Tag: conflict

Mediators Can Help HIGH Conflict: Fact or Fiction?

Mediators Can Help HIGH Conflict: Fact or Fiction?

People tell me “I want to refer someone to you but they are really high conflict so there’s no way mediation could work for them.” Then, I take a deep breathe, resist the urge to say something like “that doesn’t make sense!” and ask them to tell me about the situation. FICTION: Mediators only works for Continue Reading »

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10 Tips to Avoid Sounding Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher | Improve Communication in Relationships

10 Tips to Avoid Sounding Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher | Improve Communication in Relationships

Ever been told you should listen more? To wait before you respond? To just shut up and just pay attention for a second? To stop sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher going wah-wa-wah-wa-wah…? Solid advice, right? Rubbish! Or that’s what someone named Elissa wrote to me after reading one of my posts about communication in relationships. Continue Reading »

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5 Steps to a Great Apology | Family Conflict Management Strategies From a Divorce Mediator

5 Steps to a Great Apology | Family Conflict Management Strategies From a Divorce Mediator

Ever receive an apology that didn’t feel apologetic? Left you feeling worse? Angrier? Infuriated? In mediation — and in life — I see apologies of all shapes, sizes and colors. Some feel authentic and cathartic. Some feel compulsory and meaningless. Some feel passive-aggressive and irritating. And some downright hurtful. “I’m sorry you feel that way” Continue Reading »

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Hate Losing Arguments? 3 Conflict Mediation Steps to Improve Marriage Communication and Win!

Hate Losing Arguments? 3 Conflict Mediation Steps to Improve Marriage Communication and Win!

I had a divorce mediation client who loved to win. He loved to win in basketball, business, and investments. His success in life was a result of his competitive nature, he believed. His wife hated his competitive nature. She thought it was short-sighted and interfered with their communication and decision-making. Losing Marriage Arguments They both Continue Reading »

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Relationship Issues Stressing You Out? 3 Tips to Improve Marriage Problems Without a Marriage Counselor

Relationship Issues Stressing You Out? 3 Tips to Improve Marriage Problems Without a Marriage Counselor

“Why do I NEED to consider her point of view after all the marriage problems we’ve had, and the way she’s treated me?” A divorce mediation client angrily asked this of me after I made a comment suggesting the possibility that he might need to consider his wife’s perspective. I was trying to suggest that Continue Reading »

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Relationship Help That Could Save Your Marriage

Relationship Help That Could Save Your Marriage

“Stop trying to fix all my problems!” “You’re NOT LISTENING to me!” “You don’t GET it! Sound familiar in your relationship? If you or your partner have either uttered something like this out of sheer exasperation, or have had these barbs thrown in your face, you have to watch this video. Seriously. Check it out. Continue Reading »

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Parenting Tips for How to Help Your Kids Resolve Conflict

Parenting Tips for How to Help Your Kids Resolve Conflict

It’s Halloween time. Two brothers are upset because one of the two pumpkins had to be thrown out. Brothers did what brothers do: argue. They both wanted the remaining pumpkin to be their pumpkin. Their mother tried her best to encourage them to share, to reprimand them, and even threatened to take the pumpkin away Continue Reading »

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Jedi Training to Develop Conflict Resolution Strategies

Jedi Training to Develop Conflict Resolution Strategies

So, I am one of those cheesy people that draws meaning from the original classic sci-fi Star Wars trilogy. I know it is mostly over-simplified messages packaged with light sabers, cool characters, mystical forces, and huge spaceships. But what can I tell you? I love it. Why am I telling you this? To set the stage Continue Reading »

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Co-Parenting After Divorce When You Hate Your Ex But Love Your Kids

Co-Parenting After Divorce When You Hate Your Ex But Love Your Kids

A few weeks ago a divorce mediation client was venting frustration in a private session about certain aspects of child support and co-parenting after divorce. She was convinced that her husband would be irresponsible with the money and spend more of it on himself than the kids. To prove her point she pointed out that Continue Reading »

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Stuck in an Argument? Check Out the Balcony View. A Massachusetts Divorce Mediation Tip

Stuck in an Argument? Check Out the Balcony View. A Massachusetts Divorce Mediation Tip

Ever get so frustrated in a disagreement because you just know that you are right? That your point of view seems so crystal clear? Of course, you have. I certainly have! It feels good to stick to your guns. Doing so may even occasionally work in your favor. Most of the time however the tension Continue Reading »

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Family Communication, Parenting Help, and How to Stay Calm: Lessons Learned From a Sobbing Hysterical Tantrumming 6 Year Old

Family Communication, Parenting Help, and How to Stay Calm: Lessons Learned From a Sobbing Hysterical Tantrumming 6 Year Old

A “Hysterical” Miscommunication A few weeks ago my son had an out of the ordinary temper tantrum – OK, he was flipping out — during a sleepover with his grandparents. They were calling me, I was calling them, and all the while he is yelling and crying in the background. It was stressful all around Continue Reading »

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Dealing With Marriage Communication and Relationship Issues? Stay Out of the Weeds

Dealing With Marriage Communication and Relationship Issues? Stay Out of the Weeds

It is often said that the “devil is in the details” and certainly this is often sage communication advice. Other times, especially during arguments, divorce mediation, marriage communication, and conflict in general, I would argue that the “devil IS the details.” Devilish Hypocrisy Consider these points of conflict that I have recently heard during mediations: Continue Reading »

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Angry at a Family Member? Learn Family Conflict Resolution Skills to Deal With Family Issues

Angry at a Family Member? Learn Family Conflict Resolution Skills to Deal With Family Issues

“I just don’t understand why my brother won’t listen to me!” I was asked this somewhat rhetorical question yesterday while explaining mediation to someone. This woman was frustrated by how her brother berated his son in front of other people. He refused to follow her advice. She felt he was embarrassing his son for no Continue Reading »

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Lessons Learned Providing Mediations: Ben’s Mediation Blog

Lessons Learned Providing Mediations: Ben’s Mediation Blog

I am a family and divorce mediator.  When I say I love mediations to people I often get one of the following responses: Really? (Translation: why in the world would you want to do that?), or… Really? (Translation: I have no idea what that is but I’ll play along), or.. Really? (Translation: my aunt’s sister’s next Continue Reading »

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