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How to Assert Yourself Without Being Mean

Someone asks you to lend them money. Not a lot. Just enough so you’ll miss it and wonder if you’ll see it again. You’d rather not lend it, but you can’t say no. You give it up, then resent the person for not paying you back without your having to ask.

You visit the home of an acquaintance and she says, “My dog is super friendly. Let me know if he’s bothering you.” Fifteen minutes and a gallon of slobber on your pants later, you offer a silent prayer of thanks when the dog gets bored with you and decides to torment his chew toy instead. 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