It sounds so easy doesn't it? Surround yourself with those who love you, and those you love.
Every day however, I work with clients whose lives are filled with toxic people; family, friends, partners. You know the type of person I mean: they are the people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself, that bring you down. They are the one-uppers, the passive-aggressive personality types where you feel drained just being in their presence. I call them "emotional vampires;" sucking the emotional life from your veins.
So if these individuals add nothing to life but making you feel worse about yourself, why keep them around? It really is a great question and one not easily answered other than by asking another one:
"When was the last time you prioritized YOU?"
We hold onto things, people, and emotions out of guilt, out of a lack of self-confidence (ie: what if I never find anyone better?) or because we have a history with that person. Holding onto relationships both romantic and otherwise for these reasons is not enough. It is not enough.
We need to fill our lives with those who make us want to be better people, who make us laugh, who we know are there for us no matter what.
Who is in your circle?
The anger iceberg is one of my favourite ways to explain anger to my clients. See, anger is very rarely an emotion in and of itself, but rather is a symptom of another emotion. If you look at an iceberg, it can be very hard to tell what is going on beneath the surface, can't it? The iceberg looks one way at the top (rather small) and then...wowzas, below the surface there is A LOT going on. Anger is theoretically the "tip of the iceberg" so to speak, and what lies beneath the surface are the true, core emotions a person is experiencing. People tend to use anger to express whatever emotion is simmering within the depths, such as fear, insecurity, or hurt feelings. For example, I have worked with new parents who were fighting constantly after the birth of their child. On the surface, it appears that they are just making each other angry and can do nothing right where the other is concerned. Beneath the surface however, there is a lot of fear, anxiety, stress and lack of sleep around their new bundle of joy. The anger is a projection of those fears. Tackle the anxiety, the doubt, the insecurities and you thereby tackle the anger. It is not as easy as I make it sound however, which is why it can help to talk it out with a professional, and recognize that your anger is a process. It didn’t take a few days to develop your anger, it will take more than a few to shift these patterns. Above all, be kind to yourself.
Until next time <3
I am a Clinical Therapist who has been working in the field for 17 years. I specialize in supporting children, adolescents and their families, as well as adults experiencing mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. I am married with two spunky little girls, ages 2 and 4 who keep me very busy!