Archives for August, 2012

Family

Too Much Confrontation? (Confronting Friends, Part 2)

Confrontation with anyone, let alone our friends, can be difficult. One of the skills we hope to develop is how to speak up for ourselves and advocate for our needs with other people. This doesn't only mean learning how to ask for what we want, but also learning how to confront others when we feel wronged or in some way upset by them.

When strengthening a previous area of personal weakness and...
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Divorce

How Do I Convince My Partner to Start Therapy?

I am often asked the question of how to get a friend or a partner to enter (their own) therapy. This can be for any relationship partner, including platonic friends as well as romantic partners. These partners or friends usually fall into two categories: 1) People who we see are in genuine need of assistance (to the point the person's struggles are visible to others); or, 2) people we are generally frustrated with (,...
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Friendships

Overcoming Social Anxiety: How to Meet People

If you've read part 1 and part 2, I hope they have been helpful in learning more about social anxiety and the complexity of its nature. This will be the last post in this mini social anxiety series, which will focus on overcoming social anxiety and meeting people.

Social anxiety shares psychological avoidance properties with other phobias. Basically, the more a...
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Friendships

Why am I Scared to Meet New People?

"My close friend, my only real friend, invited me out for dinner last week. I was so excited because I hadn't been out in over three months and just craved social interaction. We were going to go for some pizza and then play some pool. But a day after inviting me -- three days before the plans were going to happen -- he told me that a...
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Divorce

When is it Time to End a Relationship?

Many of us have been there at one time or another -- in a relationship that is causing us stress, maybe too much stress. There is potential for the relationship to fulfill our ideal, but something keeps it from getting there. We end up battling, at times to our own emotional detriment, to keep the relationship going even through a steady lack of fulfillment.

Sometimes we break up, get back together, frustratingly chase...
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General

How Justifications Impact Our Mental Health

It's something most of us have done at one point or another. We find reasons to fulfill urges that we know are not necessarily good for us. Maybe we justify having the dessert we know we should avoid; or we find an excuse to buy that piece of furniture we know is too expensive and don't necessarily need; or we justify having that sushi dinner that's beyond our financial...
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Family

Do “Right” and “Wrong” Exist?

The simple answer is, yes. There are generally agreed to certainties in the world that can be viewed in terms of "right" and "wrong." For example: two plus two equals four; an apple is an apple; and so on. But, the less simple answer is that the concept of "right" and "wrong" is often misused, which causes unnecessary conflict and contention in relationships of all kinds (partners, friends, family, etc.).

On a regular basis,...
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Divorce

“My Partner’s Ex is Ruining Our Relationship!”

Have you ever been in a relationship (or known someone who has) where your partner has children from a previous relationship, and the ex -- the children's other parent -- becomes a constant negative presence in your relationship?

Being in a relationship with the custodial parent of a broken family can present its set of challenges (whether or not you bring your own children to the relationship). When there's an adversarial relationship between your...
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General

What Attracts Us to Bad Relationships?

What qualities do you look for in a partner? Charming, sweet, good smile, sexy, smart, good to their family and so on? So many people look for similar qualities in a partner, but it's common to see people in relationships where their partner can be hurtful, neglectful, disrespectful, or downright mean at times.

How did they end up with this kind of person?

Attraction is an interesting and tricky psychology, and in order to shed...
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