What do you want to do with your life?
That’s a question we’re all lobbed as kids, in one way or another. The trouble is, we grow up (sort of) and it never really goes away. We take years — even decades — to figure it out.
And even when we get the job/career right (or at least one we can tolerate), the question lingers — or maybe it’s that it morphs into “who do you want to be”, which is one we can never shut the book on.
I’ve spent a large chunk of my life — probably too…
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you!’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’ — Erich Fromm
A woman I worked with told me she wanted a “mature” relationship.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked. Different strokes for different folks, and all that. She was 27, I was pretty sure she wasn’t meaning she wanted to date someone old.
“I just want to be with a grown up,” she said, then paused. “Or maybe I just want to act like one.”
She described a dating history peppered with ups and downs, mind…
Do you struggle with guilt?
With beating up on yourself for what you’ve done wrong or failed to do or could do better?
Guilt is one of therapy’s most common punchlines. And I say “punchline” because that’s what people do with it. Use it to hurt themselves.
Guilt is a human emotion related to the moral bar — or any bars actually — we’ve set for ourselves. When we fail to reach it, or let ourselves down, we feel bad.
We tend to feel the most guilt over things they see as “bad” or “wrong”. But it’s also super-common to…
I’ve resisted writing this for a long time —but the time has come.
The name Karen has just hit rock bottom in the popularity stakes. In the US last year, the name plunged to its lowest US ranking since 1927. In 2020, only 325 babies were named Karen.
Even then, I wondered who these (arguably cruel) 325 parents were? Why would anyone want their baby to turn into an adult who cringes when a barista calls their name LOUDLY because their coffee is ready?
Okay, I’m making this personal — because it is. In recent years, “Karen” has become a…
Are you emotionally available to others?
Most of us like to think we are — at least on a good day — but it’s not that easy to be that way consistently.
Some people find it extremely tough to connect deeply. It’s not their fault — unless they’ve made an active choice to shun emotional ties. Our genetics, early environments, life experiences and the feedback we get from the world all play a role in how we connect with others.
But for those who can form secure emotional connections — and have healthy relationships as a result — life is…
How do you describe your friends?
One of my clients had a label for each of hers. “She’s a work friend.” “He’s a party friend.” “She’s a support friend.”
I listened, intrigued. We all know different people meet different needs, but I’d never thought to categorise them: People are not that easily packaged up.
But it did make me reflect on the power of friendship. That some friendships aren’t built to last; they serve us well, then end. Or they don’t serve us well and end anyway.
And that a few — if you’re lucky — go with you all…
Dinner’s over and you head for the couch.
Your partner’s there already. They’re sexily dressed for the evening ahead in baggy sweatpants and a dirty t-shirt. Come to think of it, it’s awfully similar to your own outfit. It’s the same one you both wore last night.
You reach for the remote at the same time and prepare to debate the Netflix options — and it strikes you: This is me. This is my partner. This is our relationship. Who are we? Where are we going?
Okay, maybe you don’t think all that — but you do occasionally wonder if…
One of my kids spotted an old journal lying on my desk. Chase your dream! Chase it! Chase it! the cover blared.
“That’s a bit bloody aggressive,” she said, stabbing a finger at the journal as she sashayed past. “We got the message the first time.”
I laughed, I hadn’t noticed. But it was so true. I’m all for setting goals sand working out a plan to get there but I don’t like aggressive self-help. I don’t like SHOUTY!! life advice. I don’t believe in it.
Perhaps it’s because I know if I tried that on my clients — even…
Most people won’t open this post.
That’s because it Sounds Dumb — I know I’m alive, I have a beating pulse, I don’t need a checklist to work that one out.
Fine. Fair. You may not need to be here. But for those who are committed to doing the best they can, with the time they’ve got —you’re in the right place.
I get tired of the constant demands to live your Best Life. Or be the Best Version of Yourself. Any life — and any version of yourself — is fine, as long as you are okay with it.
Can you be too kind in a relationship?
Part of me wants to say “no”, just to encourage people to be kinder. Because kindness is one of the founding pillars of healthy, loving relationships.
But I can’t say that. Because it’s possible to overdose on kindness — and, in doing so, undermine the health of a relationship — particularly when it’s one-sided.
Having said that, there are a number of ways you can be “too kind”. As well as potentially limiting your partner’s growth, it can have a detrimental effect on your own health and ability to live your own…