Archives for Interpersonal skills

Borderline Personality Disorder

Making Decisions in Wise Mind: The If. . .Then Question

Making decisions in emotion mind often has very difficult consequences. Being in emotion mind means more than experiencing strong emotions, it means your emotions are controlling your thinking and actions. Demanding in anger a divorce (that you don't really want), quitting a job you need when upset and you don't have another one, and walking out on your best friend who you still care about are all examples of acting on your emotions in ways that hurt you.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Preventing Conflict with Satiation

When conflict with others is managed well, people talk calmly with each other and work to solve problems. Unfortunately, relationships are full of situations in which even the most skilled at remaining calm cannot do so. There are times that you find yourself saying unkind words to those you love and losing your cool when you promised yourself you wouldn't.

There are many ways of coping with conflict and with behaviors from those we love that just annoy us no end. One way to do this is to prevent the conflict from happening in the first place.  If you really don't like conflict, then preventing it may be a great choice for you. If you have a pattern with someone of  repeating the same conflict over and over, then prevention may be a wonderful choice. One way to prevent conflict is by using satiation.

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Coping Skills

Creating Hope

In 1965 Martin Seligman "discovered" learned helplessness. He found that when animals are subjected to difficult situations they cannot control, they  stop trying to escape. They become passive. Human beings are the same. If you have experienced devastating defeats, a persistent situation that you couldn't change, or experienced terror and been out of control of escape from that terror, then you may have lost hope for your ability to change your life or to change painful situations.

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Coping Skills

Your Mind is a Gifted Storyteller

Creating interesting stories is a time-honored skill and entertainment for many. A good storyteller can keep the attention of small children as well as antsy, busy businessmen. Unfortunately, your mind is also a great storyteller. Sometimes you may not realize what is truth and what is fiction created by your mind.

Your mind is always creating explanations and possibilities about the world you live in. It will interpret and make assumptions in creating its stories, about the past and the future as well as the present. It rattles on and on and is rarely even close to quiet. Your mind may have a favorite genre--suspense, drama or horror. It may also have favorite themes such as victims, persecutors or helplessness. The mind's stories are about how you see the world.

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Emotion Skills

Four Characteristics of Soul-Fulfilling Relationships

There are many ways of connecting with people. An emotionally safe, equal, and emotionally intimate relationship is likely the scariest and most challenging relationship to build, yet is also the  most likely to decrease your sense of loneliness and help with your well-being. Let's call it a Soul-Fulfilling relationship. This type of connection may be a romantic but doesn't have to be.  In a Soul-Fullfilling  connection,  you share your deepest emotions with someone in an honest, accurate way and your experiences are accepted without judgment. You can count on honest, loving feedback and give and take. You support and love in equal ways over time. Soul-Fulfilling relationships take time and nurturing to build.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Acting Opposite to Your Emotion

We often act consistent with how we feel. If you wake up in the morning and you don't feel like talking with people, maybe you don't answer the phone. If you don't feel like going to the grocery store, then you don't go. If you don't feel like networking then you cancel the luncheon. If you don't feel like being kind, you may talk gruffly to your friends and co-workers. Perhaps you even justify your actions, or attempt to, by saying, "I'm just in a bad mood."

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Defining the Life You Want to Live: Relationships

Having friendships and/or family members you feel close to is often a primary part of living the life you want to live and is one of your biggest challenges.  Interactions with others are often the most emotional experiences you have, both in rewarding and painful ways.  If relationships are part of your life worth living, determining how to make this work for you will be important.

Keep Your Priorities in Mind

Relationships are naturally full of ups and downs. There are so many times you will have urges to break off a relationship and to never speak to a person again. In many cases though, that's using avoidance and/or abandonment as a way of responding to a problem. You avoid the immediate pain of hurt and vulnerability but in the long run your relationship is damaged.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Four Ways to Increase Your Interpersonal Skills


Emotionally sensitive people experience more intense emotions that are more easily aroused and that last longer than those who are not emotionally sensitive. You react faster with greater emotional intensity that lasts longer. Your emotional reactions can be triggered by television shows, magazine articles, places that trigger memories, anniversaries and other events.  Interpersonal issues are one of the most challenging areas for you.

With a strong fear and sensitivity to rejection, even routine events such as a friend canceling lunch plans can bring on a tornado of emotions that are difficult to manage. With this difficulty in relationships, so much of life becomes stressful, such as attending classes, dating, participating in friendships, interacting in group activities, having roommates, and working with others. Some of you withdraw and become isolated as a way of avoiding the pain of relationships. Others experience anguish and suffering on a regular basis with little relief. Working on interpersonal skills and ways to manage emotions in relationships can help you reduce the suffering you experience on a daily basis. Improving your interpersonal resiliency and skills is complicated.  Four options for getting started (based on the work of Marsha Linehan, 1993)  include the following:

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