Articles

A sampling of short web reads that I recommend

Rejection Sensitivity in Relationships

It makes sense that after painful experiences of rejection, people would arm themselves with vigilance and caution about trusting new people. The problem is that a high degree of vigilance may not be needed in new relationships with more reliable partners.

Juliana Breines, Ph.D. shares this helpful piece about the nature of rejection sensitivity and how it can ultimately create problems where there previously were none. Our need to belong is primal and it is very normal to react strongly when we think we are threatened on that level. But for those that have a history of experiencing painful rejection by parents or other significant people, there can be such a high level of sensitivity to rejection that people unintentionally make rejection more likely. This can happen when we perceive everyday circumstances as personal and intentional and react with that assumption rather than see other possible explanations. Dr. Breines shares a few interesting and relevant research studies and also offers some suggestions on how to shift this pattern by working on self-regulation skills. The goal for many of us is to have healthy relationships with others and a key aspect to that is taking responsibility for your own sensitivities that get activated by others. By taking ownership of where you get triggered and learning to be more self-reflective in those circumstances, you give all of your relationships more potential for healthy interactions.

Pooh bear on a teeter totter

Childhood Trauma Comes with Us

When we bury our feelings, we bury who we are. Because of childhood emotional trauma, we may have learned to hide parts of ourselves. At the time, that may have helped us. But as adults, we need our feelings to tell us who we are and what we want, and to guide us toward becoming the people we want to be.

This Psychology Today article by Andrea Brandt, Ph.D., MFT, succinctly outlines 4 typical ways our early wounding shows up later in relationships. Whether we like it or not, we are definitely shaped by our early environment and that shaping stays with us until we learn to recognize it and incorporate new ways to respond to others. Dr. Brandt identifies the challenges with developing a false self, getting stuck in victim-hood, passive-aggressive response patterns, and being passive. Learning to see these patterns in your life is an important first step in your own recovery process.

mountain lake reflection

Trust in Yourself

When you start to say to yourself; “I trust myself,” you begin to restore faith in your judgment of others and situations, and as a result, you open your heart to love, joy and feeling safe again.

Susanne Babbel, PhD offers this simple somatic exercise to support self-trust in order to eventually facilitate trust in others – we can’t trust others if we don’t trust our own assessments and experiences. For those of us who have had relational betrayals or wounding with close others, trusting can be really scary and hard. Yet remaining distrusting is a path of loneliness and dissatisfaction since we can never really be close to people without taking the risk to be open. Dr. Babbel describes a mindful somatic exercise that guides you through tracking the experience of comfort – it is in this small way that you can begin building more confidence in your ability to feel and assess what is happening.

hanging hearts

Nine Ways to Ruin Romance

Avoiding these nine relationship blunders does not guarantee success on the dating front. No matter what, you’re likely to meet and kiss a few frogs, and to make all sorts of other mistakes when you do find the right person. That said, if you can avoid these common bugaboos, you’re likely to have much more fun and much less angst while looking for your special someone.

Robert Weiss, LCSW gives a great overview of common ways that people inadvertently blow their new relationship. So many of us have bad relational habits or deeply held insecurities or desperation for a partner that results in repelling others – and usually those that we most want close to us! The author breaks the errors down into 3 different categories depending on where you’re at on the new relationship spectrum in very straight-forward, no-nonsense approach. A useful read for those who are looking for a partner and a great barometer for identifying areas that you may want some help with.

The Courage of Parenting with a History of Trauma

If all goes well, your children will never completely understand you. They will love you and they will learn from you, but your experience will always be foreign to them.

This compassionate piece by Gretchen Schmelzer offers some strong support for the journey of parenting – she offers this amazing and deeply challenging truth that, as a survivor of trauma, if you do your job as a parent well enough, your kids will never fully get you – they will not know the depths of your suffering or your struggle because you’ve worked so hard to set that aside in your parenting and give them a secure and safe childhood. She also addresses the challenges of parenting when your own childhood was lacking in significant ways. A short but powerful piece.

Rejection Sensitivity in Relationships

It makes sense that after painful experiences of rejection, people would arm themselves with vigilance and caution about …

Pooh bear on a teeter totter

Childhood Trauma Comes with Us

When we bury our feelings, we bury who we are. Because of childhood emotional trauma, we may have learned to hide parts of …

mountain lake reflection

Trust in Yourself

When you start to say to yourself; “I trust myself,” you begin to restore faith in your judgment of others and …