12 ways to learn to love yourself.

By David Joel Miller.

The way you treat yourself is the way others will treat you.

Child and adult on beach

Love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Feeling loved begins with learning to like and then to love yourself. Loving yourself means you are gentle and caring towards the person you will spend your life with – you. Children who grow up never being shown they are loved may find it hard to think that they deserve love. Here are some ways you can create that feeling of being a valuable loved person.

1. Turn off the noise – disconnect from social media and others opinions.

A sad fact of modern life is that with more ways to connect people are feeling less and less connected.  Frantically posting and liking people on social media can create a false sense that your worth as a person is dependent on how many people like you and your posts.

The person whose opinion about you most matters is yours.  What other people think about you is not something you should be focused upon.  Stop comparing yourself to others.  Stop rating yourself.  Work on doing more things that you can feel proud of.

2. Spend some quality time with yourself.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your happiness will come from the time you spend with others.  Balance your time with others and your time alone.  Being alone should not be the same thing as being lonely.  Work at making your alone time an opportunity to rest, recharge and work on yourself.

3. Make meal time an adventure not a chore.

Think about all the times that you have shared food with someone else.  Shared meals are a part of many celebrations.  Couples go out to dates over dinner.  Family share meal time. Share some time with you. When you eat invest some time in making special things for yourself, experimenting with new foods and making your individual meals something special.

4. Make bedtime and sleep important.

Sleep is an important component of the happy life.  Not getting enough sleep will leave you grumpy and irritable.  Value yourself enough to make rest an important part of your daily routine.  Staying up late doesn’t make for a happier life.  Putting off bedtime is trying to borrow hours from tomorrow to extend today.  The consequence of this is you shortchanged your tomorrow.

5. Maintain your body; you deserve it.

Take good care of herself.  Beyond the sleeping and eating part get plenty of exercise.  Do those things each day that make you feel valued and loved. Pamper your body.

6. Stop and savor the good things.

Difficult, painful times will be easy to remember.  The happy events in life are harder to capture.  Make sure you spend the time observing and studying the good things that happen in your life.  Commit the flowers, the sunrises and the sunsets to memory.  Make a point of noticing and returning each and every smile you receive.  Share all the happiness you can, and you will never run short.

7. When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up.

Be kind to you. The evidence tells us that beating someone up will not make them a better person.  A little bit of kindness for yourself and others goes a long way.  Compassion spent on yourself is never wasted.

8. Save some treasured mementos.

It is rarely the expensive things in life that bring the great joys.  Hang onto those little keepsakes that remind you of the fabulous adventures of life.  Those little pictures that your child draws, the craft projects they make in school, all add meaning to your life.

9. Learn to laugh.

Laughter is not frivolous.  The more you laugh, the more your soul matures.  People who smile and laugh more become happier.  Don’t wait to be happy to laugh, laugh to be happy.  Time invested in watching comedy, swapping jokes and gaiety will yield great dividends.

10. Have time to play.

Time spent playing is fundamental to creative pursuits.  Playing was someone can develop and strengthen relationships.  Play with your child.  Play with your friends.  Make having fun part of your time budget.

11. When something is wrong, take care of it.

People who love themselves do not hide from life’s problems.  When there something wrong the sooner you take care of it the better.

12. Save your stories.

As you move through life, you will experience things. These become your life stories.  Hold on to those stories.  Retell them as you can.  Writing out the stories of your life can become very good therapy.

Try to do some of these self-loving activities each and every day.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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Reasons you’re feeling lost in life.

By David Joel Miller.

Common reasons people feel they need to find themselves.

looking for directions.

Lost in Life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Have you ever felt lost in life?   Are there times when you’re not sure where you’re going, how you’re going to get there or even what you should be doing?

There are a number of reasons why it may be feeling lost.  Take a look at this list and see how many of these issues are causing your lost feeling.

1.  You’re not clear on your values.

Are you one of those people who spends a lot of time trying to figure out if you can do something?  The more important question you should be asking yourself is not whether you can do it, but should you.  Get clear on your own values.  People who find themselves caught up in doing things that are inconsistent with their values often feel lost or confused.

2.  Your goals are fuzzy.

Having fuzzy goals makes it difficult to take action to actually accomplish those goals.  Get clear on your goals and you will have a better road map to where you’re going and how to get there.  Having a clear set of goals, consistent with your values, gives your life meaning and direction.

3.  You haven’t spent time getting to know yourself.

Failure to genuinely know yourself results in a lot of difficulties finding your way in life.  You spend more time with yourself than with any other person during your lifetime.  Invest some time in getting to know yourself.  Learn what you like and don’t like.  What makes you feel happy?  Avoid going along with others because you don’t know what you want. If you’ve never really gotten to know yourself, it’s easy to get confused about who you are.

4.  You’re living by someone else’s values.

If you’re living by someone else’s values, doing things to please them rather than to please yourself, you can easily lose yourself in the process.  Take time to examine the values you are living by and get clear on whether those are really your values or are you living to please someone else.

5.  You haven’t stretched your comfort zone.

People who spend a lot of time staying inside their comfort zones find that the comfort zone shrinks over time.  If you haven’t made a conscious effort to stretch your comfort zone, you’re likely to find yourself disoriented whenever you step slightly outside that zone.  You find yourself by trying on new behaviors and seeing what fits.

6.  You’re not doing enough good things.

Doing things, things you can be proud of, increases your self-esteem.  People who do very few things begin to doubt they’re ability to do anything well.  If you have reached a point in your life where you are feeling lost, it may be because you’re doing very little.  When you’re not sure, make a decision and head off in a direction.  You will learn who you are in the process of doing what you do.

7.  You don’t accept yourself the way you are.

Most people have a mental picture of what they should be like.  Far fewer people have a clear picture of what they would like to be.  The part of themselves that many people struggle with the most is getting an accurate picture of what they are really like.  It is easy to be critical of yourself because you fail to live up to that image of what you should be like you have in your head.  Reducing the discrepancies between these three selves, who you should be, who you want to be and who you are, is the road to self-acceptance.  Once you accept yourself the way you are, you will stop feeling lost and begin to know exactly where you are.

8.  You have let drugs; alcohol or other addictions control you.

Once you’ve given into drugs, alcohol or other addictions they’ve taken over control of your direction in life.  When someone or something else is controlling your directions in life you lose track of where you are and begin to feel lost.  To get back control of your life and that sense of knowing who you are get those addictions out of the driver seat.

9.  You have disconnected your feelings.

Feelings are not an inconvenience to be ignored.  Feelings provide you valuable information.  When you get into the habit of ignoring your feelings it disconnects your emotional compass.  Without those feelings to guide you it is easy to get lost.  Stop ignoring those feelings and get back on a course that is consistent.

10.  You make a habit of comparing up.

There is always someone who has done something larger, better or more important than what you did.  People who constantly compare up begin to feel bad about themselves.  Stop comparing yourself to others and become the unique individual that you were meant to be.  When you accept yourself the way you are you will have found yourself again.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

14 Ways to Become Your Own Best Friend.

By David Joel Miller.

Start healing by becoming your own best friend.

Friends

Best Friends.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Don’t like yourself, start by becoming your own best friend.  If you are plagued by low self-esteem, one of the things you need to do is become your own best friend.  Many people say that they are not able to love themselves.  You will spend more time with yourself than with any other person on earth.  Work on getting to like yourself.  Think about the things that you do with friends and how those relationships develop overtime.  Start feeling better about yourself by becoming your own best friend.  Here are 14 ways to become your own best friend and improve your self-esteem.

1. Don’t beat yourself up.

It’s OK to make mistakes.  Mistakes are improvement opportunities.  Think about how you act with a friend.  If you consistently criticize them and put them down you’re not likely to maintain that friendship.  Make sure you’re not beating yourself up.  It’s OK to make mistakes.  The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who never try to do anything.

2. Don’t insist on perfection.

We don’t expect our friends to be perfect.  You shouldn’t expect to be perfect yourself.  Some tasks may require your very best effort, but many other things in life simply need to be good enough.  Be gentle with yourself and embrace you, flaws and all.

3. Celebrate your successes.

Make sure to stop and recognize the things that you have done well.  Give yourself a round of applause when you succeed at something.  Not recognizing your successes will make the next effort that much harder.

4. Nurture yourself.

You can’t make a plant grow by beating it.  You don’t develop friendships by being harsh and critical.  Develop the relationship with yourself by taking good care of you.  Look for ways in which you can be kind and gentle to yourself.

5. Enjoy being with you.

Being alone should not mean being lonely.  When life gets hectic we often wish we could take a break.  When you do get that break from other people learn to savor and enjoy it.  That alone time should be a time to rest and recoup.

6. Make “you time” an adventure.

In the early stages of developing a friendship we do a lot of new, novel things with that potential friend.  To nurture the friendship that you have with yourself make sure that you do innovative things.  Make your time with you exciting.

7. Want the best for yourself.

Learn to picture what a perfect life would look like.  Want that best of all possible lives for yourself?  Practice believing that you deserve the best in life.  Best does not necessarily mean the most expensive or the latest fashion.  It does mean that you want those things that will make you truly happy.  Don’t settle for a second-rate life.  Focus your efforts on creating the life of your dreams.

8. Stop judging yourself.

You don’t need to judge yourself.  There are plenty of people willing to judge you.  When you have a good friend you accept them just the way they are even when you know their faults.  Do the same for yourself.  However you are is perfectly OK.  Accept yourself just the way you are.

9. Let things go.

Holding onto the past keeps you stuck in the pain.  Keep your eyes on the present and the future.  Avoid rehashing old injuries.  Let bygones be bygones.  The less baggage that you have to carry from your past the more you can live in the present.

10. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.

Make the place that you spend the bulk of your time your place.  Have a few little mementos that will make you smile close by.  The isn’t time or space in your life the things that don’t add to your happiness.

11. Please yourself.

Make sure that you are living your life to please you.  A life that is lived trying to please others often pleases no one.  In friendships we often do things because we know it will make our friends happy.  Do those little things to make yourself happy.

12. Live in the now, plan for the future.

Good friends don’t spend a lot of time rehashing the difficulties from the past.  They enjoy the present and look forward to the things they will do together in the future.  As your own best friend spend the bulk of your time looking forward to what you want to do in the future.

13. Can the negativity.

It’s not much fun being around a friend who is constantly negative.  To be happier cut the negative people out of your life.  To be happier with yourself cut out the negativity that is coming from you.

14. Embrace your differences.

We know our friends are different and we liked than because of those differences.  Learn to celebrate the ways in which you are different from others.  Stop wishing you were just like everyone else.  Improve the things you can, accept the things you can’t.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Love better by loving yourself.

By David Joel Miller.

It is hard to love others when you are starving for self-love.

Selflove

Learn to love yourself.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You grow love in your life by daily creating small actions that nurture that love, for yourself and for others.  If you don’t love yourself no matter how much others love you it will never be enough.  Enlarge your feeling of being loved by working on the ability to love yourself.  Below are some tips on how to feel better about yourself and develop that self-love.

Give yourself a round of applause. Recognize your accomplishments.

In order to feel better about yourself you need to recognize the things you do well.  Learn to praise yourself.  You do not need to do great things to feel well about yourself. If you pay attention to the small things that you accomplish each day, over time this will add up to large accomplishments.

Unfortunately, many people were taught to be suspicious of recognition for their accomplishments.  People used to think that the way to get better behavior from children was to constantly point out all their flaws.  The result of this practice was to create non-affirming homes.  If you grew up that way you are likely to find it difficult to recognize when you do things well.  There’s no evidence that beating yourself up will make you a better person.  There’s plenty of evidence that recognizing positive qualities improves your ability to feel good about yourself and raises your self-esteem.

Invest in your support system.

Having a team of people who support you will make you feel better about yourself.  Developing that support system requires the investment of time and effort.  Make sure that each day you spend some time calling or talking to a friend. Good friendships revolve around shared activities.  Get out there and make friends.

Humans need other humans.  When you don’t feel of a good about yourself it is hard to be around others.  Developing friendships requires an investment of time and effort.  Make that investment in developing friends and creating a support system and it will pay dividends in the form of you feeling better about yourself.  People who spend time socializing with other people feel more loved.

Make friends with your feelings.

Learn to make your feelings useful friends.  Feelings provide you with information, don’t try to ignore those feelings.  Somewhere along the line people got the idea that to have feelings was a bad thing.  If you do not acknowledge what you feel when you feel it, then it becomes very difficult to recognize the feelings of love when you have it.

Sometimes in life bad things happen and we need to be sad.  Just because you feel badly does not mean that something terrible will happen.  Accept that feelings change.  Learn to surf those feelings and wait for the next round of happy, loving feelings.

Plan a better future.

Don’t get stuck in the belief that the way things are, or the way they have been in the past, is the way they must always be.  Envisioned a better future for yourself and begin to work on creating it.  Design plans for where you want to go in life and begin to do the work to get there. Set goals. As you make progress towards those goals give yourself credit for the successes you have created.  Creating, planning and working toward a better future are ways to love yourself and to feel more loved.

Invest in yourself.

It’s hard to understand someone who loves a partner but is unwilling to ever give them a gift or spend time with them.  To increase that feeling of love make it a priority to invest in yourself.  Invest by spending time with yourself.  Also invest in things that make you feel good or meet your needs.

Make developing skills and continuing education a part of your ongoing investment in yourself.  Developing interests and hobbies is not a waste of time, but an investment in creating a better quality of life.

Allow yourself to enjoy life.

All work and no play not only makes Jack a dull boy, it makes him a very unhappy and unloved person.  Doing things to make yourself happy is not being selfish.  Life is not all pleasure sometimes there’s work to do.  But if all you ever do is work and can never enjoy yourself, life loses its meaning.  Look for ways within your budget that you can make your life a more enjoyable experience.

Recharge your batteries. Rest and food.

Being over tired, hungry or thirsty creates feelings that will interfere with feeling good about yourself and with your self-love.  You wouldn’t think someone loved you if they were unwilling to ever let you rest or to allow you time to eat and drink.  Treat yourself the way you would like others to treat you.

Look for the good parts in every challenge.

If you approach everything in life as a terrible chore, all the pleasure goes out of your existence.  Look for the good parts in every challenge.  What strengths is this difficulty producing?  What lessons do you need to learn from this? Practice spotting hidden happiness.

Talk nicely to yourself – Self talk.

People in love talk nicely to their beloved.  To feel more love by yourself and by others practicing saying the kinds of loving things to yourself that you wish others would say to you.  Negative, critical self-talk decreases your self-esteem.  Positive, loving self-talk increases your self-esteem.  What you tell yourself becomes the way you feel. Feed your mind healthy thoughts.

Develop positive habits.

Get into the habit of doing positive things for yourself.  Take the view that you deserve the best in life.  Treat yourself in the best possible way to increase your feelings of self-esteem and make you feel loved.

Budget some time for fun.

Fun is not a waste of time.  Sometimes even hard work can be fun.  Make sure that you are including in your schedule things that are enjoyable or will recharge your batteries and make you feel good about yourself. It is important to include some time for having fun in each day’s activities.

Let yourself feel good by doing for others.

One secret that people who are happy and loving have discovered is that doing for others is not an inconvenience. It is a great way to make you feel good about your life.  Don’t cheat yourself out of the opportunity to do little things for those you love.  Practice loving yourself by doing random acts of kindness for others, even those you don’t know. Filling your life with loving gestures for yourself and others increases that loving feeling.

Do what you love – love what you do.

It’s been said and repeated often, but it’s still true, if you do something you love it’s not work.  Make it a point to do things that bring you joy.

Think about these ways that you might increase your ability to love yourself and how that might make you feel more love by others.  Which of these loving expressions will you practice?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Which part of you wants that?

By David Joel Miller.

Are you fighting yourself?

Fighting yourself

Are you fighting yourself?
Which part of you wants that?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you ever feel like there’s two parts of you that are arguing about things?  One part of you wants to do something and the other part doesn’t.  Part of you likes your job and wants to stay there and part of you would like to get a new job.  Part of you likes to hang out with friends and part you would just like to stay home and be alone.

Having struggles and conflicts within yourself, is a common occurrence.  I’m not talking about severe mental illness or split personality, but just that human quality of being of two minds at the same time.  Sometimes there may be six or seven parts of your mind wanting to take you in a whole variety of directions at once.

Can’t make up your mind?

Having difficulty trying to make up your mind?  Sometimes this is the result of having choices to make and not knowing how each of those choices might turn out.  Wouldn’t it be great if we knew how all of life’s choices were going to end before we make them?

Other times difficulty in making up your mind may be that you simply don’t know what all the choices available to you are.

I’m not talking about Freud’s theory of the conflict between the id that wants to have its own way and be gratified and the super-ego that is responsible and wants to do the right thing.  Most of the time life is not as simple as choosing between the moral thing you should do and the bad thing that you really wanted to do.

Many times you have to choose between two alternatives, both of which have good and bad parts.  Below are some reasons that the emotional parts of you may be having difficulty with their choices.

Life is not yes or no choices.

One reason you may be having a conflict about two choices, is that much of life is not simply yes or no choices.  Sometimes you have a whole lot of options, stay on your current job, go look for another job or go back to school to further your education.  Each one of those options comes with a range of possible choices.

You have way more parts than you think.

When it comes to these conflicting parts of you, there may be a lot more of those than you think.  Each of us has many roles to play in life and sometimes those roles are in conflict.  You have your role as partner and your role as parent. Also you’re a child of some other parents and on top of that you’re an employee or boss.  You may have political or religious affiliations also.  Each of these parts if you has conflicting claims, for your time, your money, your energy and your emotional commitments.

You also have emotional and personality parts of you.  What interests you, what will make you happy, what you feel you should do, what you really want to do, these can all be in conflict.

You may need all those parts of you.

Sometimes you have a part of you that makes you uncomfortable.  Anxiety, may be a friend that keeps you from danger.  That anxiety could also be a bully who keep you from doing things which might make you happy.

Sadness can be a consequence of feeling connected to and in love with other people.  Too much sadness and you become depression, it immobilizes you.  Not being able to feel sadness results in being numb and you lose your connection with other people.

The trick is keeping your parts in balance.

The difficult part often is keeping all these many parts of you in balance.  Couples are often at risk of getting their life parts out of balance.  Too much time spent on that job interferes with the couplehood.  There can be a tendency to spend all your time and energy on your children.  It’s hard to balance those child rearing responsibilities with the effort you needed to put into being a couple.  Sometimes you feel like these various parts of you, the roles you have to fulfill are in conflict.

Each part needs to know its role.

Sometimes parts try to assume a role that’s not theirs.  Anxiety is supposed to protect you from danger but it may get in the way of you doing things that might be fun and an enjoyable.  Sadness should tell you that you have lost something.  The part you that wants to achieve should motivate you to do more and better things. Sometimes that achievement part tries to crowd out your relationships with family and friends.

Your parts need to respect each other.

Your many parts, your roles, your skills, your interests, your relationships, all need to work in harmony.  When one part takes over and becomes your sole mode of existence the other parts suffer.  The work part needs to respect your family life part.  The part of you that feels guilt needs to learn to respect the part of you that needs to grow.

You can’t keep discarding parts of yourself.

It’s tempting to start discarding parts.  You don’t like feeling sad so you try to avoid anything that might involve more risk.  Your fear of losing something prevents you from ever having it.  Some people cut off feelings.  Others may discard memories, skills and hobbies that they used to love.

Too much healthy food can make you sick.

I thought I should include this warning.  People who have been through difficult times, who think of themselves as being in recovery, are often tempted to binge on healthy activities.  Too much hard work can take away all the pleasures of life.  Be careful that in your effort to improve your life and be healthy, you don’t avoid everything that might be fun and enjoyable or those activities that could be a growth promoting opportunity.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

How to spot a good person.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you a good person? Can you spot a good person when you see one?

Do you think you are a good person?

helping person

Good People.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you think you are a good person? Most people think they are, but how do others see you? Want to feel better about yourself, work at becoming a better person. “Are you a good person?” is not a yes and no question. Everyone has areas of their life that could be better. These issues could be called “defects of character.” I like to think of these areas as “improvement opportunities.”

Developing goodness is a lifelong task. Some people are too needy to make the effort.  If you want better self-esteem you need to work on becoming a better person. How do you exercise that goodness muscle? By hanging out with good people! Below are some of the ways you might spot a good person. Do you do these things? Do the people in your life have these characteristics?

Good people treat other people well even when there is nothing in it for them.

Make a habit of treating others better than simply the way you would like to be treated. That approach is trading favors mentality. You do for me and I do for you. Truly good people do the right thing because it is the thing. They chose to do good even when there is nothing in it for them.

Good people are not judgmental.

Because someone is different from you does not make them less-than. Good people accept others regardless of their looks, their language or their past.

Good people still form opinions of others based on what others do, but not because of who others are.

Being non-judgmental does not mean having no standards. Doing whatever you want when it impacts others is not always OK. You should evaluate people by their actions. But that non-judgmental stance includes the belief that people can change and that having made mistakes does not make someone a “bad person.” Even really good people sometimes do bad things and vice versa.

Good people respect others property and time. Punctuality.

A truly good person respects and cares for your property as much or more than they care for their own. They do not take things that are not theirs and they ask before borrowing. Just because they need something does not justify their taking what is not theirs.

Good people also respect your time. They consider your time just as valuable as theirs. They are not habitually late. People who feel that others time does not mater do not have anyone but themselves in mind.

Good people also do not repeatedly violate your time, possessions and rights and then try to excuse those transgressions with apologies. Once is an accident but recurring disrespect cannot be made right by continually apologizing for the same action.

Good people genuinely care about others.

For good people others are something of value regardless of their state or credentials. For the good person other people are not objects to be used to get what they want but individuals who have worth because they are them.

Good people do not restrict their caring and concern to others like them or to those in positions to return the favor.

Good people are positive.

A good person can find the good in any person or situation. They see the potential not the defects. They motivate others by their leadership not by playing to their fears. Beware of those who instinctively can find the flaws in anyone but themselves.

Good people are helpful.

Good people delight in being of service to others. They do not think only of what is in it for them because they know that being helpful will bring them joy. It is not kindness when you do for others expecting something in return. A good person knows that doing good things is its own reward.

Good people see things from others point of view.

Good people are not stuck in needing to be right and to convince others of their point of view. They are willing to see things from others perspective.  They are not dogmatic but open to seeing how it is that others form opinions different from theirs.

Everything is not always about them.

Good people can step outside what is best for themselves and honestly want what is best for others. They can find ways to get their needs met while allowing others to do likewise.

Good people are real. Genuine.

A good person does not have to be fake. They do not need to hide their true selves and do not fear others really getting to know them. They like themselves well enough to be able to be who they are with everyone. Good people do not feel the need to be fake in order to get others to like them because they have mastered the art of liking themselves.

Good people are interested in others.

Curiosity and a desire to understand drive the truly good person. They strive to understand others not to find ways to make themselves superior.

For Good people communication is a two-way street.

Ever met someone, say hello, and then wait as they talk nonstop about themselves? Can you think of someone who evades every opportunity to share of themselves and seems motivated to “pump” you for info?

People who only talk or those who pry without being willing to reciprocate are both motivated to get more than they receive in a conversation.

For the good person a conversation is an exchange between equals.

Good people do not always have to be right.

Good people may believe strongly but they can admit when they are wrong. A good person can acknowledge when others were right and can give credit where credit belongs.

Are you “Good people?”

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Too hard on yourself?

By David Joel Miller.

Being kind to yourself is hard to do.

Pillory

Too hard on yourself?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Are you harder on yourself than other people are?  Do you find it difficult to be nice to yourself?  Some people think that the way to make themselves a better person is to push themselves unmercifully.  If you’re one of those people who has difficulty being kind to yourself, you may be beating yourself up again and again.  There’s no evidence that beating yourself up is a way to motivate yourself to do better.  Continued harsh self-criticism can lead to depression and giving up.  How many of these self-critical habits do you have?

14 Ways you are beating yourself up again.

1. Can’t ever forgive your mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes.  Making mistakes is required for humans to learn.  If all you do is keep track of the score, this list of mistakes you made can lead to discouragement.  Learning to forgive your mistakes and move on is part of being a healthy, happy, human.

2. Nothing you do is ever good enough.

If you have come to believe that nothing you do is ever good enough, you are undermining your own life.  Being constantly negative about yourself lowers your self-esteem and your ability to accomplish anything in the future.

3. Criticism hurts like a deep wound.

If you allow criticism, yours or others, to live on after it is first given, you create deep wounds.  If you continue to hold on to criticism you’ve taken on the role of abuser.  Stop the self-abuse, accept yourself as you are and move on.

4. You can’t accept compliments.

Not being able to accept compliments sets you up for poor self-esteem.  If you find it difficult to accept compliments take a look at why.  Declining compliments is not a form of modesty.  Learn to accept people’s compliments whether you can understand them or not.  When you get a compliment, rather than saying that was no big deal, learn to just say thank you.

5. You are constantly hoping for others approval.

People who constantly need others approval become dependent on that outside source of acceptance.  Learn to give yourself approval for things well done and to accept when they are less than well done.  The person whose approval should really matter to you is yourself.

6. You are afraid to let others see your flaws.

Not being able to let other see your flaws keeps people at a distance.  In close, honest, relationships you should feel comfortable enough to let other people see you as you really are.  If you feel you need to hide your flaws, take a look at the people around you and at yourself.  Good friends will accept you the way you are.  Feeling good about yourself begins with you excepting yourself the way you are.

7. You punish yourself before others can.

If you find that you are routinely punishing yourself for mistakes, you are being far too hard on yourself.  Punishment is only one half of discipline.  Too much punishment becomes abuse.  Stop beating yourself up and learn to take care of yourself.

8. You need to fix everyone else. You are responsible to make them happy.

Your feelings are your feelings.  Other people’s feelings are their feelings.  You can try all you want but you can’t make somebody else feel happy.  If you find that you are constantly trying to fix everyone else, you are taking on responsibility for things that are not your job.  Allow other people to be responsible for their feelings.  Take responsibility for how you feel.

9. You try to be perfect so one flaw is failure.

One very unhelpful thought is that you need to be perfect.  This all or nothing, black and white type thinking can be very damaging to your mental health.  Work on becoming more realistic.  No one is ever perfect.  Requiring yourself to make no mistakes is an unrealistic and impossible goal.  Take credit for the things you do well and correctly.  Accept that sometimes you make mistakes and move on.

10. You expect more from yourself than you expect from others.

If you consistently expect more from yourself then you expect from others, you have an unrealistic view of both yourself and them.  Learn to cut yourself some slack.  Accept that other people can do things also.  Stop trying to take responsibility for things that are out of your control.

11. You apologize even when it is not your fault.

A sure sign of being far too hard on yourself it is the need to apologize even when you are not at fault.  Apologize when you have a reason to apologize.  Do not apologize for things that are out of your control or other people’s errors.

12. You can’t ever accept help – even when you really need it.

The inability to accept help is another way in which many people are far too hard on themselves.  Learn to help others when they need it and accept help when you are in need.

13. You are afraid of disappointing anyone ever.

How others feel is their responsibility.  Sometimes you have to make choices.  You can’t do everything for everybody without completely giving away yourself.  Doing good self-care and keeping your life in balance means sometimes people will be disappointed.  Let them learn to deal with disappointment.

14. Your life is filled with regrets.

If you did it, then it wasn’t good enough, and if you didn’t do it, you should have. Every life has some requests.  Keep yours to a minimum.  You did what you did, and didn’t do what you didn’t do.  Accept what happened.  Your life, good and bad, has made you who you are.  Stop holding onto the regrets and move on.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books