Taking things personally

There is a difference between being too sensitive and taking things personally.  Being too sensitive means that you may pick up on things that are in the air.  Peoples moods, responses, reactions to situations or people.  That usually means you are intuitive and have pretty strong gut feelings about things that happen in your life.  Or the people who come into your life and their feelings.  Listening to and acting upon those gut feelings can be tricky if you don’t have any facts to back them up.  They can sometimes be wrong or based upon the persons own thoughts, feelings and life experiences, projected upon another.  It is then a matter of owning the fact that they are your thoughts and feelings and doing something about them without projecting them on to someone else.

Taking things personally is about feeling someone else’s bad mood and thinking it is about you.  Thinking that it is you that has caused it.  Feeling bad about having done it.  Trying to figure out what it is that you’ve done to make them be in a bad mood.  Taking responsibility for their bad mood and making it yours, trying to make them feel better because it must be you that put them in a bad mood.  It doesn’t occur to you that they might just be in a bad mood because something outside of you, caused it.  Something they or someone else did caused it.  That not everything is your responsibility.  That not everything is about you. Sometimes people are in bad moods just because something is going on in their lives that you know nothing about right now.

Projecting your thoughts and feelings on to someone else, as well as taking responsibility for other people’s moods comes from being raised in dysfunction.  Like most things in life, the behavior can change.  Changing any behavior takes 3 weeks of constantly catching yourself doing it and replacing it with another one.  It then takes another 3 weeks of practicing that new behavior to make that a habit.  You will have to let go of those things that caused you to think that way to begin with,  those things from your past that led you to think that everything was about you, your responsibility, your fault or not your fault but someone else’s and therefore projected blame on to them.  Those things will hold you back in the future, create problems for you in the present and the future.  The following link will help you to let go of what is no longer working for you and getting in the way of moving forward.

Here is the link. Enjoy!


Every behavior ha a reason

For a very long time I was a Behavior Specialist Consultant and in charge of a BHRS (Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services) program.  The program went into homes and schools and community .  As BSC, Mobile Therapist or TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support) the job was to look into behaviors that were causing the person, a child and their family,  problems.  They would then set up interventions to help the family, school and child change the offending behavior.  As a BSC I was involved in the first FBA (Functional Behavioral Assessment) class given in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The goal of this assessment is to find the function of the behavior.  It is to find what purpose the behavior serves this person, child.  What does the person get when they do this behavior.  An example of this would be as follows:  A child in a local school was acting out, getting into trouble every day about 9:30 to 9:45 every morning.  At first they thought maybe he was hungry, so they tried to give him a breakfast bar as soon as he got off the bus.  When that didn’t work they tried to make sure he had time before the other kids got to the classroom to talk with the school counselor.  The behavior continued.  The school asked for a BSC to come and do an FBA.  An FBA asks a lot of questions to a lot of people and observes a lot of behavior.  It is best if the child doesn’t know why you’re there and will continue to be themselves.  The FBA takes hours of observation and asking questions to teachers, friends and family.  The result of this particular FBA was that the child was getting out of math class.  He would begin to act out about 9:30 to 9:45 AM and get sent to the principle office just in time to get out of going to math class.  He was willing to do this every day for the entire year, just to get out of going math.  He didn’t understand it and the other kids in the class would make fun of him because he didn’t.  He would rather get into trouble then be made fun of for not understanding math.  The school was asked to find an aid for this child and help him to understand math before placing him back in the math classroom.  The behaviors that got him into trouble every morning at about 9:30 to 9:45 AM stopped.  He never like math but, he began to go to class without incident.

It is not just children who do not understand math, that have a reason for their behavior.  Everything that we do as humans, has a purpose.  Has a reason for doing it.  Some of those reasons are good and some not so good.  Some are self-serving and some an altruistic.  Some are mindful and some are totally unconscious.  Whatever the reason or motive behind the behaviors we exhibit, there are consequences  Whether we are being self-serving or not we will need to become aware of the purpose behind our behaviors and make sure we know why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Becoming aware of the purpose/motive behind our behavior may lead us to some not very comfortable places and or consequences.  Like everything else we will need to let go of those things and feelings.  The following link will help you to do just that,

Here is the link. Enjoy!

The more I know

During my many years of doing therapy I have often come in contact with people who are looking for answers for their life.  They come into therapy looking for those answers.  They think that the therapist has them and sometimes insist that they reveal them instantly.  They become angry because the therapist isn’t telling them much of anything, they’re asking more questions than they’re answering.  Any therapist worth their salt, will not tell you what to do.  They will try to figure out what you are comfortable with doing and then encourage that.  They will not allow you to let them make the decision for you and your life.  They will try to feel you out to see what you are willing to do, what you want to do, but maybe do not have the courage yet to do.  They will help you to make a plan for whatever that might be and then encourage you to do it.  They will encourage you to make decisions that will move you forward in your life and get you unstuck from where you are when you first come into therapy.  They will encourage you to have faith in the decisions that you make so you can stop looking to others to make them for you.  They will teach you a process for the decisions that you do make.  They will have faith in you and the choices that you make.  They will be your cheerleader if you fail and encourage you to stand back up when you fall.  They will teach you to learn from those mistakes instead of looking at them as only failures and allowing them to stop you.

I have been doing therapy since 1985 and have learned a lot in that time.  The most significant thing is that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t now.  The more I realize I need to learn.  Encouraging people to have faith in their own knowledge of who and what they are, in the decisions that they make for themselves, teaching them to view mistakes as learning experiences is easy.  It requires knowing that you don’t know everything and probable never will.  It requires accepting that fact and being happy with it.  It requires doing the best you can with every situation.  It requires letting go of the need to know everything and learn those same things that you’re teaching others.  The following link will help you to let go of those things that are holding you back.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Respecting others

There’s a lot of talk these days about respecting women and teaching boys early to respect them.  Teaching them that they are not weaker then men and are just as important.  Teaching boys that they cannot just take what they want, but ask.  Even though I agree with that mentality, I also think that we should teach children in general to respect each other.  Teach boys to respect girls and other boys, girls to respect boys and other girls.  Teach girls to not accept the disrespect that is sometimes offered as courtesy.  Teach boys that they do not always have to be tough and that “manning up” doesn’t mean being tough, it means being responsible for their actions.  Teach girls that it is okay to have boys open doors or other respectful things without thinking they are weaker because of it. Teach boys and girls to do that for each other just because they are being courteous.  Teach boys and girls that being physically strong is not everything.  That being emotionally strong is just as important.  Teach girls that they do not need to compete with each other for a boys attention.  Teach boys and girls that they will have to earn respect from each other because of who they are,  instead of it being because they are physically stronger than someone else.  Teach boys and girls that they should be valuing  each other because of their individual character traits and not only the physical characteristics.  That being attracted to someone is just the beginning of the relationship and that the rest is very hard work sometimes, and often times a choice to continue.  Letting go of the stereotypes that we teach our children about the opposite sex and encouraging them to value each for the human qualities that we can respect in each other is a first step.  The following link will help you to let go of what is not working anymore and replace it with something new.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Knowing and guessing

Have you ever had someone tell you what your thinking and / or feeling?  It usually comes from someone who loves you, a family member, friend or co-worker.  Someone who is supposed to want what is best for you.  They don’t ask you what your thinking or feeling, they tell you and they are usually wrong.  It is usually the last thing that you’re thinking and feeling.  It is usually something that would never occur to you, but apparently has occurred to them.  Sometimes though, there is a friend or family member who actually hears you, asks questions or knows you well enough to let you now what they think without telling you what you are thinking.  Either way, you learn something, about yourself or the person that is telling you what you’re thinking or feeling.  You just have to figure it out.  You have to know yourself well enough to know if what you’re hearing is something you would actually think or feel.  You have to be able to reject what is being said or accept it without reservation.  You have to be able to live with whatever is being said about you.  You have to do this without anger, because anger would indicate that there is something to what is being said. If there is anger, you might want to look at why that is, why your response is an angry one.  Anger is an indication that something that was said hit a little too close to home.  Otherwise is wouldn’t have mattered, it would have been something that you thought about without any emotional response at all.  It would have been something that told you more about the person saying it, then it did about what you were actually thinking or feeling.  You would have easily dismissed it as being unimportant.  As well-intentioned as some of our loved ones are, sometimes you have to wonder if they know you at all.  Sometimes you have to love them no matter what they say or reveal about themselves and try to put on you.  You will have to let go of the fact that maybe your loved ones don’t know you as well as you thought, or they thought.  Sometimes you have to let go of the fact that you have to examine the anger that is caused by what someone else might say and figure out why you’re angry.  The following link will help you to let go of what other people think and feel and help you to concentrate on what you think and eel.


Here is the link. Enjoy!

Loving and letting go

When I was teenager there was a saying that went like this: “If you love someone, let them go.  If they were yours they will come back to you.”   That has often been true during my life.  The letting go has sometimes been a good thing and sometimes been very difficult.  Letting go is a process for me and for most people.  If the person you are letting go of is important to you, you love them, it will be the most difficult thing you have ever done and not a decision you will make lightly.  Part of letting go is being afraid of what comes next, fear of the unknown. Part is letting go of the love, not yours for them but, theirs for you.  Part is accepting the reasons why you feel this relationship is no longer working, or maybe has never worked.  Part is accepting the fact that you made the choice to love / trust this person and are now wondering about your judgement of people in general.  You will need to let go of all of that.  While you are looking at all of those things and accepting them for what they are, you will also be learning the lessons that come with it so you don’t do the exact same thing again.  If you can do anything about any of it, do it, if you need to apologize for anything , do it.  Then let it go.  It is easier said then done, but do it you must.  If the relationship was ever meant to be, it will come around again.  Maybe in a different form, but it will come around again.  letting go will allow you to move forward with your life.  The following link will help you to let go of what you need to be let go of in your life.

Here is the link. Enjoy!

Accepting the unacceptable

A lot of the time in my profession people come into service because they are facing something that is completely unacceptable.  There life is at a standstill because they’re being asked to accept something that is unacceptable to them.  Something that is impossible for them be able to incorporate into their lives.  They think that if they accept this impossible thing that they will have to accept the actual thing that they find untenable.  Sometimes it has to do with a life choice, sometimes with something that was forced on to them by someone else, sometimes it has to do with their children.  Most of the time it has to do with something that has already happened and there is nothing they can do about any of it at this point.  Letting it go usually means accepting it as it is.  Accepting a situation for what it is, does not means that you have to accept the actual thing that happened.  It doesn’t mean you have to like it,  take it on in your life, incorporate it into your life, teach it to your children or accept anything that is degrading, untenable, hurtful, disrespectful or inhumane.  It means you have to accept the fact that it happened and then decide what you’re going to do about it.  The only acceptance that has to be done is that you face whatever it is that happened.  You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to agree with it, you don’t have to ever do it, you don’t have to incorporate it into your life.  You do need to see it clearly so you can decide what you’re going to do about it.  You will also have to let go of the fear that is keeping you at a standstill so you can move forward with your life.  You will need to let go of the fear of what comes next and maybe even some people and things that we hold dear.  The following link will help you to let go of what is keeping you at a standstill and accept only the situation for what it is, not the unacceptable.

Here is the link. Enjoy!