counseling, dating, psychology, relationshipadvice, relationships, self-help

6 Signs He Is Just Not That Into You

“He’s just not THAT into you.”

I remember the Sex and the City episode which played up this very popular early 2000’s catch phrase. I know you hate this phrase. I hate it even more. I think we hate it because we recognize that it IS indeed true– even when we are living in a fantasy world about it. Denial in dating is a common phenomenon.

I hate to say it. I apologize for saying it. But if a man is not calling you, it’s not because he has bad cell service or he is really tied up at work. He is not calling (or texting) because he doesn’t like you or doesn’t like you enough to make the effort.

Below are some telling signs he is just NOT that into you:

1)You always have to reach out to him FIRST. When a man is crazy for you, he is reaching out. Often. And with passion. If you’re always the one texting, calling, or messaging him first, and he never initiates a conversation – sorry but that’s a huge sign that he’s not that into you.

2)You have not met his friends. Or family. If a man is actually into you, you’re going to meet his friends and family. He is going to want you to be a part of ALL of his world (or at least give you the choice to be).

3) He Actively Flirts With Other Women.  This one is self-explanatory. Huge deal-breaker.It is disrespectful and gross. I expect a 16-year-old boy to do this–not a 36-year-old MAN.

4)He’s Never Trying to Impress You. Men who are smitten? They try to impress you at ALL costs. If no effort is being made to wow you, this speaks volumes about the level of interest.

5)The man treats you like an option NOT a priority. If he is repeatedly blowing off plans and you see him posting on Insta later that night with his pals? BYE Felicia. You should be his number priority. Of course for a man hanging out with his friends is important but breaking plans with you for them over AND over again? Nope!

6)He does not take you on REAL dates. A bottle of wine at his apartment and House of Cards binge? That is fun from time to time. But if you are looking for something more, guard your heart if he only wants to Netflix & Chill. Nothing wrong with but then you are probably looking at just a hookup with no strings attached.

6)You feel it in your gut. Ultimately, your instincts are going to tell you the truth. Ladies, deep down we know when a man is NOT feeling us. You deserve more.

If you find you are repeatedly attracting the wrong man, it may be time to talk to someone. A professional can help you get to the bottom of why you are attracted to unavailable men.

To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):

https://anewcounselingservices.com/erin-theodorou%2Cm-ed-%2C-lpc

Anew Counseling Services LLC

617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649

(551) 795-3822
etheodorou@anewcounselingservices.com

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counseling, psychology, retirement, self-help

Retirement: Are You Mentally Prepared?

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Retirement is a goal for many people.

Some people count the days, months, YEARS until they are going to retire.

Yet for others, they will proudly say they NEVER plan to retire because they love what they do for a living. You can count me among these folks. (Although I also recognize as you change and evolve through life, how you feel can AND does change!)

On the other hand there are people who CANNOT retire because of financial reasons.

Others are forced into retirement because of factors outside of their control–health problems, downsizing, etc.

As you can see, retirement is a VERY personal experience.

One of life’s biggest decisions is whether to retire and if so, WHEN.  Retirement is a huge milestone. There are many factors that must be considered before pulling the trigger.

Retirement should not create difficulty in life, but it often does. The sad fact is in America, the vast majority of people do not plan well enough for their retirement–financially or emotionally. Saving enough money to have a comfortable retirement is a difficult process for many.  Perhaps even more important is planning what you’re going to do with your days in retirement. Or deciding if you even want to retire. Ever.

Do you believe you will happier retired or working? Do you enjoy your career and derive a sense of purpose from it? I know for myself my career provides much meaning for me both professionally AND personally. I love my field so much that writing a blog on different counseling related topics has become a fun pastime for me. Counseling and psychology are PASSIONS of mine. Thus I cannot imagine a day where I am not in the field of counseling and mental health in SOME capacity. But I am someone who feels my profession is a calling. I believe many people do NOT feel this way about their career. (Most even).

Is your job stressful? Do you find it fulfilling?

Do you look forward to going to work? Or is it something you dread come Sunday night?

When you think about retiring, do you believe you will you be physically healthier?

Do you believe you will be mentally and emotionally healthier when you retire?

What benefits does your career provide? Are their social benefits–colleagues who are friends? Book clubs? Social gatherings you love? Practical benefits like health insurance?

Are you psychologically prepared to retire? To give up your professional identity?

Do you think you will you live longer if you retire? Or do you fear soon after retirement will come declining health and loss of purpose?

What will you do in retirement? A good way to feel this out is reflecting on your life currently. Are you involved in volunteer work, hobbies, or a particular passion? If not, it may be unrealistic to believe that you will suddenly be a totally different person the day after you retire.

There is no right or wrong decision here. Deciding whether to retire is a life changing decision. Don’t rush it. Discuss your answers to these questions with people you love. Or a mental health professional (such as myself).

To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):

https://anewcounselingservices.com/erin-theodorou%2Cm-ed-%2C-lpc

Anew Counseling Services LLC

617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649

(551) 795-3822
etheodorou@anewcounselingservices.com

counseling, psychology, resentment, self-help

Dislike vs. Hatred: Why We Feel These Emotions Towards Others

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Why do certain people irritate us or rub us wrong while others don’t?

You can be the most loving, kind, down to earth, open-minded person on the planet and STILL get extremely annoyed by certain people.

There are billions of us on the planet. The fact is we are not going to get along with everyone.

I can remember years ago studying Carl Jung who famously said, “Everything that irritates us about another can lead up to an understanding of ourselves.”

This may be a tough idea to get behind for many of us. For instance, if we don’t care for someone who is selfish, we wouldn’t think we dislike this individual because we, ourselves, are in fact selfish.

Yet Jung purported that if you are open enough to the idea, what you dislike about others, can teach you about yourself.

I think it is easier to apply this when the shoe is on the other foot. What I mean by this is it is easier to apply this theory when other people project their negative qualities onto us instead of when we are projecting our negative qualities onto someone else. I remember a couple of times in my past when people projected onto me the qualities that were in fact their own. Before I was trained as a psychotherapist, in all likelihood I  would have reacted. Being in this profession, I am cognizant of when someone is projecting and knowing this, I feel no need to react to it.

There is no need to react or defend ourselves against other people’s projections. Those projections are theirs. We do not need to OWN other people’s stuff.

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Usually when someone is projecting, they are trying to offload their negative qualities onto you.

Thus when someone is dumping their disowned feeling on you, if you are conscious enough, you cease the need to react at all.

The fact is everyone is your mirror. 

According to Jung, we all have a shadow self.

The shadow is irrational, prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else (Jung).

Our shadow is an innate part of ALL of us, yet the vast majority of us are blind to its existence. 
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Many of us do our best to hide our negative qualities, not only from others but from ourselves. Thus we often criticize and condemn others to ensure the focus does not fall our destructive tendencies and fault. 

Many of us are only conscious of our persona. The persona is the social mask we as individuals present to the world. It is the public image of someone.

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Underneath the mask we show to the world, our shadow remains unconscious and can wreak havoc in our life.

The Shadow is all the thoughts and emotions we repress as being socially inappropriate. Rage, envy, jealousy, schadenfreude (the pleasure we derive from another person’s misfortune).  This is all shadow material.  The more we repress shadow material, the more of a hold it has on us.

But what about if we are talking about people we don’t merely dislike but people we hate?

See when we dislike someone, we simply avoid this person. We don’t feel the need to rage about them, yell at them, fixate on them. We do not want to get into a back and forth with them. Dislike suffices. We just move on with our life and limit our contact with this person as much as humanly possible.

Hatred is a whole other animal. Hate often arises because we see another as an “enemy.” In this enemy we see a part of ourselves we hate. Yet whatever we hate about our “enemy” can be explained by simple fact: they trigger dormant feelings of shame and inferiority.

The more insecure you are, the more you feel attacked by others, regardless of whether they are in actual attacking you or not.

How insecure you are will play a factor in whether you merely dislike someone or if you hate them.

Dislike vs. Hatred

Let us differentiate between mere dislike and hatred. When you dislike someone, you rather NOT be around them. You do not want to interact with them because it is unpleasant. You do not wish ILL on this person and if anything you feel apathetic for them. Many you even pity them because you recognize how unhappy and miserable they are by their behavior. When you dislike someone, you don’t care to give them much thought or energy.

Disliking people is normal throughout life. Yet for the most part, we are going to be neutral or people. We will not like them NOR dislike them.

Hatred, on the other hand, means you consider a person an enemy and a threat. Thus you are invested in their destruction. You wish ill on them and want to see them destroyed.

When you hate someone:

~you obsess over them. You will gossip and smear them to anyone who listens. You cannot let go of what they said or did.

~you feel good when something bad happens to them. If something good happens to them, you try to minimize it or dismiss it.

~you try to convince others of how horrible and evil this person is. You think people must know the “truth” about him or her. You desperately seek confirmation from others about how horrible this person is.

Long story short, the difference between hatred and dislike is the former involves time and effort while the latter involves apathy.

Personally, I have people I dislike but hatred to me is not something I allow myself to engage in because I am conscious of the fact it would just make ME miserable and unhappy. It also takes WAY too much energy and time to hate someone (and who has that?!) It destroys the person who feels it not the target of contempt and disdain. I believe is certain situations we all are capable of feeling hatred towards another person in passing but this emotion is not a fixture in our lives.

In psychologically unhealthy people, hatred may be felt by anyone who dare challenges their worldview or opinions (any famous figures coming to mind?!)

When you hate someone you feel compelled to verbally spar with them not because you want to win but you don’t want to lose. (Once again, people we hate trigger in us shame and inferiority). A person you just dislike, you don’t care to get into it with them. To you, it isn’t worth the energy. If you dislike someone, you aren’t being triggered by shame and inferiority. The person’s behavior just rubs you wrong (maybe they are in fact just obnoxious). And hey, if Jung has taught us anything, it is that we TOO can be obnoxious and rub people wrong!

Although most people would never acknowledge it, people who hate other people generally hate someone who they feel threatened by or triggers their feelings of inferiority.

You usually hate someone who exposes or highlights your issues, baggage, and insecurities. 

If you hate someone, you feel that this person is trying to expose your flaws to the world. Hatred is a very irrational emotion. The fact is most people are not interested in exposing your flaws (unless they are abusive or a bully). Most of us are just trying to hide our own flaws.

Hatred is a slippery slope. It is not wrong to get threatened or angry with other people, yet in taking it to the level of hatred, you are dwelling and ruminating on your own hate.

If we hate someone, we feel they are diminishing us. If you feel this emotion, it is time to begin the process of release.

Counseling may be a good place to start to weaken the grasp this toxic emotion has on you.

Hate will not go away on its own. You need to actively work at releasing its toxic hold on you.

Hate makes us want to fight. Dislike makes us want to not engage.

Hate makes us irrational. Dislike makes us rationalize.

Hate makes us want to smear the person to ANYONE who will listen. Dislike makes us not even care to mention the person’s name because they aren’t on our mind.

Hate makes us want to seek revenge. Dislike makes us avoid the unpleasantness of dealing with this individual.

It is possible to move from hatred to dislike.

Release the judgements.

Move on with your own life.

Being compassionate can mean walking away without saying ANYTHING. Often no answer is the best answer.

When we are at peace with ourselves, we stop being at war with others.

To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):

https://anewcounselingservices.com/erin-theodorou%2Cm-ed-%2C-lpc

Anew Counseling Services LLC

617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649

(551) 795-3822
tamanna@anewcounselingservices.com

 

counseling, psychology, self-help

Why Good Relationships are Key to a Happy Life

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Good relationships are the cornerstone of mental health and well-being.

They are a vital part of being able to withstand the vicissitudes of life.

If I were to think of the hardest times of my life, my friends and family’s support made all the difference. Their support, love, and comfort=priceless.

The people in my life who I know are with me through thick and thin…truly one of life’s greatest blessings.

Reflect on your own hardships and the most trying moments of your life. Who were the people who stood by your side and helped you make it through? Who had your back no matter what? What relationships have endured the test of time?

The fact is it is easy to be there for someone when times are good. It is when times are bad when we see the true colors of everyone in our lives.

Sadly, it is during tough times when the people we may have thought cared about us may reveal they do not care as much as we had previously assumed. The pain of this truth can be tremendous.

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As painful as this may be, it makes you all the more appreciative of all the supportive, loving people in your life. You recognize the value these relationships are to your well-being.

That is what this post is about–the importance of nurturing good, healthy relationships. And the responsibility you having in doing so.

It is all too easy to neglect our relationships. Life happens–marriage, kids, careers, running a household. Listen, I get it! You are busy. You can only juggle so much!

But if you were to think of the happiest moments in your life–the majority of them most likely entailed being surrounded by ALL the people you love most. Weddings, parties, baptisms, graduations, housewarmings, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, vacations. Happy memories are usually the times we spent with the ones we love and cherish the most.

In our fast-paced, always on the go world, it has become all too easy to forget that a happy life runs parallel with loving, supportive relationships. We are social animals. We are designed to be connected to others.

As an extremely individualistic society, we often think what will bring us long-lasting happiness are results of our individual pursuits. Our career success, our financial success, our individual goals.

But our communal goals are shown to bring more long-term happiness. We are all in this together, let’s not forget. Our relationships are a source of much of our joy in life. Our families, our circle of friends, the colleagues we are close with. Research shows close, supportive relationships bring more happiness than fame or money.

These are the people we laugh with, cry with, share with, vent with, help with. Our close relationships bring much of the happiness we experience on our journey through life.

Yet at the same time—-what is it that cause of the most unhappiness in our lives?

Our relationships.

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Much of the state of our relationships are a reflection on us. Our actions, our thoughts, our behavior. OR our inaction, negative thoughts, negative behavior. We are a large part of our relationship problems.

The problem is–many people do not want to take ownership of this fact. It is much easier to blame the other person than look at how we contribute to problems in our relationships.

Many of us don’t want to do our part.

Let’s be honest. We put care and effort into the things we value. If you value a certain relationship, you will put in the effort to maintain it, protect it, and keep it.

If you were to reflect on your relationships that you have lost throughout your life, at a certain point, if you were honest…you stopped putting in the effort. You stopped caring. Maybe with good reason–you outgrew the other person OR this was a relationship with a person who had not treated you right but you had tolerated for far too long. Part of life is loss and this includes losing relationships that no longer serve us.

Or maybe it was the reverse situation. The other person showed you they didn’t care. They didn’t put in effort. They didn’t value you or the relationship. They forced your hand into walking away.

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If you were to reflect on the relationships you lost along the way, can you pinpoint a time when you felt the cons outweighed the pros of maintaining it? I think if we are honest with ourselves we can. Or can you pinpoint a moment when you realized the other person didn’t care to maintain the relationship?

Any relationship in my life that has survived the test of time I have put effort into maintaining. The other person has put the effort in as well. It takes two.

Relationships with family members, friends, my partner. I value these relationships and I do what I can to support the individual and the relationship as a whole.

If you want to be mentally healthy research says having meaningful relationships will help you to fight off feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. Having people to share your concerns, hopes, fears, and challenges with help you stay connected and stable.

Close relationships fight off feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a silent killer. Social isolation is shown to lead to depression. Being connected is a fundamental human NEED. We all need to feel a sense of love and belonging.

The reality is if you want the benefits of supportive relationships you need to CHOOSE to put effort into being a supportive, healthy person. You get what you give. It very much takes a choice to invest in the relationships in our life.

The truth is our relationships are very much a choice.

Our behavior is a choice. Our relationships are a reflection of our choices.

William Glasser, the father of choice theory, says virtually all our behavior is a choice. He posits that most mental health issues, including depression, arise from problems in one’s relationships.

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I think in popular psychology this concept has played out to a large extent. Many psychological theories focus on the issues that arise from unhealthy relationships with one’s parents. Oedipus complex. Electra complex.

I can say that I have seen as a clinician direct correlation between people who have bad relationships with their parents and their mental health.As a society we jokingly refer to this as having “mommy issues” or “daddy issues” but there is far from a joking matter.

Our relationships, especially key ones like the ones we have with our parents, impact our mental health.

Our relationships have a profound impact on our lives. This is why people who are often in unhealthy or abusive relationships tend to suffer a whole host of mental health ailments. The people we spend the most time with can build us up or break us down.

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It is also why people from dysfunctional families tend to develop anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Our relationships have a direct impact on our mental health.

This is why it is so important to be choosy with who you allow into your life. Who we have relationships with is indeed a CHOICE. It is a choice to keep unhappy relationships in our lives.

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It is also a choice to manufacture problems in a relationship. There are ways of behaving that we bring into our relationships that can either enable healthy, happy relationships or destroy our relationships.

Seven Caring Habits Seven Deadly Habits
1 .Supporting 1. Criticizing
2 .Encouraging 2 .Blaming
3. Listening 3. Complaining
4. Accepting 4. Nagging
5. Trusting 5. Threatening
6 .Respecting 6. Punishing
7. Negotiating differences 7 .Bribing, rewarding to control

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ask you to reflect on your behavior in your relationships. Which side of this chart do you find your behavior is more aligned with?

When it comes to our relationships, far too many of us are winging it! We are on autopilot without any conscious thought to how we approach the people we love in our lives.

In choice theory, the emphasis is placed on the individual. Personal responsibility is at the forefront. We, and we alone, are responsible for our behavior. An underlying assumption of the theory is that we cannot change other people and that the only thing we can control is ourselves.

Again, you may be thinking that this sounds obvious – of course, we can’t change other people! But the reality is many of us are always trying!

Control. It can become a problem for us if we begin to lose control of ourselves and attempt to exert control over others. As long as we insist on controlling people around us, we will create completely unnecessary suffering in our lives.

Often when we are upset, instead of looking at how we are feeling and behaving we look at others.

The most unhappy people point the fingers at others for their pain and unhappiness.

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Many times, the way people try to remedy relationship problems is by attempting to change others.
But what if we instead focused on changing ourselves? Something we can actually be successful at. If we change our behavior, it will certainly impact the response we get from others.

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If you want to have happy, healthy, enduring relationships you need to look at YOUR behavior and how you behave in your relationships.

Is your behavior driving people towards you or driving people away from you?

To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):

https://anewcounselingservices.com/erin-theodorou%2Cm-ed-%2C-lpc

Anew Counseling Services LLC

617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649

(551) 795-3822
tamanna@anewcounselingservices.com