Tuesday, April 4, 2017

SUPPORT THE WORK


If you love my work and want to support it, now you can. Click here

For now, most of the posts will remain. However, if you follow this blog and receive insight from it, I invite you to consider becoming a patron and reading my articles on Patreon. My goal is to have way more time to spend writing this stuff for you, and eventually retire this blog and do everything over there. 

THANK YOU! :) 

https://www.patreon.com/amymiller

Monday, April 3, 2017

Advice for the day

If you are hurt by someone, or you don't understand why a person is behaving how they are, or what made them say the thing they said how they said it, etc, ASK THEM WITH WORDS. Be curious, not accusatory. Inquire sincerely about the thing that is troubling you. 
Say, "That hurt my feelings. Can you tell me what made you say that?" 
Or
"This behavior is unlike you and it's kind of freaking me out. Can you tell me what's bothering you?"
Or
"I sense that things are off between us. Can you tell me what I've done to upset you?" 
Or 
"I don't really understand what you meant by that. Can you say it a different way so I can make sure to get it right?" 
Or 
"I would really like to talk about what's been going on in with our relationship. It hasn't felt good to me lately. Can you tell me how it feels to you?" 
DO NOT just let hurt feelings and misunderstandings go unattended. That is how relationships fall apart; when tiny unhealed wounds are allowed to fester, they eventually become necrotic. Think about how this idea works in the body, as it is fairly analogous to the spirit of relationship. 
I would also invite you to remember that most people do not intend to be hurtful even when they are. Most people are just out here doing their best to protect **themselves** from being hurt. Applying intention and value to the behavior and words of others without inquiry is unwise, as most people are honestly not putting very much care and thought into how they are affecting others. 
When it is brought to their attention how they are impacting others, however, they have a choice to address the issues, or not. You are likely to receive much more accurate information via people's response to your hurt, rather than from the thing that caused the hurt. That is usually a function of misunderstanding, carelessness, and often just having no idea how they are being received. It's when you say "Can you tell me more about this" that they have the opportunity to recognize their impact, adjust their behavior or words, and have a more positive impact moving forward. 
OR NOT. 
Sometimes people will be unable to hear how they were harmful, and will become defensive. They might lash out. They might doubledown on the hurtful thing or behavior and insist that it is exactly what they meant to do or say. They might gaslight you and make you feel like you don't have a right to your feelings. They might tell you all the things you did to *make* them do or say harmful things. 
This response is not about you, so I would invite you to simply receive the information and move on. Don't take it personally. Understand that this person you care about may not be in a place where they can have a constructive conversation about their behavior. Perhaps they are not used to being approached with kindness and curiosity, and they believe they have to protect themselves from what feels like criticism. Perhaps they are simply in the habit of defensiveness and don't see a better way to resolve conflict. 
The best thing you can do is model the behavior you want to see in others. Treat the people you love with unconditional positive regard, such that when they (usually unintentionally) cause you harm, you don't have to take it personally or react harshly. Practice using words to ask clarifying questions and approach conflict from a place of "how can we resolve this?" vs. "how can I hurt you back?" or worse, just giving up on the relationship and not giving people a chance to learn how to do it better.

IF YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL, PLEASE COME TO OUR NEW BLOG HOME AND SUPPORT THE WORK: https://www.patreon.com/amymiller

Saturday, March 25, 2017

INFP mantra for the day...

I invite everyone, but **ESPECIALLY my INFP people** to always try and remember the following mantras: 
  • mistakes do not equate to failure
  • there is no such thing as perfection
  • feelings are not facts
  • you are enough 
  • you are worthy 
  • you are valued

....repeat, ad infinitum



IF YOU FOUND THIS USEFUL, PLEASE SUPPORT THE WORK: https://www.patreon.com/amymiller

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Clean Your Emotional House




Spring Special for Newsletter Subscribers!
(Must be STL local; these specials don't apply to distance coaching) 

(If you're not a newsletter subscriber, click here to add your email to our mailing list. You may unsubscribe at any time.)

When talking about improving relationships, it is important to accept that we can only change ourselves. As much as we may wish it were otherwise, other people's behavior is entirely out of our control. And often we are contributing to whatever behavior they are displaying, as we continually trigger and influence people around us. So our best bet is to take inventory of what our contribution is to every interaction, and figure out how we can do it better each time. Basically, I say this a lot: "You've got to make sure your house is clean before you can invite anybody to move in."

I do this work because I truly believe that incredible changes can happen by doing some deep, courageous self-reflection AND learning new skills to communicate more effectively. These efforts, in tandem, will always lead to significant improvement in all areas of life.

That said, I know that finances can be tight sometimes and we may set our own needs aside for other things. Many of you have expressed interest in the workshops we offer or in doing individual (or couples) work with me, but have found the costs prohibitive.

As such, for the first time ever I'm offering a discounted package. Consider it "Spring Cleaning for your Emotional House". Between now and April 30, subscribers to MCC's mailing list can receive:

three (3) individual sessions (normally $270)
+
two (2) workshops of your choice (normally $110)

= $380 


for $325, a savings of $55 (so basically it's like receiving a free class)

Fine print: The only catch is you must pay in full to initiate discount, and you must use the individual sessions within 90 days (assuming we can find mutually agreeable times). However, the class credits never expire, since I know scheduling can be difficult with our busy lives. I offer each class approximately quarterly, and the current schedule is linked here.

Just a little present for you guys to show how much I appreciate you! Hope you all are well.
~amy~



Monday, March 6, 2017

INFJ/ENFP relationship

INFJ and ENFP are basically the perfect pairing for friendship and/or romance, and here's why: 
They both lead with information-gathering (iNtuition) so they are both, first and foremost, curious about ideas, concepts, issues, and understanding what motivates other people's behavior. But their intuition goes in opposite directions, so each sees what the other misses, which sparks rich dialogue. 
Both are also NF types, so they share genuine care and concern for others as well, but it's secondary. So neither is *overly* emotional, and in most cases, a neutral "oh that's interesting" or "let me see if I understand" is (eventually) going to override "that hurts my feelings" or "I want to hurt you back" in any conflict situation. They also share a desire to exchange ideas and to explore intellectual possibilities (even as they relate to emotion) *more* than they desire to talk about feelings purely for their own sake. Any conflict that arises, once both have moved through the initial reflex of feelings, is going to end up in a rather clinical analysis of "what just happened" and "how do we not do that again" and "what improvements can we make for next time".

Both types report a difficulty with feeling understood and a desire to be "seen" and so the other person's sincere desire and effort to see and understand them is a key element to the ease of this relationship. In terms of the cognitive functions, between the two types, all EIGHT functions are represented. What this means, functionally, is that each has what the other is missing.




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INFP/INFJ relationship

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Friday, March 3, 2017

SPRING 2017 CLASS SCHEDULE

Updated Class Schedule: Spring 2017

Personality Types 101: 
Saturday, April 8
1-3 p.m. 
This classes serves as an introduction to Myers-Briggs Personality Type and Jungian temperament theory. It includes working toward a basic understanding of cognitive functions, which is useful when learning how to type yourself and others accurately, why it’s useful, and its limitations. We also review all of the 16 archetypes briefly

Communication for New & Expectant Parents: 
Saturday, April 15 
1-3 p.m. 

This class will focus on navigating common communication difficulties (in general), as well as specific issues that may arise during pregnancy, and early babyhood. We will also discuss strategies for maintaining intimate connection between partners during the turmoil of this period.  


INFJ: How to Make Yourself Known:
Saturday, April 29
1-3 p.m. 

Boundaries:
Saturday, May 6
1-3 p.m. 
This class focuses on defining boundaries, and discussing what can happen when we fail (or overachieve) in setting boundaries. We will discuss boundaries from the perspective of our personal and professional lives, including how to shift codependent relationships into healthier interdependent ones. 


Communication INTENSIVE: 
Saturday, May 13th 
12-4 p.m. 

The first half of this class will be "Use Your Words" aka "Say What The F*** You Mean" (focusing on passive-aggressive behavior, apologies, identifying how you feel and how to express it, etc).

The second half of this class will be "How to Do Conflict Well"  aka "Don't Be An A**hole" (focusing on practical strategies for having difficult conversations, how to fight fairly, how to communicate clearly and concisely in a way that is respectful).

We will offer these classes on the same day. Please note: you may attend one or both, as there will be a short break between the sections. There is a discounted rate for attending the entire workshop. 

**Rates for these workshops vary. Email amy@millercounseling.org or text 314.502.9275 for more information, or to register.** 

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We are also now offering a bi-weekly drop-in "therapy" group for iNtuitive Feeler types; it's organic and open to anyone identifying as an NF. Intended to be a safe space for like-minded people to process their feelings, talk about issues, etc. Email me for more information. 

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FINE PRINT: All of these workshops are informal and interactive, but only to the extent that you wish to participate. If you're very shy or introverted and would like to come and merely observe and learn, you are welcome to do that. Also, I provide candy. 

You must register and pay in advance in order to hold your spot. We accept payment via cash, check, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, or credit/debit card. If you're a current client of MCC, we can just bill your card on file. There are no refunds offered, but if you need to cancel at the last minute, you can use the credit anytime for another class. Its value never expires. 

We reserve the right to reschedule if enrollment is low 24-48 hours before the class is to be held, but we will do our  best to reschedule it at a time that is convenient for you as a preregistered participant.