Relationship-counselling

When Does Lateness Become Plain Rudeness?

There’s no greatness in lateness; when does it become plain disrespect and discourtesy?

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It’s been said that “punctuality is the soul of business” and I concur. However, I’d also argue that being on time is crucial to both good personal and business relationships. It’s good manners for one, and lets the other person know they’re valued and important.

So, how you deal with people who are constantly late? How many times has a good friend kept you waiting, but never apologised? And what about the business contact who is never, ever on time?

When someone is consistently late, doesn’t provide an adequate explanation or is quite unremorseful and doesn’t acknowledge the inconvenience caused to you when you’re made to wait, lateness can become a great source of hurt and conflict. It just seems damn rude and inconsiderate at the very least, doesn’t it?

Persistent lateness is also very upsetting in a partner or friend because it suggests that the tardy person lacks concern and respect for you – the unfortunate person kept waiting. It takes a certain amount of empathy to realise that frequently keeping someone waiting for an unreasonable time without explanation can cause hurt, is insulting and can cause the one waiting to feel devalued.

lateness, punctuality, time management

And while we can all be late at times, due to circumstances outside of our control like bad traffic, an accident, or sick child, for example, relationship counsellors say it’s very important to provide an explanation and apology to defuse the situation and allow the one kept waiting to move on.

So, why are some people always late? Is it due to having a strong sense of their own importance, a lack of consideration and empathy for the feelings of others, or just down to them being chronically disorganised and lacking a sense of time?

I hate waiting for more than 20 minutes for anyone; that’s about the absolute limit of my patience. My pet hate is long waits at the medical centre for up to 40 minutes or more – sure, I understand emergencies happen, but I think this can be very disrespectful, if not.

It comes down to values, I think; a GP practice which doesn’t consistently make you wait shows they respect your time as much as they respect their own. They’ve clearly made a philosophical and financial decision that it’s not right to make patients sit for way too long in the waiting room.

And when it comes to your personal life, if someone you love is consistently late and they want to fix this problem, a counsellor can help them to develop greater awareness of the impact of their lateness on others, and better organisational and time-management skills.

But if the consistently late person doesn’t see a problem with their lateness and feels no remorse for keeping someone waiting, it’s unlikely that they will change. So, you might have to simply call time on the them – and the relationship.

lateness, punctuality, time management

What do you think is a reasonable length of time to wait for a late person?

Images via Pixabay and thegrindstone.com

March 19, 2015

What To Expect: Couples Counselling After Infidelity

Finding out your partner has broken your trust and had an affair can feel like the ultimate betrayal, but if you find you both still want to work through the problem and stay together, couples counselling could be the way forward. Naturally, after being cheated on, you’ll be going through a host of strong emotions, including anger, humiliation and heart break. But after time, you may begin to feel you can forgive your partner.

Bring back trust

If after talking through the issue you both still want to be together, then couples therapy can help to bring the trust back into a relationship. Marriage counselling or relationship guidance will provide an opportunity for you both to open up and speak about whatever it is you want to discuss. The councellor will be entirely impartial and help to direct communications in the most beneficial way.

One step at a time

If you both really want to stay together and have gotten as far as attending couples therapy then that’s a great sign for your relationship.

After betrayal from one side of a couple, it is only natural that there will be many questions to be answered and cracks to be smoothed over, and it’s important you realise this will take time. Relationship guidance, although just the beginning of the process, can help you to understand one another, find answers, be honest, and return over time to being a happier and stronger couple.

Selecting a counsellor

Having made the decision to go to couples therapy, it’s important that you don’t rush in finding a counsellor you feel comfortable with and respected by. When contacting a prospect, have a few questions at hand regarding their qualifications, approach to counselling and fees. Also, check that they are registered to a professional association, and meet them in person before making a decision.

Some people may feel embarrassed or too proud to go to couples counselling, but if it’s the last chance to save a relationship you really want to be in then it may well be worth it.

April 27, 2014

What Can Relationship Counselling Do For You?

Ok, let’s face it, relationships are rarely perfect and, if you’ve found that special person you want to be with, then some relationship advice can come in handy. You may need to reconcile a particular problem, maybe you’re looking for a better way to manage some parts of the relationship or perhaps things have gone a bit stale.

Of course, it’s usually possible to talk to your partner about any problems in the relationship, and sort them out between you. Taking advice from good friends and family can also help, but if you find things aren’t improving don’t be afraid to visit a third party who can look at the issue objectively.

Visiting relationship or marriage counsellors is not uncommon in today’s society and it may well save your relationship.

What to expect in your first counselling sessions

It’s totally understandable that you might find it daunting to bare your soul and reveal your inner-most hopes and fears to a stranger. You may also be worried about upsetting your partner or making the problems even worse. But remember that relationship counsellors are trained to be impartial. They will avoid taking sides on who is the victim and will not attribute blame.

The first thing your counsellor would probably ask is why you’ve chosen now to seek outside help. He/she will then proceed to ask each of you what you perceive to be the problems, and what you would like to discuss. He/she will do their best to keep you relaxed and maintain a respectful discussion.

Future sessions may delve into certain aspects such as your family life and what problems took place in the week between sessions.

If you’re thinking about seeking relationship advice then that’s a great first step, as it shows you care. The chances are that if you’ve gotten this far in your relationship, after some relationship councelling  you will soon begin to support each other in making the necessary changes.

April 20, 2014

Ask Kathy B! – Solution to your relationship dilemmas

Ask Kathy B!

Relationship guru Kathy B is on a mission to solve all your relationship dilemmas!

Question: “I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of weeks and it’s all going well. Great sex, we have fun and no commitment. At this point, I would usually move into relationship mode but the reality is, this time I don’t want a full-blown relationship. I want more than just a bonk buddy, but also the freedom to see other people. Does that kind of relationship even exist? If so, what do I tell him?”

Kathy B: First of all you need to work out why you aren?t interested when you?d normally be keen to move into blissful monogamy. Is there something different about him or you? If you know you?d never settle down with him then gently let him know, before he gets too serious. If you want him to be more than just a ?booty call? then things tend to get sticky if you also want the freedom to date (and presumably sleep with) other guys. This kind of relationship can exist but only if both partners are fully aware of the rules and you each have a ?get-out as soon as I spot someone I could truly love? clause in your casual relationship. You also need to set the rules now i.e.: make sure its clear that you?ll always use protection and that you both must also do so with any other partners. If you can take seeing him with another girl and not fly into a fit of jealousy and he can do the same with you, then you are really just friends who sleep together. Don?t see it as anything more now or in the future or you will get hurt. If you?re both protecting yourselves physically and emotionally, that?s fine as long as you aren?t using it as an excuse to hide away from a real relationship. As far as what to say to him, say that you love spending time together but that you also want the freedom to go out with and sleep with, other guys. You?ll very quickly get the picture about whether he?s happy with the situation or not.

Question: “My friend goes on and on about problems with her relationship and asks what she should do, says I’m right but never follows through. As a friend, I want to be there for her but how do I tell her that she seems to be shooting herself in the foot by continuing in the relationship?”

Kathy B: Everyone has had an energy-draining friend who rants for hours about her problems but never does anything about it. Meanwhile you?re stuck feeling like a very bored, broken record and probably like you are about to explode after every supportive session. If her partner is emotionally or physically abusing her then you must step in and help give her the courage to break away, quickly. If however, she?s enjoying selfishly going on and on about the same problems (while she never listens to yours!) then do something to save your sanity. The next time she launches into a complaining session say, ?I really care about you and want to help but we?ve gone over this issue dozens of times. You know what I think you should do and I can?t offer any more advice. Perhaps its time you thought about speaking to a counselor about these relationship issues.? She?ll either get the message or will speak to a professional, if she needs to. She may be just being selfish or she may have bigger problems than she?s willing to admit to you. Another option is to say to her that you don?t want to speak about that particular issues until she?s done something positive to resolve it or bring in ?complaining hour? ? one hour a week when you can both complain about relationship issues. It is better than listening to it all week long, right?

Question: “My older brother has the bedroom next to mine. On a few occasions I’ve been woken to the sounds of him having sex with his girlfriend. Do I mention it, or just let it be to avoid any potential embarrassment for all parties?”


Kathy B: Eeek! Poor you sweetie. Remember that if you hear his amorous encounters then your parents most likely have to and they?re probably not happy either! If it bothers you then definitely say something. Perhaps you could give him a ?CD for Lovers? gift for his next birthday and say jokingly, ?Use this next time you?re in the mood so I can finally get some sleep!? Unless they?re reenacting a porno version of Tarzan and Jane in the jungle, it should muffle out most of the sounds (and its better to listen to Marvin Gaye singing, ?Lets Get it On? than your brother yelling out ?Yeah baby!?) If you?re close then just be straight up with him. Say, ?I love you but I don?t love hearing you bonking big bro. How about going to your girlfriends place every now and then, going on a camping holiday and when you are here throwing on some music to muffle out your sex sounds out before you scar my innocent mind forever!??

Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you?ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, handle cheating flat mates, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men. Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette Penguin. RRP $24.95 but only $22.46 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

Quit for Chicks is a how to quit smoking support guide for women, with a foreword from supermodel Sarah O?Hare, Penguin, RRP $9.95 but only $8.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

If you want Kathy B to answer your relationship dilemmas, email feedback@shesaid.com with your question.

June 15, 2004

Make life easier on each other

When asked what their “Marriage Motto” would be, many couples responded along the lines of:* “Never let the sun set on an argument”
* “Always love each other”
* “Be best friends”and so on and so forth. As wonderful as those seem, they seem to me to be very idealistic and somewhat na?ve.

I have one I’d like to table.

“Make life easy for each other”.

You know, “that lovin’ feeling” ebbs and flows during a relationship or marriage.

We all experience highs and lows, where sometimes we feel desperately in love with our partner and can’t bear for him/her to even leave to go to work for the day. Other times, we barely notice them walking in the door at the end of the day. It’s natural, we can’t always expect to be in a constant state of high romance and affection. But one of the constants we can depend on is the art of making life easy for each other.

You don’t have to be in the middle of a melting embrace to know that there are things you can do to help your partner’s day run more smoothly. Or in fact, his/her life to run more smoothly.

Imagine the peace you feel when you know that you can depend on your partner to unconditionally support you when you make a mistake. In return, you feel more than happy to make sure you deserve that support so it pays dividends to both of you.

Making life easy for each other isn’t just about doing odd jobs around the house, or sharing the housework, or doing the gardening together. It’s about making the effort to understand each other, standing united against common challenges, letting go of arguments that really, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter. It’s to do with compromise and fairness. It’s so simple, really. Think in terms of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

By making life easy for your partner, how can he/she not do the same for you, thereby creating a harmonious, comfortable existence. And don’t we all want an easy life?

By Gina Luca

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

April 6, 2004

A Clean Break

He was late, rude, had a drug problem and never kissed you, yet you keep thinking you may ‘never do any better’…Are you stuck in that limbo period where you want to start anew but those ex-ghosts are still lingering? It could be time for some drastic action. Set yourself an hour, a day, or even a week to exorcise your ex- demons so you can get on with that bright future you once took for granted.First, get some sleep. The nights are always hardest on recent dumpees, so try to sleep through as much of it as you can.When we are tired we are vulnerable to all sorts of input. Ever notice how the song that’s on the radio when you wake up stays with you all day? Aim for an early start to the day. When you open your eyes, take steps to ensure you begin on a happy note.

Start with some affirmations -“each hour is an opportunity” is a good one. Listen to an upbeat song – no Stevie Wonder or Portishead! Read an inspiring poem or quote, look at a flower, do the sun salutation, pat a dog, shut your eyes while you sip your coffee and picture yourself having a happy day being and having all that you wish for…

Don’t read the paper until you’ve done one of the above. Don’t chat to the grumpy neighbour, hop on the train or watch the news. Your tender head needs preparation so it can meet the day armed with a ‘positive’ vest. Oh, and pack fruit and nuts to snack on at through the day – your blood sugar is important at this time.

Next, look at your bedroom. It’s time for a good clearing out! Open your bedroom window, play some loud disco music, turn all the lights on and burn some incense or aromatherapy oils. In Eastern philosophy music, light and heat all increase the Yin (positive) energy around us. A good oil combo for productivity and focus: Rosemary, Basil and Cedarwood. Three drops of each in an oil burner and you’re on your way.

Throw out some old clothes, pack up any old love letters and store them in a box (in another room), or better still, if you’re feeling really strong – toss them away.

Change the pictures on your walls and the photos in your frames. Vacuum your room, wipe the dust, head to the shops for a new set of pillowcases, (or a full set of linen if you’re really feeling indulgent) or a healing crystal to hang from your window.

Feel a bit more welcome and clean in your own space now? Change your exterior and it’s bound to affect the interior.

October 29, 2002