When You Say You’re Fine But You’re So Not…..

What are you feeling inside?

Why do we do this? I’m guessing that most of us say it because we don’t want to show our real emotions, perhaps out of pride or because we don’t want other people to feel sorry for us. A lot also depends on who’s asking. Do they really care about you or is it someone who’s a casual acquaintance and you think they’re asking the question automatically rather than being genuinely interested in you and how you’re feeling. Whoever it is, if you feel uncomfortable with their question, don’t feel obliged to give more than a short answer, giving little away.

I wouldn’t usually advocate keeping your feelings to yourself but in this instance, self-protection comes into play and it can be best to keep your true feelings to yourself. You can always answer with something along the lines of “Oh, I’m just getting on with things. How about you? How are you doing?”

But there will be times when you really want, even need, to talk and most people who ask are doing so out of genuine concern. Finding some sort of balance is often the best way forward; in other words, maybe start with telling the person “I’m finding it hard at the moment but trying to get through a day at a time. Maybe we could talk about it more one evening/next weekend”. Trusting the listener is a big part of talking about the issues that are causing you problems. You need to have confidence in them and this takes time – you might take a couple of weeks to tell them the truth about what’s been happening for you but that’s okay. Bearing our souls isn’t easy but keeping things buried inside doesn’t help. Eventually they erupt, often when we’re least expecting it.

So tell your trusted friends and say what you need like some space, time to vent or a companion to go walking with rather than going alone if that’s what you usually do. Most of us need human contact, not just physically but emotionally so that we don’t’ feel so alone when life is hard for us. This is the start to saying how you feel rather than always telling people that you’re fine – give it a try and see how you go.

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

#anxiety #familyrelationships #stress #self-esteem #workonyourself

Is Everything Getting A Bit Much?

I’m late writing this blog – I have no idea why, except I’ve had a lot on my time and those things seem to have left less room for anything creative, including writing blogs (hopefully you find these creative, at least some of the time!).

However, it’s a good way of looking at how easily we can become stressed and have less time to do those things that nourish us emotionally and creatively. “Well, we have to earn a living/look after our children/make a cake for the school bazaar/” I hear you say, and you’re absolutely right but we DO need to check in with ourselves sometimes, have some breathing space and generally have a bit of a rest.

During the last eighteen months, most of us have had to deal with huge amounts of stress and it’s taken a toll, even though we’re mostly getting back to some sort of normality. But if you’re finding that you’re putting off doing things more than usual, eating or sleeping more, finding everyday things overwhelming or just not looking forward to seeing friends or family, it’s time to take some time for yourself.

So if this is you, try to go for a walk alone, sit quietly and breathe slowly and steadily, have a long bath or read a book for half an hour (or a magazine if that appeals more!). You’re almost certain to start feeling more refreshed and more yourself. It will take a few days of incorporating these simple ideas into your daily routine, but you’ll notice the difference.

Now, I’m off to do exactly that! Hopefully, my blogs will now return to their usual fortnightly posts.

You can read my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on Linked In, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

#anxiety #familyrelationships #stress #self-esteem #workonyourself

When Other People Try To Embarrass You

It’s an uncomfortable feeling and often baffling as to why some people would choose to put us, or others, ‘on the spot’. Why do they do it and how can you deal with it?

Some of it is to do with ‘emotional intelligence’ and being able to read emotions – some people haven’t developed that, either because of poor role models when they were younger or perhaps they’ve been encouraged to ‘say it how it is’ (often a recipe for rudeness, I’ve found!).  Some people are good at understanding others through their facial expressions or their voices, but not everyone can, or wants to, do that.

Or another reason for putting you in a tricky position could be that they do it before something similar or awkward happens to them – either way, if you’re the butt of difficult questions or remarks, how do you deal with it?

Here are a few pointers that will hopefully help:

  • Trust yourself – this sounds easy but if you often dismiss your own ideas, thinking that they’re ‘silly’ or not worth thinking about, other people will often do the same. So, trust what you’re thinking and value your plans and thoughts.
  • If you know that a certain person often tries to make you feel embarrassed or awkward, try preparing a few things that you might say in return, such as “I hear what you’re saying but I need some time to think about it” or “That’s interesting; I’m not sure if I agree but maybe you could say a bit more….?”. In other words, don’t react defensively, but try to maintain some dialogue with that person.
  • Speak slowly, if you decide to answer what they’re asking or saying. Take a deep breath (or two!) before you get flustered.
  • If someone is verging on being really nasty and is trying to make you look small, remember that you deserve respect and make it clear to them that you won’t tolerate their put-downs.
  • Look up assertiveness training on-line and then join a course. It can make all the difference!.

Please do comment on my blog if you have found it interesting, useful or otherwise. You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

When someone puts you ‘on the spot’

When Moodiness Takes Over…..

Some people seem to have different moods each days whilst others are pretty much on an even keel. Sounds obvious? Well, yes, but if you’re the one who doesn’t often experience dark moods, it can be hard to know how to deal with them in other people.

And what about if you’re the one who’s moody? Sometimes, people are struggling with life and going through a difficult time but others use their moods to manipulate those around them. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t genuine reasons for peoples’ moods and sometimes there’s a medical reason for their depression and moodiness – in which case, they need to get professional help.

Whatever the reason, try to be understanding if someone’s going through hard times or are sick, depressed, tired or have suffered a bereavement.

But if you suspect over time that the moody person uses their moodiness to get what they want, here are a few ways to deal with that:

  • Take a break, particularly if you have to work with a moody person. Get away from your desk if you can, find a non-moody person to speak to for a few minutes – interacting with moody people can be exhausting!
  • Try to stay calm – it may seem like your fault, but it’s almost certainly not. Nor do you need to take it personally or solve it. Lastly, don’t let it make you feel bad.
  • If possible, consider not having so much to do with them. That’s not usually possible at work but if it’s someone in your family, you can try breaks away from them if they’re making you miserable. All relationships are about give and take and if you’re always the one doing the giving, it’s just not balanced.
  • Their “I can’t help it, I’m just a moody person” really doesn’t cut it. If you’ve tried concern, advice and patience and they don’t seem to want to make any changes, then maybe you need to rethink the situation. How much support are you able or willing to give them when it doesn’t seem to have any effect?
  • Another way of dealing with their moods is to just go about your day as best you can, and totally ignore their mood. Live your life as if nothing was wrong. You need to get on with things even if your partner/sibling/friend is being completely negative.
  • Lastly, don’t reward moodiness by letting it affect any choices you have to make – you’re building up problems for the future by encouraging their behaviour.

You may not agree with this blog, but I’d be interested in your comments, whatever you think about it.

You can see my blogs as soon as they are published (usually on Wednesdays) by pressing the ‘follow’ button and you can share them with your friends. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Instagram (samebutdifferent) and read my FB posts at Same But Different.

Making Time For Those You Love

Senior Companionship
Making time, however busy you are

Whatever your circumstances the last eighteen months of uncertainty, worry and often a fall in income have had an affect on almost everyone. Now that there’s more freedom again (at the time of writing this anyway!), it’s tempting to go out as much as possible and forget to make time for the most important people in our lives. These can be your partner, family or friends and it’s all too easy to get caught up in a lot of other distractions rather than setting aside energy and, most importantly, time, for our loved ones.

So how we can make sure that those people that we think most of don’t feel pushed aside?

Here are some ways to help things along:

  • Try to cut out some of the things in your calendar that are dominating your time way too much. If they’re projects that aren’t really fulfilling, swap them for time with the people in your life who are really important to you.
  • This extends to people that you live with – living in the same household isn’t the same as making time for one another. Try to sit down and have a nice evening meal at home or just talk over a cup of tea, catching up with their news.
  • Try to send a card rather than a text or FB message – it’s not always easy to step back and try a more traditional way of doing things but sometimes a card can make such a difference; you’ve had to select it and bother to deliver or send it and it’s these little touches that mean a lot.
  • If you don’t live close by your loved-ones, try to make the effort to call them from time to time. It’s important to try to stay connected, however far away you live.
  • Remember that what’s important to you isn’t necessarily what’s important to them, so take time to understand them. One of the best ways of doing that is to really listen to what they’re saying and try to cherish them for who they are, even if you don’t always agree with them.
  • Show up when you say you will – now that we can text to say that we’re going to be late, it’s all too easy not to keep to what was planned. That can be very frustrating if you’re the person left waiting around, so try to make sure that you put in an appearance when planned.