It is important to shed insight upon the opposing, yet valid emotions from both sides of conflict, especially in the heat of the moment. However, valuable coaching strategies can help us cope with our own interpersonal challenges, so that we too can find our missing peace. One such valuable coach is Ellen Gendelman, a licensed psychotherapist, certified professional coach, and author of “When Ice Cream Is Not Enough” and “The Missing Peace”, both of which are brimming with mouth-watering vignettes that tell two sides of a story. Ellen is also a veteran educator, motivational speaker, and a passionate champion for helping people grow and maximize their potential. In order to fully grow, we must never allow conflict to sever our precious connections.
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Coping Strategies With Ellen Gendelman
My guest is Ellen Gendelman. She is a licensed Psychotherapist and a certified Professional Coach. She specializes in working with relationships. Ellen is the veteran educator, a motivational speaker, author, and she has a passion for helping people grow and maximize their potential. She is also the co-author of When Ice Cream is Not Enough, which is available on Amazon. Ellen, welcome to Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you so much, Terri. I’ve been looking forward to this.
How did you get into psychotherapy and coaching and what led you to relationships?
The short story is that my father died when I was a little girl. My mother raised us on her own, two little girls, and she told us that even if she knew my father would die, she would’ve married him again for the love that she had with him and for the nine years of happiness and for the two little girls that came out of their union. I felt the power of relationships. I was born into it and I experienced it and I wanted to share it with others.
I love when people get passionate about something that they have first-hand experience and knowledge of. I feel that very powerful, so I appreciate that. I have to ask this because the name was like, “What? When Ice Cream is Not Enough?” Tell me about this book.
First of all, a title takes a lot of work and a lot of brainstorming and I had neighbors offered to make me brainstorming party. We sat there for hours and everybody with the little sticky notes of all different colors and all different directions. I came home and had a wonderful time. I thank them, but nothing grabs me. The next morning, I woke up and there it was. What it meant to me was a way to catch attention and a way to drive the point home that many times people look for poor substitutes when they’re not happy with their relationship with themselves or with others. Maybe they go for the chocolate, for the ice cream, for distraction, for any other kinds of superficial comforts that don’t fill that empty space and there’s nothing like a meaningful attachment.
What is it that’s your best advice in terms of relationships? What are a couple tips or takeaways that we can implement?
I’m going to start with one that’s one of my favorites and it can be summed up in four words. It’s not about you. What do I mean? Often, when we work with people, we’re looking for chicken love. We’re looking for, “That chicken tastes delicious. I love that.” That kind of love is self-love, love of pleasure, love of the way something makes us feel. That’s not love that involves an act of giving, of wanting something that is good for somebody else or even wanting something that is good for ourselves in a real, authentic way. “It’s not about us” means that if we’re focused in a relationship of giving and the other person’s focused on giving then we create a beautiful attachment together. That would be tip number one.
That’s a phenomenal tip, the giving and the giving. I got an image of two hands reaching out. I want to give to you. You want to give to me. I love that and the simple tip and yet it’s something I could grab and put my head instantaneously.
The next tip I would choose would be not to be dead right, but to focus on what’s going on underneath the content. So many times, the obstacles in relationships are about, “What did you do? You’re saying this, but you’re much worse than this because you do this.” It’s a cycle of attack, defense, attack, defense, and talking over. When we recognize that it’s not about being right but it’s about understanding the emotions that are going on. When the stereotypical wife is going to turn to her spouse and say, “You’re always on the phone and you’re never here.” “Me? Look at you. You don’t give the kids attention for a minute.” Instead of realizing that’s her way of saying, “You’re important to me. I want to spend time, I want to feel like you care,” and when we go underneath the content to the real emotional needs of a person, that defensiveness diminishes, and we can be present with them.
We started talking about giving and giving, and then we talked about not needing to be dead right and hearing and communicating and stopping the pattern of attack and defend. When you’re talking to somebody else and you want to be heard and they have their own agenda, so the listener is interrupting you because they can’t wait to see what they have to say. Not going on the attack and defend and making the other person wrong. I also know that there are a lot of people out there these days that are in relationships that may be difficult, whether they’re at work, whether they’re at home, whether it’s a Facebook relationship, because people have varying viewpoints and they take a stand based on their beliefs and experience. How would you tell people to respond or react when they believe something very different than somebody they’re in relationships with?
The keyword that I heard was reactive. If we’re responding from a place of reactivity, then that’s already not going to be the response that’s going to bring us closer. If we’re responding from a place that a person is allowed to feel what they feel, and we’re allowed to feel what we feel, a person’s allowed to believe what they believe, if we respect the person, we can agree to disagree. We can love each other and not necessarily share identical believes. We can want what’s good for one another and be able to disagree. If it’s not about ego, if it’s not about a relationship where you feed my ego because you’re always smiling and telling me how brilliant I am, but it’s sharing authentic concerns, opinions and beliefs, then we can leave space for that other person.
This is for the audience to breathe in the difference between reacting, which has the word acting in it, becoming active, versus respond, which is take time to think and digest. Let your ego go. One of my mentors, Joel Bauer, always says, “Your ego is not your amigo.” Coming from a place of sharing authentically whatever your beliefs are, your concerns are. How do people reach out to you? Tell them where to get When Ice Cream is Not Enough.
How they can get in touch with me is either through a phone call, 248-915-9122 or my email at AWindowWithin@Gmail.com. I have a website that is AWindowWithin.net. My book, When Ice Cream is Not Enough, that’s available on Amazon and it’s available in eBook, on paperback and on Audible form.
I advocate that you get a copy of When Ice Cream is Not Enough and that’s over Amazon. Ellen, what final words would you like to leave the audience with?
First of all, a word of tremendous thanks to you because of the service that you’re providing to your audience. Clearly, you are one with the messages and your authenticity comes through, so I want to thank you for this opportunity. Secondly, a word of encouragement to your audience that real relationships are probably one of the most rewarding feelings and experiences that we can have in our lifetime. The more meaningful something is, the more work it is, so not to give up. The effort bears fruit.
Keep working at those relationships. It’s going to pay off. Ellen, thank you so much for being a guest here on Heartrepreneur Radio.
My pleasure, Terri. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
You’re welcome. For the audience, if you haven’t written a five-star review, we love five-star reviews. If you’re enjoying the value and the experts here, please give us a great review and be a Heartrepreneur. Heartrepreneur pass things forward. Share the show, pass it forward to other people, get to listen. As an audience, a gift for you is available at GetHotPayingClients.com. That’s my gift to you for being an audience. Thank you once again for tuning in here to Heartrepreneur Radio and we’ll see you next time.
- Ellen Gendelman
- When Ice Cream is Not Enough
- When Ice Cream is Not Enough on Audible