Your children are like so much wet cement according to Time Magazine, in that they are impressionable at an early age. Your words and actions make impressions that will ‘harden’ over time and guide their sense of identity. A large portion of our job as parents is to guide, shape and correct them. When shaping behaviors, it is important to guard how much you criticize vs praise those you love. The same thing applies to your partner. Is complaining your habit? So what is the magic ratio?
Lies come in two large categories. One is to save face and the other is manipulation. You could also call these categories white lies and strategic lies. I’m primarily interested in self-deception, which comes under the heading of saving face. Or maybe hiding, or disguising, your true face, into one you believe is acceptable. Read more
Sometimes when others criticize us, especially those close to us, or those in power over us, it is as if a fire alarm goes off in our brains. It can put you on the defensive very quickly. What if you could change this clanging into something that actually made you more productive? What if you could soften the sound to some gentle chimes that made you say, hmmm, what about this has me paying so much attention?
This is a matter of asking yourself the right questions. It is a way to receive criticism that you can teach yourself, instead of responding like it’s a three alarm fire. Here’s a few questions to get you started. But first a personal story.
I don’t actually place too much stock in New Year’s resolutions. In the past when I have, they are usually too big or not sustainable, and by January 31, I’m like meh. This sucks and I don’t want to do it any more. So then I let the unmet goals go until the angst over not getting enough exercise or being unable to wear the clothes that are two sizes past creep up and make me feel defeated again. This is the hamster wheel of my own anxiety spinning around in my head. It can turn into a bad case of the “What ifs” if I don’t follow my own advice. You know, doctor, heal thyself. So I make sure set goals I can achieve, I get competent help, and I pay attention to self care. All of that allows me to do what I do best, which is to help you tame your anxiety. But if you are feeling a little shy about seeking help, or unsure of what to expect in therapy, please let me demystify it for you. Read more
What the heck is the sunk cost fallacy? We worry about things we’ve already lost. Humans have evolved to worry about scarcity. It is how we stayed alive. But now, it has evolved into the idea of always getting our money’s worth.
There are many reasons why people engage in procrastination. Here’s my opinion of the top five, and how to get off dead center when you’re “in the stew.”
What do I mean by your inner bully? Simply put, it is self criticism. And why would you want to put a cork in that beast? And furthermore, why bother, since no doubt you think being self critical is a valuable habit that will improve your performance and keep you safe. The paradox is that the self criticism will stop you from doing something that you fear failing at, or that might result in a painful consequence like rejection.
People who know me understand how I define anxiety. One version is rumination. This is when you are focused on the past, on memories about something that occurred. Perhaps it was a conversation that went wrong, or you are worried about someone’s opinion of you in those circumstances. Or it is this…
Being lonely is part of the human condition. We all succumb once in a while. Here are nine things when lonely you can do to change your mood. And remember, moods and feelings come and go. That is their nature. I would love your comments, and invite you to add the “tenth thing” to the list. You will have to read to idea #7 to understand the photo here!
When clients tell me they are just anxious and don’t know why, especially when they awaken with a certain physical dread of the day, it is sometimes tough to help them understand that they have fallen into an anxiety habit. I’m not talking about PTSD or trauma induced anxiety, I am referring to a sort of low level thrum, almost like a slight electrical current that runs through their body, that can be easily heightened when a trigger occurs. Your mind takes you there faster than a speeding train! What kind of anxiety triggers you ask? Read more
PAGE RUTLEDGE, LCSW, CHt | Couples Counseling
5006 Randall Parkway (close to UNCW)
Wilmington, NC 28403
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