Self Esteem Category
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Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity
Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity (part 2)Suggestions to help limit catastrophizing and to alleviate self-destruc...
Nine Charactertistics of Anger Behavior
Characteristics of Anger Behavior: You don’t own or state your feelings directly—you slam doors, call people n...
Six Key Factors To Assess in Yourself and Others
Assess Six Factors in Others and Yourself Whether you are learning about a prospective mate, deciding on a new business part...
5 Tips For Parenting Adolescents: Part 5
By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC In part four of the series, we discussed ways to balance between short and long term goals in our ...
Your Choices and Meditation
You go through life automatically, not feeling quite right but not knowing why. You go to a job you hate, come home, make din...
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Wait. Now that you are a grown up person, who is making the rules for your life? Who is telling you what to do? Your boy friend or girl friend? Your parents? Your friends? Are you allowing others to make deceisions for you? Why is that?
Life is tough, and Murphey's Law is always hanging around (What can go wrong, will go wrong). You cannot make life go away, not really. 10 beers, 6 glasses of wine ,9 Schnapps, or various drugs will make you feel good, then zoned out. You are trying to forget about the awful event you don't want to face: your supervisor, your wife, you lost your money at the poker table, death of someone in your life, breaking up.
Trying to forget something, does not make it go away. You just keep trying to forget, but it's still there. So, the best thing to do instead of covering up your situation by running away, is to stop, turn around, and face the bad situation head on. You wi...
By Matt Sandford, LMHC
In a previous article I provided some helps for sorting out the differences between Shyness, Introversion and Social Anxiety Disorder. This is a companion piece meant to offer suggestions for addressing the skills of the person struggling with shyness. I believe it can certainly be helpful for those who identify as introverts or those struggling with SAD as well. Let me here explain something specific concerning introversion. Unlike shyness and SAD, introversion is a personality trait, and therefore the goal, my goal, is not to change it. No one’s personality needs to change in order to be fulfilled and be their best self. Our goal should be to mature, to grow. We may need to become more comfortable with who we are, but we don’t need to change our identity. Maybe you need to understand and discover your identity, but that’s not changing it. My desire is to provide some helpful skill development, but what that means is simply developing and honing...
By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
Everybody is wounded. It’s like we’re in a worldwide war that is always going on. From the time we were young there was shooting going on around us and sometimes we got hit. Maybe we got hit by a random bullet of shame or judgment or ridicule from a loved one? Of course they also could have been well timed sniper attacks by those who wished to take us down? Maybe we got caught in the machine gun cross fire of attacks between parents or family members? Maybe we were the victim of a tank assault that blew our church apart? Maybe it was the grenades thrown by bullies at school? Whatever kind of attack it was, I believe that no one arrives at adulthood unscathed. There’s just too much shooting going on for someone to make it with no wounds. And that includes the perpetrators, those wielding the guns and pointing the mortars and grenade launchers. Because I believe the book by Sandra Wilson, with the title, Hurt People, Hurt People. Heck, that is...
By Matt Sandford, LMHC
This two part series on how to increase one’s social skills and confidence in social interaction is a companion piece to my article on Shyness, Social Phobia and Introversion. Part one proposed the need for trying new approaches in terms of social interactions, offered some places to look in making new friendships, and then provided strategies 1 and 2, which were, I Don’t Know What to Say, and I’m Afraid to Initiate. Here are the final three strategies.
3. What If They Think I’m an Idiot, or Something Worse!
We now have to consider the seemingly unpleasant prospect – that someone does respond poorly, or rudely or belittles you or your opinion or comment. There’s no getting around the reality that there are insensitive and small minded individuals in this world, who are self centered or just plain mean. But I think it helps if you can remember that if someone like that has a poor opinion of you, that it actually says more about the...
When I think of all of the patients I have worked with over the years I think of all that they have accomplished through the trusting relationship we were able to create. I know how much courage it takes to look inside oneself and learn how to shine light into those dark places. In a recent conversation with a patient she was struggling with why she continued to have the same negative thoughts. I validated her feelings and supported her emotionally and as I sat there with her she eventually blurted out (much to her surprise) what the real problem was. I heard the pain and we worked on the negative belief. She showed great courage in continuing to work on the issues instead of running away or hiding as she had done in the past. It was amazing to be with her through this and to see the strong capapble woman she was. It reall does take a lot of courage to go inside.
Self-esteem and resiliency
Recently, I was thinking about self-esteem and how it has been reviled and misused since its implementation in U.S. schools, beginning in the late 1980s until 2002. Well-intentioned lawmakers declared that people who had high self-esteem would be immune to drug addiction, crime and a plethora of social ills.
Naturally, there was a strong backlash against this self-esteem movement. As an example of its opposite, China is often cited as a nation of high-achieving children who were verbally abused by their parents to motivate them to succeed.
The truth of the matter is that true self-esteem comes from within and results from the recognition of our unique strengths and abilities, while also acknowledging our weaknesses. It is part of building a strong, healthy sense of self in the world. Real self-esteem and acceptance of ourselves cannot be shaken by life’s hardships and obstacles and may actually help foster resiliency. And with each obstacle we overco...
Even as adults, we strive to feel like we fit in somewhere. Whether career wise or with a group of friends, we want to feel included and feel like we matter as individuals. When this is threatened, our defenses can come up and cause conflicts. Seeing others as part of a group and you are not, can make you feel hurt when you are not accepted. You might feel that this is a knock on who you are as a person and that you are simply not “good enough” for who you are. It can be taken as a personal assault on your character and the result can be feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety.
How do you overcome the feeling of not fitting in and being left out? First, recognize that it is not necessarily related to a personal flaw in your character or something that you did. It could be a number of reasons that a group has left you out. They may be a shallow group who have a sense of superiority and only include who they feel meets some standard (whatever that may be). It may be that...
A clean bill of health. Those are words most of us like to hear from the doc following a visit. There’s nothing wrong with feeling healthy. But this saying has morphed into a stigmatizing way of viewing STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). If you spend anytime on dating and hook up sites, you’ll see some people write that they’re “clean” and they’re hoping that you’re “clean” too…clean being a euphemism for not having an STI. The implication is that if you have an STI, you are dirty. It sounds awful. And dehumanizing.
I take offense at this for several reasons. First, practically speaking – an infection or virus doesn’t make a person clean or unclean. When we have strep throat or a wart on our finger, we are not all of the sudden dirty. You simply need to take some penicillin or get the wart burnt off. But since an STI is a by-product of sex, it is somehow more distasteful. This language exposes our culture&rs...
The power of hypnosis is incredibly subtle and quiet. Following a hypnosis session, changes began to happen at a level just below awareness because they are taking place in the subconscious mind. In my experience, clients forget that the changes started happening while in the hypnotic session and believe that they are occurring randomly.
The greatest satisfaction for me is to witness the clarity of recognition in clients as they become aware that our work began when the client decided to contact me to schedule an appointment. From that point onward, we became a team and the power of two people working towards a common goal using the power of the subconscious mind can be extremely strong.
I believe that each one of us has within us an immense store of possibilities and capacities, way beyond our imagination. By tapping into that well, we unleash powerful forces for change and for spiritual and emotional transformation. In general, most clients I've met have low self esteem, which tend...
I was recently reading a blog in which the author – a mother of a young boy – was bragging that her son is “all boy” – meaning he is rough and tumble and plays with trucks, guns, and GI Joes. I found this offensive. What about the boys who like Barbies and arts and crafts are sensitive? Are they not complete boys? Are they somehow deficient? Would she be less pleased with him. It seems strange to me that we are still playing into gender stereotypes about masculinity in men and boys.
This creates potential problems for anyone who identities as male. The trans man has to figure out and come to terms with what his masculinity looks like. The gay 16 year old who likes drag has to accept that he can be feminine and still be a man. The straight man who holds his feelings in hears from his wife that he is emotionally distant, while he’s simply trying to be the “strong one”. It even makes life difficult for people who identify as straight female...
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