Letting go of friendships can feel even more difficult than letting go of a significant other. You may find yourself ending a friendship for a variety of reasons, but the process is similar to ending a romantic relationship.
We often practice receiving constructive criticism appropriately, but many people don’t learn how to give feedback to others. Feedback makes our romantic and working relationships stronger, so giving that constructive criticism can truly change our lives for the better.
If you’re seeking social anxiety help, a party escape route may be for you. Recently, I had a small gathering at my house. A friend who, like me, has depression expressed anxiety about attending. Her partner had already decided to come, so I devised and suggested an escape route plan for her to help minimize social anxiety. Here are the elements of a solid anxiety-reducing party plan.
While connecting with a romantic interest or significant other can provide nights of bliss, have you considered going on a date with yourself? A date with yourself might seem unusual, but self-dates are becoming more popular as people seek more powerful venues for self-care.
A daily affirmation regarding love and bliss can change the way you experience the world. Many of us who live with mental illness feel unlovable occasionally, if not constantly. That feeling can be caused by our own negative thought cycles or by actual events. Sometimes, a partner ends a relationship due to mental illness, which can be heartbreaking. Other times, a partner who doesn’t understand our different needs may stay with us but become abusive or perhaps simply unsupportive. This lack of love and bliss takes a further toll on our mental health.
Setting healthy boundaries is an essential element of relationships but navigating the implementation of boundaries can be intimidating. A therapist once said to me, "We teach people how to treat us." Those words stayed with me. Once I understood that I teach people how to treat me based on what I will and won't tolerate, I felt empowered and began setting healthy boundaries in my relationships.
Conflict resolution skills are important because interpersonal conflict can be tricky, but there are simple skills you can use to resolve conflict with ease. Recently, I employed my best conflict resolution skills when I accompanied my sister to her wedding dress fitting. Anyone who has planned a wedding knows how stressful it can be. There is so much pressure to put it all together, and emotions can run high. It is helpful to expect some conflict and to be prepared to use healthy conflict resolution skills.
Using sensitive suicide-related words can uplift those who are struggling; conversely, insensitive words, however well-intended, can cause further pain. Most people often find great difficulty in discussing suicide; especially in these delicate situations, suicide-related words exert immense power.
Drawing boundaries for friends' partners really means drawing boundaries for friends. One of my best friends maintains a somewhat troubling, even emotionally abusive, relationship. She’s beautiful, talented, insightful, and joyful, but she constantly receives scathing feedback that she’s not good enough. He tells her that if she would just fix her problems, the relationship would be happy. That constant, biting criticism is not good for her. That any and all work on the relationship should be entirely hers because she is broken is not good.
Finding mental illness support by creating a group of friends who will support you can make your journey easier. Even if you’ve consciously chosen your inner circle and they've accepted the invitation to support you, however, your work likely isn’t done. Often, friends and family can offer what they think is supportive behavior but it isn’t really supportive for you. Sometimes these people are unintentionally harmful.