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...


The Problem with Saying Yes

Do you believe that relationships are built on doing what others want you to do?  Many emotionally sensitive people believe just that, though they may not be aware of it.

When you believe that, you act as if saying "yes" is the way that you keep people in your life.  Or maybe you worry about friends, family, and strangers experiencing pain or discomfort and don't want them to be upset, so you say "yes" to most requests when you really want/need to say no.


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 important to do so, or you share information that you promised to keep private.

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 being with them, you want to socialize more.

There are many reinforcers for behavior. Among the naturally occurring reinforcers, social reinforcement is one of the most commonly occurring. Social reinforcers come from other people and  include smiles, hugs, praise and attention. Social reinforcers are powerful.  Acceptance and approval of others means you are part of the group/family and communicate that you are a lovable person.

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 it differently. But you can't just let her walk all over you, right?

Coping Skills

Coping with the Post Holiday Let Down

You survived the holiday. Maybe it was a good holiday, one you enjoyed. Then suddenly Monday comes, the Monday that all goes back to the same routine. Not only are you hit with all the issues that have been put on hold for two weeks, you also hear about the fantasy holidays that some people enjoyed. Suddenly your holiday pales in comparison.