Hitting the Pause Button

Emotionally sensitive people are not comfortable with conflict. When you are in conflict there is usually a sense of urgency. That sense of urgency makes you want to take action, even when there is no reason to take action, because you feel threatened by...

Coping Skills

Your Emotions Are Talking to You

When you're with other people - a friend, a stranger, or a family member - you experience emotions. Lots of them.

Some of those emotions are pleasant and some are not so pleasant. Some will be so powerful that you'll shout at people, hate people you used to love, and exhibit all sorts of behaviors you later regret. Or you'll keep it all inside and vow to never leave your house again or to at least stay away...


Relationship Effectiveness: What to Do When You’ve Messed Up

You've been there. We all have. You say or do something to damage an important relationship.

Maybe you lose your temper and tell a loved one to get out of your life. Maybe people are counting on you to do something and you let them down: You forget to make a bank deposit, you back out of a planned vacation at the last minute, you lie about something important, you don't show up when it was...

Borderline Personality Disorder

Emotion Regulation: Observing and Describing Emotions

As a child, you learned the labels for what you were feeling from your caregivers. Is that tightness in your throat fear or excitement? Is the tension in our muscles anger or fear? Those around you gave you labels for what you were experiencing in your body with statements like, "You're such a ball of nerves today," "Stop crying, you're just mad you didn't get your way,"  or "I'm guessing you're pretty mad at your mom."


Borderline Personality Disorder

Coping With Extreme Emotions

Extreme emotions can be so painful. Who wants to experience intense pain? Avoiding them or trying to not feel them doesn't work. For the emotions to pass, you have to experience them. When you experience them you are likely to feel strong urges to...

Borderline Personality Disorder

When You Fear You Don’t Fit

Reinforcement is a term used in operant conditioning to refer to anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur.  If every time you stay home on Sunday night your child performs better on the tests on Monday, and you are more likely to stay home because of that, then your child performing well on Monday tests reinforces your staying home the night before. When other people reinforce you for...

Borderline Personality Disorder

Accurate Expression

Imagine that your daughter is late coming home. It's 3 AM and she hasn't called. The roads are wet--it's pouring rain. You are terrified. The minute she finally walks in the door, you're angry. You scream about how inconsiderate and irresponsible she is. Then she's back out the door, yelling that she hates you. You sit with your head in your hands. So many times you've been through this and promised yourself you'd handle...

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