0 comments on “What’s Wrong With Me?”

What’s Wrong With Me?

As a psychologist, I often get the question, “What’s wrong with me?”

You have flaws and strengths just like anyone else. You have made decisions to be who you are, which might not fit into societies standards.

The real question is, “Why do you think there is something wrong with you?”

Often people feel like there is something wrong with them because they don’t fit into a box. They might believe they are different because they are creative, but others want them to be academic. They might also feel like they don’t fit in because they are not what their parents or society wants them to be. They might feel awkward because they are introverted and would prefer to stay at home alone. Some people think that they are weird because they are not in a relationship or because they don’t want to have children. Others might disagree with the religion or culture that they were brought up in, which makes them feel out of place.

Being yourself and following your own goals and beliefs is not wrong. It only becomes a problem when either yourself or someone else is hurting because of it. You are not responsible for other peoples feelings; however, you should not hurt others on purpose. A good example would be a woman or a man who is getting pressured to marry from their parents. However, they are not ready to marry. In this situation, not getting married places stress on the parents, but does not put stress on the adult child. If the adult child were to marry to please their parents, they might end up unhappy, in turn making the parents unhappy. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are feeling conflicted or feeling bad about yourself.

1. How has my culture affected my belief system?: Culture plays a significant role in how we view ourselves and what we should be doing. Are your beliefs in line with your culture? If they are there is no conflict. If they aren’t, is that ok? Can you accept that about yourself?

2. Religious background: Religion can shape how we view morality and relationships. Is your religion shaming you for what you believe in? Are your own beliefs in line with your faith? These are other ideas to explore for mental conflicts.

3. People pleasing: Are you having a difficult time because you want to please others and you have forgotten that your needs also matter? Boundaries are essential for mental well being. Giving more than you want to provide leads to resentment and exhaustion.

4. Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts about yourself and others can also make you feel like something is wrong with you and can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are having a difficult time thinking positive or feeling hopeful, a professional should be contacted.

5. Trauma, abuse and loss: A trauma can make you feel like others, or your environment is not safe. This can make you feel disconnected and out of place. Abuse can also lower self-worth and self-esteem. When we go through a loss, we often feel rejected or other emotions such as grief. When we are in a low place, we feel like no one can understand us. This is also a great time to contact a professional who can help you.

Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist Reach out to Dr Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Skype or private session available

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel

0 comments on “How my greatest loss led me to the deepest appreciation”

How my greatest loss led me to the deepest appreciation

When I was fifteen, I met another teenager who would change my life forever. We were both a bit different from the rest of our classmates, and we often felt isolated. But, we were always there for each other. Between the two of us, we were always having some adventure and finding ourselves in all kinds of trouble. We were pushing all the boundaries as teenagers do.

After high school we remained close and emotionally connected. We saw each other or spoke to each other every single day. Then in my late twenties, I decided that I was going to move to New York to work on my Masters Degree. We had never lived so far apart from each other and we were both heart broken. I didn’t know what I was going to do without her. She cried and said, “What am I supposed to do without my best friend?” I felt horrible but I knew that I had to go. We spent the night cuddling with her dog and agreeing that we would be friends forever and one day we would retire together and take care of each other.

That August I left for New York. She called me every night and we laughed until one of us fell asleep. That Christmas I went back to Utah to see her and my family. She came over to my parent’s house and she was laughing and joking with my family about all of the trouble her and I used to get into as teenagers. I was surprised that she was giving away so much information. The next day, I went over to her parent’s house and she did the same thing, almost like she was confessing. She had lost a lot of weight, and she was much skinnier than I had ever seen her. I was worried about her, but I didn’t know what too do about it.

After Christmas, I went back to New York. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from my dad. He told me that my friend had died in a horrible accident. I screamed, hung up the phone and dropped to my knees. I was so shocked, I couldn’t stop crying.

I got on the first plane home and fell asleep on the plane almost instantly from exhaustion. When I woke up, the man sitting next to me was telling me that he was excited to go to Utah to ski. I told him why I was going, and from that point on he made sure that I had a whisky in my hand. I was so appreciative of the kindness of this stranger, it was something that she would have done for me. Whenever I was upset, she would say let’s feed you and give you a drink. She always knew when I was hungry because I would get grumpy.

Over the course of the next week, I stayed at her parent’s home. I began to lose my voice and I had a hard time sleeping. Though her parents were grieving, they took good care of me. They made sure that I was eating and drinking enough water. We would sit around and tell stories of her, laughing and crying. One night, while I was sleeping in her old bed, in her old room, I felt her holding me. I felt overwhelmingly peaceful. I had the most beautiful dream of the universe. There were so many stars and I wondered if she had sent me that dream.

Her funeral was beautiful and calm. I was relieved that she didn’t have any pain when she passed away. I was besides myself with grief, I felt like I had abandoned her. Why did I make it and she didn’t? I went back to New York a complete mess. I had a hard time focusing in school and I became physically ill. For years I had a difficult time letting anyone get to close to me. I was scared that if I let people in I would get hurt again because I would lose them too. I began hugging my friends and telling them that I loved them whenever I saw them.

The more that I worked through my loss, the more I appreciated life and those in my life. It was the most tragic thing I had ever been through. The beautiful part was that people began to step up and take care of me. This led me to appreciate the little things in life, the things that money can’t buy. Little things like a friend calling to say hi out of the blue, or making me dinner, I started to notice when strangers smiled at me and when children waved to me. I began to feel lucky to be alive and I appreciated each day. Ten years later, I still miss her like crazy. I remember the unconditional love that she showed me and I have tried to give it to myself and others.

0 comments on “What’s Wrong With Me?”

What’s Wrong With Me?

As a psychologist, I often get the question, “What’s wrong with me?”

You have flaws and strengths just like anyone else. You have made decisions to be who you are, which might not fit into societies standards.

The real question is, “Why do you think there is something wrong with you?”

Often people feel like there is something wrong with them because they don’t fit into a box. They might believe they are different because they are creative, but others want them to be academic. They might also feel like they don’t fit in because they are not what their parents or society wants them to be. They might feel awkward because they are introverted and would prefer to stay at home alone. Some people think that they are weird because they are not in a relationship or because they don’t want to have children. Others might disagree with the religion or culture that they were brought up in, which makes them feel out of place.

Being yourself and following your own goals and beliefs is not wrong. It only becomes a problem when either yourself or someone else is hurting because of it. You are not responsible for other peoples feelings; however, you should not hurt others on purpose. A good example would be a woman or a man who is getting pressured to marry from their parents. However, they are not ready to marry. In this situation, not getting married places stress on the parents, but does not put stress on the adult child. If the adult child were to marry to please their parents, they might end up unhappy, in turn making the parents unhappy. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are feeling conflicted or feeling bad about yourself.

1. How has my culture affected my belief system?: Culture plays a significant role in how we view ourselves and what we should be doing. Are your beliefs in line with your culture? If they are there is no conflict. If they aren’t, is that ok? Can you accept that about yourself?

2. Religious background: Religion can shape how we view morality and relationships. Is your religion shaming you for what you believe in? Are your own beliefs in line with your faith? These are other ideas to explore for mental conflicts.

3. People pleasing: Are you having a difficult time because you want to please others and you have forgotten that your needs also matter? Boundaries are essential for mental well being. Giving more than you want to provide leads to resentment and exhaustion.

4. Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts about yourself and others can also make you feel like something is wrong with you and can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are having a difficult time thinking positive or feeling hopeful, a professional should be contacted.

5. Trauma, abuse and loss: A trauma can make you feel like others, or your environment is not safe. This can make you feel disconnected and out of place. Abuse can also lower self-worth and self-esteem. When we go through a loss, we often feel rejected or other emotions such as grief. When we are in a low place, we feel like no one can understand us. This is also a great time to contact a professional who can help you.

Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist Reach out to Dr Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Skype or private session available

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel

0 comments on “What’s Wrong With Me?”

What’s Wrong With Me?

As a psychologist, I often get the question, “What’s wrong with me?”

The truth is, nothing is wrong with you

You have flaws and strengths just like anyone else. You have made decisions to be who you are, which might not fit into societies standards.

The real question is, “Why do you think there is something wrong with you?”

Often people feel like there is something wrong with them because they don’t fit into a box. They might believe they are different because they are creative, but others want them to be academic. They might also feel like they don’t fit in because they are not what their parents or society wants them to be. They might feel awkward because they are introverted and would prefer to stay at home alone. Some people think that they are weird because they are not in a relationship or because they don’t want to have children. Others might disagree with the religion or culture that they were brought up in, which makes them feel out of place.

Being yourself and following your own goals and beliefs is not wrong. It only becomes a problem when either yourself or someone else is hurting because of it. You are not responsible for other peoples feelings; however, you should not hurt others on purpose. A good example would be a woman or a man who is getting pressured to marry from their parents. However, they are not ready to marry. In this situation, not getting married places stress on the parents, but does not put stress on the adult child. If the adult child we’re to marry to please their parents, they might end up unhappy, in turn making the parents unhappy. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are feeling conflicted or feeling bad about yourself.

1. How has my culture affected my belief system?: Culture plays a significant role in how we view ourselves and what we should be doing. Are your beliefs in line with your culture? If they are there is no conflict. If they aren’t, is that ok? Can you accept that about yourself?

2. Religious background: Religion can shape how we view morality and relationships. Is your religion shaming you for what you believe in? Are your own beliefs in line with your faith? These are other ideas to explore mental conflicts.

3. People pleasing: Are you having a difficult time because you want to please others and you have forgotten that your needs also matter? Boundaries are essential for mental wells being. Giving more than you want to provide leads to resentment and exhaustion.

4. Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts about yourself and others can also make you feel like something is wrong with you and can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are having a difficult time thinking positive or feeling hopeful, a professional should be contacted.

5. Trauma, abuse and loss: A trauma can make you feel like others, or your environment is not safe. This can make you feel disconnected and out of place. Abuse can also lower self-worth and self-esteem. When we go through a loss, we often feel rejected or other emotions such as grief. When we are in a low place, we feel like no one can understand us. This is also a great time to contact a professional who can help you.

Dr Monica Borschel is a US-trained Clinical Psychologist Reach out to Dr Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Skype or private session available

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel

0 comments on “How my greatest loss led me to the deepest appreciation”

How my greatest loss led me to the deepest appreciation

When I was fifteen, I met another teenager who would change my life forever. We were both a bit different from the rest of our classmates, and we often felt isolated. We were always there for each other, she would drive me to school when I had a suspended license, and I would drive her to school when she got her car keys taken away. Between the two of us, we were always having some adventure and finding ourselves in all kinds of trouble. We were pushing all the boundaries as teenagers do.

After high school we remained close and emotionally connected. We saw each other or spoke to each other every single day. Then in my late twenties, I decided that I was going to move to New York to work on my Masters Degree. We had never lived so far apart from each other and we were both heart broken. I didn’t know what I was going to do without her. She cried and said, “What am I supposed to do without my best friend?” I felt horrible but I knew that I had to go. We spent the night cuddling with her dog and agreeing that we would be friends forever and one day we would retire together and take care of each other.

That August I left for New York. She called me every night and we laughed until one of us fell asleep. That Christmas I went back to Utah to see her and my family. She came over to my parent’s house and she was laughing and joking with my family about all of the trouble her and I used to get into as teenagers. I was surprised that she was giving away so much information. The next day, I went over to her parent’s house and she did the same thing, almost like she was confessing. She had lost a lot of weight, and she was much skinnier than I had ever seen her. I was worried about her, but I didn’t know what too do about it.

After Christmas, I went back to New York. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from my dad. He told me that my friend had died in a horrible accident. I screamed, hung up the phone and dropped to my knees. I was so shocked, I couldn’t stop crying.

I got on the first plane home and fell asleep on the plane almost instantly from exhaustion. When I woke up, the man sitting next to me was telling me that he was excited to go to Utah to ski. I told him why I was going, and from that point on he made sure that I had a whisky in my hand. I was so appreciative of the kindness of this stranger, it was something that she would have done for me. Whenever I was upset, she would say let’s feed you and give you a drink. She always knew when I was hungry because I would get grumpy.

Over the course of the next week, I stayed at her parent’s home. I began to lose my voice and I had a hard time sleeping. Though her parents were grieving, they took good care of me. They made sure that I was eating and drinking enough water. We would sit around and tell stories of her, laughing and crying. One night, while I was sleeping in her old bed, in her old room, I felt her holding me. I felt overwhelmingly peaceful. I had the most beautiful dream of the universe. There were so many stars and I wondered if she had sent me that dream.

Her funeral was beautiful and calm. I was relieved that she didn’t have any pain when she passed away. I was besides myself with grief, I felt like I had abandoned her. Why did I make it and she didn’t? I went back to New York a complete mess. I had a hard time focusing in school and I became physically ill. For years I had a difficult time letting anyone get to close to me. I was scared that if I let people in I would get hurt again because I would lose them too. I began hugging my friends and telling them that I loved them whenever I saw them.

The more that I worked through my loss, the more I appreciated life and those in my life. It was the most tragic thing I had ever been through. The beautiful part was that people began to step up and take care of me. This led me to appreciate the little things in life, the things that money can’t buy. Little things like a friend calling to say hi out of the blue, or making me dinner, I started to notice when strangers smiled at me and when children waved to me. I began to feel lucky to be alive and I appreciated each day. Ten years later, I still miss her like crazy. I remember the unconditional love that she showed me and I have tried to give it to myself and others.

0 comments on “What’s Wrong With Me?”

What’s Wrong With Me?

As a psychologist, I often get the question, “What’s wrong with me?”

The truth is, nothing is wrong with you

You have flaws and strengths just like anyone else. You have made decisions to be who you are, which might not fit into societies standards.

The real question is, “Why do you think there is something wrong with you?”

Often people feel like there is something wrong with them because they don’t fit into a box. They might believe they are different because they are creative, but others want them to be academic. They might also feel like they don’t fit in because they are not what their parents or society wants them to be. They might feel awkward because they are introverted and would prefer to stay at home alone. Some people think that they are weird because they are not in a relationship or because they don’t want to have children. Others might disagree with the religion or culture that they were brought up in, which makes them feel out of place.

Being yourself and following your own goals and beliefs is not wrong. It only becomes a problem when either yourself or someone else is hurting because of it. You are not responsible for other peoples feelings; however, you should not hurt others on purpose. A good example would be a woman or a man who is getting pressured to marry from their parents. However, they are not ready to marry. In this situation, not getting married places stress on the parents, but does not put stress on the adult child. If the adult child we’re to marry to please their parents, they might end up unhappy, in turn making the parents unhappy. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are feeling conflicted or feeling bad about yourself.

1. How has my culture affected my belief system?: Culture plays a significant role in how we view ourselves and what we should be doing. Are your beliefs in line with your culture? If they are there is no conflict. If they aren’t, is that ok? Can you accept that about yourself?

2. Religious background: Religion can shape how we view morality and relationships. Is your religion shaming you for what you believe in? Are your own beliefs in line with your faith? These are other ideas to explore mental conflicts.

3. People pleasing: Are you having a difficult time because you want to please others and you have forgotten that your needs also matter? Boundaries are essential for mental wells being. Giving more than you want to provide leads to resentment and exhaustion.

4. Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts about yourself and others can also make you feel like something is wrong with you and can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are having a difficult time thinking positive or feeling hopeful, a professional should be contacted.

5. Trauma, abuse and loss: A trauma can make you feel like others, or your environment is not safe. This can make you feel disconnected and out of place. Abuse can also lower self-worth and self-esteem. When we go through a loss, we often feel rejected or other emotions such as grief. When we are in a low place, we feel like no one can understand us. This is also a great time to contact a professional who can help you.

0 comments on “Increasing Self-Confidence”

Increasing Self-Confidence

Hong Kong Psychologist Counselling Therapist

confidenceStanding in the MTR or lift can be a scrutinising experience in Hong Kong, as well as other international cities. We all like to look at our peers to socially compare ourselves to them, and them to us. This increases or decreases our false sense of self.  The false sense of self is the self that is attached to external validation, meaning the approval of others.

Our self-esteem rises and falls depending on our accomplishments, failures, and health of our physical body. When we are accomplishing things such as excelling in a sport, academics, relationships, or our career; we are on top of the world. When we experience failure loss or rejection, our confidence and self-esteem decrease.

Nothing lasts forever. Recognise that you are more than those circumstances, more than your accomplishments and your failures. Learn to recognise that approval and security come from within yourself.

Some of us may feel unsure of who we are because we’ve let our parents, our friends, authority figures or society tell us who we should and should not be. There may be points in your life where you are being pulled in many different directions by many different people.

Here are some key points to enhance your self-confidence along your journey to self-discovery

Recognise and reframe negative self-talk.

When we recognise that we have a negative internal monologue – such as calling ourselves “stupid, fat, or ugly,” we can reframe that thought to constructive criticism. For example, “My boss is upset with my performance. I need to try to make it to work on time and make sure that I get more sleep.” Instead of “I’m a worthless failure.” The first phrase provides a workable situation that enhances growth, whereas the second phrase leaves you unmotivated.

Grow as a human being.

Set goals and challenge yourself. When you accomplish goals, you feel better about yourself. On the journey to self-growth and goals, we might meet some failure or rejection. Realise this is normal and everyone faces the challenges. Allow the failure and rejection to inspire you to try again or find another creative avenue.  When a child is learning to walk, he falls and then gets up.  He might cry for a minute, but he always tries again.  As we mature, we encounter more failure and rejection, we can either get up or give up.  Those who give up will never know what they are truly capable of.

Sit in non-judgement as much as possible.

Human beings are judgemental by nature. We have been taught since day one to be “good” and not “bad.”  When we label people, we fail to recognise that all of us are a unique blend of biology, culture, and beliefs. When you accept that people are living their reality based upon their life experiences, you realise that there is nothing to judge.  This non-judgment helps you to feel more comfortable in your own skin because you will also stop judging yourself as much.  You begin to realise that it is a waste of energy and time to judge others, just as it is for others to judge you.  Focus on yourself and what you need to accomplish to become a better person.

Have boundaries.

Don’t allow others to take more of your time, energy or resources than you can give. Do not allow others to abuse you emotionally, verbally, or physically.  It is ok to say no.  When you give more than you want to, you become fatigued and drained.  Often times this may lead to the resentment of others.  If you enjoy helping others, make sure that you are helping yourself as well.

Get rid of toxic people

Toxic people are people who treat you with disrespect or make you feel bad about yourself. Start to recognise your emotional state around others and be curious about that. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and objectives as you. If you have a toxic boss or co-worker and you need to deal with them, don’t take their negative behaviour personally. Here is another great article on how to manage these sorts of people

http://www.entrepreneur.stfi.re/article/290372?sf=nxprpeg#aa

Remain balanced

When we are out of balance physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we feel down. To remain physically balanced, eat nutritiously and exercise as well as get enough sleep. Connect with yourself through meditation and self-reflection to remain spiritually balanced. Remain emotionally balanced by recognising and respecting your emotions as well as the emotions of others. Emotions give us information about our behaviour as well as the behaviour of others.

Practice gratitude

Express appreciation to those around you who are kind or do kind things for you. Express gratitude towards yourself and your body. Expressing gratitude rewires our brain to feel and think positively.  When we feel positive, we attract positive people into our lives.  The majority of people in the world want to be appreciated and respected.  Expressing gratitude to others enhances relationships with others and yourself.

Monica_in

Dr Monica Borschel is a US trained Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment.  Get in touch with Dr. Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel

0 comments on “Meditation into the unknown”

Meditation into the unknown

Hong Kong psychologist offering counselling services-guided meditations

This script can be used word for word or can be improvised.  Feel free to add your own meditation practices into this for your own personalized experience. Feel free to sit with each pause or line for as long or as little as you need.

A Meditation Into the Unknown

Breathe, breathe in and out. Calm your mind, calm your body through your breath.

Focus on your breath. As thoughts enter your mind, let them go like the wind. Breathe. (Sit with your breath for as long as you feel necessary)

As you sit with your breath, focus on the sounds surrounding you. Just listen.

Now, what can you smell? Everything has a scent, you have a scent. What does this scent remind you of? (pause)

Now turn your attention to your heart. Without using your hand, feel your heart. Notice if it is beating fast or slow, hard of soft. (pause)

Create a space around your heart. Breathe into it. Let your heart be as big as it needs to be. (pause)

I want you to imagine that your heart has two sides. The front is the side you show to the world. That is your light side, the side that is social.

The back side of your heart is the dark side. The side that you hide. This is where you hide your shame and your fears.

Focus on this dark side. Be curious about what is there, without judgement. (pause)

We are going to begin our journey into our dark side, into the abyss.

Breathe

Let your anxiety and fear be there without trying to change it, without judging it. Find the tightness in your body, breathe air into the tightness. Expand the tightness and give it more space. (pause)

As you breathe, imagine you are descending into the sea, into the unknown. The dark water envelopes you, warming you. The darkness is giving you warmth.

As you sink down to the ocean floor, embrace the unknown, the darkness, without judgement, without trying to change it. Just let it be. Everything is as it should be.

You will then reach the depths of the ocean.  Find yourself gently lying on a pillow of white light. This white light creates a halo around you, and you are able to see around you more clearly.

When you look around you, you see that dolphins and whales have created a circle around you. They watch you in awe. They have never seen a human before, and they are amazed by you.

You can sense they are gentle and serene. You are not sure how they are communicating with you, but you receive a strong message. That message is telling you that you are safe and protected.

Breathe in.

The universe has provided you with the air to fill your lungs with the abundance of the universe. You thank the whales and the dolphins for their serene and gentle energy. You thank the universe for the abundance and providing you with air. You thank your heart for being open to receiving the message.

The stars shine down from the heavens, glistening in the water. Forming streams of white light in lines throughout the water. You breathe and realise everything is as it should be.

You let your body go limp. All of the stress and tension in your body is swallowed by the sea, washing away the tightness. You float weightlessly. (pause)

Your heart begins to quicken as you receive a message that it is time to go. You don’t know your destination, but you are not alone. The dolphins and whales surround you as you float quickly through the sea. The waves become quicker and larger. The waves carry you as if they are in a rush to take you to the unknown destination.

The sea creatures guide you and follow you on your path. You feel a strong divine presence. You realise you are a transcended being unto yourself. You have the ability to communicate with the earth and heavens. Breathe.

This new responsibility frightens you. Let it go. Trust that everything is as it should be. Trust yourself.

The dolphins and whales tell you that they can no longer continue with you on this journey. They must go back into the depths of the sea. You thank them. You love them. You are in awe of their majestic beauty. Your heart has opened. You are not the same as before. You are aware that you have your own unique path. You must go alone.

You gently float slowly towards the surface of the sea. The closer you get to the surface; the more light enters the sea. You find that the sun has come out and it is no longer night time.  The darkness is gone.

As you arrive at the surface, you see that the sun is large and fills the sky. There are no animals, there are no birds, there are no people.

You are completely alone.

The light of the sun enters your body. You allow the light of the sun to intertwine with the darkness inside you. You embrace your duality. You continue to float to your unknown destination. Unsure of who or what you will encounter.

You feel completely alone.

The universe tells you to be excited for the things to come as land appears on the horizon. In your loneliness, you embrace the unknown. You step off from the sea onto land and see the sun shining brightly on the path you will create.

As your feet are placed on the ground, you decide it is time to wake up.  When you are ready, open your eyes.  Move your body and try to come back to an awake state of consciousness.

The beautiful artwork was painted by Kalok Ng             Instagram:  @kolopiguss              email:kalokng@gmail.com

Monica_in

Dr Monica Borschel is a US trained Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment.  Get in touch with Dr. Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel

0 comments on “Identifying Toxic People”

Identifying Toxic People

Hong Kong counsellling therapist services

co-author Paul Logan (www.basicreflex.com)

Artwork by Kalok Ng

Email: thekalokng@gmail.comKaloksSkull

Identifying toxic relationships and abuse

Toxic relationships often harm our self-esteem and leave us feeling drained of energy. When we learn how to identify toxic relationships and abuse we can move away from them. If we have a history of being abused, we may not recognise that we are caught in a cycle of abuse. Some warning signs to watch for are:

You feel unheard 

You have told the other person how you feel or think, yet they do not seem to hear you.  When you speak, they may often talk over you or not allow you to get a word in edgewise.  They may talk as if they are the expert on all topics, therefore what you have to say is irrelevant.

Your words and emotions are used against you

The toxic person watches your emotions and listens to your words closely so that they can use this information in the future to get a reaction out of you.  Toxic people often draw energy from other people’s negative reactions.  If the toxic person is feeling angry or depressed, they want those around them to feel the same way.  You may often feel as if you are constantly walking on eggshells.  You are never sure what pleases them or makes them angry.

The toxic person tried to isolate you from friends and family

This is a huge red flag that should not be ignored.  If the toxic person wants to isolate you, beware that this might be an indication that abuse is around the corner.  If you are isolated from others, they can abuse and control you with the interference of others.

The toxic person criticises you or shames you in private or in public

The toxic person is often concerned that they are going to lose you.  To keep you they might try to use this tactic to make you feel bad about yourself.  If you feel bad about yourself, you will be easier to control. Beware if you often feel humiliated or small around this person.

When toxic people enter your life, they want you to believe that you can’t live without them. They use manipulation tactics to keep you hooked to them. These tactics may include

Acting hot and cold. 

One minute they are love bombing you, sweeping you off your feet and the next minute they want nothing to do with you.  They may profess their love to you and the next disappear for days at a time.

Gaslighting 

Gaslighting is used to make you feel like you are going crazy.  For example, they might say, “I didn’t do that, you’re crazy.  Have you completely lost your mind.”  When in fact, you saw or heard them do this particular action in question.  They will use this tactic to make you doubt your own judgement.

Playing victim to get your sympathy.

This tactic works on those who are high in empathy.  Often toxic people are attracted to empathetic people because they can use the empath’s willingness to help against them.  Once they have your sympathy, the toxic person will hurt you to control you or make you feel bad about yourself.

These are just a few of the tactics that toxic people use.  Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult because self-esteem has been damaged. Often the help of a counsellor or therapist can be useful to make sure that you are safe both physically and emotionally. It can take some time to rebuild self-esteem and self-identity after abuse.

Monica_in

Dr Monica Borschel is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment.  Get in touch with Dr. Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

0 comments on “Increasing Self-Confidence”

Increasing Self-Confidence

Hong Kong Psychologist Counselling Therapist

Standing in the MTR or lift can be a scrutinising experience in Hong Kong, as well as other international cities. We all like to look at our peers to socially compare ourselves to them, and them to us. This increases or decreases our false sense of self.  The false sense of self is the self that is attached to external validation, meaning the approval of others.

Our self-esteem rises and falls depending on our accomplishments, failures, and health of our physical body. When we are accomplishing things such as excelling in a sport, academics, relationships, or our career; we are on top of the world. When we experience failure loss or rejection, our confidence and self-esteem decrease.

Nothing lasts forever. Recognise that you are more than those circumstances, more than your accomplishments and your failures. Learn to recognise that approval and security come from within yourself.

Some of us may feel unsure of who we are because we’ve let our parents, our friends, authority figures or society tell us who we should and should not be. There may be points in your life where you are being pulled in many different directions by many different people.

Here are some key points to enhance your self-confidence along your journey to self-discovery

Recognise and reframe negative self-talk.

When we recognise that we have a negative internal monologue – such as calling ourselves “stupid, fat, or ugly,” we can reframe that thought to constructive criticism. For example, “My boss is upset with my performance. I need to try to make it to work on time and make sure that I get more sleep.” Instead of “I’m a worthless failure.” The first phrase provides a workable situation that enhances growth, whereas the second phrase leaves you unmotivated.

Grow as a human being.

Set goals and challenge yourself. When you accomplish goals, you feel better about yourself. On the journey to self-growth and goals, we might meet some failure or rejection. Realise this is normal and everyone faces the challenges. Allow the failure and rejection to inspire you to try again or find another creative avenue.  When a child is learning to walk, he falls and then gets up.  He might cry for a minute, but he always tries again.  As we mature, we encounter more failure and rejection, we can either get up or give up.  Those who give up will never know what they are truly capable of.

Sit in non-judgement as much as possible.

Human beings are judgemental by nature. We have been taught since day one to be “good” and not “bad.”  When we label people, we fail to recognise that all of us are a unique blend of biology, culture, and beliefs. When you accept that people are living their reality based upon their life experiences, you realise that there is nothing to judge.  This non-judgment helps you to feel more comfortable in your own skin because you will also stop judging yourself as much.  You begin to realise that it is a waste of energy and time to judge others, just as it is for others to judge you.  Focus on yourself and what you need to accomplish to become a better person.

Have boundaries.

Don’t allow others to take more of your time, energy or resources than you can give. Do not allow others to abuse you emotionally, verbally, or physically.  It is ok to say no.  When you give more than you want to, you become fatigued and drained.  Often times this may lead to the resentment of others.  If you enjoy helping others, make sure that you are helping yourself as well.

Get rid of toxic people

Toxic people are people who treat you with disrespect or make you feel bad about yourself. Start to recognise your emotional state around others and be curious about that. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and objectives as you. If you have a toxic boss or co-worker and you need to deal with them, don’t take their negative behaviour personally. Here is another great article on how to manage these sorts of people

http://www.entrepreneur.stfi.re/article/290372?sf=nxprpeg#aa

Remain balanced

When we are out of balance physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we feel down. To remain physically balanced, eat nutritiously and exercise as well as get enough sleep. Connect with yourself through meditation and self-reflection to remain spiritually balanced. Remain emotionally balanced by recognising and respecting your emotions as well as the emotions of others. Emotions give us information about our behaviour as well as the behaviour of others.

Practice gratitude

Express appreciation to those around you who are kind or do kind things for you. Express gratitude towards yourself and your body. Expressing gratitude rewires our brain to feel and think positively.  When we feel positive, we attract positive people into our lives.  The majority of people in the world want to be appreciated and respected.  Expressing gratitude to others enhances relationships with others and yourself.

Monica_in

Dr Monica Borschel is a US trained Clinical Psychologist who specialises in loss and attachment.  Get in touch with Dr. Borschel: m.borschel@mindnlife.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmonicaborschel