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Session 6: How to Deal with Your Opposite & Vermont Dreams





Hello and Welcome to the Unlock Your Therapy Podcast.


This is session number six. Thank you so much for joining me again today. I'm really loving doing this podcast every week. I think it's a great way for me to give more information to connect with people. Instagram gives me all of 15 seconds at a time to deliver information and it's very hard for me to do that. I've been getting so many messages from people I didn't even expect to be listening. It's very nerve-racking knowing that people are listening to me and this is out in the world, but I'm really enjoying it.


Getting into today's episode, we have high and low. I have an update on a previous high that became a low and now is my high again today. The low… I'm just thinking of all things September for my kids. Skill of the week today is an interesting one, it is how to deal with someone that's your opposite. Whether that's in a relationship or someone that you're friends with, a family member, someone that just drives you crazy sometimes, I’ll explain how to deal with that. We're going to talk a lot about that and the action item of the week is going to be related to assertiveness. Today we don’t have the anixitea segment because I want to get more into the relationship pieces.


High & Low:


In a previous episode I mentioned we, meaning Dan and I, are selling a co-op in Manhattan that we had wanted to sell during the pandemic because the building changed a lot of the sublease rules. So essentially we're no longer going to be able to rent the studio to anyone and we're certainly not moving back into a studio apartment. Itt's unfortunate because it's a beautiful co-op there and Dan essentially grew up in that building and it's just sad and I imagine it's really hard for him. When we started dating, that's his apartment I would go to all the time so it just has really nice memories and it is bittersweet to sell it but in a previous episode we received an offer after a while of having it listed. Which was great but then it fell through so that was really unfortunate. We were pretty upset. We kept moving forward with our realtor. After a few more weeks we got an even better offer, we got full ask of our listing and it's moving along. So I'm crossing my fingers that it works out this time, we are signing the contract soon. So I just hope it goes through anyway, that's my high and essentially selling that co-op even though it's sad allows us to look into some property in Vermont. We love Vermont. If you haven’t been, you need to go. I randomly went there, maybe I saw someone post something about it and I was like I want to go to Vermont. I found our first airbnb we've ever stayed in years ago when we even heard about airbnb and me and Dan went there. We stayed there. We loved it, it was before kids, I think we took both our dogs. Ever since then we've been going back to Vermont at least once a year maybe twice a year sometimes but typically once a year in the summer and we just absolutely love it. There's no people there. It's so bizarre living in New York City and then going to Vermont when we went to Vermont we were driving around and we passed by a lake with a beach, bathrooms and a parking lot. You know a lake that here in New York you would drive 2 hours north and it would be packed with people blasting music, just a very unpleasant experience. In Vermont we drove past this lake and there was nobody there, we were wondering if it was closed. It was so strange. There was just nobody there because there's not that many people in Vermont and they have so many lakes, trails and state parks. I mean it's just chock full of swimming holes and waterfalls and covered bridges. You can swim wherever you look. There's little places to pull over and they make parking spaces on the side of the road because they know people are going to want to pull over and swim in the river.


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They make a little trail down to the river so you can go swimming there. It’s very free to enjoy nature and it's not regulated with a park ranger over your shoulder. You can really just enjoy yourself and be alone. So that was amazing. We went to that lake and Dan swam across the length of the lake and back. It was just so enjoyable to be the only people there. It was wild and since then we found many lakes and swimming holes where we're the only people there. We brought Carson there, I think he was one. We had him in a pack and play on the beach and we would swim near him in the water. Anyway, that's just a long tangent but that feeds into my high because it's not just about selling this studio. It's about possibly buying land in Vermont which is our plan. We will possibly make it into an investment property with an airbnb and hopefully also a place for us to stay when we want to go up there so we have some different ideas. It's exciting and fun to just think about and now that we have an offer I can think about it more and daydream about it, it’s really nice.


Low:

Okay, the low is I'm just having a hard time weighing out all the school options for Carson and Everett in September. I think I mentioned this on a previous episode but his old school called me and they got into the free 3 k program which is great but now I'm just weighing it out because they have a program for Everett for the baby.


He's six months this week and I'm not sure I'm ready to send him to daycare I have a good babysitter who comes and she speaks spanish which is really important to us that the kids are learning spanish, Dan is fluent and I am not so we just try to get as many other people to help reinforce that as possible. I'm working on it but it's best to have some native speakers around our children. Um, so she comes and it's been great. She's so helpful for me, but you know daycare is cheaper than having a babysitter come. Caron’s old school just increased the price significantly for their infant room. So it's much more expensive than this other school that Carson got into for 3 k. It's much more affordable. The program for Carson is great I love it.


They gave me a virtual tour because they're still not allowed to let people in. I'm just not sure for Everett, I mean I saw the infant room and it's okay, it's just like I mean I don't know maybe my standards are really high. It's a small room, doesn't look that stimulating, it just kind of looks kind of, I don't know, not bright and cheery just looks a little cluttered and disorganized. I don't know, I think I'm being too picky so I don't know what I'm going to do because I want them to go to the same school, just easiest for drop off and pick up obviously but I like the program for Carson.


To be determined but that's my low but I keep thinking of that other podcast I listened to where they talked about that. There's no wrong decision. There's just different options and there's pros and cons to each. It's not like either is going to be absolutely horrible. You know I'll probably be pleasantly surprised. They both have great ratings. It's not like I'm sacrificing a good program. No health inspection violations, etc. They're highly regarded places, both of them, so we'll see I don't know.


Okay. Next up, Skill of the Week!


The whole theme of these next few weeks of the podcast is leading into my mini course on no more people pleasing right?


So the skill of the week is, how do you deal with someone that's your opposite?


Whether that's in a relationship or friendship, someone in your family, someone you just really clash with, you're total opposites, your personalities are opposites.


Dan and I are very much opposites in some ways. Dan is very laid back. He's late to everything, he procrastinates a lot on most things in life. Well except the important things, anything finances or bills or whatever. Everything else he procrastinates about like putting something together or cleaning out the car or whatever it is. He's not great at doing house chores. So these things about Dan do drive me crazy from time to time, if I focus on those I can have a whole argument in my head with him and rile myself up if he's not even in the room.


But what I tried to remember and is really true is that Dan is great at so many other things, different things that contribute to our family, and our lifestyle. He saves me time during the week for example, I could give him a list of groceries to get, a really long list at Costco or Trader Joe's and he will get every single item on the list and the correct item. He won't bring me back something that's similar but not the right one. No, he will track down every item on my list unless they don't have it for some reason or he'll go to CVS and pick up a prescription I need.


Or he's going to bring my car to get fixed for me. He's so great at running errands I think it's because he probably has ADD. But I think it's helpful in this context anything where he can go outside and actively do something so incredibly helpful and that saves me so much time I don't like doing those things he always laughs at me because if he calls me, he's like oh can you stop at the store and pick this up for me and I'm say oh god, I act like it's the end of the world because I just hate that, I hate like having to stop at the store and go into a store for a few items. I do not enjoy grocery shopping. I have my groceries delivered whenever possible. So he's super helpful in that way he takes King, King is our dog, he takes king to the park. He takes Carson out by himself hiking in the woods for hours to give me a break, just to let me clean up the house and play music or watch my show, just to have some time to myself. He takes him to the pool to go swimming. So I have to remember all of those things when I start to get really angry and I typically get angry when I'm cleaning my house. I think this is a thing for people and maybe especially women when you're cleaning your house. Well maybe not if you live alone.


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But if you're cleaning your house and you have a family I think it's normal to get worked up and angry as you're cleaning. I think it's like resentment that you have to clean everything yourself and you get all hot and flustered. I mean that happens to me anyway. I don't know if that's other people. But I think it's a thing so this skill comes in by trying to think of what the person does that is helpful in other ways.


I tell my clients a lot in therapy, people often talk about their significant others and where they're falling short. I especially hear it around housework and trust me I get it.


I'll also tell people an option is you know you could have your significant other chip in for a cleaning person to come. You know, periodically and just that would help reduce resentment as well. That's always an option if money can solve the problem.


I tell people to think of what that person brings to your life in other ways. If you have differences with a family member or a mother-in-law for example but maybe she pitches in and watches your kids here and there. It's super helpful for you, trying to remember that and hold on to that when she says passive aggressive comments or drives you crazy.


In couples therapy, I do couples therapy in my private practice, one of the things we ask people in the first session is what made you fall in love with this person. What qualities in the other person did you love? Often people will say the same qualities that now drive them insane right? If I were to say it about Dan I would say oh that he's free spiritrited, he's so laid back, he's not worried about anything, he's carefree, he's active and goes out in nature and doesn't worry about things, etc. Those could be the same things that drive me crazy right? I could work up a whole complaint list out of those same qualities. So I just try to point out to people when you're falling in love and you're in this honeymoon phase you glorify those qualities about the other person and opposites often attract.


They still have those qualities, it's just that when you're sharing a household and chores and responsibilities and the daily stress, things are stressful. Those qualities come out in different ways that are not helpful but they're still the same person that you love.


That's the skill of the week: acceptance.


I don't mean it as you're just giving in. You're just accepting things you do not like. This is how this person's always going to be and this is your life with them suck it up. No, but I do think we're not going to change people necessarily but that's different than not working on things together.


The goal is to create empathy for one another. We're not really trying to change people. We're trying to get the other partner to see why one feels the way they do and to validate how they feel by listening to how they feel and understand why they feel that way.

If they were in those shoes wouldn't they feel similar and can they understand. There might be little things they can do just to help support but not things out of character.


We're not going to ask someone to do something that's just really out of character for them, like I would never ask Dan to wake up at 9am and clean the house for me because that would be helpful. That's not helpful because he's not going to do that and it's going to be a whole fight if that were to be some kind of new expectation of mine. That's ridiculous. So you have to think within the perimeters of that person and just try to think of little ways they can support you.


You know if you're cleaning, send them out to run errands at the same time so you don't get all angry at them or you know little things like that. So try to practice. Think of things that they're really helpful that save you time, make your life easier and hopefully that helps.


Okay, next up is Action Item of the Week!


Action item of the week goes right along with my mini course that's coming out. It is to say NO to a request this week. It could be something small but I want you to try to say no to something to lighten your load. Keep your schedule open.


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Just keep your schedule more open and not commit to helping someone out to doing things as readily as you probably do. The other option is to ask for help for one item this week or say no to a request. It could be something small. But it often makes people uncomfortable, especially my anxious people out there, I feel you, to ask people for help and thinking of things people could help you with.


So for example, if you have someone coming over, people ask can I bring something, I want you to say yes. Yes, I forgot the paper towels at the store, could you bring me a roll of paper towels, I don't care if it's something random like that or actually yeah, could you bring a bottle of red wine, could you bring a bottle of seltzer I don't have any seltzer in the house. Could you bring ice, we don't have ice in the freezer.


Small but helpful or it could be if you don't have any situation coming up that you need to ask someone for help then I want you to go into a store and ask for help. Go into a library and ask for a specific book, make them help you find it. Go into a shoe store and ask to try on 3 different pairs of shoes and have them go in the back and get your size. These are often smaller shoe stores that you know, they have to go in the back to get your size and bring you the shoes and you leave without buying any. Or go into a store and ask for change for a dollar and don't buy anything in the store. This is probably more common like in the city but something like that. Or go into Panera or Starbucks and ask for a glass of water. These are little ways you ask for help and you're not reciprocating anything. You're not doing anything for the other person, you're simply receiving something you need or want and you're not giving anything in return.


People say Lindsay how the heck this is going to help me with assertiveness but it really helps you get more comfortable or at least being able to tolerate the distress of being uncomfortable with asking for help from others.


Not having to reciprocate all the time or saying no to someone when they need you to do something for them. So all of this ties into the mini course that's coming out. I have even more things like this in the course but I hope you try to practice a little bit this week.


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That's a wrap for this episode. Thank you all so much for listening, follow me on Instagram I share a lot of my daily life there. You'll see a lot of pictures of Carson and the baby and things in my stories. I try to post funny reels that go along with mental health. So come over to Instagram @unlockyourtherapy the link in my IG bio signs you up for the mini course interest list and I'll talk to you all next week bye!


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