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Willa Ford

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Page 31 of 115

ON THE SCENE Connect More Authors Paul N. Weinberg and Dr. Susan A. Dyer talk intimacy and connecting in their book, The I Factor Words by Vanessa Pascale We live in a technologically-driven time, where our hi-tech devices play a pivotal role in our lives – navigating us to desired locations, facilitating convenient bill paying, updating us on friends' happenings and the foods they had for brunch… you know, the important stuff. Though our smartphones and tablets are essentially helpful tools, they can also become an obsession and distraction. How often do you see people out for dinner, who should be conversing and enjoying one another's company, buried in their phones? Look around, it's happening. Sadly, it's become the norm. Texting, instagraming, tweeting, facebooking, emailing – "social interaction" is rampant. But what happened to connecting with the person in front of you? Where'd the intimacy go? Why aren't we connecting on a deeper level? Fortunately, I was introduced to a book that has the answers: The I Factor. Co-written by Paul N. Weinberg and Dr. Susan A. Dyer, these amicable ex-spouses, who have remained friends nearly 20 years after their split, created an insightful book about intimacy and connecting in your personal relationships. Informative and succinct, the book has been well received by the likes of Larry King, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, and Sofia Vergara. The astute authors of The I Factor answered some questions for Miami Living, and here's what they said. Miami Living:What initially sparked your interest in writing The I Factor? Paul:After Sue and I split up and started dating again, I found it difficult to connect with the women I met. One woman I was seeing asked me what exactly I wanted in a relationship and my one-word answer was "intimacy." It was at that point that I began compiling a list of short insights, which ultimately became the framework for this book. Sue:When Paul told me about his idea for a book, I expressed an interest in writing it together. The combination of our male and female perspectives – with an emphasis on our commonality – allowed us to create something unique and interesting for everyone. ML: The "I" in The I Factor stands for intimacy, correct? Paul: Yes, the "I" stands for intimacy. It also relates to the "I" in iPhones, iPads, and the Internet, all of which can have a detrimental impact on our intimate relationships. Finally, the "I" stands for yourself, and the need to balance the "I" with the "you' and the "we" in an intimate relationship. ML:What did you find is a major factor that hinders intimacy in relationships? Sue: The major factor that hinders intimacy is fear. Fear of abandonment (i.e. fear of judgment, rejection or loss) and fear of engulfment (i.e. fear of being controlled or of losing oneself in the relationship). ML: The core of the book focuses on intimacy and how to achieve it with helpful "insights." What tips can you give readers to ensure that they will employ what they've read in their lives daily? 30 MIAMI LIVING Sue: Be yourself and also be open to other people's experience. Even if you fear that other people won't accept you as you are, stay true to yourself and maintain your integrity. Those who accept you as you are and support you as you grow will be the ones with whom you'll have deep and lasting connections. ML:What did you discover is the most significant difference between men and women and how they handle intimacy? Paul:We deliberately avoided gender differences or making generalizations based on male and female stereotypes. Instead, we refer to masculine and feminine qualities that exist along a continuum and are embodied in all of us. In fact, our focus on the similarities rather than the differences between men and women is what sets our book apart from other relationship or self-help books. ML:What else sets The I Factor apart from other self-help books? Sue: Our book is a quick, easy and fun read that's accessible to everyone, and well-suited for today's wired, fast-paced, and multitasking world. The ideas are distilled down to their essence, with humorous and apropos quotes and cartoons sprinkled throughout. ML:What advice from the book have you found the most useful, that you employ in your own life? Paul: Doing our best to avoid judgments, or least, learning to recognize them when they occur. Judgments separate us from those around us, including not only those closest to us but also those we've just met. ML: I especially enjoyed the quotes and cartoons on the opposing pages —whose idea was it to include these? Sue: It was Paul's idea to include cartoons and quotes as humorous and thoughtful breaks between each insight. It was my idea to correlate the cartoon or quote to the insight, so that they reinforce and/or illustrate each other. ML:What is the one thing that you want readers to walk away with after reading The I Factor? Paul: That emotional intimacy, separate from love or sex or any of the other things we associate with relationships, is very different and much more nuanced than we could possibly imagine. Sue: That the most important relationship you have is with yourself, that the only person you can change is yourself, and that as you change, your relationships will also change —I guess that was three things. The I Factor is available in print and ebook versions through Amazon and the Apple iTunes Bookstore. For more info visit: theifactor.comML

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