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They can't help it. It's a basic human instinct. When life doesn't go their way, they test the waters to see if tantrums will make a difference. If tantrums do make a difference and the hierarchy falters, why wouldn't the perpetrators continue? That's heady power; He had everything she thought she was looking for, especially in terms of intelligence and career success. Unfortunately, whenever they were together, he made her feel small. He'd ask her why she chose a certain recipe that was clearly above her cooking skill level. Or he'd make fun of the framed Picasso posters that hung on her wall. She'd leave dates with him questioning her decisions--and herself. At first, she thought his criticisms made her stronger. She tried to convince me he was merely trying to up her game. But through our work together, she realized that he was actually very insecure and that his insecurity triggered her own insecurity. It didn't matter what he looked like on paper. In person, he made her feel bad about herself. If it's your boss, you may feel like you can't have this conversation or that there's nothing you can do to change how they treat you. While that may be true, you still can shift how you see the world. Your perception and attitude have power. Maybe you realize that working for someone who values what you have to say is really important. If you can't change your boss, maybe you look for another job working for someone who better aligns with how you want to be treated.

Or maybe you realize that it's hard to talk face to face--your boss may struggle to listen--so instead you decide to write an email so your ideas can be heard. Or maybe you realize that when you spoke up in the past, your voice was timid and soft, so you shift slightly to speak more assertively and powerfully, holding eye contact with your back straight and chin up. There will always be people and events outside our control--that's life. But we control our reactions--our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Every time you tap into your values and stand by them, you step into your inner strength. If the tyranny continues and overrules any logic, you have a home full of polarized energy. Since no one chooses tyranny over peace and stability, the unit disbands as each member seeks a friendlier working whole. If you want a disruptive child to rethink the nature of power, rethink the power you give her. Every family goes through changes when the members shrink or expand. Each person must find his or her place within the newly constructed whole. Step-parenting is often fraught with struggles because everyone is renegotiating--even the parents. Step-children have the same desire to know you that your birth children have to know you. Mutual progress requires the same love, release, and forgiveness. It's not a fluke that you are together. The soul generates situations in which all participants are given the opportunity to learn more about themselves. She refused to choose a lifetime of self-doubt and ended things with him. One of my friends says his girlfriend makes him feel competent. She asks for his advice--and takes it. She relies on him in a way that makes him feel important and capable. He loves the side of him that she brings out.

Key tip for your dating search Pay attention to how you feel when you're around this person or right after you finish spending time together. Challenged? Select someone who brings out the best side of you. It could also be helpful to get a third-party view by going out with a group of friends. Every time someone violates what you value, you will know it. And instead of throwing up your hands and saying, Well, that's life. I can't control them, so I'll just sit here and take it, you will proactively stand up for yourself. Every time you do this, you learn that you can trust yourself. That you have agency over your life. That you are powerful and strong and no matter what happens in the external world, no matter what someone says or does, you will take care of it. This is how you build resiliency in life. You take back control over your body, mind, heart, and soul. And you teach yourself that you will, and can, take care of you. That being said, we do have to acknowledge that there are some situations and people where standing up for yourself can put you in danger. Step-children know how to push your buttons. They force you to seek solutions. Be the twig that bends in the breeze instead of the twig that snaps in two. Weathering the storm is about placing the best interests of the whole in the middle of whatever else is happening. If the rest of the whole is harmonious, the disrupter has a better chance of finding harmony, too.

On the other hand, if the whole is edgy and nervous, edginess expands. Judging the previous lifestyle of your step-children is not helpful. Nothing about these blessed souls must change; To be a good step-parent, you must accept the new family as a reflection of your progress. Haven't you found compassion for the needs of others? Instead of asking, What did you think of him? Fights aren't fun, but they don't necessarily spell disaster. If you lacked relationship role models who demonstrated how to fight and how to make up, don't fret. You can learn to fight well. Fights--anything from a small disagreement to a screaming match--are a chance to deal with things as they come up instead of letting resentment build. A friend of mine prided himself on not fighting with his girlfriend. She had decorated their house, and he felt like there was no room for him. His interests and his stuff were not represented. He wanted to bring it up, but because he believed that avoiding conflict was a sign of a healthy relationship, he didn't. He grew more and more resentful of her over time. We're talking about domestic violence or experiences at work that could threaten your job security. While we absolutely want you to hold true to your values, do it safely and in a time frame that is right for you. This may require you to seek outside help from a domestic violence support network or a trusted therapist who can help you create a plan for yourself (and your children, if they're involved). Sometimes it may mean walking away from a harmful work environment, never saying anything to your boss (or a co-worker if that's the source). Just know that you have the right to set healthy boundaries, and you are the only one who gets to decide what these look like.

As Dr Sam Rader, a psychologist, told us, sometimes when we've experienced trauma, especially if we had to go limp and play possum, we experience a sense of ourselves as a beta pack animal. We're not the strong alpha leaders. Instead, we're submissive and we don't feel we can protect ourselves or be strong. In nature, beta animals have inhibitory mechanisms in the brains that prevent any aggressive impulse from being completed. If we're living like betas, our brains won't let us say no or fight back. Haven't you found more understanding of the path you need for growth? Haven't you found more tolerance for the diversity in this world? This is your reward. If you desire to adopt a child, the desire to be adopted exists in another. The only difference between adoption and other means of parenting is the route by which the two of you come together. Let's suppose that a man called Joseph begins his journey in humanness in the hope of raising a family. As time goes by, he takes a few detours in unexpected directions. Nevertheless, his soul understands what he needs, who he needs to find, and why it is important. Would God deny Joseph his heart's desire simply because he needed to explore other dreams, too? Would God say, sorry, you can't have what's important because there is only one way to find it? The lack of physical representation in their shared space started to seem like a metaphor for their whole relationship--he didn't see himself in it. He stopped investing in their partnership and began to spend most of his time at work, where he had his own office. By the time he finally broached the issue, it was too late. Too much space and resentment had grown between them, and they decided to end their five-year relationship. The first step in fighting well is understanding that there are two types of problems in relationships: solvable problems and perpetual ones--unsolvable, permanent features of your partnership.