waste precious time trying to force the other person to change. The fact is that, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot change another person.

Does this mean that people will never change? That the way someone is now is how they’ll be for the rest of their life? Of course not. But change does not happen by you forcing it. Rather, people often change based on your expectations for them. So in a sense, the way you change people is to influence them to want to make a change on their own.… >>>

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Why Caring for Others Matters More Than You Think

Caring for others is one of the foundations for a successful relationship because it makes people feel valued. And when people feel valued, they are happier and experience less stress. Whether you’re interacting with youth or adults—whether they are family, friends, or co-workers—the more you prove that you care about the other person, the better the other person will feel and the stronger the relationship will be.

There’s much anecdotal evidence that proves this theory—that caring for others increases the other person’s self-worth and is a foundation for any successful relationship. But did you know there’s also scientific backing of this too?

The Science Behind Caring for Others

The idea that communicating a caring interest to others is vital for … >>>

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The Secret to Better Communication Skills

If you want to have better communication skills, listen up! In fact, listening is the single most crucial factor of all communication skills. It is more important than stirring oratory, more important than a powerful voice, more important than the ability to speak multiple languages, and more important than a flair for the written word.

Good listening is truly where effective communications and relationships begin. It’s surprising how few people listen well. Those who do are the ones who have learned the SKILL of listening.

The fact is that people love being listened to. It’s true in the business world and at home. Actually, it’s true of just about everyone we meet in life.

Dale Carnegie wrote that the secret … >>>

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How to Create Truly Happy Relationships

Do you know how to foster happy relationships? Happiness always starts from within, so let’s start there. If you look around at your family and friends, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others. They don’t try to control anyone but themselves. And more likely than not, they experience many happy relationships in their life.

You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have a lot of power, the constant resistance they feel from those they are trying to control deprives them, and their relationships, of happiness.

If you try to control a friend, … >>>

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How Your Mindset Affects Relationships

Do you think the world is out to get you? Or do you think the world is filled with opportunities? The difference depends on your mindset. How you view the world affects every aspect of your life. Most important, your mindset affects relationships. We can see evidence of this every day.

For example, look around and you can often see two people engaged in similar tasks but providing different responses in how they help others.

One clerk at the counter invites the next customer up by saying, “Hello, how can I help you?” Another simply says, “Next!”

One bank teller, working in a bank adjacent to a senior retirement community, sees an older person approaching and says to the visiting … >>>

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Use Attentive Listening for Better Relationships

Attentive listening is the most valuable tool we have for enriching the quality of relationships. Yet, many people neglect it.

Attentive listening means listening without distraction. I have met very few people who have practiced this approach to the point of making it a skill. My financial planner was one such person. Cory had the knack of conveying the feeling that, when you were with her, you had her undivided attention. I don’t know if she learned the skill or if it was just natural with her. But I remember the charismatic impression it made on me.

Unfortunately, all too often, we experience the opposite of attentive listening. As the chair of an accreditation team representing the Western Association … >>>

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5 Tips to Maintain Healthy Relationships

Maintaining healthy relationships is one of the foundations for living a happy life. Whether you are interacting with your spouse, child, friend, parent, co-worker, or neighbor, you have the power to strengthen the relationship or to weaken it. The fact is that your words, actions, beliefs, and mindset shape every relationship you have—for better or for worse.

The good news is that no matter how stressed your relationships currently are, you can take positive steps now to change them. Following are 5 tips to help you develop and maintain healthy relationships with others.

1. Communicate using positive, rather than negative, messages.

Instead of telling others what you don’t want or don’t like, explain what you do want and do like. … >>>

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Focus on the Positive to Change Your Life

Maintaining a positive attitude, speaking positive words, and thinking positive thoughts is essential to a happy, stress-free, and productive life. I learned to focus on the positive early in life. Like many, I was brought up on a principle my mother instilled in me: “If you can’t say something nice about a person, then do not say anything at all.” I took that to mean that we should not only refrain from negativity, but that we should also focus on the positive.

My mother’s advice eventually became the bedrock of my first principle to reduce stress: POSITIVITY. I now think of it whenever something negative pops into my head or if I am about to say something that can be … >>>

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Positive Communications Build Positive Relationships

We all know that positive communications are vital to maintaining positive relationships. Most of us, though, are not conscious of the power of our communications. As a result, we say things that seem innocuous to us but that may make the other party feel bad.

The fact is that the words and phrases we use in our daily interactions have three major influences:

(1) They influence how we think and experience the world.

(2) They shape the way others see us.

(3) They determine how much cooperation and success we have with other people.

Remember that when words come out of our mouths, they don’t just go to the listeners’ ears. We hear our own words too. So our words … >>>

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The Secret to Good Communication

How you communicate with someone has a direct impact on how stressful the relationship is. But it’s not just about the words you use or the tone of your voice. Most people know that using kind words and not yelling is important for good communication. However, what many people fail to take into account is how the other person is perceiving your message, even if you deliver it with a smile.

For example, how many times do you politely tell others what to do? Maybe you tell your child to clean their room, tell your spouse to take out the trash, or tell your employees how to write a proposal. These are all normal, everyday things. But let’s flip it … >>>

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My Top 3 Relationship Tips

People often ask me for relationship tips. Of all the things that cause stress in people’s lives, relationships rank high on the list. Whether it’s between adults, family, friends, or children, relationship challenges are inevitable.

But what if there were some simple ways to make relationships easier? What if you could be proactive to ensure your relationships no longer stress you out? Would you take a chance and try something new in order to reduce stress in this area of your life?

To help you have more peaceful relationships and less stress, here are my top 3 relationship tips that will transform your life. While these tips may seem simple at first glance, they are truly powerful tools that we … >>>

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