Relationship Advice: Looking Back at 2018

By Lisa Kaplin, Divorced Girl Smiling Contributor, Psy. D., CPC, Certified Life and Executive Coach and psychologist

2018 was the busiest and most productive year of my career. I traveled seventeen weekends to train others to become life and executive coaches, I led communication and women’s leadership courses, and I worked with my individual life and executive clients. I certainly hope they all benefited from their time with me. However, I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who learned the most from them. Here is some relationship advice, based on what I learned in 2018.



1. We are all afraid of something and pushing past that fear is often monumental. Having someone hold the space for us to talk about that fear and to not judge it, is what so many of us want.

2. Full acceptance is what all of us seek, yet rarely find. So many of us struggle with the pain of being judged by others.

3. Apparently, it’s hard to find good listeners these days. So many of my clients rarely feel heard. I see this as an opportunity for all of us to practice our listening skills and share them with the world.

4. Clear, direct, and open communication also seems to be lacking in many situations. My clients taught me how they open up to others, share their feelings, and generally seek to have healthy communication in all aspects of their lives. Doing so can be scary, but leads to really lovely results.


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5. You can’t “fix” other people and you don’t need to. So many of my clients learned to let go of trying to change others. In doing so, they found themselves and those around them to be happier and more open to change.

6. Lots of us have been scarred by others’ judgments around learning and education. When we tell children that they aren’t smart enough or can’t learn something, they believe us and they carry those beliefs into adulthood. We are all brilliant in our own way and believing so gives us the freedom to take risks and learn more.

7. Family is truly a mixed bag of love and misery. Accepting that and celebrating it makes everyone happier.




8. Companies also have their fair share of drama and toxicity. Souls are being crushed in the workplace, and it’s leading to serious emotional and physical consequences. If this doesn’t change, we are going to have even more challenges in the future.

9. Raising one’s consciousness is the quickest and most effective way to finding joy. When we hide our feelings and ignore them, they grow and lead to more misery and stress.

10. Trusting ourselves and our ability to thrive through anything is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. My clients and students showed me this time and time again. It was an inspirational sight to behold every single time.


I am so incredibly grateful to all of those who shared their lives with me this year. My clients and students made me a far better person. They gave me hope for a world divided and a better future for all of us. There is so much good in our world if we look for it. Luckily for me, much of it showed up in the people that I got to work with. I chose this career because I wanted to help others. I think I have done that, yet the real truth is that they have helped and inspired me far more than I ever could have predicted.


Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people. Make 2019 your best year yet!


relationship advice

Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today. You can reach Lisa at or  This article was originally published here.

Like this post? Check out, “14 Pieces of Great Relationship Advice”


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