What if You Were Wanted?

Think about your family and friends. Why do they make time for you in their lives? Why do they want you around? I think many of us aren’t sure how to answer these questions. We see the things we don’t like about ourselves and wonder why anyone would choose us instead of someone better. And yet, we want relationships. A common response is to try to change ourselves into someone more desirable.…

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What is Saving Your Life Right Now?

We generally know what’s making life hard, but how often do we take the time to notice what is helping? Every year, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy reflects on the question inspired by Barbara Brown Taylor’s memoir, Leaving Church…What’s saving your life right now? I think about this question every so often. It’s easier to find an answer in some seasons than in others. I appreciate that Anne’s yearly link-up comes in February when winter has already out stayed its welcome and spring still seems impossibly far away.…

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How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

The words used to label those who have a habit of people-pleasing aren’t always very complimentary. Doormat. Pushover. Wishy-washy. Indecisive. Spineless. Brown-noser. Goody-goody. Teacher’s pet. Yes man. Weak. A common idea about people-pleasing is that it means we’re weak. If only we were stronger, more decisive, or better we wouldn’t struggle with these ways of trying to earn approval. At first glance it makes sense, doesn’t it? If we give in to what others want we must be weak and the solution must be to be stronger.…

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8 Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser (and an Invitation)

For many of us, people-pleasing is such an ingrained pattern that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. People-pleasing can seem harmless. We’re trying to keep other people happy after all…where’s the harm in that? Maybe we don’t get what we want sometimes, but is that so bad? We don’t always notice the ways people-pleasing undermines us, our relationships, and even the people we’re trying to please. My intention here isn’t to tell you that you’re bad and you need to be better.…

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Stay with Yourself

How do you like to approach the New Year? Does this time of year get you excited for planning and goal setting? Do you relish the opportunity to reflect on the past year? Do you wish all the talk of resolutions would just go away? Personally, while I do take some time to reflect and to look ahead, I also try to pay attention to what I need right now. I find it especially hard to dream about the future and to treat the past gently this time of year when it’s cold and dark and I’m tired from the holidays.…

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Take a Minute to Breathe

When was the last time you took a deep breath? Check in with your shoulders—are they relaxed or tensing up toward your ears? Are you holding tension in your jaw or anywhere else in your body? Do you feel calm and present or is your mind swirling with worries and things to do? Even on an average day, many of us get so caught up in tasks, worries, and interactions that we forget to do something as simple as pausing to take a deep breath.…

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Is it Truly Generosity?

Our motivations for why we do what we do aren’t always as straightforward as we’d like to think. When we do something to make someone else happy, we might be genuinely motivated by generosity. There may, however, be other factors at play. We might be hoping to win approval, secure a sense of belonging, or increase our chances that the favor will be returned later. We may want to feel good about being a generous person or have a desire to appear generous to others.…

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Are You Ensuring What You Don't Want?

We don’t want to get hurt. We don’t want to be disappointed. We don’t want to risk experiencing our worst fears coming true. We do so many things to protect ourselves. But, so often, the harder we try to protect ourselves, the more we keep ourselves from what we really wanted in the first place. If I fear rejection, I might avoid giving people opportunities to reject me. I might never extend invitations.…

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When Someone Disagrees with You

There are people who love finding someone who disagrees with them so they can have a debate and try to prove the other person wrong. I am not one of those people. On the contrary, when someone disagrees with me, I worry that they’ll think I’m stupid or that that they won’t like me. I worry that a disagreement will turn into a conflict that will destroy our relationship. I grew up thinking disagreements and conflicts were a sign that something was wrong and that they should be smoothed over as quickly as possible.…

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When Someone is Unhappy, It's Not Your Fault

What do you do when someone around you is unhappy? How do you feel? It can feel pretty uncomfortable even if I know their unhappiness has nothing to do with me. It’s extremely uncomfortable if I think someone is upset with me. When someone isn’t happy, it’s natural to want to find a way to cheer them up or fix whatever is wrong. This is especially true for those of us who have a tendency toward people-pleasing.…

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