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How Healthy Conflict Resolution Can Improve Your Relationships & Your Health

Welcome to The Hormone Prescription Podcast!

In this episode, we're talking about how healthy conflict resolution can improve your relationships and your health. Our guest is Mary Shores, author of the book Conscious Communications.

Mary shares her insights on why it's so important to resolve conflict in a healthy way, and gives us some practical tips on how to do just that. If you're struggling with conflict in your life, whether at home or at work, this episode is for you!

In this episode, you will learn:

-Why healthy conflict resolution is so important

-How to resolve conflict in a healthy way

-Practical tips for resolving conflict in your own life

-And more!

So tune in now, and learn how healthy conflict resolution can improve your relationships and your health!

[00:55] You're gonna love our guest today and the topic that we are discussing. It's all about communication. How conscious is your communication? And like in the quote that I started the episode with, are you able to change your mind about things or are you seeking optimal health and hormone balance saying I wanna be exactly the same way I am now doing what I'm doing, thinking what I'm thinking. And I want my hormones to change because I hate to tell you, but mm it's not gonna happen because you do have to change your mind to change your hormones.

[01:54] Mary shores is an innovative communication expert and bestselling author who transforms people's words to help them fall back in love with their work and their customers. 15 years ago, Mary discovered a game changing formula to improve connections among people. It all started with a, do not say list and grew into an entire strategy that will fix your relationships, which by the way, will fix your hormones and your health. Welcome Mary. My pleasure to be here. I'm so excited. Yes. I love your book. And just so I don't forget to, to say the whole title, Mary shores, conscious communications, your step by step guide to harnessing the power of your words, to change your mind, your choices and your life published by hay house.

[03:04] So, you know, since this is a hormone show, I'll go ahead and say this. But when I was 19 and one time I had went to a doctor, they put me on a, an antibiotic, but didn't tell me that antibiotics cancel out birth control. So I ended up pregnant after a healthy pregnancy. I was met with sudden tragedy when my daughter had suffered lack of oxygen to the brain for over five minutes due to umbilical cord asphyxia, which basically meant the way they explained it to me was that her umbilical cord had ruptured. So my daughter Haley was born with severe and profound brain damage. This left her blind death and on life support.

[03:58] And the thing is though, when I got done with that ordeal, I was really lost in life. You know what I mean? I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I felt like my peers had, had moved on, had started their careers. So I decided to go into the family business, which is debt collection. And so oftentimes people don't understand like where is this connection between like debt collection, communication and connection. But for me, I think that because I had lived on the other side of Stu financial stability during that time with my daughter, I had absolutely no resources.

[04:45] And I definitely saw the connection between how debt collectors communicate with people and how that, that causes so much stress and trauma, you know, and I realized very quickly that the common denominator is just having a debt can be a trauma, let alone the way that people are stigmatized over it, or the way that they're treated over it.

[05:41] So I just started to study and I wanted, you know, my big aha moment came when one day I looked at the phone and I said out loud, I just want the next person. I speak to, to be happier at the end of the call than they were at the beginning. Now that was so many years ago. And honestly, I had no idea how I was going to make that happen. But I started with one concept, which was this do not say list. And the do not say list is exactly what it sounds like. It's a list of words we never say, which are no, not can't won't however, and unfortunately

[06:19] So I'm sorry for your loss. And it sounds like it forced you to go into the family business. And because you had this kind of spiritual bent already, and you were going into what probably most people think of as a non-spiritual business, you had a different perspective to bring, to kind of evolve that. And so thank goodness you said, I just want the next person I talk to, to feel better after I get off the phone with them than when they got on the phone, when I got on the phone with them. And so you have the, the do not say list, which I love. I try not to use those words as well.

[07:05] Even if it's reasonable, I get angry immediately because nobody likes being told, no, you can't, you can't have that or no. And tell me what you can do. Don't tell me what you can't do. So this started the do not say list. And then how did it evolve from there? Cuz really you've come to this place now where you've taken it to a whole nother level and your personal journey, evolutionary journey, I think really will speak volumes to women, many women at midlife who are wondering like, what's wrong with me? What's happened to me. I don't know. I feel like myself and my own skin anymore. How do I feel good. And so what happened next on your journey? That was your evolution.

[08:05] And so I turned to neuroscience and specifically neurobiology because I wanted to know like what is happening in the brain and the body and the nervous system when we're communicating and turns out that was like the most brilliant thought I had ever really had because you know, starting with a, do not say list, what I learned was when we are, and it doesn't matter if you're speaking the words or if you're hearing the words, but what's happening when we're enveloped in these negative words, you know, if we're talking to customer service and they say, you know, unfortunately our policy is yada yada, yada.

[08:57] You know, if you're familiar with the David Hawkins frequency scale of emotions, those words are really driving us down the frequency scale of emotions. So my goal was like, how can I move people up? This frequency scale of emotions? And in the book I call this cleanser clog. So it's really like everything. You say, everything you do, every action you take. And this is in all areas of life, not just communication, but every choice you make is either, you know, moving you down that scale, creating a disconnection from what you really want, or it's moving you up that scale. And you know, when you talk about feeling good, it's like if you rate yourself, say on a scale of one to 20 at any given time, and you say, you know, how well do I feel today? And if that answer is, you know, below a 10, then there's a problem we need to like do cleansing activities.

[09:48] So I started to think, how can we create a connection? And that started with validation. So really taking a deep dive into understanding that we're truly all wired for empathy, but we've sort of trained it out of ourselves. And I think that this starts it when we're young children, you know, we have expectations put upon us, we have layers and layers of what other people think we should be when we can take a moment.

[10:48] And so what that allows us to do is take a, a sigh of relief and just drop in and not be so frantic. So the idea here is that we wanna cancel the nervous system. We wanna cancel the fight or flight response, right? And we wanna activate the parasympathetic response by saying connecting words. You are not alone. I can understand that. That sounds really challenging. And that's the step that we're really missing in our communication journey, that it doesn't mean that we're agreeing with someone.

[11:45] It's just acknowledging the emotion. You also do it. If someone has just shared something, that's really amazing. You can say, you know, thank you for sharing that with me. It sounds so exciting. So that's really that first step in the process, but it's such an important step because when you provide a validation, what you're actually doing is you are increasing oxytocin, vasopressin, serotonin, and dopamine. And I don't need to tell you doctor that those are very happy, healthy bonding hormones, right?

[13:19] So you definitely wanna get the book power versus force by David Hawkins. And he talks about quantifying the frequency of emotion. So I just wanted to let them know about that. And then I think it's so key what you said, the number one need that we have is to feel heard and understood everybody listening, just think like, what do you want more than anything from the people in your life. You want to feel heard, you get upset when people don't really hear you. You're like, you're not listening to me.

[14:05] And, you know, once our material needs are met for shelter and food and rest and things like that, we have these needs to be self-actualized self-expressed to be seen, to be heard, to be validated. And I love, I always my nervous system, you can feel it viscerally, calm down when you get on a customer service call and they immediately say, and you know, when they say this, that they've had training, wow, I'm sorry that you're dealing with that. I know that must be really frustrating. And you're just like, oh, <laugh> this person it matters.

[14:58] Right. I've been heard and I've been validated, you know, it's interesting. I just came back from this trip in Mexico and I always ask for a cent free chemical free room, wherever I travel, cuz I don't want those VOCs in my, my body doesn't like them. And so I did request one and my room wasn't even ready when I got there. It took another two hours cuz they said you were requested a special room. And I go in my room <laugh> and they have that scent, you know like most hotels put a scent cuz they think it increases your perceived value of what they're offering. You just like they'll put plastic, some hotels over the top of the drinking glasses in the bathroom.

[15:47] And I also love that you brought in the neuroscience of how this relates to hormone balance, that your oxytocin, dopamine serotonin and your vasopressin, all of these are improved and your sympathetic nervous system, when you are validated and you are heard. So how do you teach people in the book to start tweaking their words and their thoughts and their communication for improved hormone balance? I know that's not, not what you say in the book is the goal, but my people they know that's the goal.

[16:36] And so I'm training other collection agencies. I'm doing training for customer service, but it's really about when you're in that moment, you know, and I, I can tell you a little story with this because a lady that told me this, this story just really warms my heart. Her stepson had sent her a pretty emotionally charged text message. And he was blaming her for his difficult relationship with his father. You know, she immediately felt her walls going up. So step one is when you immediately feel, you know, this person has said something and now you feel your walls going up.

[17:26] So when you know ahead of time that you're going to use some sort of validation statement, you really train yourself that this is the script or the prompt, if you will, that you're going to respond with no matter what. So when she got this text message and she felt her walls going up, she knew reacting defensively would only lead to more conflict, causing more layers of disconnection in their relationship. Now she hadn't heard from him for a number of years before this text message came in. She just got it out of the blue mm-hmm <affirmative>. So instead she used all three steps of our communication, uh, code. And she said, you know, I can certainly understand how deeply you must be hurting.

[18:19] And she said, she'd be happy to pick him up and see him in person. And he didn't respond for quite a while. Instead after a while he called her. And for the first time, in a long time, they had a healthy conversation all because she was able to build a connection that really hadn't existed before. So you know, what you're doing is you're bringing stability to a situation.

[19:08] And then now their mind can be open to a solution. You know, if you've ever been talking to someone and you've got this like great idea for them and, and you feel like you have the right solution, but they're not hearing you, you know, and perhaps they get into story mode where they start repeating that story over and over and over again, if somebody is repeating their story on repeat, that is a sign that they do not feel heard and understood. And the moment that you can validate, not that they're date, not that their story is true. You're validating the emotion that they have associated with that story, because that is truly what helps them process the emotion move through it so that we can be emotionally receptive. You know, our brain space can get stuck on one thing, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And when we follow these steps properly, people can be more open to what we have to say to them.

[20:42] And our energy is our what Dr. Marisa calls, the intangibles, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and our interactions with people. And we really underestimate the power of the emotions. I love that. You're saying you've got to, when the story's on repeat, you've got to hear the emotion and validate that it's not necessarily the story that needs to be validated, but how they are feeling, because that is the essence of what energy is running through their body. And until that's addressed, it will run everything.

[21:33] And so I think what you're saying, I think for some women it's, if you're disconnected from your own feelings, how can you validate another is what I'm thinking? Because I find that some, if people are disconnected and, and a lot of times that's the problem at the root of hormone, imbalance is nervous system dysregulation, disconnection from emotions. How in the world can somebody who's in that state learn to connect with their emotions is the first thing, because I'm thinking, how is she going to validate another? Does that make sense?

[22:38] The good news is that we're actually all wired for empathy. Every single one of us, um, is wire wired for empathy. I heard Dr. Gur ma say that in a, in a talk recently. And I was so happy. He said that because some of us don't believe that we are. So the first thing is understand that every one of us is actually wired for empathy. The second part that I wanna say is that the research shows that when you, when you provide empathy, whether you feel like you're empathetic, whether you think you can do this or not, but if you actually just force yourself to do it like a feedback cycle, it actually starts to strengthen the brain connections to make you more empathetic.

[23:41] And so as you provide these validation statements and especially, you know, for my staff, because they're doing this day in and day out, we require them to do it with every single person that they're speaking to. And we actually measure it, you know, in our quality assurance calls, they are actually improving upon their own empathetic response. So the reason I'm telling you this is because if you're listening to this and you wanna try it, don't worry. If you feel that you will not be able to do it, if you can just say the words, like I said, when you feel your walls going up, just say those words, you know, that sounds really challenging.

[24:32] Even if you don't mean them, because it's okay, the feeling will come when you say it and you practice it, you will start to actually increase those same happy, healthy hormones in yourself. And that is certainly mm-hmm, <affirmative> a huge thing. You will feel better about yourself. You'll know that you made an impact on another person and it's, it can hu. I mean, I remember the first, in the first few years when people were telling me, you know, Mary, I took this training and it didn't just change my communication. It literally changed my entire life. And I still hear that now to this day.

[25:09] So why do you think Mary, we are hardwired for empathy, little kids, you see this, oftentimes you see, you see more kids helping each other in the playground than you do one kid clobbering, another to take their toy. So why do you think that when I look around, I see a, a lack of empathy in a lot of places. So why is this happening? Well,

[25:32] I'll speak to the lack of empathy first, and this is just a theory. So this is not science based. This is just like my own observation, my own opinion. But I think that we we've been living through some disconnected times for probably about three decades. You know, we have women entering the workforce when, you know, 60 years ago that wasn't really the case. So we've sort of been going through this, um, conscious evolution of sorts, you know, and it changes the way things naturally were for, for millennia before that. And I think that there is a, a challenge with how children are being raised, you know, and I think it starts with coming out with bullying.