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4 Types of Friends: Must Friends, Trust Friends, Rust Friends & Just Friends

Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that one of the keys to happiness is strong relationships with other people.

We need to have intimate, enduring bonds; we need to be able to confide; we need to feel that we belong; we need to be able to get support, and just as important for happiness, to give support.

We need many kinds of relationships; for one thing, we need friends.

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When You Want to Change a Loved One

We know that we can’t change others. But many of us still try.

“More people suffer from trying to change others than from any other sickness,” according to psychologists Henry Cloud, Ph.D, and John Townsend, Ph.D, in their bestselling book Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Many of us try nagging, begging, yelling, guilt trips, even throwing temper tantrums and other ploys to get through to a loved one.

Or we realize that controlling someone else is simply impossible. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do – even when that person’s behavior affects us for the worse.

Or is there?

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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: December 31, 2013

"If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment." - Lao Tzu
Happy New Year's Eve! Or should I say a not so happy 2014?

When we're remorseful about the past, we're depressed. When we're worried about the future, we're anxious. Anxiety and depression are two sides of the same time coin. And since the end of the year also brings reflection and contemplation, it's makes us vulnerable to both.

For those of us who are extra sensitive to mental illness, it's important to make a conscious effort to stay present and positive during this time of the year. This may mean savoring favorable moments in 2013 or refocusing your attention on this moment instead of lingering on the one that just passed. It may mean excusing yourself from holiday parties to spend more time in nature. It may mean throwing away your resolutions list and creating a gratitude one instead.

Whatever you do this New Year's Eve, make sure to read our posts this week. Instead of a food cleanse, you'll learn how to partake in an emotional one. You'll also learn more about yourself, your relationship, as well as get a clearer picture of depression and anxiety. It's how I'm spending the last few hours of 2013. How will you spend yours?
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3 Small Steps for Accepting Yourself

Our relationship with ourselves is the foundation for all other relationships. But it's also one that we're most likely to neglect or put on auto-pilot, without much thought of improving it.

According to author Daphne Kingma, “Loving yourself is the greatest work you will do in this life.  In a sense, it is your only work.”

But accepting ourselves unconditionally isn’t easy for many of us.

What can help is taking small steps. Below, Trisha Savoia, a coach and clinical hypnotherapist, shared several steps to get you started.

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Best of the Web

Top 10 Psychology & Mental Health Topics of 2013

It's time to wish 2013 goodbye. With its passing, we -- like a lot of people -- spend some time reflecting upon the year.

We're honored to have so many people check out our mental health and psychology resources and information on Psych Central -- over 5 million people a month now. We're also home to over 200 online support groups with over 315,000 members in two communities.

The good news about 2014 is that every new year brings with it the possibility of a new start and changing those aspects about yourself that perhaps could use a little improvement. We’re here to help you with those goals.

Click through to see our top 10 lists for the World of Psychology blog, our entire blog network, and from our news bureau.

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A New Type of New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time that we attend to the tick of the clock. As we do so, we reflect on the previous year, resolving to do better this coming year.

Most resolutions people make are repetitive, year after year. We’re going to lose those extra pounds, exercise more, drink less, save money, be better organized, be more patient and spend more time with family and friends.

Wonderful ideas. So how come it takes you (if you’re like most folks) about 7 to 10 days to fall off the wagon?

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7 Tips for Sharing Your Pregnancy with Friends Coping with Infertility

Telling people that you are expecting a new family member is one of the exciting things you get to do when you're early in your pregnancy. When you announce your pregnancy to family and friends, you expect people to jump up and down, to drench you in love, hoorays, and congratulations.

However, if you have friends or family members that are suffering with infertility, there is a good chance that your pregnancy announcement will be a gigantic, painful blow to them.

It's not that they are angry with you or not happy for you. But when someone is dealing with infertility, every pregnancy announcement reminds them of what they don't have.

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Setting Yourself Up for Failure: 5 New Year’s Resolutions to Avoid Making

Ah, New Year's. The time to make resolutions... and then throw them out the window a month later, as we fail to stick even just one of them. I mean, why do we even bother making resolutions in the first place?

To complement all the great things that have been written about how to make and keep good New Year's resolutions, I thought I'd also share some of the absolute worst New Year's resolutions you can make.

You should avoid making these kinds of resolutions, because most people simply won't keep them.

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Become An Idea Sleuth: 12 Creative Tips for Generating Great Ideas

Some days the ideas simply don’t come. Your brain is bare and closed for a break. But that’s not very helpful when you have an article to write, a meeting with your boss, a looming presentation or any other project that requires new ideas and insights.

As Jack London famously said, “You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

So it helps to have an arsenal of tools you can turn to, and a system you can use every day to keep your tank full.

Here are 12 tips and exercises for finding and generating great ideas, whether you’re penning a blog post or novel, painting your next piece, starting a new project at work or need a fun activity to do with your kids.

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Bullying at Work: Workplace Mobbing is on the Rise

Mobbing is “bullying on steroids,” a horrifying new trend whereby a bully enlists co-workers to collude in a relentless campaign of psychological terror against a hapless target.

Targets are usually anyone who is “different” from the organizational norm. Usually victims are competent, educated, resilient, outspoken, challenge the status quo, are more empathic or attractive and tend to be women, aged 32 to 55. Targets also can be racially different or part of a minority group.

The target receives ridicule, humiliation, and eventually, removal from the workplace. It leaves the victim reeling with no idea what happened or why. It takes away a person’s safety in the world, dignity, identity and belonging and damages his or her mental and physical health. The effects also radiate outward toward the target’s partner, family, friends and even community.

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3 Traits of Failed Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, many of us will be sitting down to reflect on 2013 and create resolutions for 2014.

Of course, many of us also have gotten cynical about setting goals. We’ve read the stories about failure rates. And we probably have first-hand experience of our personal resolutions not working out.

But there’s usually a good reason -- several of them, in fact -- behind unsuccessful resolutions. And it’s not because you lack willpower, self-control or discipline. (Who wants to follow such punitive goals, anyway?)

And it’s not because you aren’t strong enough or smart enough or capable enough or whatever enough.

Here are three traits of resolutions that rarely work -- along with some expert insight into what does.

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