With so much (rightful) attention being paid to physical abuse and domestic violence, I wanted to also shine some light on emotional abuse, which can be just as psychologically damaging. But it is also, in some ways, easier to rationalize. People who are being emotionally abused might downplay their own victimization by comparing themselves to people who are being physically abused: “Well, I’d never stand for that!”
But are you accepting treatment that you shouldn’t? Are you being emotionally abused? Here are some indicators.
We’ve all been there: stuck on the one that got away. If you’re having trouble moving on, this post’s for you.
Every parent has had that feeling at one point or another. It could be an error in judgment, a moment of frustration, a public spectacle, a comparison to other people’s kids… Lucky us, there are a ton of scenarios that can evoke feelings of anxiety, insecurity, self-doubt, and self-laceration.
What if you’re having those feelings with some regularity? Here are ideas of what to do.
All grief is painful, and it never feels simple. But complicated grief is its own category: It’s when time is moving on, but you’re not; the loss and sadness won’t let go. Maybe it still doesn’t even feel real to you, no matter how much time has passed.
Here are some thoughts on how to begin to pull out of the quicksand.
It’s not an easy thing to do, especially if your parents never modeled it for you or if you’re in relationships where you tend to feel devalued. But assertiveness is a skill you can learn, no matter how old you are. Here’s how to start.
Many of us are involved with narcissists (people who have difficulty empathizing with others, and behave accordingly, often manipulatively.) The narcissist may be your parent, your significant other, even your child. In order to decide what your options are in this relationship, you’re wondering: Can a narcissist change?
In this social media-saturated, smart phone world, it’s harder than ever to be present. And healthy relationships require presence. Giving someone your full and undivided attention makes them feel valued and secure. If we never turn off our phone and really focus, how can we expect our children to do so?
Here are some ideas for how to be present, and how to model that for your children.
For some people, opening up comes easily (maybe too easily–which leaves them prey to manipulation or rejection or worse.) Some people never open up at all. The healthiest approach is the middle ground: Finding a person who is worth trusting, and then taking the emotional risk of opening up. In many cases, the best way to heal old pain (including childhood pain) is to build a healthy, mutual relationship.
Once you’ve determined that a person is worthy of your trust (for more on how to make this determination, read my post Who Should You Trust), you might find you’re still holding back. Here are some ideas on how to break that cycle so that you can create connections that heal past hurt, instead of reactivating it.
Once you’ve been burned (especially if it’s by a parent in your early life), it can be hard to open up again. In some cases, with some people, you really shouldn’t open up. But how do you know who you should trust, and who you shouldn’t? And how can you learn to trust yourself to make that determination?
These are equal opportunity parenting tips. They apply no matter the age of your kids (be they toddlers, teenagers, somewhere in between, or even adult children.) Once you’re a parent, you can’t really quit or retire, so might as well keep doing it better.