2 ways to stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you

Angel Chernoff

“What’s wrong with wanting others to like you?”

That’s what several of our course students asked me via email in response to one of our recent course discussions. And I’ve been asked similar questions over the years too. So today, I want to discuss why it’s not healthy to spend lots of time worrying about what everyone thinks of you, and how to stop yourself from doing so.

In a nutshell, tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality. But before we look at how to fix this, first we need to understand why we do it…

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Emotional Safety is Necessary for Emotional Connection


Ellen Boeder

The latest research in neurobiology shows that emotional safety is one of the most important aspects of a satisfying connection in a loving relationship. We need to feel safe before we’re able to be vulnerable, and as Brené Brown reminds us, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”

Some people get turned off by the idea of prioritizing safety in their relationship because they equate a “safe” relationship with a “boring” one, but it turns out that the secure relationship we all long for is cultivated best when we feel safe.

Stephen Porges, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of neuroscience and one of the world’s leading experts on the autonomic nervous system, confirms that we have an imperative for safety deeply wired into our minds and bodies.

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The #1 Thing Couples Fight About Based On 40 Years of Research


Kyle Benson

Most often couples fight about nothing

Do you know Angelina Jolie?

She’s that beautiful actor who adopts Asian babies, and married the world’s most gorgeous man. They even had their own movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Well, I’ve never met her. She sounds like a deadly assassin with a secret identity.

But I do know Christina.

Like Angelina, Christina is an admirable and beautiful woman. She also happened to marry a beautiful man named Brad.

When they first met, he was something different. Mesmerizing. Passionate. But now there is a huge space between them, and it keeps getting bigger.

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The Habit of Criticism is Poisonous to Any Relationship


Kyle Benson


No one wants to stay in a relationship that makes them feel more judged than admired. Yet, it’s too common for couples to see the other person as the problem.

And since the other partner is the problem, the only solution is for them to change…right?

  • If only she would stop criticizing you and start appreciating all of the things you do to help out with the family, things would get better.
  • If only he would give more attention to the house and kids, you wouldn’t have to nag him with what needs to get done.

It’s hurtful to be on the receiving end of criticism, and it feels even worse to feel like you have to nag your partner because your requests are being ignored.

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4 easy ways to detect lies


Wendy Jessen

You may not have a lie detector on hand 24/7, but you’re in luck. There are better, easier ways to spot a liar.Have you ever had the feeling you were being lied to? Well, your instincts were probably right.

I can spot a lie from my kids pretty quickly. Consequently, my children are usually in more trouble for lying than for their original offenses.

But what about being lied to by adults – friends, coworkers, a spouse or a family member? How can you spot a liar?

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7 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move Forward


Angel Chernoff

You are changing. The universe around you is changing. Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is. This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc.

It happens to you slowly as you grow. You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you.

The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits. Specific people, places and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values. So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving forward with your life.

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3 Toxic Behaviors that Drain Your Mental Energy

3 Toxic Behaviors that Drain Your Mental Energy


Let me share three quick stories and some life-changing lessons with you…

    • “On my nursing shift at the hospital this evening, I was forced into a moment of clarity when I got off my phone, utterly flustered after having an argument with my husband, and my 8-year-old patient who’s dying of leukemia asked me if I was OK.”
    • “Today is the 10-year anniversary of the day I had planned on ending my life.  It’s also the 10-year anniversary of the day I found out I was pregnant with my now 9-year-old son.  He’s the reason I changed my mind.  And he is so worth it!  But perhaps most importantly, I now realize I am worth it too.”

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Personal Honesty: Key to Effective Relationships (Part III)


Richard Innes

“So get rid of all malicious behavior and deceit. Don’t just pretend to be good! Be done with hypocrisy [dishonesty] and jealousy and backstabbing. You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation.” (1 Peter 2:1-2 NLT)

To help become personally honest, authentic and real, and thereby greatly enhance our relationships, the following steps will help:

First, realize that a normal human being has a whole spectrum of emotions ranging from love, joy, peace, wonder, through to fear, hurt, anger and so on. These are all God-given emotions. Without them, life would be characteristically dull and boring. To be emotionally whole means to be in touch with every God-given human emotion.

Second, we need to see our need and strongly desire to be honest.

Third, we need to admit and accept responsibility for any problems we have, and consider the possibility that our impaired relationships, dull marriage, unsatisfactory sex life in our marriage, anxiety, depression, destructive habits and any physical symptoms we have might be caused by unresolved super-charged repressed negative emotions.

Fourth, and most important of all, we need to learn to pray the right prayer. If necessary, tell God that you don’t know how, or are too afraid, to be honest with yourself and need his help. Ask him to give you the courage to see yourself as you are and to face the truth about yourself. His answer will probably come in an unexpected way—perhaps through a book, a personal setback, a friend, a difficult or broken relationship, or some other painful situation. Unfortunately, most of us only look at our inner-self if we are hurting sufficiently.

Fifth, learn through practice to express your feelings openly and honestly, especially to the people who are important to you. If you’re feeling hurt, afraid, confused, or angry, admit it and say, “I feel confused or angry.” Never say, “You make me angry,” or “You hurt me.” This blames the other person for our response, which is always our problem and responsibility. Identify why you are feeling the way you are. For example, say, “I know my feelings are my problem, and I may be overreacting, but when you speak sharply to me as you just did, I feel hurt and/or angry.” Or simply, “When you say (or do) things like that, I feel very hurt and/or angry.”

If the person won’t accept your feelings, write them out in a letter. If you feel you should give it to the person, sleep on it and re-write it before doing so. If they still won’t accept them, try what Gary Smalley and John Trent suggest in their book, The Language of Love. Share how you are feeling by using word pictures; that is, make up a story or parable that will clearly show how you are feeling.

Finally, if I love you, I will always be open and honest with you and as the Bible suggests, I will always strive to “speak the truth in love.” Therefore, I will never blame you for my feelings, but will take full responsibility for them and for handling them in a loving, non-judgmental manner.

Denying our faults and feelings, acting them out blindly, or lashing out and hurting others with them, is weak and immature. Acknowledging and talking them out in a responsible manner is a hallmark of the mature adult. It may not be easy, but it is true strength, and is the only way to develop growth-producing and intimate relationships.

Suggested Prayer: “Dear God, please help me to be honest with myself, and open and honest in all my relationships and with You—and thereby be a clear channel for Your love to flow through to every life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”


Personal Honesty: Key to Effective Relationships Part II


Richard Innes

“But you [God] desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.” (Psalm 51:6 NLT)

In speaking about personal honesty in regard to interpersonal relationships, best-selling author, Dr. John Powell, believes that “most of us feel that others will not tolerate emotional honesty in communication. We would rather defend our dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others, and, having rationalized our phoniness into nobility, we settle for superficial relationships. Consequently, we ourselves do not grow, nor do we help anyone else to grow. Meanwhile, we have to live with repressed emotions—a dangerous and self-destructive path to follow. Any relationship which is to have the nature of true personal encounter must be based on honest, open, gut-level communication. The alternative is to remain in my prison, to endure inch-by-inch death as a person.” (John Powell, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?, p. 61. Argus Communications, San Mateo, Illinois. Copyright 1969. Used by permission)

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5 surprising reasons why adult siblings should get along


Gary & Joy Lundberg
Having a healthy relationship with your siblings will bring a huge measure of happiness into your life as well as your parents’. Here’s how to make it happen.

To have the happiest possible family life adult siblings need to get along. Here are a few reasons why these relationships are vitally important.

1. It will be one of the best gifts you can give your parents

Every parent wants their children to love each other and get along. Nothing brings heartache quite like adult children who don’t want to be around their siblings. We can understand bickering among young siblings, but growing up and gaining some maturity should bring most of that to an end. If there is rivalry and feelings of jealousy, it’s good to sit down with each other and talk about it.

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