I know there have been several questions on this site regarding preferences for solitude, but most of these questions have come from people with diagnosed disorders such as depression, social phobias, PTSD, etc., and the answers provided have been framed in the context of the relevant disorder. My concern is that, despite being depression and anxiety-free, I am becoming increasingly rigid in terms of my willingness to spend time with others, and it is affecting my relationships negatively. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and required a certain amount of time alone, but I’ve also always had plenty of friends and a pretty normal dating/relationship history. However, over the course of the past year or so I have started to really prioritize solitude over spending time with friends, family, and romantic partners to the point of avoidance. It’s not that I’ve become apathetic towards these people or that I’ve stopped liking them. In fact, I still have a strong desire for affection, friendship, and intimacy, but only in VERY limited quantities, and anything beyond that feels like an obligation. To give you an example of what I’m talking about, my girlfriend lives about 100 miles away, so spending a whole lot of time together during the week is not really feasible. Because of this she would really like to drive to my place after work on Friday, spend the weekend with me, and leave Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately I can’t even begin to fathom spending that much time with someone -even someone I love- and so I always have to come up with an excuse for why she would need to leave Saturday morning or afternoon. And to be honest, by Saturday I’m literally counting the minutes until she leaves so I can be alone. I don’t want to be this way. It’s not fair to the people in my life, and I feel like I shouldn’t be in a relationship, even though I am very much in love. Any insight into my problem would be greatly appreciated!
Many people young and old, male and female, struggle with recognizing their self-worth and their true potential in life. Often we are our worst critics. Most of us would gasp in horror if we heard another person speak out loud the thoughts we tell ourselves because it would be considered abusive!
Recently, as I was speaking to a group of young people and their parents on the topic of self-esteem, we broke down the definition of what self-esteem truly means. This is an interesting concept and I think helpful to break down into segments.
- To esteem something is to hold it in high regard, to treasure it, to value it.
- The self is you, the individual
How amazing it would be to think of your self in this manner. Is it possible to hold yourself in high regard, to value yourself, and to treasure it – i.e. to treasure you, the real you?More
Big successes are easy to spot but sometimes small accomplishments are overlooked.
If you want to celebrate the success of others, therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW says to look beyond appearance and praising what really matters.
What is praise?
Praise is simply the expression of approval or admiration of something or someone.
Why we sometimes hold back praise or compliments?
It’s a risk to share our thoughts and feelings, even if they are positive. We might feel embarrassed, awkward, insecure, or fear rejection.More
Whether it’s physical appearance, parenting skills, possessions, talents, homes, weight, success, money, creativity, marital status, our children’s behavior…it seems that we women view other women’s success as a threat to our own worth. In order to manage our own fears and insecurities, we try to prove that we are “good enough” by one-upping someone else. While this may lead to temporary feelings of validation, it never leads to long-term feelings of self-worth. Why do women compete with one another? Here are a few common reasons that competitive feeling can settle in:
I’ve started thinking of my past life and how naive I was. Then horrible memories have come back to me. When I was around 9 going to 10 I was molested by a teenager. It made me cry almost thinking how stupid I was by listening to the molester telling me what to do and threatening to tell my parents what he did. I thought I would get in trouble so I let him do what ever. It happened for almost 2 years and I kept it secret. I was even more frightened that he said he planned to bring his friends. Then when I was in middle school, we moved and I finally told. The officers didn’t do anything because there wasn’t enough evidence.. I felt stupid for not telling and to this day, knowing he’s still out there.. I wished I was strong. This really affected me making me more naive, confused, and depressed as the years went on. I have felt sexually attracted to older men wanting them to touch me. I was even willing to risk my life by walking around my neighborhood hoping I would get captured and raped. Then I met my ex boyfriend. He changed me in a way but wasn’t what I thought we would be. I believed in my ex boyfriend and allowed him to have sex with me whenever he asked and I fell in love. It didn’t end too well.. I changed after that situation and I hate my old self right now.. please give me words of advice..
Our goal this month on Studio 5 is to help you “Live without Pretending.” We’re giving you a chance to put that theme into practice, starting with the conversations you have every day. Therapist Julie Hanks says it’s time to stop pretending you’re fine, when you’re not.
When someone asks, “How are you?”, do you automatically say, “I’m fine”? If so, you’re not alone. “Fine” seems to be the default answer for many of us. Sometimes we’re not fine but we feel like we should be fine. Here are some ways to stop pretending you’re find and become more authentic.More
I need help” are often the hardest words for women to say. But therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW says learning to ask for help could change your life.
Why it’s hard to ask for help
We’re afraid people will think less of us
We’re afraid of rejection
We’re afraid of looking weak
We’re afraid of looking imperfect
Did you know that Cosmopolitan Magazine has a regular marriage column? I didn’t know until I interviewed with the talented and witty writer Kristina Grish, who chronicles the ups and downs of her own marriage in her monthly Cosmo “Love, For Keeps” column.
Check out page 122 of Dec. Issue (yes, the one with the lovely and insanely talented Taylor Swift on the cover) or download the pdf below.
The approaching holidays can be exciting, overwhelming and hard all at the same time. Here are some tips to not only survive but thrive during the festivities.
1. Live “whole-heartedly” during the holidays
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston coined the phase after conducting thousands of interviews studying happiness and connection. ”Whole-hearted living” means letting ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen. Loving with our whole hearts, even when there’s no guarantee. Focus on what is really important.More