Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How Good is Your Marriage?

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How are your people skills? Your social skills? Your relationship skills? Your emotional intelligence?

Today's emailbag is about increasing those life skills that can enhance your life.


Author Pat Morley notes:

“In writing about what makes a successful marriage, family systems thinker Edwin Friedman said, 'In reality, no human marriage gets a rating of more than 70%.' In other words, even the most successful marriage will only be symptom-free about 70% of the time. Patsy, my wife, and I both think we have a great marriage. We talked this 70% thing over, and it makes sense to us. Use this to encourage yourself. You don’t have to be symptom-free 100% of the time. 70% is about right, and that’s pretty good in a fallen world.”

If you haven't got 70% in your range, email me at and I'll make arrangements to help you increase your emotional intelligence and relationship skills.


Q: hi, i wanted to ask about how to attract this guy that i like in college. i don't know him and he is one year older than me (am 21)i don't get to see him alot , but i heared lots of nice things about him . i don't know if i am imagining but i think he noticed me . please tell me how to attract him without looking so desperate .

A: Well, I don't know the situation at your particular college, but let me give you some examples, and you can put on your thinking cap and connect the dots. Its not a bad skill to learn, BTW. There are times in life when we want to get some exposure to someone, so they can get to know us a little and see if it's a 'take'. The general theory is -- find out where they go, and be there.

Here are some examples of how this works.

One of my clients is a fundraiser. He needs to get around donors (people who have money) and sometimes he can't get through their secretary to make an appointment, or emails aren't answered, or lunch invitations are declined. So in one case, he found out the guy had opera tickets and managed to get a pair of tickets right next to the guy. From that vantage point, he was able to have a nice conversation with the guy (at intermission and afterwards), and let him get to know him, and the relationship went on from there.

How he found out where the man's seats were, etc. took some investigation. But it's possible.

This goes on all the time in the business world, of course. That's why people join country clubs, golf clubs, recreational clubs, etc. People meet clients that way, get jobs that way, etc. Another client of mine needs a job. Besides the obvious things (, agencies), she is making time to hang out at the pool, where she can ask around and maybe meet some hirers.

Another woman who wanted to date a man she had heard had just become available, knew he attended galas for charities, and so she showed up at one. She "ran into him" beforehand, and managed to sit at his table. It worked and he asked her out.

Another client wanted to meet a guy at her college. She started eating at different dining halls, keeping her eyes open to see where and when he ate. When she found out, she dressed for success, showed up, and just got in line behind him and struck up a conversation. He asked her out.

If there's a group involved, it's easy (why we join groups). One woman found out in Sunday School that the man of her dreams was going to the weekly dance class. She joined up. That's a no-brainer.

Lastly, again I don't know about your college, but be prepared for the lucky chance of just running in to him. Women go up to men all the time in the grocery store, for heaven's sake. Surely you might run in to him on campus. Be looking! Notice a couple of things about this.

  1. You may have to do some investigating. Don't be obnoxious about it. None of these people were. You can also ask around, just in the way of conversation. "Hey, Bill is cute. Do you know what classes he's taking?"
  2. You have to have the social skills to maneuver the meet and the initial conversation. If you need to brush up on your social skills, I recommend coaching. THAT is a life skill you MUST have. How to strike up a pleasant conversation with ANYBODY, and present yourself in a good light, is something every man and woman needs to know. It's an art and it can be learned (email me for coaching, ). Shyness will get you nowhere, but being obnoxious will also get you nowhere.
  3. The follow up. This is to make something possible. It lets the person know your name and get to know you a little bit. From that point on, it is up to them. Of course you do not pursue, badger, or even that awful word "stalk". You see the difference? It's an introduction (if the two of you haven't met), or a little reminder (if you've had a conversation or two). Beyond that, it's up to him. It's not classy to make a nuisance of yourself.
If you need to do some work on your social skills, email me at and I will make arranges to help you raise your EQ.

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