Loneliness Answers

How do I open myself up for a fulfilled single life?

Hi Tori! Thank you for reaching out and asking this valuable question on the topic of making improvements in your relationships. Welcome to the BetterHelp platform! I can tell that you have been looking for ideas on how to prepare for your next relationship as well as improve and build upon your current friendships. What are some of your relationship goals? I hope that my response to your question will assist you in making changes in your current and future relationships. Sometimes advice and guidance is all we need in order to take the next steps! I can tell that you have been feeling motivated for change based on what you had written in your question. It is a really good sign that you have been reaching out for support. Who else is in your support system? What institutions would you consider to be supportive for you? Are you familiar with the cycle of change? What are some things that you can realistically do as you prepare for change? Here is a link to more information on the cycle of change: https://ououd.casn.ca/media/documents/the-cycle-of-change.pdf Also, here is a link to the circle of support work sheet in which you can continue to identify your natural supports: https://www.citn.org.uk/resources/circle-of-support/ In addition to reaching out for support and preparing to make change, I can see that you are trying to focus on your needs. Have you taken some time to focus on your feelings, as well? First and foremost, I recommend that you take some time to focus on recognizing your feelings and assessing how your emotions may have changed over time. I will share with you the link to the feelings wheel in order for you to practice feeling identification strategies: https://ytp.uoregon.edu/sites/ytp2.uoregon.edu/files/Feelings%20Wheel%20in%20PDF.pdf It appears that you have already begun the process of setting some really good goals for yourself! I realize that you would like to learn how to live a fulfilling, single life. That sounds really great! What are some of the things that would make life fulfilling for you? Perhaps you can make a list of your hobbies, talents and interests in order to have a better understanding on how to answer this question. What are some of your personality traits that you would consider to be your greatest strengths? Take some time to assess your own personal favorite qualities that you recognize within yourself. In addition, you mentioned in your question that you had moved to London for love. It sounds like that plan did not work out in the way that you initially expected it to. I realize that this experience could come with some feelings of disappointment or perhaps even feelings of devastation. Those are just some of my first thoughts. I am wondering if you are familiar with the four types of Greek love- stergo, phileo, agape and eros. I understand that you had moved to London searching for love and did not find the type of love you had anticipated. Perhaps you can still find love but maybe a love that comes in a different form!Below is the link to an article that explains the four types of Greek love for your review: https://annointing.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/love-types.pdf On another note, I understand that you were able to recognize some of warning signs of codependency in your last relationship. Have you noticed codependency signs in your past relationships, as well? Take some time to clarify some of the signs of codependency. I would like to encourage you to look into more information on the topic of codependency. Below are the titles of two books that you could read in order to explore more on this topic: "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie "Understanding and Treating Co dependnce" by James A. Kitchens Also, check out this web link for a quick synopsis about understanding co dependency: https://www.mhankyswoh.org/Uploads/files/pdfs/CoDependency-UnderstandTreat_20130813.pdf In responding to your question, I would be interested in hearing more about what you have been doing to live a fulfilling life so far. What can you do to take action in order to live a more fulfilling life? Would you be able to envision yourself feeling fulfilled in other ways? I recommend that you try to visualize your life feeling fulfilled. Would you be willing to prioritize yourself over other people? It sounds like you could benefit from self care skills. Essentially, from my perspective, self care skills mean practicing any activity that brings you joy and fosters a sense of self love. It is okay to be selfish. Not in a bad, rude and "no one matters but me" way but rather in an "I love you" (yourself) type of way! I hope that you can carve out twenty minutes or so in your day to practice self care. Here is a link to some more ideas for self care skills: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c154cf9372b964a03cbccdb/t/5c488d65352f534aa63aa58a/1548258661324/100+Coping+Skills.pdf I recommend that you begin the process of journaling or creating art on a regular basis. Would you be willing to participate in creative writing or therapeutic drawing interventions? You could keep a daily journal as a means to record and keep track of your thoughts and feelings. At this time, I would like to recommend that you you begin attending individual counseling sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It sounds like you could find meeting with a therapist one on one will be helpful for you overall. In individual therapy, you can have the chance to address your concerns with attachment. Ask your therapist about the attachment theory! You may also want to consider attending a group therapy session or a groupinar. The group therapy process has very unique benefits that you may find to be helpful for you! Lastly, I want to thank you again for your time asking this important question. Also, I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey on BetterHelp. I hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. Take good care and have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/17/2022

When am I going to move on?

Hi! A pleasure to meet you! I am Lorena, LMFT (marriage and family therapist). Thanks for opening up to me and sharing some of your current struggles/ issues you are dealing with. I hear your words and your commitment to feeling better so hopefully this answer will help! It is pretty normal when we have a committed partner to devote ourself to them fully; without realizing that we need us more than anyone. It sounds like you were pretty committed to this person and the relationship you both had so you decided to invest yourself fully in him.. I can't imagine what being in the same city without him looks like. It probably reminds you about a lot of things and it is hard not to have him in your head a lot of the time. Plus, dedicating yourself to him and not opening up to other people! That's pretty normal, so we will process this together. You probably have changed as a person after that relationship so it is hard to picture yourself with people from before; it is not that you became a better or worst person, you just changed and transformed, probably your needs/ likes/ desires and hopes did as well! I wonder how can you meet new people. First exercise: write down some of your coping mechanisms, things that make you happy nowadays and let's think about meeting people in those situations; cooking classes, yoga, fitness centers, music classes, etc! Think about the person you are and want to continue being and invest yourself in that! I hear how you are scared of being vulnerable again and opening up to a new relationship! Makes a lot of sense, clearly you were in a committed relationship where you dedicated yourself to one person. Opening up your heart again and dating/ going out is equal to being vulnerable, which means putting your wall/ guard down and opening up and letting also the fear/ concern play a role. Yes, your heart may get broken again; but that is very normal and part of the relationship; it's actually a very normal part of dating. A pro of dating is not only making the relationship work out but also getting to know yourself with different people. Perhaps, different individuals teach you something about yourself that you did not know was there! The only way in which you can continue becoming the amazing person you are is by exposing. When you are secure of your needs as a person the way that a break up affects you will be very different; which means that it will hurt but you will understand it different as well!  Exercise 2: accountability mirror: stand in front of a mirror and everyday grab a sticky note and write something you like about yourself; paste it in the mirror and notes will be adding up! send me a picture if you can! Conclusion: So working together we would do a little bit of inner work where you can find that peace and acceptance with yourself; we would focus on being vulnerable, letting yourself understand fear and talking about your needs as a person. I always send a therapy worksheet before we meet so I will do that with you as well so I can have your goals and needs for the future. Let me know if you have any questions! Respectfully, Lorena Klahr, Licensed marriage and family therapist
(LMFT)
Answered on 11/15/2022

How do I commit myself in to a relationship?

Hello Lisa, Thank you for reaching out for your question. I will try my best to answer this as best as possible on the limited information.First of all, it is very hard to find good men these days.  Society has taken a modern turn and communication and steps to build a relationship don't seem to really exist.  People are wanting to "rush order" dating and relationships and they usually end up with someone who has a personality disorder or co-dependency issues, especially on a dating application where that platform is really attractive for someone who quickly wants their ego fed.With that said, if you are wanting to find someone of quality, I strongly recommend that you do things that you do and love and then someone who is also interested in the same things will find you there. For example, if you love to kayak, play tennis, etc. then gravitate to those type of activities.  In addition, volunteering for community service especially during the holidays is a nice way to help out.Lastly, when you do meet someone, the key is to take your time.  Take one step at a time and really get to know someone instead of rushing in a physical relationship.  This way, you can study their personality, see if they are a good fit and you have things in common, and develop a sense of trust.  It takes time to build trust and most people rush into things and then end up getting hurt.  It also might be good for you to seek professional counseling with a licensed therapist to see if you keep gravitating towards the same type of toxic guy. Perhaps, there is a pattern where you are drawn to more toxic men and this is why you continue to get hurt.  A licensed therapist can help you under why you are drawn to certain men and help you shift out of old patterns and perhaps help your "picker" find more trustworthy fellas.Hope this helps and I wish you the best on your journey of love.  Remember, do things that you love, learn to love yourself, and in return... you will attract love to you.
Answered on 11/15/2022

Why am I always the odd one out ..it's like no one cares about me, not even my family and relatives..

Hello Lewie, Thank you for reaching out with your statement.  I'm not really sure what you are trying to ask here, so I will do my best in trying to provide you some answers to your pressing situation.First, is this how you feel or is this reality?  Sometimes, when we think the worst about ourselves, it is not necessarily the truth.  As humans, we have a tendency to think negative self loathing comments when we don't feel good about ourselves, but that doesn't necessary mean that is what is happening.  It is just our negative perception, since we are thinking and feeling negatively.  However, if you feel this way, it may be good for you to talk to a licensed professional therapist to help you understand your family system and dynamics.  Yet, you had mentioned that you have more enemies, than friends.  If this truly is the case, then a therapist can also help you sort out why this is the case for you.  What type of behaviors do you do that set people off?  What kind of things do you say, to make people walk away from you?  Or, is this just your perception and not really reality?  A therapist can help you overcome these feelings or help navigate you into understanding people better and how you are relating to them.If you feel people are going against you all the time, then maybe you are acting or doing something to turn people off from you?  Can you recall times you said or did something and they reacted or responded by withdrawing?  Maybe you need to learn some positive ways to interact with others so they want to engage with you.  It may be good to sit with one of your friends or family members that you trust and ask for feedback to help you gain insight on how you can be a better person, friend, or family member.I hope this helps and I wish you nothing but the best on trying to resolve this within yourself and I hope you are able to gain insight into yourself and into your relationships with others.
Answered on 11/15/2022

How can I move on and be happy when everyone leaves me and hurts me?

Hi NP! It is really great that you are reaching out for support at this time. I can tell that you have been feeling concerned about how you will be able to move forward from your past experiences. I hope to give you some guidance and insight on how to manage your thoughts and feelings in addition to help you uncover what you could do next as you navigate your journey of self discovery. It appears that you have been trying to be the bigger person. You mentioned that you have been focusing on forgiving other people for their actions. This speaks to your many strengths, including your sense of bravery, resiliency and maturity. What are some of the barriers to seeking out forgiveness for others? Are you finding it tiring or exhausting to always be the better person in social situations? Take some time to reflect on your current role as a friend in your relationships. Where would you say that you are at in the process of forgiveness? Perhaps you can utilize a positive, self affirming statement as a means to seek out forgiveness from within yourself! Here is an example of a positive affirmation that encompasses the principle of forgiveness: "I free myself from anger and resent. I choose forgiveness as a guiding force and empowering principle." For more ideas and positive affirmations, check out the daily reflections written by Louise Hay. Here is the link to the website: https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/ I realize that you have been trying to move on and feel happy. That is a really great goal that you have set for yourself. In addition, I recognize that you have been trying to pretend that everything is okay. What are some of the pro's and con's to pretending that things are alright with you? How long have you been trying to pretend for? How has this behavior been working for you? I would be interested in hearing more details about your experience with this. It sounds like you would benefit from building up your natural supports. I realize that you have been going through a lot. Who in your life is willing to support you? I want to encourage you to take some time to identify your social supports. Here is a link to the support circle worksheet that you can print out and complete when you have some time: https://www.citn.org.uk/resources/circle-of-support/ You mentioned that you have people in your life that say that they are your friends but, in turn, participate in activities without inviting or informing you about the plans. It sounds like this is a one way street, in that you are expected to be there for them, nonetheless. Have you considered writing in a therapeutic journal as a means to reflect on your past experiences? Journaling can be a wonderful way for you to organize your thoughts and express your feelings about your current relationships. There is a journal feature on the BetterHelp platform that provides clients with some ideas for daily writing and journal entries. You can pick an emoji that describes your current feelings and state of mind at the time of writing the journal entry. Sometimes writing down thoughts and feelings can be a valuable motivating factor, too! In addition, there are other resources for you to try when it comes to journaling. If you would like more information and ideas for journaling, check out the Therapeutic Writing Institute! What have you been doing to take care of yourself at this time? I recommend practicing self care skills as a means to manage your assessed self care needs. The BetterHelp therapists have access to a really great, in depth self care assessement that you can fill out if you choose to start therapy. In the meantime, do what you can to improve and build upon your self care skills. Be kind to yourself because you truly deserve it! Here is a link to some ideas for coping skills that you can incorporate into your self care routine: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c154cf9372b964a03cbccdb/t/5c488d65352f534aa63aa58a/1548258661324/100+Coping+Skills.pdf In addition to utilizing journaling techniques and self care skills, I recommend that you practice a variety of therapeutic drawing techniques. Therapeutic art making can be a holistic approach that facilitates the healing and recovery process. Draw a picture of your ideal friendship. What would that look like for you? Take some time to draw your feelings in lines, shapes and colors. Maybe you can draw a house, a tree and a person. You can consider drawing a bridge that goes from someplace to someplace. Mark what direction you are going in and where you are at on the bridge. Here is a link to more information about the therapeutic benefits of therapeutic art making: https://psychcentral.com/stress/art-therapy-ways-to-draw-your-stress-out#drawing-exercises At this time, I would like to recommend that you begin attending individual therapy sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It seems like you are open to trying out new ideas and learning new skills. I believe that you would find one on one counseling sessions to be helpful for you. You may find great joy by simply being heard.It sounds like you may also benefit greatly from attending a weekly support group. Would you be willing to meet other individuals and connect with others as a means to process your experiences in a therapeutic setting? There are a myriad of elements specific to group therapy that you may find to be healing and inspiring. In addition to attending individual and group counseling, you may benefit from going to a class or an activity. Perhaps you can join a pottery class, yoga class, photography group or a paint night! Thank you again for taking the time to reach out for support on the BetterHelp platform. I hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. Take good care and have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/15/2022

Why do I feel like I'm going to be alone forever?

Thank you for taking the time to reach out and for posing such a courageous question.  I can certainly feel the pain contained within your question and can only hope to provide more clarity toward your experience with my answer.   Loneliness is a deeply existential experience that contains a unique and profound paradox within its overall presentation.  Often, loneliness is produced by underlying sub-feelings, experiences, and perceptions of being abandoned, rejected, alone, stuck, ostracized, or isolated.  Yet, we do not realize that when we experience these difficult sub-feelings, we are very much connected to other human beings.  Truly, loneliness is a common experience shared by many individuals on a cross-cultural level.  Naturally, when we have multiple experiences that foster a deep sense of loneliness, the fear can easily become: "Is this awful experience going to last forever?  Am I destined to remain alone for eternity?"  Often, when we meet these anxiety invoking thoughts with facts, hope can be salvaged.  Although I do not know the full extent of your circumstances, I invite for you to consider the facts pertaining directly to your experiences.  Allow yourself to separate what is actually known from what is being imagined or dictated by the emotion of fear.  As human beings, we become easily prone to living in the imagined future.  Unfortunately, as much as we would like to predict the trajectory of our lives, we can never be absolute certain about anything.  All of this is to say, that even if you have had profound experiences of loneliness in the past, the future remains poised with opportunity.   Strength and growth can also be elicited whenever we can begin to recognize behavioral patterns that we tend to easily fall into, follow, or employ within our lives.  Perhaps, the question of, "What personality characteristics am I most attracted to within people?," can serve as a preliminary platform that further motivates future insight and direction.  Awareness, Boundary Formation, and Commitment tend to prove as being useful within our navigation of friendships and relationship dynamics.  When searching for love, we must be mindful to practice self-compassion, empathy, and true self-love.  As an early Pre-Socratic Philosopher once stated, "How can we give what we do not have?"   Becoming comfortable with entering into and exploring the love in which we have for ourselves, may prove as being a guiding light that is meaningful in our quest toward self-discovery.   While the pain of the past requires renegotiation in order to derive meaning and incorporation into our lives, we can be empowered from the lessons in which we have learned and applied.  Success is in the trying.  Returning to the safety of ourselves and allowing the love in which we have for ourself to be sufficient, may assist in remedying any hurt that still lingers or remains.  Similarly, once we have a stable foundation that is rooted firm in self-love, future encounters of abandonment or isolation will prove as being less painful. 
Answered on 11/13/2022

I don’t know what’s wrong with me

Hi Han! Thank you for reaching out here. I appreciate you taking the time to connect to the services available on the BetterHelp platform. It is truly a good sign that you have decided to reach out for support at this time. You did a great job of identifying the ways in which you have been experiencing difficulties lately. I hope that my response to your question helps in guiding you in your journey of self discovery! Based on what you wrote in your question, I can tell that you have many strengths that have yet to be uncovered. It appears that you have been dealing with anxious and intrusive thoughts. It sounds like the thoughts that you have been having are consistent with negative self talk. You may benefit from learning more about the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) concept of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs). The foundation of CBT principles is that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interrelated and connected. Essentially, the founders of the ANTs theory purport that thought patterns can be cyclical and often repeat themselves in recurrent, maladaptive ways. Below is a link for additional information and insight into ANTs from the Positive Psychology website: https://positivepsychology.com/challenging-automatic-thoughts-positive-thoughts-worksheets/ My go-to treatment recommendation for navigating negative thoughts is to utilize positive affirmations. By practicing self affirming statements, individuals can actually interrupt negative thinking patterns and begin to break up the continuous cycle. An example of a positive affirmation that could work is: "I fill my day with loving thoughts. I feel safe in my body. Today, I choose to stay positive and practice the principles of patience and gratitude." The inspirational affirmations written by Louise Hay can be rejuvenating and healing. I recommend practicing affirmations multiple times per day. Write the quotes down on sticky notes, store them digitally in your phone and repeat these sayings aloud as you look in the mirror. Take some time to read "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. This is the link to the daily affirmations written by Louise Hay: https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/ In addition to experiencing intrusive thoughts, it sounds like you recognize that you have been experiencing mood swings. Would you say that these two experiences are correlated? Do the mood swings tend to happen after the intrusive thoughts arise, vice versa? Keep track of your moods in a daily planner or calendar. Try to notice patterns of mood changes over time. In addition to practicing affirmations and keeping a daily mood log, I recommend that you try out some mindfulness exercises. Essentially, mindfulness means being present in the current moment and removing judgement from the here and now. You mentioned that your thoughts just come and go. This experience is something that you can utilize as you learn mindfulness based techniques. Take some time to draw your thoughts and feelings in lines, shape and colors. The art making process can help cultivate spontaneity. You can enjoy an expressive experience as you draw, paint or color. Here is a link that provides an overview of additional mindfulness strategies: https://wellness.mcmaster.ca/your-health/mindfulness-and-relaxation/ I understand that having these mood swings can be incredibly difficult to navigate. The swift changes in mood combined with the anxious thoughts could be a contributing factor for stress, as you mentioned that you have been feeling nervous and stressed out lately. I can see how being in a constant state of heightened anxiety would be disconcerting and distressing, to say the least. What have you been doing to manage the feelings of stress that you have been experiencing? I will share with you a resource for stress management strategies: https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-to-reduce-stress-3145195 I realize that you sometimes have difficulty with maintaining healthy connections with the people in your life. Who, would you say, are the people in your support circle? Is there someone in your life who you feel comfortable with reaching out to for guidance and encouragement? Take some time to build upon your natural supports. It is imperative that you connect with the people in your life who you trust. It may be advantageous for you to begin attending individual counseling sessions on a weekly basis. It sounds like it will be beneficial for you to meet with a trained therapist on a regular basis in order to communicate, express and discuss your thoughts, feelings and experiences. In addition to starting individual therapy sessions, you may also want to consider attending a group or a groupinar on the BetterHelp platform. Becoming part of a group will help you to foster meaningful connections and establish healthy, supportive, relationships in a therapeutic setting. Thank you again, Han, for asking this essential question on the topic of managing challenging thoughts and emotions. I am so glad that you reach out for support. I hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. Take good care and have a good day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/11/2022

How to regain motivation in life?

Hi there, Ironically, you are not alone - by this I mean - in this feeling of loneliness and in your observations of how quarantine had an effect on your spirit.  I speak to people every single day about this because it has had an effect and it is hard to reset.   So for that alone it may be good to be a bit compassionate towards yourself.  Humans are social animals - we need each other.  We have around 68 muscles in our face and neck - this is because over millions of years we have developed a fundamental way of connecting - not through speech but through what our face and body are saying.   Hugs for instance .. how much can be said and felt through a real honest hug?  How safe do we feel in that connection? Watching people in airports - no words, but hugs and embraces.  A smile - it makes others smile. Empathy - we feel what others feel.  There's so much more than words to communication.  Everything you're saying points to a 'primal' need that isn't being satisfied.  That your connection to the bigger 'tribe' has been lost. And with it an impetus.  Often overlooked and sometimes more importantly the connection to our body - that gets lost too - it's the safe place where your brain and mind live. And it has been disturbed by all you've outlined.   There are two types of therapy that can make us feel better.  Bottom up (body to brain) and top down (brain to body) both are needed in order to feel a balance and to heal.  So let's look closely at what you're saying within this context.   Losing friends, lifestyle upsets (university and financial), isolation are all challenges you went through but - encouragingly you mention that now things have all gotten a bit better better.   However for an understanding it's important to know that in the wake of the stress and all of the changes and pressures in those areas brought a residual depression. What is depression in this case?  It is as you diagnosed - a loss of joy.  Can't enjoy games, hobbies and getting sick, also tired.  Strength and motivation is gone. And there's a question how to get back to life and an active joyful life. First step is to recognize that what happened to you was something that happened to many.  So this is why I said you're not alone.  And so many want change as you do.  We were put into a state of fear, compounded with isolation and the normal challenges of life still had to be maintained so it became an overwhelm. We retreated and it's hard to come out.     Just as an animal who retreats into the back of the cave to recover, so it is with us.  Coming out is a slow and steady but importantly self-compassionate return.  Your reaction was appropriate.  Too much change, too much uncertainty and a deprivation of your joy.  So be kind to yourself with your resurrection to life.  What's something small you could do tomorrow?  As it's not about a big change it's just about changing direction.   Could it be sending a message or even a meme to someone you've not connected with for a while? Going for a walk in a place you've fond memories.  Planning a trip in the summer.  Going to a comedy show with a trusted person (family or friend).  Watching a YouTube video about your hobbies, not necessarily doing them - yet - but preparing.   It's got to be a slow start. No shocks needed. Just peep out of the cave and see how it is.  One thing each day, small... and gauge how it feels.  Connection.  Smiling at a stranger in a store - or meeting with a friend you've missed - using one of the 68 muscles that are just dying to be used again.   Finding bottom up therapy - movement and top down - memories.  Step into them and bring them to the future so you know where you're going and acknowledging your successes and that each day brings you a little step towards your goals. And talking - that of course is a step in the right direction.  Taking the lid off the feelings and finding the words to express them.  Helps understand ourselves whilst at the same time connecting.   Hope this helps for reflection as a next step to your first one - that of reaching out.   Fiona
Answered on 11/10/2022

How to deal with anxiety after a breakup

Going through a breakup can be very difficult, no matter the circumstances. You are likely going to go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) just like you would if someone passed away. The vision you once had of your future with your girlfriend is now shattered and you are left with a void of the future with a lot of negative emotions.  Given the circumstances of being emotionally cheated on and feeling used financially, it would make sense that you would have some anxiety regarding other relationships and negative thoughts about yourself. The best way to challenge those anxious thoughts is to put things into a different perspective. Right now, because you are hurt, you are experiencing life negatively, and in order to change that, we need to look at how we are thinking. If you are having anxious thoughts, you can ask yourself what the worst case scenario, best case scenario, and most likely scenario are. That way you are a little bit more focused on the logic of the situation and not the emotions. Because you are hurt, your perspective is likely going to be skewed a bit, and it is important to remember that not every partner is going to have the same qualities as your ex, nor will you have the same experiences. Asking yourself if the thoughts you are having are rational or irrational is going to be important, as well. When we get hurt, it is natural to fall into negative thought patterns as well. Depression, poor self-esteem, and anxiety are often the result of irrational negative thoughts. Someone who has been cheated on might feel that they are unlovable. This irrational thought about themselves will dictate how they feel about themselves. Challenging irrational thoughts can help us change them. We can do this by asking questions about facts and evidence. Looking at facts will help us manage the emotion. We can also look at it from the perspective of a family, a close friend or supportive adult. Challenge yourself to look at the situation from a positive perspective and ask yourself if the situation will matter in the next month, year, or five years from now.  I hope this helps you with managing the emotions that come with breaking up with a former partner. 
Answered on 11/09/2022

I don't understand why no one is ever attracted to me or shows interest in me

Hi PS! Thank you for taking the time to reach out for support on the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum! I appreciate you sharing many details about your question related to loneliness, isolation and establishing meaningful relationship connections. I can tell by the information that you have provided that you are looking to further your relationships and address your challenges with intimacy, dating, attraction and romantic relationships. Based on your question, I can tell that you are a very likable person and that you have a strong support system. As I am sure that you already know, having close relationships with family and friends can be an integral part of anyone's social experience. A strong social support system can be vital in managing the challenges of every day life. It is a really great sign that you have close friends, supportive parents and feel good about these connections. I would like to encourage you to continue to build upon these supports. In addition, I can see why you are still feeling alone if you are coping with rejection. Self confidence can be an attractive quality for many individuals. Perhaps you can start the relationship building process by working on improving your self esteem and rebuilding your self confidence. If you are looking to assess your own self concept, I recommend utilizing the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) as a means to measure self esteem over time. Here is the link to this free, validated and reliable assessment: https://wwnorton.com/college/psych/psychsci/media/rosenberg.htm I would be curious to know more about your thoughts on dating. What would a satisfactory relationship look like for you? What are some aspects in a relationship and qualities of significant other that you are searching for? What are your current positive traits, qualities and strengths that you could bring to a relationship? It is true that dating isn't always easy and that there are many challenges that come with the process of establishing a romantic connection. What have your strategies for dating been like thus far? Would you consider the prospect of online dating? Some people meet their partner through a mutual friend, a friend of a friend or by being connected to someone who knows them both. Have you tried reaching out to your friends and expressing your dating concerns? Do you think that one of them could connect you to another single person who is looking for similar things? It would be good for you to leave your comfort zone behind and meet new people when the opportunity arises to do so. Maybe you can ask some couples how they met in order to give you some ideas for your own future love story. One aspect of dating entails having a set of shared interests with another individual. How would you describe your hobbies and interests? If you are willing, you may want to consider creating a running list on the topic of your strengths, talents, interests, etc. Having an interesting hobby maybe helpful for you to nurture your self confidence, as well. Perhaps you could meet someone special doing one of the activities on your list of interests! Keep track of what you like to do and the things that are of interest to you. When it comes time for a first date, you will be super prepared and be ready to express your hobbies to the person who is getting to know you! I would like to encourage you to begin writing in a therapeutic journal about your strengths as well as explore some barriers to having a fulfilling relationship. Emotional expression can be an incredibly powerful tool when reflected through the journaling and writing process. As a provisionally licensed art therapist, I always recommend making art as a means to communicate, express and process any thought, feeling or experience. The holistic interventions of art therapy may be beneficial for you to incorporate into your therapeutic journey. Did you know that there are many added benefits to art making which includes self esteem building? An art therapy related activity that could work for you is to draw a picture of a potential first date. Take some time to imagine, create and allow yourself to discover a sensory experience. Where would your ideal first date be located? What sounds might you hear? What things would you see around you and surrounding you and your date? What might your date look like? Would there be any tactile sensations, tastes or smells that stand out for you? By creating this guided visualized imagery, you are giving yourself a chance to better understand the things that you are looking for. Perhaps there will be an opportunity for this experience to manifest itself into your life if you would like it to. Aside from recognizing your talents and strengths through writing, creating therapeutic drawings and utilizing sensory visualization exercises, I would like to recommend that you begin individual counseling services on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Having a safe space for you to share your thoughts, express your concerns and come up with a plan for change would likely assist you in building self esteem and attaining your goals. Going to group therapy sessions or a groupinar may be beneficial for you, as well. Essentially, it is up to you what you decide to do regarding your therapy. Lastly, I would like to share an inspirational quote with you written by an anonymous individual, who is full of dating wisdom: "Poor self esteem- everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. Everyone is capable of giving love and deserves to receive love. Everyone." Thank you again, PS, for asking this valuable question on the BetterHelp platform. I truly hope that my response was helpful for you in some way. Take good care, be optimistic and stay positive. Try to have some faith that things will work out in the right time and in the right way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey! Have a wonderful day.
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/08/2022

How does someone deal with deep loneliness? My wife and I have separated and I'm having a hard time.

Hi T, I am very sorry to read your question but thank you for asking it. Loneliness is far more common than many people care to admit, and in a world of social media where everyone posts their best lives, full of friendships and happiness, admitting that you are struggling can be difficult.   Loneliness is painful, particularly when it has been caused to you, by someone leaving and in that moment you not having anyone to fill the void. The information in your question does not mention whether this has come out of the blue, or whether you were expecting it, either way it is very sad. It would it be helpful to know more about your relationship, you do not mention children, so I assuming that you do not have any? You also do not mention your home life, have you been left in the home, will you need to find a new home?  Very often, when we are part of a couple, our lives can become entwined in another person's, sometimes more than we realize; we might share their interests, their friends, which, when everything is going well, is good, but if they leave our lives, so does everyone and everything else. How long were you married for? Separation, particularly when the separation is not of your choosing, can leave you in shock. I think talking to a therapist about your feelings would be helpful. It will allow you to process the grief that you are experiencing. Loneliness can affect your mental health and lead to anxiety and depression. The ending of any significant relationship can be felt like a loss, and this grief can turn into anger and resentment. Depending on the circumstances surrounding it, there are often lots of recriminations.  As a therapist, I would like to work through the process of grief and examine how you are coping emotionally, talk about the feelings, rather than suppressing them, these feelings will only resurface later, if not dealt with in the first instance. Alongside dealing with your loss, it is important to look to your future. The feelings you are experiencing at the moment will be intense and it might feel that they will never improve. But it is important to know that the feelings of sadness will pass, no emotional state lasts forever. However, unprocessed feelings, if not addressed, can be carried over into future relationships, and often spoil them. What are your interests, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Where do live, is it somewhere busy such as a town, or are you located more rurally? Admitting that you are lonely is often the biggest step to take. When you feel ready, and sometimes we just need to 'go for it', I would suggest looking for social groups in your community, finding people that have similar interests to you. There are often charities that you may be interested in that are looking for volunteers.  Seeking counseling, with people that won't judge you and where you are able to talk openly will also help. I hope this provides you with some ideas and guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can help. Best wishes Vanessa
Answered on 11/07/2022

My question is how do I better my relationship with others like my family and friends?

When we lose people that are close to us, it can often make us feel very vulnerable and scared.  This isn't a feeling that is very welcomed and at a younger age can be very traumatic if we don't have a support system in place to help us navigate this emotional pain.  Through this experience it is common for individuals to develop defense mechanisms that may help protect us from feeling that emotional pain again, but those same defense mechanisms can often push others away from us so we don't develop closer relationships.  Resolving our own internal struggle with past experiences is part of how we can retrain our mind to accept deeper relationships that will allow us to be vulnerable once again.  If your goal is to be closer with family and friends, we need to explore how we became so distant. Over time this has become a learned behavior and it will require trying new things and developing effective ways of communicating with those closest to you.  My recommendation to my clients is that when we identify that there is something that we need to improve on, we need to start getting comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable.  As we go through life, we will lose people that we interact with and an unhealthy solution would be to never get close to anyone. We as human beings do need to interact with others.  I know we can describe ourselves as introverts or extroverts, but we often still interact with people through social media platforms, gaming systems, through services in the community, and people that live in our immediate area.  We have opportunities every day to interact with others, but if we are finding it difficult to interact with those that are closest to us, then it is for a reason.  Focus on when it changed, why did it change, and the reason that we felt it needed to change.  We made a choice somewhere along that timeline, and now we have the opportunity to make a choice again once we have self explored.  Remember, it is your journey, and I'm glad you are brave enough to share it with us.
Answered on 11/05/2022

How can I stop being so emotional?

It sounds like there are a lot of emotions going on inside you that need to be expressed in a safe, confidential space where you can articulate your feelings and move through the overwhelm of the emotions, expressing themselves in tears.   I wonder what is in those small conversations that are making you cry?  Is it the conversation subject, the people around you, how they talk about the subject, their tone, or behavior?  It could be many factors that are impacting you to remain centered. Emotions can run deep and the pattern of 'struggling to keep relationships' keeps arising.  How is your relationship with yourself? From what you said, you are 'upset when alone, with yourself.  What is it about being alone that is upsetting?  Have you ever experienced alone time as being calm, and positive, when was this time and what has happened since for you not to feel the same way?  It sounds like a loss of self, to connect and be content with just being on your own, or being you.  How do your thoughts present themselves?  Are they negative, harmful, critical, or judgmental? Would you say these thoughts to a friend in need?  Do you challenge or reflect on your thoughts, giving air to a new perspective, a new way of looking or feeling about a situation, person, or circumstance or do they remain the same as they present themselves to you?  Thoughts dictate our emotions so being aware of them is part of remaining balance within yourself. Through the counseling process, you can begin to understand where these emotions originate from to start developing a relationship with yourself, then the external relationship with others will follow.  It is an inner journey rather than an external one to remain resilient and stable, with or without others around you. I work to help you identify what is upsetting you.  This can take the form of looking into the past, but at your own pace.  It does take time but, in time you become more aware of who you are and how you relate to yourself and everyone else. Hope this answers your question. 
Answered on 11/04/2022

How can I know my feelings?

Hi there, when something bad happens, it can leave us feeling sad, mad, helpless, disappointed, shamed, guilty, hurt, pain, and even anxious, it can be very confusing and leave us feeling conflicted about just how we feel, or should feel.  The emptiness you mentioned in your question is very real and painful.  There are a lot of factors that can make a difference such as: this time and what has happened in the past, with the same person or persons,  how we viewed what took place past and present, whether we are conflicted because of what was said, how it was said, when it was said, the surroundings when it was said, whether others were around when it was said--all of this makes a difference.   So not knowing the exact circumstances leaves us giving a VERY general answer. Many times we may have to "decipher" our own feelings and it sounds like that is where you are currently.  The feeling you have of being empty can also come from repeated instances of disappointment, discouragement and even a feeling of despair, which again can leave you confused and conflicted.   I often find many clients going through this type of confusion came from families where they often had to conform, many had learned to perform and did not have the "right" to be angry, the "right" to express their feelings without being ridiculed.  I find often when we don't know how we are "supposed" to react can be because we have not had the freedom, (whether real or imagined) to feel what THEY feel. We tend to conform to the guidelines and expectations of others.  You may have learned how to feel, how to think, how to act in order not to be made fun of, to be punished or shamed.  Making the decision to get in touch with the real you, not the one who has been "acting" or "performing" according to the predefined guidelines and family "rules" may very well help you with understanding your true feelings.  I believe the work to do this will be uneasy--at first, but so rewarding as you move toward feeling, touching, healing and releasing the old for the new.  I speak peace, love, and joy into all of who you are in your wonderful journey of discovery! 
(M.A., LPC)
Answered on 11/03/2022

What would advice would you tell a 20 year old about something you wish someone told you?

This is a really good question and one I believe a lot of young people are struggling with right now.  If I am going to stay strictly with the question of what would I tell a young adult that I wish someone had told me the response would be: "Work toward self-acceptance - that is key. Have experiences, remember you are young and all of your life is ahead of you.  This is the time to explore, find your passions, your interests and your people and nothing is out of bounds for you.  Find out who you really are and what you like, what you dislike and what you are willing to do and not do.  Be brave, have courage and remember that bravery and courage are not the absence of fear, they are proceeding in the face of fear.  Talk to people, find those who have your back through thick and thin and stick with them.  Give yourself grace and room to make errors. This means letting go of the idea of perfection - allow for mistakes from you and from the people you love.  Feel the feelings, identify what works for you in your belief system and get rid of what doesn't lift you up and improve your life when it comes to your thought processes.  If you have thoughts that are dragging you down, figure out the reasons, take what you need and leave the rest - there is no need to drag your bag of shame behind you throughout your life. You will have your own identity and that identity will grow and morph as you go through life - you will still be you underneath, just with new and developed layers!" That is the beginning of what I would say to a young adult that I wish someone had said to me.  I also wish someone had told me I am doing the best I can with what I have at any given point in time.  This is one of the truest statements I have ever heard and one I tell myself every day, whether things are going right or things have gone sideways somehow.  As an individual it is important to find our own levels of measurement with which to measure ourselves and in the young adult years we are usually still using someone else's measuring levels and believing we are failing horribly.  When we step back and take a real look at whose measurements we are trying to live up to it can give perspective on how we are looking at ourselves, what we are saying to ourselves and our own basic beliefs about ourselves.  Finding someone to help sort all of that out is vitally important and young adulthood is a great time to get started with that process! 
Answered on 11/01/2022

How can my girlfriend and I reignite the spark? And how can we better improve our communication?

I would suggest for you both to remember the first time you both got together or met. Also, remember when and how you fell in love. Talk about those times with one another to rekindle the relationship. When it comes to communication, I suggest learning how to fight or learning how to have conversations. This is a must. Using "I feel" statements, are quite powerful. For example, "I feel ________ when ______." Be mindful of tone of voice when having discussions. Remember to speak to each other with love and respect. Taking a 5-minute break, if you feel the conversation is getting heavy, might also be helpful. Do mindful breathing exercises during the 5-minute break, then revisit the conversation. Couples therapy is also very helpful. Having fruitful conversations about the positives of the relationship is key. If it is a long-distance relationship, evaluate if it would be better to move closer together or keeping it like it is. Perhaps each of you taking accountability for actions can also help. When there is ownership of something that went wrong, you or your partner may feel heard, understood and cared for. This also shows that there is an awareness of what struggles are happening in the relationship. Making a list of values that you both share and don't share can also help bond you both. Therefore, you can see each other's differences and learn to embrace the various characteristics of your relationship. This can help you both grow with one another. Deciphering the struggles in the relationship, which led to the break-up, can also illustrate what not to do next time you both give the relationship a go again. Decide to show up for yourselves in the relationship and making communication a priority is also a great way to set the standard for your relationship. Compromise and trust is key. Spending time with one another in person can also be powerful. Hugs and looking into each other's eyes stimulate the bonding and love hormones in your brain. It can bring you both closer to one another. Making a conscious choice to write love notes and send them to one another, will also further help with communication. 
(PsyD, MA, LMFT)
Answered on 11/01/2022

How do I cope with a breakup?

Hi NaeNae! I am so glad that you reached out for some help! This sounds like a hurtful situation that is difficult to navigate on your own. Sometimes our emotions get in the way of us figure out and decide what is best for us. Try looking at it from a perspective that does not include your strong emotions-just the facts! What is it that is making you unhappy? Maybe the feelings of not being appreciated enough? Or possibly him not showing emotions? Is this something the two of you can work through together? It's okay if that is not what you want, moving on is okay too! Either decision is a difficult one to make, but always keep in mind that each decision will lead you down a different path. There is no right or wrong path in this situation, just two different ones that can both have beautiful outcomes.  Focus on what will make you happy. When coping with a break up it is important that we focus on what is happening in the moment, not in the past. What is wonderful about your life in this moment? For the next five minutes focus on, where can you find joy, peace or whatever else you need to be content. Then do that again until you get through an entire day of being in the moment. Some moments won't be so easy and that's okay too. Let yourself feel those feelings and then let them pass and go back to taking baby steps at staying in the moment.  It's also okay to look to the future. What are your goals and dreams? What are you doing in this moment to accomplish them? If you aren't working on anything specific right now, that's okay too. It sounds like one of your goals is getting through this break-up. What do you see yourself doing when you are feeling like yourself again? Once your emotions have calmed down a little bit, start thinking about your next steps. Not before you are ready though! It's okay to take as much time as you need to get through this challenge!  When you lose someone you love in any manner, whether through a break-up or death or something else, it is normal to grieve that. Grief is not only for death. Any loss can be grieved. The stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. These stages are not linear, one day you might feel like you have reached the acceptance stage and then all of the sudden you are back to anger and denial. This is normal and okay. Over time you will find that you are in the acceptance stage for longer and longer. Sometimes, a break-up can be even more challenging to grieve than death because there is not always the finality that comes with death. The possibility and hope of being with that person again can come back up. This is where your boundaries come in! Set boundaries that let you think about this person in the same manner all the time and this process will go more smoothly.  Good Luck NaeNae! I wish you and your daughter the best! 
Answered on 10/31/2022

Should I be starting a relationship so soon after ending one?

Hi Jacie! Thank you so much for asking this valuable question! I can tell that you are wondering about a plan to proceed with your next relationship. It sounds like you are debating whether or not you should be starting a relationship soon after ending your last relationship. Essentially, the answer to your question will have to come from you. I will do my best to provide you with some insight and guidance to help you make the best decision for yourself as possible! I know that you mentioned that you and your ex were together for sixteen years until you had separated due to his recent deployment. I would say that sixteen years is a long time to be in a relationship with someone. What were some of the highlights or important memories of this relationship? Did you make the decision to separate due to the physical separation of his deployment? Was this a mutual agreement for you both? Was there a time in which you two had considered getting back together after the deployment had ended? I can certainly imagine that staying with someone who is at risk of deployment at any given point would be a significant challenge for a relationship. It seems like you made the best decision for yourself at the time and chose to end the relationship. In addition, it sounds like since you have separated from your ex, you have started seeing someone else. Now that you have begun a new relationship, are you questioning whether or not you are ready to continue with the relationship with that individual? In what ways are your comparing your current boyfriend with your ex? How would you say that these two individuals are similar? What are some of their major differences? Take some time to contemplate some of these questions. I would like to encourage you to make a list of the qualities that you like to have in a partner. If you are comfortable with making a pros and cons list about each of these relationship experiences, that may be beneficial for you, as well. Perhaps you may also benefit from constructing a timeline of your relationship history. If you truly feel like it is simply too soon to start a new relationship, then it is okay to take a step back, take it slow, take a break and spend time focusing on yourself. Your needs are incredibly important and it is vital to take some time for yourself, especially in between ending a relationship and starting a new one. I realize that sometimes relationships are back to back or even overlap. It is ultimately up to you to decide if it is too soon for you to be with someone new or if you are ready to start fresh with someone else once again. I know that you mentioned that you have been trying to feel happy for some time now. What are some of the things that allow you to feel a sense of happiness? How would you describe your hobbies, interests and values? Perhaps you can begin the process of identifying your thoughts on happiness  and create a brainstorm, write a bullet point running list or start a word splash of your ideals for happiness. I think it makes sense why you would seek happiness for yourself. Maybe you can come up with a flow chart or a step by step list on how you can achieve happiness now and in the future. The fact that you would like to curl up into a ball may indicate that you are searching for a sense of comfort and security. I would like to recommend two different EMDR resourcing activities for you to try. The first one is the Butterfly Hug. The butterfly hug may bring you a sense of security. For this exercise, you cross your arms across your chest and envision your hands as butterfly wings. Gently tap your hands on your shoulders, arms or elbows and envision the flapping wings of a butterfly. This method is thought to bring physiological sense of calmness to individuals who are willing to try this tapping method. Here is a link to the an article of the butterfly hug directive and a YouTube video on this technique : https://emdrfoundation.org/toolkit/butterfly-hug.pdf https://youtu.be/iGGJrqscvtU I also think that it would be a good idea for you to try the inner peaceful place guided visualization activity. In this directive, you can imagine a personalized place of peace. What do you imagine seeing in your peaceful place? What sounds might you hear? What smells would there be? Take your time to imagine any tactile sensations or tastes that you would experience in this place of peace. No matter what you envision, remember that you can trust yourself to return to this place of inner peace at any time. Here is the link to the script for the inner peaceful place strategic: https://emdrtherapyvolusia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Calm_Safe_Place.pdf In addition to trying out some of these techniques, I recommend creating some art work that depicts your vision for yourself and the future of your relationship. One idea could be to draw an image using lines, shapes and colors to represent the feelings, hopes and dreams of your current relationship. Perhaps you might be willing to color in the shapes of a coloring page, such as a mandala. You can also create a small sculpture using clay or Model magic. Contemplate what symbols you might choose to represent your feelings and experiences in your relationship. Lastly, I recommend that you begin attending individual counseling services on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. There is an option for you to attend a group or a groupinar on the BetterHelp platform. Trust in the healing nature of the therapeutic process. Thank you again, Jacie, for taking the time to ask this important question on the BetterHelp platform. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/30/2022

I've had multiple broken relationships. It seems like something is wrong in my behavior and I need to change

Hi Archana! Thank you very much for asking this important question! It is great that you are reaching out for support at this time. I can tell that you are wondering if you need to make changes in your behavior due to the outcome of your last few relationships. It sounds like you are looking for some guidance on how to move forward and process your past relationships. Based on your question, it seems like you are feeling concerned about the various behavioral patterns in your past relationships. It is a really good thing that you are practicing self observational techniques and are willing to commit to change if needed. It appears that you have thought a lot about this and are contemplating what you should do next. Think of the cycle of change as a downward spiral and remember that change does not necessarily occur in a linear format. I know that you had mentioned that you have had multiple broken relationships in the past. I would be interested in hearing more about the context of how you perceive these relationships to be broken. It may be important for you to clarify this for yourself, as well. For example, was there heartbreak, broken communication patterns or a gap in time in which you took a break from the relationship and then resumed? Perhaps you mean something else entirely. At this time, have some hope that one day you will have a relationship that will last. Building healthy, trusting and strong relationships can take a lot of effort, energy and time. Do what you can to practice the principles of gratitude and patience. It might be helpful to write a gratitude list about the things you have learned in your past relationships. In addition, it sounds like you might benefit from creating a timeline which depicts your future goals for your relationships as well as outlines the length of time you spent with your partners in previous relationships. I recommend utilizing colors to depict the emotions that you felt at any given point in time. There is no time like the present to begin the process of healing through drawing, writing and creating. I understand that you may be worried that perhaps your behavior is the root cause of the problem. It is hard for me to say whether or not you need to change your behavior without me knowing exactly how you behaved in the relationships. I realize that you do not know what behavior you would like to change either. Take some time to practice self observational skills and begin to reflect on how you have behaved in the past. It sounds like you have an inkling that you may be giving too much in a relationship or perhaps too little. Are you thinking in terms of giving too much love, energy, effort, trust, etc.? What would you give more of in your next relationship, if you could? I also would like to encourage you to focus on your own strengths and expectations in a relationship. What are some qualities that you admire in a partner? What are some of your strengths and qualities that you bring to the relationship? If you could change the outcome of at least one your relationships, what would that look like for you? I recommend creating a running list or a word splash in order to further keep track of and express your thoughts and ideas. I realize that exploring some of these questions may be a challenge but have some faith in yourself that you can do it. I want to encourage you to trust in the process. Would you be willing to write down your thoughts in a therapeutic journal? I think it would be a great idea to keep track of your concerns on paper. After writing your thoughts down, you may be able to come up with some themes and connect the dots about what you could be doing and what you would do in a relationship. I will share with you the concept of the equality wheel which, in essence, encourages equal partnership and healthy relationships. From my perspective, this concept provides individuals and couples with hope that equal relationships are possible and can be attained. The equality wheel can certainly be a powerful, healing concept especially due to the fact that it is depicted in a circular formation. Circles are thought to be naturally healing as well as comforting in some cultures. After reviewing this resource, you may have a better understanding of what behaviors you could potentially change or what behaviors you want to see from your future partner. Here is a link to the equality wheel: http://www.ncdsv.org/images/equalitywheelnoshading.pdf Lastly, you may want to consider taking some time for yourself. It is okay to take a break from being in a relationship as you work on building your self care skills and your support system. In the meantime, you can make small changes in your life and to your routine. It is completely up to you how you want to move forward in the process of change. At this time, I would like to recommend individual counseling sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The opportunity for therapy can be a foundation for change. In addition to one on one therapy sessions, you may also benefit significantly from group therapy sessions. The group therapy process is a great way to build a therapeutic alliance with other group members. Also, there are some options for groupinars on the BetterHelp platform in which you can learn more about how to improve your skills and process your experience in your past relationships. Thank you again, Archana, for taking the time to ask this vital question about your behavior and relationship patterns on the BetterHelp platform. I hope that my response was beneficial for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. Have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/29/2022

Friendship!

Hi,  I sense a fear of losing your new friend from work, by not going out and drinking with her. However, you notice that you would only be drinking to please her. I'm wondering how it feels to be yourself around females? Could you tell her you don't drink? What would that be like for you?  It sounds like you really want a friend at work, and don't want to jeopardize that friendship, but at what cost? Not being true to yourself.... I would like to explore this further with you. We could work on relationships to females, what they are like for you? Friendships in general - how they make you feel. What it's like to work with this group of people, how you feel about the groups of people.  Your need to please others to fit in? Anything else that would help you form relationships, I work in a person-centered way and help you gain self-awareness and understand why you are struggling with these things, I help you explore this and work on self-esteem and find ways for you to build better relationships by understanding yourself and why you do the things you do. It seems like there is some fear of losing this friend you have made and the need to have at least one friend at work is very important to you, it sounds like you feel that you like her more and I wonder why? Again that's something we can discuss through our sessions on here if you were to start therapy with me. I don't like to push you to talk about anything you don't want too, but will help and support you with whatever you are struggling with each session. You also have access to Journals and can always write to me, if you are struggling and need to get things out your head. This helps to free your mind a bit and reduce some anxiety if that is how you are feeling. I hope I've answered your question and look forward to meeting you if you would like to book in with me. 
Answered on 10/26/2022