Love.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Child and adult on beach

Love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Love.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

― Mother Teresa

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

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Creating stronger relationships.

By David Joel Miller.

Steps you can take to deepen your relationships.

Relationships

Relationships –
Photo courtesy of Flickr (Life Mental Health)

Do you feel that most of your relationships are superficial?  Do you wish that you could have deeper and more meaningful relationships?  Improving relationships take some work.  Whether your relationship is a romantic one or a friendship one, make an effort to strengthen that relationship.  The strongest romantic relationships have a foundation of deep friendship. Here’s a list of some things that you can do to create deeper, stronger, relationships.

Make others your priority.

Good relationships cannot be all about you.  You are responsible for your own self-care.  If you go into your relationships expecting that others will meet your needs you are likely to be disappointed.  To deepen and strengthen relationships make others your top priority.  Going halfway is not going far enough.  Marriage counselors know that 50/50 relationships rarely work.  In successful relationships, both people expect to put in more effort than the other.

Be a good listener.

Communication is far more about listening than it is about talking.  Good listening is not about planning what you are going to say in response.  To be a good listener try accurately understand what the other person is saying.  It is especially important to look for the feelings behind the words.

Let them know you care about them.

Deep relationships form between people who care about each other.  It’s not enough to sort of care about them some of that time.  Make it a point to express to them how much you care for them.

Be interested in their interests.

In strong relationships, the parties are interested in the things that interest their friend.  Make an effort to learn about the things that interest your friend.  Invest some time thinking about and talking about the things that interest them.

Share your feelings.

Strong, deep relationships involve feelings as well as facts.  Take a chance and share with them how you feel about things.  Sometimes sharing feelings can be scary.  Take the risk, invest in strengthening the emotional bond between you.  If you don’t feel you can share your feelings in a relationship, you ought to be questioning how healthy that relationship is.

Share your thoughts.

Deep relationships require getting to know each other well.  A key way to strengthen your relationship is to share what’s on your mind.  Healthy relationships are ones in which people feel safe to share what they think and believe.  Strong relationships are ones in which people can disagree and still maintains a relationship.  It needs to be OK to disagree.

Celebrate their successes.

Make it a point to notice and to celebrate successes with others.  Quality friendships are not built on jealousy.  Others successes do not diminish you.  Make it a point to notice when someone close to you has successes.  Go out of your way to celebrate their accomplishments with them.

Share your happiness and theirs.

Happiness is not reduced by sharing it.  When others are happy, share it with them.  When you are happy, let others around you know.  The more you share happiness, the more you both have.  Deep relationships have a lot of common memories.

Keep up the communication.

Invest some time and some effort in communicating.  Don’t ever stop communicate.  Strong relationships don’t always need words to communicate.  Your failure to communicate can say more than words you might have said.

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

Friendship.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Friendship.

Friendship

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”

― Robert Louis Stevenson

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

― Abraham Lincoln

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Friendship

Sunday Inspiration    Post By David Joel Miller.

Friend.

Friendship

Friendship
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Sunday seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you please share them.

Becoming your own best friend.

By David Joel Miller.

Would you treat a friend that way?

Friends

Best Friends
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You teach others how to treat you. How you treat yourself is the model for the kind of treatment you get from others. Part of recovery, from whatever challenge you are recovering from, is to develop a good support system. That support system should begin with you. If you don’t treat yourself right no one else will.

Some people think they need to whip themselves in order to become a better person. Being cruel to yourself does not make you a more loving person. Learn to be a good friend to yourself and you will be practicing being a better friend to others. You need to be a good friend to have friends. Treat yourself better and you will find treating others becomes your normal way of being.

Here are some things you can do to treat yourself better.

Recognize what you do right.

People who only hear about the things they did wrong start to feel like they can’t do anything right. Makes sure you are taking the time to notice the things you did well. Give yourself a mental round of applause for your accomplishments. Do not minimize what you accomplish by saying it should be more. Friends accept friends as they are and see the good in them. Do this for yourself.

Talk nicely to you. No name calling.

Calling someone names and putting them down damages relationships and it hurts others. Do not call yourself names. It is a form of bullying, maybe even abuse. How can you expect others to treat you well when you abuse yourself?

Practice good self care.

If you value things you take care of them. If you care about others you want to take care of them. Do the same for yourself.

Accept that however you are is OK.

Learn to accept yourself as you are. Sure you can try to grow and improve, but how you are now is OK also. This is the great dilemma of life. You have to accept yourself as you are to be able to grow. You will become a better person because you care about yourself not because you try to whip yourself into shape. Love yourself warts and all.

Want better for you.

A real friend wants the best for their friends. Want the best for you. Plan for a better life. Do not let where you are determine where you are going. Be happy in the place you find you but always be striving to make you and your corner of the world better.

Make sure your needs are met.

You can’t get very many miles out of a car with an empty gas tank. Dead batteries do not make things go. Give yourself the best nutrition you can. Get plenty of sleep. Cars driven to far, too fast, break down. So do people, Do your daily maintenance. Keeping yourself together includes paying attention to your emotions as well as your body’s physical needs. Noticing you are depressed and using your tools to feel better will keep your emotions in better condition.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts.

Most people have a swarm of unhelpful thoughts every day. The should’s and can’ts, the must’s and have-too’s. If those thoughts you have are holding you back challenge them. Do you really have to or is this something you are doing for someone else?

Work to please you not others.

If you get pleasure out of doing something well that pleasure will motivate you to keep going. Try to please others and they may let you down. We rarely get as much recognition from others for a job well done as we want. If you make sure to give yourself that recognition, you will never be lacking in that essential ingredient – approval.

Show yourself love.

If you love someone you need to show it. Kids who never hear from their family that they are loved can grow up to think they are unlovable. If you do not think you are lovable no amount of love from others can fill up that empty hole. Learn to do little things for yourself that tell you that you love yourself. Then share that love with others who also love themselves.

Loving yourself does not make you selfish or self-centered. Feeling good about you is a strength that allows you to care about others.

Forgive yourself.

All humans make mistakes. There are no perfect people and the more you do in life the more mistakes you will make. Learn to forgive yourself which makes forgiving others so much easier. Fail to forgive yourself and you can become a judgmental person who is unable to find anyone who measures up to their standards.

Get honest with yourself.

Sometimes a real friend needs to tell their friend the truth. Learn to tell yourself the truth. You do not need to pretend to be better than you are. The way you are is just fine. You will become a different person over time. Life experiences change us.

The people who grow and improve are the ones who are able to face the truth about themselves and still like who they are. Knowing the truth can free you to make the changes you need to make to move forward. Lying to yourself is a prescription for staying stuck in your problem filled life.

If you want more or better friends begin by practicing being your own best friend and then expand that to befriending others. Let me know how this friend thing is working for you.

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

11 rules for Making Friends and Creating a Support System

By David Joel Miller.

Positive social networks can keep you healthy.

True Friends

True Friends
Photo courtesy of Flickr (HaPe_Gera)

Modern society moves at a fast pace. People move a lot and there are smaller families than there used to be. One challenge for all of us is how to create or strengthen those support system. Networking is just as important in your personal emotional life as it is in your professional life.

The best professional networks should include some people who you would want as friends and supporters. Here are some suggestions on how to strengthen those connections with others by making friends, developing networks and strengthening your support system.

1. Shared interests build friendships.

Most friendships develop around shared interests. If you want to make more friends go where people who like the same things as you hang out. Hang out at a bar and you meet drinkers. Go to the book club and you meet readers. The activities you enjoy are the best places to meet people who like what you do. Do not wait till you have friends to do things. Do the things you love first and you will make friends who love the same things you do.

2. To meet new people come early and stay late.

Arriving late for a meeting keeps you from talking to others. So does running off before the meeting ends. If you want to meet others you need to budget your time as well as your money. Come a little early to meet people and plan to hang around a few minutes after meeting ends so you can talk to other like-minded people.

3. Help others – get into services.

Offer to help out. Set up chairs make coffee or hand out programs. Doing things to be of service makes you more a part of the group and is a great way to meet other people.

4. Be a giver not a taker.

If you are only there for what you can get out of a gathering you are likely to be disappointed. A selfish person is not high on the desirable list. Learn to do things for others just for the joy of giving and you will find that others appreciate you and what to get to know you.

This does not mean that you need to let others abuse you or that you need to buy your way into a group by doing or paying for things. What is important is that to make friends and supporters you need to act like the kind of person they would like to have for a friend.

5. Take someone with you.

Friendships are networks. Invite someone to go with you and you are not alone. They may well invite you the next time. The best way to meet people is through the people you already know. Make sure that the friends you hang out with are positive people. Your friends tend to introduce you to others just like they are.

6. Stay on topic.

If you are in a group that is talking about school activates do not try to take over the group and tell the stories of your last trip to where ever. Even in small-talk conversation try to share about the things others are talking about.

7. Help others join in.

The fastest way to make new friends is to help others to join in. Put your hand out, say hello and you will find you are the go to person for making friends.

8. Pay attention to the person you are talking to.

Remembering people’s names is a blessing. Work on it. Refer to others by names some of the time. Be careful that you have something real to say rather than punctuating every other sentence with their name. Having someone repeat your name several times in a sentence makes them feel like you are talking to a creepy call-center person.

One way to develop a deeper connection is to really pay attention to the person you are talking with. Look at them and stop looking around. Looking over your shoulder for the next conversation victim tells the person that you are talking with that they do not matter that much to you.

9. Don’t cling on desperately – be ready to mingle.

In new situations once you meet someone and engage them in conversation be ready to let them go. Having someone you just met latch onto you and follow you around the rest of the evening can feel like you now have a stalker.

10. Try to reconnect. Send emails, friend, connect on social media.

Whenever possible get a person’s contact info. Make sure you send them an email, friend them on social media or give them a call. Reach out to them like you want to be friends not like you are trying to sign them up for your multi-level marketing company.

11. Be sensitive to others needs for privacy.

Some people are all out there. Their life is an open book. Others, they are more private people. Do not push to invade others privacy. Some people keep their social media set to only a handful of close friends and family. Others have 15,000 best friends in their circle.

Know whether the person you met is open to you just dropping by or do they keep their home a sanctuary for just them and their family.

When adding friends to your support system think first about how public or private you want this relationship to be and make that clear if there is a chance that the person you just met will friend you and show up for dinner.

You will have some friends that are in all parts of your life and others that may be in only a few shared activities.

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.

12 Relationships that make you unhappy.

By David Joel Miller.

Some relationships problems are guaranteed to make you unhappy.

unhappy couple

Unhappy Relationship Surprises.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Humans have and need relationships whether you want them or not. Some relationships contribute to happiness and some create a great deal of misery. Romantic relationships can make us happy and they can be the greatest source of unhappiness. But lovers are not the only relationships that can be making you unhappy.

How many of these happiness sabotaging relationships are in your life?

1. You do not like yourself.

If you do not like yourself you make it hard for others to like you. We teach others how to treat us and the primary way we do that is the way we treat ourselves.

Treat yourself poorly and you set up a life full of unhealthy relationships.

2. You have partners and associates but no real friends.

There are all kinds of people who cross our paths each day. It is preferable to be on friendly terms with most all of them but having one hundred acquaintances is no comparison to having one true friend.

Casual acquaintances will disappear when times get tough; a true friend is there no matter what.

3. You are in love with money.

Money and other material possessions is a totally unreliable friend. No matter how much money you have it is unlikely to turn an unhappy person happy. Having enough money for your needs can take the stress and worry out of life but making money your best friend is likely to make you really lonely. The people who friend you when you have something they want, will disappear the second you can’t or won’t give them more.

4. You think your partner should make you happy.

Happiness comes from inside. Expecting your partner to make you happy is a mistake. These days a lot of people think that their lack of happiness is their partners fault. The result is a lot of affairs, break ups and new relationships. If you leave one partner for another expecting the change to make you happy the odds are that you will very shortly be back in an unhappy relationship, this time with a new equally unhappy partner.

5. Your lover is alcohol or drugs.

Lots of people develop very unhealthy relationships with drugs, alcohol, gambling and a host of other things. If your lover is a substance or a repetitive behavior like sex or shopping you are in an unhealthy relationship and this relationship is bound to make you unhappy.

6. You spend all your time with Anxiety.

Some people think that being anxious is helpful. They spend most of their day worrying about things with a low probability of happening. If you are in a close intimate relationship with your anxieties and fears this connection will turn unhappy in a flash.

Consider professional help to get a trial separation from your anxiety and fears.

7. You are lonely when you are alone.

Being alone should not make you lonely. Work on being your own best friend and you will not be lonely just because you are by yourself.

Chronically feeling lonely when alone sets you up to jump into a relationship, any relationship, just to avoid being alone. Most of those emergency relationships turn out to also be the very unhappy kind.

8. Your friends are toxic.

If you hang out with unhappy people you become unhappy. If your friends are downers and want you to mellow down to their level you are headed for lonely street.

9. Your living in the wrong time zone.

If you spend all your time and thoughts on the past, what should have been to make you happy, you will lose the present. Frankly the present is where you should be experiencing happiness.

Same problem if you spend all your time dwelling in the future. Do you time travel to some point in the future and tell yourself that if only you could get there then you will be happy. That time travel is leaving your present in the unhappy column.

10. The clock is your enemy – Procrastination – unpunctual – no time to yourself.

If you are constantly fighting the clock you are living an unhappy life. Make the present your friend. Start on time end on time and do not put off things that need doing. Make sure that you are not so busy chasing happiness that you fail to have time to enjoy it when you pass it by.

11. You have not made friends with the bed.

People who do not have a good sleep life do not have a happy awake life. Get lots of rest. If you have nightmares find out why and work with a professional counselor on dealing with those demons from your past.

A good healthy sex life is also a significant factor in being happy. Do not abuse your bed. Use it to sleep and to make love. Otherwise get up and get going.

12. You and your job can’t get along – you hate your job – spend the day avoiding work.

If you have a bad relationship with work it will color the rest of your life unhappy. If you hate yout job – figure out why and go about changing things. The best time to look for another job is when you have one. Look for a job that you would enjoy doing and you will look forward to going to work.

Work on improving your relationship with yourself, others in your life, your work and your feelings and you will find that as these relationships become happier you will spend more time in the happiness place and less time in the misery hangout.

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.