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Choose from a new Brave Girl Course by Melody Ross, along with beautiful, soulful featured courses by many of our other world-class BGU teachers. September 18, 2010 by Eduard Do you want to overcome shyness or anxiety and become confident and charismatic? Afterward, scroll down to read this article.I believe one of the most important qualities that good conversations have is that they’re fun.
Not all conversations are proper to be initiated using funny conversation starters or any funny conversation starter; this does require calibration.
To help you kick off conversations in a humorous way, here are 20 funny conversation starters.
In my view, initiating conversations in a funny, relaxed way is one of the most interesting people skills you can master.
This week from John Gottman's Book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work", we talk about the art of compromise in marriage.
As we continue thru the Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work, this week we are in chapter 6! Most men, when they are resistant to the influence of their wives will resort to one of the four horsemen and escalate the disagreement. Using one of the four horsemen to escalate a conflict is a telltale sign that a man is resisting his wife’s influence. Accepting influence doesn’t mean never expressing negative emotions toward your partner. Studies have shown that marriages where the husband resists sharing power are four times more likely to end or drone on unhappily in marriages where the husband does not resist.
With more than 60% of married women working, the males role as the sole breadwinner is on the wane.
Culturally, we are shifting, even though it isn’t always an easy shift because roles are passed down from generation to generation. A willingness to share power and to respect the other person’s view is a prerequisite of compromising. The exercises in this chapter are all about role play and what would you do if you were a husband and your wife presented a situation where you needed to be influenced.
The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. If you do this intentionally with the good things your spouse does with you and for you, it could change your relationship. Then I was listening to a podcast (like I do) and heard about a neuroscientist who has done all this brain research (like they do). The neuroscientist said that when our brains experience something negative, those negative thoughts are like velcro.
This explains why we can hold on to anger and resentments with our spouses and others, and call them up immediately…but totally forget those positive moments that we want to remember. The key is intentionally savoring those good things, so they become embedded in your brain and take up more space than the negative thoughts.
As we continue our reading of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, this week, we talk about turning toward your spouse. This chapter opens with author John Gottman describing how he watches many videos of couples from his lab. In couples who go on to divorce or live together unhappily, such small moments of connection are rare.
He says that these little turns toward our spouse are the catalyst for a healthy marriage and relationship. We don’t think that such little instances can hold so much weight in our marriages, but they do! Simply to be aware of how crucial these mundane moments are, not only to your marriage and stability, but to its ongoing sense of romance… Being helpful to each other will do far more for the strength and passion of your marriage than a two week Bahamas getaway. In chapter one, Gottman suggested that conversation techniques wouldn’t necessarily help a marriage. The Stress Reducing conversation (pgs 36-37 of this handout) is a great tool to use for any conversation, in my opinion. We need to turn toward each other and connect in those little moments, but to figure out what those look like takes paying attention and talking about it with your spouse – because no two people and no two marriages are exactly the same. You have to do the work together to determine what you need and how you need it for your specific relationship. It’s natural to make the fundamental error of assuming the distance and loneliness are all your partners fault. Those lines are part of one of the exercises (the accepting influence questionnaire, pg 38) to help determine what role you play in the difficulties that you face as a couple. So, I was intrigued the other night when he told me about a girl he was interested in in his class. He then continued on to discuss how HIS best friend in class likes HER best friend in class. Fondness and Admiration are two critical elements in a long lasting romance with your spouse. In Chapter 4, we learn from John Gottman’s research that contempt is a killer in marriage.
Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a rewarding and long-lasting romance.
When you think positively about your spouse – it makes it easier to get through the difficult times. I realized that we can recall the history of our relationship pretty well, but when it comes time for arguments (because they always happen!) that I am not great at reminding myself of the positive qualities of my wife. Do you have healthy friendships with people who believe you can make it in the good times and the bad? What about those that are in an outer circle, but are extremely supportive, and excited about you and your marriage? We have to make the choices, not just for our personal relationships, but also for the relationships that influence our marriages. We made it to week three and chapter three of The Seven Principles for making marriage work! This week, we start getting into the exercises and principles to help move our marriages in a positive direction.
This chapter listed for different exercises to help begin building your love map with your spouse.
As we continue further on, you will realize that this book is very exercise heavy, and will be much more helpful if you participate with the material. But there is something about us being in one another’s presence that makes my wife happy.
Over the years, Gottman  has paid attention to signs that lead him to believe that a couple will divorce. One signal of a rocky conversation that can lead down the path to divorce is a harsh startup. The four horseman are four types of negativity that can mess with your marriage. Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling.
Criticism isn’t the worst of the four horsemen, but it does open up the door to the other three, so watch out for it.
Defensiveness is when you blame the other spouse, which is easy to do when a conversation gets heated.
Flooding means that your spouse’s negativity- whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness- is so overwhelming, and so sudden, that it leaves you shell-shocked.
The four horsemen, and flooding make it more difficult for a couple to respond to repair attempts. The last determining factor for Gottman’s research in predicting a divorce was sour memories.


The first time I read this this book I was frustrated and disheartened after this chapter. I noticed a lot of these things in Lisa and my marriage which Bummed. The post 5 ways to Make Stupendous Love in Your Marriage appeared first on Stupendous Marriage. We are spending several weeks reading John Gottman's 'The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work'.
When we have a healthy thriving marriage, our immune systems get a positive kick in the pants. Of course, that is why he wrote this book – to fill us in on what really works to help marriages thrive. Gottman suggests that being friends in marriage is at the center of making a marriage work. When the positivity in a marriage is greater than the negative – it supports a good marriage.
Those marriages that believe in one anothers’ dreams and aspirations develop a deeper connection and meaning with their spouse. The post 6 Stumbling Blocks to a Stupendous Marriage appeared first on Stupendous Marriage.
In today’s culture, is that even possible? The news would have us believe that couples are cheating, divorcing and falling apart left and right! Whether you believe that story or not, the truth remains that it takesmore than one person to fill all the needs in our lives. I believe that my relationship with my spouse is the most important relationship I will have on this planet; however, if I make my mate the one and only center of my universe, my life is gonna be screwy. Feelings come and go. To make your marriage last you have to be committed to your spouse no matter how you feel. The romantic feelings may come and go, but your feelings of togetherness and bondedness don’t have to stop.
Have you acknowledged and dealt with your past  so it doesn’t negatively bind your marriage?
The post Husbands: Have a Better Prayer Life by Working on Your Marriage appeared first on Stupendous Marriage. Whenever I read books about prayer, it makes me want to be a better pray-er, but I get frustrated because I’m no George Muller. Somewhere into about my 30th book on marriage that I had read after a horrible vacation with our extended family, I picked up Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage. I had read the verse, but had never thought about what it meant for my marriage, or my prayer life.
These two things,  Prayer and marriage, help us realize we don’t have it all figured out.
When we were first married, I put our relationship on the back burner. I assumed all would be amazing after we stood at the altar. I let things coast until year five when we went on that vacation from hell I mentioned earlier. Crunch a Color: Conversation Starters for Kids bring your whole family together at mealtime by inspiring creative thinking and healthy debates. Do you want to make effortless conversation with anyone, make friends easily and live life to the fullest?
Nevertheless, I find that people in general are much more hesitant to use funny conversation starters than it’s warranted. This applies especially in the beginning of a conversation, when it’s less probable for this to happen. We talk sex, kids, inlaws, money, communication and anything else about building a stupendous marriage. They answer listener question about marriage issues and highlight great writers, thinkers and speakers who are passionate about marriage and healthy relationships.
Rather than acknowledging his wife’s feelings, this husband is using the four horsemen to drown her out, to obliterate her point of view. You can still have emotional responses, but ultimately it boils down to working together to find a win for both spouses. For generations, men were the sole provider for the home and were not as involved in raising kids. Increasingly women’s jobs provide them with a source not only of income and economic power but of self esteem as well. That sense of responsibility and entitlement gets passed down from father to son in so many subtle ways that revising the husband’s role can be a challenge for many men. We have to learn how to do it well, and it seems to be harder for men (at least according to Gottman) to adjust.
For that reason, becoming more adept at acccepting influence will help you cope far better with marital conflict. It’s one of the original books on marriage that encouraged me to begin this blog and podcast.
They almost slide out of our brains… unless we intentionally reminisce on them (for at least 15 seconds). Many people think that the secret to reconnecting with their partner is a candlelit dinner or a by-the-sea vacation. If our spouse is asking for some sort of attention – or you have an opportunity to make a small connection – we should take it! This doesn’t help (most times) because people don’t usually communicate well when they fight! There are times when you feel drawn to your loved one and times when you feel the need to pull back and replenish your sense of economy. I am a big advocate for owning your crap – meaning, taking responsibility for your part in the marriage. It’s one of the original books on marriage that helped me begin this blog and podcast. Boys and girls – getting to know someone for who they are on the inside helps with ANY relationship! The best way to battle and ultimately defeat contempt is by nurturing two very important things in your marriage. Although happily married couples may feel driven to distraction it times by their partners personality flaws, I still feel that the person they married is worthy of honor and respect. The best ways to determine if you still have an inkling of fondness and admiration for your spouse, is by thinking and talking about your history together as a couple. But, if you have negative distorted memories of your history together, your F and A might need some polish. If you maintain a sense of respect for your spouse, you’re less likely to act disgusted with him or her when you disagree. The better in touch you are with your deep-seated positive feelings for each other, the less likely you are to act contemptuous of your spouse when you have a difference of opinion.
27-28) You come up with 3 characteristics of your spouse that you like, then, write about a specific incident where it was displayed. This is a great exercise that if you started this week, could be done by the time we reach the end of this book.
This chapter asks "how well do you know your spouse?" - and shows us how to do that better. When life happens and your world is rocked (it’s not an IF, but a WHEN), one of the MAIN ways to help during that season is to have invested the time and energy with them to be connected to their world. I went looking online to see if I could find some resources to help, if you haven’t read the book, or purchased it yet to read along. Even if your spouse doesn’t participate, I would challenge you to do as much as you can on your own. This means starting conversations on a negative note – with anger, criticism or sarcasm.


You feel so defenseless against this sniper attack that you learn to do anything to avoid a replay. If a spouse does not respond well to a repair attempt, The four horsemen trample the conversation. Meaning, if you do something fun and novel with your spouse, you feel more connected to them because your brain has released chemicals of excitement and bonding at the same time.
This relates to the adventure element from above – take up hobbies with your spouse, or learn to enjoy some of the things that they love. His “love lab” being an apartment of sorts where he actively spies on couples and records their behaviours! I know we are all wired for relationships – not just in marriage, but this very important relationship that we live out day after day has so much to do to help or hinder our physical health.
We talk a lot about learning how to communicate as a couple, but Gottman says that that is not the basis of good marital therapy or even super helpful for couples! When negative feelings get to be greater than the positive feelings, it takes more work to get back to the positive side of things.
The movement can be cute or funny, or something completely unique, but it is an active attempt to deescalate.
Even in re-reading this first chapter, I have forgotten many things in the years since I read it the first time! Yet, the longer I’ve been married the more I see how easy it is to lose your footing on the foundations of your marriage. Being a guy who is trying to align his life with the Bible, I tend to go back to the story about Adam and Eve.
It comes when we together as husband and wife believe we are engaged in a relationship that makes a difference and has meaning. When we start comparing our marriage to other marriages, we set our relationships up for failure. You also need to keep growing yourself which will make YOU more interesting to your spouse! Where can you take the time to go deep with your spouse and solve something that may seem complex? That we need someone else to bounce ideas off of – or to give us a good swift kick in the right direction. A learning (and relearning) to be humble with that person who shares the same bed with you. If you work on your marriage, it forces you to get out of isolation and actually talk to that other person in the relationship. Chock full of curious questions and delightful dilemmas, these 104 conversation starters help kids share their thoughts, grow their ideas, and make mealtime fun!Played on their own or with Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game, these cards spark interesting, open-ended discussions that are engaging for kids (and adults) of all ages.
While they may not turn out to be your significant other in the future, you’ll probably never forget how hard their icebreaker made you laugh. In that case it’s more about pride than it is about serving and loving your spouse well by letting them influence you. A significant number of the core issues we see between couples today have to do with this change in gender roles. I wanted to reread some of those first books to renew my dedication to healthy marriage, and also to go deeper for myself. Wounds, however, leave scars.” — Bertolt Brecht Why are we wired to remember the bad things and forget the good? Anyway, he talks in one video about taking the time to stop and contemplate the good that’s going on in your life. Turning toward is the basis of emotional connection, romance, passion, and a good sex life. Watching them is suspenseful because I know: couples who turned toward each other remain emotionally engaged and stay married. So instead, he suggests using those good conversation techniques to reconnect with your spouse, not when you are fighting! But definitely when you are having those reconnecting conversations about anything OTHER than a stressful topic in your marriage. There’s a wide spectrum of normal needs in this area– some people have a greater and more frequent need for connection, others for independence.
In order to break the pattern, you both need to admit playing some role (however slight at first) in creating the problem. When this sense is completely missing from the marriage, the relationship cannot be revived. Gottman suggests that husbands do this more than wives, but it can happen to either spouse. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were kicked out of paradise where all their needs were met. We long to be part of something meaningful and for our lives to be engaged in something that makes a difference. A documentary about two brothers whose real life neighbor was Fred Rogers, and the impact Fred made in their life. Likely during the writing of this very blog post Lisa will come in and ask me a question and I will half-heartedly give a response. Are you expecting God to heal areas that only He can – or are you trying to shoulder all the burden? He addressed feelings of fear and anger and confusion and identity – and he talked about them thru themes in his shows.
You can stay locked in the past – bound by whatever it was, OR it can help you understand what your current hang ups might be. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life.
Lisa happens to be the main monetary provider, but my role of taking care of the home duties and homework,  allows for her to continue to provide – and do something she loves.
You can join in by purchasing the book and reading along with us, and leaving comments here or at the Facebook group.
A marriage can work even if people fall on opposite ends of the spectrum–as long as they’re able to understand the reason for their feelings and respect their differences. Join in by purchasing the book and reading along with us, and leaving comments here or at the Facebook group. If anything is broken outside the bedroom, it usually reflects in the bedroom (with a lack of sex). He didn’t want to change us, he loved us as he found us everyday in front of the tube. He would pray that God would make the ground between the tv set and where a child sat watching – Holy Ground. And when we take the time to think deeply, or slow down and have a conversation or just be in one anothers presence, we can connect in ways that aren’t possible when we are shallowly skimming the surface. He in turn, created a show where people were encouraged and built up – not made fun of. Enjoy worship services together, talk to one another about dreams and visions for the future – your independent dreams and those you have together. His cardigans and shoe swapping let me know things were going to be ok, and he liked me just the way I was.
Try to be the type of person worthy of their love and respect, instead of demanding it from them. Encourage players to come up with their own questions.Crunch a Color Conversation Starters for Kids are also great for class discussions, journal writing, car rides and birthday parties!



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