Classic and Creative Counseling and Psychotherapy in San Francisco and San Mateo, California
 

Carol Jaron, Marriage & Family Therapist
Carol Jaron
MS, MFT, CHT

 Carol Jaron
Marriage & Family Therapist &
Practitioner of Clinical Hypnosis
~ Professional ~ Integrative ~ Intuitive ~

Therapy for Adults / Adolescents / Families
Rapid Trauma Resolution
Anxiety, Self Image, Loss
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
Food & Substance Abuse Issues
Personal & Professional Relationships

 

Who Your Real Friends Are

Do you sometimes wonder if you can trust others that you have either just started hanging out with or have been friends with a long time?   If you feel wary or worried, it is so helpful to know if it is coming from inside of you or if it is real.

It is understandable and healthy to question things that feel weird, suddenly different or strange in those around you. It is when it either goes too far and you trust nobody in your circle of friends or individuals, or you refuse to look at what might be really going on that could affect you and problems start to surface.

What kind of problems?  Trouble sleeping, eating too much or starving yourself on-goingly, drinking, drugging and smoking, especially in order to ignore bad feelings, being online, stuck in only texting or surfing the web more than being around friends in person and actually talking to them, fear of going out or going to classes, or feeling sad, scared or angry much of the time.

Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are down on yourself or worried about if others like you because it is coming from something you already had inside of you, or if it is from unknowingly taking in messages from others that make you uncomfortable.

Similarly, you might only feel good about yourself based on what others say or do, but when that approval stops, and gossip or judgment start, you begin lacking belief in the self that you truly are.

You deserve to feel love and respected by all those around you and within yourself, so let me show you some ways to begin to feel better. These are suggestions rather than guarantees, yet I know some of them can be eye-opening for you:

    1. Check it out - If you suspect someone is talking about you or seeing you differently than you really are and being suddenly cold and rejecting...ask him or her about it without accusing right away. If this is someone you know well enough, it can at least deepen your connection to straighten it out or help you realize when you need to find healthier connections. If the relationship is new and this feels too risky, then keep open to finding out more before you jump to a conclusion. Only involve and ask others if you feel they will be honest and are there for you in some way and keep away from only telling another without eventually approaching the person in question directly.

    Avoidance does not solve anything, unless being direct with a person is unsafe as they are abusive or manipulative in some way.  In other words, take a chance but feel somewhat safe. It is helpful and confidence building to push out of your comfort zone of starting and often stopping in your tracks.

    2. Talk to a person outside of your same age friends that is a bit older and that you respect and know will give you an honest take on things without just automatically telling you what to do without listening first. Often you can go to the person and say you just want to get bounce something off of them but may not want advice. Being deeply heard is sometimes all you need to get some of the pressing feelings out and off of you. Then, an answer might come to you from inside of yourself, or you can ask for an opinion from the listener. Why go to an older peer or adult? They have been through more just from being alive longer, and may feel more certain of themselves and have room to offer some of that your way.

    3. Next, ask yourself if you really are getting the most from this relationship (or could if this issue in question is cleared up). If the person admits something and yet sincerely expresses their own fears or misunderstandings that led them to the actions you find yourself reacting to, he or she can be a better quality friend from now on. If they refuse to take any responsibility or you sense they are unable or unwilling to be truthful and authentic, then it may be time to wind up the relationship. Take some space from the person to really make the best decision.

    4. Finally, look at if you are creating things in your mind, because it is easier to put reasons for feeling let down or fearful onto someone else, or you seem to gravitate towards others unhealthy for you because you feel badly about yourself. If you lack self-esteem or attack yourself inside, then there might be reflections on the outside of what already started inside. Please keep from blaming yourself, as that makes if feel worse and puts you in a vicious circle of self-doubt, feeling attacked by others because of it, and then more self-blame and attack when you feel bad that someone has done something hurtful.  You can get help in counseling or maybe find a group of supportive others going through the same uncertainties.You might find that being there for others in pain can give you a new strength and confidence.  Remember to take care of yourself instead of using up all your caring energy only on others. They need you to be kind and attentive to yourself so you have something more to give!

In closing, a real friend is someone that isn't perfect all the time and has no expectations of you being flawless either. The individual can tell you the tough stuff, including if they made a mistake and mistreated you, as well as remind you of all the things they enjoy and see about you - that helps you to know. 

The true friend also is honest about if he or she has a trust issue with you, so that the air can be cleared and you can know which of your actions or words were coming out of lack of thoughtfulness or a careless moment. Tell the people you care about what you regret if you feel guilty, yet also ask to be heard if you are angry or disturbed about a situation that may or may not be real or accurate.

I am here sending caring thoughts to you, even if you have never met me, so always know that.

Here's to your being around great people - you are worth it!

 

            Carol Jaron, MS, MFT, CHT
            Offices in San Francisco & San Mateo
            (650) 464-4387
            (415) 541-5004
           
      caroljtherapist@yahoo.com

The information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive or a substitute for one on one care by a mental health professional, such as myself. If I can be of assistance to you or your family, I encourage you to contact me. PLEASE NOTE: If you have a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

2008-2015 Carol Jaron, MFT.  All Rights Reserved.    

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