Caught in the Cross Fire

Dear Joseph, I have a great family that I love. Individually, I have rewarding relationships with my father, my mother, and my sister. But put the three of them together in a room and the results are explosive. Things seemed to come to a head this year when my sister spent the entirety of Mother’s [...]

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Strengthening your Marriage with Crucial Conversations

Dear Yogesh,  Much of what is taught about crucial skills seems to work if both people have similar mind-sets toward certain principles in life. But when two people have different likelihoods, is it possible to have any solution? My wife and I recently got married, and we both love each other very much. But now [...]


Balancing Safety in a Group

Dear Joseph, I work as a consultant with churches. I recently had a participant in a group who kept pushing her agenda. Her pressure was impeding the group’s progress. I gently told her she seemed unwilling to move her stake. I acknowledged that we all go there from time to time, then asked her to [...]

Balancing safety in a group

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Cream Puffs and Confidence

    “You know what I’d like for dessert tonight?” I asked my mother one morning as I hovered over a bowl of cereal.   “Does it look like I’m taking orders?” Mom replied with a smile. I was twelve at the time, so I wasn’t completely blind to social graces. I knew that it [...]


Repairing Relationships with Your Children

  Dear Joseph, I am a single parent with seventeen- and twenty-year-old sons. Over the years, I have, unintentionally and regrettably, shouted quite loudly at my children when they have misbehaved. My twenty-year-old hasn’t seemed to be bothered, but my seventeen-year-old has become emotionally very distant. He has hinted that it is because I always [...]

Repairing Relationship