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January 31, 2011 @ 8:04 am

Small changes to make giving us healthier relationships


Danielle Ratcliff of 'Empower Defense and Life Skills' joined the show. She discusses with show host Eric Michaels small things we could be doing daily to have healthier relationships.

Note: Refer to audio player below to listen to this episode.

Danielle Ratcliff of Empower Defense and Life Skills has worked in both the government and private sector for over 17 years,  helping families and individuals to overcome their pasts, through instilling skills and knowledge that in turn empowers them to make better decisions for themselves and with others. She now, with her husband Jason, has started Empower Defense and Life Skills LLC where they offer workshops for both self defense and personal development.


Abbreviated Transcript of Interview with Danielle Ratcliff

Eric Michaels: How do you think we can learn to have stronger healthy relationships?
Danielle Ratcliff: We live in a society that pushes the ideals of individuals and their rights, and what has not been stressed,  is that with those rights comes our responsibilities. This can also be said when we enter into relationships with others. The first thing we need to do is to realize that we are not the center of the relationship, that a relationship is at least 2 people. If we wanted everything done our way then we should have stayed by ourselves. We need to be responsible for what we say, the actions we take and the way we choose to display our emotions with others. If we learn to respond with thought and caring and not have a knee jerk, careless reaction to situations, then we will have healthier relationships with less causalities.

Eric Michaels: How can we communicate more effectively?
Danielle Ratcliff: Communication is not necessarily what we say but how we say it. We need to communicate with the three C's: Caring, Caring, and Caring. I know that there is a lot more than entailed when learning the art of communication but if the underpinning motive of our communication is that we CARE about the other person then we are considering the impact of what we are saying and it will resonate in our tone and also in body language in a positive way.

Eric Michaels: How can people show that they care about each other?
Danielle Ratcliff: Cary Chapman has a book out called the 5 Love Languages. It is a great book, but it is it's concept I love. This is that we do not love the same way, what one person sees as someone showing love is not same as another. It is important that we take the time to find out what is important to our partner and how they gauge that they are loved. My husband feels loved when I clean the house, I feel loved when he spends time with me. Discover what causes your partner to feel loved. You may be surprised. Not all women want you to buy them lots of diamonds and not all Men want you to be the best cook.

Eric Michaels: When we look at relationships with others what do you see are 3 strengths we should bring to the table?
Danielle Ratcliff: Good listener – if we are a good listener we listen not only with our ears but also with our eyes.  At least 70% of our communication is through our non-verbal communication, not just the words we say.  A good listener watches facial features, the emotion behind what is being said and listens to tone of voice.  Resiliency – This is my favorite strength as it is when we choose to not allow the situations around us to dictate how we feel , then they do not impact on how we behave. Flexibility – We need to compromise and learn to give and take. If we don't there wont be any winners, especially not in our relationships.

Eric Michaels: Are there some small changes that we can make that can help us have healthier relationships?
Danielle Ratcliff: If we learn how to literally hold our tongue and listen to the other person, we allow ourselves to think of what needs to be said to reach a win/win outcome. Don't name call, as we will be spending all our time apologizing rather than addressing the issue at hand. Wait to talk when you are both in the right frame of mind to listen. Whenever possible use humor, it softens the blow.


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Note: The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the show host or it's owners.

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