Relationships and Family: Creating MagicMar 06, 2023
As you were reading the title above, I’m sure visions of Tinkerbell or Harry Potter went whizzing through your mind. The blog won’t disappoint and will actually go one step better: Today’s amazing Kickstarters group and our special guest magician (and licensed counselor), Laura Torres, leveraged a more practical approach to creating magic – using positive framing and generative questions to address two ‘tricky’ relationship issues.
Positive Frame #1
Name it: My partner looks at the phone when I am talking, and I don’t feel connected with him.
Flip it: I feel really connected with my partner.
Frame it: Our relationship is magical – like when we first met - and we love spending time together.
Other suggested frames
- Our relationship is strong and solid through our connection.
- My partner and I enjoy spending time together doing things we both enjoy.
To learn more about the frame, the group created the following generative questions on the white board:
- What were we doing at that time to connect with each other and how can we do more activities that help us connect?
- When is a time we already enjoyed spending time together and what makes that possible?
- When was a time when we felt especially connected? What were we doing?
- What did we do to feel a connection when we first met?
- When is a time my partner and I have really enjoyed each other? What was happening?
- What does magical feel like to me? What does magical feel like to you?
- What can we still learn about each other?
- Can you recall a time when our relationship felt magical and we loved spending time together? Tell me about that time? What made it magical? What did you value about it?
- What shared goals can you have around this that benefit both of you?
- What makes him feel connected and how does that compliment how you feel connected?
- What things do we both like to do that we can do more of to better connect?
- How can we let each other know when we want more connection?
- How can I invite the conversation I want?
- What emotions do you go through when you observe that your partner is on the phone and what would you like to experience instead?
- What structure would allow us to enjoy our time together more?
Positive Frame #2
Name it: My daughter had a group of four friends who used to spend a lot of time at our house. In the fall, they all turned against her and now she doesn’t have any friends and feels very isolated.
Flip it: My daughter does not feel isolated and is able to move forward despite the behavior of the other girls.
Frame it: My daughter feels worthy of belonging and is able to initiate new relationships.
Other suggested frames
- My daughter knows how to respond in ways that allow everyone to grow and move on.
- My daughter is resilient and feels empowered.
- My daughter has supportive new friends.
- My daughter has a rich and healthy social life.
- My daughter feels excited and happy!
- My daughter’s resilience magnetizes new friends.
- My daughter recognizes her own strength in forming the life she wants.
- My daughter knows she’s worthy of love and belonging no matter what.
- My daughter knows that she belongs and initiates new relationships.
Here are generative questions the group created on the white board:
Questions for Mom
- What self-care does the mother needs to practice?
- What does this remind you of in your own school years?
- What are the other opportunities for my daughter to feel a sense of belonging and confidence in initiating new friendships?
Questions for her Daughter
- What helps us know that we belong- no matter what? How do we support those qualities?
- What other kids outside this group do you engage with at school?
- When does your daughter feel like she belongs?
- Was there a time when you were brave and talked to someone new? How did you do that and how did you manage to overcome the fear?
- How else could she respond to the bullying behavior?
- How might you take one small step towards the goal?
- What are you learning from the experience that you can bring into new relationships?
- In what other areas of my life do I feel a sense of connection and belonging?
- When you didn’t feel connected with friends in the past, who/what was there to help you re-connect, even in a small way?
- Who else at school might feel like they are outsiders.
During the session, Laura conjured up her professional insights. She noted that relationships create our world and those very same relationships create much of the stress in our lives. Moreover, when challenges arise, we often spend too much energy and time focusing on what we don’t want and don’t have rather on what we do want. Positive framing helps to shift that focus. We just have to remember to tune in and use it - and the process will help lift us up and out of the whirlwind of emotions that accompanies challenging relationship situations.
These topics came from our March 2023 Monday Kickstarters series, working sessions to figure out how to have a conversation worth having when faced with a tough situation, challenge, or problem. Do you have a tough situation you’d like support reframing? Join us for Monday Kickstarters, 12:30 – 1:00 pm EDT. Find the next sessions and register at the Center for Appreciative Inquiry.
Sylvette Wake is a Conversations Worth Having Instructor, Professional Development Trainer, and Life Coach.