Why You Are Your Most Important Relationship

Man looking at his phone in the mirror

If someone told me that the most important relationship I’ll ever have is my relationship with myself, I would call the cliché police and report them for first degree distribution of a controlled cliché. Yet I’m writing this article to tell you that this bit of wisdom is a cliché for a reason: It’s true.

Social science supports this truism, too. According to research on self-image and relationships, people who have more compassionate relationships with themselves do, in fact, have healthier romantic relationships with others. And self-compassion, just like any other skill, can be learned. Continue reading Why You Are Your Most Important Relationship

Don’t Text Your Ex

Spiraling plane crash

In 2019, we’re more connected than ever. We’re constantly glued to our phones, addicted to texting and social media. We have a direct line of contact to pretty much anyone we want, anytime we want. This means that, for better or for worse, we have a direct line to contact our ex at our fingertips, 24/7. Let’s be real: Most of the time, texting your ex is not a good idea.

When you’re feeling lonely and constantly thinking about your ex, it’s really hard to resist sending a text. Trust me, I know! We’re creatures of habit, and when you’re so used to talking to someone you care about all the time, it’s hard to break the habit and cut contact. But by continuing to text your ex after your relationship is over, you’re just dragging out drama and prolonging the time it takes to truly get over someone. Continue reading Don’t Text Your Ex

Breaking C-Suite Stigma: Our Interview with Jason Saltzman, CEO of Alley

Jason Saltzman sitting on stairs

With more leaders and athletes going public with their mental health stories, it’s an important reminder that mental health issues affect a broad spectrum of people, from all backgrounds.

At a recent conference hosted by Talkspace, world-champion swimmer Michael Phelps described feeling like an “animal in a zoo,” referring to his mental state while under the intense spotlight of performance. And he’s right: We tend to place celebrities, athletes, and those in the C-suite on an almost mythical level. But they are people, with real challenges, who are entitled to the same compassion we expect from our own support networks.

We recently sat down with Jason Saltzman, CEO and founder of co-working community Alley. Jason has used his platform as a successful entrepreneur to advocate for openness about mental health in the workplace, the technology sector, and beyond.

Below he shares his journey with general anxiety disorder, and how it’s made him a more compassionate person and leader.

Continue reading Breaking C-Suite Stigma: Our Interview with Jason Saltzman, CEO of Alley

What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

Two people holding hands

Emotional affairs are non-sexual, but intense emotional actions with someone outside of a committed relationship. They’re arguably more easily facilitated with the help of modern technology like dating apps or social networks. Unlike prior decades, those who have affairs don’t only relegate themselves to people in their direct proximity (such as work), but may establish real connections with others in far away places.

Emotional affairs are a type of infidelity (cheating). However, everyone has different opinions on what constitutes cheating, so there’s a lot of variation in what might be characterized as an emotional affair. Continue reading What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

Is Your Neediness Justified?

Wolf hugging another wolf

I remember being cuddled up with my ex-boyfriend one morning, trying to muster up the courage to bring something up that was bothering me: the fact we barely texted throughout the day. Eventually, I found the nerve to ask him, “Do you still really like me?” He looked at me, confused, and said, “What!? Of course I do! Why do you ask that?”

I went on to explain that I felt like I wasn’t getting enough attention from him, since I was always the one to initiate text conversations or phone calls. The lack of contact made me feel like he wasn’t into me anymore and had me doubting our few month old relationship. Continue reading Is Your Neediness Justified?

My Child is Trans, How Can I Best Support Them?

Kid walking

Raising a child is not an easy process. It requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Parenthood is filled with great expectations for one’s child, and often requires a lot of hard work and support. This is wonderfully captured in a quote by journalist Maria Shriver:

“Having kids — the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings — is the biggest job anyone can embark on. As with any risk, you have to take a leap of faith and ask lots of wonderful people for their help and guidance. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to parent.”

While parenting can be one of the most rewarding parts of the human experience, it can also be a challenge. Many parents face obstacles such as economic concerns and emotional barriers while trying to do their best to raise happy, healthy future adults. Continue reading My Child is Trans, How Can I Best Support Them?

How to Support (Not Sexualize) Your LGBTQ+ Friends

Hands holding

If I had a dollar for every time a straight man has asked me how women have sex with each other — no really, how?? — I would be a wealthy woman. Alas, as I write this article I am not a wealthy woman, but I am a woman who has talked a lot of straight people through the ins and outs of queer identity.

While these questions can be invasive, even downright offensive, I’m a gender and sexuality writer. Answering questions about LGBTQ experience is kind of my job. But no one (including professional feminists) should be objectified because of their sexual identity, and queer people shouldn’t have to give a sex-ed lesson or reveal intimate details of their lives in the course of normal conversations. Continue reading How to Support (Not Sexualize) Your LGBTQ+ Friends

When is Someone Else’s Mental Health Your Business?

Two people sitting next to each other

When the phone buzzed, my heart filled with warmth. With all the news alerts and junk text messages constantly passing through our smartphones, “warm-hearted” is a pretty rare thing to feel from a text notification.

I was going through a rough patch, and the buzzing phone was a message from a friend. She had noticed something was up, and she was just reaching out to express concern and tell me she cared.

These small moments of love, friendship, and concern from people we care about can be life-saving. I mean that literally: Mental health professionals have identified social support and outreach as key in recovery for people at risk of suicide. Even when the stakes aren’t so high, support from loved ones can help us heal and get support in any situation, from workplace troubles to unsafe home or relationship situations. Continue reading When is Someone Else’s Mental Health Your Business?

Can Blaming Others Ever Be Good For Your Mental Health?

Man pointing

Many people tend to blame others for their issues. Prime candidates are parents, partners, friends, bosses, and kids. Perhaps these examples sound familiar?

  • “The reason I don’t have a social life is that my husband is an introvert. If he were more outgoing, I could really get out more.”
  • “My kids are so difficult, it is impossible to have people over the house. They just run wild and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself.”
  • “If my dad hadn’t cheated on my mom, I would have a healthy view of relationships now and I wouldn’t keep going for these jerks that treat me poorly.”

It is very tempting to blame others for things going wrong in your life, even personal habits you dislike or your own dysfunctional thought patterns. Continue reading Can Blaming Others Ever Be Good For Your Mental Health?