Anxiety and Panic

Dear Friends: Why My Anxiety Ruined Our Relationships


It's not for the reasons you think.

Dear Ex-Friends,

You might have remembered the first time we met. More than likely we instantaneously clicked and thought we would become BFFs. We probably called each other almost every other day and planned out life events together. We probably really loved to be in each other's company because we were just "so much alike," and I couldn't speak highly enough of you.

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Children and Teens

5 Tips for Reducing Ever-Growing Mom Guilt

Moms tend to feel guilty for all sorts of things. They feel guilty for working full-time or part-time. They feel guilty for not breastfeeding or for stopping too soon. They feel guilty for not being able to join their child’s field trip. Again. They feel guilty for taking time for themselves. For not cooking from scratch. For the dirty clothes in the corner and the dirty dishes in the sink. For not making enough money. For making mistakes. For being too tired. For anything.

As psychotherapist Krysta Dancy, MA MFT, said, guilt “begins in pregnancy and childbirth -- all the different ways to give birth -- flows through infancy -- feeding choices, sleeping philosophies -- and never lets up.”
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Ethics & Morality

How to Keep an Open Mind — Even During an Election Year

The presidential election is less than six months away and we’re all starting to feel a little fed up. Judgment, opinions, shaming, and finger-wagging are happening all around us. The news media can pump into our homes 24/7. We’re all left thinking, “Can’t we just vote already?”

You know how you feel. You know your values. You’re capable of digesting information and making a decision -- you do that all day long. And you’d definitely be more open to hearing new perspectives if people were respectful of that.
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Anger

6 Tips for De-Escalating an Argument

Arguments are a part of most relationships, friendships, and workplaces. Humans are social creatures, and inevitably we will come across a person's perspective or a topic area with which we disagree. While we try our best to be respectful, it can be difficult keeping things neutral.

If arguing is a normal part of life, how do we do it better? How can we de-escalate an argument, keeping a minor disagreement from turning into a major blowout?

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Children and Teens

Fear of Missing Out Affecting Your Family? 7 Tips to Help

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a trendy term today. Which might lead us to dismiss or minimize its influence. But for many families, FOMO is a real problem that impedes their connection.

According to psychotherapist Rebecca Ziff, LCSW, FOMO depletes the quality of family time. She’s worked with kids and teens who aren’t able to enjoy downtime with their families because they worry they’re missing out on social functions with their friends. Which means they aren’t fully engaged or present with their families. Understandably, this leaves parents “feeling undervalued and ignored.”
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Anxiety and Panic

6 Incredibly Effective Ways to Love Someone with Social Anxiety


How to nurture your relationship with your socially anxious partner.

What is social anxiety disorder? It's a type of anxiety disorder characterized by fear of negative evaluation or humiliation, concerns about the judgments of others, and worry that one will be rejected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it's one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting around 15 million people in the United States.

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Friends

Having Trouble Making Friends? Stop Obsessing Over Yourself


It's actually pretty simple. “If you want to be interesting, you have to be interested.” These are the famous words of my husband’s grandmother. She took conversation making seriously, and understood the golden rule of friendships -- put into people what you want back.

When it comes to making friends, we all pretty much understand the same principle applies: to have a friend, we know we have to be a friend. But sometimes this isn’t so straightforward, and is harder than it seems.
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Bullying

Kill Them with Kindness

“Matt, you are too sensitive,” a family member said.

I chafed at the label. Sensitivity, within my immediate family, is disparaged as a sign of weakness. Stoicism, with the occasional angry outburst, reigns. Feelings? According to my family, Oprah and I should schedule couch time to discuss them.

In my world, feelings predominate. My mood and emotion vacillate based on a heart-warming compliment or stinging rebuke. When feeling well, I exude confidence and joy. When feeling down, I ruminate and question. Feelings -- and a willingness to experience raw, unfiltered emotion -- define me.
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Bullying

The Hidden Face of Mental Illness

It breaks my heart every time I see it. A morning scroll through my newsfeed only to find a GoFundMe posting for funeral services of someone I knew in high school. Sometimes it's drugs, other times, suicide. Tragedies that could’ve been avoidable. People taken too young, too fast, too soon.

Every time I see their faces, I think back to what I may have thought of them in high school. Was I mean? Did I make fun of them behind their back? Did I avoid them? Was I nice? After all these years, I can’t really remember. Though I know I did my best to treat people with kindness and respect, it’s possible I joined in on the judgments or comments others around me made.

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Autism

Autism and the Gift of Friendship

When you have an autistic child, you try your hardest to socialize him. Autistic children have difficulty with being social and understanding even the simplest things such as carrying on a conversation.

For this reason, psychological and educational organizations have developed what’s known as the “social group.” This is a group activity where autistic kids can essentially “meet and greet” and work on things such as talking to each other, empathizing with each other and simply enjoying each other’s company.

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Friends

Hushed Tones Speak Loudly

When we communicate with other people we have the choice to speak, listen, respond, or be silent. We choose to talk in loud, moderate, or hushed tones. Depending on the content and context of our dialogues and how we feel about the person or subject, we share with some degree of forcefulness or gentleness.

While speaking in loud tones produces immediate attention, speaking in hushed tones does not minimize. In fact, often it maximizes the attention given to the speaker or the topic at hand. It is a powerful tool to quiet one’s voice when revealing something serious or important. Speaking quietly works well when sharing something private or personal, when teaching a child self-control and listening skills, and when making a strong point without fanfare or volume.

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