Tag Archive for: love

No one dies of love

“No one dies of love”

Love has the ability to kidnap our mind whether it is happy or unhappy.

If love works, we can torment ourselves about:

  • How long will it last?
  • Is (will) my partner (be) faithful?
  • Does he really like me?
  • Am I out of his league (beauty, culture, intelligence)?

And if things don’t work out, the repercussions on our life can be devastating; if we fight continuously, we can, for example, not have the strength to do the things that our daily life requires of us or do them but with an enormous effort.

When we are broken up with, strong feelings of shame usually come to light, as if the whole world has told us that we are wrong and that we are not worth enough.

Usually we torment ourselves with a thousand hypotheses about how we could have behaved to make things go differently; sometimes a strong anger, dictated by the frustration of having undergone that choice, grips us; the pain, at certain times, can be so strong that it takes your breath away.

Whether your love is happy, but for fear of losing it you do not enjoy it, or whether it is unhappy or even ended abruptly, here are some tips not to “die”:

  • The pains of love must be lamented, but excessive lamentation can exacerbate your negative mood, making you feel pain even when you could have thought of something else; give your friends and family a chance to distract you. Even the closest friend could get tired of absorbing these outbursts over time, don’t overdo it; let alone the person who barely knows you, to whom you confide your amorous torments (when things don’t work out, we also behave like this, “You don’t die of love”, but for a while it’s easy to lose the ability to discern what is appropriate and what is not).
  • If your life is full because:
    • You play a sport;
    • You have friends to go out with;
    • You have one or more pets to look after;
    • Dedicate some time of your day to reading;
    • Take care of yourself;
    • You have some fixed and reassuring habits such as going for a run every morning, or scheduled appointments with your family of origin…

then it is almost impossible that you will find yourself obsessing over love either for fear that it will end or because it is over. More scopes will keep you afloat.

It is when life is empty, when our whole identity coincides with that love story, that we run the most risks; because the story is compromised or over, we too fall.

“You don’t die of love”, especially if you don’t live only as a function of love.

Self-esteem by the pound! Advice to achieve it

Self-esteem can be reached by everyone, let’s find out together what is the winning strategy to achieve it. Regardless of the problem that leads people to turn to me, the first requests that are made of me are:

“Yes, I would like to solve my difficulty (phobia, relational problem, overcoming a bereavement …), but first help me to increase my self-esteem”.

“Before solving his problem, we need to raise my son’s self-esteem”.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, self-esteem is not a gift to be wrapped and given to the person concerned, everyone must build it independently.

With brief strategic therapy, the person immediately gets involved in overcoming their limits, that is, the problems that led them to ask for help. In fact, indications are given to be put into practice between sessions. It is precisely by putting oneself on the line and overcoming his/her/their own difficulties that he will win twice, via the disturbance and via a welcome increase in self-esteem.

Of course, sometimes it is the only request that is asked of me, but even in this case it is possible to identify challenges to be overcome, which the person is avoiding engaging in fear or had not identified as necessary. In any case, if the fight is done in person (supported by the therapeutic indications), self-esteem rises.

There are those who have suffered for years insults and devaluations by those who instead should have supported them, for example the family, in this case it will be necessary to work both on the past, to ensure that the person is emancipated from it, and on the anger that may have generated all this in him/her/them. They are elaborations, sometimes painful, in which the person is an agent, so once he/she/they have reached inner peace, he/she/they can only compliment themselves.

It is necessary to overcome the belief that others can give us self-esteem, here are some reflections in this regard:

  • It is better to ensure that the people we care about put themselves to the test by risking failure (but also success!), rather than preventing any difficulties that may arise. If the person doesn’t do well, he/she/they will have learned how to do better next time.
  • You don’t need to praise someone to boost their self-esteem, they will notice (at any age!) if compliments are just made to make them feel better.
  • It is essential to take the educational responsibility of “arguing”, if necessary, with children, to encourage them to complete the paths they have taken (e.g. sport). When they come to the end, they will be proud of themselves, they will have more confidence in their abilities, they will learn to be more resistant to effort. If at the first difficulty you accept that they surrender without wanting to, you will pass the idea that you also think they would not have succeeded. If you discuss it, you will show that you believe in him/her/they. Obviously, each case is unique and tenacity as an end in itself is not productive; it is a question of listening to understand the reasons for wanting to interrupt, if these are valid, so be it.
  • If those around us want to help us achieve self-esteem, they must support us, not replace us!

Overcoming betrayal

Betrayal is one of the most traumatic events for a couple.

Exclusivity is one of the foundations of a winning love relationship, unless there are other agreements between the partners, such as in “open couples”. The important thing in these cases is that these decisions are shared and not suffered.

There are rare couples who survive a betrayal or who, if they stay together, then find their balance.
There are people who, in order to feel alive, must constantly have adrenaline rushes, called “sensation seekers”. They often engage in extreme sports and in everything that makes them feel strong sensations, they love the risk and can feel suffocated if they find themselves in an “ordinary” life; who has this characteristic is easy to use the betrayal to achieve this “thrill”.

The less courageous, on the other hand, can limit themselves to virtual betrayals, chats with old flames, sites with webcams, to “communicate” with strangers. Also, in this case, if the betrayal comes to light, the couple suffers an earthquake and risks crumbling.

You can betray because you feel neglected. In this regard, it is useful to underline how much we fall in love with the love we see reflected in the eyes of the partner. If it is missing, we can end up looking elsewhere for someone who makes us feel important. Knowing that the partner “is there”, seeing that he/she/they devote time to us, our need to feel appreciated is a universal need: the partner should be our first fan!

One can betray because love or harmony has ended; in this case, “rebuilding the relationship” will be a titanic undertaking. But, if under the ashes of a love that “seems” exhausted there is actually a small flame, this can be fed by an expert technician who will suggest various moves; brief strategic therapy in this regard has many resources to propose, the couple will be faced with a challenging but not impossible task.

If in the past there was a strong intimacy and transport, it will take little to awaken the “epidermal memory”, that is, that sensation on the skin that the other triggered.

In principle it is better to keep silent about the betrayal, in fact confessing it is a more selfish act than it would seem; common sense often overestimates the importance of sincerity. Those who confess will feel relieved (initially), those who suffer will be torn apart, the relationship will therefore be in serious danger. Better to keep the burden to yourself and commit to ensuring that it was, and remains, only a “parenthesis”, if what is important to us is the health of the couple.

Literally forgiving means “letting go”, a mental attitude that is more difficult to achieve but more productive; then get to no longer take it into consideration, pretend it didn’t happen, “bite the bullet”. If this is always present, it will be very easy to establish recriminations, spite, emotional and physical distances, which will worsen the situation.

The therapist can facilitate this process, for example by using the “add to reduce” stratagem. Helping the couple to create new memories of new and positive experiences to do together, which gradually obscure what we want to drop into oblivion; obviously, before this, it will be essential to work to understand what to do differently to prevent it from happening again.

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When the “past” becomes a problem

The past can teach us a lot. For example, not to make the same mistakes again; to take the significant people who have inhabited it as a role model; to understand what we want or do not want in a love relationship.

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Sometimes, the past can take the form of a sinister shadow, which it is necessary to work on, in order to get rid of it. Not so much to go and discover the “unconscious” origin of the present disorders (this is not a guarantee of resolution), but to put the past back where it belongs, in the past!

So, when is it necessary to intervene?

  • If you are sure that you have missed an important opportunity and this thought prevents you from moving forward, with the right determination.
  • If a finished love does not come out of your head and heart, to the point of preventing you from establishing new relationships.
  • If you cannot forgive a mistake made by you, or by others and this thought continually invades your mind.
  • If you cannot forget a traumatic event (e.g. road accident), which still populates your nightmares, or comes back to you as soon as you find yourself in similar situations, preventing you from carrying out normal activities (e.g. driving).
  • The past cannot be changed, it would take a time machine…

However, you can decide to ask for help, to be accompanied in the challenging task, to go “through” the dark tunnel of what happened, to go out and see the sky again.