More Than Just the Facts

Things happen. Our lives are filled with interactions and occurrences, both big and small. How we interpret all those happenings has a huge impact on how we experience our lives. Our understanding of what happened is an interpretation. We are meaning seeking creatures. When something happens, our minds want to know what it means about us, about the other person, and about the world around us. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, especially for those of us who tend to try to assess whether other people are pleased with us, it’s important to remember that the meaning we assign to a given interaction or situation is not the objective reality.…

»

They Didn’t Like Your Answer… Now What?

It’s natural for people to feel disappointed if we decline their request. People may even be surprised at our no, especially if they’re used to us agreeing to what they ask. Most of the time when we say no firmly and kindly they’ll respect our decision, even if they wish we’d chosen otherwise. Sometimes, however, the other person might push back. If they use anger or criticism or blame to pressure us to change our minds, it might mean their request was actually a demand.…

»

How to Say No in a Way That is Firm But Kind

Sometimes no is the right answer for us to give, but how do we actually say no? The word itself is so simple—only two letters—but it can be a difficult one to say. We’ve looked at three reasons to say no when that is our honest answer. Now, let’s the words we actually want to say. I know that when I’m nervous about giving someone a no I tend to go to an extreme.…

»

3 Reasons for Giving an Honest No

I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to do something, even if I really don’t want to agree. Saying no can feel hard for any number of reasons… We’re afraid the other person will get mad at us… We don’t want to appear lazy or selfish… We don’t want to seem mean or rude… We take responsibility for making sure others are happy… We want to feel needed… We want to avoid conflict… We’ve developed a habit of always agreeing… We want people to like us… We don’t want to disappoint anyone… We’re afraid of missing out… Any of these sound familiar?…

»

4 Useful Questions to Answer Before Daring to Ask

It can be hard for us to let people see what matters to us. We may try to pretend to ourselves and to others that we don’t have needs. What if they think what I want is silly or selfish? Requesting something from someone else can feel very vulnerable. What if they say no? What if they misunderstand what I’m asking? What if it doesn’t matter to them what I need?…

»

What Do You Like About Yourself?

When you think about yourself, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do your thoughts go to things you love about yourself? Are you quick to note all the things you wish were different? Are you more likely to focus on your opinion of yourself or of other people’s opinions of you? If I asked you to tell me your favorite things about yourself, would your answer come easily? Would you struggle to come up with an answer or feel hesitant to share?…

»

How Does Pleasing Others Really Feel?

There are many reasons we choose to do things that will please others. Those choices can be rooted in love or in fear. They can spring from generosity or obligation. We can do things for others with joy or resentment. Recognizing the difference is a key piece in shifting from depending on external validation to trusting ourselves more. Those of us who can get caught up in people-pleasing tend to focus a lot of energy on our thoughts.…

»

Do You Know the Secret to Meaningful Relationships?

Have you ever done the group activity where each person writes something they like about you and all the slips of paper are collected so you have an envelope of warm fuzzies to cheer you up when you’re having a bad day? At its best, it’s a valuable exercise. It makes us think about what we value in each other and share things sometimes left unsaid. All of us need to be reminded of the good qualities others see in us on the days we just can’t see them in ourselves.…

»

Two Ways to Feel More Connected in Your Relationships

What are you looking for in your relationships? I think most of us want to be seen and loved for who we really are. We want assurance that we don’t have to change ourselves in order to belong. Why is this so hard to find? Is it because we know the wrong people? Is it because there is something wrong with us? Is it something else? It often seems like people, even my friends, don’t really know who I am.…

»

For When You Struggle to Trust in Your Worth

There are a lot of things I want to do. There are many people I’d like to get to know and already established relationships that I long to take deeper. Sometimes I take a step toward one of these things, but often I stay stuck where I am for far too long. I tell myself that I can’t do it because I’m not smart enough or talented enough or don’t have enough training.…

»