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Emotional Challenges

Make Peace with Anxiety

We all want peace, especially when we are plagued by anxiety. When that happens, it is tempting to think peace is the absence of anxiety. That peace would be how we felt if we weren’t afraid to leave our house, or pay our bills, or get on the airplane, etc. (By the way, I’m just randomly picking examples of what could cause anxiety. If this… Read More »Make Peace with Anxiety

A Simple Way to Banish Anxiety

We live in a society that is increasingly reactionary. We are encouraged to have strong, intense opinions and to defend what is “right”. We live in a society that has become polarized, and in which we must “pick sides”. We live in a society that values making quick decisions and rushing into action. Our news programs are often round tables in which people interrupt each… Read More »A Simple Way to Banish Anxiety

reduce your anxiety

One Way to Reduce Your Anxiety

Looking for a way to reduce your anxiety? Limit your choices! You may not realize that the myriad of choices you face every day increases your anxiety level. Most people don’t like thinking about limiting their choices. They feel it is a sort of deprivation. But experiment with limiting your choices and see if you don’t feel calmer. Here are some ways to get you started…… Read More »One Way to Reduce Your Anxiety

You may be worried about your spouse. (S)he doesn’t seem to have many friends. (S)he doesn’t want to go out with your friends. (S)he spends a lot of time by him/herself. (S)he is easily disturbed by noise. (S)he doesn’t like meeting new people. No matter what you do, (s)he just doesn’t seem to be able to have much fun with other people. The more fun you try to make it, the less (s)he seems to enjoy it. Maybe (s)he is anti-social, depressed, or has social anxiety disorder. Or maybe (s)he is simply an introvert! There may be nothing wrong whatsoever! We live in a culture which favors extraversion. Not everyone who wants to spend time alone has social anxiety disorder. This is sometimes difficult for an extrovert to understand. They cannot imagine thinking the introvert’s version of fun is really fun, and they often feel sorry for their spouse and try to include him/her in extraverted activities-going to the game, going out with lots of people, etc. If this is you, you are precious for caring about your spouse, and for wanting to help him/her have more fun. However, it may be time for you to step back and appreciate your spouse for the fine qualities (s)he does possess, and stop trying to “fix” him/her. If you would like to learn more about introverts (and extraverts), I recommend reading Susan Cain’s book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking. Think of it this way: If all of a sudden it was preferable to be quiet and thoughtful, and someone tried to fix you by insisting you spend more time alone, and intimated there might be something wrong with you if you did not enjoy that, you might become concerned that there was something wrong with you, but it is doubtful you would change your personality. Wouldn’t you prefer to be accepted and appreciated for who you are and what you contribute, rather than be forced to change so that you could “fit in” better? I do not mean to be insensitive to those people who do have social anxiety disorder. I imagine it is a very painful and difficult condition. But I would like to put something on the table: Sometimes I think we pathologize perfectly normal personality traits.

Maybe Your Spouse Doesn’t Have a Social Anxiety Disorder!

You may be worried about your spouse. (S)he doesn’t seem to have many friends. (S)he doesn’t want to go out with your friends. (S)he spends a lot of time by him/herself. (S)he is easily disturbed by noise. (S)he doesn’t like meeting new people. No matter what you do, (s)he just doesn’t seem to be able to have much fun with other people. The more fun… Read More »Maybe Your Spouse Doesn’t Have a Social Anxiety Disorder!

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Maybe Your Spouse Doesn’t Have Attention Deficit Disorder!

You may be starting to wonder if your spouse has a medical condition. (S)he can’t seem to finish what (s)he starts; (s)he is easily distracted; (s)he is doing several things all at the same time; (s)he never seems to get tired; it’s hard for him/her to focus and remember, and oh, yeah, (s)he loses stuff all the time. If you had a nickel for every… Read More »Maybe Your Spouse Doesn’t Have Attention Deficit Disorder!

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Test: How to Tell If Your Partner Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder

How do you know if you might be in a relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder? A diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder would contain at least five of these nine characteristics: Grandiose sense of self-importance. Exaggerates achievements and talents. Expects to be recognized as superior without achievements. Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love. Believes he or she is… Read More »Test: How to Tell If Your Partner Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder