Friendship and relationship advice

  • approval seeking,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing,  Self-care

    Putting yourself last?

    “Sometimes you have to put your own needs first, even if that doesn’t please others. You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.” ~Shannon Olson  Like a lot of people who know better, I still tend to put the needs or wishes of others before my own. Even if someone lets me off the hook and gives me “permission” to put myself first, I might feel a bit guilty when I do so. It gets tricky sometimes, because I truly enjoy helping others. Somewhere between selflessness and selfishness is a healthy balance. One thing I know for sure is this: When I set myself…

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Gratitude

    Meaningful gifts

    “Gratitude is an emotion that reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others.” ~Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart My nesting instincts always kick in this time of year. This month, I’m motivated to move furniture, reorganize my shelves, and donate old books to the library. Though it sounds like work, early fall cleaning makes me appreciate the seasonal changes — and the treasures in my home. The salt-glaze pottery shown in today’s photo is one example. It was a gift from my college pal, Libby, who moved to Virginia after graduation. I still…

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  reciprocation,  relationships

    The right balance

     “Good relationships are built on mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual effort.” ~Mona Sutphen I once read an article by a therapist who suggested that “imbalance” is often at the root of relationship trouble. When any relationship feels off, the therapist advised, it helps to do a reality check and consider what could be out of balance. Am I talking more than listening? Am I taking more than giving? Am I initiating social activities or just waiting for someone to call me? Understandably, we all have times when we fall short of being present in the ways people need us. Then again, sometimes we expect more than someone can give…

  • Civility and manners,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Self-care

    Emerson’s golden rule

    “As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us. We are the builders of our fortunes.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Emerson is one of my all-time heroes. A champion of self-reliance, this American essayist and lecturer had little sympathy for those who blamed their problems on other people or outside circumstances. He was ordained as a Unitarian minister in Boston in 1829, so it’s not surprising to hear echoes of the Golden Rule in today’s quote. (“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” ~Matthew 7:12.)  Emerson believed that personal responsibility is empowering. When we hold ourselves accountable for…

  • Dr. Seuss,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    We can’t know it all

    “It’s high time you were shown that you don’t really know all there is to be known.” ~Dr. Seuss Does anybody really enjoy hanging out with a know-it-all? You know the type: He/she has an answer for everything and refuses to admit when he/she actually gets it wrong. Know-it-alls have already “been there and done that” — so you can’t show or tell them anything new. Know-it-all behavior is a just symptom of insecurity, so it’s wise not to take it personally. But it’s still off-putting. So here’s the good news for the day: When we’re willing to admit we don’t know everything, we open ourselves to countless opportunities to…

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