Social Insecurity

Photo: "Scared" by graur razvan ionutWhen I was a teenager, I frequently felt like I didn’t quite know the right things to do when it came to interacting with people. What do I say in this situation? How do I word that request? What can I expect here? What was expected of me there?

I woke up the other morning to the spontaneous discovery that somewhere deep down inside me, I still feel like that kid who doesn’t know the rules of social engagement. Read More

“I don’t want to be mean”

Picture the scene: I’m in the grocery store (yes, again) and I’ve just gone through the self-checkout. I’m on foot; no car or bike waits for me outside. It’s pouring rain, I’m a good 25 minutes from home and my purchases don’t seem to fit in my waterproof backpack.

Because of the city’s ban on plastic bags, it’s either the backpack or a paper bag that will disintegrate before I’m halfway home.

I’m feeling uncomfortably warm, grumpy and in a hurry to get outside into the refreshing chill of the rainy day. Read More

Overcome the Self-Criticism Habit

unhappy girl looking in mirrorAs a counselor, I meet a lot of people who criticize themselves constantly.

If anything bad happens, it’s because the person is stupid, incompetent, thoughtless, a terrible parent, a terrible spouse, etc. The constant negative mental chatter ratchets up to a full-blown rant whenever something goes wrong. It’s beyond just critical thinking and self-regulation. It’s bullying.

Still, people with this kind of chronic negative self-talk are not necessarily irrational. Often, they acknowledge when questioned that something is not their fault. Read More