It all starts with living an authentic, value-directed life.

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All of us experience the desire to be liked and accepted. Even though we might pretend that we don’t care what other people think, it feels undeniably good when someone compliments us, laughs at our jokes, or generally seems to approve of us. However, sometimes we can get addicted to that good feeling of being liked. When that addiction begins to dictate our behaviours and relationships, we can easily find ourselves in the trap of people-pleasing.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a people-pleaser is;

a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his…

Psychological strategies for overcoming self-criticism

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Self-criticism is something that I have always struggled with. Obsessing over my past mistakes, ruminating over situations and harshly criticising myself were normal patterns I would fall into.

I know I’m not alone in this.

As a psychologist, I commonly come across clients who struggle with self-criticism. They are quick to judge themselves, call themselves ‘stupid’ or apologise unnecessarily.

It got me thinking about why many of us are quick to fall into self-criticism. Although my self-criticism made me feel quite bad about myself, I also realised that, in a backward way, it made me feel better about myself. Like…

Reducing your expectations may be the key to improving your relationships

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Expectations are a normal part of relationships. It’s natural for us to expect that our friends will remember our birthdays, our partners will prioritise us and our loved ones will support us during the tough times.

Our expectations of others transcend our more intimate relationships and even extend to our daily interactions with strangers. We can all relate to the expectations that people will drive safely on the road, our Uber Eats will be delivered on time and that we will be greeted with a ‘hello’ when we visit our local coffee shop.

Unfortunately, in life, our expectations are also…

Making friends with your negative thoughts may be the key to happiness

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“Having negative thoughts and feelings means I’m a normal human being.”- Russ Harris

Most of us, in our daily lives, will experience some negative thoughts. There are many causes of negative thoughts including challenging events, personal problems, difficulties in our relationships, and normal ups and downs in our mood and energy levels.

Our negative thoughts can weigh us down, stopping us from experiencing happiness and joy in our lives. This is why it’s important to understand how to deal with negative thoughts.

Getting Rid Of Negative Thoughts Isn’t Easy, Or Possible!

We may try to stop negative thoughts through distractions, like eating or shopping, but these strategies usually provide…

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Strategies Explained for Overcoming Social Anxiety

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Social anxiety is a fear of being in social situations. Underlying this fear is a concern or worry with being judged by other people. Even the most confident of people experience some level of social anxiety when they have to give a speech in front of an audience, sit a job interview or meet their partner’s family for the first time. That’s because these experiences all involve a ‘judgement’ situation, where you are aware that someone is forming an opinion of you. In extreme cases of social anxiety, even simple social…

Psychological strategies to help you talk so people will pay attention, and more importantly, listen to you.

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All of us hope that when we talk, other people will listen to us. We want to feel acknowledged, heard and most importantly, understood. But the reality is that many of us struggle to know how to talk so people will listen. Ask any parent and they will vouch that it is a miracle when their child pays attention to what they are saying. Ask most employees and they will say the same about their managers. Despite our desire to be listened to, we often lack the confidence and authority to know how to talk so people will listen.


This really encapsulated the link between productivity and passion for me. I am fairly new to writing on Medium and yet already feel dedicated to this platform, purely from the love of writing. I agree that it really is easier to produce high-quality, efficient and meaningful work when you are fuelled by passion and self-discovery!

Great reminder to not act impulsively based on emotions, especially when it comes to conflict. As you raise, its much healthier to pick our arguments based on our values and act in line with our rational brain, instead of our emotional one!

Wow, that rings true. As a therapist myself I witness first-hand how difficult it is for people to make changes, and the pull towards the familiar and norms of their life- even if they are dysfunctional or even distressing. Thank you for sharing your experience with overcoming this!

A beautiful meditation, and some interesting thoughts on perception, with your analogy towards physical pain as a perception based on pain receptors interacting with our brain. I think that is a helpful way to view suffering too- as our current perception of the situation- transient, interpretative and pointing towards a greater purpose.

Emily Maher

Psychologist and mental health blogger. Contributor to P.S. I Love You, Curious & others. Passion for writing to spread mental health awareness and self-love!

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