How I explained my mental health condition to my kids

Should I talk to my child about my mental illness?

Many parents who experience living with a mental health condition will often wonder if they should open up and talk to their children about mental illness. I know, because I was one of them. Perhaps you’re one of those parents as well.

I believe it is common for parents to question whether or not they should open up and discuss such a taboo subject to their little ones. They may view it as, “bad” or “wrong”. But, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. My first thought when deciding to open up about my condition was, “they are not going to view their mother as being a strong woman, they will see this “sickness” as a “weakness.” However, through recovery I learned that having an illness does not make us weak. In fact, managing and expressing our emotions or episodes in a healthy way makes us remarkably strong. I want my children to understand that. I want them to see my resiliency. So I decided to open up about my mental health condition.

Communication is the utmost important thing, and I find it extremely difficult to live with mild to severe symptoms around my kids and NOT tell them why or what is going on. Although, I believe it is not a bad thing to be open about our struggles, it is still very important to understand HOW to explain those struggles and condition to our children. I’ve always said, emotions are never bad or wrong, but how you express those emotions can be determined as good or bad. The same applies here. Our struggles are neither, right or wrong – good or bad, but how our children view our reactions to these struggles can be determined as good or bad.

If you are a parent, then you already know how curious little ones can be. They will continuously ask “Why?” until they feel they have the information they need – but sometimes it still doesn’t stop there. I admire curiosity and encourage my kids to always ask “Why?”, when it is appropriate, of course. With that said, I had to be mentally prepared for a million questions when opening up to my oldest child about my condition. Not only that, but be completely educated on the subject of my condition as well. Below I list an example of several questions my kids asked me when I opened up to them about my mood disorder, this may give some people an idea of what to expect.

The first thing I openly discuss with my children is our emotions. I truly believe that our emotions drive our behavior. It helps to explain these more complex topics to children when an example can be made that will relate to them. For example, there is a popular Disney movie that my kids love called Inside Out. This movie emphasizes our emotions and how our mind works at a level our children can understand. Therefore, I often reference scenes from the movie to help explain my situation a little better. I’m allowing myself to get on their level to help them better understand the minds like ours.

My oldest is nine years old. She also struggles with her emotions like I do. After discussing the importance of emotions and how it drives our behaviors, she brilliantly decided to come up with a code word for the both of us to use when we are struggling. I let her pick the word – “Congruent”. With the understanding that when this code word is said, we would stop what we are doing and take a deep breath. Collect our thoughts and emotions for a moment, then calmly discuss our feelings with one another before things escalate. For me, an example would be – receiving a triggering email from someone. Instead of having a breakdown or start screaming at my computer over it – I take a deep breath, look at my kids and simply explain the following: Mommy just received a rough email regarding something I need to work on and it has upset me a little. I am going to put my headphones in for a moment and take a few minutes to myself to collect my thoughts. This usually results with a response from my daughter, “Okay mommy, we’ve turned the TV down a bit so you can focus. It will be okay. I love you.” (Best.Kid.Ever, right?!)

The second thing I openly discuss with my children is the frequency and inconsistency of my mood swings and what I do to help myself through difficult times. My kids know that I attend therapy and take medications to help regulate my emotions, they may not understand the full extent of these things but they don’t need to at this age, in my opinion. With our code word in place, I explained that using the code word will help me tremendously, thus giving her the understanding that she plays a huge role in helping me feel better. I lightly discuss my coping skills such as putting my headphones in, listening to music, going for a walk, writing, or just having cuddles in bed with them. With this, they can see that I’m handling my intense emotions in a healthy way.

Inclusion is important. I want my kids to feel as though they are apart of something that I know will be helpful for them. After I openly discuss my mood disorder, I ask my kids if they have any questions. I encourage them to open up to me about what they are thinking and how they are feeling on the topic while reassuring them that they are in a safe space with no judgements. After answering any questions they may have for me, I turn the conversation around a bit and ask them what I, “Mommy”, can do for them when they are going through a tough time. This allows me to understand their needs as well. It goes both ways and it’s extremely important to understand that as a parent.

For me personally, I tried to answer their questions to the best of my ability. I think it’s important to not overload their brains with too much information regarding a complex subject. Here are a few questions my children asked me when I opened up to them about my mental health condition:

Questions

My personal responses
Why do you feel sad though? Sometimes I feel sad when I see something that brings up a bad memory. Or when someone says something that hurts my feelings.
Why are you not happy when you’re around us – don’t we cheer you up? You absolutely do cheer me up and make me very happy. Sometimes things on TV or my phone can put me in a bad mood and that doesn’t have anything to do with you. Spending time with you and cuddling up with you is very helpful for me.
What kind of things do you talk about in therapy? I talk about emotions, work, school and set some personal goals for myself. My therapist likes to help me achieve these goals.
Being alone is lonely, can’t we just all play together? Being alone and being lonely are two completely different things. I enjoy being alone. It helps me to collect my thoughts and think clearly. I rarely ever feel lonely. After I collect my thoughts, I would absolutely love to play a game together.
Do we stress you out? Being a parent has its stressful moments but in general, no – you do not stress me out. If anything, you help me in many ways you don’t ever realize.
Do I have a mental illness? I don’t believe so, no. Not everyone has a mental illness.
Should I go to therapy too? I don’t see the need for you to go, however if that’s something you would like to look into then I will fully support that decision.
Daddy gets sad sometimes, should he go to therapy too? Therapy doesn’t work for everyone. If daddy has a great support system (which it sounds like he does) then he may not want or need to go to therapy and that’s perfectly OK.
Is this a secret? Do other people know about this? It’s absolutely not a secret. The people I am closest with do know about my mood swings. I prefer to discuss it with people if it’s necessary but i’m not ashamed of the struggles I face.
Are you getting better? With my friends, family, support systems like therapy, and YOU – I am getting better.
Why do you have to take medicine for it? I don’t have to take medicine for it, but I choose to because it helps make my moods or emotions less intense. Medicine doesn’t make my emotions go away but they are just there to help keep me a little balanced.

Since explaining my mental health condition with my kids, I have noticed an increase in comfortability when discussing their emotions and feelings with me. I’m surprised by their new level of emotional intelligence and how well they are handling this condition I live with. Overall, it definitely brought us closer together as a family.

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How are you?

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ASKED SOMEONE HOW THEY WERE DOING? DID YOU GENUINELY MEAN IT? DID YOU TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN?

Many may not realize that in the moments of battling a mental illness (or any illness), these three words can make a huge impact on the day of the minds like ours (yes, I had to throw that in there). One year ago I made a commitment to myself to be sure to ask those around me how they are doing, at least one person – every.single.day. Strangers, friends, family members, and coworkers. However, it’s important to not only ask the question but to mean it genuinely. LISTEN. Watch their body language, their facial expressions, their words, their tone. It says it all.

The reactions I receive when asking this question are somewhat surprising to me. In my personal experience, the responses go one of two ways:

The first and most common reaction go something like this: Good, thanks. – Simple and quick.

The other reaction I also find common is: I did this and this today, I’ve been really busy. – Thinking I asked them what they did today or what they are currently doing, not realizing that I just asked how they are feeling.

Nowadays, a lot of conversations are unfortunately in the form of texting, and social media has taken over to show off to the world how crappy or happy we are, therefore, many won’t ask how others are truly feeling, they think they can see and understand it all through technology. OR, we are wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t take the time to ask others how THEY are feeling (I’ve been there!), OR maybe we feel as though expressing our feelings is a sign of weakness or burdensome to others (It’s really not). Either way, the question, “How are you?” is often used in passing, yet not being taken serious enough, in my opinion.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO PICK UP THE PHONE AND ASK SOMEONE HOW THEY ARE DOING.

The reason why I say this is because, as someone who lives with a mental health condition and has faced many difficult times, including the feeling of being completely alone – I really just needed someone to ask me to how I was doing in a deep way that made me feel as though they genuinely cared. This past week I have experienced a lot of emotional and physical pain. I believe some people could tell. I have voiced my feelings to a few, but not one person has genuinely asked me how I was doing…until today. My sister. Gahh – I love her sweet heart. She must have sensed something all the way from Texas because out of the blue I received a message asking me if I’m okay. It immediately put a smile on my face. (Thank you, sis!)

A couple weeks ago about 300 people were laid off from our company due to closed facilities. It was a difficult time for everyone was affected by it. One of the gentlemen that were given an end date with the company sat near me and although we were not close I still wanted to ensure he was okay. I went into his office and asked him how he was doing. His response went something like this, Oh you know – trying to get my tasks done today, I’m swamped.

I responded with, “Okay, let me ask again. HOW ARE YOU? Are you doing okay?”

The look on his face was a look of shock as though he had never heard the question before. He sat back in his chair and said, “I’m stressed out. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have options, but I need to think about which option I will take. It’s sad. Thank you so much for asking.” I sensed appreciation in his tone after our heartfelt conversation.

You see, when someone you know is in a hospital bed bleeding or with other signs of a visible injury or illness, people will run to their bedside in panic or worry asking with sincerity if they are okay. What about our invisible illnesses?

Last year, my mentee was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for self-harm. She was 15 years old. I had spent many days with her, picking her up from school, having her over for sleepovers and movie nights, and enjoyed weekends exploring and going to the movies. She was such a bright young girl, and I loved bonding with her. I received a phone call from her mother one evening stating that she was “contemplating” on taking her daughter to the hospital. I immediately advised that she admit her or I would. She needed help and was apparently suffering. I asked her mom for the information of which hospital she was admitted to, and her mom responded in shock, “Why?”. I said, “because I am going to visit her. I can meet you there if you’d like?”

The point of my short story is that her mother never showed up to visit. From my understanding, she never even called her. Her daughter was in the hospital for 5 days. When I appeared at the hospital to visit her, this young girl was completely shocked and cried as she grabbed onto me. I asked her why she was crying and she told me, she had never had a visitor before (it wasn’t her first attempt). In fact, most of her roommates hadn’t either. We sat in her room, and I listened to her talk for a couple hours. I gave her the best advice I could about coping skills and reassured her that she wasn’t alone. I learned so much that day, especially the importance of empathy.
Did you know about 8.3 million people have had suicidal thoughts in the past year? It is important to reach out and ask others how they are doing. You could save a life with one simple question and take the time to listen, and when you do, remember this:

THEIR FEELINGS ARE THEIR FEELINGS. THEY MATTER. THEY ARE VALID AND ACCURATE TO THEM. DO NOT DISMISS, DISAGREE OR TELL THEM THEY SHOULDN’T FEEL THE WAY THEY DO.

This is so important to understand. This goes for all circumstances, not just hurting people with a mental illness. For everyone.

I’ll end it with this – How are YOU doing? Respond below or email me if you need someone to talk to. Help is always out there.

-Minds Like Ours, Kayla Fae

Knowledge is Power

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The more research and reading I did on my mental health condition, the better I understood how it all works. Awareness is key! I have a better control over my emotions than ever before thanks to DBT, research and recovery. I’ll admit, once I was diagnosed four years ago and started reading, it was scary to see how complex the disorder was but I was determined to not let fear get in the way of my recovery. I can’t tell you how many times I put this book down in tears wanting to give up. It wasn’t easy but four years later, I can confidently say I no longer meet the criteria in the DSM for Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD is recoverable. Recovery is possible and help is out there. Stay strong and keep pushing forward!

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What this means.

To all my fellow mental health bloggers, please check out Inner Light Legion’s blog!! Here is his wonderful speech from last Thursday at Sac State University for the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental illness. He did such an incredible job, I’m so proud of him. 🙂

INNER LIGHT LEGION

I was asked to speak this past week for a walk that brought awareness to mental heath, mental illness, and suicide prevention. When the coordinator asked me I jumped at the opportunity but I really didn’t know what to speak about. I asked her is there anything specific you want me to speak about, after a solid week of trying to come up with to talk about. She replied through email and said give a little description of what this means to you. She continued by saying what does suicide prevention mean to you? What does mental illness mean? Why is this important to you? I sat for another couple of days thinking this over. And I kept asking myself,”what does this mean”:

This means we have all come together. This means we have all come together as one. This means we have come together as one to bring light…

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Bullying

I’ve done things at the age of 23 that I’m not proud of, somewhat similar to Monica’s. I’ve had horrible names written on the bathroom stalls about me at work, the whispering, the shit talking, people looking directly into my eyes asking me how I can show my face at work and in public, some family members and friends have bullied me on Facebook and stopped inviting me around. Someone harassed me for months stalking my every move making me feel unsafe to walk to my car alone, texting me from four different untraceable phone numbers a day, knowing what I was wearing and what my plans were everyday and even talking about my children.

I was, at a time, left feeling completely alone wanting to end my life. To top it all off, during this time trying to seek help through therapy I was diagnosed with a mental illness that I was suffering with for years prior and the stigma associated with it didn’t help, people called me “crazy”, some people didn’t believe me, or said it’s just made up for attention.

The lack of support, compassion, and empathy from others at a time I was at my lowest was awful. I made mistakes, we all have but nobody deserves to be bullied online or offline. You have no idea what internal battles people are facing. All it can take is just one person, or in my case two little people, to help keep us moving forward. Please be kind to others.

It has taken me time and effort to accept the truth that my story is unparalleled and powerful. It has taken me time to finally forgive myself, to stand up for myself and to take back my narrative and to realize that I play a necessary character in the narrative of those around me, as do you.  This is my story, I’m not ashamed to share it.

“It’s time. It’s time to take back my narrative.”

Mental Health Awareness

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Created my first t-shirt for MLO. On the back has a list of mental health conditions to support mental health awareness. I also ordered a few hundred awareness bracelets. Big things are happening this year, it’s going to be great! I will have an online store set up soon for those of you interested. I haven’t been blogging much in part due to preparing more for upcoming events in the Sacramento area, setting up booths to share my story and help others. May is mental health awareness month and Minds Like Ours has a lot planned. Lets stop the stigma and raise awareness!

If any of my fellow bloggers have shirts they have created, please share! I’d love to invest in more shirts to help support and raise awareness and also get your name out there too. 🙂

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Heavy and Light

 

I drove to Los Angeles by myself to attend Heavy and Light, To Write Love On Her Arms. It was by far an incredible experience.
I stood in a room full of stories, music and other people that have suffered or struggled like I have.
I overcame a fear, I learned a lot, and I can honestly say how proud I am of myself to have come this far.

Growing up as a teenager, I was scared to be alone, and go places alone. I thought the word “alone” meant “lonely”. Only until the last few years have I learned that there is a major difference between the two. After having two kids, one at the age of 18 and the other at 21 and my husband working swing shift every night, it taught me to grow up. I had to learn to live in our house alone, go to sleep alone, I had to learn how to cook and take care of the kids and the house when he wasn’t home. I was terrified in the beginning, we just bought a brand new house when I was 20 years old, it was about 45 minutes away from family, in a town in the middle of nowhere. I remember the first few weeks I would call the cops every time I heard a noise. It was awful, I had never been alone, I didn’t know what to do.

On January 15th of this month, I made the decision to drive by myself to L.A. and visit the House of Blues for the Heavy and Light show by To Write Love On Her Arms. I got my own hotel, walked around L.A. by myself, went to the show, then the next morning I took a drive to Santa Monica (I’ve never been there before) and walked around with my headphones in along the ocean and had a nice lunch to myself on the pier. The weather was 75 and sunny, couldn’t have picked a better time to go. It was the most empowering experience I’ve ever had. I had moments of anxiety, but I pushed forward and did something I had always wanted to do. A lot of people told me, “Wow I could never do that, I could never travel somewhere alone.” It made me feel proud, and brave. I did it and the best part was, I can’t wait to do it again. Below are some pictures of my trip. 🙂

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30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge

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Everyday I strive to better myself but one major thing that I struggle with personally is my self-esteem. I’m going to start a 30 Day Self-Esteem challenge to help improve my self-esteem. I thought this would be an awesome exercise. For those of you who are interested in doing this challenge, here is the Master.

Followers your challenge is to do this with me! 

Day one: A facial feature you like on yourself

Day two: A physical feature you like on yourself

Day three: A part of your personality that you like

Day four: A habit you have that you like

Day five: Something about the way you think that you like

Day six: Something about the way you just are that you like

Day seven: When do you feel best about yourself? Why?

Day eight: The last time you smiled when someone complimented you. What was the compliment and why did you smile?

Day nine: Something that you yourself do that makes you smile. Why?

Day ten: Why are you the way you are?

Day eleven:  Do you like the way you are? Why or why not?

Day twelve: If you could change something about your personality, what would it be and why?

Day thirteen: What do you think of your smile?

Day fourteen: What do you think of your laugh?

Day fifteen: Why do you think people are attracted to you, either friend-wise or romantically?

Day sixteen: The last thing you did that made you smile

Day seventeen: Another thing you like about yourself

Day eighteen: The last thing you did that made you laugh

Day nineteen: Is there a particular outfit/article of clothing/accessory you like on yourself? Why or why not?

Day twenty: If you finish this challenge and still feel that your confidence is low, would you be willing to do it again? Why or why not?

Day twenty-one: When do you feel your most attractive? Why?

Day twenty-two: What do you think others like about your personality?

Day twenty-three: What physical feature do others seem to find most attractive about you?

Day twenty-four: What is your definition of “beautiful”?

Day twenty-five: Do you often compliment other people?

Day twenty-six: What is your favorite compliment to give and receive, and why?

Day twenty-seven: Do you often accept compliments? If not, why?

Day twenty-eight: Do you feel good about yourself today? Why or why not?

Day twenty-nine: When you don’t feel good about yourself, what do you do to change that, if anything?

Day thirty: Are you happy with yourself?

For anyone who wants a simple way to help improve their self esteem, try this simple technique by answering the above questions over the next 30 days.

Mental Strength

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We live in a fast-paced world. There are fewer guarantees and more uncertainties these days. Thankfully this also means that there are plenty of opportunities, too. People who learn to welcome them as they come are the ones who are keeping up and making progress in the turbulent times we live in today. Usually these people are mentally strong and manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. If you are wondering whether you are a mentally strong person, here are 25 signs that show you have nerves of steel:

1. You avoid conflicts

The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back. Holding grudges has never been a solution to problems, nor has anyone achieved anything out of it. Instead of spending your time hating people who hurt you, you choose to let go of the pain and learn from the incident. Even in the harshest stress factors, you choose to stay calm and you try to handle situations smoothly. You think that raising your voice is a sign of weakness.

2. You don’t judge or envy

You’ve hardly ever made assumptions without first being fully aware of the situation. You avoid believing in the negative stuff that you’ve been told and you don’t resent other people’s success. You celebrate other people’s success and don’t grow jealous when somebody is better than you in a particular area. You know that success comes with hard work and you are willing to work hard for your achievements.

3. You are open to receive the help of others

You are not trapped by your ego. You are not afraid of asking for help if you are in need. You are confident to admit that you don’t know everything and you are open to ask for help in order to learn.

4. You apologize when necessary

You are not worrying about losing face when you apologize when you’ve said or done something wrong. You don’t fear admitting your own mistakes and are ready to suffer the consequences from them. That makes you a responsible and honest human being.

5. You are open to other people’s opinions

You handle different opinions easily- you don’t reject them because you believe that the opposite of what you know may be true for someone else. You embrace diversity and are ready to listen to what everybody has to say.

6. You are selfless

You love helping others and you don’t expect anything in return when you do something good for a friend. You know that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

7. You know you can’t always please everyone

Although you are a kind and genuine being, you are aware that you can’t always make everyone happy. You know that spending time on yourself is as important as containing a good relationship with the people around you but are willing to say “no” when somebody tries to steal from your time for yourself.

8. You know that the world does not owe you anything

You don’t feel entitled to things in life. You are willing to work hard for achieving your goals and you know that your world is what you make it. You don’t take anything for granted and are thankful for what you have.

9. You embrace change

You don’t try to avoid change and understand that it is inevitable. You welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible because you believe in your abilities to adapt.

10. You follow your heart

You believe that you can’t go wrong by following your heart and instincts. You understand that by doing that, you’re helping your soul grow and you are never sorry for following your heart.

11. You forgive yourself

You know that being angry at yourself is not going to take you far. Instead, you are willing to forgive yourself and by doing that you are able to learn. Leaving the past where it belongs instead of dwelling on it is the key of moving on and making progress.

12. You are financially responsible

You are a responsible human being and know that by spending your money foolishly you are harming your future self.

13. You believe that persistence pays off

You have goals and nothing can distract you from working towards them. Although you may have failed several times, you don’t view failure as a reason to give up. On the contrary- you use failure as an opportunity to grow stronger and improve. You find ways around any obstacle. Giving up just isn’t your thing, but looking for alternatives is.

14. Self-improvement is a way of life

You know that life is about learning new things and you live your life by always trying to improve yourself- whether it is for your job, health or any other area of your life. You agree that if a person stops learning, he is dead.

15. You are taking care of your mind and body

You can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body. You know that by maintaining a balanced life, you are able to grow stronger and be the best version of yourself. Your body is your mind.

16. You are willing to step away of your comfort zone

You believe that the comfort zone isn’t a good place to be stuck because nothing grows there, so you try to challenge yourself on a daily basis and take calculated risks.

17. You don’t waste energy on things you can’t control

You know that sometimes the only thing you can control is your attitude towards the events in your life. Wasting your energy on things you can’t control is something that doesn’t suit you and know that blaming something that’s beyond your control is useless and silly.

18. You use your time wisely

You value your time and believe that by killing time, it actually is killing you. You fight procrastination and choose to spend your time productively.

19. You handle crisis calmly

You remain calm and clear of thought during a crisis. Good result of anything comes out when it’s done with a peaceful and a calm mind.

20. You are not co-dependent

You don’t rely on others to do your work and by doing so, you maintain a healthy relationship both personally and professionally.

21. You know you are responsible for how your life unfolds

You believe your own happiness and success is a byproduct of your own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, character and behavior.

22. You know that gratitude is the best attitude adjustment

The more goodness you see, the more you create, and the more good things you have to smile about. Happiness doesn’t start when “this, that or the other thing” is resolved. Happiness is what happens now when you appreciate what you have.

23. You know that you don’t have to be perfect

You believe that when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So you don’t fear other people’s judgments because you know in your heart who you really are and are not ashamed to show your real face to the world.

24. You know who you are

You are at peace with yourself and you aware of what you want to achieve. You have certain limits that you’ve established for yourself and you’ve embraced them because you know well that that is who you are.

25. You expect less and learn more

Although things don’t always go as you’ve planned, you’ve realized that this is what life is about. You don’t always get what you’ve wanted and that’s a good thing because you learn from this experience and keep going.

6 Things to Stop Expecting From Others – Article

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.” ― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon

“Don’t expect people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself enough
Your self-perception is the most significant clue for who you really are. It guides people when they are looking for a way to get to you, to talk to you, to see you. You should understand that you cannot expect them to respect you if you don’t respect yourself enough. They won’t admire you, if you don’t admire yourself. Decide this minute to stop looking in the others for a proof that you are beautiful, strong, capable. Believe it or not, you are extraordinary. Never doubt that!
Stop expecting people to know what you are thinking
Have you ever been disappointed by somebody’s actions or inaction just because you haven’t really explained yourself or you haven’t given any signs of how you prefer to be approached? Well, then it’s time to realize that people don’t read minds. Save yourself the disappointment and stop expecting them to know what you’re thinking. Communication is the key to healthy relationships and inner peace. When getting to know a new partner – skip the games and speak your mind. When you have some issues with friends – be honest and willing to discuss. When feeling it’s time for a promotion – be clear about it and ready to prove you deserve it. Of course, there are things that need to be felt, instead of told, so be mindful of that and approach situations with open mind.

So yeah, being open and sharing your thoughts will spare you unpleasant misunderstandings and complications, it will really make your life more awesome.

Stop expecting from everyone to make you happy

There is always someone out there destined to make you happy but don’t go looking for them. Stop expecting that every single person you encounter in your life is there to bring you joy and felicity. Sometimes you will feel like someone is just screwing things up for you. Judging and getting angry won’t help. Accept the fact that the most natural thing for a human being is the goal of personal happiness. Sometimes the idea of it might be in an acute conflict with your idea of happiness. You should understand that this is perfectly fine and you are perfectly capable of being happy without their contribution. But sometimes their idea of happiness may include you being happy and then you have met someone precious you should probably stick with.

Stop relying on others for your own well-being
Once you get used to depending on someone else for your own well-being, you stop putting enough effort on taking care of yourself. Instead of feeling a constant lack of someone’s presence, try to focus on your own! Don’t justify your laziness about getting your stuff together with the thought that everything will come to order once you meet that person. No one else should have a greater control of your own here-and-now. Throw away the belief that your life will become better if only you met “the right person” because you forget to live while expecting them to just show up. In your own life you are the rightest person that is always there.

Don’t expect people to be fine all the time
It’s a good thing to put ourselves first but this shouldn’t mean neglecting other people’s importance. Be kind and delicate for everyone you meet is fighting their own battles you might not know anything about. Don’t expect people to be fine all the time. No one is problem-free. Teach yourself to empathy and compassion. Be prepared to find some rudeness, indifference or even cruelty around. But don’t be in a hurry to judge. Everyone has their reason and the right to not be all right.

Stop expecting people to fit in your idea of who they are
We all know how exhausting and frustrating it is trying to fit in other people’s expectations of what we are supposed to be like. What we pretty often miss on is the fact that it is the same thing the other way round. That is why we need to stop insisting on others to change just because we have a particular vision of what we want them to be. Growing up spiritually requires generosity but not in the material meaning. By giving people the freedom to be who they are while still sticking around, you give them wings to fly and someone to fly with. Don’t mistaken accepting with putting up with something that will make you miserable. If you find in somebody qualities you can’t live with, it means this person shouldn’t be part of your life. But expecting them to change is just redundant.
Expectations are difficult to deal with. They come naturally but tend to lead to a lot of mess most of the times. So before starting to anticipate again, take a minute to analyze. Have you done your part before expecting others to do theirs? Have you put yourself in those people’s shoes? Are you sure you are having the right people in your life?

It is never too late to change our ways if this means to be content and in peace with ourselves.”