Yesterday, in therapy, there were many messages to friends, including “I’m glad you showed up exactly the way you did,” “the pain of a loss is in direct proportion to the importance of the relationship,” “all your feelings are welcome,” “it’s never what you expect,” “all change is anxiety-provoking, even good changes, and especially changes we didn’t choose,” “there’s a huge difference between worry and planning,” “congratulations for not going completely bonkers,” and “what you’re doing is good enough AND you can make it better.”
Today, because of friendly messages I got from the hospital where I work, I’m getting my first vaccine for the coronavirus.
Here are more messages to friends:
I appreciate timely messages from my friend and yours, The Daily Bitch.
Feel free to leave messages to friends in the comments section, below.
All my messages to friends include gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily messages to friends, including YOU.
You see yourself as the cause of some negative event for which you are not primarily responsible, and you conclude that what happened was your fault or reflects your inadequacy. Personalization distorts other people’s reactions into a direct, personal response to you. For example, if somebody seems upset, you immediately assume it was because of something you said or did.
Use Helpful Reminders. Use helpful phrases to challenge habitual distortions. For example, for mind-reading or fortune telling, remind yourself “I’m not psychic.” Make a list of other phrases that help you, such as “I am doing the best I can,” “One step at a time,” etc. Consider sticking these reminders where you can see them.
One of the group participants said he’s put up this helpful reminder, where he works:
It’s not personal. It’s just business.
and he’s looked at that, thousands of times.
Personally, I too find it helpful to remember, over and over again, that most things are NOT personal. It also helps me to realize that human beings are built to take things personally. So, it takes constant practice to think, when other people do (or NOT do) things, that it’s
If you’re wondering if something IS personal, there’s always this antidote, too:
Reality Testing. Ask people questions to find out if your thoughts and concerns are realistic or true. This is a particularly effective response to the distortion of mind-reading
Yesterday, as I was walking to work, thinking about what I had learned during the week, this old friend of a tune showed up in my earphones:
Thanks to giant Charlie Haden, to gentle Michael Brecker, to group therapy (of all kinds), to every talented human being (alive or gone) who contributed to this post, and to you, personally, for participating here, today.