Egotistical.

Egotistical. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.               

Egotistical.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Conscience makes egotists of us all.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistical and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel.”

― W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge

“Happiness is egotistical.”

― Alexandre Dumas

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Waking up early reduces depression.

Man sleeping

Sleeping person.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

When you wake up matters when it comes to depression.

We used to think that the critical factor connecting sleep and depression was the total number of hours of sleep. But when you go to bed and when you get up may also affect your mental health. It is true that people who get inadequate sleep, however much that is for them, are more likely to become depressed. Depending on your genetics and the amount of energy you expend every day, we expect people to need between seven and nine hours of sleep each day. Deviations from this norm may be connected to mental health issues.

Not enough sleep affects your mood.

Waking up tired makes you grouchy and leads to depression. The idea that you can be more productive by reducing the number of hours of sleep you get each night has turned out to do more harm than good. Being chronically sleep-deprived interferes with mental processes.

Not enough sleep makes you irritable and adds to depression. Even the traditional all-nighters before exams may be resulting in lower test scores, not better grades. Students who lay off the books the night before finals and get a good night’s rest often do better than those who try to stay up all night studying but took the test with a foggy head.

Not needing much sleep can also be a problem.

Some people have a genetic disposition that requires them to sleep less than their fellow humans. But when someone routinely sleeps less than six hours and wakes up with plenty of energy, this may be a sign of a developing mental illness. Sleeping less than normal is a key indicator for either cyclothymic disorder or one of the bipolar disorders. In those disorders is not just the reduced need for sleep; however, that makes the diagnosis. These high-energy people also act impulsively or irresponsibly and may have driven uncontrollable behavior. The lack of sleep doesn’t get them into trouble directly, but what they do while awake does.

It’s not just how much sleep but when.

Recently I’ve seen several studies tell us that night owls are more likely to be depressed. Late risers are twice as likely to become depressed as the early birds. Early risers are also more likely to be happy and optimistic. But these characteristics are not fixed. People who suddenly must stay up later at night and begin sleeping in may experience a decline in mood. This relationship works in the other direction also.

Becoming an early riser can help improve your mood.

For most types of depression, many things can help. Medication can help temporarily, but so can increasing physical activity and exercise. Changing your thinking, a major part of cognitive-behavioral therapy, can also reduce symptoms of depression. Recently we discovered that being an early riser can also reduce depression.

Deliberately shifting your sleep schedule can also improve your mood.

People who begin to deliberately get up earlier each morning and then go to bed earlier report seeing an improvement in their mood. If they suffer from some types of depression, it gets better. How much of a shift do you need to make? Waking up one hour earlier results in a significant improvement in mood.

During the pandemic, many people shifted to online schooling or working from home. There’s been an increase in people working later into the evening and then sleeping later in the morning. Surveys suggest that those people who stayed up the latest felt the emotional impacts of the pandemic more than those people who stuck with a schedule that mirrored the sun. As we get back to normal, moving back to an early to rise and early to bed lifestyle may be just the boost your mental health needs.

Sudden sleep changes may also be a sign of an oncoming mental illness.

The condition we call depression comes in two major forms. In melancholy depression, people can’t sleep. But in atypical depression, the depressed person begins to sleep for extended periods but is still tired. Of course, reduced need for sleep is often tied to a bipolar person moving into a manic or hypomanic episode.

The idea that this connection between sleep and significant emotional problems or even a mental illness can work in both directions hasn’t seen enough attention in the past. While changes in your sleep may indicate an oncoming mental illness, deliberately shifting your sleep schedule as much as possible to be an early riser may also have significant mental health benefits.

Genetics certainly play a role in both sleep cycles and the risk of developing depression. But it’s possible that something as simple as gradually shifting your sleep cycle so that you get more hours of daylight and sleep during the darkness may help improve your mood and may even reduce or prevent some forms of depression.

Have you noticed a connection between your bedtime and your mood? If you have seen an impact of sleep cycles on your mental health, please leave a comment below.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel.

Greedy.

Greedy. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Greedy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

― Warren Buffett

“Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Do you have imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Could you have imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a term probably everyone has heard recently. The term, and probably its prevalence, is a lot more common now than in the past. One way to understand this is to imagine someone who looks like they have a skill, they know they’re wearing the uniform of the job, but they don’t actually know how to do what they’re supposed to do. Many people with professional credentials or who have been hired to do a particular job may feel like imposters because they lack confidence in their ability to do the job adequately.

Imposter syndrome is a common reason people seek counseling.

Officially imposter syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis. But imposter syndrome and some related conditions result in high levels of anxiety and often depression. What we used to think was that it was primarily a problem of women working in male-dominated professions. We now see this phenomenon almost universally. We find similar insecurities among children and adolescents who feel they don’t measure up and have the abilities of their classmates.

In the past studies of several professions, we found that almost 100% of people in a given vocation rated themselves as above average. However, because of higher job stress and the increasing rate of burnout, we find more people today who believe they are in over their heads and don’t measure up to the abilities of their colleagues and coworkers.

Imposter syndrome is common.

One survey concluded that roughly 75% of people in certain occupations feel like they are imposters pretending to be competent at their jobs but not really having the skills they require. Of course, many professional licenses or certifications call for only a minimum level of competency. So, when the people in a profession compare themselves to famous practitioners, they are likely to feel that they don’t measure up.

Even at elite universities and colleges, students feel like imposters. They can see other students getting all A’s apparently with these. While they may have gotten admitted, the students frantically study, trying to keep their grades up to the level of their peers. The saying at some colleges is there only two grades. You either get an A, or you get the other grade. In this way of thinking, if you’re not a straight-A student, you’re a failure.

Imposter syndrome is more than a fear of failure.

Many people experience a fear of failure. Even the most talented people sometimes fail. People with imposter syndrome not only feel like a failure, they believed they don’t measure up. The belief that you don’t have the skills or talent needed to perform the job you’re doing satisfactorily is a significant part of imposter syndrome. People with imposter syndrome believe they are essentially defective.

People with imposter syndrome feel like frauds.

They often suffer from a high level of anxiety about their job performance and life in general. Since they don’t feel capable of doing the jobs they are performing, they live in constant fear of being found out.

Imposter syndrome has increased with more online work.

Constantly being on camera, whether working from home or being a student taking online classes, has created an incredible pressure to always be perfect. Many clients I’ve worked with have reported that the stress of working online has been overwhelming. I’m hearing increasingly common reports that students become so self-conscious that they will turn their cameras off and would rather take a failing grade than have to be constantly in the view of all their classmates. Getting teased and bullied about your appearance also contributes to an increase in anxiety.

Online work isn’t the only reason for an increase in imposter syndrome.

As more and more people become accustomed to working online were developing new skills and competencies for doing work this way. I’ve seen some outstanding teaching and counseling being done in the online virtual format. I was hearing of cases of imposter syndrome well before the Covid pandemic. With 24-7 media coverage and the ability to live stream, everything anyone does can be quickly recorded and rapidly disseminated. This feeling that you can never make a mistake or misspeak has resulted in many people feeling inadequate for today’s world.

Comparing up is one reason you may experience imposter syndrome.

Social media has been especially damaging to self-esteem. Someone with ten friends on social media compares themselves to someone with 500 or 1000. That upward comparison makes you feel inadequate. Very few people ever compare themselves down to someone who only has one friend.

You can overcome imposter syndrome.

Even in high-stress jobs, people do overcome their feelings of vulnerability and beliefs that they are inadequate for the job they’re doing. Counseling can help. Working on improving your skills also contributes to overcoming the feeling. And most importantly, accepting that you’re a fallible human and sometimes will make mistakes can take you a long way towards overcoming imposter syndrome.

In an upcoming post, I want to talk to you in more detail about specific techniques you can apply to overcome insecurities, feelings you don’t measure up, and overcome imposter syndrome.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel.

Exertion.

Exertion. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com   

Exertion

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”

― John Wooden

“Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigor, their God-given right to be stupid.”

― Dean Koontz

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Surviving the relationship breakup blues.

Couple not talking

Relationship Break up Blues
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

How do you cope with Break–up sadness?

Whatever a relationship ends, there’s bound to be sadness. Even in those unhealthy relationships that have been bad from the beginning breaking up can be a mixture of relief that you’ve gotten out of the relationship and sadness that the relationship you wanted wasn’t what you got. The longer the relationship, the more difficult this can be. In this post, I’m going to talk mainly about relationships that break up during the dating or living together stage. Once two people have gotten married or had a child together, there’s likely to be a whole lot of additional wreckage that needs to be cleaned up. These are some of the things you need to do to recover from the emotional part of the relationship.

It’s okay to grieve.

Whenever a relationship ends, it’s normal to experience sadness. Even the relationships we know will end, like four years of college, are often followed by a period of emotional letdown and sadness. Ending a relationship you thought would be forever can be catastrophic. Don’t think you should be over it in a day or two. Allow yourself the time to process the changes. Humans change when we are in relationships. When you’re newly single, you’re going to have to shift back. It’s okay to experience a period of sadness as long as that feeling does not turn into depression which interferes with the rest of your life.

Try not to lose the good parts just because the relationship has ended.

You went to someplace new with the person who is now your ex, and you had a good time. That doesn’t mean you will have to avoid that place forever. Initially, going back to that “our favorite restaurant” can be difficult. It can be a reminder of your loss. After waiting a time, try revisiting that restaurant with a friend. Let yourself remember the good parts.

Don’t start assessing blame.

It’s easy to blame your former romantic partner. You can probably think of dozens of reasons why this breakup was their fault. You may also want to blame yourself. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. If you did have ongoing problems within the relationship, consider getting some counseling. If you have had more than one failed relationship, don’t automatically look for what’s wrong with you. But do consider why you keep picking potential relationship partners who are not a good match for you.

Try something new.

Vary your routine. Don’t do a geographic and think that moving to a different city will solve your problem. Don’t think that rushing into another relationship with a new partner will make you happy. Do try out some new activities, hobbies and visiting some new places. Consider taking a class just for the fun of it. The time between relationships is an excellent opportunity to develop new interests.

Don’t torture yourself.

Avoid staying connected to your old partner on social media. Stop asking your friends what your ex has been doing. Some people find it helpful to remove their former partner’s phone numbers and emails from their contact lists. Don’t be tempted to reach out and try to reconnect when you’re feeling down or even a little tipsy.

Stay busy.

You don’t have to be frantically active, but you do need to use the time you would have spent with your former partner to good advantage. Reconnect with old friends. Pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read. Do some of those things you had been putting off because your partner didn’t like them, or you didn’t think you had the time.

Learn the life lessons this experience taught you.

Not learning a life lesson when it’s presented dooms you to repeat the lesson. The lessons we don’t learn when we are young continued to repeat themselves. This is especially true of feelings and relationships. If you have been in a relationship of any kind that has ended, there are sure to be critical life lessons you need to learn. Be careful about jumping to the easy conclusions. Failed relationships are rarely the fault of only one person. Look at your contribution to making the relationship succeed or fail. Also, examined the reasons you chose to enter a relationship with this person and whether you would want to do the same thing again.

Show yourself some Self-Compassion.

Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and resolve to do better in the future. There’s no evidence that being hard on yourself or wallowing in self-pity will reduce the suffering or prevent this from happening again. Treat yourself with kindness and take good care of yourself. Healing from a breakup is going to require all the Self-Compassion you can muster.

Stay single for a while.

Rushing into a new relationship, whether it’s a committed one or just casual sex, can create even more wreckage. The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is the one you have with yourself. People fresh out of a relationship are encouraged to stay single and work on themselves for a while. People in early recovery from substance use disorder realize they had fallen in love with their drug of choice. We encourage them to stay single for at least two years to avoid substituting a romance or sexual activity as another way to make themselves feel good.

Don’t expect anything from your ex.

Some people hope to still maintain a friendship with their ex. Just because you try to do this, don’t expect your former partner to be willing to stay friends. For some people, it’s simply too painful to be in contact with a former partner.

Also, don’t keep hoping for some form of closure. Don’t expect them to tell you why they made that decision or to apologize for things they did while you were together. It’s also not a good idea to apologize to your former partner for the things you did wrong. Offering an apology and getting it rejected can create more wreckage that’s even harder to recover from.

Don’t think you have to be self-sufficient.

Just because you’re out of a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t reach out for support and help. While your romantic partner may be the closest person to you, they shouldn’t be the only person you connect with. It’s recommended that everyone have at least five people in their support system. That might be friends, parents, siblings, other relatives, or even professionals. Don’t be ashamed if you must ask other people to help you with some of the things that your ex used to do.

What do you think?

Have you recently gone through a relationship breakup? What did you find most helpful? Consider leaving a comment to share your experiences with others. If you’d like to contact me directly, please use the contact me feature on this blog.

I’m looking forward to hearing what worked and what didn’t for each of you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel 

Scornful

Scornful. Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

― Mark Twain

 “I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.”

― Baruch Spinoza

“There is no fate which cannot be surmounted by scorn.”

― Albert Camus

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Putting more excitement in your life.

The excitement of life.

Excitement.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

What makes your life exciting?

Excitements can contribute a lot to the quality of your life. By excitements here we are not talking about the kind of excitement you might experience watching a close sporting event where what someone else is doing excites you. What I mean by excitement are those times in your life where what you’re doing excites you and you become fully absorbed in the activity. When what you’re doing excites you, time passes before you know it.

Excitement is not the same thing as pleasure. Though experiencing excitement can bring you a great deal of pleasure. Pleasures are consumption, whereas excitements are creation. Creating these excitements is engaging and requires an investment of your time and energy.

The exciting life grows out of a life which is based on meaning and purpose. If you find your meaning in life, find that your life has a purpose, getting up every day can be a joy.

Some psychologists describe engagement as flow.

Flow is that state in which you lose all sense of time. Someone who loves to play music will sit down to practice a piece only to realize that hours have passed. Have you ever engaged in an activity you were so into, that it seemed as if hours had passed in minutes? That’s the state of flow.

What makes a task exciting and creates flow?

Researchers have discovered specific characteristics of activities that create flow when matched with people who were into those activities. If you can design activities that take you into this state, the time you put in will always feel too short. People who regularly engage in activities that create the flow state describe their lives as full of meaning and purpose.

It requires skill and is challenging.

To routine, an activity can become dull over time. An activity that is challenging and requires you to develop ever-increasing skill can quickly put you into the flow state. This activity should not be beyond your abilities but only at the edge or limit of them. Many people rapidly reached the state of flow when playing video games and can become so engaged in them that they lose all sense of time and forget other activities.

When you concentrate you enter a flow state.

While easy tasks may be enjoyable, maintaining a state in which you are excited in a pleasant way requires that the task be challenging enough that you need to concentrate. The more you focus on this preferred task the more the rest of the world seems to disappear.

Tasks with clear goals are more enjoyable.

The more well-defined the goals the more likely you are to feel enjoyment as you accomplish them. This is one reason why video game players become so engrossed in the game. As they play the game, they are able to achieve increasingly difficult goals. Each time they reach a goal the activity there engaging in is reinforced.

Challenging activities provide immediate feedback.

While there are few people who can work for years on a project not knowing if it will be successful, most people are much more motivated when the task before them provides immediate feedback. When the task is set just a little harder in the last thing you’ve accomplished there’s an incentive to continue to learn and practice. The more immediate feedback the more likely you are to continue with that activity.

Exciting, flow state activities provide deep, effortless involvement.

What you get into the activity you get carried along. Your concentration improves as you become more and more focused on the activity. Seems an amazingly simple solution that many people who say they suffer from ADHD find no difficulty in continuing to pay attention to and engaging tasks such as video gaming or a sports activity.

Challenging experiences should include a sense of control.

When an activity feels out of your control when no matter what you do results seem to be dictated by someone else it rapidly moves from being enjoyable to being unpleasant. If you want to achieve that ultimate feeling of engagement look for opportunities to challenge yourself.

Our sense of self vanishes.

When you get really into any activity you lose yourself in what you are doing. As you move along in this exciting and enjoyable activity is stopped being self-conscious or worrying about what others think about what you’re doing. You continue the activity for the pure pleasure of accomplishment.

Time stops when you’re in a flow state.

Once you find an activity that really engages you and provides this level of excitement and passion there never seems to be enough time to engage in this activity. Hours can pass in what seems like only minutes. When you have to stop you feel like you have just barely begun.

I know I’ve interchanged some terminology here. But I’ve come to believe that happiness involves a lot more than not being depressed. I genuinely happy life reaches far beyond temporary bursts of pleasure. Engagement or flow is one of those ways that people reach genuine happiness.

Have you found something which adds excitement to your life? Is your life full of meaning and purpose? How would your life be different if you found your passion?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Excitable.

Excitable. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com   

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.”

― Cher

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

“Respond to every call

that excites your spirit.”

― Rumi, The Essential Rumi

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Is Your Relationship Toxic?

Toxic Relationships – photo courtesy of Pixabay

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

What is a toxic relationship?

Relationships we might describe as toxic lie on the extreme end of unhealthy relationships. The term toxic relationship is commonly used to describe a lot of unhappy and unhealthy relationships. One way of defining a toxic relationship is any relationship that lacks emotional safety. These relationships are characterized by chronic disrespect and frequent personal attacks.

People in these relationships often report that they experience gaslighting, their words are being twisted, and every conversation ends in an argument. If your relationship makes you feel bad about yourself and you are always on edge when you’re around this person, it’s likely that you’re in an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

Toxicity can range from high to low.

Like most aspects of personality, there’s a range for how toxic someone might be. For example, the trait of narcissism ranges from so low that the person has little self-esteem to so high that they’re unable to empathize or see others’ points of view. Some people can handle being around a severe narcissist and not be damaged, but most people can’t.

The same thing is true of many of the personality characteristics associated with toxic relationships. What you may be able to tolerate in a partner might be harmful to some of your other family members. What someone else may be able to put up with in a relationship might damage your self-esteem and ability to have a well-functioning life.

Being in a relationship that you find toxic can leave you chronically unhappy and even depressed. It makes your life feel unstable and unpredictable. Here are some signs you may be in an unhealthy or toxic relationship.

They are dream destroyers.

If your partner constantly belittles you and makes fun of your dreams, this will turn destructive over time. There’s something wrong with a partner who needs to pull you down in order to feel good about themselves. If your partner can’t support you in pursuing your dreams, you better reevaluate that relationship.

Their lives are full of drama that has nothing to do with you.

Some people live in the eye of the hurricane. Their life is always full of drama. If nothing is going wrong, they create more drama. You are constantly being dragged into their drama.

Whatever they want is more important than your wants and needs.

In toxic relationships, one partner will disregard the other wants and needs. Everything becomes about them. A healthy relationship is characterized by give-and-take. If you’ve come to expect that what you want will be disregarded and that your needs don’t matter, you’re in a very unhealthy relationship.

They belittle your accomplishments.

Healthy relationship partners are delighted when the partner accomplishes something. If your partner needs to minimize your accomplishments, this is a sign that your partner is insecure and only able to think about themselves. Having your partner constantly minimize your contribution to the relationship and your individual accomplishments will chip away at your self-esteem. Eventually, this kind of relationship will turn toxic.

You would avoid this person if you could.

Are you ever tempted to stay at work a little longer just to avoid having to go home? But then, when you get home, do you try to busy yourself with something that avoids the person you live with? If you find you would just as soon avoid this person if you could, that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

When you’re around them, you can’t be yourself.

You feel that the person is constantly evaluating you and judging you negatively and that it’s not a healthy relationship. If you have to hide your true self when you’re around someone, it’s not a healthy relationship. If you have to change who you are to please this person, it’s not a healthy relationship.

Being around them makes you physically ill.

There’s a lot of truth to that old saying that someone makes you sick to your stomach. The body reacts to unhealthy or dangerous situations by motivating our defenses to freeze, flee, or fight. If when you’re around someone you chronically have headaches, an upset stomach, or other unpleasant body sensations, and you’re not having those problems when you’re alone or with supportive people, your body is trying to tell you there’s something wrong with this relationship.

Do they avoid hearing about your feelings?

In a healthy relationship, you should feel free to express feelings about things without your partner getting defensive. If your feelings are a taboo subject, it’s an unhealthy relationship. Does your partner get angry whenever you tell them how you feel about something? Not wanting to hear about your feelings, or worse yet, not wanting you to have feelings, is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Do they blame you for all the problems in the relationship?

Having a good work relationship requires two people, each caring about the other. Most relationship problems can only be solved by work on both parties’ parts. If your partner won’t look at how they contribute to the issues between you and tell you everything would be fine if you would just change, your relationship is not very healthy.

Relationships in which one person has a significant problem, an addiction, a severe untreated mental illness, or uncontrolled anger issues can’t be made healthy by their partner no matter how hard that partner tries. But if you’ve done your best to be a healthy partner, their problems aren’t all your fault.

Have you become totally dependent on your partner?

A characteristic of unhealthy relationships, particularly abusive relationships, is when your partner insists that you rely solely on them. If your partner doesn’t like your friends and family and doesn’t want you talking to them, it’s an unhealthy relationship. If they don’t want you going anywhere without them, they control all the money; your relationship has become unhealthy.

You disagree on your goals and values.

The things that tear couples apart are often the things that they hadn’t discussed when they got together. Does one of you want to have children, and the other wants to put it off maybe forever? Do you disagree on whether to spend or save? Have you discussed where you want to live and what you want to do when retirement arrives?

Think about all these factors, particularly in your primary intimate relationship. Beware if you see signs of an unhealthy relationship. Recognizing toxic relationships early on can save you years of unhappiness.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel