Learning to Love Yourself
with Habiba Jessica Zaman, NCC, LPC


Standing Up For Yourself Is A Skill- Not A Given

Strong people are made- not born.

Absence of being able to effectively set boundaries is often seen as weakness, though I will ask, how are you to be expected to set strong boundaries and stand up for yourself when you were not taught the skills to do so?

Many reflect on their childhoods and exclaim that their parents made sure to teach them to “not back down, stand up for what you believe in, finish the fight, or even don’t let anyone bully you”.

My father especially shared all of those with me and still, when it came to asking for what I need, I was unable to do so.

Standing up to strangers or walking away from it was easy enough, but setting a boundary with a loved one? No.

Often times, even when we are loved and nurtured and taught to fight for ourselves, unless that message also applies to be able to fight for our needs against our early childhood caregivers without consequence, we grow to be adults who struggle with setting strong boundaries.

Consequence here refers to any reaction to your boundary that would make you feel as though you are mean, inconsiderate, thoughtless, selfish, hurtful etc.

Do you equate setting boundaries with loved ones with being one of the above?


Playing Good Cop/ Bad Cop in Parenting- Does It Work?

All parents, I can confidently say, have fallen into the parenting trap of being the good cop or bad cop from time to time.

While married, I was typically the bad cop who enforced the rules, managed the schedules and basically the one on the front line of this wonderful battle called parenting; often leading to tantrums, tears and tumultuous attempts at consistency. Our lives reflected the imbalance of maintaining structure given that I worked while the children were at school, and he didn’t make it home until dinner was close to finished.

When their father came home, he was greeted with smiles and excitement because he was, by nature, the fun playful father or in other words, the good cop.

As you are reading this you may smile in recognition of these dynamics or eve roll your eyes in resignation if these are reflections of a part of your parenting regimen. Sounds harmless I’m sure, however, these polar dynamics can instill patterns in behavior that can become challenging in fostering and maintaining healthy relationships.


Why So Anxious?

To say these times, feel very uncertain would be a terrible understatement. Our world, humanity and economy seems to be coming apart at the seams causing great unrest and anxiety for us all.

It has become a challenge to be able to mitigate and combat...


Shouldn’t Hold On, But Can’t Let Go

Ever wonder why a person who is not healthy or good for your mental health, is still the person you cannot seem to let go?

You are a person of sound mind and seemingly justified in your rational decision-making skills and yet when it comes to this one person, it seems as though all logic dissipates and you are a version of yourself that you cannot comprehend or recognize.

Is it that person that is ultimately worth more than yourself?


When Your Intuition Says No, But Your Insecurity Says Yes!

Why We Chase Approval

Ever find yourself pining after and seeking the approval of those who may not truly influence your day-to-day existence, whether it be a coworker, colleague, acquaintance or someone you recently started dating? Thanks to the multitude of positive memes and quotes, we are able to recite that our worth does not reflect on the other's ability to notice it, and yet there is this pull to convince them that they are wrong in their judgement of us.

If you are living your life to the best capacity of who you are at the moment, why do they matter? Why do we continue to defend our versions of the truth in hopes that seemingly and ultimately unimportant passersby hold their views of us in positive regards?


What IS the Big Deal?

Understanding the Real Reasons Behind Conflicts

In my work with couples, a common theme is that they are having the same fights over and over again. Typically, these arguments are not serious in nature, yet, over years of having the same disputes, the emotional intimacy begins to break down.

What is emotional intimacy?