The phrase JUST BE YOURSELF has always confused me when it comes to relating to other people. Obviously we all want to get along with others. We want this because it just feels nice, and because relating well to others is correlated with all kinds of perks like better health, an increase in happiness and a longer life.
Recently I had to print out and LOOK AT financials from my practice. When I saw the numbers my heart sunk. I felt that I hadn’t done well last year. I felt that I had slacked. And that made me feel guilty.
Then I stopped myself from heading down this path and began talking to myself…(not aloud. well maybe aloud). So this is how the self-analysis went down.
When you get the call or arrive to see someone who is depressed it can feel overwhelming. You may want to help but you may not exactly know how. You may feel at a loss for words, unsure of what direction to take or feel downright helpless. And as a therapist I have noticed that feeling helpless is one of the emotions that humans dislike most.
A client came in and told me that she felt terrible. “Why?” I asked.
“Well, I was with a friend and she told me that she landed her dream job. Making four times as much as me. I wanted to be happy for her, but I just felt jealous. I felt like we weren’t in the same league. All I could think was that I could never have what she has.”
Mantras for the not so positive-a primer for taking the very first step.
I am a therapist. I am also big on working with people in ways that I am willing to work on myself and that have actually worked for me or others rather than giving the textbook answer. In short, I try my best not to be a hypocrite. I also know that people are different than me and some interventions will work for them even though they never worked for me. For example, the extrovert who has issues with sharing the microphone with someone else. Definitely not an issue I have but can still offer solutions none the less. If you read about change the list is usually the same-journal, vent, write down triggers, write down alternatives, blame your mother. And these things work well blaming your mother actually doesn’t work. But what about when you have it down? What about when you are not actively needing day treatment or twice a week therapy. What then?