Yesterday I had an epiphany. After a long day of work, I went walking in nature. I spent a few hours enjoying the view and listening to the chirping birds. As I was amid these natural wonders, I began thinking about the incredible health benefits and therapeutic power of having a short walk in nature. During my journey, I took photos of the sea, admired the tall trees, and noticed the subtle changes in the water. …

When fighting with your partner, do you prefer to:
A — Ask for explanations, blame, push, overanalyse, criticise or
B — Retreat, shut down, walk away, avoid or find distraction?

If A, you are probably a pursuer. And I say “probably” because there is another type of pursuer, I will explain later.

​If B, then you are probably a withdrawer.

A pursuer or a withdrawer is a role we (have learned to) take in a relationship when there is a conflict. The conflict may be of small or big importance. It doesn’t matter. …

To be honest, parenting is really hard work. Imagine what would happen if parenting conditions were actual working conditions: waking up in the middle of the night because your boss needs you to deliver a project “right here right now.”

Or imagine that your boss is satisfied or unsatisfied with your work but in an unpredictable way. One day they say, “Well, I like what you’re doing”, and the next day “I hate it and you’re not trying enough!”

Imagine working long hours with no salary and actually not knowing what your time schedule or the deadline of a project…

It is definitely old-school practice. Our parents did it, their parents did it to them. It was* considered one of the “top” parenting styles, in order to bring up disciplined and respectful children.

Nothing could have prepared us for the massive impact we would see nowadays on adults who have been spanked when children. No one could have foreseen the trauma it caused and the shame, the sadness and the disgrace it brought along.

*I say “was” because I prefer to hope that this practice belongs to the past. …

The “Good Enough” mother is the one…

…who doesn’t need to be perfect, who doesn’t judge others for not being perfect and who teaches her child the beauty of not being perfect and of being different among people. And therefore she takes a lot of (perfectionism) stress off her child’s shoulder.

…who accepts the love that her child feels for her, but who also equally accepts all the other feelings that may come from the child, even anger or rejection.

…who admits that she has feelings of unconditional love for her child, but also acknowledges that there will be moments…

Relationships are challenging. We cannot control them. We cannot guarantee that they’ll succeed.

In fact, when you come to think about it, what we know about relationships is… not much. Unfortunately relationships are not part of any school curriculum. For most of us, the only “blueprint” we have about relationships is that of our parents — and many times, it’s not an example we can (or should) replicate.

So when we’re faced with one of the toughest moments in a relationship, a breakup, most of us not only are overwhelmed by the pain and sense of loss that follows it…

  • Does it take you a long time to make a decision?
  • Are you the kind of person who is not easily satisfied with their performance/results/ efforts?
  • Do you spend a lot of time organising and making lists before you even start a task or a project?
  • Do you tend to procrastinate when you are assigned a challenging or even boring project?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself occupied with less important tasks while other more important ones are …still pending?
  • Do you find imperfections in other people that annoy you, especially in friends and partners, and do you start losing interest…

First of all, let’s clear out a really common misunderstanding.
We believe that perfectionism is a healthy mindset that leads to perfect results, perfect achievements, perfect life, to perfection.

However, the truth is somewhat different: perfectionism is the stress we feel in order to be perceived as perfect by others or ourselves and the exhausting effort we put in order to deal with that stress.
In other words, perfectionism feels like we are not enough and we need to try more in order to become so. And when we say “try”, we mean try a lot.

The negative consequences of…

The “Storm”.

This is how I call any challenging situation, any hard time in life, that brings turbulence in my inner -hard-won- balance. I call it like that not only because it is -objectively- a difficult moment in your life. But mainly because it blows a strong wind inside your mind, it makes you feel you have no shelter to protect yourself, it thunders against all what you have believed and dreamt so far, it pours you into an emotional rollercoaster, and all this you have to fight it by yourself.

We all have been in a situation where we…

Each December I find myself engaged (sometimes in a frenetic way), determining what my New Year’s Resolutions will be.
The first thing I do is go back to the last year’s list and tick all those that have been achieved. Most of the times the result is somewhere between “ok” and “satisfying” and if there are a few non-kept resolutions, I just convince myself that those were the “substitute” ones, the ones that would just bring some extra flavour to the year’s achievement.
Second step is to figure out what I want for the following year. This December, however, making my New…

Vassia Sarantopoulou

Psychologist/Counselor, Founder of AntiLoneliness, Constantly Curious —

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