Relationships Can Be Work, But They’re Not Supposed to Make You Feel Worthless

Photo of two hands holding up a slip of paper with the words "Am I worthless?" written on it
Image by Adinda Navartierre / CC BY

I’m happiest when I’m able to lift someone else up. To make them feel happy. Better about themselves. More hopeful.

This is true in general but especially so when it comes to those who are closest to me. When it comes to my romantic relationships.

I frankly can’t imagine getting into an intimate relationship and not having that be one of my major goals: To make that other person’s life better through my involvement in it.  » Read more

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Less Supportive, Less Responsive People Have Partners with Lower Self-Esteem

the silhouette of a person watching a TV that just has static on it
Image by Jason Rogers / CC BY

These days I live with a romantic partner who makes me very happy. Before I met them, I didn’t know this was actually possible. I’d had long-term relationships before, but I’d never been with someone who was so supportive. And frankly, even as responsive in conversation, if I really think about it (stumbling on today’s study prompted me to).  » Read more

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They Tell You to Love Yourself First, But Support Systems Are a Huge Advantage

4 hands spelling out "L-O-V-E." The hands appear to all belong to different people
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

“If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else” is something that other people basically never stop saying. Only people with high self-esteem (positive self-regard) can truly engage in healthy, long-lasting relationships, people claim. The rest of the world is out of luck. Doomed to failed relationships and/or a life alone.

And like anything that gets said over and over again,  » Read more

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What Kind of Person Is More Likely to Use a Cell Phone Dangerously While Driving?

a drawing of a no cells phone allowed sign
Image by Mike Kline / CC BY

I’m sure you’ve been there.

You’re driving down the highway, just trying to get where you’re trying to go. Staying in your own lane. Driving as safely as you can with both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road…

When you come upon someone that’s driving like they’re a zombie who stole a car.  » Read more

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A Different Kind of Self-Confidence: Letting Enough Be Enough Rather than Needing to Feel Like You’re the Best

a red beach ball floating in the ocean
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

There’s always been a lot of pressure to express self-confidence a certain way, in grandiose inflated terms, something that goes a little like this:

“I know I’m terrific. Wonderful. The absolute best. No one and nothing’s gonna hold me back.”

But for me, it’s just not realistic. When I speak the words,  » Read more

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Hey, Stop Being So Mean to My Friend: A Self-Compassion Conversational Interrupt

It's someone's lecture notes from a lecture. At the top left it reads "Self compassion Kristen Neff, PhD." At the top right, it reads "2015-03-24a, notes by Sacha Chua." Going top to bottom, left to right, first heading reads compassion. Under it it reads recognition of suffering, feelings of kindness, desire to help, shared Next heading: Self-compassion, under heading it reads self-kindness, common humanity - everyone, mindfulness, (awareness of awareness, responding vs reacting) next heading exercises, under heading is letter from imaginary friend, 3-chair (self-critic, judged, wise, compassionate observer), self-hug, caress, identify interconnectedness, noting thoughts, mindfully working with pain, mindfulness meditation, self-compassion journal, soften, soothe, allow, develop your own self-compassion mantra, compassionate imagery, compassionate body scan, identifying the trickster (ego), next heading "why is this a challenge," under heading: the need to feel better than others, parents, culture, the desire for control, map vs. territory, self-esteem opt out, contigent?, self-compassion is more helpful, love not fear, hate can't conquer hate, self-judgement can't stop self-judgement, next heading better, under heading understand, have compassion - actively comfort, replace w/kinder response (embrace & replace), next header, attachment patterns can be reformed, love, therapy, unconditional support, next header this is a moment of suffering. Suffering is a part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need. Next header. Identifying what I really want, procrastination and understand fear, self-compassion & our bodies, taking care of the caregiver, next heading phases, backdraft, infatuation, true acceptance, next header Marshall Rosenberg, What am I observing? What am I feeling? what am I needing right now? Do I have a request of myself or someone else? next header control, not thoughts but how we relate to them, observe doesn't equal believe, next header p. 53 Notice - stop & recognize, soften, reframe, next header rumination, don't judge yourself, next header give yourself, kindness & care, remind yourself pain is part of the shared human exp., mindful awareness, next header dark chocolate - happy + sad, next header, directing, loving-kindness to our suffering, identifying your relationship patterns, self-compassion break, next header releasing sexual shame, transforming negativity, take a pleasure walk, next header, the demoralizing whip, next header loveliness, I don't belong, because of focus uniqueness, us vs. them, next header perfectionism vs being human, learning, next header interconnectedness, next header suffering = pain x resistance, the more we resist, the more we suffer, next header compassionate, mind training, mindful awareness parenting, gratitude & savoring, next header finding the silver lining, keeping a gratitude journal, savor the moment
Image by Sacha Chua / CC BY

I’m standing in middle of the kitchen, clutching my head out of frustration. “Ugh,” I say. “I just wish I weren’t so freaking stupid sometimes.”

“Page,” Justin says.

I move my hand and look directly into his eyes. “What?”

“Stop being so mean to my friend.”

I crack a smile.  » Read more

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Many Loves? Well, Duh: At Least 6 Different Kinds of Love

love spelled out in heart shaped sprinkles, symbolizing the many different kinds of love
Image by jamiesrabbits / CC BY

There are so many different kinds of love. We really only have one word in English to address a wide variety of feelings. I’ve seen this play out in a number of different, problematic ways. I ran into a situation last summer where the L word got me into trouble, where what was more of a friendly love was taken as something far more serious.  » Read more

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I, Smeagol

When the Lord of the Rings movies started coming out (nearly 15 years ago now, how is that even possible?), I was immediately taken with Gollum.

Movie Gollum was markedly even larger than life than his literary counterpart. It wasn’t just his wretched adorableness — although I’m sure that didn’t hurt.  » Read more

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