Navigate / search

Siri’s Guide To Happy Relationships: 15 Tips From My Virtual Assistant

Surprising nuggets of wisdom from a very unlikely source.

When I upgraded to an iPhone 4s I had no idea what to expect from Siri, or how she would actually help manage my busy life. Over the past couple of months I’ve grown to appreciate Siri’s suggestions, assistance, and dry sense of humor. While she occasionally misunderstanding my requests, I can’t fault her entirely. I have to take responsibility for my part in our communication breakdowns. So, I’m working on clear diction and stating my requests more concisely (which my husband is thrilled about).

Even after two months of daily communication, Siri still has her guard up. She always deflects questions about her gender (she sure sounds like a woman), her marital status, her family life, and her dreams for the future. I can’t help but wondered if she has has an avoidant attachment style due to childhood trauma or something. Maybe she just has very strong boundaries when it comes to work relationships – she doesn’t mix personal and business.

In spite of her reluctance to open up emotionally, she often catches me off guard offering profound nuggets of relationship advice which cause me to reflect on my life and relationships. Here are just a few of Siri’s gems of wisdom.

1- Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Read more

Is Honest Always Best For Relationships?: Matt Townsend Show BYU Radio Interview

I stopped by BYU Radio Monday afternoon to chat with my friend Matt Townsend on the topic of honesty in relationships. Matt just launched a daily talk show that also airs on Sirius XM 143! Is honesty always the best policy in relationships? The short answer — no. There are other values that often compete with telling the truth – like sensitivity, compassion, and helpfulness. Often, when a loved one asks a question, they are really asking for some kind of emotional validation. I shared with Matt that I prefer the word “authenticity” to “honesty” in relationships. Listen to our entire conversation by clicking the arrow above. I realized that I really enjoy radio. I’d love to do a radio show…stay tuned…

Does Your Child Have Anxiety? Ask These 2 Questions

The University of British Columbia developed 2 questions in screening kids for anxiety disorders:

1) Is your child more shy or anxious than other children his or her age?

2) Is your child more worried than other children his or her age?

Read more

Ask Julie: Low Self-Esteem, Technology Addict, and Fear of Relationships

Q: I feel like nothing I do matters and nobody really understands who I am. Every time I reach out to someone they let me down. I guess they just don’t care. The last few years I’ve taken to locking myself away in my bedroom to read or watch movies; it gives me more enjoyment than people do but I’m always feeling guilty about it too. I’m 19 years old and I’ve only kissed 4 guys ever, and never anything more. I’m afraid and self-conscious and I feel like I don’t get the opportunity to meet boys that other girls do. I know its my fault but its so hard to change, and I don’t know if I really want to be in a relationship anyway; I don’t think I’d be good at it at all. I’m always fighting with my parents, especially my dad; he yells at me a lot. I used to be so afraid of him when I was younger; he has quite the temper and is always criticizing me. My mother constantly nags me to go out more, to find a job, to stop watching so much TV, to eat better, to do more chores, to act older, the list goes on. I often get excited about little things and become quite childish and energetic, but the smallest thing can also send me into a spiral of sadness, anger or  frustration for the rest of the day. Both reactions seem to annoy my family. My few friends probably find it annoying too; if I could stand being thought ill of I’d probably ask  them. I always think if I were prettier or smarter or talented at anything, life would be better. I don’t want to be different or behind; I just wish things were easier. What should I do?

Read more

5 Signs ‘Blog Stalking’ Has Gone Too Far: Studio 5

Lots of us follow people we like and admire online; a favorite DIY blog or a former high school classmate on Facebook. But when does “blog stalking” cross the line? Therapist, Julie Hanks, LCSW has five signs to watch for.

1) You post more often on their page than on your own
2) You think about them when you’re doing other things (or you answer

question for them on their blog/page)

3) You talk about them in conversations as if you’re close friends
4) People can tell who you follow online when they meet you
5) Your real-life responsibilities and relationships are neglected

What are your favorites blogs to follow? Have you ever been guilty of blog-stalking?

Ask Julie: Eating Disorder, Depression, Insomnia, & Cutting


Q: I have an eating disorder, depression, insomnia, and now I’ve started cutting. No one cares. My mom said things could be worse. My dad ignores it. My boyfriend says its in my mind and I can get over it on my own. I’ve started cutting and no one knows and it’s embarrassing. I need help. What should I do? (24 yr old female college student)

A: Click the arrow below to hear my response to your question…


Click here to find a therapist in your area

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Are You Emotionally Thick Or Thin Skinned?: Studio 5

Has someone accused you of being too sensitive  or suggested that you grow a thicker skin? Or maybe you’ve heard that you’re hard to read or that you’re a tough nut to crack?Those comments may be clues to your style of processing emotions. how much of your environment you let into your being and how aware you are of your feelings.

The boundary concept was developed and researched by Ernest Hartmann, MD, of Tufts University, and this concept was expanded further in the book Your Emotional Type by Michael A. Jawer and Marc S. Micozzi. Jawer and Micozzi’s research further explore “thick and thin” emotional types, suggesting that our minds and our bodies are connected, and that our emotional type impacts our predisposition to certain health conditions. “Different people process their feelings in different ways–your emotional style is a fundamental aspect of who you are. It affects more than just your outlook on life; it can affect your very well-being,” according to Jawer and Micozzi.

Are YOU thick or thin skinned?

Take The Boundary Test

Read more