Orbiting: Five ways to handle the new online dating phenomenon

orbiting

When it comes to relationships, ‘ghosting’ is a common term. It has been used for the last few years both in relationships and the workplace to describe what happens when someone shows interest in you, only to stop contact without explanation. They stop texting, don’t show for a date, or refuse to reply to emails.

Today, ghosting has been taken to an even more unhealthy level: orbiting.

Coined by writer Anna Iovine of Man Repeller, it describes what happens when someone you are dating cuts of contact with you, only to continually monitor your behaviour online. While they may not talk to you anymore, they continually view your Snapchat feed, Instagram stories, and may even like your Instagram pictures, Tweets or Facebook posts.

It sounds sort of creepy, doesn’t it? Knowing that I am being watched online, without my permission, feels intrusive and violating. It is as if someone has set up a tent outside my house with the intention of monitoring my every move.

At its most innocent, orbiting is perhaps a person’s desire to fill their hours of boredom or satisfy curiosity that can become addictive. Yet it can also run to the other extreme of outright stalking and bullying behaviour. And while social media is often public, this is never an excuse for someone to violate your privacy by instigating such concerning and abusive behaviour.

If you realise you are being orbited, you have a choice: to entertain a sense of powerless and even outrage at this blatant violation of privacy, or take back your power and feel more in control.

You give away your power to the person orbiting you when you:

  • Over react
  • Confront the perpetrator in a reactive way
  • Engage with the perpetrator

While you have a right to feel angry, each of these behaviours invites further negative interaction from the perpetrator and will actually perpetuate the cycle they have begun. Your response could invite fascination, excitement or stimulation.

The best way to retain your power is by choosing to ignore their presence. While it may feel contrary to their behaviour, by doing this you dilute their power and strengthen your own position.

Here are five steps you can follow to take back your control and nip orbiting in the bud.

  1. Recognise your power and control.
    You can keep your power or give it away by choosing to be reactive (stimulating them) or pro-active (blocking them).
  2. Utilise social media settings as boundaries
    Don’t be afraid to block or hide a person from seeing your social media content. Think of this akin to putting up a fence around your house. You wouldn’t let just anyone in, so why is your social media any different?
  3. Report predators
    If someone is frequently crossing the boundaries and viewing your content or interacting with you, report them. Let the authorities on that particular site fight for you and don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the website, even for a short period, if it’s ruining your quality of life.
  4. Confront them from a mindful, empowered position
    This approach is only recommended if you feel strong enough to advocate for yourself, as you may very well get negative backlash. Choose your timing and your words carefully. Remind yourself that the boundaries they cross are first of all in your mind, creating fear, anger and frustration.
  5. Be aware of how you represent yourself
    Consider what message does your online presence sends to the world.

Try to be honest with yourself and ask: Am I provocative in any way? Am I ambivalent about the attention? Angered by it? Flattered by it?

How you portray yourself on social media is never an excuse for someone to orbit you or violate your privacy in anyway, but understanding the image you portray will empower you to create boundaries in the future to protect yourself.

Are you being orbited? Is your social media presence causing you anxiety or minimising your quality of life? Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245, Duncan on 0434 331 243, or Rachel on 0422 177 193 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

How to speak to your child about sexuality

child-sexuality

There has always been contention about when the right time is for parents  to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk with children. But in a day and age where technology is more advanced than ever and children are reaching puberty as early as 7, the need to talk about sexuality has become greater than ever.

These days, kids want to know about more than sex. When they’re younger questions will centre on body parts—and as they grow older the questions will become more about puberty. You will have to explain positive self-esteem, kissing, periods, erections, and all sorts of joys with them (including how often they NEED to shower).

Then comes the slightly more awkward topics—Pornography. Sexting. Contraception. Why some people are attracted to the opposite sex, others are attracted to the same, and some people, both.  Transexuality and gender fluidity. Why some marriages work and others don’t. Divorce. Cheating. What sexual abuse is. Rape. Boundaries for safe and consensual sex. STI’s. Understanding their unique sexual identity.

A parent can read all the self-help books in the world and sit their child down in front of any amount of awkward 80’s sex-ed videos, and still not have the answers to these questions. And often, the need to talk about these topics will come up before the questions even do; especially once a child grows older and starts exploring their sexuality on their own.

The need to discuss these topics in a safe and non-judgemental way is essential, because an educated child is prepared when they are confronted with all sorts of situations—especially the ones they may not tell you about. And if you’re not educating them, then you can be sure the internet, TV, magazines and their peers are.

So how do you broach the topic of your child’s sexuality and all it entails? We came across a fantastic article by Danish Psychotherapist and author Iben Sandahl. In it, she details 7 guidelines for speaking to your children about sexuality. She answers questions about how much detail you should go into and when, the language you can use, and takes away the fear factor of these conversations. Read it here and see what you can take away from it.

Does your child or teen have questions about their sexuality? Are you unsure how to approach these topics with them? Watersege has just added a child and teen specialist to our staff who would love to work with you. For more details, contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

How to find love (and keep it) with Adam LoDolce of Sexy Confidence

When it comes to romantic relationships, everyone seems to have more questions than answers—except for Adam LoDolce. For the last several years, he has been coaching women on how to find the love they deserve through his brand Sexy Confidence. He has been featured on CNN, MTV and Women’s Health, and has helped 83 million women find their own sexy confidence.

Adam was kind enough to answer some questions for us about dating myths, why self-confidence is the key to sexiness, and how he took the path to become one of the top dating experts in the world

WE: How and why did Sexy Confidence start?

AL: I actually used to teach men how to go out and date women—confidence techniques and how to be more sociable, how to have great body language and what to say when going out and meeting women. I was featured in CNN and a ton of other websites, and randomly I had one article that was featured in Glamour.

I had so many women reaching out to me for advice about men. And I found out that, as I was getting these questions, I actually know more about attraction for women than I do about attraction for men.

At that point I decided I was going to start a new brand called Sexy Confidence purely giving advice to women on my YouTube channel. Within about 6 months it absolutely blew up, and I stopped coaching men and focused all my attention there.

WE: What is the number one concern women come to you with?

AL: Ultimately, it really is that the guy that they want or are attracted to doesn’t want to commit to them. It is generally an issue of commitment. They started seeing a guy and he’s great, and he’s fun—great chemistry, great sex, all that stuff. But he doesn’t actually want a relationship. Then what do they do? That is a concern.

WE: What are the biggest myths women believe about relationships?

AL: One of the biggest myths is that you should wait for love to come to you. Just sit back, and it will come when you least expect it. I think that’s a huge myth. I think it’s key to get out there and push yourself.

I always coach and suggest that my clients go out and be confident in themselves and go out and meet people. It doesn’t mean you should just straight up go and hit on a guy, but definitely out yourself in scenarios where you can be social and meet lots of new people.

WE: Why is it so important women fully understand and appreciate their self worth before they enter a relationship?

AL: Because ultimately you set the standard for how people treat you. If you find yourself in a bad relationship with a guy who doesn’t treat you well, and you just take it, don’t do anything about it, and don’t set a standard, then he’s just going to keep treating you that way. I find that’s true in life with any relationships—not just romantic.

WE: What is the first step a woman should take who wants to re-enter the dating scene after a big break up?

AL: The biggest thing is to take time to rediscover your identity and enjoy just being single again. Don’t feel like you just have to jump right back into the singles scene right after a breakup.

WE: How has understanding the female mindset and empowering women helped you in your own life?

AL: It has certainly helped me in my own relationship. I’ve been with Jessica for over three years now, and every single day I hear something new from women and I always take in that knowledge and try and be more empathetic and more understanding with my own interpersonal relationship, because relationships are always hard in some way.

In some way, all relationships are a bit messy in life; so don’t assume that it’s got to be absolutely perfect. Every dating and relationship coach I’ve ever met has their own troubles in their own relationships. Not always major troubles, I don’t myself. But it’s never perfect. 

WE: Why have you dedicated your life to helping women become sexy confident?

AL: My whole goal with Sexy Confidence is to help women be more confident and help them love themselves for who they are, and that is the key to being happy with your life. Because no matter what—even if you are single or are in a relationship, you can still be happy with who you are.

To find more out about Adam and Sexy Confidence, visit SexyConfidence.com.

If you have recently experienced a break up and believe that your relationship can and should be saved, you can also see his new Winning Him Back program about recovering from heartbreak. 

Are you looking for love? Is there conflict in your romantic relationship you can’t resolve, or have you gone through a recent heartbreak? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243, or BOOK ONLINE NOW to book in our online diary.

 

How to find common ground in your relationships when you have different political values

politics-relationships

Politics has always been somewhat taboo in society. While we discuss the pros and cons of different laws and events, no one ever stated how they voted, at least until the events of the past few years occurred.

Since different Prime Ministers and Presidents have been inaugurated, it has become increasingly clear that society is more divided than ever. Hot topics such as same sex marriage, women’s rights, border control, gun control and health care have risen to such prominence that relationships are breaking because we hold different values and adamantly fight for them.

It’s not bad to disagree with people, or to speak up for what be believe in (that’s the basis of a democratic society after all), but when these issues start to break families, romantic relationships, friendships and community groups, we need to address the rift they’re causing. Why? Because if we’re not careful, they’ll destroy the relationships we value most in life and cause us bitterness, anxiety and grief.

This is not a blog about changing your political values or even how you express them—rather, it’s about how to meet the people you love and value where they’re at, so you can learn from each other and find common ground.

It can all feel a bit overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to five steps. This is how to find common ground in your relationships when you have different political values:

  1. Figure out your common values

Any relationship is built on common values.  Political differences may currently cause a rift in your relationship, but your commonalities can help you build a bridge to meet each other in the middle. Figure out what you both value and go from there: it could be family values, a healthy economy, faith, health care or justice.

Use this as a springboard to empathise with your loved one or colleague. When they say or do things you disagree with, remember the core values they hold and where these actions come from.

  1. Create a safe place

To sustain your relationship, you need to create a safe place (either literally or metaphorically) where you can do life together without politics. This might sound impossible, especially when your political values are so personal, but it will enable your relationship to grow instead of die in bitterness and contempt.

Meet together for coffee, or play a team sport together.  Do something you both enjoy, and make it a ‘politics free zone’. This doesn’t devalue your political stance or assume you defer to theirs, it just means you value the relationship above your need to win them over.

  1. Be honest

If you have a problem with what your friend or colleague is saying, let them know, but keep is positive and avoid passive aggressive social media posts or gossip. Be aware that they may not understand your point of view, and come to peace with this. Respect their right to have a different opinion to your own.

Some people will be open to having discussions about political differences, and this can create a life-giving environment where you both learn and grow from each other. However, if discussion turns into an argument or slander, you need to exit. This is not deferring to their point of view, but valuing your time and dignity because you know the conversation is fruitless.

  1. Avoid it

Let’s be clear, avoidance is rarely ever a healthy strategy, but occasionally it is needed after you have established a difference of opinion.

For instance, if a family dinner or holiday is coming around and you know a relative will be there who has some radical opinions, it’s probably best you don’t start a conversation about that week’s hot topic. Choose to keep the peace and retain the relationship over changing their mind.

Some people love to argue. They will provoke you and bait you with their words and snide remarks. Make a conscious decision not to enter their game. Change the topic and ask about the family or talk about something less contentious—like the weather.

  1. Be wise

It is possible to have healthy, thriving relationships with people who have different political values from you, even in an intimate relationship. However, there comes a point for many of us where these differences show a dramatic division in our values that prohibit us from getting any closer.

It might be a deal breaker in a romantic relationship, or influence the decision to keep a friend as an acquaintance rather than a confidant.

This is okay. Allow the grief process to happen, and be wise about the boundaries you have around that relationship. The closer someone is to you, the more important it is they have similar values to you. And when you do disagree, remember to have grace—we are all just people after all.

Are you experiencing division in a relationship due to your political values? Are political issues and their prominence causing you anxiety or feelings of intense anger? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

10 quotes to help you on Valentine’s Day

v day banner

People either love or hate Valentine’s Day, but one thing is inevitable: we all have to get through it. So whether you are in a committed relationship, married, dating or are single, we want you to thrive on February 14.

That could mean taking your partner out, and making a commitment to spending quality time together more often. Or, it could mean spending the night with your friends and celebrating life and independence with them.

If you’re not sure how to feel about Valentine’s Day, then we’ve got you covered.  We’ve chosen 10 quotes that sum up the beauty of finding and maintaining love, as well what it means to truly love ourselves no matter what season of life we’re in.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

Valentines Day infographic quotes

Are you concerned about your relationship with your significant other or spouse? Are you single and want to become your best self? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

How to identify Domestic Abuse

How-to-identify-Domestic-Abuse

Have you ever wondered if your significant other is abusing you? Maybe they push you, lash out violently or pressure you to take part in unwanted sexual activity. Or perhaps you are unsettled by their passive-aggressive behaviour: they way they monitor your financials, your phone, or keep you from seeing other people.

When we’re in an abusive relationship, it is easy to excuse these actions as ‘normal’. Maybe your partner even makes you feel like these incidences are your fault, and this is what a standard, committed relationship looks like. Perhaps you’ve found every excuse possible for your spouse, because they promise they will change and you love them.

This infographic by NowSourcing and FreeDating.co.uk lays out exactly what Domestic Abuse is. Aside from detailing the stats that show how prevalent this is in households across America and the world, it also pin points the different types of Domestic Abuse you may encounter.

These include emotional and psychological abuse; physical abuse; sexual abuse; financial abuse and digital abuse. Take a look at the infographic and see if you recognise any of these traits in your relationship.

Are you concerned about the way your significant other is treating you and/or your children? Are you afraid for your safety, or are you scared to come home? PLEASE ask for help. This is not reflective of a normal, healthy relationship and you are worthy of feeling safe and secure.

In Australia, please call 1800-RESPECT, or 000 to access help immediately.

domestic-abuse

 

Are you concerned your significant other may be abusing you? Would you like support as you navigate the best way to move forward in your relationship? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

The top 10 blogs of 2017

The-top-10-blogs-of-2017

It’s been a huge year for Watersedge. We debuted a new look, released more Enneagram resources, and opened up our website to guest bloggers!

We’re so grateful for all of your support, and want to celebrate by listing our top 10 blogs for 2017—as decided by you. Enjoy, and keep your eyes out for more new content in the weeks to come. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to see all our new content first!

  1. The five types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Infographic by Therapy Tribe

  1. Six ways to manage social anxiety

By Jessica Morris

  1. Who am I? The key to understanding yourself

Infographic by WatersedgeCounselling

  1. 12 ways to practice self awareness

Infographic by Huffington Post and The Utopian Life

  1. 12 reasons why a dog can help you cope with depression and anxiety

By Andy McNaby

  1. 10 reasons you’re becoming burnt out

By Jessica Morris

  1. 10 Mental health accounts you need to follow on Instagram
  1. 10 Amazing self-care charts you need to see
  1. Managing meltdowns: Wisdom from over the fence 

By Louise Griffiths

  1. Consider this before you move in together – Part 1

By Colleen Morris

Do you want to live a whole and healthy life? Would you like support as you navigate life-changing issues or circumstances? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

How to keep calm when conflict strikes

how-to-keep-calm-when-conflict-strikes

Everyone encounters conflict sometime during the day. It might happen when you’re trying to get out the door by a certain time, and your teenager is adamant they will take their time in the bathroom.

Or perhaps it’s at work, when a colleague questions your decision. You may even encounter it with your spouse or partner on a regular basis.

Conflict is a part of life. And while some people try to avoid it at all costs, there are others who embrace it—perhaps even create it—because they relish in the back-and-forth.

Whether you have a love or hate relationship with conflict, it’s important that you learn how to deal with it healthily. That means not running from it, and not perpetuating it. Rather, it’s about using it as a tool to bring about a better conclusion for everyone involved.

All that to say—it’s not easy navigating conflict; which is why it’s essential you have the tools you need to deal with it.

This infographic by Cashnet USA shows us why our brain and body responds so readily to conflict, and gives us some handy tools to ease the tension when we sense ourselves (or someone else) having a heightened emotional response.

Choosing to take deep breaths, lowering your voice, changing your posture and even choosing to disengage are all helpful strategies when conflict strikes. Not only do they help you to reframe the situation, but they give the person you disagree with an opportunity to calm so you can find a peaceful resolution.

Take a look at the infographic below, and see what you learn about conflict. What step can you take home with you this week?

how-to-calm-brain-V2-1-optimized

Do you run from conflict, or do you instigate it? Do you feel angry and struggle to maintain your composure during conflict? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

How to find common ground in your couple relationship

How-to-find-common-ground-in-your-couple-relationship

Do you feel like you’re talking to a brick wall when it comes to conflict with your partner? In this article for Warcry magazine, Colleen tells us how to overcome this tension when we can’t find common ground.

Disagreement is an inevitable part of every relationship, and how we deal with it determines our future health and happiness. So did you know that only 31% of a couple’s major areas of continuing disagreements are about resolvable issues?

The rest of the time, a couple’s conflict will be invested in unresolvable perpetual problems. This was one of the findings of a 35-year longitudinal study of 677 couples conducted by Dr John Gottman.

Is it any wonder then, when describing their attempts to communicate with their partner, a person might describe the experience as ‘speaking to a brick wall’?

When a couple fails to resolve an issue so they repeatedly visit the same conflict (up to 69% of the time), the temptation is to resort to negative coping strategies like this, which Gottman termed ‘stonewalling’. In fact, whilst stonewalling is not entirely territory owned by men, the research tells us that 85% of males tend to use stonewalling as a means of staying safe in conflict.

Given that a significant amount of couple’s disagreements are most likely unresolvable, learning how to navigate these conversations in a mutually satisfying way is essential to the longevity and health of any couple relationship.

This is why one of the important keys for a healthy relationship is the ability to accept the influence of your partner.

In practice, this principle is generally more difficult for men than it is for women, who do this at higher rates. Men are less likely to accept their partner’s influence, choosing instead to emotionally disengage or escalate the conflict using belligerence, contempt or defensiveness. All of these behaviours serve to shut down a partner’s complaint and reinforce gridlock.

Accepting your partner’s influence can be the difference between having a conversation where a conclusion is reached without feeling attacked, criticised or resentful; as opposed to an argument that reinforces our differences and creates a sense of hopelessness around the problems in your relationship.

So what does this look like in a conversation? Accepting influence can be as simple as saying “Good point”, or “I see”. Giving the respect of acknowledging your partner’s opinion is the beginning of negotiation.

Accepting influence is about finding common ground for agreement.

If that rarely happens in your relationship, it may be time to step back and listen to your partner’s thoughts on the subject at hand, instead of responding from a negative, closed position.

“I haven’t thought about it in that way before,” sends the message that you are listening and considering your partner’s opinion. You could respond to your partner, “So you see it a different way. Let’s keep talking about it and see if we can come up with something we can both live with.”

Try accepting the influence of your partner this week, and see how it changes your relationship.

Do you struggle to find common ground with your partner? Would you like to discuss how cultivate a healthy connection?  Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

#MeToo: 5 useful responses to the world-wide movement

metoo

Over the past week, you may have noticed the phrase #MeToo coming up all over your social media. The phrase picked up momentum when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted this in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations coming to light in Hollywood:

“Me too. Suggested by a friend: “if all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”

It should be noted that this movement is not new. 10 years ago Tarana Burke coined the phrase and she is credited for creating the campaign that lets women, specifically women of colour, know they are not alone when they have experienced sexual assault.

After Milano tweeted the phrase, women, female-bodied, feminie identifying people and men responded en masse to the call out—many boldly sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault for the first time.

It has signalled a shift in our culture, creating awareness around the prevalence of sexual assault (physically, verbally and emotionally) that many men were in the dark about for so long.

Why? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. The people who have responded to #MeToo experience this injustice as a regular occurrence. And in Australia, one in four females have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. To say this is widespread is an understatement.

While the global response of #MeToo has been gigantic, it still doesn’t reveal the full extent of this global inequality. Many people have chosen not to share their #MeToo and others have disengaged to protect their health due to the trauma of their own experiences.

So where does that leave us? Or, more pointedly—where does that leave you?

The Watersedge team could write our own response to #MeToo. Each of us have experienced or heard about the reality of sexual violence and assault in different contexts: as ministers, celebrants, therapists and counsellors, social workers, friends, husband and wife, daughter, son, friend, mentor and as a victim.

Due to this, we know that every women, female-bodied or feminine identifying person has their own #MeToo (not to the exclusion of some males).

So instead of sharing our own stories with you, we want to share some of the important responses to the movement. We hope that you will read these and gain a fuller understanding of the movement.

#MeToo: See Beyond The Hashtag by Prof. Susan Thistlethwaite, Huffington Post

After #MeToo Campaign Goes Viral, Men Are Saying #ItWasMe by Samantha Brodsky, Good House Keeping 

The Problem with the #MeToo Campaign by Megan Nolan, Vice

An Open Letter to My Brothers in light of #MeToo by Mike Morrell

#MeToo: How to respond to a friend sharing their story of sexual abuse by Hack

If you can say “me too,” we hope you know you are not alone. We believe you. We see you.

If you have chosen not to share your story, you don’t owe this experience to anyone. Take care of your health and know that we believe you.

If you are a man who has realised they are a perpetrator—intentionally or due to cultural norms that have influenced your values or behaviour, this is your time to stand up, change your behaviour and say #ItWasMe.

And if you are a man who is outraged and saddened by the existence of even one #MeToo story and call yourself a feminist or someone who values equality, then you must speak up. Silence makes us complicit, even when we don’t take part.

Do you have your own #MeToo story? Have you realised #ItWasMe and need support to change your behaviour? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW