Relationship Expert Van Moody Offers Dating Advice to Scandal’s Olivia Pope

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Relationship Expert Van Moody Offers Dating Advice to Scandal’s Olivia Pope

By Van Moody

View More:’s winter finale of ABC’s hit drama Scandal promises “things will never be the same,” with another addictive episode with a near-lethal dose of murder, passion, intrigue, deceit, betrayal and retaliation. The show has received critical acclaim for its ripped-from-the-headlines storylines, fast-paced dialogue and dizzying interpersonal dynamics. It has earned its “crazytwistygood” hashtag. For 2-1/2 seasons, week after week, show creator Shonda Rhimes unravels tightly-woven tales that have viewers on the edge of their seats and set Twitter feeds ablaze. The cast even joins live chats with viewers on both the East and West coasts. It is a loyal, sacred relationship that provokes critical commentary on the tension between passion and principles, and the ways in which we lobby for, leverage and lose power in our own relationships.

Olivia Pope’s on-again off-again relationship with the very-married President Fitzgerald Grant has triggered debates about the relationship issues that many people face in their personal lives. Despite her keen sense of political strategy and cunning “sixth sense” about her clients’ guilt or innocence, she is the poster child for toxic relationships: clandestine trysts with both President Grant and Jake Ballard; dysfunctional Sunday dinners with her Dad (the head of the secret counterterrorism unit B613); and her cool, calculating exchanges with her Mom (a suspected terrorist), all while leading a team of miscreant Gladiators on their own self-styled crusades for justice.

While we all want to enjoy rewarding connections with others, it becomes essential to evaluate your relationships intelligently: What makes a great relationship? How do you keep a relationship great? What are the warning signs of trouble? While it’s so very easy to blame the other person in a distressed relationship, it’s far more effective to consider and assess the situation objectively and build your Relational IQ.

While I don’t suggest or propose to solve all of her problems, let’s look at the major signs that The People Factor cover mediunsuggest it is time for you to end a toxic relationship. It might be a good time to end a relationship when someone can’t:

  • Accept a change of status in status of your personal or professional life
  • Accept that you’re ready to move on – without them
  • Accept that you do not believe the myth you’ve created about your future

Because there are no neutral relationships – they either move you forward or hold you back – here are some principles to consider – based on my new book The People Factor – that I suggest Olivia Pope, our fictional fixer and so many other women and men tethered to sticky situations should do right now:

  • Be clear about her own life’s journey and what you want in your relationship(s)
  • Don’t get caught up in the blame game
  • Be clear about your goals – personally and professionally
  • Be brutally honest
  • Be open to reconciliation, while not putting yourself or the other person in a holding pattern
  • Recognize that the most valuable people in your life may not be the most visible

Relationships are an art, and most of us lack the skill and mastery to help break—or all together avoid—destructive patterns, disrespect, and deception. Far too many people also lack the ability to have productive connections with others—those that help you achieve goals, sharpen your mind, and generally uplift and enrich your life. Only by cultivating your Relational IQ –knowing which is which and how to turn the tide on those that are negative – can you then take the appropriate action. Not to be taken lightly, these actions and decisions can make the difference between a great, happy life, and one that is riddled with disappointment, failure and regret.

Field expert Van Moody is the author of The People Factor (an upcoming release by publisher Thomas Nelson) and a motivational speaker who advises on matters related to relationships as they pertain to friends, family, significant others and the workplace. He is a “People Scholar” who helps others build their “Relational IQ” to achieve success at home, in their social circles, and in business. He may be reached online at

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Houston Bishop Says It’s Time to Create a Safer Place in America for Our Kids








(HOUSTON – July 2) As the nation plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s time for parents to have a plan to keep their kids busy, and more importantly, safe at a time when all forms of violence are fueling fears in communities around the country.

Bishop James Dixon, the Houston pastor who is the founder of Create A Safer Place For Me, is offering his 10 Safer Place Power Tips for the summer and encouraging parents, churches, businesses, community and civic groups to share and implement these helpful ideas how best to keep kids safe, happy and active during these hot – and often – more violent summers.

Bishop_James_Dixon_Headshot_Web“The Number One concern for kids in the summer is safety,” said Bishop Dixon of the Community of Faith Church in Houston. “Most parents don’t have a safety plan, but they definitely need one. These 10 tips are just a few suggestions to help create that plan.  But I know if we all come together, we can make our communities and neighborhoods safer places for our families and kids.”

The 10 Tips were released today as part of a national movement to empower families and communities all over the country to protect their kids from gun violence.  Bishop Dixon is urging parents, teachers, and community leaders to share their tips on the Safer Place For Me Facebook page:

A Safer Place for Me is a national campaign to encourage all families of all races, incomes and politics to sit down to talk to each about how they eliminate violence in their communities, particular against children. The foundation is asking people to join him and thousands of others to fight violence.  To raise money for the foundation, Dixon II wrote and co-produced with Ernest Walker of Walker Entertainment Group, a powerful song and music video performed by a multicultural children’s choir, “Create a Safer Place for Me”. You can watch the video here:

To interview Dixon and learn more about A Safer Place for Me, contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, LLC,, 214.448.3765.

10 Safer Place Power Tips

1. Connect your child with positive people, in positive places to do positive things: A camp, a church program, a youth recreational program.

2. Schedule regular times to speak with your child by phone while you are away at work. For example, every two or three years. The important thing is to communicate. Ask the right questions to get truthful responses.

3. Restrict children from going beyond safe zones. Clearly define the people and places that you consider safe. Try and keep them playing with the same kids, in the same places everyday. Know those kids and know the adults in that place.

4. Partner with the parents of your children’s friends. Ask your kids for a list of their friends. Then reach out to the parents of those kids. Form a parental partnership. Discuss expectations, work and activity schedules, and share daily updates. Create a friends’ list with their name, address, phone number and email address.

5. Give your children a daily list of chores that must be performed in order to keep privileges. Expect and inspect to be sure they are done. Reward success and lovingly punish failure to perform.

6. Talk with kids each day to get details of that day’s experiences. How was it? What did you do? Where did you go? What time did you get there? How long did you stay? Who was there? Who did you see? Did you enjoy it? Where did you go from there? How did you get to the store? Were there any fights? Did anyone get into trouble????

7. Assign one child to be your eyes and ears. Be wise about this. A good way to keep kids focused is to make them responsible. “Call me at 12noon”. “I’m counting on you today”. “Can I depend on you to be honest”?

8. Address anything that looks, sounds or smells suspicious. Assume that something is happening that your kids are not telling you. They are kids! Investigate! Monitor their activities and associates very closely.

9. Visit the places they like to go. Make sure your presence is known by the people they associate with. Distinguish yourself as the parent who cares, is concerned and committed to your children’s well being.

10. Have as much of your children’s day spent at home or in another environment that is well ordered, supervised, positive and safe. Free time and open access to unprotected places and unknown people spells danger.

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Dallas Bishop Releases Relationships Advice with New eBook, CD Series

(DALLAS, Jan. 14) D.A. Davis, a Dallas, preacher, teacher and author, has written a new eBook series, “Unveiling the Butterfly in You” and has published a companion set of audio CDs that clearly challenges men and women to work through their struggles as the butterfly does just to live.

Davis, who is also known as the relationship strategist, uses the butterfly as a metaphor of survival and transformation through life cycles.

“Davis stated that people are tired, defeated, frustrated, hurting and disappointed with life”, due to their struggle to survive.  Davis advises that their viewpoint be changed because their latter can be greater than their former.   Davis, who has been married over 27 year’s stated that 23 of those years have been good.  A father of three children “who recommends change in how we think, because the butterfly has no choice but to embrace its struggles and work through them just to live.”


Davis’ eBook and CDs offers his readers and listeners – a rich source of useful advice in helping them cope with their struggles as he teaches them ‘strategies’ for making their journey more successful.


“Just like the butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon we humans strive to get out of our tough places (problems), but Davis offers a soothing strategy through his CD’s that will assist you in getting to the place, where you desire.  “Davis writes in his book, “When you look at your present situation and face your own reality now you can shift the odds in your favor.”


Over the years, Davis said he has counseled both individuals as well as married couples about how to make their relational or marital struggle better and it is his prayer that the CD’s will help them to redefine themselves.  At the root of many relational or marital problems are poor communication skills.  Davis draws upon his abilities to communicate effectively, leadership skills combined with his ministerial experience and practical application of 27 years of marriage to combat the forces that defy a successful relationship or marriage.

Davis offers weekly relational or marital advice on the “LIVE RELATIONSHIP TALK LINE”, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CST every Thursday evening.  Toll Free Call: (760) 569-6000; Code 474372#. To read the “Unveiling the Butterfly” series and buy the CDs, go to Davis’ website,   Any media sources interested in interviewing Bishop Davis may contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, 214.448.3765,