Self-Esteem Articles

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

8 Steps to Like Yourself (More)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

87a01aa040aa5b1967988e93a55a8c9cNotice the word “like.” I’m not going to be so bold as to introduce eight steps that will have you love yourself. Baby steps, right?

For some, self-love is a no-brainer. They grew up in homes where LOVE was the predominant four-letter word. Some possess too much, and like Vanity Smurf, are most comfortable with a mirror in hand. These are the loud talkers, who think that everyone 20 feet behind and ahead of them should hear what’s on their mind.

I have been working toward self-like for 25 years now and think I have about 25 more to go before I’m truly comfortable in my own skin.

Understanding the Cycle of Guilt

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Understanding the Cycle of GuiltThe cycle of guilt is the ultimate Catch-22 situation, an emotional prison where no matter what you do, you end up feeling bad. I know this place, because it’s taken me weeks to write this article, and all the while I’ve been running laps on the hamster wheel of guilt.

And it’s not just me. The subject has entered the therapy room quite a lot this summer; many people seem to want off the wheel, to break the cycle and dump the feelings of heaviness and burden.

Therapists Get Anxious, Too

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Therapists Get Anxious, TooMy heart was pounding, my breathing restricted, my hands sweaty.

My instinct screamed at me, “You’re too young to die. Turn back now.”

My rational brain said, “That’s just your anxiety talking. You’re only going up the stairs of a lighthouse.”

My rational brain also said, “Lean forward as you climb the stairs, because if your panic makes you pass out, you don’t want to fall backward into the spiral of doom.”

Can a Sex Addict Also Be a Codependent?

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Can a Sex Addict also be a Codependent?In my 27 years working with addicts and codependents, I rarely have come across a completely healthy partner of an addict. Although addicts’ partners are unequivocally not to blame for the addiction, and most certainly not the consequences of it, they certainly carry responsibility for the shared relationship problems.

The nature of shared relational responsibility is even more pronounced in the sex addict/co-addict (partner) relationship. Addiction psychotherapists all have experienced how both the addict and his or her partner participate, either actively or passively, in their dysfunctional relationship.

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True Self

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True SelfEach of us experiences shame.

“[I]t is part of our human condition,” writes author and therapist Darlene Lancer, LMFT, in Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You.

Without good coping skills, we may feel like failures when we don’t meet our own or others’ expectations, she writes. In fact, shame can even prevent us from being our true selves. Shame often starts in childhood. It can even get passed down from generation to generation.

Opposite-Sex Friendships and Romantic Relationships

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Opposite-Sex Friendships and Romantic RelationshipsWhen you’re romantically involved with someone, it might be considered taboo to maintain a friendship with a member of the opposite sex. It may be frowned upon to share yourself, emotionally, with said friend — to have conversations that are genuine and deep and filled with substance.

I personally don’t view these opposite-sex friendships in a negative light. Friendships create space in your heart for additional connections; they allow you to bond with others. And that’s not to say you won’t naturally feel more connected to your significant other.

But why give your sole attention to one person? Why limit yourself, where you feel it’s wrong to connect and be vulnerable and divulge your story to another human being, even if they are of the opposite sex?

7 Ways to Be Kind to Ourselves Every Day

Friday, August 15th, 2014

7 Ways to Be Kind to Ourselves Every DaySome people believe that if we push through the pain or are critical or even cruel with ourselves, we’ll be more successful and get things done.

But being hard on ourselves only leads to depression and anxiety, said Jennifer Kogan, LICSW, a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples and families in Washington, D.C.

When we’re kind to ourselves, we’re able to see ourselves more clearly and act in healthier ways, she said.

Some Things We Might Learn from Robin Williams’ Death

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Plato Bust“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

As shock waves resulting from Robin Williams’ suicide begin to settle, we might reflect upon what we might learn from this tragic event.

Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author of the classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, reminds us that we may sink into despair and depression unless we find meaning in tragic circumstances. What meanings and wisdom might we gather as we mourn the loss of one of our great actors and humorists — and by all accounts, a kind and generous human being?

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

Signs You May Be in a Codependent Relationship

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Signs You May Be in a Codependent RelationshipA codependent relationship is an unhealthy relationship. When someone is “being codependent,” they’re either excessively controlling or compliant in a relationship; don’t practice self-care or have much self-respect; and enable their partner to engage in self-destructive behavior, according to Chris Kingman, LCSW, a psychotherapist in the Flatiron District in New York City.

Some people believe the emotional pain in these kinds of relationships is simply a reflection of their love for each other, he said. However, “healthy love doesn’t cause pain; it heals pain.”

Sexual Addiction, Depression, and the Emotional Affair

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

JealousyI am helping my friend, I’ll call her Pam, end an emotional affair. I mean, it’s not the kind of emotional affair where she tells the guy that she loves him. They don’t have secret meetings, or talk every day, or have “code language.”

To an outsider, the relationship wouldn’t seem inappropriate in the slightest. Yet she’s invested herself emotionally — letting it take a big chunk out of her heart — which is creating all kinds of guilt and anxiety for her.

Recent Comments
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