Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People

Judith Orloff - Thursday, April 02, 2015

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(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

Passive aggression is a form of anger, except the anger is expressed with a smile instead of the typical expressions. Passive aggressive people are experts at sugar coating hostility. They often use procrastination, bumbling inefficiency, and the exasperating excuse of “I forgot” to avoid commitments or let you down. They appear eager to please, but know exactly how to make you mad. They can be infuriating because of their seductive or innocent veneers.

Here are some examples:

  • Your spouse brings home yet another gallon of ice cream after you've specifically asked him or her not to do this because you are trying to lose weight.
  • A friend keeps arriving an hour late for a dinner date leaving you waiting over and over again.
  • A co-worker keeps promising to help with a project but never comes through.
  • Passive aggressive behavior ranges from simply irritating to manipulative and punishing. This is different from occasionally being absent-minded, lazy, or busy. Passive aggression is repetitive and has a covert angry edge to it. Passive aggressive people promise anything, then do exactly as they please. They hide anger beneath a compliant exterior. They don’t give straight answers and have vague responses such as “I’ll get back to you.” Then they don’t follow through so you must keep reminding them. Sometimes their remarks can be hurtful, especially so because they come at you sideways--you don’t know what hit you.

    Why do people become passive aggressive?

    They’re typically raised in families where it’s not safe to express anger--they’re never taught to communicate it in a healthy manner. They adapt by channeling these feelings into other less obvious behaviors; this gives them a sense of power and control. They’re masters at shirking responsibility by hurting you in ways that appear unintentional or unavoidable. Passive aggressive people operate by stuffing anger, being accommodating, and then indirectly sticking it to you. When confronted, they’ll drive you crazy with a variety of “the dog ate my homework” excuses, blaming others, or yessing you to death without changing. Since many are unaware of their anger, they feel misunderstood or that you’re holding them to unfair standards.

    Here are tips on how to communicate with passive aggressive people from my book The Ecstasy of Surrender. To learn about other types of draining people read my article The Emotional Vampire Survival Guide

    Learning to Communicate With Passive Aggressive People

    1.Trust Your Gut Reactions

    With these types you may question yourself since their anger is so masked. It’s important to recognize the pattern. Their mixed messages will test your patience. So when you doubt yourself, take a breath and try to let the doubt go. Tell yourself, “I deserve to be treated more lovingly. I will trust my gut reaction when I feel jabbed.” This affirmation helps you release doubt so you’d don’t convince yourself you’re imagining things. Then move forward to improve communication. You must surrender the idea that these people will change without you speaking up. They aren’t motivated to change unless someone calls them on their behavior. When it’s not appropriate to be direct, such as with a boss who might retaliate or fire you, keep letting the zingers go by accepting your powerlessness to change him.

    2. Address the behavior

    Focus on one issue at a time so people don’t feel attacked or overwhelmed. Let’s say a friend is always late. In a calm, firm tone say to her, “I would greatly appreciate it if you can be on time when we go out to dinner. I feel uncomfortable waiting in a restaurant alone.” Then notice her reaction. She might say, “You’re right. I’m always running behind. I’ll try to be more organized.” Then see if the lateness improves. If she is evasive or makes excuses, request clarification about how to solve the problem. If you can’t get a straight answer, confront that too. Being specific pins down passive aggressive people. If nothing changes, keep setting limits or stop making dinner plans. With a close friend who continues to be late, it’s always an option to accept and acclimate to his or her shortcoming when the pros of the relationship outweigh the cons.

    As a psychiatrist I teach my patients to address passive aggressive behavior directly as the person may not be aware of the impact on you since they are short on empathy. Hopefully you won’t have many passive aggressive people in your life, but if you do, clear communication is a form of empowerment.


    How to Spot an Energy Vampire



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Carole Ann commented on 21-Apr-2015 01:08 PM
    This is so useful as usually self aware people think it's them that aren't communicating effectively with the Passive Aggressive person and it can be so frustrating. This is helpful as it helps us to see what is their stuff and how to handle it.
    Can you do narcissism/borderline personality disorder next? :-)
    Kitt commented on 22-Apr-2015 01:50 PM
    Thank you Judith, you hit it out of the park yet again. I have been dealing with a severe passive aggressive recently and this is very helpful though she is no longer in my life. Bless you.

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    Awaken Your Sensual Self

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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    (Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

    To fully step into your personal power it is important to awaken your sensual self. Doing this can offer you a primal connection, a satisfaction you can never get from your intellect alone. As you open to both sex and spirit, whether you’re single or part of a couple, you’ll be a vessel for an erotic flow, enjoying pleasure without insecurities or inhibitions.

    True sexual power is claiming your erotic self and mindfully channeling sexual energy. You never use it to hurt, manipulate, make conquests or get addicted to the ego-trip of sensual pleasure at the expense of others. Instead sexuality compliments spirituality by linking us with a greater force of love.

    To ignite your senses, try these techniques from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender either by yourself or with a partner to arouse your sexuality and let go to pleasure.

    7 Ways to Surrender to Your Sensual Self

    Set aside uninterrupted time to playfully experiment. Begin to relax by breathing deep and slow. We habitually breathe shallowly to temper sexual and other feelings. I want you to sense, not think, to be fully in your body.

    Awaken Touch
    Take a fresh flower or a feather and gently stroke each other’s bodies. (For me, it’s a rose in full bloom with petals about to fall.) Start with the face, neck, chest, breasts, your heart area, gradually making your way down to the genitals. Repeat delicate, circular motions over these areas. They respond to a light touch. It’ll feel lovely and exciting. Let go. Revel in the sensations.

    Awaken Taste
    Select a few foods, herbs, or spices that have zing. Arrange them on a plate. My favorites are papaya, peppermint, and honey. I have an accountant-patient with a non-stop mind who perks up her sensuality by savoring a succulent piece of watermelon. To heighten your sense of taste, I suggest wearing an eye mask or a loose blindfold perhaps made from a silk scarf. Then, with eyes covered, have your partner offer you each selection one by one. The tongue is a sensual miracle of sensations. Let the pleasure of taste spread throughout your body. Allow it to arouse every pore.

    Awaken Smell
    Now, explore smell. It is an intimate and important part of sexuality which can turn you off or on. Let a blindfold accentuate your exploration of this sense. One patient, a full time mom, gets a sensual lift from a few whiffs of lavender or gardenia oil during the day. She keeps them in her desk and car. Test our various scents. See how your body responds to different aromas of herbs, oils, or perfumes.. Use them as a sensual refresher.

    Play With Movement and Rocking
    Experiment with moving your bodies together to build sensuality. Rocking your bodies while holding one another can be extremely sensual. Also, when you first see each other after being apart, a long, silent embrace or hug, combined with rocking is arousing. Dancing or spontaneous free form movements are beautiful too.

    Explore Sacred Slapping
    Sometimes slapping each other on say, the buttocks, awakens you erotically. Get feedback from your partner about the intensity of the slap that feels right. Do this in the spirit of love, play, never anger. Though this technique doesn’t appeal to everyone, it can jolt some people into a new level of openness and sensual participation.

    Tune Into Nature
    Draw on nature’s passion to heighten your sensuality. Storms, lightning bolts, mist, rainbows, wind in the woods--enjoy whatever manifestations of nature excite you. Let them arouse your body. Be aware of colors, textures, sounds. Absorb them all. For instance, I’ll twirl on my balcony to the sensual tone of distant fog horn, becoming one with it and the ocean nearby. Sensuality can be transmitted from nature to you, a spontaneous osmosis if you allow it to happen.

    These techniques will intensify your own sensuality and the erotic relationship between you and your partner. Exploring each other is never just a one-time event. Keep discovering the nuances of each other’s sensitivity and aesthetics. Experiment with what gives you both Goosebumps, tingles, or surges of warmth. Notice how your body feels, all of it, especially belly, genitals, breasts. Share what arouses you. This lets you both experience more pleasure and intimacy.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    bernie commented on 11-Mar-2015 09:14 PM
    Addressing sex as less than taboo allowing that it can be individualsad well as ccouples. I am married but we are not in sync withfrequency being far different than in the beginning. So I imagine lots of people in relationships have to maintain a sex life somewhat on their own. I'm finding of you don't use it you lose it.

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    4 Surrender Strategies to Communicate with Difficult People

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, October 09, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time and energy contending with difficult people or “emotional vampires” at work and at home. It’s a reflex to emotionally contract around them feeling powerless, irritated, hurt, or miserable, reactions that just wear you out. But, they can’t steal your happiness unless you let them.

    Surrender can improve your communication skills in many kinds of challenging interactions. For instance, do you know when to surrender your need to be right in order to restore love at home, or when to surrender resentments so that you can forgive? How to avoid taking things personally? Or deal with a friend or spouse who’s doing something you disagree with?

    Be aware that your ego could resist the concept of surrender as its aim is to create open channels of communication between people rather than stonewalling or defending, responses the ego is more accustomed to. Instead if you value “we” as well as “me,” you become a master at diffusing negativity, not a pushover. Let’s say you’re deadlocked in an argument; nobody’s giving in. Then what? Don’t turn it into a battle for supremacy. Instead, give the first inch, an act of true strength. Apologizing for your part in the conflict shows that you value the relationship more than your ego. This opens the door for others to admit their part too. It’s people with real power who step up first to surrender their ego, promoting impeccable communication.

    Here are four strategies from The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you deal with the difficult people in your life.

    Strategy #1: Follow the Laws of Impeccable Communications

    Follow these general laws of communication so you’re able to flow with difficult people and prevent blocks. In your daily life, these will ensure that you’re leading from a position of strength not anger or desperation. You’ll be flexible instead of just meeting conflict with an oppositional force.

    The Laws of Impeccable Communication

    Do

  • Be calm, not emotionally reactive
  • Avoid defensiveness--it makes you look weak
  • Patiently hear someone out without interrupting or needing to have the last word
  • Empathize with where people are coming from, even if you disagree with them
  • Pick your battles, apologize when necessary
  • Don’t

  • Be drawn into drama
  • React impulsively out of anxiety or anger so you say something you’ll regret
  • Hold onto resentments or stay attached to being right
  • Attempt to manage other people’s lives or become their therapist
  • Shame people, especially in front of others
  • Get in the habit of applying these laws to both friends and foes. The “dos” involve surrender and discernment. They will move you closer to resolving conflict by first harmonizing with another’s position, even if you disagree. This sets a tone to resolve conflicts or set boundaries whereas antagonism just alienates.

    Strategy #2: Be Mindful of Your Attitude

    Your attitude is important. Difficult people can be like spiritual teachers who are meant to awaken us, though they aren’t conscious of their role. Nobody said awakening is always pleasant or easy. But they can teach you about surrender: the attitudes you must release to triumph over them or set boundaries and which of their behaviors you must not surrender too. Most difficult people aren’t trying to harm you: they are just unconscious or self-absorbed. Very few are truly dark and have evil motives.

    Strategy #3: Watch the Tone of Your Voice

    Your tone of voice is important too. A critical tone only inflames people. Set limits with them and firmly say “no” with love, instead of sounding snippy or blaming when someone “steps over the red line.” To get the attention of chronic talkers or those on a rant, it helps to open your remark by lovingly saying their name. Hearing one’s name aloud instinctively makes us pause. Remember, we all can be difficult at times. Let this sobering fact curb your enthusiasm for chastising the shortcomings of others in word or tone.

    Strategy #4: Be Compassionate

    Do your best not to vilify people, even when they’re obnoxious or unkind. Realize that anger addicts, guilt trippers, or the other types of difficult people are insecure, wounded, and disconnected from their hearts. The challenge around bad behavior is to maintain your power and priorities while setting clear boundaries, no matter how annoying, negative, or full of themselves others can be.

    People can be annoying and disappointing, as we all sometimes are. None of us is perfect; most of us are doing the best we can. So keep searching for a part of someone that you can empathize with, even when it’s a stretch. You may not always succeed, but keep trying. This doesn’t make you a doormat or a victim. Rather, such compassion allows you to become the finest version of yourself, even as you set limits with bad behavior.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Anonymous commented on 15-Oct-2014 01:23 PM
    Thank you so much for the much needed advice - couldn't have come at a better time!
    Elan commented on 15-Oct-2014 04:06 PM
    Your insights have been treasures for me. You've help me embrace the strength, understanding and joy of my blessed life. Thank you with all my heart!!!
    Colleen commented on 16-Oct-2014 01:48 AM
    Thank you for this advice. I run a support group for depression and anxiety sufferers and related problems, where it could be very useful.
    Debra richardson commented on 16-Oct-2014 06:13 AM
    yes i haveenergies vampires but why when i tell people good things in my life that positive they dont respond or say any thing
    Kate commented on 16-Oct-2014 09:15 AM
    The book rocks! I refer to it often. Highly recommend it to everyone!
    lucy commented on 16-Oct-2014 11:05 AM
    I bought my carless, jobless, abused neighbor a van. Helped her out financially. When she refused to help me with a little housework, actually she would agree and then never show up. I decided to end this one sided friendship. I never have known such a vindictive, hostile person. She sent me the most awful emails, called me names out her window, called me out in the street to fight. I'm 56 and have never fought a soul in my life, Her husband started stalking me and giving me death threats. I have called the police 3 times, after their children threw rotten tomatoes at me and my house and for the stalking and death threats. She finally stopped the emails and now they release their Pit Bull on me and I did warn them to stop and I finally after about 6 times called the animal control. It has been the worst summer of my life. I actually thought her husband was going to kill me. I have lost 40 lbs and now suffer from insomnia. They are neighbors from hell, that I just tried to help and as they say, "no good deed goes unpunished. I own my house 36 yrs, and they are renters, who I pray to God will move!, so I can get my life back. Sincerely, terrified in ,mo
    sue commented on 23-Oct-2014 10:33 PM
    LUCY!!! you need to get the law involved, that is terrible! Do you know the landlord? get them evicted, but in the process, get an order of protection, and maybe a HUGE male cousin that has a giant doberman to move in for a while! I'm not a counselor, but land sakes, thats more than an energy vampire/thats real earth demons!! Stand up for yourself! Get this done,top notch-without their knowledge. You are probably not the first human target, ya know? YIKERS
    JPJ commented on 23-Jan-2015 11:50 AM
    Lucy!! Stop being the victim and take control of your life!!
    You have the law on your side so use it and stop just complaining.
    The are intimidating you. Take charge here.

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    Are You Attracted to Unavailable People?

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss how a soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why? The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy. Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

    For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras, it doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept. Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. Meanwhile, keep your options open. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

    12 Signs You're Involved with Emotionally Unavailable People (EUP)

  • They are married or in a relationship with someone else
  • They can’t commit to you or have feared commitment in past relationships
  • They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the break
  • They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict
  • They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually
  • They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
  • They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family
  • They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods
  • They are seductive with you but make empty promises--their behavior and words don’t match
  • They send mixed messages, flirt with others, or don’t give a straight answer--you’re always trying to “de-code” what they really mean
  • They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs
  • They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw
  • At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. One patient lamented, “I need a crystal ball. The first few months of a courtship, a man is so attentive, caring, passionate.” Partially, she’s right, but it’s also true that we tend to see what we want to see. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

    I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise, this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

    Over the years, I’ve worked with many perplexed, lonely patients to uncover why they keep holding a torch for unavailable, commitment-phobic partners and how to surrender this sabotaging pattern. Most of us aren’t purposely drawn to these kinds of people--their mixed messages combined with our particular susceptibilities, conscious or unconscious, can lure us in. Also, it helps to understand that unavailable people rarely choose to be this way. It’s an unconscious defense against trauma or some emotional wounding of the past. Research has shown that many are afraid of being clung to or smothered which stems from having had a controlling, engulfing, or abusive parent. Commitment-phobic men, in particular, may just prefer sex without love. They are afraid of being controlled by feminine energy, though they don’t know it or couldn’t admit it. Rather, they see themselves as macho dudes who think women always need more than they can give. Thus, they prefer to play in shallow water, not go deep. If being in a relationship with an unavailable person feels like love to you, I urge you to look closer. Commitment phobic women also fear intimacy and want to keep a distance.

    To find true love, ideally you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.” It may feel excruciating to let go when you don’t want to or if you’re still hoping against hope that the person will change, but, as my Daoist teacher once told me, “The heart knows when it’s enough.”


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE HOW TO LET GO OF THE TORCH FOR UNAVAILABLE PEOPLE.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Lynn Fisken commented on 19-Aug-2014 03:47 PM
    Thank you Judith I love your work & this arrived in perfect timing for me today. Much Arohanui to you xxx
    Bren commented on 19-Aug-2014 05:31 PM
    Brilliant...discovered I am an intuitive empath.. Now I understand why about things about myself. I want to ask..in desiring a partner, I find few people who are on the same wavelength. I just can't spend unnecessary time on men who just don't get it, so don't date...help where do I stumble on them? Love your work. Thanks B
    Lisa commented on 29-Dec-2014 04:46 AM
    I had a very disfunctional childhood, alcoholic father who would go into blackouts and do terrible things he wouldn't remember doing and of course the enabling mother. I have come to realize that I am attracted to unavailable men, and have come to the conclusion that I am attracted to men like these because as a child I always wanted my mother to choose
    What is best for her children , choose me over my dad! I am also an empath and have the want to heal people emotionally as well as physically. Not a good combination. I am working on it , but it has taken its tole on me I have been diagnosed with lupus and fatigue is a constant battle. I know I need to take care of myself and stay away from unavailable men! How do I help those I know need help without depleting my own energy?

    N





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    Are You In an Obsessive Relationship? Take this Quiz

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    As a physician, I've seen many patients who felt trapped in obsessive relationships. They can't stop thinking of someone. They can't stop checking their phones to see if he/she texted. A great part of their consciousness is devoted to ruminating about what this person is doing or not doing and they are afraid of losing the person. These obsessive/possessive relationships can be very painful.

    I discuss this topic at length in my new book The Ecstasy of Surrender. In the book I emphasize that bonding with a partner is a natural part of getting to know someone and of falling in love. But getting overly attached goes beyond healthy bonding and is disempowering. When you truly love someone you’re not interested in possessing the person or keeping him or her in your clutches because you’re afraid of losing the relationship. Instead, you respect your partner’s autonomy and spirit. You’re not too entangled, by standing together side by side. True intimacy is always a balance between bonding and letting go so the relationship can breathe.

    Take the following quiz to determine your obsessive patterns.

    Quiz: Are You Overly Attached to a Partner?

  • Do you cling to your partner?
  • Do you want to possess him or her?
  • Are you often afraid of being abandoned or betrayed?
  • Do you get anxious when you don’t hear from him or her every day?
  • Do you constantly think about the person?
  • Do you start obsessing about a partner after you have sex?
  • Does your partner feel you are trying to control or suffocate him or her?
  • Do you feel you can’t live without the person?
  • How to interpret this quiz: 6-8 yeses indicate that you are extremely overly attached. 3-5 yeses indicate that you are moderately overly attached. 1-3 yeses indicate that you have a tendency to overly attach. A score of zero indicates that you have healthy bonding with your partner.

    First to deal with an obsession you have to seize control of your thoughts and mind. Then consciously change your thinking from unwholesome thoughts to constructive positive ones. It is very important to consciously shift out of the obsession using your will to do this.

    An aspect of myself that I’ve made progress in healing is my tendency to get overly attached to men. During sex I bond quickly and fuse with a man but I can’t un-fuse with him later. I start yearning for him and thinking about him constantly. Some of this is organic and beautiful, but becoming overly attached crosses a line. I can become obsessed and intensely hungry for contact particularly if I’ve been single for a while.

    I am a sexual being so, after I haven’t had sex for a while, I can become needy compared to when I have an ongoing connection with a loving partner. Being in this position makes me (and many women) vulnerable to getting overly attached. For instance, if I don’t hear from this man for a few days--I can get anxious and afraid of losing him or of being abandoned. It’s not good for me, and moreover, most men don’t appreciate this kind of response. So in my tantric sexuality sessions and in therapy, I discovered how to enjoy passion from a more grounded place. Here’s how:

  • I learned that over-merging with a romantic partner without a pause can decrease the erotic charge. It actually can be more erotic and intimate to go in and out of intense connection with a partner, rather than sustaining it. This gives both lovers their space and more breathing room.

  • I don’t “root” in a man, but root primarily in myself and the earth. One way I do this before and after lovemaking is to visualize my body developing roots into the soil like a tree. I’m still surrendered to and immersed in pleasure, but I also keep a fuller sense of myself intact later. I’m able to separate from him and more comfortably see us as separate beings.

  • After lovemaking or to deal with possessiveness in intimacy, I also find it useful to meditate with my partner and then say to each another, “I adore you. I honor you. I release you.” This is a healthy way to bond while not excessively attaching or fixating. It produces a beautiful equilibrium of loving.
  • The solution to not becoming overly attached or possessive is to focus on strengthening your self-esteem while addressing and releasing fears, including the fear of abandonment, which can cause the need to cling. Working with a skilled relationship therapist or coach can be productive. Also you can practice the three tantric techniques that I described above. These will help you develop autonomy and grounding. Being willing to surrender the tendency to overly attach in favor of healthily bonding will allow you to have more joyous and pleasurable relationships without the pain of obsession.


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HEALTHY BONDING



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    Are You a Relationship Empath?

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my practice and workshops I’m struck by how many sensitive people come to me wanting a long term soul mate. Personally, I can relate to this. Yet, despite online dating services, expensive match-makers, friend fix-ups, and blind dates, they still remain single. Or else they’re in relationships but feel constantly fatigued and overwhelmed. The reason isn’t simply that “there aren’t enough available people ‘out there’” or that they’re neurotic. Personally and professionally I’ve discovered something more is going on.

    In my life, I’ve found that a vital missing piece to this puzzle has been discovering I am a relationship empath. Empaths are highly sensitive, intuitive, and caring, but they’re also shock absorbers with an extremely permeable nervous system and hyperactive reflexes. They experience everything, pleasure and pain, sometimes to an extreme. The amazing part of being so sensitive is that empaths are attuned to people (at times even telepathically), to nature, and can be exquisitely sensual, responsive lovers. The downside is that empaths are sponges for the world’s angst. Without a membrane between themselves and the world, they unknowingly absorb other people’s stress into their own bodies. Then they become overloaded, anxious or exhausted. This differs from ordinary empathy, say when you sympathize with your partner’s harrowing day at work. Relationship empathy goes much further. You merge with your partner and actually feel his or her joys and fears as if they were your own. Thus, romantic relationships, particularly live-in ones, can be challenging.

    In The Ecstasy of Surrender I go into detail describing what a relationship empath is and also present strategies to cope and not absorb the stress or symptoms of your mate. If you’re highly sensitive and haven’t identified this dynamic, you may unknowingly avoid romantic partnerships because deep down you’re afraid of getting engulfed. A part of you wants a soul mate; another part is frightened. This inner push-pull stops you from surrendering to a partner. The closer you are to someone the more intense empathy gets. To feel safe enough to let go in a relationship, it’s crucial for empaths to learn how to set healthy boundaries and assert their needs. Then intimacy becomes possible.

    To surrender to a soul mate, it's important to discuss your fears of letting go with each other. However, if you’re an empath, you may not know what these are or that you’re even resisting intimacy. Thus you can’t convey your needs or set healthy boundaries. To determine whether you’re a relationship empath take the following quiz from my new book.

    Quiz: Am I a relationship empath?

    Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as overly sensitive?
  • Am I afraid of getting engulfed or losing my identity in intimate relationships?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so I can leave when I please?
  • Do I get drained by too much togetherness and require time alone to refuel?
  • Do I sometimes prefer sleeping alone?
  • When my partner and I travel do I prefer adjoining rooms?
  • Do I tend to take on by my partner’s stress or physical symptoms?
  • Do I feel overwhelmed by noise, smells, crowds, or excessive talking?
  • If you answer yes to one to three of these questions you’re at least part relationship empath. Responding yes to four to six questions indicates strong empathic tendencies with partners. If you answer yes to seven or more questions you are a certified relationship empath.

    Recognizing that you’re a relationship empath is the first step to removing this obstacle to finding a soul mate. Next, you must redefine the traditional paradigm for coupling so you can find a comfortable way of being together. This means letting go of society’s stereotypes about marriage or relationships, forging a new path for yourself. If you’re an empath or if the ordinary expectations of coupledom don’t work for you, practice the following tips.

    Surrender Old Relationship Rules, Create New Ones from The Ecstasy of Surrender

    Tip 1. Evaluate a potential mate’s compatibility
    As you’re getting to know someone, share that you’re sensitive, that you value having alone time. The right person will understand; the wrong person will put you down for being “overly sensitive.”

    Tip 2. Vibrations Speak Louder Than Words
    Notice how you relate to a potential mate’s energy. Ask yourself: Does the person’s words match their energy? Or is something off? If you have any doubts about his or her authenticity, go slow. To avoid getting involved with someone who won’t be good for you, keep tracking the person’s energy with your empathic abilities to find out who they really are.

    Tip 3. Allow quiet time at home to decompress
    Get in the habit of taking mini-breaks throughout the day. Tell your partner how important this is to you. Stretch. Breathe. Walk. Meditate. Listen to music. This time alone will replenish you.

    Tip 4. Limit your time socializing with others
    Tell your partner what your ideal time limit is to stay at parties or other social occasions before you burn out. If your comfort level is three hours max--even if you adore the people--make an agreement with your partner to take your own car if he or she prefers to stay longer.

    Tip 5. Negotiate your square footage needs
    Breathing room is a must. Experiment with creative living conditions. Ask yourself, “What space arrangement is optimal?” Having a private area to retreat to? Separate bathrooms? Separate houses? Agree not to crowd each other. When traveling together, you may prefer getting adjoining rooms with your own bathroom (this works wonders for me). If sharing a room is the only option, hanging a sheet as a room divider will help.

    Tip 6. Get a sleep divorce
    Traditionally, partners sleep in the same bed. However, some empaths never get used to this, no matter how caring a mate. Nothing personal: they just like sleeping in their own space. Discuss options with your mate. Give yourself permission to sleep separately. Separate beds. Separate rooms. Sleeping together a few nights a week. Because non-empaths can feel lonely sleeping alone, make compromises when possible.

    In my medical practice, I’ve seen this creative approach to relationships save marriages and make ongoing intimacies safe for emotional empaths of all ages--even if they haven’t had a long-term partner before.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Anonymous commented on 20-May-2014 11:35 PM
    Interesting to me as an occupational therapist that these seem to also be the sensory over responsive types whose nervous systems have difficulty with auditory, visual, tactile or even vestibular (not secure with body in space) problems. Sometimes deep pressure, weightbearing activities and other ways to calm the nervous system can help. I love the article and am sending it on to friends I know that relate to this.
    Kimberly Cutting commented on 22-May-2014 10:47 PM
    I find the relationship empath thing interesting especially in relation to the soul-mate piece and I've discovered threw some personal areas in which it can cancel each other out in good ways. Have I been labeled as overly sensitive? I'm an Intuitive Empath myself & my fiance is as well.. (he answered yes to all of the questions in the intuitive Empath Quiz as well) However I've discovered that when 2 Empaths who are soul-mates get together some things intuively cancel out relationship empath issues... like for instance:
    Am I afraid of getting engulfed or losing my identity in intimate relationships? In the past we were somewhat, but when we met the feeling went away and we embraced and actually enjoyed the feeling of loosing ourselves to each other and becoming "one".

    Do I get drained by too much togetherness and require time alone to refuel? Sometimes, but more often then not we feel recharged by each other due to being so in synch... it depends how our conversations and moods are.

    Do I sometimes prefer sleeping alone? We did before we met, but found our energy synchs so well with each other that it actually helped us to sleep better the 1st time we tried it as a couple.

    others such as:
    Do I tend to take on by my partner’s stress or physical symptoms? & Do I feel overwhelmed by noise, smells, crowds, or excessive talking? No change to either of those really.

    Haven't experimented with travel or separate vehicles yet though. I do suspect he might though if he could, he likes to sleep in the hotel closet to isolate himself more when he travels and he has an even higher sensitivity to crowds then I do and would prefer to leave a karaoke bar or shopping mall a little sooner then I would for example.
    Sue Cameron commented on 22-May-2014 11:26 PM
    Thank you for this!! I've attended a couple of your classes at Esalen. This describes my 34 year marriage to a T. I am currently " WISHING" I had my own house!. I wouldn't mind dating him once on a while. He's a good guy. We've grown apart. He never goes anywhere! Watches TV every night and I am not exaggerating!!! I go on retreats with gf's, classes, vacations with friends, we sleep apart.. Why be married???!!!
    Wendy Hammond commented on 23-May-2014 08:25 AM
    So refreshing to read about a Relationship Empath. Have not read the book yet but know many women, including myself, who feel this way. I am twice divorced from relationships with alcoholics or drugaddicts. Have not pursued another relationship since 1994. Theoverwhelm from the enmeshment has left me very happy to live life alone. I am now 67 years old.
    Kari commented on 23-May-2014 01:41 PM
    Wow that sounds so much like me. My husband's job has changed and he is home most of the time now. I have lost my one day alone to de-stress and I feel added stress by not having my alone time. It feels like his energy is sucking the life out of me and I have found it so draining. I didn't feel like this before when we didn't spend as much time together. The odd time when he isn't home, I feel like I have more "space" and I feel "lifted" like a weight has been removed from my shoulders. I've been wondering why that is and felt there was something wrong with me but this explains so much. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    paulette commented on 01-Jun-2014 03:46 PM
    it really interesting , i became my husband and i did not realize it , and not knowing about empath, we had marriage problems and lead to sleeping separate room, less
    communication, and at that time i discover your info, suddenly i realized that i was carrying his anxiety, sadness and for some reason he took over my personally,
    it almost seem we switch bodies i got all his negative traits, and he seem to project my positive,
    i am still confuse by this, but i feel like i got my soul back . your work is soo important , thanks you
    Susan commented on 05-Jun-2014 10:27 PM
    well, I admire Kimberly's advantages up above this posting(May 22nd), but i'm here to tell ya, I would LOVE the freedom to let my otherwise perfect mate know that-I need to sleep alone!! He does not get it....I have shown him, I have explained to him-and it's as if I'm speaking blurbish. It is our only downfall. My saving grace? Working 3rd shift-although I am not certain how much that helps me...Otherwise, on my nights off, it isn't a night off-I wake up drained, exhausted, in pain! He believes somehow I'm to accept night terrors, snoring and thrashing as just par for the course........ can anyone help me, here? other than the obvious/ leave. . .
    Ashley commented on 20-Feb-2015 06:05 AM
    I've always wondered if there was something wrong with me growing up because I could never get used to being in a relationship like my friends had.. I'm still that way only being 18 but every relationship that I've been in (serious or not) I had to retreat quickly or I felt like I would literally drown in the other persons emotions. I never understood how some people could just let go and love with such ease..

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    Surrender to the Miracle of Love

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, April 08, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my new book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I define a soul mate as a fated romantic relationship with someone to whom you feel a special affinity. You fall in love with and support each other’s souls as well as their bodies. The relationship is never denigrating, abusive, or based on narcissism or control. When you meet, something in you awakens, even rejoices. You can finally breathe. The wait is over--you’re home again.

    However, contrary to what you may think, a soul mate isn’t necessarily some ideal person who will make your life perfect or cure your loneliness. Nor do you have to always like each other or agree. But he or she will help you evolve. You’ll learn from one another. There is no deadline for a soul mate. One can arrive when you’re twenty or eighty, whenever the time is right. Sexual attraction is part of the bond though this may vary in different phases of life. Some of these relationships are incredibly smooth, whereas most have more challenges. However, with soul mates, two are stronger than one. You make each other better.

    What should you look for in a soul mate? How can you know you’ve met yours? To avoid missing out on these relationships, you must let go of unrealistic expectations. Here’s a summary of some fundamental qualities that define what a soul mate is and isn’t. Though the intensity of these may vary in different phases of your lives, they form the basis of your bond.

    How to Identify Your Soul Mate

    What a soul mate relationship is:

  • You feel a strong connection, comfort, and sense of familiarity
  • There’s a physical attraction
  • You share mutual love, commitment, and support
  • You “get” each other; you’re each other’s biggest fans
  • You are emotional mirrors and teachers for each other
  • You’re in synch, even telepathic
  • You’re willing to work through conflicts, compromise, and surrender unhealthy patterns to improve the relationship
  • What a soul mate relationship isn’t:

  • All about you (or all about your partner)
  • Lukewarm, boring, or noncommittal
  • Forced or merely a “good idea”
  • Based on abuse, control, or rigidity
  • Only physical attraction or the sense of “lightning striking”
  • The “answer to all your problems” or always conflict-free
  • Based on “settling,” being together for convenience, or out of a fear of being alone, breaking up, or change
  • Whether a soul mate lasts forever, these relationships are transformative and provide a goldmine of lessons. They bring you face-to-face with aspects of your masculine and feminine sides that you desire to integrate. Marriage, which is a civil agreement, doesn’t require that you be with a soul mate. So, if it happens that your spouse isn’t one, or if you always stay single, there are still numerous benefits and much love that is possible. I’m not saying it’s necessarily better or worse to find a soul mate. The level of connection is just different. One thing I am sure of: each of our paths is uniquely perfect. Life presents us with what we need to grow. In this sense, a soul mate may not be appropriate or essential for everyone, as much as the heart may long for one.

    Moreover, you can’t force one to arrive or demand that the universe deliver one. I guarantee: that won’t work. This is where surrender is key. It’s a fine balance. You must clarify what qualities you desire in someone, then surrender expectations. Paradoxically, the “letting go” part is what most increases the likelihood of results. Being too hungry or fixated on finding a mate can backfire by acting as a death grip that stifles flow. To manifest a goal, you must always hold it lightly so you don’t inadvertently sabotage yourself by clamping down.

    There are clear ways to hone your intuitive focus to make it more possible for your soul mate to materialize. Here is an exercise to do from The Ecstasy of Surrender.

    Invite Your Soul Mate In
    Surrender into action by setting the stage for a soul mate, then notice the signs that he or she has arrived.

    1. Make a wish list
    Spend some quiet time picturing the qualities you most desire in a mate. Ask yourself: What would truly be good for me? What do I need? Intelligence? Kindness? Support? Chemistry? Wants children? Good communication skills? Is he or she spiritually connected? Also make a list of traits that are unacceptable to you such as being self-absorbed or rigid. Everyone’s needs are different.

    2. Release Expectations
    Think of your list as a letter to spirit. You’ve put in your soul mate requests. No need to keep re-sending the letter. Now, let the list go. Hold your desires lightly in your heart but don’t push. Have faith that you’ve been heard.

    3. Listen to Intuition
    Pay attention to intuitive signs that you’ve met someone of interest, even if he or she isn’t “your type.” These are: A sudden wave of chills, a gut feeling of attraction, or a flash of insight that this person may be right for you. Also stay aware of intuitions such as a sick feeling in your gut or a sense of distrust that warns, “Danger. Bad news. Stay away.” These will protect you from unhealthy relationships.

    4. Be aware of synchronicities and déjà vu
    Synchronicities are moments of perfect timing when paths effortlessly interconnect. You sit next to someone in a movie who turns out to be your soul mate. Or, out of the blue, you have a chance to go to Paris where you meet The One. Also, notice when you have a sense of déjà vu--as if you’ve known each other before. If this occurs with a stranger, say in the market, act on the situation by smiling and making eye contact. Then strike up a conversation such as asking for directions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Joanne M. Scherff commented on 08-Apr-2014 06:45 PM
    Wow! What an interesting excerpt of your new book. I am looking forward on reading,& just inquired at the free library of Philadelphia.

    I can relate to these views on life. And, I am a work-in-progress" on surrendering!

    Thank you for such an inspiring book,

    Joanne
    Michael Lighten commented on 24-Apr-2014 12:55 AM
    I listened to your program and there was a time I was afraid to go to sleep, because I was being tormented in the astral plane. God set me free and now my sleep is peaceful and I await the time when my time is up, when I can return to the Divine.
    Christina commented on 24-Apr-2014 03:44 PM
    Dr. Orloff, It's so wonderful to make my way back to your wisdom by way of your blog after reading the news of your upcoming talk this Sunday at CSL in Seattle. I look forward to seeing you at CSL this weekend. I still have my signed copy of Second Sight from the workshop I attended in 1998 in Oregon. Bless you. Christina
    colleen commented on 17-May-2014 01:22 PM
    Finally an answer thank you , Thank you, THANK YOU
    Kimberly Cutting commented on 22-May-2014 10:32 PM
    I like your description:
    "You feel a strong connection, comfort, and sense of familiarity
    There’s a physical attraction
    You share mutual love, commitment, and support
    You “get” each other; you’re each other’s biggest fans
    You are emotional mirrors and teachers for each other
    You’re in synch, even telepathic
    You’re willing to work through conflicts, compromise, and surrender unhealthy patterns to improve the relationship." It just so perfectly fits the relationship I have with my fiance. He is all those things with me & I am all those things with him, and I knew it the moment our eyes met, my intuition just told me he's the one and our energy instantly synched us together telepathically!
    Njemanze Chinyere commented on 18-Jan-2015 12:35 PM
    I love this. Dr, your book has giving me more insight about relationship.
    How to call in my soul mate.
    How do I get this book.

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    The Art of Reading People: Three Techniques to Ignite Your Super-Senses

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    As a psychiatrist my job is to read people, not just what they say, but who they are. Interpreting verbal and nonverbal cues, I want to see past their masks into the real person. Logic alone won’t tell you the whole story about anybody. You must surrender to other vital forms of information so that you can learn to read the important non-verbal intuitive cues that people give off. To do this, you must also be willing to surrender any preconceptions, or emotional baggage such as old resentments or ego-clashes, that stop you from seeing someone clearly. The key is to remain objective and receive information neutrally without distorting it.

    Here are three methods of reading people from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender. They all require surrendering pure logic in favor of also receiving alternative, non-linear forms of input.

    Three Techniques in the Art of Reading People

    The First Technique. Observe Body Language Cues
    Research has shown that words account for only 7 percent of how we communicate whereas our body language (55 percent) and voice tone (30 percent) represent the rest. Here, the surrender to focus on is letting go of trying too hard to read body language cues. Don’t get overly intense or analytical. Stay relaxed and fluid. Be comfortable, sit back, and simply observe.

    Here are a few examples of the Body Language Cues. I outline many more useful techniques in The Ecstasy of Surrender:

    1. Pay Attention to Appearance
    When reading others notice: Are they wearing a power suit and well-shined shoes, dressed for success, indicating ambition? Jeans and a t-shirt, indicating comfort with being casual? A tight top with cleavage, a seductive choice? A pendant such as a cross or Buddha indicating spiritual values?

    2. Notice Posture
    When reading people’s posture, ask yourself: Do they hold their head high, confident? Or do they walk indecisively or cower, a sign of low self-esteem? Do they swagger with a puffed out chest, sign of a big ego?

    3. Watch For Physical Movements

  • Leaning and Distance
    Observe where people lean. Generally, we lean toward those we like and away from those we don't.

  • Crossed arms and legs
    This pose suggests defensiveness, anger, or self-protection. When people cross their legs they tend to point the toes of the top leg towards the person they are most at ease with.

  • Hiding one’s hands
    When people place their hands in their laps, pockets, or put them behind their back it suggests that they are hiding something.

  • Lip biting or cuticle picking
    When people bite or lick their lips or pick their cuticles they are trying to soothe themselves under pressure or in an awkward situation.
  • 4. Interpret Facial Expression
    Emotions can become etched on our faces. Deep frown lines suggests worry or over-thinking. Crow’s feet are the smile lines of joy. Pursed lips signal anger, contempt, or bitterness. A clenched jaw and teeth grinding are signs of tension.


    The Second Technique. Listen to Your Intuition
    You can tune into someone beyond their body language and words. Intuition is what your gut feels, not what your head says. It’s nonverbal information you perceive via images, ah-has, and body knowings, rather than logic. If you want to understand someone, what counts the most is who the person is, not their outer trappings. Intuition lets you see further than the obvious to reveal a richer story.

    Checklist of Intuitive Cues

    1. Honor your gut feelings
    Listen to what your gut says, especially during first meetings, a visceral reaction that occurs before you have a chance to think. It relays whether you’re at ease or not. Gut feelings occur quickly, a primal response. They’re your internal truth meter, relaying if you can trust people.

    2. Feel the goosebumps
    Goosebumps are marvelous intuitive tingles which convey that we resonate with people who move or inspire us, or are saying something that strikes a chord. Goosebumps also happen when you experience deja-vu, a recognition that you’ve known someone before, though you’ve actually never met.

    3. Pay attention to flashes of insight
    In conversations, you may get an “ah-ha” about people which comes in a flash. Stay alert. Otherwise you might miss it. We tend to go onto the next thought so rapidly these critical insights are lost.

    4. Watch for intuitive empathy
    Sometimes you can feel people’s physical symptoms and emotions in your body which is an intense form of empathy. So, when reading people, notice, “Does my back hurt when it didn’t before? Am I depressed or upset after an uneventful meeting?” To determine if this is empathy, get feedback.


    The Third Technique. Sense Emotional Energy
    Emotions are a stunning expression of our energy, the “vibe” we give off. We register these with intuition. Some people feel good to be around; they improve your mood and vitality. Others are draining; you instinctively want to get away. This “subtle energy” can be felt inches or feet from the body, though it’s invisible. In Chinese medicine it’s called chi, a vitality that’s essential to health.

    Strategies to Read Emotional Energy

    1. Sense People’s Presence
    This is the overall energy we emit, not necessarily congruent with words or behavior. It’s the emotional atmosphere surrounding us like a rain cloud or the sun. As you read people notice: Do they have a friendly presence that attracts you? Or are you getting the willies, making you back off.

    2. Watch people’s eyes
    Our eyes transmit powerful energies. Just as the brain has an electromagnetic signal extending beyond the body, studies indicate that the eyes project this too. Take time to observe people’s eyes. Are they caring? Sexy? Tranquil? Mean? Angry? Also determine: Is there someone at home in their eyes, indicating a capacity for intimacy? Or do they seem to be guarded or hiding?

    3. Notice the feel of a handshake, hug, and touch
    We share emotional energy through physical contact much like an electrical current. Ask yourself, Does a handshake or hug feel warm, comfortable, confident? Or is it off-putting so you want to withdraw? Are people’s hands clammy, signaling anxiety. Or limp, suggesting being non-committal and timid?

    4. Listen for People’s Tone of Voice and Laugh
    The tone and volume of our voice can tell much about our emotions. Sound frequencies create vibrations. When reading people, notice how their tone of voice affects you. Ask yourself: Does their tone feel soothing? Or is it abrasive, snippy, or whiny?



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Mary-Anne commented on 29-Apr-2014 05:41 AM
    Thanks Judith,
    wise as ever. My husband doesn't like it when i complain about the tone of his voice! sometimes I think as spouses we can get a little too intwined- and complain prior to an insult or negative event- just by listening to our other halves tone of voice. but thats another journey I guess!
    Anonymous commented on 23-May-2014 06:25 PM
    Thanks, Dr. Judith,
    every time I am exposed to your writing, I am somehow more affirmed. I am grateful to becoming aware of your teachings. They have been so helpful in my coming to better know myself. Blessings!

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