144: Ask David–Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!


My wife claims that I never listen! How can I possibly agree with her? 

My wife left me! How can I correct the distortions in her criticisms?

How can you deal with people who constantly wallow in self-pity?

And more!

Hi podcast fans,

Today we’ve got some terrific Five Secrets questions that you have submitted.

  1. Mike #1: I love your Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Why does secret #4, “I Feel” Statements, not include Thought Empathy?
  2. Mike #2: I have seen communication models that include expressing and listening for needs. Aren’t needs and wants important and important to express?
  3. Al: How can I help my wife recognize her many cognitive distortions, like All-or-Nothing Thinking? It seems hopeless!
  4. Guy: If a loved one says, “You never listen,” how could I possibly find the truth in this statement? How could you genuinely agree with an All-or-Nothing statement such as, “You never ….”?
  5. Both Sonja and Eileen asked: How can you deal with someone who constantly wallows in self-pity and plays the role of victim. It’s exhausting!

Thanks for tuning in, and keep the great questions coming!

David and Rhonda


You can reach Dr. Burns at david@feelinggood.com. Dr. Rhonda Barovsky practices in Walnut Creek, California, and can be reached at rbarovsky@aol.com.

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4 thoughts on “144: Ask David–Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!

  1. Great podcast on such an important topic! This really helped clarify several areas for me.

    Speaking of Self-Pity, I started wondering: what is it exactly? Is it an emotion? Should we add it to the list of cognitive distortions?

    I know it’s ‘feeling sorry for oneself’ but could that be considered a form of self-compassion? Or is it self-blame or possibly other-blame? Please un-confuse me! Thanks.

    • Hi Christian, Self-pity could be another emotion to list in the “Other” column of the Daily Mood Log. And, like all other emotions, it has positive and negative aspects. Thanks! d

    • That would be an interesting discussion. I see two extremes in my personal life. Two people I know drop like a rock into a pile of self-pity over relatively small bumps in the road. Two others who’re brutal workhorses (key: they’d never ask others to accomplish what they demand of themselves).

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