20 thoughts on “Unhappy? Asking Yourself These 5 Questions Will Help

  • June 11, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I really like your articles and I follow them here. I am stuck in point 3, the one about resilience. I find I am ever more fragile and it’s hard to get back at living. It takes me longer. I will try your advice about being in the drivers seat and being proactive. Thanks

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I found your suggestions to be very thought-provoking and helpful.

    However, I don’t think these issues are exclusive to daughters with unloving mothers. They also apply to those with unloving, absent (for whatever reason) and critical parents of both genders, and are true for all people…not just daughters.

    • June 15, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I agree with you… But the blog is about the mother-daughter relationship which is why it’s written as it is. Peg

  • June 15, 2016 at 11:27 am

    It would have been appreciated by this reader if the focus of the article was inclusive of lesbian relationships. The dynamics are different though and would probably need a separate article. Nonetheless just assuming your audience is heterosexual leaves many of us out. I would have wanted you to be clear from the beginning that you were writing for straight and/or bisexual identified women.

    • June 15, 2016 at 11:51 am

      The word “men” is used once, and was not meant to exclude anyone. That said, there is no research that I know of that confirms that attachment style is gendered or has anything to do with sexual orientation.

  • June 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I joined a dance class, but my old patterns of feeling and acting are back again, and I am put in impossible situation being labeled as silent or non-friendly, which just adds to the pain. I can’t seem to break that pattern, it’s like a curse, the more I’m around people the more I feel unconnected.

    • June 15, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Hi S, I can fully identify with you! Having always been shy, I have often felt most lonely in group settings, especially when dominating people with large personalities were present. I give up too soon when others push me and others aside. I think my behavior may be due to my personality (rather introverted) and/or childhood issues, which left me feeling unloved and worthless. My biggest challenge is to handle rejection, to not personalise it (the rude waiter in the restaurant probably wasnt abrasive because of me, he doesnt know me and doesn’t care one bit). I take from the article that I need to be in the driving seat and be more pro active and positive. The moment I fear rejection, I need to push on, not run away and I’m sure I could have more happiness and connectedness in my life. Thanks for the ideas!

  • June 15, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I haven`t read your book. The title being Unhappy? Asking Yourself these 5 Questions Will Help. The site says you wrote 11 books. I notice the site reads Knotted The Mother -Daughter relationship. I was wondering this applies to women. Since you wrote 11 books do you have anything that applies to men? My question is what about the Mother-Son relationship? Ironically my mother died in January 2013 in her room. She was a retired and widowed LPN from a city hospital. She also had Dementia and glaucoma and a few other ailments. She was 88 years old. And my father her husband died in 1996 at 72 in a nursing home. He was auto mechanic.My younger brother also John died in the World Trade Center on September 11.He leaves behind a wife and two sons in New Jersey.Aside from that I would like to know if there is a questionnaire for the male gender.
    Keith C.

  • June 15, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    I think it depends upon the era in which one was raised. I know today everyone seems to be seeking happiness. My mom’s mother had died when she was eight. She also had to deal with being crippled by polio. By the time I came along she was still grieving the death of her first child. There was no hugging or I love yous said in my family. Support, was coming home from school and having a meal waiting, having clean clothes to wear, having a roof over our heads. My mother had her way of doing things and thought her way was right. When I got married and had my own home, I realized a lot of stuff she thought was right could be done differently and better. It was a wonderful revelation for me as an adult. Am I happy? Sometimes, sometimes I’m miserable, but not because of my childhood. I left that behind when I made a life for myself, one that has had both good and bad. Even so,I have many fond memories of living at home with my parents to this day. I also have a lot of respect for my mom because she managed to raise us even though her life was a damn sight worse than mine has ever been. When I’m feeling down, all I have to do is think about what she endured and my problems don’t seem quite as bad. I recently lost my first child. She was 34 and mentally ill. She kept checking her feelings all the time. “Do I feel happy or depressed?” She had a therapist and a husband and me. We all listened. “Oh you’re feeling bad? Let’s talk about it.” Lots of hugs and I love yous. She was showered with them. She hung herself a little more than a month ago.

    • June 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Judith, I am so sorry for your loss. You sound like a really wonderful, balanced person, and I hope you will get through the difficult times with the same grace and fortitude that have carried you through your life. God bless.

      • June 17, 2016 at 10:12 pm

        Thank you StoryCharms. It does take a lot of thought and a lot of consideration to be balanced as you point out. It also takes quite a bit of standing outside of yourself, or putting yourself aside, while trying to see things from the other person’s perspective. Some people are just awful, no excuse, they are determined to remain awful because their will is bent that way. Most though are a mixture of both good and bad and so is life.

    • June 17, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      Oh my so sad. Thanks for sharing this. You’re very brave.

  • June 16, 2016 at 12:09 am

    My mom was loving but unavailable emotionally to protect me from being hurt. At 40, am still struggling with emotions and thus lead an isolated life. I swore never to be a mother because I would never want to subject any child to what I have been through. This article has confirmed all my fears, it is never easy.

    • June 16, 2016 at 6:23 am

      I’m not sure I understand how your mother could be both loving and emotionally unavailable since being emotionally available is an important component of love. And what do you mean “protect you from being hurt?” By others? The article wasn’t meant to confirm your fears but to allay them, actually. Peg

      • June 17, 2016 at 11:46 pm

        My mother was really cruel to me as a child and still, really can do some astonishingly callous hurtful stuff but I hate bashing her and don’t but I’ve suffered all my life in every area of my life. I can’t make a connection with a healthy man at all. Any specific suggestions or books I could read in these areas. Thanks for your valuable time.

    • June 16, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Koughnet I know exactly what you mean by loving and unavailable emotionally. Sometimes people express enough that they love you and are not consciously harming towards you in any way but do not have the ability to be emotionally supportive or available because they were not shown any support in this way themselves so the act of being that way is foreign. I have been this way myself and am D in the article but I so want to be A so have been using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for a few years to break down the emotional walls I have put up and I use mindfulness by watching how others relate to each other in an emotionally available or supportive way in order to learn these new important behaviors. It is hard but can be done with EFT and determination to grow and develop. EFT practitioners (or use You Tube!) can help you do it.

      With dedication with the right man I am now happily married after overcoming some hurdles and having a child has actually helped me to grow and develop by using the triggers my son ignites in me with his needs and my reaction to them in order to experience the emotional trigger and then use EFT to eliminate the feeling which allows the energy space for a more loving reaction. We are getting better and better everyday. He is helping me grow. He understands what I’m going through and feels good that he is helping me to grow and heal.

      My husband is A or maybe B in the article (extremely loving and emotionally supportive) in our relationship so he is really helping me to move up the ladder. Healing relationships do exist you just have to believe and want them. πŸ™‚ And yes you can be happily married and be a D! Just as you can be loving but emotionally unavailable. Hard for others to understand I suppose unless you are living the reality of it.

      • June 17, 2016 at 11:56 pm

        Wow. I enjoyed reading this. I’m exactly the same way I simply don’t know how to be loving and emotionally supportive the way I feel is beneficial to others nor do I know how to allow someone to be this way for me. Crazy. I’m going to look into this EFT.

      • June 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

        I know the answer and the cure for developing emotionally supportive behavior.. learn to validate other people’s emotional reactions. Peg wrote an article about it. You should read it. Changed my life today honestly. I’ve read something about it a little while ago and tried it out on my son the other day and OMG instant turn around to emotion! It just neutralized his emotional reaction! Basically when someone is angry or upset about something you say “its ok I understand you feel that way since that happened and its normal to feel that way” and because their feelings have been heard, understood and appreciated, they feel validated and that is how to have a healthy response to someone else’s emotional response. It took me a while to remember to act in this way but now I’ve seen the response it is actually quite obvious thats what people want you to say. Anyway, when you are feeling awkward about doing this in a situation where you are not used to having to do this and it feels new and foreign, it may bring up emotion that you are not expecting (since you will realize, possibly subconsciously, that you didn’t get validated when you were a child) which may be weird and a barrier to actually validating someone’s emotions. It is this I would suggest using EFT for. I use it to break down barriers all the time in order to be able to get closer in different ways. It brings up a lot of suppressed tears when you finally do feel full validation and support from someone and EFT is just so awesome for shortening the time to recover from the subconscious emotional responses. Its instant for me, most of the time. Thanks again Peg! One of the most insightful things that ever happened to me reading your article about Validation today πŸ™‚

  • June 18, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Indeed, this problem is happened more and more often between mothers and daughters. For us hard to find emotional balance because at the one side – we want to help each other, and on the contrary – we still have our own deeds, and all seems to us impossible.

  • June 22, 2016 at 6:49 am


    I’ve been doing a lot of reading about attachment types and just come across your site, from what I’ve read elsewhere I’m pretty sure there is a mistake in your page:

    ____ B. I am uncomfortable getting close to others. I want emotionally close relationships, but I find it difficult to trust others completely, or to depend on them. I worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others.

    ____ C. I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don’t value me as much as I value them.

    “…B to preoccupied, C to fearful…”

    I’m pretty sure they are the wrong way around, B is actually the description of fearful and C is actually the description of preoccupied.



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