COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged friends

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How to be a Better Friend

1. Prioritize being kind.
2. Be there when it matters.
3. Learn the value of silence.
4. Never betray a confidence.
5. Never take advantage of them.
6. Help to cheer them up when they’re having a bad day.
7. Show an interest in their life, and what matters to them.
8. Overlook those small offenses.
9. Be someone who forgives.
10. Make sure they feel valued, and important to you.

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What are the Qualities of a Great Friend?

1. They tackle problems with you. A true friend is someone who can see through your smile and can tell when you’re in pain by the look in your eyes. They totally accept you and will always be there.

2. They give, and don’t just take, from the relationship. A good relationship is a negotiated one. It’s based on give and take – and thinking of each other.

3. They make time for each other. True friends always value the time they spend together; and though their lives are busy, they make time to stay in touch.

4. They communicate well. This is at the heart of any good relationship. It means that both the people are open and real so problems don’t get buried - but are dealt with right away.

5. They accept other people unconditionally. True friends accept each other as they are – warts and all. They are free to be themselves, and are free to change and grow. They don’t control each other, or judge and criticise.

6. They believe in each other. A true friend feels your passion and can visualise your dream. They believe that you can do it, and will cheer you the whole way.

7. They listen carefully, and aren’t quick to give advice. We don’t need advice; we simply want a listening ear. That is, someone we can vent to, and then move on with life.

8. They are loyal and dependable. Your word is your bond when you’re a trusted, faithful friend. You never share a secret or breach that sense of trust.

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How to Deal with an Annoying Know-it-All

1. Try to understand why they’re acting that way. Do they feel insecure or have low self-esteem; or are they trying to hide the way they really feel inside?

2. Ignore them when they butt in or they answer others’ questions, or when they tell a story that’s designed to impress. Simply smile, nod your head, and then talk to someone else.

3. Tease them gently so they see that other people aren’t impressed – and that everyone has views that it is worth listening to.

4. If you’re friends, try and tell them how they sometimes come across. But do it when you’re on your own, and don’t be unkind or harsh. Remember – your goal is to help, and not humiliate, your friend.

5. If nothing seems to work, then try to stay away from them. This friendship is doomed and unlikely to last.

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Is this Relationship Working for You?

Not every friendship is helpful and worthwhile … and sometime we need to ask ourselves the following:

1. What am I getting from the relationship? Is this person there for me when I need them most? Do they build me up, and bring out the best in me?
2. Is this friendship draining, or is it mainly negative? Do I feel I’m just being used? Are things always about them?
3. Can I be genuine and real – and just myself - with this person? Or are they likely to react if I share my honest thoughts?
4. Do they care about my feelings, my views and my opinions? Or do they treat me like an object, whose feelings never count?
5. Am I putting with things because it’s started to feel normal? Am I scared that no-one else would really want to be my friend?

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Myths About Soul Mates

1. The relationship should be natural, easy and uncomplicated: The truth is that all relationships take time, effort, commitment and energy. You need to make time for each other, to do fun things together, to work on communication, and to learn to negotiate and compromise.

2. The relationship should be conflict free: Because we are each individual and unique we all disagree with others at times, so conflict is natural, and not to be feared. In fact, conflict can force us to confront our differences, and to grow as individuals, and as couples too.

3. Soul mates are romantic: Real life is not the movies, and love can be expressed in countless different ways, and still be genuine. Look out for all the signs that show your partner cares, and don’t be disappointed if they’re not “the stereotype”. Don’t force them to be something that is maybe nor their style.

4. You should always see things the same way and have the same opinions, outlooks and beliefs: You both have different backgrounds and have individual brains so you’re going to sometimes differ in the way you look at life. That needn’t be a problem – you don’t want to be clones.

5. My soul mate will always like and love me: Consideration, respect and a concern for your partner are symptoms of a loving relationship. But being rude and disrespectful or irresponsible are not endearing qualities that build relationships. Instead, we need to give to get – as it’s not “all about me”.

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How to Recognise a Toxic Friend

1. Is this a person who always puts you down? A friend is someone who accepts you as you are – and allows you to be different, and to think for yourself, and to make your own decisions – without an explanation. However, if a person is demeaning or always puts you down, criticises your opinions, or the way you dress or look, then that’s someone to avoid as they’re a toxic friend.

2. Do they gossip about you? A friend is someone you can totally trust. You can share your deepest secrets, and say what’s on your mind – and they won’t tell a person or betray your trust. However, if you always have to watch what you say around a friend, as they’re likely to gossip or let a secret slip, then it’s likely that this person is a toxic friend.

3. Do they constantly mock and make fun of you? A bit of gentle ribbing shows affection between friends. But if they’re always making fun of you, or highlighting your faults, or attacking you in public, then they’re not a genuine friend.

4. How do you feel after being with your friend? Think about your answers to the following:

- Do you feel defensive when you spend time with them?

- Do you feel hurt or upset after spending time with them?

- Do you feel as if you always have to justify yourself instead of being “natural” around your friend?

- Do you enjoy their company or do you feel ambivalent?

- Do they undermine your confidence and self-esteem?

- Do you feel attacked and used after spending time with them?

- Does the friendship feel unbalanced and require a lot of work?

- Is it more a competition than a genuine friendship?

Note: If you recognize the signs of a toxic friend, then it’s time to move on and find a different friend. Being with this individual will wreak your happiness.

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