Friends Articles

What It Means to Teach People How to Treat You

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

What It Means to Teach People How to Treat YouWe often hear the advice that it’s important to teach people how to treat us. But what does this really mean? What does it actually look like?

According to marriage and family therapist Michael Morgan, teaching people how to treat us is a process that involves teaching them “what is acceptable and unacceptable. It is knowing what we need and want and being able to communicate it effectively to others.”

7 Tips to Avoid Letting Money Negatively Affect Your Relationships

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Money Lock

It is said that money is one of the No. 1 challenges in relationships; however, it is not just the lack of money that causes problems. The pursuit of money and the use of money are also capable of challenging, if not destroying, our relationships.

As we put a firm step into the New Year, here are some reminders for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones, business associates, and with yourself. These golden rules can take you farther than simple riches can.

Introversion Versus Shyness: Drawing a Line in the Sand

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Sarah Newman and her French Bulldog KeatonI’ve heard these two words used interchangeably, perhaps because being introverted often goes hand in hand with staying home a lot. But there is a big distinction between the two. If you don’t recognize that, social anxiety can take control of your life.

I used to use introversion as an excuse. It was an excuse to avoid parties, an excuse not to make new friends, and an excuse to bury my face in my phone in new social situations.

6 Tips for Building Emotional Muscle When Life Gets Tough

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Woman outdoors holding flower smiling

If your emotional muscle is damaged from the past, it’s up to you to build it back up.

The scenario happens so often, it’s practically cliche:

A woman or man in an “unhappy” marriage meets someone new. Instantly, there’s a powerful connection, and maybe even an affair occurs; and, instantly, this person thinks she or he now knows how to be happy again.

Feeling Down? Three Attitude Changers for a Happier Life

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

just-be-happy-positive-psychology-smiling-woman

Are you buzz-killing your own joy? Here’s how to tell…

Gift-giving time? Skip the over-priced mall-bought gifts forgotten the day after a birthday, an anniversary, etc. There is a better gift to give everyone — it will change their life and yours.

Embrace the concept that there is treasure in everything and fully trust that you are in the right place, at the right time. Decide that you are in charge of your life and your happiness. And the best way to share the gift of happiness with others is through gratitude.

Think you already have an attitude of gratitude? Well, think again.

The Power of Vulnerability to Create Intimacy

Friday, January 9th, 2015

classically_vulnerable_stockII_by_moonlitdreamer_stockTo be alive is to feel insecure sometimes. We’re wired with a desire to feel physically safe and emotionally secure. Our heart longs for love; we want intimacy to feel connected with the fabric of life — and not so painfully alone.

Being human means being vulnerable. We may open ourselves to another person, only to have our sensitive heart met with the rough shards of shame and criticism. As our overtures for connection are met with rejection, we may keep ourselves hidden to protect our tender heart.

Questions for the Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, & Rebels

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Rubi_9780385348614_roughpages_8.25.14.inddI haven’t posted about my Four Tendencies framework in a while, but never fear, I’m still obsessed — and today I have some more questions for you readers.

I developed this framework for my book about habits, Better Than Before. (Which is now available for pre-order. Buy early and often!) I have to say, of everything in the book, I think this section is my greatest intellectual accomplishment. It was very, very challenging to develop this framework, but I really do think it sheds a helpful light on human nature.

Learning from Abusive Relationships

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

When Depression Becomes DepressingRelationships are hard for everyone, but especially for survivors of child abuse. Before I started my recovery work, I spent years in relationships that were obviously abusive and damaging to my emotional wellness, but I was too blinded by my own trauma to see it.

My family had always taught me that survival depended on having a man in my life. In my family, women kept abusive men around because of this belief.

It was critically important for this to be ingrained in each family member as early as possible. There could be no understanding of their individual power. They must believe they could not survive without a partner or the abuse might not be tolerated.

How to Deal with Mental Illness Stigma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

How to Deal With Mental Illness StigmaI’ve seen the worst of it. I’ve been asked if I’ve ever killed anybody and I’ve seen the disgust on people’s faces when I disclose the simple fact that I have schizophrenia.

Nine years in and this illness is so much a part of who I am. I imagine it’s the same for others in my boat, that not disclosing feels like I’m leaving a major part of myself out of the conversation. It’s become such a defining characteristic that I feel like I’m lying to people if I don’t eventually tell them.

The thing with me, though, is that I’m so practiced in social interaction that you would never be able to tell that I have schizophrenia.

Turning Down an Invitation from Misery

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

optimism_vs_pessimismIn the new year, I will be embarking on a new chapter in my life. My husband and I will be moving from New York to California. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, this should be the perfect opportunity to use some of the coping strategies I’ve learned in therapy. But I’ve already hit a snag and I haven’t even begun packing: No one seems to be happy for me.

My oldest friends, all of whom I’ve known since I was a teenager, don’t have one good thing to say about our big move.

When I say, “I’m moving to L.A.,” people seem to think I’m asking them, “What do you think of Los Angeles?”

Ways Winter Can Boost Our Mental Health

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Ways Winter Can Boost Our Mental HealthSome have an aversion to winter, and can you really blame them? There’s chatter surrounding possible storms or blizzards. There’s loneliness, depression and anxiety that may be coupled with the holiday season. And then there’s the chronic cold that dares people to pack their bags and book a tropical getaway. (Or at least think about making a great escape for warmth.)

However, winter can rejuvenate our spirits. Here are several ways this chilly season can boost our mental health:

How Identifying a Kindred Spirit Can Battle Low Self-Esteem

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

best friends

If low self-esteem had a Constitution, its First Amendment would be: I hate myself.

Its Second Amendment would be: Everyone hates me.

Illogically, maddeningly, this Second Amendment haunts even the most introverted among us. Not that the Second Amendment of Low Self-Esteem causes introversion, but rather that naturally born loners who are unlucky enough to start loathing themselves often fall under the tragic enchantment of thinking themselves universally loathed — believing it so deeply as to turn their lives into aim-to-please performances.

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