I was on Twitter the other, and one user asked their followers to post some life-saving tips they learnt in Therapy. There were so many helpful and insightful tips that I felt like sharing some of them. We may not all be able to afford therapy, but we can certainly learn from others.
1) Trauma Isn't a Competition. Your Pain is Your Pain, and it's Valid.
"I had a really bad habit of telling my therapist, “I know my issues aren’t a big deal and that I know other people have it worse” and she told me that trauma isn’t a competition, and that all trauma deserves recognition and healing. So to anyone struggling, you’re valid."
2) Sometimes The Thing You're Holding On To Is Not Worth It
"My therapist used an analogy between a piece of shit and my ex. He said, “imagine you’re at the mountains alone in the winter and the thing keeping your hands warm is a piece of shit on the ground. You're stuck but that wont last..so isn't it better if you walk alone and find a cabin?”
3) Don't Allow Anyone to Make You Feel Guilty About Your Growth and Progress.
"As you get healthier, people around you who are stuck in their own unhealthy patterns may resent you or accuse you of acting superior to them, being selfish, etc. You may feel guilt as your situation improves and theirs doesn’t. But you aren’t responsible for them/their reactions."
4) Sometimes, You Don't Deserve Closure. Allow The People You Hurt to Heal and Move On.
"Sometimes you don't deserve closure. the people you've hurt don't owe you forgiveness even after you've changed for the better. Some bridges are burned forever, and sometimes it's better that way for all parties. You have to move forward and be better for you, not someone else."
5) Other People's Opinion of You is None of Your Business
"A former boss who had been through therapy herself told me that other people’s opinion of me is none of my business."
6) You Date People That Feel Familiar (Good or Bad)
"You date people that feel familiar. Whoever in your family left a big impact (whether positive or negative), you are likely to marry someone who behaves similarly. This is particularly important to keep an eye on for those who were abused as children, whether by parents or siblings."
7) Living Your Best Life Requires Bravery on Your Part
"Living the life you want requires bravery, and bravery forces you to love yourself through failure and mistakes. Be brave."
8) Decisions Don't Have To Be Labeled Right or Wrong
"Decisions do not have to be labeled right or wrong. You made a choice that you believed was best based on the information you had at that time. When/if your future self discovers new info that changes your mind, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed or made a “bad” choice"
9) Correct Your Negative Self-Talk Out Loud
"Correct your self-talk out loud. If you do something wrong and your response is “I’m dumb”, say out loud “no, I made a mistake. That’s okay.” It feels awkward for a week and then you get in the habit and your self talk improved a LOT, and then you eventually stop saying."
10) People Aren't Mind Readers. Communicate your Needs.
"If you don’t communicate your needs, it’s not the other person’s fault for not following them."
11) Don't Invest Your Time in People Who Aren't Willing to do the Same For You
“Don’t give anyone more time/attention than they give you. You are an investment. If they are not putting in as much chips into the pile as you are, they’re not worth the effort you’re putting into them, and are a liability to you and your mental health.”
12) The Relationship Doesn't Need to be Traumatic In order For It To End
"You can have a decent relationship and still feel unfulfilled or needs not met. That’s okay. Not every relationship needs to have terrible things happening for you to find a reason to leave. It can simply not fit and you can walk away. Don’t feel guilty for wanting more."
13) Make Sure Your Mind is a Nice Place to be In. Nice and Toxic-Free.
“You decorate your house and make your bed comfy and put gas in your car because you spend time in those places. You also spend a lot of time inside your own head, so make sure it’s a nice place to be.”
14) Trauma Explains Bad Behavior, But It Doesn't Excuse It
"Someone blaming their bad behavior on something (their childhood, family, situation, etc.) only may be an EXPLANATION for their behavior but it does not EXCUSE it. Don’t let anyone try to guilt trip you into feeling bad for them when they were the ones in the wrong."
15) Everything Is Not About You.
“Not everyone is making a cameo in your movie. They’re the lead in their own and will act according to not only their own wants and needs, but also their history/trauma. You are not central to every story, so not everything that people do or say, or how they react, is about you.”
16) Treat Yourself The Same Way You'd Treat Your Friend
"Treat yourself when you’re going through a hard time the same way you’d treat a friend going through a hard time."
17) Don't Stress Yourself Over A Job, Especially One That Under-Pays You
"If you make $10/hour, you only need to care about your job $10/hour worth. It’s not your job to worry about staffing any other day, so take the day if you’re sick. It’s on management for being short staffed, not you."
18) The Right Person Will See Your Worth and Value
"We are like autographed Baseballs. To a person that isn't interested in Baseball, we are worth nothing. But to a Collector, to a Fan, we are worth everything."
19) You Don't Need To Live Up To Anyone's Expectations Of You
"You do not need to live up to anyone else's expectations of you. Your life is yours and only you can give it a purpose, so give it a purpose in line with what YOU want."
20) You're Stronger Than You Think
"The fact that I hadn't given up yet is the proof that I am stronger than I think. I'm still here because something is still linking me to life and I have to hold on on that."
Share in the comments section some of the things you learned in therapy, or some life changing/eye opening interactions with someone that changed your life.