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Transparency Builds Trust

Often we want to present ourself to others as we have it all together, sometimes we even deceive ourselves that we do. But when we are hurting or struggling, the ones we seek for comfort or counsel are those who’ve been there and understand, not the “perfect” people.

Broken people who have gotten through and healed can offer compassion, understanding and wisdom that others cannot.

Perhaps the most valuable thing about us that we can offer the world is ourselves, real and transparent. Perhaps our mistakes, failures, pain and struggle are more valuable than our successes, because they empower us to have an eternal impact loving and helping others right where they are.

If you hide who you are and what you’ve been through from people, how will they know you are someone THEY can go to when they are hurting or struggling?

I’ve had people tell me I share too much, and they show their disapproval, including judging and condemning me for it. Sometimes they question my motives, or think I’m just saying things for attention. I can’t control what people think or how they perceive my words or actions, so I’m not going to try.

I value sincerity, and despise when people are false and shallow, because they are acting like they are better than others. When people look down on the hurting and suffering, it reminds me of when Jesus confronted the religious leaders in Matthew 23:27-28, where He referred to them as white-washed tombs filled with rotting bones. It also reminds me of Job’s accusers (his friends by the way) who claimed that his suffering must be because he did something that caused him to deserve his misfortune.

As a result, we keep to ourselves and don’t reveal what is going on in our hearts, minds, and lives, because we fear the judgement and accusations from others. We also want to avoid the embarrassment of appearing weak or not meeting up to the expectations others place on us. This leads to isolation and loneliness, even when surrounded by people, within our own families, friendships, and churches. I’m sure this has led to the downfall of many in positions of leadership.

There have been countless times that someone has reached out to me privately to discuss something they were going through, simply because I shared something publicly about my own life or experience. Being transparent opened a door for someone to not feel so alone. It resulted in an opportunity for my pain, struggle, or experience to transform into wisdom and healing for someone else. Transparency builds trust. Because of that, I won’t be silent. I won’t fear what people think. I like helping people, and believe the world would be a better place if there were more “real” people in it.

11 Proven Ways to Lose Weight Without Diet or Exercise

Maintaining good hydration also supports healthy weight lossSticking to a conventional diet and exercise plan can be difficult.  However, there are several proven tips that can help you “mindlessly” eat fewer calories.  These are effective ways to reduce your weight, as well as to prevent weight gain in the future.  Here are 11 ways to lose weight without diet or exercise. All of them are based on science.

1. Chew Thoroughly and Slow Down

Your brain needs time to process that you’ve had enough to eat.

Chewing your food better makes you eat more slowly, which is associated with decreased food intake, increased fullness and smaller portions (123).

How quickly you finish your meals may also affect your weight.

A recent review of 23 observational studies reported that faster eaters are more likely to gain weight, compared to slower eaters (4).

Fast eaters are also much more likely to be obese. To get into the habit of eating more slowly, it may help to count how many times you chew each bite.

BOTTOM LINE:Eating your food slowly can help you feel more full with fewer calories. It is an easy way to lose weight and prevent weight gain.

2. Use Smaller Plates For Unhealthy Foods

The typical food plate is larger today than it was a few decades ago.

This is unfortunate, since using a smaller plate may help you eat less by making portions look larger.

At the same time, a bigger plate can make a serving look smaller, causing you to add more food (56).

You can use this to your advantage by serving healthy food on bigger plates and less healthy food on smaller plates.

BOTTOM LINE:Smaller plates can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are. Therefore, it’s smart to consume unhealthy foods from smaller plates, causing you to eat less.

3. Eat Plenty of Protein

Protein has powerful effects on appetite. It can increase the feeling of fullness, reduce hunger and help you eat fewer calories (7).

This may be because protein affects several hormones that play a role in hunger and fullness, including ghrelin and GLP-1 (8).

One study found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds in 12 weeks, without intentionally restricting anything (9).

If you currently eat a grain-based breakfast, then you may want to consider switching to a protein-rich option, such as eggs.

In one study, overweight or obese women who had eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories at lunch compared to those who ate a grain-based breakfast (10).

What’s more, they ended up eating fewer calories for the rest of the day and during the next 36 hours.

Some examples of protein-rich foods include chicken breasts, fish, Greek yogurt, lentils, quinoaand almonds.

BOTTOM LINE: Adding protein to your diet has been shown to cause “automatic” weight loss, without exercise or conscious calorie restriction.

4. Store Unhealthy Foods Out of Sight

Storing unhealthy foods where you can see them may increase hunger and cravings, causing you to eat more (11).

This is also linked to weight gain (12).

One recent study found that if high-calorie foods are more visible in the house, the residents are more likely to weigh more, compared to people who keep only a bowl of fruit visible (12).

Store unhealthy foods out of sight, such as in closets or cupboards, so that they are less likely to catch your eye when you’re hungry.

On the other hand, keep healthy foods visible on your counter tops and place them front and center in your fridge.

BOTTOM LINE:If you keep unhealthy foods on your counter, you are more likely to have an unplanned snack. This is also linked to increased weight and obesity. It’s better to keep healthy foods, like fruits, visible.

Eating fiber-rich foods may increase satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer.

Studies also indicate that a special kind of fiber, called viscous fiber, is particularly helpful for weight loss. It increases fullness and reduces food intake (13).

Viscous fiber forms a gel when it comes in contact with water. This gel increases the time it takes to absorb nutrients and slows down the emptying of the stomach (14).

Viscous fiber is only found in plant foods. Examples include beansoat cereals, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges and flax seeds.

weight loss supplement called glucomannan is also very high in viscous fiber.

BOTTOM LINE:Viscous fiber is particularly helpful in reducing appetite and food intake. This fiber forms gel that slows down digestion.

 6. Drink Water Regularly

Drinking water can help you eat less and lose weight, especially if you drink it before a meal.

One study in adults found that drinking half a liter (17 oz) of water, about half an hour before meals, reduced hunger and helped them eat fewer calories (15).

Participants who drank water before a meal lost 44% more weight over a 12-week period, compared to those who did not.

If you replace calorie-loaded drinks — such as soda or juice — with water, you may experience an even greater effect (16).

BOTTOM LINE:Drinking water before meals may help you eat fewer calories. Replacing a sugary drink with water is particularly beneficial.

7. Serve Yourself Smaller Portions

Portion sizes have increased during the last few decades, especially at restaurants.

Larger portions encourage people to eat more, and have been linked to an increase in weight gain and obesity (1718192021).

One study in adults found that doubling the size of a dinner starter increased calorie intake by 30% (21).

Serving yourself just a little less might help you eat significantly less food. And you probably won’t even notice the difference.

BOTTOM LINE:Larger portion sizes have been linked to the obesity epidemic, and may encourage both children and adults to eat more food.

8. Eat Without Electronic Distractions

Paying attention to what you eat may help you eat fewer calories.

People who eat while they’re watching TV or playing computer games may lose track of how much they have eaten. This, in turn, can cause overeating.

One review article looked at the results of 24 studies, finding that people who were distracted at a meal ate about 10% more in that sitting (22).

However, not paying attention during a meal actually has an even greater influence on your intake later in the day. People who were distracted at a meal ate 25% more calories at later meals than people who were not distracted.

If you regularly consume meals watching TV or using your computer or smartphone, these extra calories can add up and have a massive impact on your weight in the long-term.

BOTTOM LINE:People who eat while distracted are more likely to overeat. Paying attention to your meals may help you eat less and lose weight.

9. Sleep Well and Avoid Stress

When it comes to health, sleep and stress are often neglected. But in fact, both can have powerful effects on your appetite and weight.

A lack of sleep may disrupt the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Another hormone, called cortisol, becomes elevated when you’re stressed (23).

Having these hormones disrupted can increase your hunger and cravings for unhealthy food, leading to higher calorie intake (232425).

What’s more, chronic sleep deprivation and stress may increase your risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity (262728).

BOTTOM LINE:Poor sleep and excess stress may disrupt the levels of several important appetite-regulating hormones, causing you to eat more.

10. Eliminate Sugary Drinks

Added sugar may very well be the single worst ingredient in the diet today.

Sugary beverages, like soda, have been associated with an increased risk of many Western diseases (293031).

It’s very easy to take in massive amounts of excess calories from sugary drinks, because liquid calories don’t affect fullness like solid food does (323334).

Staying away from these beverages entirely can provide enormous long-term health benefits. However, note that you should not replace soda with fruit juice, as it can be just as high in sugar (3536).

Healthy beverages to drink instead include water, coffee and green tea.

BOTTOM LINE:Sugary drinks have been linked to an increased risk of weight gain and many diseases. The brain doesn’t register liquid calories like solid foods, making you eat more.

11. Serve Unhealthy Food on Red Plates

One weird trick is to use red plates to help you eat less. At least, this seems to work with unhealthy snack foods.

One study reported that volunteers ate fewer pretzels from red plates, compared to white or blue plates (37).

The explanation may be that we associate the color red with stop signals and other man-made warnings.

BOTTOM LINE:Red plates may help you eat less unhealthy snack foods. This may be because the color red triggers a stop reaction.

12. Anything Else?

There are many simple lifestyle habits that can help you lose weight, some of which have nothing to do with conventional diet or exercise plans.

You can use smaller plates, eat more slowly, drink water and avoid eating in front of the TV or computer. Prioritizing foods rich in protein and viscous fiber may also help.

However, I wouldn’t try all these things at once. Start to experiment with one tip for a while, and if that works well and is sustainable for you then try another one.

A few simple changes can have a massive impact over the long term.

30 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because of Your Depression

depressionthigns-1280x427While most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

To find out how depression shows itself in ways other people can’t see, we asked our mental health community to share one thing people don’t realize they’re doing because they have depression.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “In social situations, some people don’t realize I withdraw or don’t speak much because of depression. Instead, they think I’m being rude or purposefully antisocial.” — Laura B.

2. “I struggle to get out of bed, sometimes for hours. Then just the thought of taking a shower is exhausting. If I manage to do that, I am ready for a nap. People don’t understand, but anxiety and depression is exhausting, much like an actual physical fight with a professional boxer.” — Juli J.

3. “Agreeing to social plans but canceling last minute. Using an excuse but really you just chickened out. It makes you think your friends don’t actually want to see you, they just feel bad. Obligation.” — Brynne L.

4. “Hiding in my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it, but not like other people. I don’t socialize, I play games or browse online stores to distract myself from my negative thoughts. It’s my safe bubble.” — Eveline L.

5. “Going to bed at 9 p.m. and sleeping throughout the night until 10 or 11 a.m.” — Karissa D.

6. “Isolating myself, not living up to my potential at work due to lack of interest in anything, making self-deprecating jokes. I’ve said many times before, ‘I laugh, so that I don’t cry.’ Unfortunately, it’s all too true.” — Kelly K.

7. “When I reach out when I’m depressed it’s ’cause I am wanting to have someone to tell me I’m not alone. Not because I want attention.” — Tina B.

8. “I don’t like talking on the phone. I prefer to text. Less pressure there. Also being anti-social. Not because I don’t like being around people, but because I’m pretty sure everyone can’t stand me.” — Meghan B.

9. “I overcompensate in my work environment… and I work front line at a Fitness Centre, so I feel the need to portray an ‘extra happy, bubbly personality.’ As soon as I walk out the doors at the end of the day, I feel myself ‘fall.’ It’s exhausting… I am a professional at hiding it.” — Lynda H.

10. “The excessive drinking. Most people assume I’m trying to be the ‘life of the party’ or just like drinking in general. I often get praised for it. But my issues are much deeper than that.” — Teresa A.

11. “Hiding out in my room for hours at a time watching Netflix or Hulu to distract my mind or taking frequent trips to the bathroom or into another room at social gatherings because social situations sometimes get to me.” — Kelci F.

12. “Saying I’m tired or don’t feel good… they don’t realize how much depression can affect you physically as well as emotionally.” — Lauren G.

13. “Answering slowly. It makes my brain run slower, and I can’t think of the answers to the questions as quickly. Especially when someone is asking what I want to do – I don’t really want anything. I isolate myself so I don’t have to be forced into a situation where I have to respond because it’s exhausting.” — Erin W.

14. “Sometimes I’ll forget to eat all day. I can feel my stomach growling but don’t have the willpower to get up and make something to eat.” — Kenzi I.

15. “I don’t talk much in large groups of people, especially when I first meet them. I withdraw because of my anxiety and depression. People think I’m ‘stuck up.’ I’m actually scared out of my mind worrying they don’t like me, or that they think I’m ‘crazy’ by just looking at me…” — Hanni W.

16. “Not keeping in touch with anyone, bad personal hygiene and extremely bad reactions to seemingly trivial things.” — Jenny B.

17. “Being angry, mean or rude to people I love without realizing it in the moment. I realize my actions and words later and feel awful I had taken out my anger on people who don’t deserve it.” — Christie C.

18. “Purposely working on the holidays so I can avoid spending time with family. It’s overwhelming to be around them and to talk about the future and life so I avoid it.” — Aislinn G.

19. “My house is a huge mess.” — Cynthia H.

20. “I volunteer for everything, from going to PTO meetings to baby sitting to cleaning someone else’s house for them. I surround myself with situations and obligations that force me to get out of bed and get out of the house because if I’m not needed, I won’t be wanted.” — Carleigh W.

21. “Overthinking everything and over-planning. The need to make everything perfect and everyone happy, even if it’s taking all my energy. As if validation from someone else will make it all better. Sometimes I start out on high power, then just crash and don’t even enjoy what I’ve spent weeks/months planning. And no one will see me for months after, as I retreat into my safe bubble.” — Vicki G.

22. “I smile all the time even though I don’t really want to, but I do it because I don’t feel like I’m allowed to be sad when I’m with other people. I also do whatever it takes to make someone else happy because since I don’t feel happy most of the time, it just makes me feel a little better seeing someone else happy. I also isolate myself even though sometimes I really just want someone around.” — Wendy E.

23. “People don’t realize I say sorry before I even think about expressing any opinions because that’s how worthless I feel. I’m apologizing for feeling anything about anything because that’s how little I feel I matter. They don’t just know I feel like apologizing for even breathing in their general direction. I even say I’m sorry before asking to use the bathroom no matter how long I’ve held it. I feel like a burden for biological needs I have no control over.” — Amy Y.

24. “Neglecting to do basic things like laundry, not wanting to cook a meal or eat. They think I’m being lazy.” — Rebecca R.

25. “Sometimes I’ll go days without speaking to anybody. People tend to believe I’m ignoring them on purpose when really I am just lost within myself. I don’t mean to seem like I’m pushing people away. Some days it’s hard when my thoughts consume me and when I can’t find the motivation to do simple things that others do on a daily basis.” — Alyssa A.

26. “People don’t realize I can’t say no without feeling guilty. I have to have a good enough reason for everything I do. I guess it’s customary to try and convince someone to change their answer, but people have no idea how much it takes for me to say no in the first place. I feel worthless so much that I feel guilty for even thinking of putting my needs or wants first. Then I just feel like a doormat when I cave into the pressure. It’s a never-ending cycle.” — Amy Y.

27. “I push away/cut off everyone who I care about because I can’t bear to be hurt by them! Everyone just thinks I’m mean and anti-social.” — Tina R.

28. “Going for late night walks by myself. My depression keeps me awake at night and my thoughts can get so overwhelming I feel physically crowded inside. Late night walks help me quiet the screaming in my head.” — Lynnie L.

29. “I have often been accused of having ‘no sense of humor.’ So wrong. Before depression took over my life I smiled and laughed as much as the next person. Now, having lived with depression for over 15 years, the humor I find in a joke or situation is rarely visible on my face or heard in my laugh. I feel humor, but it’s just too much effort to express it. I don’t have the energy.” — Martha W.

30. “Keeping the house dark is a comfort thing for me. People always point it out, like, ‘No wonder you’re so depressed. You need to let some light in.’ Darkness in my living space makes me feel comfortable, almost like I’m not alone. Good days, I’m all about the sunshine!” — Michelle T.

by Sarah Schuster

Source:  https://themighty.com/2017/01/hidden-signs-of-depression

5 Indicators Of An Evil Heart

As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.

I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes.

The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’ mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19–21). These things are not true of the evil heart.

Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart.  If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information. (Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2–5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35; Jeremiah 18:18; Nehemiah 6:8; Micah 2:1; Matthew 12:34,35; Acts 6:11–13; 2 Peter 3:16)

2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words.

But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors. (Psalms 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4; 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23–26; 26:28; Job 20:12; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 26:59; Acts 6:11–13; Romans 16:17,18; 2 Corinthians 11:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:2–5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).

3. Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference.

They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance. (Romans 2:8; Psalms 10; 36:1–4; 50:16–22; 54:5,6; 73:6–9; Proverbs 21:24; Jude 1:8–16).

4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card.

They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust. (Proverbs 21:10; 1 Peter 2:16; Jude 1:4).

5. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse.

They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14–15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29; Isaiah 32:6; Romans 1:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15)

If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics, it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.

They want you to believe that:

1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences.

When they say “I’m sorry,” they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person he or she has harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.

The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).

The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people, but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisee’s with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, he or she is eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin (see Zacchaeus’ response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19).

Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, ‘Sorry, can’t we just let it go?’ You would say, ‘No, that would be an injustice.’ Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required—some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.”1

As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.

The evil person will also try to get you to believe

2. That if I talk like a gospel-believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk.

Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know, but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.

The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18; Jeremiah 7:8,10; James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8).

If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk, you have every reason to question someone’s relationship with God.

Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we have been trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good, and without discernment we can be easily fooled (Hebrews 5:14).

When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry” or “that he’s changing” when, in fact, he is not.

Daniel says, “[T]he wicked will continue to be wicked” (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

Source: http://www.crosswalk.com/slideshows/5-indicators-of-an-evil-heart.html?utm_content=buffer59bb8&utm_medium=fbpage&utm_source=cwpg&utm_campaign=cwupdate

10 Things That Happen When You Meet A Good Guy After A Toxic Relationship

33176715612_a5c237364f_kWhen you are in a toxic relationship you don’t realize how much the emotional abuse impacts you. Not while you’re in it at least. When you’re in a toxic relationship, everything about it is kind of addicting. It’s the knowing and not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s the hope that’ll it’ll change but there’s also comfort in things that are the same. There’s a comfort in someone knowing you so deeply.

And it takes everything in you to not walk away. And even when you walk away, you find yourself going back so many times because you miss him. You miss the adrenaline rush of high intense emotions. From love to screaming to making up.

But then you meet a good guy. And when that happens that’s when you realize how negatively this past relationship has affected you. And sometimes you even push people away because of it.

You aren’t used to being treated so well, you almost reject it.

1. At first, you expect the worst.

After a toxic relationship, you don’t trust anyone. Even yourself. You wonder how you tolerated such a relationship for so long. And you enter every relationship expecting the worst of someone. For a while, you don’t believe good guys do exist. Because for so long you looked for the wrong qualities and you accepted a lot of these people who didn’t deserve you.

2. And overthink everything.

You think everyone has motives or doesn’t mean what they say. When you’ve caught someone in lies so often it makes you paranoid as fuck. You don’t believe people can be honest or mean what they say. You make crazy assumptions and doubt really good people just because of one person.

Next thing you know you’re explaining to this guy how you got to this conclusion in your head and he’s baffled. Not because you’ve questioned him but that someone has made you this way and all he wants to do is reverse this.

3. You’ll think he’s too good to be true.

Someone treating you this well has got to be too good to be true. You’re expecting the other shoe to drop. You’re expecting him to lose it one day. You’re expecting some abrupt ending without closure. But every day he just proves to you he’s the same person he’s been from the start. He’s given you no reason to question him but it isn’t him you don’t trust it’s everyone in the past.

4. After you push him away.

Someone in the past has led you to believe you don’t deserve the best. So when you get it you reject it. You fear something good because you don’t want to lose it. You don’t want to get hurt again so you try and ruin it first. But what you’ll realize that’s different about this guy is when you run he’ll chase you. When you push him he’ll grab you close and not let you leave.

5. You’re going to expect fights.

You keep waiting for a fight. But instead, everything gets talked out and explained. And there’s this wave of comfort afterward and you realize normal people don’t leave the second something goes wrong.

6. Then you’ll apologize too often.

He’s going to wonder why you apologize so often or what it is you’re saying sorry for. He’ll see the pain in your eyes from someone in the past whose made you question yourself. He’ll see the pain in your heart trying so hard to love again when you’ve only known heartbreak. And he’s going to constantly reassure you everything is okay.

When a good guy loves someone who is broken who has only known toxic relationships, what he does is teach her she didn’t deserve anything she got.
He redefines these horrible standards she has and he chooses to be the exception.

7. And question if they are better off without you.

You think they are better off without you but the truth is just as they have made your life better it goes both ways. And I know you’re scared to love again. I know you’re afraid to let anyone that close. But your sensitivity. Your compassion. Your strength and understanding and lack of judgment in everyone is what makes you beautiful.

In the past, you were able to love someone who was completely unlovable and intolerable. You found the good in them. You took a chance on them. You never gave up on them. And it’s your turn to have that reciprocated.

This new relationship isn’t what you are used to but it’s exactly what you deserve.

8. You overcompensate.

And when you finally get comfortable and accept this relationship you are going to love this person with everything you have in you. But don’t try too hard. Don’t think you have to. In the past, you were taught your best isn’t good enough. So you had to try too hard. You had to compete. You had to prove yourself.

What you should have learned was your best was good enough and it was him that didn’t deserve it.

9. Then you trust him.

There’s going to be a moment where you tell this guy everything that’s happened. A moment you trust him to let him that close. And when you tell him about the past and the people who have hurt you what you’ll find isn’t that’s he’s going to take off. It’s just given him a reason to stay.

I know someone in your past taught you about tough love. They taught you vulnerability is a weakness. You’ve had to be strong for so long and you’ve had to endure a lot of things you didn’t deserve. But all of it has made you more beautiful than you know. And all of it will make the right person appreciate you for overcoming all of it.

And with tears in your eyes even you will be grateful for a toxic relationship that didn’t destroy you but rather made you the strong person you are today.

10. Finally you learn what love really is.

You begin to realize that relationship that used to define your standard of love was so far from the real thing. You learn that love isn’t supposed to hurt you or be demeaning. Love isn’t supposed to break your heart just to build you back up. Love is not anything that comes in the form of jealousy. Whether it’s making you jealous or being jealous of you. The right type of love does not play games with your heart or want to see you in pain.

You realize all of that wasn’t love but control.

You build yourself back up and fearlessly love again, only this time you do it right.

The right type of love heals you and that’s exactly what this guy has done.

By Kirsten Corley

Source:  http://thoughtcatalog.com/kirsten-corley/2017/04/10-things-that-happen-meeting-a-good-guy-after-a-toxic-relationship/

10 Ways to Know You Are Being Gaslighted

You feel small, stifled and burdened by life events. Maybe you’re experiencing neurosis, hyper-sensitivity and alienation. Deep down you think you’re going insane. It’s possible that you’re not. Instead, you’ve been gaslighted.

Gaslighting is a method of manipulation, emotional abuse or bullying, often employed by sociopaths and narcissists. It involves making someone feel as if they no longer have their wits about them, as if their sanity has flown the coop. The term comes from the 1944 film “Gas Light,” in which a woman is manipulated by her husband into believing that she’s going crazy.

The gaslighter coaxes his targets into questioning their beliefs, memory and senses. Typical tactics include lying, denial and misdirection. The gaslighter might consistently deny or refuse to accept his targets’ account of their own experiences, so that they eventually relent and accept the gaslighter’s version.

For instance, the gaslighter could say, “I don’t recall that. You must have invented it or dreamt it.” Targets of gaslighting lose faith in the reliability of their own beliefs and feel unhinged, at sea. It’s as if they’re on a one-way path to lunacy.

So, how would you know if you’re being gaslighted?  Here are 10 signs:

  1. Someone in your life is making you feel confused and disoriented.
  2. You tend to apologize often to that person, after they’ve accused you of being mistaken, oversensitive or unstable.
  3. You sense that it’s difficult to make life decisions or capably act in your own interest without that person around to help you.
  4. You feel burdened by the expectations of others, especially that person.
  5. You sense that this person is a threat to you, but you can’t say exactly why.
  6. You start thinking that you’re significantly weaker than you were before, especially in this person’s presence.
  7. You’re constantly second-guessing your good judgment, your ability to recall details of events or whether you’ve seen/heard something correctly.
  8. You experience a feeling of guilt that you’re not as happy as you once were.
  9. You begin to believe that you’re “losing it,” becoming deluded or neurotic. 
  10. You feel alone, without hope, maybe even depressed.

The gaslighter’s ways of manipulation are subtle, but not impossible to detect.  Aletheia Luna of Lonerwolf identifies 6 techniques:

  • Discrediting you by making other people think that you’re crazy, irrational or unstable.
  • Using a mask of confidence, assertiveness, and/or fake compassion to make you believe that you “have it all wrong.” Therefore, eventually, you begin to doubt yourself and believe their version of past events.
  • Changing the subject. The gaslighter may divert the topic by asking another question, or making a statement usually directed at your thoughts.
  • Minimizing.  By trivializing how you feel and what you think, the gaslighter gains more and more power over you.
  • Denial and avoidance. By refusing to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts, the gaslighter causes you to doubt yourself more and more. 
  • Twisting and reframing. When the gaslighter confidently and subtly twists and reframes what was said or done in their favor, they can cause you to second-guess yourself—especially when paired with fake compassion, making you feel as though you are “unstable,” “irrational,” and so forth. 

Bosses, human resources professionals, business partners and even therapists have been known to gaslight. Their aim is to sow seeds of self-doubt, gain control over your will and ultimately manipulate you.

Are you being gaslighted? If so, resist, reject the gaslighter and refuse to believe that you’re going insane.  
This post 10 Ways to Know You’re Being Gaslighted was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Shane Ralston.

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