A confident young man was worried about his relationship.
Everything had been going well but then — from nowhere — he’d had a conversation with his partner that had thrown his anxiety switch.
It was almost nothing, he admitted. She’d done nothing wrong or mean. But he’d gotten the vibe that she wasn’t yet up for making long term plans with him.
“I know what I’m like,” he said. “I’m a bit paranoid. If I start thinking she’s not that into me, I’ll look for ways to get out of it. …
Are you brave?
Traditionally, bravery meant never showing fear.
But “never showing fear” doesn’t fit with a modern world. It doesn’t work for someone who aspires to be fully human in the 21st Century.
Living with some degree of fear is normal, especially right now. Showing that fear (appropriately) is healthy. And being able to manage it is a superpower.
The aim should never be to banish fear. It should be to acknowledge it and live well alongside it. It should be about doing — and being — all you can while the world rains chaos.
“Scared is what you’re…
I’m not sure who I’m writing this for — possibly no-one.
That’s because when you’re in your 20s the road ahead seems wide open, even if horribly confusing at times. You’re not thinking about how to make life good in 20 years’ time. AND your skin is still taut; you can’t even imagine slightly-wrinkly you.
And when you’re in your 40s you wish you’d known some hard truths about life when you were younger — but you also know you wouldn’t have listened. You know you had to get out there and “do it” for yourself.
The truth is the…
Do you communicate well in your relationship?
If the answer is “yes”, all power to you. If the answer is “no” then you’re probably frequently questioning why you’re together.
In reality, most of us fall into the “could do better” camp. We rock it a good day, but there are times (and conflicts) when we’re all too aware we have work to do.
Communication is one of the pillars of a healthy relationship. It’s not rocket science: it’s the easiest way of feeling connected and like you are both playing on the same team.
That’s why when couples lose their…
Are you content?
When I take on new clients I ask them to rate their life satisfaction on a 1–10 scale. (Note: 10 is as good as it gets).
Very few people give themselves a 10; you get a few 9s but most people land somewhere in the middle, between 3 and 7. But I recently saw a man who gave himself a 9.5.
Curious, I waited to hear his story. He’d suffered huge recent loss — his mother suddenly to cancer, his marriage (acrimoniously), his house (which went with the marriage) and a LOT of money.
He was working…
Do you trust your partner?
Go on, take a sneaky look at them over there, slumped down on the couch in their sweatpants, fiddling with their phone. Are they 99% trustworthy?
(By the way, 99% is the top score because I’ve allowed for human error: We all screw up a bit, forget to send text messages, turn up late, forget to pick up the milk, whatever. So 99% is Good Enough.)
When we hear about “trust issues” in relationships, we tend to jump straight into the Sex! Lies! Secrets! zone. …
You want to hit refresh on your life.
The past year has been gruelling. If not for you personally, but for many people around you, for many everywhere: loss and grief, financial hardship, unemployment, struggle.
You want to be optimistic about what lies ahead but you don’t know what lies ahead so you’re not sure how.
You’re also a little scared. “Toxic positivity” is a thing now: You don’t want to be one of those unenlightened humans who pastes over negative feelings with false, relentless brightness.
But optimism — of the realistic variety — is important because it underpins hope…
“I’m just not sure about him,” the woman said of her partner.
They’d been together a year and he’d just asked her to move in. “He’s a great guy, super-supportive and caring, but I just freak out every time the F (future) word comes up.”
“And this is really terrible of me, but I can’t help wondering if there’s someone better for me out there.”
She was struggling to unpack her feelings. Were her worries genuinely related to being with this man? Or did she have broader commitment issues that were stopping her from taking the leap?
“Commitment is an…
“I’m sick of reading about red flags,” a client said.
She’d been badly burned in a relationship and, after a couple of years in hiatus, she was ready to date again. “It seems like there’s so much you have to watch out for before you can actually let yourself like someone.”
Is he a narcissist in waiting? Does he have mother issues? A dark past? Will he have anger problems? Be a sex addict? A serial cheat? Got a family in another town?
It was a fair point. If you Google “red flags in a partner” you’ll get 22 million…
How much do you like yourself?
I know, slightly weird question. But your answer matters because it informs who you are and how you function in the world.
I’ve asked many people to rate their self-esteem — in therapy, that is. Not out on the street: That wouldn’t be a fast way to win friends.
I often use a (low) 1–10 (high) scale to make it easier to answer. But here’s the interesting thing. You rarely get 9s or 10s — most people land between 3 and 7 — so almost no-one has high self-esteem, not consistently anyway. …