Reddit mentions: The best self-help books
We found 62,867 Reddit comments discussing the best self-help books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 12,192 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.
1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
- Journeys Out of the Body
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|Release date||October 1999|
2. No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life
- Running Press Book Publishers
- Ideal for a bookworm
- It's a great choice for a book person
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|Release date||January 2003|
3. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & ... (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
- Mint Condition
- Dispatch same day for order received before 12 noon
- Guaranteed packaging
- No quibbles returns
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4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- Random House Trade
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|Release date||January 2014|
5. Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking
- Clarity Marketing
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|Release date||November 2011|
6. She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman (Kerner)
- William Morrow Paperbacks
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||January 2010|
7. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition
- Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, 4th Edition - Paperback
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|Release date||April 2012|
8. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love
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|Release date||January 2012|
9. Models: Attract Women Through Honesty
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10. The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures
- Celestial Arts
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||March 2009|
11. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
- Northfield Publishing
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||January 2015|
12. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Must read book
- It is made up of premium quality material.
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||December 2006|
13. Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
- Simon Schuster
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||March 2015|
14. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
- Broadway Books
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||January 2013|
15. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
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|Release date||January 2010|
16. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
- This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
- Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||October 2014|
17. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
- Because it is hydrophobic it can be flicked dry (no need to rinse it each time) which it is made allow the device to be re-used over and over with no degradation in its hygienic properties.
- The easy-to-use device is reusable or disposable and the small storage tube fits easily into a purse or backbpack.Portable Female Women Urinal Camping Travel Urination Toilet Urine Device Funnel
- It has near perfect memory, allowing the user to squash or fold it and then it regains its shape in an instant
- Soft Flexible Silicone
- Ideal Accessory for Travelling, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Walking, Running, Mountaineering, Canoeing, Biking, Festivals, Outdoor Events, Flying, Scuba-Diving
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||May 2008|
18. What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People
- Product Condition: No Defects
- Good one for reading
- Comes with Proper Binding
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||April 2008|
19. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
- HARPER ONE
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||September 2016|
20. So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
- Great product!
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||September 2012|
🎓 Reddit experts on self-help books
The comments and opinions expressed on this page are written exclusively by redditors. To provide you with the most relevant data, we sourced opinions from the most knowledgeable Reddit users based the total number of upvotes and downvotes received across comments on subreddits where self-help books are discussed. For your reference and for the sake of transparency, here are the specialists whose opinions mattered the most in our ranking.
Total score: 1,878
Number of comments: 191
Relevant subreddits: 2
Total score: 1,343
Number of comments: 752
Relevant subreddits: 19
Total score: 1,323
Number of comments: 257
Relevant subreddits: 4
Total score: 1,260
Number of comments: 236
Relevant subreddits: 4
Total score: 937
Number of comments: 425
Relevant subreddits: 20
Total score: 890
Number of comments: 738
Relevant subreddits: 8
Total score: 754
Number of comments: 238
Relevant subreddits: 14
Total score: 503
Number of comments: 162
Relevant subreddits: 12
Total score: 229
Number of comments: 141
Relevant subreddits: 8
Total score: 156
Number of comments: 156
Relevant subreddits: 6
📹 Video recap
If you prefer video reviews, we made a video where we go through the best self-help books according to redditors. For more video reviews about products mentioned on Reddit, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Anyway, don't get overwhelmed by all of this - this isn't all stuff you have to do overnight, instantly, in one big shot. It's like high school - you went there for years, chipped away on things, and eventually grew up & moved on. Improving your life isn't just reading a motivational poster or feeling happy for a day, it's a lifestyle change, and it's going to take some time.
Just don't be afraid of the big amount of work that it looks like on the surface, because remember, we can only ever really do one thing at a time, so all of the stuff listed above was, for me, the result of decades worth of working on self-improvement to get better results & be happier in my life, because those were really big struggles for me for a long time! The good news is that it gets better, and your results are directly correlated to your decisions & your efforts, so simply by deciding that you want better & then chipping away on it, you'll start to do better & feel better over time!
I'm still learning myself. So I don't have all the answers. But I highly recommend Feeling Good by Dr Burns (http://amzn.to/2xdUvqJ). It's the No.1 best selling CBT book on depression.
It talks about dependence (love addiction) and approval addiction. Loneliness is something I've looked into a bit as well.
When you rely on love to be happy, you are not taking responsibility for your emotional life. The healthy mindset to have is that it would be nice to have someone love you, but it's not a need. You don't need a partner to achieve what you want and enjoy pleasurable activities.
You can love yourself through positive thinking (admiring your positive qualities everyday and how your a bit better today, accepting your flaws like a loved one would, taking good care of yourself, imagining people who have loved you in the past giving you warm feelings or even an imaginary compassionate being). Self soothing our inner child is an important skill for everyone to develop.
Changing dysfunctional attitudes like "I need love" involves a written exercise where you list the advantages and disadvantages of believing this and then re-write a healthier assumption. It's not wise to put your emotional health in something fickle. It's also unattractive to women if you're needy. It's like a downward spiral of loneliness.
I meet someone who was independent and happy, despite having no relationship experience in her late 20's and believing she would never marry. It gave me a role model to aspire to.
Also your self worth isn't based on being successful in love. Everyone has a self worth of 1 unit. It doesn't change no matter what. Even if you're unloved, you're just as worthy as someone else. Self worth is self worth. Relationship status is a different word to self worth. They're not the same thing. Your self worth is independent of looks, employment status, relationships status etc.
Aim to believe that you're a lovable, good, caring and competent person. Look for evidence that proves it, rather than character assassinating yourself and focusing on the negatives. Nobody is objectively good or bad. It's all opinion. Some people thought Charles Manson was good and worshiped him. So hold a good opinion of yourself because it's the helpful thing to do.
You don't need close friends to validate you as person. You decide how worthy you are. It's independent of how many close friends you have.
You're not entitled to close friendships. It's important to accept the universe owes you nothing and accept real life. In the modern world, most adults don't have that many close friends. And I think a lot of people rely on their partner.
I use my work colleagues as a source of friendship and sometimes organize once yearly socials with school mates through a whatapp group. I also never so no to a social invite. I use to be really closed off at work, because I thought people would reject me. But then I opened up and revealed my authentic weird self. Now I feel like I've built genuine friendships at work that I rely on for social support. Authenticity builds closeness. Focus on the other person in conversations. People love talking and it builds closeness when people feel you know them well and can support them.
Also spend time with family - take them out for dinner, phone calls etc. I appreciate the social support they've given me at times. Make the most out of what little social life you have and accept what people can give you. Rather than demand a level of closeness they can't deliver.
Solitary is nice too. It gives you space to recharge your batteries from work, grow and engage in hobbies.
Loneliness is natural. It's your body telling you that it wants social support and love. When it comes, be mindful of it and self soothe with kindness. Everyone experiences loneliness at some point in their life. It's a regular occurrence for me. You can't avoid suffering. It's a part of life. Make sure you take good of yourself when it comes. The only true solution to loneliness is friendship and love. As long as you are trying your best to get those things, there's nothing more you can do. Healthy distractions are a good thing during the day.
Life will get better. People will gravitate towards you, you may find love and you will become better at coping. You've just got to take every day as it comes and keep working on it.
I tell people this a lot, and it really depends on the person, but I'll try to make a list! To focus on ourselves basically means to better our confidence and our general well-being. Focusing on ourselves is basically keeping busy while improving ourselves at the same time. Because at the end of the day, we can't rely on others to lift us up. It helps to have people there, but we will always have ourselves. Focusing on ourselves means just living our lives and not worrying about trying to find another person to help fill the empty void in our hearts, but at the same time, while doing our own thing and just living life, this is when we may meet other people or potential future partners along the way. So either way, it's a win-win situation.
I know there's so much more you can do, but I hope some of these can help for now! Basically just go out there and live your life and have as much fun as possible.
Woah dude. First you need to step back and do some reassessment of things in your life. It's possible you have some sort of clinical depression and if so, go to the doctor and work on it. Whether it's just talking through things or some medicine-- there's no shame in getting better, or having been sad, in the past, because we're leaving this behind us.
First we have to assess what your perceived problems are. Nothing wrong with having problems, only in not solving those problems. Fat-- there's a diet for that. Weak-- there's a workout for that. Ugly-- well you can't change your facial symmetry much but you can work on your style and haircut, your grooming. Poor-- there's capitalism for that. Family life not great-- well, you can't change who they are but you can change how you interact with them, you can take note of issues and learn how to make things better for your family one day.
Now, onto this female quagmire we seem to be sinking in. I've been exactly where you are, it lasted for about the time from maybe 8th grade to about when I was in 10th or 11th over one girl. Guess what-- it wasn't worth feeling like shit all the time. She wasn't worth my feeling like shit. No one is. She's a fine person but I mean, she's married to some creepy band director with a soul patch who's 12 years older than her while I'm clearly awesome now.
You seem to be going about this backwards. First, love really needs to be a mutual understanding between two parties for it to be love. If you think it feels bad(again, I'm speaking from experience) wait till you have that mutual understanding and the other party severs ties. It sucks, it hurts, I was in severely depressed for about a year(different girl from one in school) and beat myself up all the time, lost weight, gained weight, looked and felt bad. She wasn't worth it, again, she's a fine person but now she's... wait-- I don't even know what she's doing now because she's not worth my time and I don't give a fuck anymore. It's called perspective and it comes with age and experience and stepping back from the situation and evaluating things from outside of your emotions. You can do it, all you have to do is try.
See, the thing about women is, and this may not be the best way to phrase it, but it's about respect with them. They want a man(I'm assuming you're a guy) who they respect and who others, friends and general public also respect. To get said respect you must first respect yourself. Not in a narcissistic sense, but a healthy self-esteem.
So take a step back and assess yourself and life. There's going to be some weak spots or things you're not happy with-- everyone has those-- but you're going to target the ones you can do something about and you're going to improve them.
There's going to be some really good qualities and aspects about your person as well. You're probably pretty intelligent-- congratulations. You have a skill or quality that a lot of other people don't-- congratulations. Relish in these things, they're what make you you. These are why you're not going to be depressed anymore. Sharpen and hone them into the weapons you use everyday to make life and the world your bitch. You are now a one man army out to conquer the world and the things in it you want to achieve.
So just forget about this girl for a little while and just focus on yourself, no one else will focus on you until you do. I know it seems weird but it's true. You think Obama or Teddy Roosevelt got elected feeling bad about themselves? Think Clooney goes home everyday and says "I'm attractive enough but Batman & Robin was terrible?" No, look at his list of romantic endeavors. That comes from sure, his looks, but because he believed in himself head out to Hollywood and casting rooms and work his way to the top. He had a goal and he worked towards it, he made it his bitch. He had confidence and believed in himself, then other believed in him and his abilities.
So, for the next month, and this won't be easy, forget about this girl. Stop wasting time on her. That's what every moment you spend thinking about her, but not acting on it is, wasted time. First of all, she may be breathtaking-- but guess what-- there's idk, a million other women on earth who are on par with her. They're out there whether you know it or not. So, she's probably a nice person-- but she's not the only one out there.
While you're not thinking about her this next month you're going to focus on yourself. You're going to asses your strengths and witnesses, what you genuinely like about yourself and what you would like to improve upon. Then you're going to physically write down a plan of action on how to sharpen all of these strengths and witnesses. Nothings going to just fall in your lap. It takes a concerted effort.
If you still want to think about it from the aspect of a breathtaking girl-- make a plan to become the man she deserves, the man who takes her breath away. A breath taking girl needs a strong, secure man right? You don't want people saying "Wow, how did he score her?" you want them looking and saying "That makes sense."
But don't focus one any one girl, just focus on the idea of the girl you want to be with. A companion worthy of your love and commitment. That's who you're doing this for, this yet unknown beauty-- but most of all you're doing this for yourself. You are all you really have in life right?
Try and think about it from a female perspective. What do you think is more attractive. A nice, sweet guy, who says "Look, I'm a nice person, and, I don't really deserve you, you're way out of my league, you're so pretty and I'm really not, but, I promise I'll love you and treat you right, if you just choose me." I've been this guy before. Or, do you think a girl would more likely choose a guy who said "I can have get any girl I want, just by the virtue of being a guy who works for what he wants, and out of all of these women I could date-- I'm choosing you"
What's funny is, and I know from personal experience this really happens. As soon as you start focusing on the things you want out of life. The person you are and want to become. You start doing the things to get you there and you stop worrying about getting one particular girl. Women will take notice of you. If you always pass this girl during the day at school or work and you kind of almost cower in her presence, blush, have a look on your face like "I'm not worthy" it's easy and no fun for her. Sure, it's flattering, but there's no thrill or chase in it for the girl. Instead walk by with your head high. Maybe you don't even notice her really because you're busy and got shit to do. This is much more interesting to a beautiful girl than someone just fawning over her. "Hmmm. He seems really driven. I wonder what he's working on. Did he notice me? I wonder if he thinks I'm pretty. This guy is definitely interesting, he just seemed like he knew his place in the world and where he's going. It might be fun to talk to him and see why he's so seems so sure"
The second one is what we're going for. It's a game man, just have fun. Make it fun for the girls. Don't give them everything right out of the box. Add some spark, some mystery. Keep her guessing if you like her, if you think she's pretty, be spontaneous "What is this crazy guy going to say next that makes he snort when I laugh"
A lot of people probably read your comment and rolled their eyes. Some because they can't relate, some because like me, they cringed because they knew the exact pain and inner turmoil you feel every day when this happens.
I wrote this whole thing, which I hope is cogent(I've been up for 23 hours) not because you deserve it. Not because I owe it to you because you're a nice guy. If you think like that you'll just keep getting ignored and run over. I wrote this because I was you. Life is just what you make it. You can focus on the shitty stuff or you can focus on achieving the things you want in life and becoming the kind of guy you respect in the world-- and have fun while doing it.
Read this. http://i.imgur.com/1cYyZ.jpg
Check out this book. http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339 It opened my eyes up to a lot of stuff and I've been passing it around to my friends as well. If you want you can PM me you're address and I'll mail you a copy, just because I'm an amazing person like that.
There's a lot of subreddit's which may help you out. There's /r/Fitness if you want to get in shape. There's subreddits for educating yourself on all sorts of topics and improving your life. As far as women go you can check out /r/seduction, I know it sounds a little brash if you've never heard of it. But really it's mainly about respecting yourself, fixing the way you see the world and becoming a guy that women are attracted too.
You don't have to be sad anymore man, trust me.
You sound like the me of about a year ago. There's a lot of things I recognize from your post. I also felt like I failed at life. I disliked my job, felt like everyone was passing me by, I had anxiety issues, I had a hard time connecting with people, especially women, couldn't get motivated to do even basic stuff and was always worrying about what other people thought about me.
Now, I feel good about myself, I'm starting a dream job in 2 months, I enjoy talking to people (and they to me) , I'm more productive than I ever was, and I'm dating a pretty cool woman. I'm only a few years older that you are, but I hope I can help you find your path to a better life.
The first thing you need to realize is you are not failing in life. You are 27 and have many years ahead of you. You can make those years into a wonderful adventure. It'll take some hard work, but guess what: everything worthwhile does. So, maybe you need some extra time to figure out how to proceed in life.
You need to be true to yourself, stop worrying about other people, and learn to love yourself for who you are. Easier said than done, to be sure, but it's possible. I'm going to say a lot thing about the kind of person I think you are (or see yourself as), some of them may be wrong, but try to see the bigger picture. If it helps, just imagine I'm talking about myself instead of you.
> And I know this is not a competition.
You say that, but everything else you write in those two paragraphs (career and future) screams the opposite.
You need to ask yourself: what do you want to do? What would you like to achieve. These aren't easy questions, but I'll come back to those later. For now, just know that whatever everybody else is doing is totally irrelevant to your happiness, or at least, it should be. You don't owe anybody anything. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone but you. There will always be people with better jobs, bigger brains and hotter girlfriends than you. That doesn't mean you are inferior, unless you define yourself by just those things.
So don't do that.
You seem like you derive most of your self-worth from external sources, meaning that if those external things (career, social status) take a turn for the worse, they affect your self images. You seem to need approval from other people to feel good about yourself, which causes you to act in ways you think others will approve of, instead of what you really want. You're measuring yourself against others, instead of against your own personal yardstick. You're hiding your personal needs and flaws because you're afraid other people will dislike, judge, or abandon you because of them. Right now the biggest thing standing in the way of your happiness is that deep down, you don't believe you deserve the life you want. You have a negative self-image and you're holding yourself back because of it. You have internalized these negative thought patterns for whatever reason, and you need to break out of them, because they are counter-productive.
You need to start believing that you are a person deserving of happiness, love and respect, despite your imperfections. You need to stop caring about other people's opinions and stand up for your own. You need to put your own needs and wants first, instead of catering to others.
You are responsible for your life and no one else's. That means both that you're the only one you need to answer to, and that you're the only one who can make you a happy person. That means figuring out who you want to be. Which, like I said, is not an easy question when you spent most of your life figuring out who "they" want you to be. But I assure you, it's worth it.
I apologize if I'm rambling (remember, I'm talking to myself as much as I'm talking to you), but this is where my life changed. And it's still changing: it's a work in progress and I will probably never be completely done.
I would recommend you read "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert A. Glover. You can read the first few pages on Amazon; see if you recognize anything in it. (Or have a look at the web site.) If you do, torrent it, get it from Audible.com in one of their billion promotions or better yet, buy a physical copy (that always works best for me). If you can't afford it, PM me and I'll send you a copy on my expense. It goes into a lot more detail on the issues I've only vaguely outlined above. It seems to me you are a textbook "Nice Guy". (Which is, in fact, anything but nice.) Glover outlines the symptoms of the Nice Guy syndrome, why these behaviors are counter-productive, and how to change the underlying thought patterns step by step.
To stop being a "Nice Guy" is not to become an asshole, by the way. In fact, you'll probably become a better, more honest and genuine person because of it. One caveat: it has some material about masculinity and femininity, which some people find a bit misogynistic as they feel it paints women as the Bad Guy (or Girl, I guess) behind this phenomenon. I didn't see it that way. I don't think resentment towards women is justified based on this issue.
This book literally helped change my life. I was also lucky enough to have some great friends who believed in me even when I didn't. A support system in crucial for successfully turning your life around, because you need people you can trust, who can pick you up when things don't go as smoothly as you hope. A few good friends is enough. Maybe siblings if you have any. Let them know what you're trying to do, and I'm sure they're willing to help. If you don't know anyone who could, hit me up and I'll support where I can.
Some other books that have helped transform into a new person the past year were "The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane (helped with my social anxiety) and "The 7 habits of highly productive people" by Stephen Covey (helped with being an effective person and getting my priorities straight). These three share some common ground, as they all demand you reform your thought patterns in order to genuinely be yourself, before any real change can happen. I found they really complemented each other rather nicely for the particular rut I was in.
Some other tools that have helped me (that others have already mentioned as well) : exercise, meditation, keeping a journal, positive affirmations, talking to people I trust, hugs, playing music, asking for help when i needed it. Maybe these sound trivial, but I couldn't have done it without these factors.
I hope you read this far. If you have, let me know, even if you think I'm talking out my ass. I'd like to know what you think about it.
You can do it. You deserve to be happy. You have the power to change. You are an awesome person and it's time you show the world.
I was able to orgasm with a vibrator and a lot of time, but never could get off with a guy until my (future) husband and I got seriously experimental about it. I'm very glad we did. It has made a HUGE difference! If you want to make an effort to change this, I encourage you to keep exploring alternatives.
That's important, because women who have trouble having orgasms differ so much in terms of what works that it's really hard to give specific advice, except this: don't stop trying new things just because the first ten don't work!
Fortunately, most of the things you will want to try are interesting and enjoyable, even if they don't work the first time, so the journey can be fun even if it takes a while.
This is a good place to start:
It has a bunch of links to other resources, including this classic book, which I recommend:
It's out of print, but Amazon usually has used copies for under $10, shipping included. It's a classic for a reason. It has helped many, many women have their first orgasms and their first partnered orgasms.
If you're like most people, you both came into your relationship with a set of preconceived ideas about what "having sex" consists of, in terms of the sequence of steps, the techniques, and the amount of time devoted to each part of the process. You've tried that and it hasn't worked, and you've tried a lot of variations on those themes without success. But you haven't explored all or even most of the possibilities, so don't give up now.
A good example of that is the website OMG Yes!!!, where you can learn many variations on about a dozen basic ways for your partner to stimulate your vulva and clitoris with his fingers. (It's $39, but definitely worth it.) I recommend exploring it first and experimenting on yourself, and then you can show him what you'd like him to try.
I also recommend the book She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, by Ian Kerner. It will help a great deal with the "stalling out" problem.
More generally, I would urge you to:
Good luck! ❤️💕
warning: long post incoming
tell your son that he is at the best possible age to pick up drawing. if he draws a lot now and keeps it up for the next several years he'll eventually become good. by the time he's out of high school he could be almost pro depending on how his artistic pursuit goes.
every single artist, even those with natural talent, started off from the same place. it takes a very long time and a lot of bad drawings to get to a place where your art "looks right".
"how to draw books" are largely crappy because they tell you "copy this" without actually teaching you the basic fundamentals that all artists have to learn. there are very good books out there but you have to talk to actual artists/be part of actual art communities to really learn about them.
honestly, the most important thing at this stage for your son is for him to learn not to be too hypercritical of whatever he does and for him to have fun drawing. i can't stress the "fun" part enough. of course this is probably hard for him to do at this point because he's a kid and kids get frustrated pretty easily, but keep encouraging him.
one thing that might be helpful is showing him "here and then" comparisons which show that artists get a lot better over time. i could give you some examples if you want, from my own art even.
while the main thing is just for your son to learn to have fun and keep drawing, i suppose it wouldn't hurt for me to post a couple of the resources i've amassed over the years. However I cannot stress enough that no book, video, tutorial, or whatever can substitute the hours and hours of drawing that are required to get better. again, the most important thing is for your son to draw a lot. the rest will come with time.
another thing to keep in mind is that everyone is different, there are many ways to learn art and everyone learns better through different ways. some artists mostly just copied other people's art to learn, others did detailed focused studies of art fundamentals, some used tracing as a learning tool (not to claim the art as their own). there are many different ways and techniques that are all basically rooted in the same fundamentals. i'd say it's most important right now for your son to try a bunch of stuff out and see what helps him the most. there is no "best way".
with that said...
this is a site focused on digital painting primarily but there are a lot of videos about basic drawing techniques and a lot about the struggles/psychology of art. this is a good place to start.
this is one of the best youtube art channels around. these [are] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck4NuQWZ-kk&amp;list=UU5dyu9y0EV0cSvGtbBtHw_w) some good videos to get you started out.
this guy is a phenomenal artist and has tons of amazing tutorials/breakdowns on his page. give it a look, you can try and ask him for advice yourself if you want. he's a super nice guy so if you ask politely for advice i'm sure he can give you better direction than i could.
books that i think would be the most useful/important for a beginner:
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain don't pay too much attention to the "science" in this book, it's the drawing exercises that you really want. it will teach your son to draw what he sees much more accurately.
Fun With a Pencil Andrew Loomis is renowned for being a really good art instructor. any of his books are worth owning but for your son i'd recommend starting with this.
Vilppu Drawing Manual In terms of introducing a beginner to basic artistic fundamentals (especially form) this is the best book i've found so far.
i apologize for the long post, but this is a topic i'm pretty passionate about. if you want more help, guidance or resources you can feel free to pm me and i'll help you to the best of my ability.
Think of your goals with minimalism. What does your ideal life look like once you’ve minimized? You want to focus on relationships and that’s a worthwhile and common reason, but I’d encourage you to get more specific, and also to consider the practical reasons as they pertain to your health and lifestyle.
To give you a personal example, I focused on three things: saving money and curbing the need to ‘buy, buy, buy’, being mobile and able to travel while taking the important things with me, and to stay organized.
I work weird hours and I need to move frequently for my job, I didn’t want the hassle of moving a bunch of stuff I didn’t really need - you know, the just in case things and the never been used things. Because I’m usually sleep deprived I get scatter brained, so not having a manageable amount of items means I can’t lose them. Instead of duplicates which I’d end up misplacing I just have one of (almost) everything, and if it’s not on me it’s in its ‘home’. No more frantically running around and leaving for work I’m the morning having already lost my patience because I couldn’t find my eye drops.
I have some free time so I’ll just write you a long story:
It’s taken me years, but the catalyst was that when I first moved out I lived with a roommate who wasn’t very clean and we developed a pest problem and lice - I know that lice are not caused by hygiene, but her disorganization and disregard meant she didn’t address the problem in an effective or timely manner. I moved out abruptly to a generous friend’s place. I had a large wardrobe I’d accumulated over adolescence and most of it was hang to dry/hand wash, I sanitized anything that was dryer friendly and I put the rest in garbage bags for 2 weeks. I retrieved a single hoodie 15 days later and guess what? I re-infested myself.
I have GAD so I was at my wit’s end, I put all of my clothes in the dryer and a lot of them shrunk or started falling apart. I’d been housesitting prior to my first official move so technically I’d moved three times over the course of 5 months. I couldn’t find any of my things, I never had time to unbox everything or put it away, and I realized that my copious amount of stuff was impeding my ability to enjoy or adjust to my new space. The possessions I hauled with me were actually preventing me from feeling at home!
So I began a long process of discarding old items, by giving them away or donating them whenever possible. I also lost weight, so my remaining clothes were no longer very functional. At first I bought a lot of new things but ended up donating them again pretty often, and I started asking myself these questions repeatedly: with the things I have now, how stressful would it be if I had to move again? Why am I continuing to bring new things into the house and why do I feel compelled to shop?
I realized that having lots of clothes that only served one purpose (formal, casual, winter) wasn’t compatible with my lifestyle. Because I travel so much, I need everything to be versatile and easily washed. I realized I was buying a lot of ‘aspirational’ items, things I was anticipating I would use or bought with the intention of changing my style in some way, but I didn’t have a clear direction.
When I purchase something now i think about whether I really need it or if I have something else that serves the purpose, that I’m forgetting about. I don’t ‘go shopping’, I buy items when I’ve clearly established a need for them, and I consider what I’ll wear it with, where I’ll wear it, how I need to care for it, and ultimately the room it takes up in a suitcase. I research before I buy. Every time I go to a store I know why I’m there before I enter. I might see a new version of something and think, “I’d like that, but it’s not urgent. The one I have right now is good enough, but if/when the time comes I’ll upgrade to this.” Because I choose my things carefully I’m always satisfied and don’t really feel temptation. Impulse buys never happen unless it’s a gift.
I’ve noticed I’ve become much more resourceful, this is a minor example but a few days ago I went to use a tote bag a friend had given me, and it’s got a clear window on one side that I wanted to cover. I took a scarf I had and tied it to both handles, and secured it with a hair clip so it’s covering the window. It sounds trivial but a solution like that probably wouldn’t have occurred to me before, I would just think ‘I’ll get another tote bag’. Now I can use my free one and it looks really cute.
Instead of trying to impress others I impress myself by solving problems effectively, when I decide not to buy something because I spot a pitfall I give myself an inner high five - I’ve totally changed the way I see my things and where I get my excitement from, but that mental change has taken almost three years. After the whole lice/weight loss fiasco I got to a point where I had less than a dozen items and almost all of them were from the men’s section of value village (I’m female). I’ve literally rebuilt from the ground up.
Financially I have found freedom because I own everything I need to own, I only need to spend money on things when I need to replace or mend something, so hardly ever. I’m able to live comfortably with very few items because I don’t need a large wardrobe right now, and if my work setting changes I have the money to invest in new pieces - no need to worry about ‘just in case’. Instead I can take time off of work and contribute to baby showers, I sent my mother and grandmother a gift for Mother’s Day as it’s the first time I’ve been out of my home province this time of year. I know those things aren’t unusual but I have a good fund to draw from to do so.
My goal when I finally started rebuilding my wardrobe and overall collection of life tools was to reach a point where I had everything I needed, as I stated above, and only needed to maintain. That’s what I tell people if it ever comes up and it’s the honest answer, it’s also easy to understand and relate to.
I still like to have nice things, but instead of something just being trendy, I have items that are useful, aesthetically appealing, and over time they gain a sentimental aspect that I rarely ever developed before - when you use things often and have them for over a year you get that ‘favorite sweater’ feeling, only there’s just one sweater so it’s your favorite by default 😉I think it is important to value the things you have, you just have to value them for what they give/do for you, not because you think other people will value them.
This lifestyle/way of thought has been great fir me and my stress level. Just knowing where everything is has been a weight lifted. Not only do i not lose my keys, I know where my clothes are - drawer, laundry, on my body. I just have my shit together.
Hopefully reading this will be helpful.
I was hoping this would get more of a response from some more knowledgeable/well-read users, but I'll try to offer some suggestions. I'm only engaged now, never married, and I've loved reading books with my fiance to help support our spiritual life. The ones that we've read have mostly centered over Theology of the Body and understanding Catholic teachings around dating and sexuality - so I don't think these are exactly what you are looking for. (Edward Sri's "Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love" was one of my favorites that condensed JPII's book "Love and Responsibility" - it's an easy read and may be worth checking out - https://www.amazon.com/Men-Women-Mystery-Love-Responsibility/dp/0867168404 )
I feel like you are more looking for books on how to communicate, and I have two very basic suggestions for that (I apologize if you've heard of these or read them before!).
1.) The Temperament God Gave You (https://www.amazon.com/Temperament-God-Gave-You-Yourself/dp/1933184027/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1501357551&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+temperament+god+gave+you)
I brought up the temperaments with my fiance probably within the first month of dating. This book has the goofiest cover and it's a very simple read - but it is incredibly helpful in understanding one's natural tendencies, both strengths and weaknesses. The idea is that we all have a natural tendency to one of four temperaments and this will affect how we interact with others. Once you've determined your natural temperament, there is advice on how couples of certain combinations should best communicate. I know it sounds super pseudo-sciencey and Meyers-Briggs-esque, but I can say that is big in a lot of Catholic communities and it is so so helpful. If you don't want to buy the book this website has a lot of the core information as well: https://www.catholicmatch.com/institute/temperaments/
2.) The Five Love Languages (https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1501358158&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=the+five+love+language)
This one is also very popular and another goofy looking cover, but again really helpful in facilitating communication. The idea is that we all experience love in different ways (Quality Time, Gift Giving, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation) and the love that we naturally give may not be the kind of love that your partner naturally wants to receive.
For both of these suggestions, I wouldn't recommend just reading cover to cover. You really can just skim through them or find resources online to get the gist and then just facilitate conversation. (I also second the Gottman Institute resources below!)
Then, on a more personal note for you, I would recommend reading "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Undset. More information here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6217.Kristin_Lavransdatter
Use the new translation by Tiina Nunally, it seems like an off-the-wall suggestion because it's set in 14th century Norway, but Kristin gets swept up in a romance with an older man and marries him when she is very young. Then it follows her through their marriage and the difficulties they face. I'm only half way through (it's 900 pages long!!) but there are already so many scenes that have helped me personally, especially about how to deal with resentment. Here's a great podcast as an intro: https://player.fm/series/catholic-stuff-you-should-know/kristins-resentment
I did not mean for this to be so long! Hope it can help in any way :)
You are welcome...thanks for taking the time to read it and respond!
To put a little context to my perspective, my wife and I have been married for 9 years and together for 15. We had a rough patch that started about 6 years ago (in hindsight; at the time we didn't really see it) and progressively got worse until things came to a head about 18 months ago. We both committed some sins during that time (no cheating), but mostly our problem was a total breakdown in communication beyond the mundane day-to-day. We started counseling just over a year ago and basically started learning communication skills from scratch. It was totally remedial at first, but totally necessary, and it's improved everything in our relationship. We went from near divorce a year ago to happier, more stable, and more secure than we've ever been today. If you're really curious, I wrote a novella about it in response to this post, but that's the gist of it.
> I've watched a lot of sitcoms in my day, so I feel like I have a good grip on 90s Couple Dispute tactics such as using neutral terms like "I feel" and not putting the pressure on her.
That was one of the big ones I had to work on. I used to say things like, "You did XXX, that was wrong (or unfair or whatever)." Basically, I put a value judgement on it, and by extension I was judging her. In response, my wife would put up her defenses.
> I don't know how to stop her from beating herself up, and whether she's right or not it broke my heart when she said that she thinks the problem is all on her side
I don't know, either. My wife does that to some extent. Some of it was due to the way I was communicating (we joke now that I used to communicate at her) and some of it is just how she's wired, I guess. Talking through our issues over the past year and realizing that there are no problems that are 100% on one of us has helped a lot. Still, I wish there were some magic words I could say that would take it away.
> ...she pretty much shuts down and doesn't want to talk about it anymore. It's her way of dealing...
Try to recognize that for what it is: her defense mechanism. She feels threatened and afraid and doesn't know what to do, so she shuts down. She's not dealing with it, though, she's doing the opposite. It sucks, and it's not exactly fair to you, but it is what it is. My wife is very similar, only instead of "I don't want to talk about it" she would shut down and then tell me what she thought I wanted to hear to make the discussion go away. I'd leave it thinking we'd reached some sort of consensus, while she wouldn't be able to say what it was an hour later. That obviously didn't work out well for us ;)
The way I approach it now is to avoid setting off my wife's defenses in the first place. In the movie "Snatch", there's the scene where the two guys try to rob the bookie. The cashier is totally calm, then she pushes a button and suddenly the bulletproof barrier drops and they're walled off. That's exactly how my wife is. If her defenses get triggered, that's it, we're done. We take a break and come back to it in a few minutes if we can. Otherwise, it waits until later and I try to voice my concern from a different angle. That doesn't happen too much anymore now that I've gotten a lot better at replacing "you did" with "I feel".
> "I wish we could communicate like x" or "i want you to be able to y" or things like that. It could be harmless but I am concerned about how much I pressure her with how I want her to act.
It could be harmless, or she could be hearing, "You're worthless" when you say something like that. Never underestimate the ability of someone to hear what they think they're supposed to rather than what you're actually saying.
My wife and I have always had a decent sex life, but we've never really been able to communicate openly. I used to say something like, "I wish we could talk openly about sex." I never put it on her, but I never got anywhere either. Maybe the word "wish" turned her off because she saw herself as the bigger roadblock and she instead heard, "I wish you were different." I don't know.
Last week, though, I asked her to have a conversation. I identified the issue (We are not able to talk about sex openly), and expressed my desire to work together on it. I suggested that since our new communication framework worked so well to work through our conflicts, then maybe it would work to communicate about other uncomfortable topics and asked her to try it with me. She enthusiastically agreed to try. I made it all about us and framed it as something we would work on together and the result was progress instead of the defensiveness that always happened in the past. Maybe a similar approach could work for some of the things you would like to change?
> Unless an argument is actively happening I don't really know how to bring this stuff up.
Schedule it. Ask her to join you in a conversation at a defined point, and bring it up then. If you bring it up in an argument, you risk emotions clouding your judgement. Looking back, I don't think my wife and I have ever had a meaningful conversation born out of an argument. If you bring it up without warning, you risk blind-siding her and making her extra defensive. If you schedule it, though, you give her a chance to get over her initial nervousness and you give yourself an opportunity to gather your thoughts. She'll probably be apprehensive at the start (especially if it's a topic you've discussed before), but you still have the advantage of being able to anticipate it and trying to put her at ease from the start.
> I think I'm the jealous type and I definitely have some narcissism in me (I spend a lot of time on raisedbynarcissists), but I shouldn't be jealous of her goddamned cell phone.
I don't think that's narcissism. I think you just crave quality time, so you behave in that way towards her and feel neglected when she does not behave that way towards you.
I can't recommend the book The Five Love Languages strongly enough. The first thing my wife and I did when we were trying to turn things around was read it. I don't know that it saved our marriage, but it certainly helped us to find enough good in it that it was worth the hard work needed to save it. Every last word in that book is common fucking sense, but for some reason we needed it pointed out to us. Everyone I know who's read it feels the same way. It's a book that I honestly think everyone needs to read.
The gist is that there are five "love languages" we all use to express and feel love: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Gift Giving, and Quality Time. We're all wired to "speak" one or two of them as our main language. It's how we show love, and how we perceive love that is directed towards us. Couples rarely match up perfectly, though. One partner may show love (e.g. by sitting close and paying attention while the other plays a game) that the other misses entirely if she doesn't speak that language. At the same time, she doesn't show love that way, so he feels slighted and unappreciated.
I know I felt unloved before I read that book. So did my wife. Afterwards, though, I realized that she was showing me love in her ways all the time, I was just missing it. And I realized that she was missing the ways I was showing her love. Just having that understanding was huge, and it was fairly easy then to adjust our behaviors a little and speak the love language that the other understood. Where before I felt nagged about taking out the trash, now I do it automatically because I know it'll put a smile on my wife's face.
Seriously, read the book. It's a fast, simple read that you can knock out in an evening, and I'm certain you'll take at least something useful from it.
Anyway, I've probably rambled enough for now...I'm happy to keep the conversation going if you'd like to, though I probably won't respond again tonight. In any case, good luck to you!
Stop worrying. You are larger than average on both dimensions, but really it doesn't matter. Studies of sexual satisfaction shows that it is simply not associated with penis size in the middle 96% of the range. (Satisfaction does go down somewhat for women whose partners are in the top 2% and in the bottom 2%, but you are far from either extreme.)
Ignore the size numbers based on self-reports and estimates. Everyone exaggerates. The only large study of erections size - based on actual, physical measurements of more 15,000 men by trained clinicians - found that the median length of an erect penis is 5.17 inches and the median circumference is 4.6". It also found no differences based on race or region and only slight differences based on height.
Women in general are notoriously inaccurate at providing numerical estimates of penis size. In one typical study, women in the first six months of intense romantic love overestimated the size of their boyfriends' penises by more than 2 inches. So don't be shocked if you discover that some future gf is telling her friends that you have a 7.5" dick!
To see the data and find out where you fit, go here:
> To put all of this in context, women's preferences on penis size, except in really extreme cases, were very mild, ranking far below considerations like "cares about me," "makes me laugh," "has good oral hygiene," "is confident," "has nice hands," "dresses well," "is smart and well-educated," "smells good," "kisses well," and "gives good head" in women's actual and stated priorities.
Some more links you might find useful:
The last two are important because if you're like most people pretty much everything you've been told about the hymen is false. You don't POP a hymen, and only a clumsy brute rips one. They are quite stretchy. You get her fully aroused and then gently push it out of the way and ease your way in. (This is true whether she's a virgin or not. I've had sex thousands of times and my hymen is still intact.)
(A tiny percentage of virgins do have hymens that significantly obstruct the vaginal opening, but these should be dealt with by a doctor, not a guy with a battering ram. It's a simple outpatient procedure.)
That's a lot of reading, and it's important to have some idea of what you're doing. But the best advice of all is to just relax and accept that it's often going to be awkward. Like all virgin couples, the two of you just need to fumble through the learning process together, with the understanding that real sex is not like Hollywood and definitely not like porn. Awkward and silly things happen to everyone. The more you can laugh at them together, the more fun you'll have and the better your memories will be later on. :)
I can't speak for all women, but I associate sexual encounters as emotional experiences. My fondest memories of sexual encounters are fond because of who I was with, not what they did. So for me there isn't comparing sexual performance with past lovers so much. Most of the time they are behaviors/tricks that can be learned anyway. I've been with a decent number of men and my boyfriend felt very insecure at first when I'd told him how many men I'd been with before him. He had the same concerns, "If she's had better, how can I live up to that?" Truth is, you don't. You don't try. I can't make a list of the men I've been with and order them based on best and worst sexual experiences. They're all different to me. Yeah, there was some mind-blowing sex but it's not like I go into each sexual encounter and immediately start comparing former lovers. Each encounter means I focus solely on the person I'm with and what they can do or are willing to learn to do. Everyone is good at something in bed and as long as you can find a way to get her off and you listen to what it is she likes and wants then you're just fine. The love you two have will also increase the passion in the sex which heightens it anyway.
If you worry about her past you will constantly be miserable and get yourself very depressed. Stop worrying about comparing to her former lovers, stop worrying about being as good as them or better. What you need to do is realize you're not them and you don't need to be them and that she's not with them she's with you. Make your own memories. You don't worry about if her former boyfriends were better kissers than you, do you? Or if they gave better hugs?
And if you're that concerned about performance (which if she truly loves you she will be willing to work with you on it and willing to give you much practice when possible) then I suggest research. As a virgin I was incredibly worried that I'd fall into the virgin stereotype of the completely ignorant little girl that doesn't know what she's doing or how to do anything. I started researching. Research female anatomy. Read advice things on /r/sex when women answer questions about things they like (keep in mind all women are different, though there are many things we have in common that we all enjoy). There are books that give you great information like She Comes First which is a great book and various other books regarding the same topic. Don't just read one book. Read all of them. (IGNORE MAGAZINES) Compare information you learn in the different books. Watch instructional videos. Nina Hartley makes great ones, most of which you can find parts of or the complete video of online. Her one about eating a girl out is really spot on (no pun intended). As a porn lover I beg you not to try to learn things from porn. The more you learn about pleasing a woman the more you will realize how very very wrong porn does sex. It's hot, but it's all show. Knowing what to do will help your confidence boost a bit, then all you need to do is apply it and practice it. Practice is important and it will help you develop those skills better- but at least you're not going in blind. Also, ask her what she likes. Talk to her.
Don't try to compare to her past. Be yourself and make different memories for her. Don't try to be who they were- be who you are. My boyfriend was inexperienced before me, insecure, and felt badly because he's average-sized. I am absolutely blissful about my sex life with him because I love him. Because he cares and it shows. Because he's giving and considerate and makes sure that I get pleasure as well as him. There's passion and love. I make no comparisons between him or anyone I've been with because it doesn't matter how good the sex was- it's how good it is now, with the man I'm intimate with.
She's with you not with them. You need to keep that in mind and you'll be okay.
It's tough to offer any kind of advice for your situation because you talk in a lot of generalities.
However, my wife and I have struggled quite a bit over the last few years and it sucks. I feel like things are getting better, but there are always mis-steps even on the up-swing.
If your wive really has checked out, there's not much you can do. It takes two to make a couple.
However. You can work on yourself. In so doing, you might find that it helps your relationship. Or it might not. But even if your relationship falls apart, you will be in a much better space to cope with that and move on -- as difficult as it seems right now.
So, here's my suggestions ... things that I have been doing and reading over the last couple of years that have really helped me.
Anyway, those are my suggestions and have helped me immensely. Take what you think will work for you. Ignore the rest.
Best of luck!
So, I don't know whether you'll consider this good news or bad news, but the path to illustrating anything well mostly involves developing your artistic skills in general, and not one specific type of illustration. For example, you don't learn how to paint landscapes so much as you learn to paint in general, and then do a lot of landscapes.
Example: Randall Munroe, of xkcd fame. xkcd is very simplistic art (stick figures, for the most part), yet it looks better that most people's attempts at stick people. Why? Because he's an actual artist (by hobby, not by profession, although it's basically his profession now), not just some guy who decided to draw stick figures. Stuff like this is what he was working on back in his high school years, and he's clearly had many years of practice since then. His stick figures look better than the average person's because he draws them with attention to the details of human anatomy and proportions.
Okay, so what's the path? The boring answer: practice, practice, practice. If you really are willing to "put in the 10 years," then you already have the right mentality. But you probably want a little more guidance than that.
Step 1: Start thinking about art in the right way. You think you want to draw from your imagination, but what you really want to draw is reality that doesn't exist. What do I mean by that? Drawing "from imagination" isn't much different than drawing from life; it's just strictly harder. When you draw from life, you see something with your eyes and then copy it onto your paper. When you draw from imagination, you have to see it with your mind's eye and then copy it onto your paper. This means that your imagination has to come up with the details you'd normally see in the world, all on its own! That's very hard. (This is true even for stylized drawing, which I'll get to in a bit.)
So how do you learn to do that? Well, your brain can't come up with realistic details without knowing what realistic details look like. So, every artist needs to start by drawing from life. There's no way to get around it. BUT, there's a catch! If you don't have any artistic inclination right now, you probably don't really know "how" to draw from life! Eventually, you'll "get it," but for now you could use some guidance. So, you need someone to teach you. Assuming you don't have any private art tutor friends, you should get a book. The standard recommendation for new artists is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which, despite its title, is not a book about pop psychology and is a book about learning to draw "the right way" from the ground up. What is "the right way"? Basically, it's forcing yourself to draw exactly what you see without thinking about it at all. You need to learn to shut off the part of your brain that tries to draw things the way "they should look" and instead draw them the way "they do look." The book will teach you all about this.
Step 2: Developing your basic skill set. Assuming you picked up the book I just recommended, you're going to want to start reading it and doing the exercises. I recommend spending the first week of your artistic journey just blindly following what the book tells you to do. Do one exercise per day for the first 5-7 exercises, and read the material in between your practice. Do practice 5-6 days a week for at least 30 minutes each day (preferably longer, but we all have lives). Don't burn yourself out by spending an entire Saturday blowing through half the book. If you're having fun with your drawing, do some light doodles on the side, but don't undertake more than one major project per day. Spend your doodling time just playing with the pencil (or pen), drawing shapes, experimenting with holding the pencil in different ways, etc. Just have fun. Not only will this keep your brain fresh for the major projects, but it's learning in its own right because you're developing comfort and flexibility with your instrument.
Step 3: Embark on your own projects. If you've worked through the first 5-7 exercises of that book, then you probably "get it" a little more than you did before; enough to start drawing anything and everything that catches your fancy. At this point, you don't need to keep following the book. Feel free to only come back to it when you need ideas or inspiration.
Copy, copy, copy. Like a picture you see online? Copy it. Your version won't be as good, but it doesn't matter, because it's all practice. However, try to make at least 50% of your drawings from real life (as in, 3D objects that you see with your physical eyes), and not pictures you see in books or on the internet. Why? Because drawing from a picture is easier than drawing from life. Pictures are, by definition, "flattened" for you, so you don't have to interpret what you're seeing as much. You need to be able to visualize and interpret objects in 3D, so you need to draw from life.
Step 4: Challenge yourself. Although your art skill will have undoubtedly improved by this point, you're still super far from your goal. This is usually where people settle in to only drawing things that they can draw kinda-sorta well, like simple objects, or copies of cartoons without any shading. This is a huge mistake! You have so much to learn and you know it, so don't stunt your growth now. If you're not sure what to practice next, I recommend drawing human beings. Why? Because there's not a single artist on the entire planet that couldn't benefit from being able to draw people; it's basically a necessary skill. It's also difficult, and forces you to move out of your comfort zone. But it's also a highly desirable skill, and once your humans start looking, well, human, you're going to feel super proud of yourself.
How do you practice figure drawing? Well, if you can find real people to pose for you naked, then go with that. But, your friends and family probably aren't going to be comfortable with that. If you feel up to it, try to find a figure drawing class (check local community colleges). But, if all else fails, find pictures of naked people online (really not that hard).
Regardless of whether you decide to pursue anatomy at this point, there are two huge skills you should start working on about now: foreshortening and shading. This shit's super hard, and you're going to suck for a super long time at it. If you don't know what foreshortening is, it's basically the fact that objects warp themselves into optical illusions when you're not looking at them at right-angles. Your brain processes this seamlessly, but as a non-artist you've never thought about this before, so you're going to be terrible at drawing objects from all kinds of angles. Shading is exactly what you think, but there's no "secret" to it; not only is seeing light and shadow (in an artistic way) hard in its own right, but just getting the shadow to look right on the damn paper is a skill unto itself. NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU SUCK AT THESE THINGS, DO NOT BECOME DISCOURAGED. This is the death valley of art. Every single artist just needs to hammer away at this stuff until they start to become better at it, little by little. When you first start drawing, you usually make surprisingly quick progress. But this stuff? SLOWWWWW. Just do it and do it and do it, over and over and over. You will improve, very slowly, until you're actually kind of okay at it. Do not give up. Do not get frustrated. Block all emotion out of your head about this stuff, because you will not feel anything positive about your skills in this department for a long time.
Step 5: You're an Artist! It turns out there's no "endgame" for art. Every artist thinks they suck until they die, but around this time you'll start realizing that you can kinda-sorta draw almost anything. From this point forward, draw the things you want to draw, and go out of your way to practice the things you know (deep down) you need extra work on. Improvement at this point is measured in years, not months, but if you stick with it, you will become "a good artist" by the end of your 10-year timeline. Of course, at that point, you'll still realize there are infinite ways to improve, and you'll realize you're going to be working on this until you die. But congrats, that just means you're an artist.
Q: All you talk about is pencil drawing here. What about painting??
A: Drawing with a writing instrument on paper is where you should start because it's super cheap, super flexible (you can do it anywhere), and super productive (the line is a fundamental artistic unit). You should start experimenting with alternative artistic instruments (marker, chalk, feathers dipped in lamb blood, whatever) near the end of Step 3. At the start of Step 4, feel free to start transitioning to other mediums, like painting (digital of physical). Painting is about "form" more than about "line," but you'll need the fundamentals you developed in steps 1-3 to paint anyway.
Q: What about cartoons/manga/anime/comic books/Tim Burton/Picasso? Those aren't realistic! When can I start doing stylized drawings from my imagination?
A: No matter how abstract or stylized something is, it always has roots in reality. That's why you need to never stop drawing/painting/etc. from real life and real photos. However, you can start experimenting with these fields in Step 3. Do not let them make up more than half of your time practicing, though.
The majority of my relationships have been non-monogamous. I'd consider myself someone who is not terribly traditional about relationship structure. Some of my partners have been "like you" - people who were not interested in dating multiple people themselves, but were willing to be flexible or compromise to varying degrees.
I see two separate issues here.
To me, your pain is as much about communication (or lack thereof) vs. the structure of your relationship. I am generally comfortable and happy in open relationships. However, if I was in an open relationship for 6 years with a partner that I lived with, and we'd spent every holiday together, I would expect them to communicate with me before booking a holiday with another partner. If they did somehow book one first, mention it to me, and then discover that I felt hurt... I would expect them to discuss the situation in detail.
Perhaps there was no way in which you'd ever feel comfortable with the situation even if he had tried to talk to you about it beforehand. However, if I wanted a partner to feel comfortable, I would start by having an honest conversation and listening to their concerns. Lots of concerns about open relationships are totally valid - like sexual safety, feeling reassured that you are loved and that you are a priority vs. wondering whether you might be disposable or they are looking to "trade up", etc.
I'd really encourage both you and your SO to read one of the books that talk about communication in open relationships (like "Opening Up" by Tristan Taormino - http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Up-Creating-Sustaining-Relationships/dp/157344295X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1408424734&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=opening+up)
Regardless of whether your relationship is viable, he isn't likely to have long term success in an open relationship (or any relationship) if he thinks that "open relationship" = "I do what I want, when I want, and if one of my partners feels anxious, I dismiss their concerns as a violation of my individual freedom".
For me, it feels comfortable to know the people that my partner(s) is dating (or whatever term you want to use ;) and to have direct communication with them. It's not just that I want them to know I exist... I also want them to feel like they can ask me questions, be honest with me, etc. They've often been my friends, either previously or afterward. If you know them, it's easier to understand whether they just have a casual / sexual interest, "romantic" interest, their attitudes about safe sex, whether they're going to treat your partner well, etc.
Also, not all "secondary" partners would WANT to go on holiday with someone if they knew that their longterm partner was feeling hurt about the trip or had learned about it in an after-the-fact way. Being attracted to somebody's SO doesn't necessarily mean that you don't care about how they treat their other partner or your impact on their relationship. Even in a very casual dating situation, I care about other people's partners 'cause they're fellow human beings and we already have at least one interest in common ;)
I see a lot of red flags in your description of the situation, but if you do decide to try to make it work, I'd encourage you both to read more about communication in open relationships and to try seeing a couples therapist. There are couples therapists who work with people in not-completely-traditional relationship situations and who are not inherently morally opposed to the concept.
But also, there are lots of people who would happily have an open OR monogamous relationship with you that would include lots of honest communication, treating you like you are important, trying to understand your feelings or address your fears vs. pressuring you to immediately accept a decision that was made without your input.
Also, even people who are 300% excited about open relationships sometimes feel jealous, scared, hurt, etc... and you should be able to talk about those feelings honestly. It isn't supposed to be a situation where you are always expected to feel nothing or act like you feel nothing or keep your emotions to yourself.
I can't say whether it's a mistake for you to compromise and be in an open relationship (either this relationship, or in general)... but I can say that it would be a mistake for you to shrug off your feelings about this and suffer through it alone.
This is very important and serious stuff.
The first question you need to answer is: "Do I want to live my life with a woman who doesn't love me?" You DESERVE to live your life with a woman who loves you, but whether you want that is up to you. I guess there are people who are happy to have a loveless marriage. If this is you, ignore the rest of my comment.
If you want to live your life with a woman who loves you, understand that this was part of the deal you accepted in marriage: to be loved in return. Right now you are not receiving your part of the deal, and that's not fair to you. She also deserves to live her life with a man she loves, and anything less isn't fair to her, either. If she can't ever give you that love, then the appropriate course of action is to end the marriage and find someone who CAN do that for each other.
But I hear that you want to work on it, and that's a great course of action. It's totally possible for you guys to change so that she can rediscover those feelings of affection.
My point is that this is a very serious situation. In the long run, this will end in unhappiness and probably divorce. Facing that kind of future, it's OK to take drastic action here. In fact, this is the time when you SHOULD be taking drastic action! People change jobs, move houses, and even move states to save their marriages. This is THAT kind of action time.
No matter what, I can promise you that just waiting to "see where things go" is going to end in unhappiness and divorce, if you have any self respect. Without effort and (usually) help, "where things go" is more of the same. And that's not fair to you, to her, OR to your child. This will take work, and she has to be willing to do that work with you.
The most important thing is that both of you want to work on this. It won't work if it's just you. So sit down with your wife and talk about it. Tell her that she deserves to be in a relationship with a man she loves, you deserve to be in a relationship with a woman who loves you, and your child deserves to grow up with an example of a healthy, loving relationship. You want that woman, that relationship, to be the two of you together. If you can get her to agree to work with you to try and rekindle the affection between you, then it's a green light to go ahead. If she refuses, then there's actually no hope here.
Assuming you get that green light, this is how you work on a relationship:
Good luck, friend.
In my opinion: Nutrition is for losing (or gaining) weight and making sure you recover properly.
Cardiovascular training (literally heart and blood-vessel training) is for heart, vascular and lung health so you can run after a bus or take a flight of stairs without feeling like you are going to die. It helps you think more clearly, resist depression, and reduces risks of some of the most deadly diseases (heart attack, stroke, etc.)
Resistance training is for gaining or maintaining lean body mass and strength. This helps you look better naked, keeps your bone mass up, and as you get older, helps you recover more easily from slips and falls. It also is good for your metabolism: it helps with insulin sensitivity and each pound of lean mass burns 2-3x as much energy as a pound of fat, and it takes up less space.
Finally, stretching/mobility training will help you keep your youthful ranges of motion, reduce stiffness and pain, and reduce injury potential.
You need a balance of these four elements to be truly fit.
To answer your specific questions:
Sorry, I started in on this post and it got away from me. Hopefully you find some useful nuggets in here.
TL;DR: You need to have a balance of nutrition, cardio, resistance, and mobility training. You have to have a calorie deficit to lose weight, so focus on foods that fill you up without a ton of calories. There are tons of cardio options that aren't running that will be easier on your joints. Lifestyle change is about changing your habits. Doing food prep really helps make losing weight easier.
Imagine yourself as a queen and him as a high class pleasure slave who is of course well trained in the sensual arts (that's a given) but also intelligent and quick-witted, and expected to become proficient in any topic of conversation or activity that you might want to enjoy together. He should know exactly how you like your coffee. If your heart's desire is to have a worthy Scrabble opponent, then regardless of how he feels about the game, he better have all the legal 2-letter words memorized by Christmas. If you like a hot bubble bath before or after sex, he should be in charge of keeping the supplies stocked, drawing the water, lighting the candles, fetching your glass of wine, and sitting on the cold tile floor to read to you or provide interesting conversation while you soak. The onus is on him to think of or research interesting discussion topics or questions for your conversation, or to share with you something interesting he learned today. If you like massages, he should watch YouTube videos or check out books from the library until he is on par with a professional. If you love oral and his skills are somewhat lacking, he should be expected to finish reading Ian Kerner's She Comes First by the due date you assign, and there had better be plenty of highlighting and notes in the margins. You get the idea.
Another possibility is erotic hypnosis. Personally, I think /r/shibbysays has some of the best stuff out there. You could either use her stuff for inspiration to make your own recordings (or just get ideas for how to talk during your sessions together), or you could actually play her recordings while he is blindfolded and you act out what she describes. For example, in the first file in the good boy series, which is usually recommended as a starting point, she talks about putting her hand on the guy's shoulders and chest. So when it gets to that part you could actually put your hands where she describes and rub his skin.
She's pretty good about including language that would allow a guy to listen by himself if he wants but also leaves open the possibility that he is in a relationship and is being made to listen to them by his real life domina. One that comes to mind is "Slip into Slave Mode," which says something along the lines of "whenever I, or whoever told you to listen to this recording, says 'slave mode,' you will return to this place." That one also includes a visualization of a weighted blanket slowly covering the guy up from his feet to his head. I for one would love to be cuffed and have my partner slowly unroll a blanket over me while listening to this together. For good measure, maybe rub your pussy in his face when it gets to the part where only his head is uncovered.
If y'all are both comfortable with bringing Shibby into your bedroom, start with the good boy series. Listen to them by yourself before you play them for your man and think about what what position he should be in and what you might do to him while he listens. Next explore the wiki (the indoctrination series is also good) or just browse the subreddit for files that you think might work well for your dynamic. A lot of the files include references to "triggers" established in good boy and indoctrination, so that's why it's usually a good idea to do them first. Some of them involve chastity and orgasm denial, but most are just tease and denial, and it should be pretty easy to avoid the ones you don't want.
> If this goes on for days, I progressively end up in a more depressed/helpless state. Making decisions gets difficult, even something as simple as picking an item off a menu. Confidence at work or with any other hobbies gets low enough that I stop doing or achieving much of anything.
This is a very classic "freeze" response, also known as dissociation. Basically, if you're pushed into fight/flight long enough or persistently enough, you'll start freezing up. That makes it difficult to concentrate, difficult to connect to other people, and even difficult to take concrete actions like picking something up. It's one end of trauma-related emotional disregulation, with the other being fight/flight/anxiety/anger. It's very common for unchecked verbal aggression to put people into a state like that. It's also decently likely that you have some form of trauma history that made you more vulnerable to freezing up like that, and that made it difficult for you to get angry enough to push back when she becomes verbally aggressive with you. I'd suggest reading In An Unspoken Voice to learn more about how we get stuck in these fight/flight/freeze responses.
> The only consistent recommendation I see, besides medication, is DBT. What does that mean, for someone without good access to medical care? Buy her a workbook and tell her to read it?
You could try to do that, but it doesn't sound like she has either a lot of insight into how her behavior is harmful or a strong motivation to change. Most likely the best thing that you can do is to focus on improving your own ability to advocate for yourself, to understand what's happening in this situation, and to get clarity about your own conscious and unconscious patterns of thinking and reacting that keep you stuck in this situation. This is unfortunately a "put your own oxygen mask on first" kind of situation.
On another note, DBT might actually be really helpful for you. One area it covers is emotional regulation, or learning to work on your emotional responses so that you can respond in a way that fits the situation. That includes learning about the different basic emotion types (Anger/Shame/Fear/Guilt/Envy/Happiness/Sadness/Love/Jealousy), learning when they fit the facts of a situation, and also learning to recognize when you're skipping past the appropriate emotional reaction and jumping to another one. For example, it sounds like when your wife gets angry at you over nothing, you skip right past anger and into fear/shame/sadness. If you can afford it or are covered, it might be worth finding a DBT therapist to help you work on that. If you can't, this is the workbook that my therapist used with me.
> What can a person like me do to be more resilient to verbal aggression/abuse?
Learning to set boundaries for yourself is probably the key skill to get started with. There's a lot of confusion about boundaries out there. Sometimes it sounds like it's something that other people are responsible for ("they should respect my boundaries"), or that they're responsible for enforcing them once we communicate them. Instead, a boundary is an action that we commit to take ourselves in order to maintain our self-respect and ability to function. It could be something like "If someone is yelling at me or calling me names, then I will leave the area." Frequently, it's helpful to have a series of planned boundary-maintaining actions so that you don't have to take drastic action off the bat -- so in that example, you could plan to first ask the person to stop yelling, then leave the room if they won't stop, then leave the house if they follow you and keep yelling, then stay somewhere overnight if they keep yelling when you come back, then move out temporarily if they won't stop when you come back, then end the relationship if you can't come back without being yelled at.
Other times when people talk about boundaries it sounds like we should just already know what our boundaries are, when in reality it's a really messy difficult heart-breaking process to discover first that something is unacceptable to you and then that you're willing to enforce a boundary to prevent it. There may be significant new emotions or memories of past situations that you have to become comfortable with in order to -- for example, you may be deeply uncomfortable with the idea of being alone or seeing someone else suffering when they claim that it's your fault, and it may be related to difficulties in your childhood or past that seem similar.
There's also a significant chance that you've internalized at some level that you're responsible for your wife's emotional reactions, or that you've done something wrong, or that this is normal. So there's a significant ongoing rediscovery aspect where you'll revisit past relationship conflicts and go "Wait, that's not my fault at all!"
The other thing you can do is to look into whether you might be exhibiting codependent behaviors or in a trauma bond. No More Mr Nice Guy is a decent guide to working on this, although it's a little bit much to handle if you're still in the thick of it emotionally. You can also read When I Say No I Feel Guilty.
> What's the healthy approach towards me getting some kind of support system/network?
Keep on posting here regularly, for one. You can also take a look at /r/Divorce (I've been assuming from the comments from your friends that you're married -- apologies if I'm getting that wrong). I assume you've seen /r/BPDlovedones/ , but it might be worth reading their recommended resources. Work on exercising regularly, see a therapist or couples therapist if you can, try talking to any friends you have that haven't been dismissive before. A light 10-20 minute/day meditation practice might be helpful with learning about your thoughts and emotions, but there can be complications with large amounts of meditation if you have a trauma history or are in a stressful situation (see this book and this guide if you want to pursue that route).
Also just spend time with friends and social groups even if they're not resources for talking about your relationship. It can be important to remember that social relationships can just be fun/light and to provide a counterbalance.
> So... is there any healthy middle ground between "suffer through it, don't talk about it, relationships take work" and "run away, AWALT, borderlines are crazy"?
The middle ground is to work on asserting your boundaries, understanding and accepting your emotions, building a healthy set of activities and friends, and getting clear on what's acceptable to you. If it turns out that you have a trauma history, then something like somatic experiencing or EMDR can help you start to heal from that and become more confident. As you become more confident and assertive, set more boundaries, and work for the kind of relationship that you want, then you'll see w
Do you have kids together? If you don't, the standard answer to just go ahead and leave is probably "right" -- there doesn't sound like there's much good happening for you here. But the problem with "just leave" is that it's all or nothing, and doesn't provide you with an incremental path to building the skills and self-knowledge that will allow you to actually leave.
If you do have kids together, then "just leave" is definitely a bit tougher. This sort of situation can be a kind of crucible that allows for immense personal growth, or can just beat you down.
A couple resources that may help with clarifying the stay/leave question are:
Good luck and we'd love to keep on hearing how you're doing!
well now I have some time so buckle up.
/u/helpwiththisproblemp is a nice guy. Not a full-blown neckbeard fedora M'Lady but he has that mindset. Where men are only in 2 categories.. Nice Gentlemen like himself, and the Assholes who get the women to lust after them. I cant guess how this mindset starts, sometimes they live with a disgruntled single mother or an equally Nice father, but they're genuinely convinced that by being Nice, safe, bland, trustworthy and a good provider is the exact path into a woman's panties. "I'm Nice. I have a good job. I bring home the bacon, why isnt that dropping her panties, why isnt she showing her gratitude by giving me a blowjob, why are all those Musician/Artist/Biker Assholes getting all the pussy??"
They repress their sexual nature and urges so they're not "creepy, aggressive or gross, not like those Bikers" and well, they get Friendzoned. But they secretly want to be sexually confident and lusted after.
They have an equally "either/or" view of women. They're either sluts or Nice women. Nice demure women. Nice ladies, ladies who dont act like sluts. Once again, they secretly want their demure wife to act like a slut! (Sluts are great btw)
So everything is a covert contract. He asked for a blowjob but I bet his behaviour right up until then was as a polite demure gentleman, treating his nice demure wife with respect, because he's a Nice man he picked a nice demure lady didnt he. He got all excited when she mentioned deep-throating him, because that's what he secretly wanted, but he never encouraged her to be slutty from them on, so she relaxed and forgot about it. "He never followed up, never rewarded me for sexual behaviour, never acted like a confident sexy beast, so whatevs".
Advice - that no-one ever likes, cos apparently 'being offended on behalf of someone else' is a new national past-time, as is 'asking for advice but crying over the harsh truths and not changing a damn thing'
Stop being Nice and having covert contracts. Read this book and before you flip your shit, read the blurb, it's not for Neckbeards.
If you dont like reading books, watch some episodes of Lucifer, it's hilarious because if the actor was ugly it would be creepy and gross. But he's handsome, well-dressed and dashing, so he's confident, sexy, alluring and bold.
If you cant be bothered with either of those, at least grasp that people arent either/or. Men arent just Nice or Assholes. There's a sliding scale. Women who are happily ravaging their men are with good guys. Good, sexy, confident, non-assholes. And by happily I mean we are genuinely happy. Content with how sexy, decent and safe our partner is. We dont complain so you dont hear from us? just from the unhappy ones who are with real assholes I guess.
Women arent evil for being slutty. I'm sexually confident and adore doing filthy things with my partner. and I clean up nice to go to dinner with his friends.
cc /u/drreedrichards it seemed like you needed some stuff too.
First of all, I'd just like to say that some of the posts here have been unnecessarily negative. This subreddit is supposed to be accepting and I feel like people have written you off too quickly because of your age. I'm 21 (M) and in an open relationship with a wonderful 23 year old (F). We've been open for the past two years, and it's been immensely satisfying for ourselves and our lovers.
Yes, being in an open relationship is hard but so is being in any relationship. oo_nrb has a ton of great advice, so I'm going to try not to duplicate too much of that.
In general, it seems like you're going into this from a stable position and an open mind. I'd highly recommend that you both read Tristan Taramino's wonderful book Opening Up before you jump in head first. The book will teach you that everyone define's their open relationship differently, and that the most important part of non-monogamy is defining your rules and sticking to them. Open relationships demand a higher level of trust and a greater commitment to communication, because there is a lot more at stake.
> What are some common pitfalls people tend to fall into/how can we avoid them?
> How do we find people who are interested purely in sex and are comfortable having sex with someone in an open relationship? I'm wary of Craigslist and online sites.
The same ways your find them normally: bars, parties, friends, and sites like OKCupid. The thing to realize is that very few people are interested in "just sex". There's nothing wrong with being friendly or affectionate with the other people you're banging, as long as you respect the primacy of your boyfriend. You guys might want to start out with rules about how much emotion, connection is allowed if it makes your uncomfortable, but realize that you are restricting the number of partners that would be interested in you.
> How do we broach the subject of sex in person to people he and I find?
Flirt. Be touchy and make sure to be honest with your other partners that you have significant others, but that you're open. Explain your rules, your boundaries, and if you're comfortable with it, let them talk to your partner for confirmation.
Good luck. If you have any other questions, let me know.
20 y.o. Here's a bit of mine
Make money- I want to open a surf shop in the town I grew up in. I want to be my own boss so I'm taking business courses and I'm trying to learn how to make my own clothes. I worked at a place on the boardwalk this summer and I had a chance to print t-shirts and see the process of the business. It's really not that hard and I think I can handle the business part of it. There's probably not a lot of money in it, but in the off season, I figure I can do something else to make money.
Keep in shape- Sorry man, but I don't think you can count going to the gym as a hobby. It should be more of an obligation really. You should enjoy it, but because of the good that you are doing for your body. Find a sport to play there's so many I'm sure you'll find one. Who cares if you suck, you will find people your level. I've been a tennis player pretty much all my life. It's a great sport and you only need a few things to have a great time. A racket, a couple balls, and a partner! I work at tennis courts in my town too and I see people in their 80's still playing! And like a bunch of other sports I'm sure, you can take lessons to get better! The gym is great exercise, but you should really try to get the thrill and competition of a sport.
Creative- This is my favorite one. Over the last year or so I've been going crazy trying out new ways to express myself and it's honestly the most fun trying to tap into it. I like music a lot. I spend a few hours a week just looking for new music. All kinds, have an open mind to new things! Then last january I said fuck it and bought a guitar. There's a bunch of free opportunities to learn to play whether its from a friend or online. This is the site I've been using and I'm not great or anything, but being able to (somewhat) recreate some sounds from my favorite bands is so satisfying. I've also started to take up drawing. This is the one that's most difficult for me because I was always aweful, but I bought a book to teach me. I've realized you're going to need a lot of help if you want to learn or do something. And that's ok! I've been taking videos and playing around a bit with some old editing software I got a few years back. Unfortunately this hobby is halted, since my video camera was confiscated at a concert :( Also, I'm not really sure which category this fits into, but I've taken an interest in cooking as well. Nothing crazy, but I can put together a few decent and healthy meals. It's really rewarding making a meal for yourself. Even more-so if you share it with friends for the hell of it!
Dude start trying anything. Really anything you can think of that you are interested in. You'll realize things aren't really as hard as you think. If you aren't good at something, well that's ok too. Just find something that interest you and work towards it and slowly get better. Cut out time wasted and put it towards creating something that you can be proud of. It doesn't even have to make money.. any skills you learn will benefit you in some way, or at least give you an outlet to clear your mind. Play around with life! Test yourself and see what you can really do. I might be going a little overkill. I almost feel like I'm hitting a mid life crisis already hah but you should really experiment, it's a hell of a lot of fun. And not I'm not speaking directly to you, but generally people just need to cut out some wasted time being distracted watching tv to do something that requires thinking and action. At least substitute some tv/movie time for reading. It gets easier to find things that interest you once you get going! I'm sure you'll find something man just remember to have fun with it. Hobbies are hobbies, thats all theyre for, so don't worry if you think it might not benefit you in some way, because it will.
If you're really truly interested in mastering this hobby and applying yourself to learning it, here's what I would recommend:
Good luck with your journey! It's been one of the greatest I've embarked on in my adult life :)
Here are some books I would recommend on the topic:
Mastery by George Leonard (talks a lot about mindset and learning to love the plateau)
Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin (gives a lot of pointers when it comes to deliberate practice)
So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport (lots of counterintuitive but useful info on developing skills)
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle (lots of great info about what to look for in a good coach/teacher)
I used to be terrible with women. Constantly friendzoned. Got cheated on by a girlfriend that I had no idea how I got.
Then I found some "pickup" stuff online that got me lucky two times in a row following a script... and then nothing. So I studied more online stuff. I was going to be the best pickup artist ever, I was going to show them all! I'd approach women to impress my friends. Got a stripper to go out for coffee(ended badly, I was totally over my head). All sorts of showy stuff.
Luckily I found some charisma based pickup stuff that was essentially just presenting yourself in the correct manner, and not be afraid to escalate sexually.
One of the techniques was a type of disqualification where if anybody said anything negative you agree and amplify. And if they say something positive, be genuinely thankful, but say something a bit humbling to keep yourself human.
Disqualification was great for my interactions with others, but weirdly, it was the best thing for me. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen. I started not to place too much importance in what others thought of me. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a freeing way. I came to realize that I didn't need to impress anybody by showing off or becoming a pickup superstar. I became decent at dating and could spend my energy in other areas of my life.
The reason I'm telling you this is because "pickup" advice can help you, but you need to be careful. As Grayflcn said, becareful over in Seddit. There are some genuine people there, but there are also some people trying to impress people with BS, or show offy, creepy things. Try to keep your filters set appropriately.
I've been in a relationship for a while, but trying to help some friends I've found some things I think are good resources in this area coming from the right place...
That said... if you've already got women you're dating maybe the only thing wrong is you're not escalating. Letting them know you find them attractive in a man to woman manner. This may seem like a huge hurdle, I was terrified of this. Yet, doing it a few times, it became something I did without thinking because it totally improved my relations with females.
It's 3 steps.
Figure out what you find sexy about her. Something about her personality is better than something physical.
Use the word sexy to tell her you think that thing is sexy . There's no ambiguity. She knows what you mean when you use that word.
Don't wait for a reaction, start talking about something else. It will ferment in there and not waiting for an answer shows you're not hanging on her approval.
Example: I like women that make me laugh... she says something funny.
"Hey, you're funny, I think funny women are sexy. (A half beat pause so it's not rushed then) So, anyway, tell me more about that Japanese restaurant... "
It seems like a small thing but it made a total difference in my male/female relations.
I'm typing this on mobile, but I remember the pain of feeling helpless with women. I hope some of this helps a bit, Bud.
*Edit fixing the book link that didn't work.
** Edit2 I'm not sure this is worthy of it, but thank you to whoever gifted me the gold.
I'm glad to hear that it sounds like I haven't offended you with trying to be silly, as that wasn't my intent. :/ I was pretty worried about it, honestly, and if I did and you're just not saying, I really do apologize. I'm in a very similar ship, so I meant to commiserate. My self esteem is getting better, but it's still quite low and fluctuates a lot.
> It's also very hard to try and be positive about myself when people treat me like I'm garbage. It validates my core negative beliefs about being unlikeable, socially inept, unlovable and just plain worthless and undeserving of love. :s
Sadly, I understand that all too well, and I unfortunately don't have any real advice to you other than that you have to keep trying to counter those thoughts. Which, if you're feeling like I've felt, can be one of the hardest things ever. What I had to do was say positive affirmations to myself religiously in the shower, OUT LOUD. Every day, over and over again. They were really uncomfortable, and I thought they were hokey, but they helped. I couldn't really face myself in the mirror and do it, and the noise of the shower helped me feel less self conscious. I also had a therapist that would harp on me (kindly) if I didn't do it, so I eventually did it regularly.
However, I understand completely how hard it is to say these things when you don't feel like they're true. That's why I was trying to focus on the logical aspect. Heck, I know that what other people think only affects me if I let it (technically), and that what really matters is my own self esteem, but that's really bloody hard to translate into reality.
As for failed relationships or whatever, you have honestly no real idea what happened there. I'm sorry to be the one to inform you, but you're not a psychic. :P I pretend to be too, and I have to remind myself all the damn time that I don't honestly know what is going on in someone else's life. I'm pretty good at reading other people and picking up on non-verbal cues, but if someone is upset, I jump to the conclusion that it's because of something I did. I still do, but less than I did. Really, just being aware of this mind-reading is the most important thing you can do. Actively combating takes time, but it CAN be done.
Take a moment to really think about it. Have you ever been upset or grumpy at work or around others because of something totally unrelated? I certainly have. I've had people think I was upset with them because of a face or visible discomfort, when all it really was was an upset stomach. I've also flaked out on plans with friends simply because I was feeling too depressed to go out that day, but I was too ashamed to fully communicate that fact to them. They thought I was upset with them, but really, it was just a personal matter. Is it not fair to think that that could be the case with some of your interactions with other people too? Sadly, some of your suitors could have been scared away just because you maybe were anxious and your body language was screaming, "Don't come by me!" As such, I stand by my statement that your first and most important step would be to try to improve your self esteem/anxiety.
Yes, it's a long process. Yes, you will fail. Again, IT'S OKAY. It's totally okay to mess up. It's TOTALLY fine. It has NO reflection on your worth as a person if you mess up. I am straight up giving you permission to fail. I hope when you're a little stronger, you can give yourself that permission too!
As for what particularly happened with Nick specifically, I honestly have no idea. I'm guessing it's just that he probably felt like he was putting himself out there and didn't understand your more subtle signs that you returned his affection. :/ Sadly, some people just don't seem to be patient in matters of love, but that's okay. Honestly, it took a really long time to get with my fiance-we met online, we're both shy, and the only way he ever found out I liked him was that I got super emotional one day and just flat out told him in an email. (I was sick of him telling me about all his little crushes actually.) Then, I literally ran away to a friend's house several states away for a mini-vacation. X_X Luckily, he was my best friend by this point and things didn't get very awkward after my confession. He didn't realize how much I meant to him really until I ran away either, so I guess it worked out in the end. It wasn't exactly the best response I could have had, but I needed it at the time.
My point is that love is a tricky thing that cannot be easily evaluated. Sometimes you just have to accept not knowing as the answer and try to move on. Sometimes, you have to go way outside of your comfort zone and just be totally direct with someone.
Of course, I felt the same about not finding anyone, and it actually was about 5 years from my last real relationship. I sort of just tumbled into it on accident. It's a bit trite, but hobbies are a great place to find like-minded people. With the internet now, it's a lot easier to find others that enjoy the same activities. I happen to be a big dork, so my SO and I met on World of Warcraft. It's an LDR, but we've met in person a number of times, and I'm positive that he's the one for me. This is not something for you to use to flog yourself with if you're feeling that compulsion (as I would if the situation were reversed)-it's to give you hope!
As for meditation, I liked Headspace a lot because it's very novice-friendly. There's a lot of positive affirmations in it, and you start off with only ten minutes a day. If you need "assistance" finding the files, let me know and I'll give you some pointers.
I would also like to recommend this DBT workbook, as I found it to be helpful for me in starting to overcome my default negative thoughts. I think DBT works a little better than CBT in that regard, and it 's written in such a way that is very forgiving.
As strange as it might sound, The Now Habit helped me a decent bit with my self-esteem too. It focuses on procrastination, but procrastination stems from perfectionism/fear of doing poorly.
Anyway, I'm not a therapist. I've been to plenty throughout the years, and I've been in this boat before. My best advice to you is truly to try to focus on caring about yourself. When you can love yourself more, when you can feel worthy of love, that is when you make the connections that last a lifetime.
The only constant you'll ever have in this life is yourself. I'm not saying you're doomed to go it alone, just that if you can learn to at least tolerate yourself, it'll make the going a lot easier. :)
YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Since I don't know the extent of your Autism, I will write as if I'm speaking to a person that is just very inexperienced with dating.
It definitely is different from case to case.
Some people experience it like this though:
If they agree; pull out your phone, open up a New Contact, put their name in, click the phone number field, then hand them the phone to type it in.
PROTIP: If there is a lull in the conversation, don't keep prodding them or start playing on your phone, instead have a casual conversation with someone around you (bartender, person in line near you, somebody sitting at bar). This shows you aren't a puppy dog relying on them for entertainment, are outgoing, and have confidence (an attractive trait universally).
its best to assume you aren't compatible and leave them alone. Definitely don't beg or pressure them.
At the FIRST sign of hesitation, stop entirely. Don't get butthurt or beg, just respect their wishes. You can offer them a drink or to do the activity you mentioned, then try again later. If still no, they may either have some friction (religious background, awkwardness about intimacy, principles against first-date hookups) or something went wrong and they think you're a friend/is using you for something. Nothing I've written here is a hard rule, simply my experience. This may not be the case for everybody, especially if there is mental disorder involved.
Sometimes it ends because it just isn't adding anything exciting to their life (compatibility comes down to being able to tolerate eachother for an extended period of time). Sometimes they will go on until death, often not.
Also, a book I cannot suggest enough is Mark Manson - Models
This book probably gave me more applicable advice about dating than any other source period. It is one of the most useful materials for self-improvement. Possibly the best dating advice to ever exist.
I personally think that you should appreciate women's beauty, however I feel that catcalling would be unnecessary i didn't see any approach done "right", i actually feel that people, specially men should learn some social dynamics specially towards talking to the opposite sex, and by this i don't mean learn pick up and fuck as many girls as possible and shit like that, but because I feel that its important to be able to connect with women in a way. I feel that a lot of rapes, and sexual frustration, and probably prostitution is because men want an easy way out, and don't want to put in the work to approach women, and now you could even go online dating if you don't like it but i think that men become more aware of how to deal with this certain situation, I am working on myself to be able to approach a girl and give her a genuine compliment and to mean it because I say it and say it because I mean it, not to get attention that just because by catcalling people I 'prove im manly' they come off as needy and shit.
Although I feel that people, specially women, if you learned some pick up or rather some more sociability they see that as ungenuine and even more chumpy, but the counter argument i would say is they are not being genuine either, they use make up and they are manipulating their appearance to look more attractive and in a way is manipulating me to think better of them, I am against some of the principles of pick up but the dating science isn't wrong, but its on the right path. I personally think that, like in my case, if you know you suck with women, and you don't want to be in a path of crappiness and neediness, via using prostitution to get laid or roofing people to get laid or rather rape girls, or vast usage of porn, I would say that its good.
I personally would recommend reading Models by Mark Manson because the book is really fucking awesome and it would make you a better man, and perhaps reading the 'further reading' books from that book help you understand the mating system of humans, and to become a better man. I think the book itself is actually really good because it states more than just to get laid is to find quality women to be fullfillled and be more happier with women, and in a way is actually attacking the dating science in a way by attacking The Mystery Method which all pick up could be summed up by that single book. In a way I would recommend both and take the best from both because neither of them is 'wrong' but niether one of them is 'right'. I do agree with Manson's idea of confidence and working in yourself more than in women and being sexualy fulllfilled doesn't require large amounts of women, while I also agree with Mystery's focus on competence vs. confidence because he says that you can't quantify confidence and rather focus on number of approaches and really statistics because that shows competence and successful competence breeds confidence eventually but in a way Manson's idea is better, because he is coming from a place of abundance of women and general happiness, is like saying being 'good' with women is something you are and not do and your looks, money demographics and ect does matter in the equation, over mystery's idea which is coming from neediness, because he refers as girls having 'high value' and by that you are infering that you aren't enough for her so you have to in a way manipulate yourself into making her thinking you are 'good enough' so that it doesn't matter if you look like a fucking troll no matter what if your 'game' is 'tight' it doesn't matter what even if the girl is married or anything really, she will sleep with you and that isn't the case, because mysetery uses a lot of indirect and 'fool proof' tactics that are more convoluted than just expressing your intent and if it doesn't work out move on asap, I'd say that take the best they both are right, and both concepts are correct but im leaning more the natural no scripts type of things and just being freeforming it.
I'd recommend both people getting those two books and they will change your life or at least make you think better and be more aware of how to flirt better. And perhaps reading Double your Dating by David DeAngelo, this one focuses more on dating girls and setting up and getting exposure to women over, is focused on both competence and confidence, and in a more natural way. I'd say get them, you can torrent them if you are so cheap, but defenitely read up on them and see what comes out of it.
So defenitely get Models by mark manson and Mystery Method because you can get a really clear picture on the subject of picking up women, and Double your Dating by David D just the simple ebook don't dig too much into it.
other books, I heard of them, and read some reviews on amazon and they seem to have really good reviews but I haven't gotten them or read them but they seem legit too.
Bang by roosh V
Day bang by roosh v
The manual by W. Anton
the Natural by richard la ruina
Get inside her by Marni Kinrys
they all seem like good resources to start and move on from there... and work on specific sticking point, but i'd say don't believe everything use them as guidelines and not as rules, and take them with a pinch of salt. the reason for this was because when I read the Mystery Method, it was well argued and every contingency is planned for, that I couldn't really find fault with the method, And so I believed all the "high value" bullshit that i fucking felt that i needed to one up everybody and that isn't the case, i was able to rescue myself from that mindset by Models, and I really thought it was genuine and it doesn't rely on too much bullshit and is more natural there is no one upping bullshit. I am not preching seduction community but i feel men should know what they are doing, specially if they suck like me, and be just more aware of things.
Perhaps i'd also reccomend
Gifts of Imperfection by Breene Brown since this book really digs somewhat on the self acceptance/self worth/self esteem part and what pick up artist would call 'inner game' ...
I'd say pick whatever books you want to BUT STOP reading too much into it, i became too paranoid and wanted to read every book on pick up out there and that is not the case guys, hope i helped.
TLDR--read books, become aware, know better, don't be a creep but don't be chump either, get informed guys know your shit,
You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. I understand this isn't the answer you want to hear but it's true. I used to be in your shoes. You have to understand that yes support is great, but ultimately you have to stand on your own feet to be firstly healthy (no one can fight your depression for you) and secondly to be attractive.
I'll leave you a few links that have helped me come out of my hell hole.
CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has worked wonders for me. I went on anti-depressants for 3 years which was needed at the time, but if I would have combined it with CBT I may have safed myself years of suffering. I'm 100% off them now and feeling better than ever. Try googleing this. This is a good place to start.
Get into a routine of going to bed and getting lots of rest. Change your diet to healthy foods. This will help keep junk out of your system that leads to high/crashes and keeps your serotonin pumping.
Socialize, - www.meetup.com is a good place to start if you're not a very social person. They specifcally have "introvert" groups so people that arent used to socializing can get used to seeing other people with the same comfort level. There's groups for everything.
Self-Esteem - Try and boost this as much as you can. I know when I was depressed I had a horrible self-esteem and it's taken years to boost it back up. Again, google has copious amounts of information on this but a book I bought and helped me was
Working out - Not only does this make you more attractive, but way more importantly it boosts serotonin levels and will help you feel better. I can't stress how important this is. I was able to come off Effexor JUST because I began working out heavily. The nice body is a just a bonus, the way it's made me feel is incredible.
www.bodybuilding.com - has a bunch of beginner exercises for you to start.
Dating - Lastly, don't worry about this one too much. I know you're thinking "what the fuck? that was the whole point of my post". The world is hyped up with "quick fixes", you know 6 pack abs in 2 weeks etc. There is no EASY way out, no way to just magically press a button and become this macho attractive person. The most attractive trait a woman can see in you is confidence. You've already been through all this pain with your depression, you can do anything you want but the CATCH is that it takes time. You'll need to subject yourself to a bunch of situations that MAKE you feel uncomfortable, and by having small little victories in each situation you're able to build up confidence.
I'll share a few articles from this guys website that not only helped me tremendously with dating and self-esteem, but with life in general.
1 - http://markmanson.net/change-your-mind
2 - http://markmanson.net/youre-okay
Especially #2. Lastly, he wrote a book that I've re-read a bunch of times that is excellent and down to earth dating advice. He's honest and isn't going to sell you a bunch of this "I need to be super macho to get dates" crap. It's all a media hype. Women just want you to be confident, but in order to do that you have to treat your depression and just enjoy life which will take months, not going to lie.
Enjoy man, you have lots of work to do. consider this the first day of the rest of your life.
Your friend is sort of right about the pen. It can help do away with the "chicken scratch" method of drawing by forcing you to be more confident with your lines but you should stick with pencil for now.
I'm mostly self-taught as well (although I learned a bit from Watts Atelier until it got to be too expensive) and the sheer amount of information out there can be really overwhelming. I mean, there's so many things to learn: perspective, line weight, figure drawing, portraiture, landscape, etc.
What definitely helped me is realizing that I'm never going to stop improving as an artist. That means that I'm going to have my entire life to hone my skills. Even if you have to unlearn a lot of bad habits, you've still got plenty of time to practice slowly, deliberately and mindfully.
If you understand that you've got your whole life to get better, it's easier to formulate a strategy to get better. You've got to think about this in the long term. That means taking a month to work solely on anatomy, another month to work only on perspective, another month to work on tone and values, while always revisiting the skills that you've already cultivated.
For example, I've laid out my artistic goals 3 months in advance. That means that for the next 3 months, I'm only focusing on anatomy and gesture/figure drawing. My daily schedule this week looks like this:
1, 2, 5 and 10 minute gesture/figure drawings
study/copy hands from Bridgeman's Constructive Anatomy book
draw 50 hands
spend about 10-15 minutes drawing hands from memory and comparing them to the references I was using earlier
work on something fun
If I have extra time, I'll work on some more anatomy studies but it depends on how busy I am with work/life. After this week is up, I'll move on to arms, then the core, then legs, head, etc, following the same setup I've made. Maybe the next 3 months, I'll move on to perspective drawing but I haven't thought that far ahead yet.
If you're confused about where to start, just pick something that you're the weakest at and start drawing that. It's a grind and you're going to be producing hundreds, if not thousands of drawings but that's the way to get better.
Like I said, if you start thinking in the long term, it gets less overwhelming. I'm gonna link some resources that really helped me out.
Perspective Made Easy
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Fun With a Pencil Actually, anything by Loomis.
How to Draw Kind of a technical book but goes into really great detail about perspective
Watts Atelier Highly recommended. Watch his figure drawing videos. Also, if you can spare the cash, join his online school. It's fantastic and very structured course in drawing. Definitely look into this if you have trouble deciding what to learn next.
Proko This guy has great intro videos for figure drawing. I think he learned at Watts Atelier as well.
New Masters Academy They have a ton of great videos about everything. Definitely look into Glen Vilppu's figure drawing series. He's the god of figure drawing.
Alphonso Dunn Really great pen and ink tutorials
Sorry if I overwhelmed you (ironic, considering your original post) but I just wanted to share some stuff that's really helped me develop a schedule and get better. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help you a fellow art student out.
TLDR: You have plenty of time in your life to get better, so make a schedule and stick to it.
I wouldn't suggest you rush to your doctor with the question, "am I seriously depressed?" If you live in the west, there's a 99% chance that an M.D. will shove a multiple choice test at you, which may or may not come back showing you are depressed. If it shows you are depressed, your doctor will prescribe an antidepressant... which may or may not make you feel better, but it will definitely not have any real effect on the root of your problems.
I think the answer to the question, "am I seriously depressed?" lies in another question: does your mood have a chronically negative impact on your life? everyone gets sad from time to time, but does your mood interfere with your your relationships, or your work, or impede your ability to achieve your goals and take enjoyment out of day to day life?
If the answer is yes, then you should do something to change your mood. In my experience, the best way to change your mood is by working with a good shrink. You want a registered psychologist, or a professional counsellor with an MSW degree (Masters of Social Work). There are any number of people in the phone book calling themselves "therapists" or "counsellors" but those names might not necessarily mean anything more than a 1 or 2 year diploma, and maybe much less than that. Not to disparage those people, nor all the people they help... but personally I only want to trust my mind to the very best.
Anyways... any good shrink will be helpful, but I strongly recommend you find someone who specializes in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. CBT is not at all like traditional talk therapy... you're not going to be talking about childhood traumas, or whether your father gave you enough attention. Instead, CBT is about making very concrete changes to the way think and react to your world. For example, imagine being stuck in traffic... if you're like me, most of the time I'm okay with it, but sometimes I flip out and fly into a murderous rage... CBT is about identifying what's going on in your mind in the moments between 'calmly driving' and 'wanting to eviscerate the driver in front of you', and then changing it. In the case of depression, you'll be working on the thought patterns that are bringing your mood down.
Where I am in B.C., shrinks are charging around $140 an hour, some will work on a sliding scale. That might seem like a lot, but the beauty of CBT is it works astoundingly fast... once you find a good shrink, you'll see pretty dramatic results within 1 or 2 hours, and you might feel like you're done after 4 or 5... maybe less. I have pretty severe depression, and I keep it in check with between 4 and 8 sessions, a couple times a year. So I spend $1000 - $1500 a year on head shrinking, and it's the best money I spend... I would spend double that without a second thought. The payback in terms of quality of life is remarkable, and most people spend that much or more on car maintenance. And for your relatively mild depression, you may only need a few sessions and never go back.
Finding the right shrink is key... most will give a free initial session. If you're not feeling it after the freebie, don't go back. Make sure you like them and trust them and feel like they're earning your money.
Whether or not you seek therapy with a shrink, I highly recommend the book, "Feeling Good" by David Burns [amazon link[(http://www.amazon.ca/Feeling-Good-New-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1278729282&amp;sr=8-2). It's a CBT self help book for depression. Like all self help books, it's a little cheesy, but if you have some faith and go with it, it's pretty damn effective. It's bound to help you in some way even if you're not seriously depressed... might be the best $8.99 you ever spend.
I am lending you my strength, support and assurance! You're going to get through this, you're going to quit smoking, and you'll come out grinning ear to ear. I should know, I've been where you are...
I'm a former smoker and life-long denture wearer. I was born with a congenital tooth formation disorder (dentata imperfect) and my teeth never grew in white and beautiful. Instead I was "blessed" with teeth that were stubby, brown and flaking. I wore dentures over busted teeth from age 5. At age 24ish, I finally had all my teeth pulled. Let me tell you why it was great.... but before that:
How did I quit smoking? I'll tell you exactly. But first, let me tell you that it took me years and many many tries at quitting smoking to find my way to quit. What worked for me may not work for you, or for others. But what always works is keep on trying to quit smoking using new methods until you find the one that works for you.
After trying cold turkey (many times), laying bets, the patch, online support groups etc., I finally found freedom and withdrawal-free peace with Allen Carr's The Easy Way to Quit Smoking.
Withdrawal free, no shit. Probably why it worked for me. So try it, it really is easy. And whether or not Carr's book works for you, keep trying to quit smoking and never give up until you find what works for you. You too will find it, and it will literally be the best thing you've done yet.
And about the dentures? You're going to love 'em. Once you no longer have to hide your busted old-teeth, once you can laugh and smile and flirt freely with perfect teeth you're confidence and social success is going to soar. You know how many people wish they could have perfect teeth? And lucky you get to have them.
Be brave, be strong, keep trying until you quit for good. You're going to come out smiling and confident with your best life yet ahead of you. Sending you virtual hugs!
I could suggest lots of stuff, but I want you to learn to be okay with bringing ANYTHING up. I've told my wife the weirdest stuff and she still loves me (probably cause of my rockin' bod and hairdo). Talking about this kind of stuff used to scare me, but take those baby steps and you'll be on your way!
So, to bring it up I would just tell your husband that you discovered Love Languages today and that you found out yours is _____ and you would like to know his. You can do the quiz that's on the website, or you could even order the book.
If you are scared of him being offended, just reassure him that you want to be the best wife you can be and that you know he wants to be the best husband he can be. It'll tell you a lot about yourself and make you realize what exactly is important to you. Heck, I could even quiz you and probably help you discover your love language just in a few minutes here on Reddit. It's a simple concept, but will have huge effects.
I learned my wife's love language is Quality Time. I thought us being in the same room counted as that. I soon learned that it is much more than that. She doesn't care about being in the same room, but us having trips to ourselves, going out to do something special, and giving her my full attention. Similarly, my love language is Touch. I soon taught her that not all physical contact conveys love to me, so she now knows that instead of just patting me on the back, a kiss on the cheek shows love. There are many more examples so the stuff can get complex from a simple concept.
I think the best part about Love Languages is it gives you an easier way to bring this up. Normally you would probably say, "I wish you would do this more." If you guys read through the book or take the quiz and figure out your love languages it gives you a more scholarly (ie logical) approach to what you need rather than an emotional one. Makes the conversation easier. You could also make a game out of it and just ask him the questions and tell him the outcome and what it was for after you figure it out!
You mentioned that you went through some pretty extreme depression. What kind of treatment did you get?
There are some things this subreddit might be able to recommend, but if you're still battling with depression (remember, there's no shame in that) it's probably over our heads.
If you haven't gone through therapy, it sounds like that could be a good option for you. Remember that there is nothing wrong with getting help. Probably you know that (since you're asking here) but it's worth repeating – getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
If you can't or won't go to therapy for whatever reason, I highly recommend you pick up "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David Burns. You can get the paperback for $6 on Amazon. I think learning about cognitive distortions will really help you, as I can see a few in your post. Even if you do go to therapy, the book is worth a read.
Again, remember that this doesn't say anything about your self-worth. It's just something you're going through right now, but you can work to fix it.
As an example of some things in your post:
>a few hours after I wake up I realize that I can't fix myself
Remember that you aren't broken. You can change if you want to, but that doesn't mean you're broken. I believe in you, and you believe in yourself at least a little bit, or you wouldn't have made this post. You can do this.
>I used to eat healthier, now I'm nothing
You are not nothing. You are a human person, and nothing in the world can take that away from you. There is nothing that can take away your worth as a human being.
>I have time, I'm just not using it properly.
It's awesome that you've realized this on your own. I'm sure you've been thinking through all of this a lot, and the fact that you've reached this conclusion shows some real insight. Lots of people will never admit to themselves that they really do have the time – you're off to a good start with this.
How can you start? I don't know where you're located, but Psychology Today has a simple tool that can help you find a therapist. I'd check it out and, if the option is there, look for someone that does cognitive therapy.
Outside of steps like that, take small actions. Even micro actions. Heck, the smaller the better. These actions should be easy to start and easy to finish, but finishing them accomplishes something, anything, towards making your life better. You can check out the subreddit /r/NonZeroDay if you need ideas (and also read the post that inspired the subreddit).
Baby steps will help you build confidence. They will help you prove to yourself that you can do things that make a difference. Plus, the results of those actions will help you level up your life all on their own.
That's what I've got for you. I hope it helps, and please, please don't hesitate to ask questions or PM me.
Remember, I believe in you.
This is going to be a pretty long-winded post because most of the sentiments you are feeling right now are phases I went through are college (I am currently a senior, and though my situation has improved since the beginning of college, I am still facing some of the lingering effects of depression).
In my belief, recovering from depression has to be practical, personal, and environmental. Practical in the sense that you need to take care of yourself and the environment around you (i.e. cleaning your room (btw, I'm no Jordan Peterson fan; cleaning my room is just an easy way for me to get the day started and feel good about myself), working out, eating healthy, practicing hygiene, meditation, etc). Though it may seem like it might not have a direct effect on you, organizing yourself and your environment does give a sense of self-control and does create a better image of yourself.
As for personal, depression does not simply come from genetics (yes, I know there are cases where this is true, but in my personal belief, depression can also be defined by your past experiences and the environment you are currently in). For me, depression really came from the conflicts I had with my parents and my unpreparedness of going to college. My mom was so desperate for me to get into a good college that she ended up doing my entire art portfolio and I had to write fake comments about what those art pieces meant. Thus, when I got to a college that is well-ranked, I felt like a total sham; I felt like the education that I was receiving was not of my own, but my mother's. I was only able to really figure this out by attending four years of therapy, and even now, I'm still going through some personal struggles. The personal aspects of your life takes time to figure out, but at the same time, is also a great source of clarity.
Finally, the final aspect of recovering from depression is environmental. Without having friends and families nearby, it can worsen the effects of depression because it makes you feel isolated and feel as if you're the only crazy individual out of seemingly-normal people. For me, it's hard to interact with my family because we just did not talk to each other that often in the first place. As for friends, I did have one friend in the beginning of college, but I have felt ambivalent about it because I felt like the activities we were doing together wasn't really improving my well-being (going to bars, playing games, etc). I do appreciate the fact that I had a friend, but looking back, I wish I also had another friend who had my academic well-being in mind as well. Also, I realized that I cannot have a single friend in which I can depend on for all my needs (academic, partying, hobbies, personal introspection, etc). I realized that I need to have some friends (not a lot) that meets my different needs, and that perspective change did open up my field of view as to which friends I can make. I have some friends in which I smoke weed with, make games with, study with, and they're all not necessarily in the same group.
But that leads to the question, what if I don't have friends and family members to lean on in the first place? And that's the catch-22 aspect depression. Without friends and families to connect to, we further isolate ourselves into our rooms, breaking down the practical and personal improvements we have built for ourself. This, in turn, makes it harder to reach out to others in the first place because we're not at our best selves and we don't want to perpetuate this negative image of being depressed and not-in-control to others. Personally, I think depression is cyclical in nature, but there is a way to stop it as well. Otherwise, we would never hear stories about how people were able to recover from depression.
So then, here are some of the steps that I found useful when recovering from depression:
Here are some resources that I found helpful:
My girlfriend and I just opened up our 3 year relationship about a month ago and other posters are totally right - it's a journey and I've found this reddit community to be SO helpful (thanks everyone here!) - one thing that really helped me was reading people's sappy posts. Seeing success makes this feel easier.
For the record, I TOTALLY feel you, your second paragraph spoke to my little heart -- I am so certain about my partnership and we were so stable and ready for life before we opened up. It's been a scary process that made me feel uprooted and a heck of a lot less stable. But I truly honestly feel like nonmonogamy is SO good for helping each of us explore ourselves.
I think it's important to be flexible -- when we first discussed opening our relationship we sat down and made a moderate list of rules or boundaries based on what-ifs. But then reality happened and we realized how our rules didn't really speak to the people we really were (example: we had discussed this being open for the sake of rando hookups, but neither of us are all that casual people. Girlfriend especially prefers to have some sort of emotional connection to those she's sleeping with. So things got a whole lot less casual really fast) so we had to reconfigure our boundaries. I am certain that what we currently have set up will still continue to change.
If you've never done this before, it's important to give each other a little slack because sometimes you won't have the right words for what you're thinking and feeling. It's okay to say "this was a problem for blah-blah reason" but try not to get all doomsday about it. There will be a lot of trial and error as you sort through how to communicate and act.
Others are totally right, communicate communicate communicate. If you are feeling something, try not to overthink it and do share. That being said, know yourself -- personally I've blown things out of proportion because I haven't reflected on my feelings before talking about them - now I do a lot of writing and digging into what I'm really feeling before I bring it up and it has been much more constructive.
Don't be afraid to talk about the changes you're feeling or seeing. The relationship will change - how the two of you navigate those changes is what matters.
> I'm torn between accepting that I love this person enough to try to expand in this way and feeling like I'm settling and over-compromising
Oh I so hear that! It's really important that you try not to overcompromise. And I suppose it's worth knowing what it means to you to overcompromise. Are you just saying yes to something so you don't have to think about it anymore? Or is there growth that comes with that decision that you value and so even though in this moment it's making you nervous, you feel like it might be worth it?
Take some time to know what you need and don't be afraid to ask for that. No matter how in tune you are with someone, they're not going to know what you need if you can't state it. example: my partner and I work extremely different schedules and live in different cities (not far, but far enough that spending time together requires effort) - one of my needs is physical quality time together. At first I wanted to be cool and casual, offering that we just promise to see each other at least once a week -- but not knowing WHEN I was going to see her caused some very deep anxiety for me. So I requested that we don't set dates with other people on Sundays so that we were always available to see each other for sure on Sundays, even if it's for brunch before she goes to work, or for the evening when she gets off work (there's a second part of why this is important to me -- in past poly-relationships and even in the very beginning of our opening up, I give a wide berth when my partners are meeting new people. So wide that I'll give up our quality time, and eventually erode our relationship - this is a problem I am working through).
If you live together then you may want to talk about making an effort to have a specific date night, whatever that might mean. If you're living together it can be easy to assume you spend a lot of time together so it doesn't matter, but that time is your regular every day down time. It's important to have some special time.
It's going to take time. It's going to take talking. There are going to be mistakes and you're probably going to learn a lot more about patience and forgiveness. You might feel unsettled for a little while -- give it time. I've seen people say this a lot and it is worth saying it again -- opening your relationship is putting it on Hard Mode. But it's doable and so worth it. My biggest piece of advice is to take the time to sort through your feelings. Take time for yourself. Take time to love yourself.
Here are some resources that have helped me so far:
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I don't really know how I could change your mind honestly, because it's just my own personal experience, but I'll give it a go.
I am your height, I am slightly younger than you, 19. I grew up homeschooled, so I didn't have my first kiss till I was 18, I held my first hand at 18 too lmao, safe to say I just didn't interact with girls basically my whole adolescences. Lost my virginity at 19 to my current girlfriend.
So to summarize I am a short homeschooled kid, who has an average face and a skinny fat build, I have literally every excuse to be like you.
But I'm not, I've now had two girlfriends since I started actually trying to date in 2018, and my current girlfriend without a shadow of a doubt is extremely sexually attracted to me. Again, can't prove it to you, but you'll have to trust me.
Honestly I firmly believe most women don't care about height as much as people on the internet would have you believe.
If you're 5'11" and up, your height is an attractive feature, just like a nice face or big muscles. If you're 5'9"-5'7", your height might affect you in your dealings with other men, but I don't give a fuck about other men, to women, your height won't really play a role, except you will be taller than most women, which is attractive. and finally, our height, 5'6"-5'5", our height is for some people, an unattractive feature, but not everyone, and, the best part, we're still taller than most women, at least in america where average female height is 5'4", which again, is what most women care about, their partner being taller or as tall as them. Not to say it's impossible or even hard to date a women who is taller than you, just that many women do find it attractive if their partner is taller than them.
But again, I suppose this is all just based off my own experiences, I've never been turned down for my height, but, to be fair, I am a naturally social and charismatic person, this is an advantage that I was given, as a short guy you do in some ways have to make up for it, and work a bit harder, that's just how it is, fair? no, reality? yes.
And to my final point, I don't know shit, I'm 19, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but oh yeah, you don't know shit either you're TWENTY TWO, do you know how young that is? We're basically still kids man, in the grand scheme of things either of us trying to say anything about life with any extreme degree of certainty like "I've tried everything I could to get a girlfriend, from grooming to lifting weights to getting hobbies" is folly.
Live life and all that shit, we only get one, legit everyone in your ancestral line somehow fucked a girl, I highly doubt you'll be the end of it.
I highly recommend Models, and The subtitle art of not giving a fuck, both are fantastic and great books to read when you don't know what to do with yourself.
Good luck buddy, hope this was at least somewhat helpful.
As far as anxiety goes if it doesn’t seem too bad you can usually deal with it by yourself. I have tried medication but that just made me an emotionless zombie so I quit taking it. My anxiety is big when it comes to new activities, people, and/or places. After some introspection I believe it may be related to how hard I judge myself and mainly my fear of failure. Before I do most things I like to research so that I can be prepared and not just show up and fail.
When I don’t do that and jump in unprepared and have to do something new the anxiety spikes. I have since come to accept these moments because they happen and will continue to happen. Worrying about it won’t change the fact that is happening. People try new things/situations and fail all the time. Failure is common and an opportunity to learn. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you learn some.
I don’t expect new guys in my shop to show up and perform at the same level as others with more experience. When people try new things it is expected that they might fail. It is normal to fail. If someone points out your failure to make fun of you then they are obviously immature and lacking in manners if they make themselves feel good by putting down others.
> It's so bad now, that I don't see the need for a friend - I could live my life without concern for that, despite having had great friendships, but not without a lover.
As long as you understand that just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist if that makes any sense. Lonliness sucks.
> I'm sure I've got 1 too many bad reactions to things I've said / how I've said them, that I just don't feel comfortable being "me" from the get go now - & I'm honestly nothing bad!
This is how it works with pretty much everyone in most social situations. You start talking to them politely and little by little letting more of your personality show until you reach a point they are comfortable with. Pay attention to yourself when you are with others and you will see that you act differently with different people.
> For example, I was at a part-social, part-work related get-together, with my younger teen siblings present. I was sitting with them & 2 girls who I knew from work. So, me being me, saw some matches & went to show them a trick whereby I made a match jump erratically. My siblings obviously were amused along with previous partners, but the reactions from the 2 girls were literally, "I don't get it", belittling dialogue & yawn. I'm not Houdini, but it was just a little musing - not a date pick-up line or something :/
So they didn’t like it, big deal. You can’t make everyone happy. What do you mean “not a date pick-up line or something”? Is that what they thought it was but you weren’t trying for that or something else?
> Just wondering if there are any other sectors that are viable, like the cushy life of School (though I blew uni. 3 years of solitude went by fast).
Not sure what you mean here. Also, I never went to a university.
> I'll possibly also try picking girls up through the controversially sexist PUA concepts with a twist - I'm going for love instead of one night stands.
Do not become a PUA practitioner. Not being yourself with others is deceitful and employing manipulative techniques to win people over with a false you will result in nothing but heartache and letdown for both parties involved. There’s a reason the saying goes, “the road to hell is paved in good intentions.” Good intentions do not excuse bad practice. Don’t you want someone to love you for who you are?
I wouldn’t want to be with someone who fell for the fake me over some manipulative techniques. By all means though go and explore the PUA community and form your own opinion. I’ve already done that and you can see how I feel about it.
> The skill of socializing Is something I'm going to need to work on - but is this something only available via practice in the real world / deep end?
Do scientist go out and practice real world applications without first researching? Some yes but most of the ones that make progress do not. We are past the age of being young and dumb were it was acceptable to make many mistakes socializing. As adults we are expected to at least be good at socializing and practicing social norms. Some of use are behind the curve and that is where the greatest information resource of all time comes in. I’m talking about the internet , of course, but books too. Now start researching but remember book smarts alone aren’t always enough. You must combine book smarts with experience to have a more fruitful outcome.
> This really is my current & largest ever life goal.
That makes sense because in a world full of people being able to properly socialize is one of the most important skillsets.
Here are some of the resources that I have used and have gained knowledge from.
r/Bumble subreddit for the dating app
r/datingoverthirty You may not be over thirty but there’s still a lot of good advice in there
r/malefashionadvice if you want to expand your wardrobe
r/swipehelper and by extension SwipeHelper.com This is a good resource for Tinder.
r/WritingPrompts because you said you like writing
Photofeeler for getting feedback on pictures you may want to use in the online dating sphere
How to Win Friends & Influence People The book was written a while ago so the situation may be outdated but the principles can still be applied today.
Models: Attract Women Through Honesty
From the description;
> “Models is the first men's dating book ever written on seduction as a purely emotional process rather than a logical one, a process of connecting with women rather than impressing them, a process of self-expression rather than manipulation. It's the most mature and honest guide on how a man can attract women without faking behavior, without lying and without emulating others. A game-changer.”
The Definitive Book of Body Language: The Hidden Meaning Behind People's Gestures and Expressions
We can continue our discussion here but if have any questions in the future I am just a PM away. I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to share my experiences.
As a "unicorn", I feel I can add a little advise:
I feel you have gotten a lot of advise as to how to approach your bf. I want to add more in terms of how to approach girls, as, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking is more likely than not that he will agree to proceed. In my experience men tend to be pretty understanding and supportive of their gfs/wives being bi and wanting to bring a girl into the bedroom for both to play with. ;)
Let me know if you have any questions. Best of luck! ;)
First of all - he should be figuring out these things by himself. You're not his therapist.
But it won't hurt if you understand how it all works, and have some tricks in your sleeve.
As for using the phone when takking to you - are you sure he's not listening? I used to date a girl with adhd, she was on the phone all the time, but we managed to have meaningful ocnversations in the meantime. But perhaps it was because of my adhd - the same style of chaotic conversations...
With my past non adhd gf - on some subjects - like her work - I just simply couldn't focus however much I tried. I was gone in 30s top. We acknowledged that, made fun out of it, and discussed other things :)
On the other way, if we sound a subject that was interesting for me, I was praised for being super insightful - by most of my partners.
If you need/want his attention on something less than exciting, I think you need to raise his dopamine levels
As for the housework... uh, that's difficult. We're not good with details. I spent a lot of time practicing the house duties, but however much I try I just cannot keep certain standards. There are some good books on learning housework though - this one was an amazing read: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308 . Helped me a lot.
Also, optimizing some things in the cleaning process. I absolutely despised vacuuming until I bought a wireless dyson. No messing with cables, I just grab it and clean the house.
Perhaps there are other things he can do that could make up for the lack of attention into the housework? E.g. my gf did a bit more of housework, but I prepared saturday morning breakfasts for her, and did other things.
Or there are some kinds of housework that he's better than the others? I'm absolutely shitty when it comes to keeping stuff organised and in its place, but taking out trash, washing dishes etc - no problem with that!
As for the spontanaiety - we split up after 8 years. We worked out everything else, but me not being to invite friends ad hoc was something I couldn't live without.
Having said that.. many adhdrs have problems falling asleep. Perhaps he's inviting friends over when he feels his mind is still racing and he cannot unwind? (He may not even realize it's that)
Adhdrs sleeping problems are due to low dopamine, so regular remedies like camomile or simply turning off the distractors doesn't help that much. When I'm low on dopamine, I will just lie in bed and my thoughts will be racing literally for hours.
Solutions to this, aside from the ones mentioned before... Meditaion, relaxation, sport in the evening. Also, if you guys are into massages, that works brilliantly. You could tell him he can invite friends but first you'll give him a massage (and he'll massage you in return). A high chance he'll unwind enough and tell you he's fine. No promises though :)
Of course I'm not saying that you should tolerate all his quirks, and absolve him of the housework. It's more about figuring out which part is easier for whom. And keeping in mind that some of his faults come with some of his awesome parts - he could be on meds 24/7 - you wouldn't have the problems you mentioned at all, but then many things you love about him would disappear as well...
Also, like the others said - meds are just a part of solution, and a good therapy/counselling will help him figure it out all. Some people use adhd as an excuse to avoid difficult things altogether :( It's him who should be on this sub now, hyperfocusing on how to make it all work!
> You might be thinking: then what happened before I started doing my homework? I didn’t develop IPT2048 and played other incremental games instead. After I published IPT2048 v2.1, for the entire week I was playing The Perfect Tower, NGUIdle, Almost a Hero, Scrap Clicker 2, etc.
Yo. Punishing yourself mentally for having anxiety about your cool little project you care deeply about isn't going to help you progress with anything.
My guess is: you're overwhelmed with the expectations you've set for yourself, and it seems extremely difficult to conquer your targets to the level of perfection that you can't possibly not achieve. You're anxious that you're not going to get it done perfectly, so instead of lowering your standards, you keep yourself from doing it at all, because then, you can't fail at all.
Problem is, you can't succeed that way, either. You're young. It will do you well to learn so early on that the reason you're anxious is because you want everything to work out to the utmost of expectations, because you care deeply about it. I think you know that it's a good thing that you care, but in your head, the tape keeps playing over and over of how some things can go wrong, and since it's louder than your desire to make it work, you stop yourself from working.
I've read an article in Scientific American about how one researcher considers addiction a learning disability. She was clever and learned things at a faster rate than most (I think this is your situation, as well). But then, when things started to get overwhelming — like after she got to the university or something — she started to find solace in drugs, because they helped her relax and not worry about things too much. At some point, she said, she was so attached to doing light drugs — like marijuana — that she'd forgotten to do the actual work of studying. She put it aside because it bothered her too much, and enjoyed drugs because they gave her the opposite.
Her thinking was: she got into drugs because she was clever. She learned all things quickly; she'd also learned quickly that drugs help overcome her fears — and it didn't matter at the time that she pushed the important work — the kind of work that made her a better person and a more capable specialist — aside.
I don't know whether it's true, but I certainly notice similar threads in my life. I learn well. I get things quickly that others struggle with. I excel. I also enjoy a lot of procrastinating and putting things off because they seem too difficult or are too scary to undertake.
As I got older, I came to realize how baseless those fears really are. It's not that the work is scary: it's that I think it would hurt me to do it, when there's no real reason for me to think that way. I give the negatives much more weight than I do the positives. The fear of failure, therefore, starts to rule my decision-making — and the only place I can possibly end up in when it's at the helm is in a rut, on the sidewalk of life, hoping that someone would come pick me up and help me get where I want to go.
Now, imagine this. There are two people in your life. You know both a little bit; you've spent some time chatting, so you kind of know where they're coming from when they say what they say. One day, one of them starts telling you about this cool new project they have the idea for. They describe it in great detail: all the cool features, all the awesome user interactions, all the potential — and then go on listing the reasons why they can't take it up. "It's too big!". "I can't make it all by myself!". "People would probably not like it".
The other person tells you about their current pet project too. It's not ambitious: just a little app that helps people in a small area. Maybe it's a shopping list app. Maybe it reminds users to take their medication. Maybe it sends autoreplies to certain SMS and emails. The person has some codebase ready, they've read the app store license agreements (for which they have some questions they mean to ask people who know something about it), they ask you if you'd like to test it once it's ready, to work out the kinks in design before official release.
Of those two people, whom would you rather help when they ask? The one that does nothing for themselves and always looks for the reason not to do what they think would be "really cool", or the one who gets things done and keeps things on the level where they understand it?
You might be tempted to start arguing the first person's case. Don't. You know what I mean, and you know I'm right.
You seem to be doing pretty good so far. People have spoken to the quality of your work — and to the nature of those who make "cool idea" posts. You actually accomplish things, and people respect that. So should you.
Take a step back. Leave the project to rest for a while. Take a deep breath, get what things you need to have done first so that nothing bothers you, and when you're ready, come back and see what you can do. There's no hurry, there's no rush, there's no expectations or a timeline. It's your project: you can, quite literally, do whatever you want with it. Continue it, scrap it, rework it, stop it — it's in your hands, as is the goals you set for yourself.
In the meantime, I'd recommend reading something on anxiety and productivity. I have no links for you, since everything I read is piecemeal: a little insight here, a little advice there, an overview from an unrelated book and a personal story from a videogame. That said, I would recommend Raptitude — a blog about mindful living and finding peace in a troubling world. David writes on a variety of issues, and you might just find something that speaks to you.
I would also have liked to recommend A Subtle Art of Not Giving a F-ck by Mark Manson to you, but I think you're not on the level to get as much benefit from it as I did. I started soulsearching when I was about your age, and it took me until now to come to understand life and living enough to be able to apply Mark's advice. Feel free to read it if you're curious, but I wouldn't expect much of it if I were you. It might not make much sense right now.
Take your time. Breathe. Focus on things you can do. Set the bar low and overperform.
I thought you were my SO when I read your post!
I can tell you, as a man, in my mid-30's, who loves to cook (raised in a family of chefs), I get very frustrated with a few things when I'm cooking for a SO. Add in: I'm a perfectionist, lawyer who is a stereo typical "Type A to everyone else in the world (MR. Tough Guy, hear me roar!), but I'm really a Type B deep down inside (Roaring makes me exhausted...)." Over the years, I have learned to settle down, but it took a bit: A LOT of patience from my SO, couple's counseling, and reading a few books.
From my perspective, I want everything to be perfect. (I know, I know. It can't be. Working on that...) I want the meal to be plated and put down on the table exactly when the main / sides finish AT THE SAME TIME. It frustrates me to no avail when everything is on the table, and my SO is walking around the house, NOT eating. &%#%#&*@!!!
(╯ಠ_ಠ）╯︵ ┻━┻ (edit: added /u/spaghettirobotti 's emoticon)
But, I've come to realize that's just the way it is.
What has helped me calm down in the kitchen is my SO talking to me in a very, very gentle way about how I'm a perfectionist and I need to calm the f down. She started with a lot of "I feel ____ when you're upset that we don't eat right when the meal is put on the table." "I love that you take the time to cook, and I appreciate it so much. I want you to know my favorite meals, so we can enjoy them together." "It's been a long day, I'm really craving pasta, but I can't eat it because of our dietary restrictions. I've found nuking it a bit in the microwave gives it more of that pasta mouth-feel." Give him the opportunity to be open with you. I'm sure he looks at it as if he's providing for you, he's doing daily acts of service, and he [REALLY] wants to please you and he's being vulnerable with his food (see below, food is art).
Some other things that have helped me. 1) My SO and I started going to couples counseling. Up until then, no one had ever taught me how to be in a functioning, working relationship. Sure, my parents stuck together, but they weren't in the best place and I didn't learn how to truly be in a relationship until my early 30's. 2) I read a bunch of books... Seriously. I found so much clarity in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. And I figured out how my SO felt loved with this one: 5 Love Languages. Both of these books had such an impact on my relationship.
I totally get where your SO is coming from. It's like bearing your soul to the world when you cook something. Just like an artist or singer showcases their talent and wants positive feedback. It can be tough for men, especially if at one time he was a professional cook / baker, to put their "food" out there and not get great feedback. I say "food" because for people who take cooking very seriously, it's our art.
Cooking healthy can be very tricky. No one grew up with their Mom teaching them the family recipe for spaghetti squash or cauliflower pizza crust. I have found two books that are amazing in this area:
Daniel Walker's Against All Grain Meals Made Simple, and her other book, Paleo Recipes. Walker's primary focus is to collect recipes for people with dietary restrictions / gastrointestinal problems / allergies. I cook 3-4 meals per week from them. If I want pasta, I'll sub out the squash; flour tortillas swapped for lettuce, etc. But the meals are VERY good (my favorites are the Ropa Vieja and Slow Cooker Orange Chicken). It also has a great spaghetti squash recipe. ;)
I hope this helps. Good luck!
I'm sure that a lot of your complaints here are justified but one stood out to me and needs to be addressed. Obviously what I'm writing is only relevant if you really want to work to salvage things. If not, you've gotten some good advice elsewhere in this thread.
> "I don't feel loved." But I just brought you flowers and surprised you with a nice dinner.
As much as you'd like to believe otherwise, this is a legitimate concern and you are just dismissing it. Feeling loved is a complicated issue if you let it be. Or it can become really simple. Different people feel and express love differently. What might be meaningful to you and would make you feel loved might be meaningless to her. And that's ok. Everyone's different. But it is your job to figure out what "being loved" means to her and then it's your job to do whatever that is. The book The 5 Love languages makes this really easy. Figure out what her primary love languages is and then "speak" that language. It makes a huge difference.
I'm not trying to pick on you or make it out to be all your fault. I'm sure it's not. But this is one thing that you've mentioned that you do have influence over. When both parties in a relationship really feel loved it's crazy how many of those other problems can be resolved quickly and easily. And both parties feeling loved often starts with one person making the effort to make the other feel loved. I wish you the best of luck.
> my info: im a super nerd. like i follow the pro starcraft scene and love space, science math etc. in really tall and am fairly lanky.
That's not necessarily bad... but if you want to do well with women, you'd be well served to not look the part of a "super nerd." Dress fashionably, but with a unique edge that sets your style apart from others. If you need help figuring out how to do that, hit up some of your female friends for advice, peruse GQ or Esquire or Mens Vogue, whatever.
> I tend to only have crushes on best friends and my last crush was when i was 17 (different person). Ive been caled a sweet heart and get frustrated when guys are disrespectful.
Guys get like that when they are scared to break rapport with women, and the only thing they can do is try to use pure "comfort game" to get close to the girls. Unfortunately, the result - as you may have noticed - is not usually favorable. Building comfort is important, but you have to do more... if you want girls, you have to project the vibe of a confident, mature, masculine, "in control", sexual man who "gets it." The "nerdy, insecure, shy, awkward teenage geek" vibe is a lot less effective.
> Ive been caled a sweet heart and get frustrated when guys are disrespectful.
You probably have both Nice Guy Syndrome and a touch of Disney Fantasy. I highly recommend you read the Dr. Robert Glover book No More Mr. Nice Guy, and the Neil Strauss book The Game. The former should help you understand more about asserting yourself, establishing boundaries, and being more authentic in your interactions with people. The latter will blow your mind in regards to understanding how men and women interact.
After that, it might not hurt to read Way of the Superior Man by Dave Deida.
Also, to disabuse yourself of the notion that women are all sweet and pure and innocent and virtuous and made of light (or sugar and spice and puppy dog tails, whatever) spend some time reading stuff like My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday, or The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex by Barbara Keesling, or Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life.
Finally, read Sperm Wars by Robin Baker. That will make a great many things much clearer.
Female here, but have been in the same boat. Grew up super isolated, so I spent a lot of my 20s on my own and really lonely. Now have several solid friendships, a lot of acquaintances and dating prospects. So, I see myself as a success story. A lot of people on here are saying they’ve given up or feel hopeless, but I’m here to tell you it can change.
That loneliness shit is universal/literally an epidemic at this point. It has a lot to do with how our modern society is structured; hyper-independence is lauded, but actually unnatural. It’s not a reflection on you and your likability or lack there of.
(read “Loneliness - Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection” for more info. It helped me see it wasn’t something inherently wrong with me, but just something everyone experiences. Some people moreso because of practical things like not socialized properly in childhood, lacking skills, etc. It also gives a lot of info of how to get out of the lonely headspace). https://www.amazon.ca/Loneliness-Human-Nature-Social-Connection/dp/0393335283
Also therapy, both individual and group, helped me learn social skills and build connections that got me healthier socially.
(Read “Attached” to learn more about how your style of relating to others may be unhealthy, with guidance on how to improve it.)
Basically, a quick recipe is:
Is it: a lack of social skills? You can learn those. Tons of psych articles out there.
A lack of confidence? Start building it through changing your thoughts about yourself (cbt, self-coaching, etc). And figure out things that make you happy and do more of them.
A lot of social (and normal) confidence comes from how others treat us, so if you’re not getting a lot of positive feedback from other humans, get a pet that loves the shit out of you, some online pals, or GET A THERAPIST. A good one will make you feel valued and respected and welcome. Those feelings and that long term connection will build our confidence subtly but naturally.
And then when in very socially-focussed environments, see if there’s anyone that YOU find interesting (instead of focusing on whether or not they’ll find you interesting) and go talk to them. Aim for having a good convo and maybe being fb friends. Take it from there.
You all got this, dude friends. There is legit hope/resources out there to change, both tour mindset and your situation. I believe in you!
Where to begin? In general, you can start by reading up about this. One well recomended book is Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships and The Ethical Slut. I think reading about this would help you inform yourself about non-monogamy and help remove your bias, even if this lifestyle is not for you.
About that. You had one relationship that didn't work out too well, and then made a blanket decision about everyone who's non-monogamous because of that. That's not fair, it would be like being mad at all waiters because one gave you bad service, or hating a gay person because one gay person was inappropriate and aggressive towards you, or hating a race or nationality of folks because you had a bad experience with someone of that race. Your one non-monogamous experience with your ex is not indicative of all non-monogamous people or all non-monogamous relationships. You are not in the position to judge someone else's life path, you don't have enough information to do that. Some folks may be emotionally broken and unable to control their sexual impulses but they don't have to be non-monogamous to have these issues. There are plenty of non-monogamous folk that are cool, emotionally healthy and grounded, and respectful of their primary and secondary partners, just as there are folks who have healthy monogamous relationships. Blanket judgement doesn't help you wrap your head around the problem.
All that said, based off of your little post here it seems to me you are just getting to know this new lady, and you're talking about what interests you both sexually. You like her, and you want her to be happy, but you have to consider yourself as well. You may not be the kind of person who can handle a non-monogamous relationship. You may do everything right, communicate, make sure mutual trust is established and maintained, reassure each other when you're feeling insecure or inadequate, and still not be emotionally ok with the situation. We have to honor ourselves as well as be good giving and game to our partners. If you ignore those twinges and don't at the very least talk about what is bothering you, those feelings will fester. If I were to make a guess that might be a part in why the last relationship didn't work out.
At the beginning of every relationship trust needs to be established and built on, this may mean you will need her to be monogamous with you for a time. Maybe not forever, but for you to feel secure you need to know her and build that trust (and to give yourself time to learn more and to roll this around in your head). She may not be ok with that, she might want to start open and stay open always. If that's the case you two are not compatible, and that's ok. Better you find out now than to get yourself all twisted over something that will never work out. My point is that for you though, you clearly need time to establish trust and security at the very least, and you may never be emotionally ok with having your own relationship be open. She may be ok with that. Y'all need to talk this out and be clear about what you're ok with. Be clear with yourself too. You don't have to have all the answers, but you should at least be honest with her about what bothers you about this. Maybe you can work it out, but saying nothing will most likely lead to this not working out. Communication is the key to all successful relationships.
Absolutely. I'm glad you asked and I hope I can be helpful.
I know it can be very difficult to stop consumerism within us because we've been advertised to our entire lives. We've been told that material possession equates to success and self-worth. The more we have, the better we are. You and I can read these sentences I wrote and recognize how stupid that idea is. Yet, advertising is so good that even the knowledge that we're being advertised to doesn't always prevent that same advertising from working on us. Advertising is based on exploiting human psychology. That's why it works. Just know that it's very difficult to ignore advertising on a subconscious level. We're only human. We will fail. We will make mistakes. Recognizing all this is a good first step.
It's important to practice desiring less. When you want something, stop yourself and think about it. Think about your motivations. Why do you want it? Is there a real justification for acquiring something? Is it a true need, or just a want? If it's simply a want, well, tell yourself you want it but you don't need it and move on. Try to thwart the desire for that thing at the source. Desire for a thing is like sexual lust... it's only human to feel that way, but you don't need to act on it.
It's a constant practice, desiring less. It's difficult. Possibly the most difficult thing a human can do. But desire leads to disappointment and suffering. Desire is temporary, but if we play that desire out to its end, often times the fruits of that desire can be disappointing and longlasting. But if you don't need something, if you don't desire, you're that much more free... "Nah, I don't need that." You become unflappable. More in control. But don't kid yourself... it's hard. Keep practicing.
If you're looking to get rid of stuff you already have that isn't bringing you happiness, I recommend Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." It's become quite a popular book and for good reason. It really makes you think about why you have stuff and how that stuff functions in your life.
If you want to work on internalizing the idea of desiring less, take a look at /r/buddhism. It's important that if you start reading Buddhist texts that you realize that Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. Buddhism's main tenant is "freedom from desire is the path to enlightenment." It's a very deep rabbit hole to go down and a lifetime of study. For a more modern take on Buddhist teaching, I love Pema Chodron. I also really love Anthony DeMello and Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Another great place to look is /r/stoicism and in particular "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius was emperor of Rome, but that didn't stop him from living a life of equanimity and mindfulness. His book "Meditations" is more like a private diary, in which he reminds himself on how to live a good life.
“We need to master the art of acquiescence. We need to pay attention to our impulses, making sure they don’t go unmoderated, that they benefit others, that they’re worthy of us. We need to steer clear of desire in any form and not try to avoid what’s beyond our control.” -- Meditations, 11.37 (Hays translation)
I hope that this stuff can get you started on your journey. Just know that you don't need to be perfect. You don't need to flip a switch and completely change who you are to be a success at any of this. It's a process and it's a practice. Failure is okay. Don't beat yourself. Just try. Just keep practicing this stuff every day and it will add up. You can do it.
Most, not all, of these other responses are more in line with "why" quit gaming or how to balance it, but your question is HOW did I quit.
So here's the framework, then following that are my personal steps.
Framework 1: If you remove 5 hours of gaming, you don't have to replace it with 5 hours of super productive life habits. I removed 5-6 hours of gaming a day but it enabled me to add 1-2 hours of health/fitness, and some time to eat better, then I slept an hour earlier, etc., but I still dicked around and did useless shit for 2-3 hours of that 5 hours of previous gaming time. It doesn't have to be 1:1 bad habit removal to amazing habit add in. I still sit on Twitch and zone out for an hour or two here and there while I browse the internet, but it's easy to put it down and go to the gym or not wait until I'm starving to eat, which makes it easier to eat better.
Framework 2: Identify your level of addiction. Mine is a proper addiction. I think I can reinstall and play within reason today...for a week...a month...6 months...but at SOME point I fall off the wagon and to the bottom of the well. So I have to legit just straight up accept that I don't have the discipline to play in moderation like other people.
Framework 3: With any habit you have to analyze what it is rooted in. In my gaming habit it was a few things:
So here's what I did...
On my spreadsheet I have had days where I ate like shit or drank or missed days in a row of the gym. Far from perfect. My reading habit hasn't taken hold like I wanted it to. But I'm fucking HAPPIER. And you know what column is PERFECT in my spreadsheet? The gaming one. That's my keystone habit. That's my FIRST domino. Find yours and make incremental, deliberate changes.
Message me if you wanna chat, I got your back.
PS: Read this: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-What-Life-Business/dp/081298160X
I just read your post and felt empathy for your situatiom. I've been in a similar one myself (I have a small penis and trouble with premature ejaculation). For a long time I thought that I couldnt pleasure women because of it, but I've since changed my mind and I am actually enjoying a trusting and fulfilling relationship right now.
The secret to this is quite simple: girls in general doesn't like to get fucked as much as porn or other men (who are educated through porn) would have is believe. What girls care about is one thing: connection. Trust me.
I'm going to take a wild guess here, but I believe that what you want is to give a woman pleasure. I'll say it again: pleasure. The ultimate way to affirm that you've given someone pleause is that she orgasms right? Now ask yourself: what is it that makes most women experience this pleasure?
Answer: oral sex in a safe and trusting environment that makes the woman feel appreciated and beautiful. This is what makes most women feel appreciated and once I realized it's actually true (by asking people what they enjoyed and reading up on it - see for example the Kinsey Report http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_Reports and Masters and Johnson http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_and_Johnson) I decided to try the following:
I've tried this on several women since, and trust me - size queens and petite and shy women enjoy themselves tremendously and make sounds of ecstacy in bed with me. And it's my tounge and fingers that makes them come back and choose me over well hung alphas.
TL;DR - The cock is inferior to the tounge in giving pleasure. If you do it right. Women are not cock-hungry beasts, men are the ones who perpetuate that myth.
This is gonna be hard for you to do, but try not to invest your ego in her ability to orgasm.
I know that sounds weird, and you're probably thinking, "but I'm investing my ego in my ability to make her orgasm." Nah, no one can make someone orgasm. Yes, my girlfriend has hands, mouth, and pussy delivered from heaven that makes me feel pleasure I didn't know mortals could know, but the reason I orgasm (or don't) is because of my mental state. If I'm preoccupied, I'm going to have a much harder time coming, whether I'm using my own hand, or if my girlfriend is riding me.
I'm going to take your girlfriend at her word, that she loves being intimate with you and has made her peace with not having orgasms. I'm sure she would enjoy orgasms, they are the definition of pleasure, but if she can't get herself to cum, there is no reason you should beat yourself up for not being able to make her cum.
The best thing you can do for your girlfriend at this point is continue to let her know, both verbally and (more importantly) nonverbally, that you love every single part of her body. If you love eating pussy, kiss her pussy while you're kissing the rest of her body. If you love her ass, make sure you pay attention to it when she's just walking around the house. And it never hurts to pin her to the wall and kiss her just because, you know, she's there.
Finally, I recommend that you read She Comes First by Ian Kerner. That book is more than a series of tips and tricks to hit a woman's sexy buttons. It's a complete narrative that describes the attitude a sexual partner should take when developing a relationship.
Seems like a couple of things going on here: one, how you are feeling, and two, how to make real friends. First, if you are willing to try reading a "self-help" book to feel better then I would recommend the book Feeling Good by David Burns. He basically identifies simple ways to get passed typical thoughts we all have that cause us to feel bad so we can start feeling better. It helped me a lot when I needed it and I've never really gone back to feeling bad the way I used to. I used to talk myself into feeling bad but now that I'm aware of how I was doing that, I know how to avoid it. If you are not into self-help books then just forget it.
Second, making "real" friends is more complicated because there is no checklist to know if someone fits in the real friend category. Each friend is unique and you kinda have to take them as they are. Think about this, everyone in the world is just trying to figure things out like everyone else. No one but God (you said you're religious) really knows what life is all about--even your parents. The saddest and loneliest person, and the person who seems to have it all together, each one is just doing their best to make it in this world. We are all the same in that way. Knowing that everyone struggles helps me realize that everyone needs "real" friends just as bad as I do.
That leads me to some actions that I take that help me make friends (some friends are closer than others). I try to treat people kindly knowing that they are struggling in the world too. Even people who are annoying or I don't really like that much. I know they have troubles too so I try to be nice, smile, hold the door for them, pick up something they dropped, whatever. When you're kind to other people that way, it can actually make you feel better about yourself as a human being--especially if you are NOT expecting to get anything in return. It doesn't mean these people are going to be your friend. But you would be surprised about one thing. Other people will notice that you are a kind person and most people want to be friends with kind people. Don't you? Also, when you are happy with yourself for being kind, it can actually make you feel better about yourself. People will notice that too, that you are happy with the kind person your are. After that, friendship depends on how much time you spend with each other talking, eating meals, playing games, whatever. If you don't spend time doing things together, it is not possible to become real friends. The more time you spend together doing things, the better friends you will be.
I'm glad you wrote this. Obviously you are not suffering alone. We are all just trying to make it in this world. It's nice that we can help each other out a little bit.
Tldr: stop comparing, create your own path and be your actualized self.
you need stop comparing. True humanity is being humane. Nothing more. All those things you just listed are things people do to get some satisfaction and in the process we have made them ideals and therefore unreachable standards. Just think about how much ads we see a day, how we are trying to impress the others to look above average. The classical ideals of fame and fortune are utopian.
The thing to realize is that 90% of all humans are average in every aspect, 5 % exceeds expectations and meets the actual standards, the other 5 % is below average and don't have that great odds to get a more humane live. I am talking about genetics here, not about external factors like culture and location. This is evolution.
Where others don't have adhd, the chances are pretty high that they lack in other areas, think handicaps or other health issues or anything that one can hinder in being his true self.
I believe we need be proud to be average this makes us humble and thankfull for that wich we do have. Even the smallest things like seeing or thinking.
It can be hard to strive to those standards we are always trying to reach, for if not those ideals what else has meaning in life?
A tree. A tree is a tree, and nothing more. A bird is a bird nothing more. A amoeba is a amoeba. That's how nature works. Humankind is the only species among with a few other primates that strives to change its self into something else, something more. Why? Why should we do that? No one ever got happy from it and only suffered and made others suffer. That's what's most sports and war is all about.
So I say let us practice the 'modern' stoic way. Don't say I am in it to win it. But internalize your goals. Make it. I am Going to try to do my best. And what is your best? That's being the truest form of your self. See the difference? When you are in it to win it your serenity depends on something you don't control. It's better to put it somewhere you do have control over, like your expectations. Your own personal standards.
Humanity is being human. And you are you. So stand in it. Practice your actual self. With your abilities and disabilities. As is. Accept that. Do not compare it against society. Think of it like you are the only one on earth. How would you feel about your actual self if this was the case?
This is not something I figured out my self but the ancient Greeks and Roman's already lived this way thousands of years under the movement of stoicism.
I mainly got these techniques and thoughts out of this book wich I really recommend, it's a bit though but if are interested in the history is a good read else you can skip to part 2 or 3 of the book the guide to the good life - the ancient art of stoic joy by William Irvine
An other more modern take on certain aspects of stoicism is the subtle art of not Giving a fuck - an counterintuitive approach of living a good life
Note: self help books only help if you are open to them and want to read them, not if you are urged by an external peer to read them
especially for people with adhd these really help and give some solid techniques on how to handle life. It made me so much more confident in my self. From being a shy r/niceguys pushover to an independent man who knows how to love himself and not get upset by daily life. All the while being actually happy, content and innerly calm and serene.
Here you go:
The NUMBER ONE thing that helped my BPD tendencies was meditation, which I did as part of getting sober. It allowed me to find a pause between the emotion and my reaction. I still FEEL the same shit I used to - but I do not feel controlled by it any longer.
My favorite meditation teacher is Tara Brach. She posts all of her meditations online and on her podcast. Her book 'Radical Acceptance' was a life changer for me.
I also use a lot of binaural beats meditations (you can find these on Spotify or YouTube, I use the Profound Meditation Program by iAwake Technologies).
I have immensely enjoyed Sam Harris' book Waking Up which is about developing a spiritual practice without religion. He has an excellent podcast but it is expressly NOT about mental health, I just think he has a lot of great perspective to share.
Susan Elliot - Getting Past Your Breakup - this book looks like a cheesy self help book but it was awesome. Really really wonderful exercises. I also got her workbook.
Susan Anderson - Journey from Abandonment to Healing - this book was the first one I read, it was very helpful in understanding the science of what is happening in rejection and abandonment. This was useful because it allowed me to see my reactions were very, very normal.
Vicki Stark - Runaway Husbands - very specific book about men who walk out without warning. This helped me identify warning signs and feel less alone.
Lessons From The End of a Marriage - this blog is from Lisa Arends. Her story is hard to read. But this is the best divorce blog I've ever read! Such wonderful advice here.
Glennon Doyle Melton - First the Pain, then The Rising - I watched this every single day for a month. For a while, it was the only fucking thing that got me out of bed.
Overcomer podcast - hosted by a woman I met in one of the support groups, just lots of great insight on abandonment recovery.
Attached - great book on attachment theory
DBT Workbook - this is a GREAT resource on how to build distress tolerance and skills to face a lot of BPD type issues. DBT was a therapy style designed for BPD.
Edit to add: Forgot the best one!
Pema Chodron - When Things Fall Apart - Pema is a buddhist nun and I absolutely love her. She became buddhist when her husband left her. This book is incredible. So much wisdom! I always carry my Pocket Pema with me, literally Pema is THE BEST! She also has a lot of recorded talks that I find so calming to listen to.
Just a few things that come to mind:
Self-Awareness> There are a lot of ways to work on this and most of them are worth trying. An effective goal might be to find some things that work for awhile, and prepare yourself to seek out other options when those don’t offer the same effectiveness. I’m pretty sure that when we dedicate the time to it, we provide ourselves with information that empowers us to make the decisions that bring about our idea of success.
Expectations> Most of us don’t want to fail. A lot of us feel like if we don’t meet the expectations that we’ve set for ourselves then we’re failures. This often causes some of us to avoid things that we feel we won’t “succeed” at. Hey, I’m not saying we shouldn’t set high goals for ourselves... but when we don't meet our expectations, maybe we could slowly get better at treating ourselves with the kind of love and encouragement that we would extend to our most loved of loved ones when they "fail."
Exercise> God damn it I hate exercise. I wore a button in fifth grade that said: I’m too out of shape to exercise. I’m thirty-nine now and I’ve still never had a consistent workout regimen. For a lot of us, this shit is probably harder than everything else we’ll consider in this thread. But there’s plenty of evidence to show that when the rest of our body is functioning at a more optimal level that we have more tools to work with, and that our tools are more effective. I hate exercise.
Group Discussion> Last year I attended an intensive outpatient group therapy program. This was my first experience with group therapy and I freaking love that shit. I learned that the gems to mine from this experience have very little to do with whoever is leading the group or which organization is providing the facility... as long as you feel like everyone is given the opportunity to share without reproach. Empathy is what it’s all about. The more courageous you are about sharing your struggles, the more empowered your fellow group members will be to do the same. When empathy is flowing freely most people are able to recognize some of their own cognitive distortions, AND help others find their own. Not every group is going to function well, but I think it’s well worth the effort to find on that does. You might start with looking into a DBSA group near you. My advice would be to look for one with 10-15 attendees. If you've got insurance that will cover it, you might check into an Intensive Outpatient Group Therapy program offered by a local hospital.
Books> These are just a few that have offered me some help—and a few that I just acquired but haven’t read yet.
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Also, this is me patting you on the back lovingly and then turning it into a hug:
Did you feel it?
Disclaimer: I’m currently doing pretty poorly at all of these things.
Congrats. You've made an amazing first step in the right direction. Change is a road, and the only thing that matters is that you keep making progress toward your goal destination, no matter how small.
People in this thread have given you great advice on what changes to make, and I'm sure this has gotten you thinking about the idea of making choices. All of this will be helpful as you start identifying the ways you want to improve your lifestyle.
I'm a behavior designer: I design programs and services that help people change behavior, and what I'd like to offer is something slightly different. I think one of your biggest priorities should be how you think about change. Or rather, if choices and changes are the "what", what I want to talk to you about is the "how". Change is hard, and you're going to need an army of "how" on your side.
Willpower (aka, the ability to choose the "what" in the moment) is a fickle thing, it tends to dwindle as we move through our day, making it extremely easy to fall back into old habits. The good news is that there are ways we hack our tendency to self-sabotage. Here are some things you can do to tackle the "how", to make sure the changes you're trying to make ultimately stick and succeed.
If you get into this idea, there's a ton of great resources out there to help you learn more about the "how. Try BJ Fogg's Tiny Habits, read "Willpower" and "The Power of Habit". Take a look at The Gospel of /u/Ryans01 - a reddit post on change that's better than what I read from most behavioral scientists out there.
Finally, remember to stay positive, and know there's an army out here who's proud of you and ready to help in whatever way we can!
Hmm. Sounds like a lot of negative bias (...went and got better friends...How do you know?). Unless you suspect/know that as a friend, you haven't had any real practice at making, having and keeping a good friend or two. I've known people who had tons of friends, and were always going off to do something or other in some group or another. That wasn't and isn't me.
First things first, let's get rid of the negativity. This book was recommended to me by my therapist. I link it this way so you can read the reviews and an excerpt. It's been in print for over 20 years, so there's definitely something there. I have given several copies as gifts to friends and family.
I felt better (in a "Hey! I'm OK! And it's going to get better") -kind of way, after the first section (50 pages). If you can be honest with yourself, you can change the way the life looks.
Since it's been in print so long, it's almost definitely at your local library.
Oh, and the "being a better friend" part of everything? It will take some concentration, and maybe even some list-making, but, can you picture the person you admire most, because of the way they treat people?
That's the template for you. Write down everything that impresses/pleases/surprises you about that person.
There's your "personal improvement list". But I'll spot you one. If you want to become closer to someone you've met, ask if there are any "get around to it" projects you could help them with. Shared labor, donating time for a less-than-wonderful task just because you like the person, these are some of the things that cement a friendship. Go out of your way to help the people you really like, ask nothing in return, and come and go from their presence with a smile on your face. You will be thought of as a good person to be around just on those qualities alone. "Cast your bread upon the waters" is the way the Christian Bible puts it
Friendship is either stupid easy, or it requires some maintenance, like perennial plants. But as Vince Lombardi said, "Once you set a goal for yourself, the price you pay is immaterial".
If you believe you can be a better level of friend, you've got nothing to lose but your loneliness by trying to help yourself attain that goal by changing your worldview, vis-a-vis what it is that makes a "real" friend. If you ask 25 people what makes a good friend, I bet you get 18 different answers. Just find the right ones for you.
This seems like the perfect place to get started, and having the kind of confidence that it takes to be able to ask for help when you need it is exactly the kind of thing you need to be successful with drawing. I've been on my own drawing journey for about six months now, from a starting place quite similar to where you were, and although I still have a long way to go I'll do my best to share what I've been able to find out along the way.
Drawing is much like learning any other skill, like math or a sport, and as such the best favour you can do yourself is to know how you learn things best and to focus on that. Always try to go for several different methods, since variety will help your learning process from getting monotonous, and remember that any type of instruction will be better than no instruction, even if it's not your first choice.
Also, drawing on a tablet is hard. The disconnect between pen and screen as well as the small surface and lack of completely accurate touch feedback can make it a difficult way to begin making art. It's fun and you should certainly keep it up, but I found it was much easier to learn the basics with a good old pencil and a cheap sketchbook, and then apply what I learn to my tablet paintings afterwards. Sketchbooks also have the great benefit of being portable, and going around and drawing things that you can actually see in front of you is essential to learning to draw well.
Books did wonders to help me. Check you local library to see if you can find some on the cheap. Try to avoid books that only deal with drawing on specific thing, like "How to draw cars" and such, since these are often far to specific and narrow in scope, when what you really need is a solid drawing foundation. Probably the highest recommended one for beginners is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It covers all the basics and is geared to the complete beginner, and unlike a lot of art books that focus primarily on techniques it also talks a lot about the thought process behind drawings. Judging by your work, I think it would be the most help to you of anything, as your major problem seems to be that you are relying on "symbols" that represent what you are wanting to draw rather than direct observation, which is extremely common and was my major problem too. You can also find videos of her teaching the lessons from her book on Youtube, but I'd still recommend the book, as it allows you a better view of the examples, lets you double check the instructions and makes it so you can work at your own pace.
Taking a class can be invaluable, since you have someone with experience right there to put you on the right track. Many colleges and community centers offer art programs in evenings or weekends (and during summer break, since you seem to be a student) where you could get started. Asking at a local art supply store might help to put you on the right track there. My work schedule prevents me from taking classes on any regular basis, but I'm always on the lookout for short intensive and drop-in meetups that do fit in.
For web based ressources that deal specifically with digital painting, nothing beats Ctrl+Paint. You don't need to bother with the videos that require you to pay for now, there is a great deal of free tutorials that will help you get started.
After you learn the basics, it all comes down to practice and choosing what you want to focus on at any given time. More advanced books and classes can focus on different mediums or subjects, and the fun part is often exploring and experimenting on your own. The trick is to think big, avoid restraining yourself, laugh off every mistake and try again and practice, practice, practice.
My wife and I are also both bisexual high school sweethearts! A little different from your situation since we're both women, but pretty similar. We have been together for 7 years this month and have been nonmonogamous (in some form or another) for about 3.5.
My biggest advice is to never, ever forget that the third (or fourth or..) person is a PERSON. So many times, even now, my wife and I have found ourselves making decisions that affect someone else we are seeing between the two of us - and then it turns out that the other person did not want whatever we had decided.
I really highly recommend checking out More Than Two or The Ethical Slut (I like the first better but it's definitely a personal preference thing, many people in this subreddit swear by one or the other). When you're first starting out the biggest thing is that you don't know what you don't know - these books are hugely helpful resources that I wish I'd had BEFORE I made most of the mistakes in them.
Like others have said, I would definitely say date separately. If someone winds up wanting to date both of you or it happens organically, great, but don't force it. Dealing with jealousy is really hard and there's no one-size-fits-all solution - you've just got to communicate, communicate, and communicate without guilt or shaming. Also, FWIW, we started as just hookups and my wife has mostly stayed there but I wound up with feelings so I actually have a boyfriend now, too.
The not enough feelings will definitely tie themselves up in your jealousy. They are HARD stuff. IMO, you need to remember that 1. you have value and you bring something to your relationship, your husband is not with you just to humor you and 2. if your husband says he still loves you and is still attracted to you, he is telling the truth and you should trust him. Obviously everything is MUCH more complicated than that, but those are two things that have come up for me and my wife over the last few years.
Feel free to PM me or ask any other questions! I'm actually writing my Master's thesis about polyamory so even though I don't know that much myself I can probably point you toward an article or two that might help! Good luck. :-)
First off, it's totally ok to be vanilla. If you're truly not interested in rough sex, that's totally legit. You shouldn't feel guilty or pressured.
The absolute first step is to talk to her. You've got to be honest and communicative in your relationships, especially on sensitive issues like this.
As far as where to go after that, you have a couple choices here. If you're willing to entertain the idea of rougher sex, then there are resources that can help you. I've never personally read When Someone You Love is Kinky, but the authors are amazing and I've heard good things. You could pop over to /r/BDSMcommunity and get some advice over there. You could get on Fetlife and get advice there. There are lots of people out there who understand these issues really well, and they can help you work through it.
Ask her what she specifically wants you to do, and see if you can imagine doing it for her pleasure, as a service to her. If you recognize that what you see as unpleasant, she finds pleasurable, it might help you deal with it. Maybe you'll even eventually get into it. You obviously have some serious issues with violence, and maybe consensual and loving play with the appearance of violence will help you process it. But maybe not.
If you decide that you just can't give her what she needs, you've essentially got three choices:
You could see whether she's willing to give up the idea of rough sex. If it's just a passing fancy, that might not be a big problem. If it's a bigger part of her fantasy life, however, it might not work so well.
You could also break up with her. Sexuality is really important, and it's not shallow to break up with someone for sexual reasons. I get the impression you don't want to do that, however.
The final possibility is that you could discuss ways she could get her kinky needs satisfied without your involvement. An open relationship can go a long way towards fixing issues with sexual compatibility. There are a whole range of possible relationship designs that might work better for you than ordinary monogamy. On one end of the spectrum, you might find that you two take to polyamory easily, and just go all the way towards openness. On the other end, you might be able keep a lot of the normal structure with a couple tweaks. I know a lot of people who are generally monogamous, but who are allowed to engage in BDSM play under certain conditions (nothing involving genitals is a pretty normal rule, but you can choose the rules that work best for the two of you).
If you decide to go that route, come talk to us in /r/polyamory. The two best books are generally considered to be The Ethical Slut and Opening Up.
Do you have an undergraduate degree already? If not, I was under the impression that GI Bill only helps you with one degree. Considering an MBA requires you have an undergrad degree to apply and be accepted.. if you don't have that undergrad degree now, don't expect the government to pay. I could be talking out my ass on that though.
"Survive comfortable" will depend largely on the school and location. Private school vs public school, city vs college town. Further thoughts I have here... The price tag on your education does not entirely translate to value. Look at the school's brand and student/faculty base. The education is important, but you are paying largely to be a part of the 'network'. Some networks are more respected than others, and some are more helpful and readily willing to offer jobs to one another.
I don't know what your living situation has been like while you've been in but if it has been the barracks life with restrictive rules be weary of once you come out and get that freedom to do as you please back. While I don't mean you deny yourself certain pleasures, just don't go crazy. I'm sure you know how it is to be on leave with all that pay sitting in the bank... just waiting for you to get home and play with it.
What was your job in the military? What did you think of that job? Is it something you could see yourself doing for a career? You stand in a strong position if it is something more technically oriented, or science based. You've got something a lot of college students around you won't have. EXPERIENCE! If you can expand on to the educational part of the field you stand to be in a great position out of school. And on that note, look at getting a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field. This as an undergrad and later augmented with an MBA would give you a strong bridge to the business side if it something you'd desire later on.
And here's a book I wish would've came out before I went college, hah. So Good They Can't Ignore You - Cal Newport TLDR - Find your passion is bad advice and potentially detrimental. People love what they do when they're good at it.
Hope this was helpful and sorry if it sounds more like a ramble. Just two cents from a 23 year old that has been out of school for a year
Edit: Continue to stay away from debt.
So, I'm not a doctor by any means, so take it with a grain of salt. But sex is a mental experience just as much as a physical one, and it sounds like your mental experience of sex is that it is universally a failure, so any sexual encounters you have will always be a failure. Arousal always equals disappointment, so you can never stay aroused because why? Ruling out a physical cause, which you should not do yet until you see an OBGYN, I think you would greatly benefit from a redefining of what it means for you to be sexual. You may need long, slow, patient sex with a lot of foreplay and sexual tension buildup to make the arousal strong enough to last you through sex, and that's ok! Hopefully your boyfriend is willing to go through this journey with you.
I very much recommend a sexual therapist, but if you want to try reading up on some stuff, I have some recommendations that may put you on the right path:
https://www.ohjoysextoy.com/sensate-focus-katie-fleming/ - Sensate focus is the practice of slowly, deliberately getting to know your and your partner's body in a sensual, not sexual way. It takes away the pressure, and just lets you explore eachother until you are ready. You could spend hours on just touching if you wanted to, and pet me tell you, it is a lovely feeling.
https://www.ohjoysextoy.com/figuring-out-how-to-orgasm-by-bingo/ - It can feel unbelievably isolating and embarrassing when you feel like you can't cum for someone, even yourself. But it's so much more common and normal than you think. And when you figure out what it is that does get you there, it's easy to feel like it'd be too much of a hassle for your partner to learn. But they love you, and they want you to feel the way you make them feel.
Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476762090/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_UT-nDbPT9JQ7F - This sounds like a clickbait title, but it really is the real deal. This book can help you identify your sexual mindscape and behaviors and teach you how to navigate it for maximal satisfaction. Everyone is different, everyone has a normal that works for them, all they have to do is release their shame about it.
Also, I cannot stress this enough, servicing him is not making him happy, so don't do things you don't get anything out of just to make him happy. He said he doesn't want you to just do things for him, he wants you to like it. I'm not saying that to pressure you; I'm saying that because the last thing you want to do if you ever want to have a healthy outlook on sex and have a healthy sex life is to resign yourself to being a sexual servent for your partner's amusement because your fun factory is out of order. You want to see yourself as a sexual being deserving of pleasure, and have your man in your corner doing everything he can to find your happy place so you both can get there together.
Best of luck with everything 💜
My husband and I are in an open relationship, also both 27. but we just got married last month so we're still super into each other, just also into other people :) We have been reading The Ethical Slut together and I think it's a wonderful introduction to an open lifestyle - it covers all the possible permutations of an open relationship and it's a funny read.
Relationships, open or not, are completely different for everybody, but I will tell you our "rules" in case they are helpful to you. We only consent to having safe sex with others, and we immediately tell the other person if we fuck it up (like a condom comes off in the heat of the moment.) I don't get mad if this happens - I just care about keeping us both stay safe and healthy. Also, if either one of us decides to "veto" something, like a new lover or a situation that for some reason makes us uncomfortable, they have that right. As a culture, we don't really have a vocabulary for discussing these things with each other so it takes a LOT of talking to help work through why something feels wrong, or feels great, or makes us worried or makes us excited in a new way! I have found that these discussions have really turned up the heat just between my husband and I as we discover new things about each other.
Lastly, there's a concept in the polyamorous community of "new relationship energy." When you have the hots for someone you just met, it's often more juicy than your existing long term partners. Enjoy it! But don't mistake it for a greater love than the one(s) you already have. Lust is lovely, but it isn't love.
I hope that this is helpful to you and please feel free to PM me if you want.
I went to one AA meeting when I first got clean and never went back. I understand people have found support and success in it but to me, personally, I felt it only increased the stigma of drug addicts as these broken hopeless people barely hanging on by a thread. It's an outdated system that relies on little science or attempting to progress the participants and relies more on holding people in place and focusing on the past. Instead I just worked towards becoming a normal person. Here are some of the resources I used:
r/Fitness - Getting Started: Exercise is probably the #1 thing that will aid you in recovering. It can help your brain learn to produce normal quantities of dopamine again as well as improve your heath, mood, well being and confidence.
Meetup: You can use this site to find people in your area with similar interests. I found a hiking group and a D&D group on here which I still regularly join.
Craigslist: Same as above - look for groups, activities, volunteer work, whatever.
This will be the other major player in your recovery. Understanding your diet will allow you to improve your health,mood, energy, and help recover whatever damage the drugs may have done to your body.
How Not To Die Cookbook
Life Changing Foods
The Plant Paradox
Power Foods For The Brain
Understand whats going on inside your head and how to deal with it is also an important step to not only recovery but enjoying life as a whole.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
The Emotional Life Of Your Brain
The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works
If you are like me you probably felt like a dumbass when you first got clean. I think retraining your brain on learning, relearning things you may have forgot after long term drug use, and just learning new things in general will all help you in recovery. Knowledge is power and the more you learn the more confident in yourself and future learning tasks you become.
Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse
Why Nations Fails
Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud
The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family's Financial Health
Continued Education / Skills Development
EdX: Take tons of free college courses.
Udemy: Tons of onine courses ranging from writing to marketing to design, all kinds of stuff.
Cybrary: Teach yourself everything from IT to Network Security skills
Khan Academy: Refresh on pretty much anything from highschool/early college.
There are many more resources available these are just ones I myself have used over the past couple years of fixing my life. Remember you don't have to let your past be a monkey on your back throughout the future. There are plenty of resources available now-a-days to take matters into your own hands.
*Disclaimer: I am not here to argue about anyone's personal feelings on AA**
Hopefully I'll give a bit of a different perspective here. First, I'm a male dating a female who is married to a male, so I have some experience with this. I completely understand where you're coming from here. Your emotions about this can be changed with a few important, albeit tough, decisions from you.
Right now, your "mental programming" is in a space of jealousy, no matter whether is light or heavy jealousy, you're still feeling somewhat possessive of your BF. Think of it this way: It's your birthday. You get a birthday cake. Are you going to keep it all for yourself, or are you going to share that delicious cake with everyone who is at your party? This is a bit of an obvious one, you want to share the good thing in your life with the friends you have here at your party. Now let's narrow that down a bit. You have an awesome guy that you can call "boyfriend", and you get to share that awesome experience with someone who thinks he's awesome too. You two have something in common; you both think this guy is awesome.
First, pick up a copy of Tristan Taormino's Opening Up. This is a great manual to all of the feelings and communication you need.
And especially since we're in the Poly subreddit, I'm surprised that more people haven't pointed you towards compersion. First, you need to become comfortable with your poly/mono situation. The rest of this will never work out until you do. Next, you need to find some solidarity/love/like with your metamour (your BF's GF). You would ideally consider her a friend, or at least find solidarity in the fact that you both love and care for this man. At that point, you may start to feel, as many friends do, like giving a gift to your friend. How about the gift of getting your communal boy all riled up? The caveat here is that you have to genuinely have the thought of giving behind your actions. You can't say to yourself that "He's having sex with you, but I'm the one he's thinking about". Thats kind of shitty. You have to genuinely be giving about the situation.
A recent example of my own from this week: GF and I don't get much time together because of conflicting work schedules, so maybe 2-4 hours together twice a week. Her husband works at home, and is on the phone a lot, so sex is kind of troublesome to schedule. We go out shopping or some such for an hour or so, and when we get back we get some cuddling in. (We're both champion cuddlers and need like 30 mins a day of good solid loving cuddles.) When we kiss goodbye, I'll sometimes give her a small orgasm by playing with her, and then intentionally send her to her husband to get some playtime. And he and I are on the same level about this thing. She gets worked up and I have to leave, so he takes over and they have a great time. Yes, I orchestrated that, but I'm not throwing him a bone, I'm genuinely giving a gift to both of them.
In closing, it will take time, but if you are committed to being a good partner to a poly person, you may want to consider intentionally working to create compersion in your relationship.
Sorry for the novella, lol. :)
No problem! Sorry to hear you’re in that situation right now, but I respect that you do want to put in some work of your own to get better.
DBT was more or less designed to help treat BPD, so it’s probably the right recommendation.
Regarding resources, well, I’ll say that it kind of depends on what you’re looking for. Clinically speaking, there’s some solid research on DBT, including for BPD. It’s been shown to help with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. So if you want to learn more about its efficacy, I’m more than happy to shoot some more studies over to you.
If you want to learn more about the practice of DBT itself, that Wikipedia article I linked up above is useful to begin with. It sort of shows you what the therapist would do, the order in which they would apply the ideas of DBT, and what those principles are meant to do. I’d start there, if I were you. If you want to know more about any specific portion of it, I’m more than happy to help you find those resources you’re looking for, but DBT and mindfulness and such are extremely broad topics.
I will link you two resources for sure though.
First, I must admit I have no experience whatsoever with this book or this method. I don’t know how useful it is, but, I also wasn’t in your position where I had to wait to start seeing a therapist. I’ve been made aware that there are workbooks for DBT, and this might help you to start developing and refining the skills you’d learn with a therapist. Again, I do not know if this works or even what’s in it, so I really don’t feel great about recommending this to you, but I figure you might want to be made aware of it too. I kind of hate the idea of people selling these skills for profit, and I hate self-help books so the whole thing makes me feel really scummy. But if this book or any others look like they might be helpful to you, then check them out. See if you can find them for free anywhere first though.
Second, something I can feel far better about recommending to you. Guided fucking meditation. I’ve fallen out of love with Sam Harris because of some of his personality traits and political leanings, but, he’s got some amazing insight on mindfulness and meditation that really helped me personally. When I first started learning about these ideas from him, it helped me more than most everything else I’ve ever learned or tried. This is a good video of him talking about anxiety and meditation. I could probably link a dozen of his talks or articles but again, I’m not a big fan of the guy anymore. But those ideas are great and extremely useful.
I could link and talk about this stuff all day, so really few free to ask questions or ask for more links.
Are you a reader? Check out Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I know it may seem silly, reading a book about drawing, but the approach they take is that really a "lack of drawing skill" is an issue with perception. Something else you can work through are the Loomis books. There are .pdfs of them to be found here. I've just been reading and plugging away at the examples in the books, picking up tips and tricks along the way.
SUBREDDITS: Even if it's just to see someone else's work and be inspired, pick up techniques. /r/drawing is great to see a lot of pencil stuff. Also, they have a whole sidebar of resources. /r/redditgetsdrawn may be one of the best modded and fun subreddits there are. You get to see so many different styles, and now they just launched /r/watchredditgetsdrawn for time-lapse videos of some process. Most of these are digital paintings, but you still pick up tips and tricks. But on RGB, all skill levels are welcome, there is no down vote button, and people are very positive and willing to critique. Plus, you get a some interesting things to attempt to draw, generally people, but some of the submissions are fun. I actually created an "art" multi reddit that contains:/r/doodles, /r/drawing, /r/drawings, /r/Illustration, /r/learnart, /r/redditgetsdrawn, /r/SketchDaily, /r/Sketching, /r/watchredditgetsdrawn. Don't be afraid to put your stuff out there. Eyes on something with tips and helpful critique will go a long way.
And lastly, break yourself of this notion that drawing is a magical skill or talent that some people possess and others don't. Very few people are able to free draw something straight from memory, and if they do, they likely practiced that form many times before they could do it. Practice, practice, practice and have fun. Don't be afraid to use trace paper to fix a first version, don't be afraid to experiment. Watch any drawing video you can and look at as many drawings as you can.
I recently started about a month ago of wanting to learn how to draw and have found the above super helpful. The amount of improvement I've seen in just a few weeks from a lot of the above is so encouraging. My trade is motion design, and I can't wait to see how learning a new technique or skill will shape the way my work comes out. Don't get discouraged, it will feel hard at times, and it will feel like work. Make a habit of sketching or drawing something daily, even if it's just an artists mannequin. With pencil, realize almost as much erasing goes into a drawing as lead does.
Enjoy the journey.
>Your value system says, "If this girl likes me, I like me."
>Your value system should say, "I like me, no matter what happens to me. Because some things can't be helped, and you can't control other people. If other people don't like me, it's okay, I will find people that DO like me. Everyone is free to do what they want, but this girl that I'm interested in, can do what she wants. If she doesn't want me, it's okay, I'll go on to the next one."
>There's something going on inside you that is waiting for the world to approve of you. Don't feed that false concept. The world will fail you at some time, and you will break (as you're doing at the moment). And the world will never approve you enough--ever.
>Instead, consider a new concept. Start a new habit.
>Say to yourself, "I am not OUTCOME dependent. I am process dependent." Meaning, you don't rely on the OUTCOME of situations to feel happy or sad--that's reactionary. Be proactive. Rely on yourself and only yourself for your emotions. Right now, your emotions are dependent on that girl--and sooner or later, it will be another chick, and another, and you will always be sad or unfulfilled because you can't control others. Depend on yourself to have fun, to feel good, as much as possible at any given situation.
>It's hard to change. It's hard to be a new person that takes responsibility of their emotions. It's hard to be proactive. But hey, being reactive to the world, depending on people to always make you feel happy is exhausting too--and as you can see, it's not a solution to fixing the most important thing in this talk: you.
You're not exactly broken, what's broken is the way you relate and think about yourself. Pretend you are your own best friend. How would you treat your best friend? Would you beat them down all the time? Would you say, "hey, if that chick rejects you, you're not shit."
>Would you say, "Dude, she's just one chick. And truth, you don't know what she thinks about everything. She might have some hidden thoughts that would turn you off forever--maybe she thinks that Jews really are the source of the world's problems, you don't know. Maybe she picks her toes daily and doesn't wash her hands after. Bro, just let her go, and go on about your life. Believe me, if you work on yourself and focus on being better, it gets better."
>I know which best friend I like better.
Be your own best friend, always. That's the real issue here. Take care of yourself, I cannot state that enough. Good luck, bro.
>Edit: Thank for the gold, whomever it was. I wasn't looking for karma or gold, just trying to pass some of what has helped me. I would also like to link the following, as they were HUGE helps to me in changing my life and way of thinking.
>Link 1: Check out the top comment on this post (the comment is not mine): http://www.reddit.com/r/getdisciplined/comments/1q96b5/i_just_dont_care_about_myself/
>Link 2: This little book helped me go inside myself and deal with my demons--very important don't skip through the book, just follow the simple instructions as if it were a manual--I know, that seems stupid, but trust me on this one: http://www.reddit.com/r/GetMotivated/comments/vz458/selfdiscipline_in_10_days_how_to_go_from_thinking/
>Some other suggestions: Listen to Eric Thomas, this is what got me started--You have to want it, really, really want it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM_7j6t9IyU
>I also suggest "The Power of Habit": http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Habit-What-Business/dp/081298160X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1414954061&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the+power+of+habit
>I'll give you the important thing about it, in case you can't buy it: Almost everything you do is tied to a habit and you're not aware of it. Even our thoughts. He breaks down all the scientific data on how individuals and entire societies form habits and change them.
Every habit has a cue/trigger, a process, and a reward.
>Cue: Someone rejects me. Process: I feel bad, my thoughts keep spinning on why can't they like me... Reward: I feel like shit.
However, if you don't press the cue/trigger--you're way less likely to play the habit out. So, if I'm tired of feeling like crap, I stop asking girls out. But then, a new habit develops--
>Cue: I avoid social situations. Process: I feel bad for being "weird" in social situations. Reward: Social anxiety.
All you did was replace an unproductive habit with an unproductive habit.
As you can see, not all rewards are positive--that's why it's important to change our cues, process, and rewards from habits. Recognize your habits, and you'll have more power to change them. Replace unproductive habits with ones that help you grow. If you interrupt your triggers, you change the habit easily--usually, if you're past the trigger, your habit will take over, without you even thinking about it. This goes for our thought habits as well.
>Good luck to everyone. I leave you with this, "Pain is temporary, it may last for a moment, a month, or even a year. But if you get through that pain, at the end of that pain is a reward." Think about it like this, would you rather:
A. Hurt, keep doing the same thing, keep hurting from the misery you keep getting.
B. Hurt because you're changing into something better. Hurt on the journey to being stronger one year from now?
It'll be hard, very hard. Some people will not believe in you, but you'll be better if you stick with it.
You'll hurt either way, why not get something out of your pain? That's the choice I made. And every human being has that power. I've only been doing this for a few months--but dealing with me has changed everything around me.
>For the princess thing I very strongly recommend reading a book.
Amazing book... I used to do the same
thing you describe of not listening to my wife's body language when she is clearly not in a receptive mood. After 20 minutes of what you see as "giving", but she experiences as "bothering" or "just looking for sex", she's annoyed, and you're horny and feeling rejected. The book gives concrete actions to avoid this situation and drastically increase your odds of successfully initiating sex, while giving your wife the non sexual reassurance and affection she needs.
On a side note, it sounds like part of the problem is that your wife just doesn't feel sexy. Are you able to talk honestly with her about her weight? Do you prefer her at her current weight, or would you prefer if she was smaller (or bigger)? Dr. Jason Fung's blog, IDM, had a lot of information on intermittent fasting that can be very helpful if losing a few pounds would help her to feel better about herself.
My wife has always been very toned, athletic and curvy. After three kids she was feeling like her body was sagging, despite the fact that she still looked fantastic. I tell her almost every day how sexy she is, but she consistently brings up how her boobs are not as big as they were while she was breastfeeding (she's a solid, perky B cup) and her core just isn't like it used to be (she was a swimmer in high school, has great muscle tone, and has a small waist compared to boobs and hips). Lately, we have both been doing more exercise and a one day a week 24 hour fast, and she has lost about 5 or 10 pounds. Honestly, she looks great now, but she looked equally great 10 pounds heavier. But now when I look at her and tell her she looks great, she checks herself out in the mirror and says "yeah I do!". She is now much more confident, and I'm sure that has something to do with her starting to initiate far more frequently in the past few months.
I think this is a great initiative. I was previously at /r/BTFC, which I found extremely useful to get focused on goals. As there will be many changes for me in the next months (taking a leave of absence), good to have a place, community to track my progress and focus on my goals. This is my first 90 day challenge, so I'm somewhat lost on procedure, I'll wing it!
++++ Stats ++++
++++ GOALS FOR FITNESS & DIET ++++
Diet: Clean eating. Quit sugary snacks. I eat more or less cleanly, except for chocolates on sugars. By October 22, I am extremely proud that I've eaten sugar free on 80 of the 90 days.
Fitness - Sprint 1: July 15 - August 13: I am feeling strong as I'm on Week 7 of Yayog 1st class. Also, I feel the burn from doing Enter The Kettlebell 3 days a week.
Fitness - Sprint 2: August 19 - September 17: I am walking tall and confident as I've finished 1st class. To celebrate, I ran my own sprint triathlon on rest week.
Fitness - Sprint 3: September 23 - October 22: I am strong and generous as I'm in the next 10-week program, week5. I can complete a Turkish Get Up with my 16kg Kettlebell. And do a pistol on either leg without it.
I have no goals on dropping weight, as long as it remains around current level or lower. But I'll be tremendously pleased if body fat goes down to 20%.
++++ GOALS FOR SPIRITUAL CARE ++++
In the last six months, I've become aware of a lot of
crapheritage I carry on my shoulders from growing in a narcissistic family. I need to do a lot of cleanup as I choose to (1) have a good life, (2) stop the cycle of narcissism so I don't become narcissistic myself and (3) build an alternative mindset for me and my family. The narcissistic circle finishes with me.
++++ GOALS FOR PROVIDER ++++
By Oct 22nd, I'm confident on my future as I've built a local network of work contacts of 50 people, and identified 10 new positions I'm going to apply to for my next position.
++++ OTHER ++++
I need to clean up a lot of my psychological heritage, as it's negatively affecting my relationships and life in general.
I start a leave of absence this summer, to recharge batteries and reconsider next career moves.
I will travel to my country for one month with my kids (source of fun and stress), which will allow me to better understand where I come from and how is my family working.
++++ Let's Be Friends ++++
I'm on Fitocracy. I invite you to friend/follow me/message me!
Also, if anyone else on Europe time, support PMs & checks are an option. PM to discuss (never done this one before, seems like a good idea).
Good luck, everyone! We can do this!
Whew this got wordy in a hurry. Sorry for the wall of text.
Look at it this way: Both of you did things to each other that were very harmful for your marriage.
I am not excusing what she did, because stepping outside the marriage, even during a period of separation, is not a good idea.
BUT...at the same time, having anger issues and taking them out on the mother of your children is a pretty serious betrayal of trust, too.
You're both carrying baggage right now, and both of you are hurt by what has taken place in the marriage. Now what?
If you want to heal this marriage, you definitely can. It is going to take:
TL;DR: You're not wrong for feeling hurt and resentful. But don't let that hold you back from making the right decision to fight for your family and your marriage.
I don't know what your wife likes, of course, but I can tell you want I'd like if I were in her shoes:
You said she doesn't like traditional stuff, so perhaps flowers & jewelery aren't up her alley. But who knows? Maybe they are. It's worth a shot. The biggest factor in "romance" for me is knowing that my partner actually thought about me and chose to do something that would make me happy without focusing primarily on his own wants and needs.
I'd also suggest reading the book The 5 Love Languages when you get a chance. :) Good luck!
You sound a whole lot like me a few years ago. I could have pretty much written this post, with some family specifics changed a bit. So here's my advice based on my experience.
What you're going through is totally normal and common. It might not seem like it, especially if you don't have friends who are going through similar circumstances, but it is. Even if you have a great relationship with your family, moving back home after college can be rough. After being gone for a few years and having total freedom away from family, moving back home can feel like a step backwards, even though it's not. It just means that you're coming into the 'real world', and that requires a certain amount of time transitioning. It's not easy, but you'll get through it.
When I moved home, I didn't expect to be living there for longer than 1 year, but it ended up being 1.5 years. It's not a big deal, just keep in mind that it may take you more or less time than you expect to get on your feet and where you want to be. Once you do have a solid income, take advantage of cheap or free rent (if you are so luckY) living at home to pay off as much student debt as possible (assuming you have it), or save as much of an emergency fund as possible. If you want to feel independent person while living at home, rather than a guest/child, being financially independent is important.
I also struggled somewhat with anxiety/depression during this stage of my life. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjustment_disorder is a thing and I ended up being diagnosed with that when seeking help. Basically, big life changes can be rough, surprise! Don't be afraid to seek help is you're really struggling. As time passes you will adjust to your new situation and things will get a bit easier. Regarding your Edit on depression, those are definitely things you could explore with a competant therapist, if you're so inclined. If you want a cheap option for working through depression, I can highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-The-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336. It has been extremely helpful for me personally.
As for what you want to do with your life... I know it's hard, but don't worry too much. It's totally OK to not know what you want to do with your life at 22. Most people probably don't. As long as you are making a consistent effort to find out what you want to do, you're fine. And you have plenty of time left to enjoy yourself once you're employed and have money. What you may find as you grow throughout your 20s is that there is more time in life to enjoy yourself than you may currently realize. In terms of your generral post-transition year anxieties, I think things will become clearer once you're closer to the end of this year. There are probably too many unknowns for you to properly plan yet.
For meeting new people, meetup groups are nice. Consider a local reddit group if there is one. Find a social hobby. Yes, it can be uncomfortable or awkward or trigger social anxiety to go to these events, but the fact is that if you can get psat that you'll be healthier and happier if you're meeting new people right now. Having those social experiences will make getting through this phase all the easier.
Maybe not all of this applies to you, but I hope you get something out of it. Regardless, best of luck to you!
Thank you so much... I needed that today. For some reason, even though I should be jumping up and down cheering (I biked somewhere instead of driving, enjoyed the weather, did well in classes, even turned an assignment in, and am getting together with my friends tonight to go to my favorite bar, a speakeasy) but instead it feels like I've been in a shell for the past 3 months and I'm finally realizing how actually torn up I am about my break-up. It's like I took the blanket off over my head and I'm suddenly realizing just how far I have to go to get back to being the woman I loved and respected a year ago.
So I needed that. You rock too!
And I'm glad you have support... a support system is so fucking important for us borderlines. Some love can go a long way for us.
Anyway, on to the DBT advice! Buy this book. Buy a copy for your friend if you can afford it. It's $13 and worth every penny. I started with this book and it has ALL the skills, plus relevant worksheets. There's a tracking sheet in there to fill out weekly which helps monitor emotions and habits which I would highly recommend, although you could probably find something similar for free online. However, the book is easy to understand, well-organized, and has a lot of examples. My parents say that therapy for me is like 2 full-time classes, and it's true. Skills are practice, practice, practice, until you rewrite your brain patterns until coping healthily becomes habitual.
My therapist started me on distress tolerance... and radical acceptance, which is the hardest skill of all. You can read up on this stuff online but I would really recommend the book. Depending on your situation, you could start with any of the modules, really, but definitely radical acceptance.
Best of luck, I love you! All of you. We're not broken, we're strong as fuck. Our brains have been telling us we're in crisis most of our lives, and each time we've gotten through it.
>If you're going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill
THIS IS PART TWO of my reply. Read the other one first.
> I figured I might ask you this, since you seem to be a very down-to-earth guy
Just a little further down the road than you are, that's all.
> I really don't want to check pickup-sites for advice on this sort of stuff.
Banish that thought from your mind right now. Granted, PUA (Pick Up Artist) sites and books are typically manipulative and somewhat sociopathic, dating advice books and websites are a goldmine of information that you NEED to check out. I felt the exact same way as you did, and I held tight until I was 32 years old and realized I was about 15 years behind the times.
All my friends know how to date, and did things in the books and websites. Why do you want to ignore the advice and information that is the answer? Are you trying to learn to ride a bike ... alone ... with your eyes closed ... and your hands in the air? "You're gonna have a bad time."
Here are some must read books:
This one turned my world upside down. It was hard to swallow at first, but he is a genius. Please take the time to read it. If you do, and try even 5% of the advice, you will be 5% better than every guy out there who tries nothing.
This is a great book. I firmly believe in being honest with women, which is something you lack. This is a major flaw in your approach and personality. Essentially, when you do not make your intentions clear, you are a liar, a scumbag, a cheater. That is what is most detrimental to you as a person. You also have to learn to be honest with yourself.
And the guy who helped me understand women:
Read his articles. Think about your past situations. See how they apply. I strongly recommend you buy his book, but check eBay for used copies first. The book is poorly written and organized, but it's the most brilliant advice on the planet. It's just so obvious.
> I'm not so good at the flirty-type of conversation;
So get out and practice. What I did was to go to the local upscale mall, where all the women who were working were drop dead gorgeous, and I'd go into each store and tell them I was looking for a gift for my friend who is a girl - but NOT my GF. I'd then ask them what they suggested was cool. Then they would suggest something and I'd playfully laugh and say something like "No, really? Oh come on, is that the best idea you can come up with? Did I mention I actually LIKE my friend and don't want her to hate me? What else do you have?" I'd smile big, laugh, and generally make her try harder to impress me. In the end I would walk away and say I'd have to think about it. But practicing like this upped my game tremendously.
The most important thing to do is NOT say the first thing that comes to mind, but rather the SECOND or THIRD thing. That second thing sets you apart from all the other guys who say the same things.
> my first relationship (which ended up being 2 years) happened when I was 18, and basically we talked online for a bunch of nights in a row, then I invited her over and we watched some Breaking Bad, and a second date later I asked her quote "Would you want to go out with me?" and that was that.
Yeah, but you were 18. Now you're 21. You're an adult. Women are adults. It's different now. You have to grow or you will be left far, far behind.
> Thanks a ton again for talking with me, really appreciate it.
Now, let me ask you this - what other woman have you seen around school who you find attractive? How are you going to ask her out?
Tip: First dates should always be on Sun-Thurs night. NO first dates on Fri or Sat nights. So, if you get a number (your goal), wait 4-5 days to call her, then offer a date on a weekday night.
I detest games in dating... but there are definite pitfalls to spilling it all off the bat. I've been in a casual relationship where we each went full transparency upon first meeting. It worked to an extent, but it also destroys any semblance of mystery. Part of dating is getting to know the other person and them getting to know you. Trust and love are built through experience and time together.
A month or two ago, someone posted something about discovering the INFJ strength in dating... which was being mysterious. I can't remember who, but it resonated with me. He said he'd been finding much more dating success by slowly revealing who he was and how he felt. Not so much manipulating as just not going full glom off the bat, if he likes someone.
Mark Manson's book, Models, makes some very good points and introduces some solid techniques for dating with authenticity, too. It's geared toward men, but I think much of the information is applicable to anyone. The first 15% of the book is pretty self-promotey, and there are some misogynistic generalizations here and there, but it was worth my time. Much of it is about building confidence just by being yourself and taking a zen - like approach of being grateful for any response to a declaration of interest. I'm into you! You're into me? Cool, let's see where it goes. Not into me? Cool, thanks for not letting me waste my time chasing you. I feel like it's a healthy version of playing it cool, without lying or repressing yourself.
I just passed my 3 year anniversary of journaling; I haven't missed a single day in that time. I struggled, however, for many years prior trying to establish this habit. I'll answer your questions and then provide some behavior tips for anyone interested in doing the same.
Why I journal:
What I chronicle
This has evolved over time. I write almost an outline of the highlights of my day. I try to avoid self-indulgent writing; this isn't my masterpiece. Once I have the main points of the day down (which usually only takes about 30 seconds), I'll go back and casually fill in the details along with any reflections. My shortest entries can be a sentence or two while my longest can be around 2k words; my average entry is about 500 words. It's important to set a very realistic minimum goal; something that wont overwhelm you on the latest of nights with the heaviest of eyes. Knowing that I can finish an entry in 30 seconds has tricked me into many 10+ minute journal sessions.
Is daily important?
I really believe it is. I know people frequently say not to beat yourself up over it and just journal when you remember, but the reality is that if you don't get in the habit of journaling on "boring" days, you most likely wont take the time to write on important days either. Also, behaviors are mindless activities. It's just easier if you turn journaling into a behavior.
How to create a daily journaling habit
The Power of Habit is an amazing book. I don't typically like self-help books—this is not one of those! I think all people (but especially writers) should read it or at least become familiar with the core concept that all behaviors have 3 parts: triggers, routines and rewards. I've applied this in many areas of my life, but here's my specific strategy for journaling:
In summary, I know that after I brush my teeth, I should journal and that I can't go to sleep no matter how tired I am until I perform my minimum goal of outlining my day. This might sound like a pain on the longest of days, but after a few months it becomes automatic. I've had long drunk nights where I don't even remember journaling, yet the morning reveals...a great story :)
I hope that helps someone out there.
This is a very important issue to me since I have a non-climbing wife who really doesnt even like hanging out in the woods of Kentucky very much either. She has gone on trips with me, but its not her favorite.
If your wife likes to join and hang out or whatever, you have a leg up. But lets assume she doesnt. The most important thing is to not let climbing become an issue of contention. That means, find a balance of time for you and time for her. If she is feeling loved, then she wont mind you being gone on occasional climbing trips.
I train at the gym 2-3 times a week and manage a decent amount of weekend trips and 1 or two longer trips, but less trips now that we have a kid.
Step 1 in making sure she is loved is to find out how she feels loved. Everyone shows and receives loves in different ways. I recommend The 5 love languages for your reading pleasure. warning: there is a very religious overtone to the book but I think the advice is solid even if you ignore that.
So, if you are showing your wife she is loved, climbing will not be an issue. My wife really likes notes ('words of affirmation' from the book) so if I leave her lots of little notes around the house while I'm gone it helps. One of my buddies is also married and his wife likes gifts. so he does a bunch of small gift cards for coffee, etc... and that keeps his wife happy. Doesnt have to be expensive, just a thoughtful token.
finally, My friends are always going on trips that I dont even bother asking to go on because I try to consciously maintain a balance. The selfish side of me wants to go on every trip but I know that it will become an issue if I do.
(I will be a scientist in a month, so maybe my viewpoint is too scientific.)
Take every interaction with any potential partner as a "quantum-test", Or simply as a scientific experiment. You ask a question from Nature: "Can we function as a couple?" or "Does she have the same attraction towards me?" and then you will get an answer. You should never take any rejection as a personal failure. A "rejection" is just an experimental result which is dependent on
So very few things you are responsible in any "dating" situation. The result of a "dating experiment" says how you two are compatible with each other, and says very little about you personally. Of course you should behave as you think is right. Directed dating is a paradox situation, because if you behave directly as you think "she likes", then you are giving up your true self to impress her. Of course there are certain behavioral patterns but if you just "act" as confident person, then you are just an actor... You should behave as YOU think is right.
I don't think that the PickUpArt narrative (alpha/beta male, etc...) would be useful in a long term, because it teach you how to ACT, and not how to be happy in your own skin. You would be with a female who loves You, and not your "alpha-mask" which you wear to hide your needy nature...... True success when you can transcend these alpha-beta-male games and you can date without even bother about the endpoint of this experiment. I think Stoicism is a perfect alternative philosophy for dating. OF course you can prefer some results, but you can be HAPPY in any case. She is NOT your key to happiness. None is.
I can recommend you the book No more mr Nice Guy!. It is perfectly dealing with one of the main problem of our society, which lost his best males nearly 60-70 years ago (during ww2, etc...) .
And there is a very useful webpage: http://www.artofmanliness.com/ which can help you to rediscover your true inner Man.
Fuck it man, I feel like dropping a bunch of tips I have off the top of my head. Disorganized style.
I was a complete loner up until middle school. Found some guys that picked on me, but otherwise let me hang around them. I was the butt of their jokes, but that was enough for the attention. Then highschool came around, blah blah blah, really my point is, I know what lonely feels like. I haven't been long-term lonely for ages, but its a familiar feeling when it hits and I haven't talked to any friends for a week or I get left behind on weekend plans.
Here's my tips, in no particular order. This isn't a prescription, this isn't goddamn instructables. Also, I'm going to assume you're a man. Well, today you're a boy, but what you want to be is a man. (not like manly vs womanly, but like manly vs childish)
Where should you start? I want you to read
this. specifically (and if its the only part you read that's good enough) part in the very beginning titled "MEET STYLE". Yes, the book is The Game. It is a super controversial book on the seduction community, and take it with a huge fucking grain of salt. Ultimately though, the book offers a great way to approach a problem of social frustration, but the specific 'seduction' methods are a mix of misguided and out of date.(That's not the section I remember reading, I'll try to find what I was thinking of, its some manifesto to self improvement) It was the one book that kicked off changing my social environment entirely. I now feel successful, happy, and confident to talk to any strangers and develop new friends. Also, no exceptions, watch the 1999 film Fight Club.
MAKE TODAY THE DAY YOU FOUND THE RABBIT HOLE; TAKE THE RED PILL.
I was your age when I had sex for the first time, and it was with my first love. While I felt some trepidation, having to get past the "script"about sex before marriage that my parents had always voiced....I felt comfortable and safe with my partner. Also I had enjoyed the excitement between us, when we'd kiss, or touch, or rub, and was physically ready for that to proceed.
Go slow, the first time having penetrative sex may feel uncomfortable, but if it's hurting you, stop and try another position, or go back to touching and kissing for awhile. Communication is important, don't be ashamed to voice when something feels more good or less good, or uncomfortable.
Consider stimulating your clitoris before and during sex, or have him touch you/stimulate you there first. For many women it can make a difference, that building excitement and natural moisture makes their body ready for penetrative sex.
For my first time, intercourse didn't feel good at first and my partner could tell. I told him, "It's going to hurt anyways, lets just get it over with."...He stopped and gave me a huge cuddle, and told me "Sweetie, that's silly, we've got lots of time."
Maybe you are already aware of this, but in case you're not:
It's very exciting for men, if they haven't much experience looking and touching women so they may ejaculate quickly. If that happens, try to be sweet (don't act disappointed). If you want to continue because you're still excited, you can ask him to kiss & touch you (maybe give you oral sex if you're ready?), and he will likely be able to get hard again in 5-20 minutes, if you want to try again.
In general, orgasms are easy for men, they can finish quickly, and they are very visually oriented (visuals stimulate them). For women, sex is much more tied to emotions and thoughts, and while this varies per each women, having an orgasm from penetrative sex may not happen. It can still feel pleasurable, nice, exciting, just may not end with a "bang". And that's OK.
Feeling connected, loved, and excited by your partner is what's important. If the first time is awkward, you can both communicate and explore and develop your sexual relationship.
If either of you are interested in "studying" about sexual techniques (NOT a requirement for your first time- just a suggestion for future)
First thing. Clean. Make sure your apartment, room, car or what ever is spotless. This is a really important step. It's the first step of taking back control, it's also going to show you a near immediate reward for your actions.
So now that you're sitting in a clean environment, start writing. Let all the negative emotion just spew, don't worry about spelling, grammar or any of that, it's just a purge. Once the rambling and emotion is out, review it and begin building. What are your goals? How are you going to achieve them? Right now your broken. Good! Because now is the perfect time to rebuild. You WILL rebuild your self into the man you were ment to be. What's he like? What does he do? Write about him. Start becoming him.
So now that you have recognized that you are the most important being in your life, treat your self. Buy a new out fit, or a good book, a new camera, what ever you want that can be affordable and positive. I personally bought a new pair of pants that was too small because next...
Gym. Find a good work out program. This new iron temple you should be praying at daily. You gain confidence with new found muscle but more importantly, this will also help you respect your self, by going daily and holding your self to your word.
Lastly, after reading through the comments and learning more about you, I think one of the best books you could read is:http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339
2 years ago what I thought was the love of my life ended it. Best thing that has ever happened to me. This book combined with all the emotion I was able to harness and refine myself. Tomorrow I'm going out on a date with a beautiful girl (2 years ago I thought was out of my league) and I'm just excited to have fun. There is no more wondering, does the girl like me? Is he talking to other people? Would she want to be my gf? Instead, I don't care because I still don't know if she is compatible for my new life style. It's an amazing feeling to be the one in control.
Invest in your self and become the man you wanna be. You got this.
>Telling him to be romantic just ruins the purpose..
>it has to be spontaneous and natural and he has to use his initiative.
I understand why you think that way, and wouldn't it be nice for him to spontaneously do everything you like. However this is a factually incorrect response to human psychology.
Here's why: all of our brains process and respond to stimuli differently. Honest truth. There will be some things in life that are incredibly obvious to you, and yet he won't be aware of them at all. And vice-versa, and THAT can be one of the most powerful things in a marriage where each complements the other. You sense what he does not, he senses what you do not.
So the little romantic things you're dreaming of? I'm sorry, but his brain didn't serve them up as a response he should do. But that doesn't mean it's a fatal problem, it only means that this is something to tackle in your relationship. He's not a mind reader either, so yes, you literally need to tell him the things you like, while carefully listening to the things he likes. Not in a nagging way, but in a "we're better together" way.
To help you, there is a popular book titled The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman that points out which of the 5 each of us want. You appear to desire 'words of affirmation' while he might desire 'physical touch'. So here's some homework for both of you to get started: there is a free 5 Love Languages Online Quiz or else a paper Downloadable PDF that both of you can do to learn what each of you craves. With that knowledge, he and you can begin to work to fulfill those needs for each other.
But yes, you really do need to tell him. If you're in this for the long haul, over time he'll get much better at it, eventually knowing you better than you know you.
Just because you're LD doesn't mean you can't do gift-giving! Something I loved to do for my SO from time to time would be to give her little gifts - something I know she'd appreciate or enjoy, just as a sign that I was thinking of her, like a cheap meme shirt from some in-joke we shared or the like.
During LD, it seems harder to give gifts, since mailing's involved, but seriously - just plug her address into your Amazon account, and send her something from time to time. One of life's underappreciated joys is the thrill of getting a package in the mail you weren't expecting that turns out to be a thoughtful gift.
It largely depends on how your SO receives/expresses love, though. Shameless plug for Gary Chapman's "5 Love Languages," most of the ideas of which you can find with a google search, basically there are five "languages" in which your partner both expresses and wishes to receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and gift-giving. While any expression of love can be received well, when you're speaking their "language" it will be particularly impactful. If you want to do something really meaningful for your partner, figure out their language and cater to it. Do they express their love with words, and thrive on receiving words in return? Send a love letter they can look forward to. Quality time? Try a cyber-date, be it a Skype session or maybe a co-op game of Portal 2 (would recommend even if you're not gamers :P).
My girlfriend of a little over a year has recently been diagnosed with a mental disorder as well. Bipolar depression, and I have done a tremendous amount of research and have physically tried every single thing I am going to list here. I am a recovering drug addict with a very broad and comprehensive knowledge of varying medications.
The biggest thing that you can do for your SO is support her. I know this is going to be incredibly hard for you right now but the biggest thing that has helped us on an emotional level has been a book called The 5 Love Languages. Here's a link.
Now I am not just promoting a book here, but I am suggesting a tool that can be vital to you two getting into a healthy emotional relationship with eachother. Now onto the drugs..
The best thing I have found, in terms of efficacy and with the least amount of side effects would be
Kanna. It is an all natural Succulent that people dry out the flowers, crush them up and then ingest. My girlfriend and I agree that the most effective and least uncomfortable way to take this is by mixing up some of the leaves into a piece of chewing gum and chewing for a while. The next best route of administration would be Sublingual, ie puttin the plant matter underneath your tongue and holding it there for as long as you can stand.
Kava Kava. It is an ancient herb that will help combat anxiety and depression, and it also helps tremendously with sleep. You can get capsules from a health food store, just make sure to get an extract with a large amount of kavalactones in it, and you can find tea with it too.
Blue lotus. This is another ancient remedy for anxiety and depression, you will most likely have to get this online, but it does help you feel more relaxed and it really does work.
Kratom. This is an all natural plant that has been used in Thailand for thousands of years. It helps with pain, anxiety, depression and has lots of other benefits. There are hundreds of different active alkaloids. Anti-inflammatory, Anti-cancerous, blood pressure regulators, anti-anxiety, painkilling, and tons and tons of others.
Now on to the next things, the things that will have to be taken with a word of caution.
GABA. This can be found at a health food store and it is a natural chemical responsible for motivation, happiness, well being and more. Taking GABA supplements do not cross the blood brain barrier very well, but people still report that it works for them. It's fairly cheap and it might work for her, check it out.
Aniracetam. This is a drug that was developed as a treatment for Alzheimers disease. It is now sold online as a cognitive enhancer (nootropic) and an anti-anxiety med. Tolerance builds up quickly so taking it every few days would be recommended. Here's a thread about it.
Now, here's my personal favorite, but it can be very dangerous in terms of physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
Phenibut. This is a chemical that works almost exactly like GABA in the brain, except it readily passes the blood brain barrier. This has been a godsend for me in terms of motivation, productiveness and fighting my depression and anxiety. This is the one she would have to be most careful about. Start with very low doses and gauge the effectiveness. 500mg to start and then wait. it takes a good 4 hours to kick in if you take it on an empty stomach. stay within the 500mg - 1500mg dosage range and never redose within a 4 hour period. This does cause physical dependence though. My advice for her would be to take it once every few days, or not more than 2 days in a row, with 3 days in between doses.
make sure to read this page about phenibut though.
Let me know if you want a pdf version of that love languages book.
Keep going through the tough times, man! One big problem with this sub is that it sets expectations way to high for people in recovery. Sure, it helps overall with confidence and anxiety to some extent, but not nearly as much as a lot of people claim.
The key thing to remember is that porn and masturbation will do NOTHING to help with your "awkwardness." Porn and masturbation will make your anxiety much much worse. Almost every here can agree to that and you know it is the truth.
The big problem here is that you have to really believe with all your heart that porn and masturbation offer you ZERO positives.
Go ahead and do some research for yourself about the positives of porn and masturbation. Question everything you read and you will soon realize that people out there are fooling themselves. They are addicted to a drug and are desperate to somehow justify their drug-use. People are willing to go to great lengths to explain their shitty habits. We are very protective of things that we know deep down are addictions.
Here is a little reading material for you! Remember to never stop researching and exploring this addiction. It is cunning and the more you learn the better success you will have.
Remember to take it all with a grain of salt. The important thing is that these resources will help you start to question your inner-addict.
(it's my own words, so I hope that doesn't come across as narcissistic. I just think thinking about these things is extremely important in early recovery)
This book is great for dealing with shame. It has helped me greatly with my own struggle to deal with my past and make peace with my mistakes and accepting myself as a person.
This book is not written for sex addiction, but it shows how recovery can be an extremely positive experience. I would definitely recommend reading it and substituting "porn and masturbation" for "nicotine."
There is a free PDF download on the website. I really like this book because it gives concrete strategies for overcoming porn and masturbation addiction. Read it all with a grain of salt. And approach everything in your initial recovery with skepticism.
I'm not a huge fan of Patrick Carnes because he seems to miss a basic idea about recovery that I think is important. But this book really is great for exploring your addiction. I would recommend it in small doses. It is highly interactive and it is sometimes very challenging to work with. This book is best used with the help of a therapist.
Get rid of your unhealthy habits! You deserve to be happy! Here is a lifehack for not bringing your phone to bed at night. This trick was essential to my recovery.
You sound like me. Here are some helpful resources I've found on reddit and elsewhere. Obviously, this is just my personal list so please ignore anything you don't think will help you.
Self-improvement subs: like most subs, there is a lot of junk but sorting by best all time/year/month leads to some good articles and posts.
Self improvement books
Fitness App (free)
Sites You Might Find Helpful
Hi, welcome to the club :) Do you have any questions in particular?
Ideally at this point you should be thinking about the best way to incorporate BPD treatment into your daily life. Whether it's actual therapy or researching it on your own, you would ideally want to set yourself up so that you inevitably have to think about it all on a daily basis. This ensures that, over time, you'll become more of an expert on the subject than a simple patient of the illness. By knowing how it came to be and how it works, eventually you'll be able to catch yourself and deal with yourself before getting into episodes.
Ultimately it comes down to being able to identify your emotions as they occur, and being able to diffuse the destructive ones before they take over any rational thought. Some helpful resources:
You will often read and be told that BPD is something you're going to live with for the rest of your life. This isn't exactly wrong, but it isn't as severe as it sounds. There are many success stories. There are even success stories that didn't require years of therapy. What cured people generally have in common is a keen interest in learning more about the condition, dedication, and compassion towards oneself when there are slip-ups. They are deemed success stories not because they no longer get triggered by silly things, but because their way of dealing with these triggers is no longer problematic most of the time.
So, we have an enlarged amygdala because of our thinking. Our ancestors learned to fear everything, this caused the over evolution of it. So yes evolution is environment and biological mixed, you can’t have one without the other. The first single called organisms that sensed light (from the environment), did better than those that didn’t. However if there wasn’t any light they wouldn’t have. If we as a people all started working on neocortex growth this would eventually trickle down. The biggest issues in our society are caused by our failure to evolve as quickly as our society has. We no longer have to fear lions, triggers, and bears, but our amygdala is operating on this old fear system.
However we very much can learn to chill the fuck out, and it starts with addressing our thoughts. The best way to do this is through mindfulness. I personally have in depth understanding of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mix it with mindfulness. It work so well I wanted to learn where mindfulness originated from. This lead me to Zen. So I would recommend anything mindfulness related to start you on your path. Crazy enough you’ve already been exposed to it through some of the red pill (they are good about using wisdom from others and dressing it up like there own). Two really good books are the subtle art of not giving a fuck and everything is fucked both are by Mark Manson. He is very good at mixing eastern philosophy and psychology in a way that makes it very understandable.
You seem to view her as an extension of yourself and your own status. This is faulty logic. She (like you) are complete and whole on your own. See in life when it comes to sexual relationships we have three choices. Don’t have any experience, have an in depth experience, or have a breath of experiences. None is better or worse than another, they are just different. Choose going alone and you avoid having to ever compromise anything but you’ll always feel like an outsider on some level. Choose an in-depth experience and you lose out on variety and can get boring, but you have a real chance at true intimacy (I say chance because a lot of relationships don’t make it, because it can take 15-30 years to get there). Lastly choosing a breath lets you have a lot of experience and never gets boring, but you have no chance at true intimacy.
So for most of human history women were only allowed to choose between no experience or in-depth. This lead to a lot of suicide, early death etc. Now women are as free as men, but unfortunately not all men have evolved past women being property or just an extension of self. They can’t see that everyone is playing their own game.
I use the analogy of broad games. Everyone is playing their own board game and thinks everyone else is playing the same one. However they aren’t we are all playing different ones, and can never see others persons game. So say your playing monopoly and I am playing chess. I look over at you and get mad that your not moving your pieces like chess, your not playing by my rules. Yet how could you? Your playing a totally different game. This is the truth of everyone no matter how much you love them or how long you’ve been together. I am my husband are playing different games and that just fine as long as I respect his, and he mine.
Having multiple partners isn’t god or bad. It’s just having more partners. What I mean is do you like your girlfriend now? Because if you do you must thank all her past experiences, sexual or not. This is because we’re all just our accumulation of our past experiences. You take away any experience you change the person.
I would humbly suggest you start viewing your girlfriend as a complete person worthy of love and respect like we all our regardless of past. Also stop putting your worth in external things like status, ideas, beliefs. I am no less worthy of my husbands love because of my past. He still loves me and see me as equals because he respects my humanness. He doesn’t believe my past has any bearing on our future (because it doesn’t). He especially does not see me as an extension of himself.
Try the books they can really help.
It's not about being deep it's about psychology and automatic responses, people become happy when they see or hear happy people and it gives you an advantage.
So a kinda good example of this is canned or fake laughter in comedy shows, the audience tends to hate it and to be honest I don't think i know anyone who even likes it. But comedy shows put it in anyway, why? because it makes jokes funnier especially bad jokes, and if people think a show is funny they watch it more. I would give you evidence for this but i can't find it right now sorry. But it was brought to my attention via this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Robert-B-PhD-Cialdini/006124189X
(the audiobook is quite good too)
Often people find it easy to fake happy smiles, but the eyes require much more work and happy eyes are the key, in my opinion, to having a happy looking face. I try to think of something that makes me happy (my first kiss, maybe a good thing that's happened recently etc.) and that tends to take care of my eyes.
As in more defined vs more chubby but happy it depends, in a social situation more happy is better and in a situation where they can see by your body that you aren't fat then happy is better too. Only face close ups are when I'd think about maybe avoiding the round faced "issue". It's something you'll have to check in the mirror to see for yourself.
Well at least you know what's wrong. First step to self improvement is admitting something is wrong. So you're ahead of the curve here.
The door to tawbah is never closed. Tawbah doesn't mean saying "I'm sorry!" and then going straight back into doing wrong. It means a genuine regret and attempt to put things right. God (swt) doesn't expect perfection out of us and we aren't perfect, but He does expect a genuine and strong effort to do our best. Thinking about whether hinduism is right or not is not going to send you to hell if your end conclusion was it's not right and God is one.
You need to learn the power of habit. In fact go buy the [book] (http://www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-What-Life-Business/dp/081298160X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1426535231&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=power+of+habit).
If you look at all your problems together, it may seem insurmountable, I recommend writing down a list. What do you want to change: Start with small goals and work your way through it.
For example, the number 1 thing that is a problem for you right now is salah. If doing 5 salat everyday looks like too much, start with the commitment to do a salat every single day and maintain for a few weeks. Focus on the getting the salat right, do it slow, contemplate the words and get into it.
Then add another and another every week or so, until you feel comfortable performing all five salat.
Once you have that down. Move on to the next item. Your parents. Your relationship doesn't need to be perfect, but make a commitment to do something nice to them once a day. Just saying thank you, I love you, I appreciate the effort you do. Buy your mom a gift on mother's day, and tell your dad he's a role model and you love him. It'll be the highlight of his decade if you say this, even he doesn't say much back.
And so on. Also, in your free time, explore ways to strengthen your faith and make it more enjoyable. Watch some inspiring videos, get involved with activities at the masjid, volunteer, join the msa once you're in college etc.
The people here commenting, many don't seem to have any first-hand experience with this philosophy. It's similar to those who talk out of their ass about modern Satanism or anything else they don't understand but is associated with "bad" or "taboo" imagery. Buy into the hype and bandwagons and you don't have to actually research and think, how convenient.
The better place to start? https://www.reddit.com/r/marriedredpill/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/asktrp/. Not as many "seasoned" posters or authority figures of the movement. It is hilarious to me, some of the comments I see below mentioning "controlling" or "manipulative" as keywords. Controlling is furthest from the truth. Now there are some in the PUA movement where the employ high usage of Dark Triad traits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad) which are of course meant to be manipulative or "harsher" but that's not the norm.
You'll notice that every focus in the MarriedRedPill Sub is ALL about self improvement. It's not manipulation, it's becoming the opposite of needy. Becoming "outcome independent" so that you aren't hinging on expectations of what the other person will do. The goal is to be masculine, strong, and assertive. To be so self assured that you CAN allow someone else in without scaring them off with needy beta behavior. That's it. The idea (and it is a philosophy, you don't have to identify with it) is that we are evolved in this way. The majority of women who want happy marriages are going to do better in a SLIGHTLY submissive role. Submissive doesn't mean lesser, or worth less or any other feminist garbage of the modern age.
The MarriedRedPill Sub really illustrates a captain/co-captain relationship. The idea is that men are leading their lives and a great woman for you will support that and support your mission. They don't process information the same way and DO NOT want to be included in every little thought you have. They want to see you succeed and that fulfills their purpose. They are turned on by your confidence and self assurance. That comforts them. Provides security.
I think the issue is that we are here on INTP. I'm reading through this book now: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339 and I have to tell you.... the majority of the people on this sub fall into this kind of male. That book and this one other https://www.amazon.com/When-Say-No-Feel-Guilty/dp/0553263900 will change your life and attitude if you follow the guidance and advice within. It has ZERO mention of red-pill, just psychologists talking about counseling and assertiveness and not being the "nice guy" anymore. It is helping me a lot and I recommend both.
It's not PC to say that women and men are different. Humans are different. Even the races are different in predictable ways. It doesn't mean that they don't all have the same potential or that they should have less opportunity. However, we cannot equalize outcomes. That is up to the individual.
You want to be able to have sex with other people AND keep your relationship with your girlfriend. I don't think you realize how lucky you are to have a girlfriend who is willing to try to make this work with you, despite the fact that it isn't something she wants. The vast majority of people would respond to this with an outright "No." or end the relationship completely.
Your girlfriend is giving up a lot for you in order to make this work. She is losing the sense of security that a monogamous relationship brings; she is putting herself at risk of having her feelings hurt and having to deal with the jealousy that this is likely to cause her. She is putting a huge amount of trust in you to:
You owe it to this woman to not break her trust. You owe her complete honesty and good communication. You owe it to her to make good decisions and be mindful of her feelings. Even if you having sex with other people will likely be hard on her, there are still things that you can do to minimize this---and one of those things is reinforcing her trust in you by things like a) not lying to her or hiding things from her, and b) making every effort to not neglect her needs and feelings.
You've already failed. You lied about where you were going, you hid it from her when she called you, and you neglected her when she was in a time of need (if you had been honest with her, you may not have been able to get there as soon as she wanted you to be there, but you could have given her the piece of mind that you were dropping everything to come and be there for her). Instead, you made her feel like you were just "too tired" to be there for her in a time of need.
There's a good chance that you've ruined your chance to have an open relationship with this woman, or in the very least, you've made it 100% harder than it already was by breaking her trust.
And after all of this, you have the balls to say that you're angry and resentful about this (her friend died, ffs, and that's no one's fault and not something that can be helped). Look, I totally get that you were looking forward to this and now you feel disappointed, but you need to get your priorities straight. What's more important to you, a weekend of fun... or being there for the person you're supposed to care about when they're in need? There will be plenty of opportunities to have fun in the future, but your girlfriend needs your support now. It's not the kind of thing that waits until a convenient time, and knowing that your partner is willing to be there for you when you need them... well, isn't that one of the main reasons why people get into relationships to begin with?
Honestly, if you would have handled this situation maturely, this could have actually been a huge positive reinforcement for having an open relationship. If your girlfriend knew that you went to the festival (with the possibility of meeting other woman), but you dropped everything to come and be with her when she needed you, you would be showing her that she is your priority and that you aren't going to neglect her needs. Experiences like that can go a long way in terms of building trust and comfort in an open relationship.
Now, it sounds like you did drop everything to go and be with her, but the fact that you lied about where you were is going to overshadow that. (And please, please, please don't tell your girlfriend, "Well, I did drop everything to come and be with you". You don't deserve a cookie for your behaviour, so don't try to justify it by giving yourself a pat on the back for something you SHOULD do regardless.
In my opinion, I think that the two of you should end things. You're not mature enough to be in an open relationship, and it doesn't sound like it's something she wants anyway.
However, if the two of you decide that this is something you really want to make work, you need to:
The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures (book)
Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships (book)
(Note: some of these resources are more geared toward polyamorous relationships, but they still have a lot of good information for any kind of nonmonogamous relationship).
You are much more normal than you think, and your problem--no matter how embarassing--is quite common. Here is a story to illustrate what I'm talking about. If you don't have time to read the whole story, here is a good quote from it:
>To be blunt, it fucking sucks that everyone seems to be having sex but me. The idea that so many people just don’t care about it–and yet nobody seems to want to do it with me–that really hurts. As a general idea, I think it’s fine. I don’t see any moral problem with it. I think if I could, I’d have casual sex as much as possible. I think people need to loosen up about judging others’ sexual habits.
OK, well...a few things. Most men struggle a great deal finding a partner willing to have sex with them. I am married (and very lucky in this respect), but I have a few male friends in their late thirties who are single. One of them last had sex two years ago. The other, as far as I know, hasn't found anyone who will sleep with him since he broke up with his girlfriend over three years ago. Guys who are tall, good-looking, charming, or in the vicinty of women who aren't picky may well have as much sex as you think they are having. But they probably aren't.
So I want to give you two pieces of advice. The first is that you will have sex by pursuing the kinds of relationships that lead to sex. That sounds self-evident, but ask yourself if you are doing that in earnest. If you are pursuing a woman who has made it clear that she isn't interested in physical intimacy, for example, then acknowledge this and set your sights elsewhere. Don't be afraid to commicate sexual intetest, either. Here is an excellent dating advice book that tells you how to do this.
Second, just because you are unable to find a willing parnter at the moment, that does not mean that you cannot have sexual feelings or act on them. It's a bit of an open secret, but the platform I am using to communicate to ypu right now is one of the best places to find amateur pornography online. If you are not opposed to using pornography, then I encourage you to take advantage of this fact. Learning how to soothe yourself sexually in the absence of a parnter is one of the most important skills you need to develop to make it as a guy today, so please consider this advice and confront any feelings of guilt or shame that it might inspire.
Lastly, be patient with yourself. Set goals that aren't simply experiencing sex and work toward them. Enjoy yourself as you do. You are wired for pleasure, as well as disappointment. Which one you experience more of, believe it or not, has much more to do with the decisions that you make more than the judgments that other people make about you. Best of luck. I know this sounds trite, but have fun. I'm saying it because I mean it.
In a sense, yes. A formal diagnosis is not a requirement, but could be helpful if that is really what is going on. It could also be a hindrance. Unfortunately, the situation in the mental health field nowadays is really complicated, particularly with the fact that so many practitioners have significant problems with pathological narcissism themselves. It is absolutely critical, if you are having a problem with pathological narcissism, that you do take the reigns in addressing the problem. In that regard, narcissistic psychopathology parallels addiction very significantly. Many practitioners even recommend 12 step programs. As you may already know, narcissistic psychopathology is very common among M.D.'s in the U.S. and elsewhere - particularly among surgeons (current estimates of NPD as high as 40%, and my guess is that is low).
Another route is to also consider how your childhood and familial experiences effected you. A good book to read is "The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists". Another good one is "Why is It Always About You?" (ignore the preachy Christian parts). Trying to think deeply about the stories and lessons of these books and how they relate to you, your life, and your family and friends is critical. Almost everyone is surrounded by pathological narcissism in some way in the U.S., so there will be useful lessons, to some degree, on practically every page. In particular, if you start realizing that you are suffering/effected by narcissism in your life, heed the lessons pointed out in the Wizard of Oz book - they are extremely useful, but MUST be put into practice, not simply "understood". If you seek out treatment from mental health clinicians, pay very close attention to the sections of the book where she describes how to spot pathological narcissism in clinicians and put it into use. This is critically important regardless of what your condition turns out to be. A clinician with traits or full NPD can not only be unhelpful to your treatment, but even dangerous, and they are all too common. Avoid any religiously preachy clinicians like the plague, as a rule.
Have you considered doing some workbooks? That may be helpful because it removes the personal aspect of the intervention. A good one is:
You might benefit from neurofeedback. Some is better than others, so don't be put off if it doesn't work well the first place you try.
It sounds like you'll want to really pay attention to the covert/introverted narcissism components. If you read about these topics and things start resonating (which can lead to intensely strong feelings, "good" or "bad"), then you are probably on the right track. The absolute key is to be extremely honest with yourself. Really, really extremely honest and non-morally-judgemental. You may also find a lot of value in a concept called "radical acceptance". You seem to be struggling significantly with not being able to be the "Great Savior" to your patients that you wanted to be. You'll probably nee to do a lot of reflection on that and think about how it figures into your life story. Developing a journaling habit, if you don't already, would probably be an excellent idea. Getting your life story out and thinking about why things happened is key. Reflect, integrate realizations into your life story. Rinse and repeat.
I went through a multi-decade ordeal in assisting a family member (also a doctor) who was in a nearly identical situation as you. There was NPD, but also comingled with addiction (substance), mood disorder, and bipolar. It was pretty difficult to sort out, but that person is doing much, much better now. Of course, this is all routed in childhood trauma, so it may be helpful to do some basic reading on that:
Learn what your triggers are, and mind them.
Finally, a really important concept is discussed by Ronningstam, which is often overlooked by even very good practitioners who understand narcissism quite well. It is the critical component of redirecting ego-drive into healthy behaviors; Understanding the difference between healthy narcissism vs. pathological narcissism. This is, IMO, the #1 reason why NPD, pathological traits thereof, and addiction treatment fail so often. She discusses this very well in other parts of her book.
Of course I could be completely wrong, but that's my opinion, for what it's worth. As I mentioned, if you start digging, stay honest, and it starts resonating (good or bad), you're probably on the right path.
You sound EXACTLY like me. It's always hard to live like we do, and I'll give you some book recommendations, but I want to give you some pointers too that have basically kept me alive.
I saw so many therapists who did next to nothing for me. I ended up committing myself to a 100% voluntary psychiatric hospital. Everyone was basically in the same boat; we weren't crazy but we weren't healthy either. The treatment plan that they gave us was based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which is I guess somewhat new. It's meant for borderline personality disorder, but as someone who has PTSD, general anxiety, and clinical depression, I would HIGHLY recommend any books or workbooks or videos you can find on it. I like it because it helps you treat yourself rather than making you dependent on therapists, etc. It's all about reshaping the way you think and the way you handle certain situations. It's the best thing I've ever found that helps (and I spent 15 years in near-useless therapy before that!)
I also found that reading people's memoirs and even some fiction books really helped as well because they reminded me that I wasn't alone. See, it's hard with mental health because it's not like any other "diseases" that you can see. I think we often feel alone because it's so hard to tell when somebody is like us since depression and anxiety aren't conditions that are readily visible to the human eye. It's a sneaky illness that creeps up on you like a parasite and getting it to go away is a process, but it's still possible.
Just think about any positive thing you can, and don't let yourself find cons to it. There may always be negative aspects to things, but there are almost always pros as well. No matter how you feel, there's always somebody out there who could use your help. If you're feeling really bad, try volunteer work. It helps me sometimes. Also try going outside your comfort zone with things. Give yourself a thrill and discover something new that you can enjoy. I know it's hard to get the motivation or energy to do anything like that when you're depressed, but you have to force yourself. (It's called "opposite to emotion action" in DBT. Life saver.)
Anyway, here are those book recommendations:
A personal favorite author of mine is Douglas Adams. I'd recommend the Salmon of Doubt. No particular reason, he's just funny and it's nice to get your mind off things sometimes.
I hope you feel better. I really really do :-)
Feel free to PM me with questions.
Here is what I recommend currently:
(You can get it free if you take the courses with out the degree)
Foundations To Advanced Topics:
(Neil Patel is one of the few Internet Marketers I would trust. He has successful businesses and is fairly transparent)
Books that can help you with marketing:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Once you read this book you will see the techniques used everywhere in marketing. Once you understand the techniques you can apply them yourself.
The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller - Everyone talks about copywriting, but IMO most copy is written way to salsy and is obvious. I have had much better results using stories to sell and most of my sales pages use story telling techniques to bring the reader on a journey.
The Copywriters Handbook - That said, you should still understand the point of copy and this book does a good job. Once you know the fundamentals of copywriting you can sell almost anything.
What to avoid:
Avoid any courses that are selling Techniques or formulas (I.E: My Super Awesome Snapchat Method that brought in $5000") while most have useful information the issue is simple:
Formulas/Templates/Tactics will only get you so far and won't always work. Yes, some methods have been proven to work time and time again, but you are still better off learning the fundamentals of marketing and sales over reusing tactics and templates.
By learning the fundamentals you will be able to rapidly test and try new things to see what works and doesn't. This will give you more flexibility and success in the long wrong.
Most people sell courses around tactics because most customers want a lazy way to make money. Do they work? yes and no. There is no real answer - these tactics may work for you or not as there are a lot of things to factor in.
When buying a course check out the instructor. A lot of Internet Marketers only had 1 success before selling courses on the subject. If someone claims to be an awesome marketer and doesn't have more than 1 success as proof, something is wrong and most likely that success was a fluke.
Most trustworthy marketers normally will have a long track record of successes or at the very least have well known clients (Google/Facebook/Coke/etc).
TL;DR: Avoid tactics/templates/Formulas and learn the fundamentals of marketing.
Yeah I would just ignore these guys.
The way I would look at this is you have two choices. Option 1 is to learn to live with the situation (maybe just temporarily), option 2 is to work on it.
For Option 1 I would recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (try reading Feeling Good). CBT is a good way to help align how you think with what you logically believe. Like MackNoir said, there really isn't a good reason to give a shit about what other people think, but the techniques in that book can help you actually think that way.
Also I would try meditation (see /r/meditation and Mindfulness in Plain English, a free book). Meditation is a great way to help you stay grounded and focused on the present (which includes not worrying about issues like you're talking about here).
For Option 2 you really just have to make an effort. If you want to feel like you're contributing to people's lives, invite them to things, offer to help people when the opportunity comes up, and volunteer. To make conversation easier, do things like read the news, learn about things that interest you, try a lot of different things and pick up hobbies. Also remember FORDEN for easy topics (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams, Environment i.e. your surroundings, and News). Those things along with being a good listener, conversation threading (google it), and practice should make conversation easy.
But obviously some of those things require some time. Like Jing-Jack said college will be different and you should have a lot more control over what you do with your time then (assuming you move out).
So I guess for me the first step was just sort of coming to an understanding that drinking really isn't adding anything, but that it is taking so much away... and just listing all of those things, like verbally or in pen or something, because what happens is you realize how often you are making the same stupid mistakes... Like once you have said it allowed or written it down, every time it happens you have to acknowledge that it also happened yesterday, and the day before, and it was really bad the time before that... It was just getting exhausting.
So I just was getting so tired of it, like it sounds like you are, so I set a date. Didn't make any changes in the mean time, was still drinking, still saying yes every time somebody asked me if I wanted to go out, still kept doing the "just one more" dance, carried on with the daily hangovers etc... but I had my date set and for a full month it got to the point where I just couldn't wait to reach the date, I was so ready for it.
In the interim, I read a couple of books about neuroplasticity and habit formation that I found really helpful. If you only read one book, my suggestion would be The Power of Habit, but I also read Rewire Your Brain which was also super helpful, and I just ordered "The easy way to stop drinking" which is linked in the sidebar at /r/stopdrinking, so we'll see what that has to say.
So I guess what I have been doing is really just focusing on the positives, because I was just getting so so tired of the bullshit and I had this image in my head of what I want my life to be like when I get to a point where the urge to drink isn't constantly in my head. So, with a several page long list in hand of all the little triggers, and a really really really long list of reasons why I wanted to do this in case I forget, the day finally came and so I told my family what I was doing, and decided to start working on all the things I was excited about, like books and hobbies and stuff. Apart from the hangover that day I was pretty excited...
Unfortunately, it didn't go well to start because I didn't sleep a wink for days, so I was in really, reeeeally bad shape, but truthfully I had prepped my head for enough time that the desire to go back just so I could get some sleep wasn't unmanageable, especially because I know that if I drank I'd just have to go through the bullshit all over again... So now it's been almost a week, I'm kinda starting to function again normally, and I'm feeling so much better than I have in a very long time already, even though I still haven't slept well still... I also went to buy coffee yesterday and I thought "I better check my checking account balance, I don't want my card to get declined here AGAIN..." and I was pretty shocked to see I had $80 in there, that never happens by this time of month... So I'm just focusing on these awesome little changes as much as I can, every positive little change or occurrence I make a point of paying attention to so that I don't lose momentum...
Also, posting at /r/stopdrinking every day has been super helpful because my brain is running like 1000 miles per hour faster than usual, so it is super helpful just unload there, and somebody responds every time within minutes.
So the term that you're looking for is triad and there are many people who engage in the kind of relationship you're seeking. It has been suggested already, but I would like to reiterate that r/polyamory is the place you need to post this. It is the most accepting, knowledgeable community on reddit regarding nonmonogamy. I have been in a quad for over a year and it has been the most helpful internet resource for my husband and I.
The Ethical Slut has been recommended, there's also Opening Up. I found Opening Up to be an incredible resource to get my head around the different types of nonmonogamous relationships, the possible issues that may come up and suggestions on how to approach them. The biggest concept I got from that book was that no nonmonogamous relationship is exactly alike and whatever works for your relationship is what's right for you.
I would suggest all of you read either/both of the books suggested. Take notes, makes lists of questions/comments/concerns and all three of you jointly work out a relationship structure that works for all of you. Are you all going to be on equal terms? Is your wife going to be primary and your gf secondary? Is your gf moving in? If she is, where is she sleeping? Will you be ok if your gf dates and brings other men/women home where your child is? Will your gf have the right to discipline and make decisions for your child? Just a few things to consider.
The biggest things in having a poly relationship, the same with any relationship are communication and in my opinion, radical honesty. You all need to feel safe about communicating EVERYTHING big or small and you all need to sit down and listen with as little defensiveness as possible. Issues will come up that may be about anything from jealousy to who should have done the dishes, you need to be able to work through these issues together, equally.
Our quad doesn't cohabitate, my hubs and I live together with our two boys and our other couple is married and live with their dog, so I can't give specific advice/thoughts/opinons on that. However, being in a polyamorous relationship has been one of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences I have ever had. The amount of personal and relationship growth we've all had has been so incredible. The level of support during good and bad times, the intimacy, the love, it's wonderful. We've had our share of ups and downs and it certainly has its challenges, but overall, it has been an amazing addition to our lives.
One of the challenges that we have found is dynamics with disagreements. The way my husband and I communicate difficulties or have disagreements is different than how our other half does. It was quite a learning curve figuring out how to negotiate issues, but with patience and a lot of communicating we've figured that out. Adding more people adds more angles to consider in all aspects of your relationship, positive and growth inducing.
Good luck!! You're in for one hell of an adventure! :D
Hey u/whatToDoNextWife, I really hope you see this post. I wanted to say that I get where you're coming from. There's a whole bunch of emotions to unpack, so let me try to help you break it down a tiny bit, and then I can provide some recommendations on how to proceed.
You need to realize that your wife probably has a ton of stresses going on. For example, you mention two pregnancies, which I presume means two children. Caring for them probably adds a lot to her daily stress. I don't know if she works outside of home, but if so, add that on, too. Not sure how the two of you split the workload at home, but tack that on as well. Now add on that she has a negative self-image - you can thank the media for that. Also add on that she's aware that you want to have a physical relationship, but she's feeling overwhelmed, and now she gets to feel guilty for not being able to please you sexually.
Now, understand that all people have "accelerators" and "brakes". So, when the accelerators are activated, and the brakes are released, desire is able to build. When the brakes are being activated, it's quite the opposite. Now, what do you think all these stresses and negative body image feels do for a person? Do you think they activate the accelerator, or do they activate the brakes. The answer is that the vast majority of people, it hits the brakes hard. Do you think a person with the brakes on is going to want to have sex?
The good news is that this is completely normal! More good news is that these issues can be solved if both partners are committed to solving them.
I suggest that you have a calm, and quiet talk with your wife about what you're feeling. However, I would take a different approach. I would tell her that you really miss the physical intimacy, from hugs, kisses, and kind words all the way to sex, in all its forms. I would explain that you understand how stressed she must be feeling, and that you don't want to add to her stress. I think I'd tell her that you're partners in all of this, and that you'll be with her through thick and thin...for better or for worse, right? You want to be there to ease her stresses, and help ease her burdens. Then see how she feels. See what she has to say.
Now, I really strongly recommend that both of you read, "Come as You Are", by Dr. Emily Nagoski. You'll learn a million things about your wife, and what she's going through. You'll also learn how to understand, and address the issues you're describing! It's a fantastic read, and it moves pretty quickly. All of the information is based on decades of scientific research, and Dr. Nagoski presents it in a super approachable and relatable way. As you both read that book, you'll learn about what's going on, as well as strategies for how to move forward.
If at some point, you decide you both would like to speak with a sex therapist, check out the following site for qualified referrals: https://www.aasect.org/referral-directory
Best of luck to you both! Don't forget that calm, reassuring, and gentle communication is critically important!!
23 M fresh out of college, did something very similar and am in a similar situation, except I’ve decided that getting her back isn’t my goal. At this point I have too much respect for her and myself to go down the selfish path of trying to get her back. I’d start exploring the idea of getting better for you and you alone and a better woman will come along one day, or not, and that’s what I’m learning to be okay with.
I’d HIGHLY recommend this book it is a very easy read(grammatically speaking) that hits very very hard. This is an amazing way to baseline where you’re at and figure out what needs to be worked on, chances are there’s plenty stuff you’re unaware of.
On top of that, some standard ways to jolt your body to support your mental progress: exercise, eat clean, meditate, sleep more, drink less, etc. if you’re not doing this any mental progress you attempt to make will be much more difficult. There’s some amazing correlations behind changing your bodily habits and the positive changes in thoughts and emotions.
Don’t go crazy, though. Lift for an hour 3-4 times a week, do some free YouTube yoga on your rest days, and get good sleep. If your job allows it, start implementing a sleep schedule to help manage your time. All these little things have a way of building up and impeding the progress we really care about, make the effort to “automate” a lot of those fundamental processes and you’ll put yourself in the best position to effectively make emotional and mental progress through meditation or whatever other therapy you seek out.
Good luck, feel free to PM me about more stuff I’m in a similar boat as you
Edit: also this book is another essential for being emotionally mature. Understanding Attachment Theory will make your dating life much more manageable
Well, I'm no doctor, but I've studied and practiced CBT for years. I'll link some guides and books below that are pretty good. But, essentially, CBT is all about paying attention to what you say to yourself and working to change it. What you say and think about is like a habit: you've been doing it for so long that it's become rather 'default' behavior. But, like a habit, it can be changed with enough time and work.
One of the very first steps in doing this is becoming aware of what you are saying. For example, like in the title of the post, when you call yourself a moron. Or the lines of thought, such as your friends leaving you. This is a major step because, for a lot of that self-talk, you probably aren't aware of it or your brain 'filters' it out, but it's hurting you anyways.
The next step is to start challenging what you say about yourself rationally. Try comparing them to this list. For example, when you have a fear about your friends leaving you, the first thing you should do is ask yourself why. Why would they leave you? What did you do? Then look at your answer and compare it to that list. Chances are that what you're afraid of is either unlikely or illogical. It can help a lot to write this stuff out on paper.
Another test that I like is to imagine that you're saying your 'self-talk' to someone else. Imagine you had a friend you really liked and trusted completely, they can be real or imaginary. Now imagine that friend is calling himself a moron or is saying that he's afraid his friends will leave him, or whatever self-talk you're giving yourself. Would you agree and call him a moron or say his friends will leave him (remember, you're supposed to really like this person)? I would guess probably not. It would just make him feel worse, right? What's important with this test is to realize is that that is exactly what you're telling yourself and it's making you feel just as bad.
After that, it's a game of watching what you think and doing the above until it becomes less of a problem. So when you call yourself a moron, you never let yourself get away with it. You ask yourself: why am I a moron? Why does X make me a moron? Aren't I allowed to make mistakes? Etc. Eventually, you'll start to become nicer to yourself and treat yourself like you would that good friend from above.
Feeling good by David Burns is pretty much the go-to, raw CBT book. It has a lot of worksheets and examples to help the reader. I highly recommend it, especially if you're just starting.
Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler is also a good book that focuses in more on social aspects.
Most of the online guides I've seen haven't been too fantastic IMO. But they do exist. This seems like a good overview, but definitely not as interactive or comprehensive as the books are. Personally, I'd start with David Burns' book. It's probably the most tried-and-true of them all.
Much of my research has been focused on men who grew up under an emotionally abusive, narcissistic female parent ("Nparent"). Boys with high levels of intelligence who grow up under these conditions develop defense mechanisms to avoid the irrational, and often unpredictable, wrath of their Nparent.
One of these defense mechanisms is a highly developed sense of empathy, or in other words "the ability to understand and share the feelings of others." Children from abusive homes often develop higher-than-normal levels of awareness for other people's emotions as a survival response; because while growing up, a child's well-being was determined by the emotional state of the Nparent, whose mood and behavior could radically and unpredictably shift without warning or provocation. So, these children learn how to observe their Nparent and be aware of their every-changing emotional state at all times.
There are a couple consequences of this. First, many of these children learn how to interact with other people in a disarming way. These sort of children do very well in professional sales environments because they have an advanced ability to "read" people.
Which leads me to a second consequence: primarily being in a state of reaction to other people's actions. If life were a game of chess, you would be black, always reacting to white's first move. Again, as a defense mechanism, children in abusive homes learn strategies to disarm or satisfy their Nparent. Since the Nparent is always on the offensive and the child is always on defense, everything the child is trained to do is counter, repel, or otherwise disarm the actions of others. And these children can become very well adept at developing strategies to anticipate the needs of others.
So while the bulk of these boys' training is as a reaction to the wants and needs of others, these boys are not taught how to be in charge, how to identify and exert their own wants and needs in a relationship in a healthy way. In every relationship, there is a leader and there is a follower. Your relationship training growing up has always been to be reactionary, to be a damn good follower because your survival depended on it.
Now, you are dating, and women are looking for a leader in the relationship. The problem is that you don't have any training on how to be a leader in relationships. Like a fish in water, your whole world growing up has been focused on being the best survivor you can be, and that has meant being the best listener, the best reactor, the best follower you can be because you never knew what it meant to be in control.
Shifting gears into being on the opposite side of that fence, by being the person whose Will is exerted instead of being the person upon whom someone else's Will is exerted, is difficult. It's like riding a bike for the first time: no matter how many books you read on riding a bike, you're still going to fall the first few times. Becoming comfortable as a leader in a relationship is learning experience. It takes time to explore what that means for you and what that means to the women who follow you.
Diving deeper, if you grew up in this sort of environment, you know what it means to be taken advantage of; you've seen what it means for a person to manipulate some unsuspecting individual into fulfilling the manipulator's desires. Like a used-car salesman, you may view the whole experience of "using your magic" to get other people to do what you want as coercive, as something negative. You feel bad because maybe you feel like you're taking advantage of these women; and knowing how badly it sucks to be taken advantage of, you feel uncomfortable escalating things because of it. You haven't necessarily been so accommodating to others because you wanted to, you've done it as a means of survival, because you've had to in order to avoid punishment. You can't fathom or haven't considered the reality that there are people out there who genuinely desire to support others, not out of a sense of avoiding pain but because they truly feel a desire to support the fulfillment of someone else's Will.
If any of this applies to you, then here's my advice: first, recognize that you've been playing the part of the follower in relationships. Your approach has been reactionary, to anticipate the needs of others in order to satisfy those needs, as you feel a good partner should. The problem with this approach is that it requires the other person to have definitive needs. If they don't have needs that can be defined, then you won't know what to do; and nothing you do will satisfy them.
This might explain some issues you've had with LTRs in the past. There's the ongoing joke that if you ask a woman "what would you like to have for dinner?," her response is ____. You already know the stereotypical response (it's "I don't know", if you didn't already guess). While publicly men will lament about female indecisiveness, TRP explains that women aren't interested in making the decision about dinner because they've already made the only decision that matters: they chose you. Now, it's your job to decide what's for dinner; it's your responsibility to figure out what you both are doing tonight; she depends on you to take the lead. And since she's waiting for you to exert your Will, she often doesn't have definitive wants to satisfy. This may very well be the reason why you kept expecting insight from previous LTRs on what you should be doing for them, all the while they were becoming frustrated with you because you were not exhibiting the very same indicators that you sought from her.
Second, you need to learn how to be a leader in relationships, learn how to be in control. There are strong, positive leaders and there are shitty, negative leaders. Realize that exerting your Will in a relationship is not inherently bad thing. There are ways to do it positively. Women seek this strong leadership in relationships with a man. Just like you presently react to someone else to satisfy their needs, women desire to do that exact thing for you. So if you're not exerting your Will in a relationship, then your relationship with her will invariably fall apart.
So get over feeling bad about exerting your Will. Realize that a huge percentage of women desire to support the Will of a strong man. This desire is so ingrained that a surprising quantity of women admit to sexually fantasizing about being raped. This psychology tells us that even under what we might consider to be the most severe of circumstances (being raped), a situation that you would overwhelmingly consider to be "bad," many women still generally sexually fantasize about being "taken" and satisfying a man's Will by his force. By being a man who exerts his Will, you are quite actually giving women what they truly seek: a man who knows what he wants and ACTS on it. So in your chess game with women, be the white piece and make the first move; let them react to you, your desires, your Will. They want you to take charge, and you're hurting yourself and disappointing them when you don't.
Final thoughts, pick up copies of these two books: (1) "No More Mr Nice Guy" by Dr. Robert Glover, and (2) "Models" by Mark Manson. First read No More Mr Nice Guy.
This is going to sound hokey, but go with me: cater to the "love language" they bring to work. I'm pulling this from the Gary Chapman book, "The Five Love Languages". The mechanism Chapman describes ("love languages") isn't only for romantic. We carry pieces of our "language" with us in all of our friendships, work relationships, etc.
I'm not trying to take away from the other answers here; more so, accentuate them.
Here's the rub though. I'm suggesting this as the inspiration for how to better recognize people, but don't let this slip into corporate personality tests, or cheap gimmicks. At the end of the day give people what they deserve, and this can be a framework to individualizing those rewards and building real relationships with the people running your business.
My anecdotal backing:
Heya. Thanks for the post, it was pretty intense but I completely get where you're coming from. If you're looking for advice, I can offer a couple of things.
First is a book that is pretty popular on this sub and I recommend to a lot of friends that have lost their purpose, it's called "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport. It's a really good guide to success and happiness in a career.
Second, you definitely need to relax a little bit. I've been through anxiety and depression and the way that you're thinking right now is a recipe for an unhappy life.
>I have to be immortalized in history. Ide rather be dead than average but I don’t know how im gonna be more than average.
Putting this level of pressure on yourself can only lead to perceived failure, even if you're succeeding. You need to focus more on the "means", rather than the "ends", meaning if you want to be a comedian and think you can, then focus on writing jokes and performing. Don't even think about "changing the world" or being mediocre.
If you're getting stuck in these kinds of thought patterns a lot, then I can recommend another book (again often recommended here):
Honestly, the title might sound corny, but this book has saved and changed so many lives that it's true worth is incalculable.
>there has to be more to life than just having a good time and discovering what everyone already knows exists
There is indeed. Life is experience. The more you get, the more you'll understand.
Best of luck, friend.
So you've gotten in better shape, but your still crawling around on all 4 begging for her attention. News Flash - Needy people are so much work and a turn off at the end of the day.
I wore your exact shoes a few years ago and was at the door of divorce. Today we both agree that had either one of us brought up the bid D word, it probably would have happened.
Ask yourself while looking in the mirror - Are you the man that attracted her 14 years ago when she clawed at you? What were you like back then?
Most answers are the same - Spontaneous, Energetic, Played sports, Built things with your hands, had an ego, could change the world, had no time for needy people, energetic, life of the party, social leader, ect.
Heres the part that might sting a little - but stop trying to change other people. They owe you nothing and you don't own them. Once you're truly happy internally and loving yourself that you will begin to see others want to be around you. When you give off that vibe that you have your world under control and nothing fazes you, people want to be a part of that because it's attractive.
Find a hobby, play some sports, spend time in the garage building something, take care of shit at home because you want to, not because you think it will change someone else. Never expect anything in return for what you do in and out of the house. Improve YOU and others WILL notice.
Read this book as the first step: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1479840469&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=no+more+mr+nice+guy
Look, I know how you feel and it breaks my heart to read these stories - but please take what I typed with a grain of salt and really look internally for that change you want. It may not fix your marriage, but it puts you on the roadmap and the right frame of mind going forward.
I took this advice 3-4-5 years ago - today we are so freaking open in our conversations it's crazy hot, sex has been better than ever before, and we are planning vacations, ect. The house is clean, the kids are happy, and we glow when we go out. In fact we glow so damn much people are always all over us at parties ect.
Start leading, stop following.
So there's lots of things that could be going on here. First off, it is good to keep in mind that it is almost inevitable that couples will have less sex overtime vs when they started out. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it is more like evolving into becoming intimate in a wider variety of ways.
Your boyfriend might be uninterested in sex because of being desensitized from consuming too much porn. If your boyfriend is truly addicted to porn and therefore so overstimulated that physical sex pales in comparison, he might benefit from seeing a sex therapist, although indulging in an occasional half hour porn session is hardly abnormal for men, so keep that in mind. If he is very introverted, he could even be using the porn as an excuse to have some personal time with himself. Genuine porn addiction is more like watching porn every moment he thinks he can get away with it, even when it is very risky for him to do so, like at work or on a public computer.
If he avoids sex because of anxiety, he might benefit from seeing an anxiety specialist. Some people really want to have sex but don't go through with it because their anxiety is so intense that they begin to panic. If he is so anxious that he wants to have sex but simply can't initiate, then you may just have to accept that that's gonna have to be your job if you want to have sex with him. Also, people with social anxiety don't just have difficulty initiating sex, they tend to have difficulty initiating anything social, so that may or may not be why he doesn't ask you out on dates or perform gestures of affection like buying flowers. Then again, people express affection in different ways, and gifts or acts of service might not be a way that he does. There is an excellent book about this called 'The 5 love languages'. Or maybe he just doesn't care, period, who knows.
If he has neither of these issues, than he may just not be particularly interested in physical sex. Some men are like that, contrary to practically every pop culture narrative. For someone to be occasionally but usually not interested in sex is known as gray-asexuality, and it's not a moral failing on either of your part, it's just how some people are. Some people are asexual because of being the victim of abuse, some are like that because they are so introverted that they don't feel comfortable sharing their most private feelings an sensations with others, and some are like that for no apparent reason at all. It's not his fault if he's just not interested in sex, and it's not your fault if that doesn't work for you either. Sometimes people with normal sex drives who date asexual people enter into polyamorous relationships, where it is acknowledge that one person simply isn't meeting the other person's sexual needs, so the asexual person consents to their partner having sexual relationships with other people. This requires a great deal of trust between the partners for that kind of arrangement to have any success, and isn't for everyone, but it's potentially an option.
Personally, I probably have all of the above issues to some degree, and I am much more comfortable having sex where I can take on a completely passive role, such as receiving a blow job or using the cowgirl position. We have vaginal sex about once a month, and when we do, I pull out after a few minutes because I get overwhelmed by anxiety. It makes me sad to know that my partner sometimes often feels unsatisfied that I often refuse to initiate sex or have it at all, and she also has essentially stopped trying to initiate with me do to the pain of often being rejected (that's a feeling women aren't as accustomed to due to sexual norms), but she has come to accept for the most part that it's an issue with me, not her, and we connect so well in other ways that we appreciate the sex that we do have as much as we can because she knows I really am trying to connect with and satisfy her as much as I can, even though it wouldn't seem like it at first glance.. She now tries to have sex with me in a way that acknowledges my limitations, which often is as low-intensity as light touching or watching porn together. When I am ready for something more intense than that, I initiate.
Then again, your boyfriend might just take you for granted and expect you to service him without providing any reciprocation or even appreciation in return. Some men have the disgusting belief that that kind of behavior is the only way they can get a woman to respect him. If that is the case than he probably won't understand how stupid and counterproductive that is until someone sets some boundaries and stands up to him.
Whatever your boyfriend's situation is, him telling you that you are overreacting because your needs aren't being met is completely inappropriate. If you are equal partners, then your needs should matter to him, and if they don't then he shouldn't expect you to do anything at all to satisfy his needs. It's normal to have needs, and if someone else can't meet them they at least shouldn't put you down for having them.
Also, he might just be done with the relationship and acting coldly could be a passive aggressive way of communicating that.
So the rub is that there are any number of things that could actually be going on with your boyfriend, so what you're going to need to do in any case is talk to your boyfriend and find out what's actually going on. He might have one or multiple of the issues I suggested, or none, or something I didn't think of, but you well never know if you don't ask. If he isn't open to talking about that stuff (it can be hard, that's extremely personal stuff), than I would suggest seeing a relationship therapist together, they can work wonders for helping people learn how to communicate the important stuff that goes unsaid. He also might not know what is going on either. Many people have so little understanding of their own emotions that they couldn't even tell you what they are feeling if they wanted to, and a relationship therapist can help with that as well.
You are clearly speaking from a rough place in your life right now and feeling very low. I want to start by saying I'm glad you reached out to us here. A lot of people just close up within themselves and sink further into depression, but you decided to open up and communicate. That's very important and shows you actually have more strength than you think. Just wanted to acknowledge you for that before addressing your points.
First nothing is permanent. Your academic failure, your previous experience with women--yes, all that has happened and you can't reverse it now. But there is absolutely no reason whatsoever it has to be the same in the future. Your choices led to your past results, but change your choices and you change your future.
Many people who initially failed at things went on to become very successful at it. Michael Jordan was rejected the first time he tried out for high school basketball. You know why? They thought he was "too short". Think about this for a minute. Imagine if Michael Jordan said "You know what, they're right. I'm not like those tall guys. I'll never be a great basketball player, because I just wasn't born with the right traits." Imagine if that's what he thought! But he didn't. He decided he was going to work harder at proving himself up to the task. And MJ isn't unique, there are tons of stories like this if you look.
That's my overall, biggest point. Don't close the book. You have the power of choice, the power to choose differently and thus experience differently.
Now to your specific statements...
>At 23 years of age
Well right here, let's set something straight: 23 is still very young! Only on Reddit, full of kiddies, is 23 somehow "older" or "mature". I'm in my later 30s, and let me tell you something: I didn't know shit at 23! Like maybe a little bit, but the real learning started after college in the "real world". You sound like you're some old man at the end of his days who's realized "what the world is", but from my perspective--no offense--that's hilarious! I guarantee like 50%+ of what you think you "know" right now you will later realize was completely ass backwards.
>Some guys just have the "x-factor". They have been born with the ability to attract girls.
I brought up the MJ not being "tall enough" example before, but further: yes some people are just naturally more physically attractive given their "baseline" looks. It's ridiculous to deny that. However, and the ladies reading this can confirm this for me, that is not at all the only factor behind a woman's attraction to a man. It has as much if not more to do with how the man carries himself, how he communicates, how interesting he is as a person. You mentioned success later so I'll continue this when I go into that below...
>Should I hire an escort to get rid of my virginity?
100% no. That should be a moment with someone who respects you and cares about you. You're assuming no one ever will, but what I'm trying to point out is that control over that future is up to you. (Historical side note: Friedrich Nietzsche lost his virginity to a prostitute, and regretted it his whole life.)
>my lack of success. I have crap grades with no foreseeable future. No Indian girl in her right mind will want a desi man like that.
You have crap grades up until now, OK. But here's where your being 23 shows: you seem to think "grades" = "life". Only someone who's lived totally in the world of school thinks that. Yes you do have to get back on track, start fresh, and finish your degree. But your resume isn't going to show your GPA, so don't worry so much about that. Your college transcript isn't your "life" transcript!
>What is the best way for me to stop being attracted to Indian girls (I think a lot of them are really pretty?
Well first, you can't stop being attracted to who you're attracted to. If you could, then gays could be "converted" to straight. They obviously report (if they're allowed to be honest) that this 100% fails. So this is kind of silly to attempt anyway.
>, Im just not good enough) I have accepted this fact
Fact? Fact did you say? :) No, this is just your current interpretation of your situation. The facts are what happened, but not what that means about you as a person. Your choices now about what to do in this situation will be what really defines you.
Final note: One book that's very easy to read and that I really, really think would help you a lot right now is this one. It's based on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and the key insight for them is to separate your interpretations of situations from the facts--sort of the core message here.
I understand! There is no nearby DBT help but the one that is ofc isn't covered by my insurance. So instead I have a therapist who has an idea of how to help but not really. It's a lot of hw. A lot of self help, effort and patience/ dedication. It has to become a mindset something you always carry around/ not something that ends once you look away from the page. I would recommend printing up a couple of DBT worksheets and working on them. Work on one each day/ find ones that relate to what your dealing w. Or invest in a self help book I got mine at Barnes and Nobles but they have many on Amazon ofc.
I personally own this copy and really like it
I skip around in it a lot just whatever helps me more at the moment. & I would be good to find some bpd related books to read that may help you relate. There are several but you just have to choose one that you would be interested in. Many suggest this book
I have yet to get it myself but I look forward to investing in it. Also it's important to have a prevention plan and a support system. Also if you don't have a set schedule make one so that you are up everyday and take care of your basic needs. & if your on medication make notes on your phone / sleep is v important for bpd and avoid any d/rugs of alcohol as it can worsen your symptoms. Also look into vitamins / or get to the doctor and have a basic /can't remember the term but check up on your vitals to make sure everything is in order and not further aggravating your symptoms.
It's a whole process it takes more than just therapy it's about changing your attitude and life style. Definitely something I'm still working on and it's a battle but worth it in the end. As you get older your symptoms will lessen and become more manageable if you keep up with your recovery. Best of luck to you and I hope this was of some help.
I'm fortunate to be in the position I'm a now. I manage a camera shop as my 9-5 and then shoot on side, both for fun and for clients. The job gives me a steady income, and some of the best networking you could ask for. It gives me access to brand reps to borrow and try out new gear, and of course employee gear purchases. Sometimes I now think I'm more into cameras than I am necessarily into photography, kind of like how people are so into cars but not necessarily like racing, or building computers but not necessarily really competitive with gaming.
I shot on the side as pretty much my sole income when I was in college (for a mostly unrelated degree). I do miss some of that lifestyle, but greatly prefer the stability and relative lack of stress I have now.
>1. A Part-Time Job Gives You a Guaranteed Regular Income
Definitely a huge thing I like.
>2. You'll Be Able to Filter the Bad Clients... 3. You'll Be Able to Demand Higher Rates of Pay
Definitely true for me, mainly because that first point. I don't have to worry about making ends meet, I can simply take on jobs that I want to, or at least are worth it financially.
>4. Having Less Time Actually Makes You More Productive
This one is totally dependent on the person. In my case, I totally agree. I've always been someone that performed better, and more focused, on a time crunch.
>5. Working in a Completely Different Industry to Photography Will Enhance Your Practice
Can't speak to this personally, but knowing how cameras / photography has changed me with respect to other hobbies / endeavors, I'd have to imagine it's certainly the case. My (limited) experience in other industries definitely does come up in photography from time to time. Being in a non-related field gives you tons of opportunities to advertise yourself as the person to go to if pictures are needed.
One of my favorite books on workplace / career happiness goes into this quite a lot (there's a lot of cool studies in it about happiness). A lot of people that make the jump to full time do so without proper experience or support and subsequently fail. It basically advocates that "follow your passion" is bad advice and that you should instead "follow what you're good at". That in many cases, you're better off doing what you're good at as a job, and keeping your passions as hobbies. But of course, once you get to the point where your skill and passion is for the same thing, do make the jump.
See for me and my wife we agreed that divorce was never an option while the kids were home. And because of that we worked through some real hard shit (massive post partum depression) which we might not have otherwise got over.
My advice is this: Love is not just an emotion, it's a verb. You choose to love through actions and choices. I'm 14 years into marriage and we've had "good times and bad" but through it all we get stronger.
If any of you are pups entering into marriage I would recommend you and your partner read this book. It helped my wife and I immensely.
The tl;dr of it is this: We all show and accept love in different ways. If you show love in a way differently than your partner receives it, you can both be left felling unloved. So make an effort to show your partner love in their way, even if it's not your goto.
example: My wife feels love through verbal encouragement. I was raised to leave things unsaid. But now I tend to be sure to make a choice to verbalize things I would not have done, just because it helps her feel loved.
I feel love through acts of service, that's why I'm always working hard to serve my family. My wife's not naturally wired that way so a few times a week she goes out of her way to do a little thing that helps me feel loved. (She pressed my shirts for work this weekend while I was out with the kids, usually that's my job).
I am glad you had a good first session. Therapy can be very hard on both parties. Thanks for letting us know how it went.
I first want to say that I agree that you should listen to what your wife is asking and do the tasks agreed upon in therapy, but the situation made me think of a book my wife and I read through our counseling period. It is called "The Five Love Languages". It basically goes through different personality types and how best to make them feel loved. I don't agree with everything in the book, but with everyone telling you to do more around the house, I figured I would say that maybe that will do nothing. Service oriented work for my benefit does nothing for me personally, the same goes for my wife. It doesn't matter if she cooked dinner or cleaned the bathroom because I would do it if it needs doing. Delivering service to the other is fulfilling to both of us, which is why I am happy to do any given chore. Giving her gifts (flowers or chocolates) does more for her than any chore would ever do. For what its worth, I would suggest to do what is agreed upon in therapy, and try to figure out if the "help around the house" answer was sincere or if there is another way to help her feel loved that would be more effective.
Edit: After reading my post, I realized that I am acting my male instincts - giving advice to fix a problem rather than just listening...
These sections jumped out at me:
>One of my uncles mentioned something to her about being happier in his 50s than he has ever been - his 20s were about making mistakes and growing up, 30s were about finding who he was, and 40s and 50s just got better and better.
>What I want is to make Linda happy above all else. I want to remove stress from her life. I want to provide everything she needs so that she never has to want for anything.
I tend to agree with your uncle that the 20s are a time to make mistakes and grow up--to strive, to fail and try again--which leads to self-reliance. This is directly opposed to your wish to 100% provide for and protect Linda. I think your style of love is fine and some women, in some situations, would be perfectly suited to receiving that kind of love happily...but it sounds to me like Linda wants the freedom to make mistakes. I could be wrong, but I think removing all stress from her life, as lovely as that sounds on the surface, is not truly what she wants.
A year ago I would not have been writing this to you. I wanted what you are offering Linda. Part of me, I admit, still wants that kind of partner, that kind of life. However, the past year has been a pivotal year of growth for me that truly typifies the 20s (I'm 28, almost 29). My heart was utterly broken by a man who I thought was going to marry, and the reason he cited for rejecting me was I wasn't striving enough. I was taking some classes and working on my career path, but not enough. At the time I felt really angry, hurt, and misunderstood. Couldn't he see how hard I was trying?
Then I got a business opportunity and I took it. It was a chance I just couldn't pass up. I was still horribly depressed from the breakup but I took the leap. In the past year my life has been transformed by that leap, and everything that came after it. Now I have a new community of likeminded people in my life, of a kind that I've never ever had before. I've taken those final steps from student to professional. I'm being recognized for my professional abilities that I've been training for but always felt such doubt and anxiety over. Additionally I've tried out some new skills and put on some new "hats" so to speak; I've been pleased to find that I'm good at wearing these additional hats. I'm proud of myself.
And yet I can hardly believe that I have stuff to be proud of, because I started off in such a shitty place. For so much of my 20s I was drifting. I took things slowly. I asked for help a lot. I took it easy. In my case I didn't have a partner enabling me, but my family. I suppose socially I relied upon my ex a good deal, and that's why my new community is so awesome.
In the last year, I've dug deep, took chances, and worked harder than I ever have before. I love myself more than I ever have before.
Maybe I'm biased from my experience, but I have a suspicion that Linda yearns for some kind of challenge and eventual success. Her wish isn't for you to pave the way for her to make it as easy and smooth as possible. It's hard to say no to that when someone offers. Especially when that someone's "love language" (have you read the book The 5 Love Languages?) is to provide material possessions and make decisions. So really it's logical that she wants to be apart from you because then she can strive and succeed, instead of watching you leap into action to strive and succeed for her.
Does that make sense? Again, I realize I am biased by my own story. Even so, I believe it is worth considering as a possible explanation.
If it does turn out that this makes sense for Linda (obviously she would need to confirm this), then my next suggestion would be for you to talk to a life coach or therapist about how to disengage and allow her the space to try and fail on her own. There are also wonderful books on the subject. If you PM me I could give you a list of books that have helped me. (With a previous partner I also used to take charge way too much and cushion him from stuff, so that's something I had to learn to do, too.)
If you care about Linda and keeping her as your wife, you will allow her to grow and learn--on her own.
> My life has no point.
You're only 16, so the only point in your life right now is to get an education so that you can better understand the world, find a place and means to carve out a decent living, and discover your purpose in life by trying lots of different things.
> Gyms are full of mirrors, I need to look at my ugly face all the time, I can't get it out of my head.
Have you considered running outside? There are no mirrors out there, and if you run in the right places you might also get to enjoy the beauty of nature while you're at it. Trust me when I say that running is a great way to get all of these negative thoughts out of your mind, at least for a little while.
> All I do in a day is go to the gym, eat & sleep.
If you don't like your routine, change it. As I said, give outdoor running a try. Explore your music tastes and find that motivating song / album / artist to listen to while you run.
> Because I was born with an ugly face & shit bone structure, I have to suffer my whole life, I have no chance to be happy, to have a family or anything. I can only watch other people loving each other, while I'm dying inside.
I know people have said this already, but chances are strong that you're not actually ugly. Depression can make you think that you are, but you probably are not. However, let's assume for a moment that you are horrendously butt-ugly. That shouldn't stop you from being able to be happy and to have a family. Look around you - there are TONS of hideous people out there who somehow still manage to find someone to spend the rest of their lives with and be happy together. There is more to being attractive than just looks. Someone who is confident and happy with himself is more attractive than someone who is depressed and frowning all the time, even if the happy person is slightly less physically good-looking.
> I don't know what the hell am I going to do with my life, I can't talk to anyone, I can't hold eye contact, I'm frowning all the time, I feel like I have no soul.
Believe it or not, these are things that virtually EVERYONE goes through at some point in their lives. These are all things that you can change, because unlike your physical appearance, they are all inside your head. I've been down in the dumps before, and I know that it feels impossible to ever get out of the self-made pit you find yourself in. Still, IT CAN BE DONE. You should consider reading the book Feeling Good by David Burns - it offers concrete strategies for lifting yourself out of depression through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
> Everywhere I look, people are enjoying themselves, whether it's the TV or outside, everyone is happy, talking to friends/partners, kissing themselves, while me, I'm just here, but it's like I don't even exist.
I've had these thoughts before about my friends and acquaintances at college, but the reality is that nobody is ever as happy as they appear in their Facebook pictures. I've spoken with enough people at school to realize that many people are actually miserable but happen to be really good at putting up a happy front for everyone else to see. The world is a competitive place, and so everyone is constantly trying to one-up one another by pursuing wealth, better looks, etc.
I'm currently single, and the thought that I will die alone frequently crosses my mind, even though this time last year I was happy as a clam because I had an awesome girlfriend. I felt forever alone just days before she walked into my life, and just days after she walked out of it. Life is unpredictable, so just keep in mind that those "happy" people you see around you WILL experience tragedy, misery, and maybe even depression at some point in their lives. You can't truly experience happiness without also experiencing sadness - that's why the bad moments in our lives exist, to make the good ones better.
> Before, I was fat, playing video games all day. I changed a lot in past 2 years, I lost weight, got muscle, haircut, better clothes, did everything I could.
This is something to be proud of. Not many people can say that they went from being fat to being muscular and physically fit. Look at the world around you - America is full of grossly obese people who just don't give a shit. Would you rather be "happy" and slowly drowning in your own fat and filth?
> Why are all the bad things happening to me? Why do I always have to be the worst, why is everyone always at a better position than me?
Do you have a roof over your head? Food and water? A computer from which you're posting this? Do you live in a wealthy first-world country? These are things that a large percentage of the world's population does not have access to, so consider yourself lucky. Happiness is not about material comforts - there are probably plenty of happy people living in third-world countries and fighting for survival each day. In fact, people in the Western world tend to be unhappier for some reason. It's not that they're ungrateful, but they're constantly comparing themselves to the people who are better than them and feeling worthless when they fall short of such impossibly high standards.
> I need to change my life, I want to change my life, but I don't know what to do.
Do something. Do ANYTHING. At such a young age, you have a lot of potential for personal change and self-discovery, so take advantage of it.
Grab life by the balls and make it your bitch.
Your MC is at 10 Pisces, and its ruler, Neptune, is at 16 Capricorn conjunct Uranus at 13 Capricorn. Those planets are in the 7th opposite a Mars-Chiron conjunction. Pisces and Chiron both have to do with healing, and with the added involvement of both Mars (metals and surgery) and Uranus (revolutionary/alternative things, and electricity), the first thing that came to mind is... acupuncturist. Many acupuncturists also practice electroacupuncture, which is what it sounds like (mild electrical currents are run through the needles during the treatment).
That would also sit well with your 9th-house Moon, since the 9th house rules foreign countries and cultures, and if you studied Chinese medicine you would either be exploring a foreign culture (assuming you're not of Chinese origin) or bridging two different cultures (if you're Chinese and living outside of China--I can see from the chart you posted that you were born in Canada). Ninth-house moon folks LOOOOOVE expanding their horizons by learning about foreign cultures and/or foreign or alternative religions.
Psychotherapist also comes to mind, but what fits this chart is an avant garde, mystical or esoteric type of psychology rather than, say, garden-variety cognitive therapy. More like Jungian psychology, Transpersonal psychology or art therapy.
And speaking of art, Neptune is the natural ruler of film, acting, and all forms of illusion. If you're good at acting or photography and interested in the movie industry from either side of the camera, or interested in music (film scores? Neptune and Venus rule music, and I see Venus is trine your Moon), this chart would support that. And by the way, while Mercury is involved with all this in that it's square your Uranus-Neptune on the one hand and your Mars-Chiron on the other, the placement of your North Node at 21 Capricorn, conjunct Neptune and Uranus but square Mercury, suggests to me that things would flow better for you if you focused more on Neptunian things (mysticism, visual, the nonrational/right brain/intuitive side of life, beautiful illusions, things that touch the soul) rather than on Mercurial things (rational, verbal). Or at least, focus on communicating clearly and verbally (Mercury) about Neptunian things.
What are your interests? Astrology is not the be-all end-all, and I say that as someone who has been studying astrology for decades and at times has worked as a professional astrologer. Considering what your chart has to say about career is fascinating, but it's only one piece of the puzzle. Here are the top three books I would recommend reading as you look for the right career:
"So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport
"Do What You Are" by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron
"What Color is My Parachute" by Richard Bolles
Hey Op, great question. One thing I heard growing up was that it taste like sucking on a nickel and that the inside of a vagina felt like a softer version of the outside of a basketball. There's some truth to that but I think there are better approximations and those descriptions always left me wanting.
Some folks suggested feeling the inside of your mouth, specifically pressing your finger against your cheek. That's definitely close, but the sensation doesn't feel right because you're also touching yourself. Like trying to tickle yourself isn't a good approximation of what it feels like to be tickled. Oddly enough, if you have bigger dogs, the inside of their lips are relatively close to the texture you might feel inside a woman. This area between their upper gum line and the inside of their cheek http://i.imgur.com/ZZ4z89Y.png Vaginas are like a wetter, slipperier version of that. Women also have different areas inside their vagina that will provide different textures, I find the g-spot to be closer to that basketball texture. The inside of dog lips are weirdly close, enjoy not being able to unsee that.
As for taste, if a woman has recently bathed than I would say that they taste close to tomato juice. And no, not V8. Try cutting a fresh tomato, you will see nearly clear liquid come out from these areas http://i.imgur.com/Osm5KaL.png Now if you took that, strained it so it was just the liquid and no particulate and then warmed it up to body temperature, that's about as close as you can get. Though some women depending upon their arousal and hydration are have juices that are a little thinner or thicker. For a quick test, just let a tomato sit out at room temperature, jam your finger in and wiggle it around, taste and imagine there's not tiny chunks of tomato pulp.
Smell can vary, but as Hump_My_Face said lick the back of your hand then wait a 10 seconds and smell it. Depending on when they last cleaned up, it will be somewhere in the realm of that.
And yes, what you eat/drink can absolutely be carried over to her smell or taste. The same goes for guys, so maybe hold off on the coffee, garlic, and asparagus if you're hoping for a girl to go down on you.
And if you're looking for some pro tips, I highly recommend this book. It's not your typical sex advice book, and will definitely add new ideas, techniques, and confidence to your bedroom play. http://www.amazon.com/She-Comes-First-Thinking-Pleasuring/dp/0060538260
The feeling of a vagina is like the inside of a dogs upper lip
The taste of a vagina is close to the natural juices left over after cutting a tomato
The smell of a vagina is what you smell after licking the back of your hand and waiting 10 seconds
Thank you for sharing these thoughts; I imagine that wasn't easy.
> My parents placed an emphasis on sports, and on winning. However, I have come to realize that this mindset breeds hedonism. When my purpose in life was to win and seek the most benefits for myself, this attitude ultimately led to mental weakness and a lack of willpower when it came to pleasureful activities. In my opinion, even the goal of being happy leads to a hedonistic lifestyle.
The way I see it, feelings of happiness fall on a spectrum between pleasure (short-lived, visceral, shallow) and joy (long-lasting, subtle, deep), and while seeking pleasure is hedonism, seeking joy is not. Helping others brings (most of) us joy, and altruism is pretty near the opposite of hedonism.
The trick, I think, is balancing our desires for pleasure and joy, as each provides its own stability. Not experiencing pleasure leaves us irritable and unpleasant, while lacking joy leaves us purposeless and depressed. Neither state is ideal for accomplishing anything.
> And now, here I am. I am utterly confused now, when it comes to my life's goals. Should my goal be to make contributions in order to improve human civilization? Or something else? Idk.
One approach I suggest you try is this:
This advice is based on the "craftsman mindset" advocated by Cal Newport's So Good They Can't Ignore You, which he presents in opposition to the "passion mindset" that focuses on the question, "What should I do with my life?"
While this doesn't directly address your philosophical questions, following this approach may provide you with a mental clarity that could help. Think of it as a bottom-up kind of philosophy that generalizes from your actions and experiences, rather than the top-down kind that seeks to impose abstract ideas onto concrete reality.
> Apologies for the rant.
No need to apologize, as this is the kind of thought we BettermentBookClub subs like to discuss. I'll tag /u/PeaceH, /u/Skaifola, and /u/TheZenMasterReturns, who may want to respond to you with their own perspectives. They know much more about Stoicism than I do, so they may even answer your questions, unlike me. :)
You can only play the hand you were dealt. You cant change that. The good news is that you can stop feeling sorry for yourself and start working on yourself. Change your mentality, read more (especially self help books...good ones as there is alot of trash out there), learn new things, pick up new hobbies, change yourself physically by hitting the gym, grooming yourself (if that's an issue), dress nicer (if you don't already), attain goals, set new goals....live for you and only you, man. Improve yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. You will always fall short if you do that and quite frankly, other people are irrelevant when it comes to your life. If it is girls you want, there are "plenty of fish in the sea", this I am sure you've heard thousands of times, but although these girls all have different tastes/interests, they are, in general, not so much attracted to looks per se, but rather behavior and attitude. Girls of course are not opposed to a good looking guy, but good looks will only get you initial interest from them, but if a guy doesn't have a good personality, attitude, self esteem or confidence, then Brad Pitt himself would not be able to attract and keep women. You would be amazed how successful "unattractive" men can be. I'm sure you have seen it. Forget about women for now, work on you. Get your self esteem and confidence up. That should be the goal. How you negatively feel/view about yourself projects to people. It turns them off before you can even open your mouth. Good luck man!
If you have a moment, check out the book "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" by Mark Manson. It's a great book and it will hit probably hit home in alot of areas. It (and others) helped me when I needed some help. Its a good read. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062457713?ref_=ams_ad_dp_asin_2
It depends. But I'm glad you asked, for the following suggestions might also be helpful to others.
If I understand you correctly, you seem to think that pointing out fallacies is an efficient way to "fight the good fight". At least, that's my impression. Please correct me when I'm wrong.
Unfortunately, almost all the evidence points to a different direction: It's usually not very effective, because those committing the fallacy usually don't care much about a logical analysis of the situation, anyway. This does also apply to non-believers. Assuming all humans process information in two ways (see Kahneman's System 1 and 2), even atheists often seem to ignore their own system 2, because it actually takes effort to use it.
However, if you're looking for resources about fallacies, any good book on logic will help. One of the best one, I've been told, is "Introduction to logic" by Gensler. You may only need the first 5 chapters, because it becomes quite technical after that. Maybe, Amazon can help find a less technical book.
If, however, you're looking to persuade people, that's a completely different story.
Here, a very common recommendation is Cialdini's "Influence". You can research its contents easily online, so there's no need to buy it. Cialdini emphasizes six common areas to get people to agree with you.
I've looked at your comment history, so here's a short overview what you may want to change to be more effective:
Hope this helps.
Education is your way out. The typical way to get out for young Indonesian is through education, but that means you need to be either rich (to pay for outrageous tuition fee / living cost abroad) or smart (to qualify for scholarships). Are you?
An alternative way out is through working on in-demands jobs. For instance, you can gain several years of working experience in IT in indo and then try to apply for openings abroad (Singapore is often the first step). However at the moment, the UK is a closed doors for non-EU people who want to come here to work in hope of a residency, so don't bother... Other countries in Europe that you can consider is Germany, where it's still possible to get a sponsored job visa if you're good.
A final point is: indo is actually isn't that bad. True there are shits going on with a small group of religious extremism, but things are actually getting better, with changes since the reformasi in 98 and people like jokowi+ahok on the lead. Indonedians are largely friendly everywhere, the society is relaxed, the weather is nice nearly everyday of the year, food is good, a lot of nature places to visit in the country alone (and can easily fly to south east Asia and the rest of Asia too), we have a decent economic growth (compared to the stagnant West) .. I guess my point is, if you fail to get out, it's actually quite a good place to be stuck in for now (especially if you can write in English and post on reddit, that usually assumes you come from middle-to-upper socioeconomic background, alongside its associated conveniences in life that you might have to give up when you get out).
Of course don't just take my words for it. For most people you actually have to get out first to realise how good we have it in Indonesia. So by all means, try to get out but don't be surprised that eventually you'd want to return. That's what I plan to do after being away for more than half of my life now. Plus maybe it's my idealism speaking but the country needs people like us, the smartest anak bangsa who leave due to the brain drain. It's only lately I'm seeing more and more people around me who reverses this trend and actually go back to indo after spending years abroad. I think it'd a positive sign that the country is doing something right.
Edit: for a more concrete advice on how to prepare to get out, basically read this book: https://www.amazon.com/Good-They-Cant-Ignore-You/dp/1455509124. Get really good in something that is in demands, and you can usually move anywhere you want in the world. For me, it's computer science. For you, it might be something else.
Edit2: you might also find that as you get older, you can compromise on the atheism vs religious bit. A lot of people put their religions on KTP only, but doesn't mean they actually have to practice that. Or you can simply move to the right neighbourhood in Jakarta where nobody gives a fuck what your religion is.
Degrees mean less than people think. Just ask any of the hordes of recent grads with generic liberal arts degrees about their job search. Unless you lay the groundwork in college and have a plan (e.g. doing internships to get you real world experience), or you have a very practical and technical major like engineering, a degree's not going to be much help getting you a job. Most people I know in that situation are settling for jobs that have nothing to do with their major and don't really make use of their education at all. I'm basing this on personal experience and various things I've read, but I'm sure you can find articles and evidence of this to show your detractors if you do some googling.
Why is this the case? Because in the real world, companies hire people to solve actual problems they're having - they're looking for someone with skills that will help their business. With the trend toward people changing companies (and even career paths) more and more frequently, companies are also getting less and less willing to develop people on the job, and it's more important to have useful skills you can provide out of the gate.
What does this mean? When planning your career, you need to think about what skills are valuable in the economy and develop your career capital accordingly. Some professions have strict credentialing systems, and you'll need to have the certificates to get into them (like medicine, law, and teaching). These are special cases, though - most jobs that companies are hiring for require skills and experience, not certificates.
Ok, how does this relate to OSSU? Learning software engineering and computer science is a solid career strategy that provides flexible and valuable career capital. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects the Software Developer jobs will grow much faster than average over the next 10 years. The prevalence of coding bootcamps proves that it's possible to learn software development skills and get a high paying job with no relevant "official" certification or college degree. (I went through a coding bootcamp and went from no programming experience to a 6 figure job in Silicon Valley in less than a year).
If you're going to learn on your own without getting a degree, it's important that you have something to show for it that employers can look at to see the skills you've developed. That's why it's important to do projects and have an online portfolio where you can showcase them. If you can demonstrate that you have a useful skill, then you'll be a more attractive candidate than someone who just has some random degree.
I'd recommend the book So Good They Can't Ignore You and the website 80,000 Hours for further reading on career strategy. Hopefully some of that is helpful for you. I think you have a great plan and will be miles ahead of your peers if you follow through on it. All of that's not to say that you definitely shouldn't get a degree, but you'll probably have the luxury of passing on it if you work to develop employable skills on your own time.
tl;dr Check nearby cities, college towns, places with hospitals, etc. for better healthcare. I know it's hard, but try not to judge yourself for wanting to cut again; relapse is part of recovery, we just have to pat ourselves on the back for not cutting and try to move on.
Is there a city you can drive to? I also live in a rural area and although it's not ideal, I drive two hours to a major city for all my healthcare needs. It might not need to be an NYC size city; some college towns have excellent healthcare options, if, for example, they have a medical teaching program.
I wouldn't give up on help from the medical field in general, you might just have to give up on getting help in a way that isn't also unpleasant. I know that doesn't sound much better but I find it weirdly empowering. It's like saying to the medical community, fine ass holes, I need you for certain things so I'll get what I need from you but other than that you can all go screw yourselves. So when a doctor is a jerk to me I just think, "well, I got what I needed so feel free to be bitchy; I stopped listening after you gave me what I needed." By the way, that's kind of my philosophy on dealing with everyone. Sometimes people are jerks, but I find it empowering to know that their effect on me is often less than they want it to be, because I've already started ignoring them the moment they turned out to be jerks. Sorry, I got a little side-tracked there, but my point is, like many things in life, doctors can extremely helpful but often come with strings attached. I try to take the good, move on as fast as possible from the bad.
Your face is very girly. And by the way, the whole obsession over tiny, cutesy noses is pretty recent and American. Especially around the Mediterranean, more pronounced noses have always been in style. Don't let these silly Americans with their button noses convince you there's anything wrong with having a defined nose. That said, if you don't like your nose, I think making it a little smaller is a relatively simple surgery.
Okay, so here's my general advice, as someone a bit older with some overlapping psychological issues.
Wow, sorry about the unending flood of text. I really relate to what your going through so I hope you find something of value in there. If you're looking for more sources of support and wisdom that don't require a doctor, I've found existentialism and dialectical behavioral therapy to be very helpful.
Here's a lecture on Sartre that's short but very deep:
And here's the dialectical behavioral therapy workbook my wonderful psychiatrist suggested to me.
P.S. While DBT is specifically for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, it builds off of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which is great for everyone.
Ethical non-monogamy is an umbrella term that includes any activities where all parties involved know about the outside relationships and agree to participate. So if I am into another man, both my husband know about the guy and the guy is aware that I am married. It includes everything from swinging (sex, no emotions, typically done as a couple) to polyamory (literally "multiple loves" and can include multiple loving relationships) and a bunch of other dynamics.
Us? We allow for the "spark." You know how you meet somebody at random and you feel a connection with them? A spark? Like for some reason, at a crowded bar or gym or library, you spark with that one random stranger? That. That is our ethical non-monogamy. When that happens, we go to our spouse and let them know we felt that with somebody else. We talk it out. We are excited for each other and encourage each other.
We personally don't seek out other relationships; no dating profile or swing clubs here. We simply enjoy our loving and healthy marriage and if we feel a connection with another, we are free to explore why that person has been brought in our path. Maybe they are meant to be a friend, or teach us a lesson. Maybe they are to be the greatest fuck of our lives. Maybe we could love them. We don't want to spend our lives wondering "what if." We have found some love, some lust, some heartache, some heartbreak, but overall, it has been an incredibly positive experience.
This requires gobs of honest communication, so you'd be a natural at that end of it.
Both my husband and I have realized, after time and practice and mistakes, that neither of us are interested in sex without loving emotions. We just aren't into unemotional sex. Can we have a couple drinks and find a beautiful chick to give my husband a two girl BJ with me in a nightclub bathroom stall? Sure. But sexual relationships with a consistent partner requires actually caring about that person as a potential member of our family. The emotions never go away. You get concerned, jealous, elated, frustrated, etc. It is all in learning how to deal with those emotions. I guess, at the end of the day, if my husband all of a sudden fell in love with another woman and didn't want anything to do with me anymore, well, I don't want a relationship with that man anyway. That is not the man I married.
Some can have sex without emotions. The questions is can you guys? To thine own self be true.
I absolutely LOVE seeing aspiring artists :)
I will say the same thing to everyone who is at this point who is truly serious about improving their artwork. I suggest picking up the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards.
It's a 1 week, 4-8 hour a day book that will teach you how to see your art in a better light, and I think it will be much more useful to you than anything I could say about your work. (If you put up with the psuedoscience in the book, it's very worth it :)
So, I'll give some advice that will help after you've read it, just so I'm not leaving you dry with only a book, but I cannot stress this enough, don't do anything else until you read this book!
From a compositional standpoint, I love it. It shows character with the pose that he has, having a large sword, not wearing anything, giant demonic wings.
From the larger perspective, you have everything you need, but I suggest really emphasizing a lot of the strong points here. Make the sword much larger, make his pose more exaggerated by making it look like his weight is truly shifted on one leg (Try copying the pose yourself and see what you can change. Take a picture if you have the option, even better have someone else take a picture)
Really emphasize that explosion in the background. Curve the wings more, and try to get them to flow with the pose, and really push out his casual attitude. Maybe even having the wings retracted could help in this :)
These are all fairly minor things in the grand scheme. I love it, so please, please keep going forward! Read the book, and what I say will make more sense. If you need any help understanding the concepts behind this stuff, let me know and I'll point you in the right direction. I really hope to see where you go with this!
> I don't know how to engage in that process without being pushy?
That's a fine line you sort out by practice. We all struggle through that and it's just a matter of having good intentions and paying attention to the person you're with.
> But I never could open myself to trying to regain attraction from the other when it was lost, because I felt kind of manipulative, like a pua
I think ultimately there's a difference between playing mind games and just being open and fighting for what you want in a relationship. i've had men i've been dating break up with me because X, and, when i've disagreed or really wanted the relationship to continue, I've said so and tried to keep it happening. Ultimately you can try to get the other person to see a different point of view, but you're never going to make someone change their minds if their minds are made up. The difference between being upfront about what you want and being a PUA is that PUA's make you believe like women can be controlled and can be made to be with you, which is very different from telling someone you think a relationship is worth fighting for and being in.
> I feel that my sexual desires are more reliable than womens'?
yeah! cuz you're you! I can't ell you how many times i've been attracted to a guy who seemed attracted to me and then completely disappeared! sometimes before we even had sex! you cannot control other people...the moment you realize that fact and accept that that's not what dating is even about, it gets a lot easier.
because then it's about:
instead of about:
> contextualizing female sexuality
you're confusing two things though. Liking someone and wanting to fuck them are two completely different things. The way people like each other has nothing to do with gender, it's just that women are who you want to date and they seem elusive to you so you think there's a difference. Women also crush on men who are not interested in them for months/forever. I crushed on one dude who barely even looked at me for almost TEN YEARS (it never went anywhere).
female sexuality, when she likes to fuck? That's definitely more contextual, and there are plenty of scientific evidence to confirm that. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're interested in learning more about female sexuality, you should check out Come As You Are. Also I think one of Cordelia Fine's books, like Testosterone Rex, would be interesting. Both authors have gone on various podcasts to talk about their work, so that's another way to get the gist if you're interested but don't have the time.
But ultimately the way to think about female sexuality is this: it's not yours to control, it's not yours to predict, and just because a woman wants to fuck you now doesn't mean she wants to fuck you later BUT ALSO just because she doesn't want to fuck you now, doesn't mean she doesn't want to fuck you later either. i turn my partner down for sex all the time (he does to me too, but that generally gets talked about less) and it has everything to do with my mood, how sexy i feel, and what i have to do later in the day and absolutely nothing to do with how much i love him. he knows no means no, but he also knows he can ask again later and the answer might be something completely different because whether i want to have sex or not has everything to do with whether i feel like it.
28M here, I am with a 23F g/f of three and a half years (soon to be proposing, but shh, don't tell her) We are very happy together and I can offer you some basic tips.
Okay, so after venting on someone who gave you a real dog turd nugget of advice, I am going to offer something practical and if my fellow redditors downvote me so be it. (I actually don't give shits about Karma, but I do want to give you constructive advice)
Your problem is not rooted in non-monogamy, it is rooted in a much more basic relationship issue. People express and receive feelings of love much differently. Generally, there are five types of expression
Acts of service (honey, I cleaned the house)
Gift Giving (self explanatory)
Kind words (saying "I love you/appreciate you")
physical touch (sex, cuddling, etc)
And MOST RELEVANT to you Quality Time
Now, his hunting is the activity, but his lack of understanding your need of Quality Time is the true cause of your issues. You need to communicate this to him. Tell him you appreciate the things he does, and my guess is that he probably tries to do other things on the list, guys particularly put a lot of weight into gift giving, because that's what society tells us males to do when you females are unhappy.
Communicate. Also, if my suggestion is of any merit for you, then I suggest reading "The Five Love Languages" http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156
This book changed my life and my relationship is incredible as a result. If you're getting serious, read it! Oh and best of luck
Edited for formatting
I've just finished this book and cannot wait to try the exercises. You could probably find the pdf somewhere online. I can't say much for anxiety but the first "Breaking Free Activity" goes along the lines of:
"Write down three possible safe people or groups that might be able to provide support for you in your recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome.
If no one comes to mind, get out the telephone directory and look up counselors or support groups in the phone book. Write down three names and phone numbers and call them when you finish this chapter. If you are employed by a company with an Employee Assistance Program, this is another resource. If you know someone who has been to therapy or a support group, ask them for information. If you have access to the Internet you can search for 12-step groups or support groups."
The point being that 1. You should let the pain out otherwise you will continue to suffer internally and externally. 2. Searching for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength because you are making the call to better yourself and that in itself is powerful. 3. Actions speak louder than words. Some people can tip-toe to better themselves, others must dive right in. You decide what you need to do and then do it, it's that simple but frustratingly difficult at the same time. If you don't think it's enough, go deeper. Ultimately action is what defines what you choose to better yourself.
In regards to not knowing what it means, it doesn't matter. It could be the simplest task to the complex anomaly. As long as YOU know it makes you better in some capacity, then it will make you better overall. Learn how to take any situation and apply a positive spin on it for yourself. You can't be better unless you look for and do things to make it so. Truth be told, you have to get out of your comfort zone ("the anxiety"). I'm in the same boat and am still making gains.
Best of luck!
You're the one that needs to find yourself again then. I'd recommend daily meditation to accompany this meditation book:
(1) Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening https://www.amazon.com/dp/1622036050/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_wboYAbF706VED
This paying attention to yourself will help you gather your pieces of yourself.
And then I guess you're trying to be someone you're not, to gain the approval and validation of others. Maybe this is from childhood trauma, or how your parents showed you love only when you "acted" in a certain way, but my next recommendation will dive into all that:
(2) No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/0762415339/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_LcoYAbM18P7XT
Then I'd recommend taking these courses created by Jordan Peterson to find out who you are at a deeper level, and then reconstructing you and building you up again but authentically and not as a "character":
(3) 2017 Personality and Its Transformations (watch all these lectures): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL22J3VaeABQApSdW8X71Ihe34eKN6XhCi
Put in the work with what each material recommends and you'll grow into your true self. And just to let you know, I used to do the same thing and was a character until I unlocked my true being. My sister even said a few years back I had a "different" personality and it freaked her out, but she could tell from my authenticity and happiness that this is the real me now. The previous me was a character, and looking back, a depressed one at that even though I always seemed "happy".
What helped me also besides the introspective journey I recommend above, is talking to strangers. I'd meet people in bars and what not, and this was during a time when I was trying to learn how to meet girls, but an interesting thing happened: I started noticing how I act around people I don't know, and with the pressure gone of who I "should" be, I had the freedom to be who I am.
Another thing that's helping me to this day, is to get into a relationship that loves you for the real you. This comes after you've discovered yourself, but old habits may come up when you don't even realize it, and with my girlfriend she keeps me honest with myself.
Realize that this isn't a light switch, this is a hero's journey towards finding and unlocking who you are as a person, the peeling back the layers as you gain a deeper and deeper understanding of your true self. Change only happens to those that want it, and the fact that you took the time to read all this, and write what you wrote.. that means you want it.
See you on the other side.
These were the lessons I learned that changed the way I saw things. I'm going to speak frankly because what you said resonates with how I felt when I was younger.
First, since I love reading, here's a good read that might be helpful
The prerequisite for respect from others is, first and foremost, self-respect. There is a profound difference between kindness coming from a place of self-respect and kindness coming from neediness. One asks nothing in return, simply for personal satisfaction of adhering to one's own personal pillars, the other gives expecting reciprocation. Respecting the self doesn't mean being an asshole to others, it's knowing what you want, what you value, and being willing to stand behind those regardless of others. Learn to need only the self, and you become a foundation from which true kindness can be found. Don't be afraid to let people see who you are.
This is the vital issue with the 'nice-guy' syndrome, and why you see bitterness come from 'nice-guys', especially when it comes to romantic interests. 'nice-guys' try to slip in an unspoken contract under their kindness, 'I'm going to be nice to you so I expect something in return'.
The loud, the colorful and the entertaining get the most attention. They may be rude and narcissistic, but they probably have more presence or 'I AM HERE' than someone who's nice, friendly, and kind. Attention isn't necessarily a good thing, the person who fucks around and has outbursts of rage gets attention and is entertaining, but no one respects them. The rotting apple garners as much attention as the apple pie next to a bowl of fruit. The people you describe may just have a stronger sense of self, what the self wants, and the self-respect to let that be known. People are drawn to that which is different. Different, not better, not worse.
Whlie we're on the topic of narcissism, the 'nice-guy' is one of the most narcissistic types of people. They convince themselves they're being altruistic, but they do things for others for the sake of getting something in return for themselves.
>'I always do them favors, they should do them for me, I'm always friendly with them they should be friendly to me, [I] listen to them they should listen to me, I'm always there for them they should always be there for me'.
You paid them in kindness and now they're revoking the contract because they 'end up using, disrespecting and leaving me'.
I only say this because I was like this once before. Once I began to see my 'kindness' through this lens, it became very easy to distinguish moments when I was being kind expecting something in return, and when I was being kind for the sake of it. Once I started to establish a firmer understanding of what I wanted, and what I personally valued, I noticed, over time, that people respected me more. They saw genuine me, not hiding behind the hollow mask of kindness.
Look, this may not be what you are looking to hear, but you should check out SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous). I can relate to everything you are saying. Maybe you are a sex addict and maybe you aren't, but going to a meeting (you don't even have to talk) will show you there are others who can relate to everything you described.
I'm 45 and I've been struggling with this crap forever. I've tried everything; therapists, self help books and tapes, hypnosis, NLP, seminars and plain old white knuckle self control (ultimately the least effective- I've had some wild binge and purge cycles). Getting around people who know what you are going through from their personal experience AND WHO ARE IN RECOVERY is really the only thing that works.
I guarantee that at least half of the problems you listed are due to the fact that you know you are not living a satisfying, meaningful life. It really is true that you can run, but you can't hide - the bad feelings, procrastination, etc... is all about you knowing the truth about yourself and that truth is that you have something inside you that is valuable, unique and worthwhile, and you don't know how to get there from where you are right now. Being able to share yourself with others who get you without your having to explain (or defend) every little detail and who are also on the right path is like a fucking miracle.
I'm recommending SAA because everything you said is soooo familiar. Like I said, I'm 45 and I started with this shit sometime between preschool and kindergarten. It has affected EVERY aspect of my life and one of the things I think about these days are all the things that could have been.
I'm guessing you are probably still fairly young (teens or twenties?). You have a good life in front of you, start living it now.
I imagine that you have concerns as to whether this is really for you. Don't worry, you'll know. A life coach I went to described me as a "dry alcoholic" and gave me the AA bible. I read the stories and didn't relate to them at all. When someone handed me the Green Book of SAA and I read the stories, it was like they were talking about me with just the specific details changed. Get a copy of the Green Book and read through it, you'll know if it's for you or not.
If it turns out that I'm wrong, my advise is still the same. Find a group of people who understand where you're at because they've been there AND who are making or have made SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE PROGRESS in their own lives. They will be able to help you, and remember the second part is VERY IMPORTANT! Don't join a pity party circle jerk where you can feel better by wallowing in your misery with others.
Anyway, I hope I've given you something of value.
This my first post on Reddit, so I'm not sure what the links policy is, but I've included two links for you; one is for the SAA site, go there and just check it out, and the other is a pretty good book I've been reading on how we form and change habits. It draws from the latest psychological and neurological research and I think it's really good.
Just remember that even though you may not feel it all the time, you always have the capacity to grow and change and our darkest, most difficult challenges give us our greatest gifts when we turn around and look back at them.
Imagine yourself in the future, look back, and see the gift.
What is it?
I'll pop back in in a few days to see how you're doing. Remember you're not alone. God bless.
I'm introverted and used to be very awkward and shy. At around 17 I noticed it was an area I needed to improve so I started to look around. These are some of the stuff that has helped me change from Shy to energetic (being introverted never changes though but, I love it). Wanting to change is the most important part of it all, you can have all the resources in the world and just not make it because you don't really want it. now, off to the books:
Avoid what is hurting your growth. Basically, anything you abuse (keyword there) from video games to alcohol to masturbation (you'll know what it is). A good way to get rid of bad habits is to start filling your time with positive ones until the good overcomes the bad. Find a hobby that will get you socializing (almost all will). Some examples: sports (martial arts as stated before, any sport really), art (music, drama, painting lessons), if you're in school or college there's definitely clubs out there. Donating your time and effort to a good cause. Voluntary work always gives a great sense of worth and happiness.
Just remember, you've described things that you currently are (shy, insecure, awkward) all of these will change only if YOU want to. Most of them are overcomed by comming out of your comfort zone (its simple, not easy). Your comfort zone is probably very small, all you gotta do is widen it. You gotta have to want to change and improve more than you want to stay the way you are. Nobody is the same person as they were yesterday so make sure that the person you'll be tomorrow is better than who you are today. Good Luck.
You're short, you have acne, you dress poorly, you're no fun to be around, you have no friends/squad, you're shy/introverted/won't approach, you look like a boy and have no authority, you have no sexual experience ... why do you think you should have a girlfriend again?
I know I'm being harsh, but the earlier you learn this the better: you must offer value. Otherwise why do you think anyone would be with you?
Work on the things you can, accept the things you can't.
Short - no solution.
Acne - eat better, sleep better, see a dermatologist.
Learn to dress better.
Finally, learn to socialize. This will have all kind of cascading effects. You will be more fun to be around, you will have a squad, you will have authority based on your friends' opinions of you. It definitely won't be easy, and sure, it goes against what you think is your fundamental nature, but right now, your fundamental nature is also to be girlfriendless. How badly do you want to change the situation?
Some tips for being more sociable: Be generous with your time and thoughts. Compliment people. Listen to them. Think about what they need and offer to help them. Again, you must offer value. Sometimes you won't get anything back. That's part of the pain of the learning process. Let that unrequited kindness go.
Here's a book that may help you with your introverted nature. In part, the author recommends faking it until you make it. Make it into a game, so you can step away, and you can reward yourself for small bit of progress:
> Though the part where you wrote that the stuff we shared is less meaningful, that is a hard thing to swallow.
Well, maybe I should clarify. The things that you shared may be less meaningful to her. They may have more meaning to you, though, possibly because you're holding on to the meaning.
What's interesting is the reverse may happen to you. At some point in your life, you'll have a relationship with someone, but you'll grow apart from that person where you won't want to be around that person as much. They may still want to be close to you, though.
There's an interesting book about this called "Attached": https://www.amazon.com/dp/1585429139/ -- You can probably find it at the library as well, if you don't want to buy it for $10.
It's a verbose version of this wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory
A friend of mine found the book very interesting and it explained to her why she had difficulty with friendships/relationships.
Anyway, to address your points:
> 1- most people already have a close friend or a group of friends and are not taking applications.
Yes... And no.
Yes, many people already have close friend / friend group, but no. In fact, many will also take new comers... If they fit or add to the group somehow.
> 2- I have developed a fear of getting close to people (emotionly).
See that book "Attached". It covers this pretty well. It may help you realize why you carry this fear.
> 3- just because you strike a conversation with someone, that won't guarantee anything.
Yes, and if you don't strike up a conversation, then definitely, without a doubt, nothing will happen. So the reality is that when a door opens a little bit, why not open it a little more? If a door opens, don't just automatically close it. Chances are the person behind the door won't try to open it again. And then you have a self-fulfilling prophecy where you keep closing doors and indeed they'll stay shut. Yet somehow you'll keep hoping that all these doors will open magically and everything will be perfect. Friendships are hard sometimes. They can often take a little work. Sometimes they survive and get stronger, sometimes they don't. And that's how it goes.
As Woody Allen once said, "Showing up is 80 percent of life." Keep showing up. People will remember you and want to be your friend if you keep showing up. Not everyone, but some people.
I see a lot of improvement and you should be proud of yourself.
As for suggestions, at this point the most important thing for you to do is to keep getting the mileage down. I know that's not what you want to hear, but drawing every day and drawing a wide variety of subjects will objectively be the key ingredient to moving forward.
If you want a more specific critique, I think your edges need work. You're doing a lot of line petting, which shows a lack of confidence when you lay down marks. This is completely normal and will go away with time, but training yourself to lay down confident lines will help sharpen a number of skills in ways you wouldn't expect.
I tend to advocate this book frequently, but I would really recommend picking up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. You can find a used copy relatively cheap, and there is a library's worth of valuable information inside. The book is highly focused on stepping away from "symbolic drawing," and actually drawing what you see - and while you are clearly past that point now, she thoroughly covers a ton of different subjects and exercises, many of which I think you could still learn a lot from.
One last bit of advice: you should consider working on studies. A study is a drawing you approach with a specific learning experience in mind. For example, you could potentially benefit from putting some time into a value study - that is to say, a drawing where you put the most energy into making sure your darks and lights are as close to the reference image as possible. Print out a simple black and white picture, then do your best to recreate what you see accurately by comparing them as you go.
Good luck, keep drawing!
Dear Stranger on the internet,
I think the question is a bit flawed, so it will be challenging for anyone to give you a satisfying answer. Is it normal to sleep with escorts? Sure. Is there anything inherently wrong with that? No, I don't think so. As a general rule, if an activity brings you satisfaction and doesn't cause any harm to yourself or others then it will be okay. I'll leave it at that because I think others here have already expressed this general idea better.
What I really hope to do in this post is to pass on some advice, from one internet stranger to another.
That description doesn't do the book justice, but I would strongly recommend you read it. It is fantastic in more ways than I have time or energy to describe.
I wish you luck and happiness in the future!
You seem like you made a lot of the right steps, man. It sucks about the best friend thing. I've been there too. Doing stuff all the time like picking up hobbies or exploring your state would be great ways to keep your mind off of things. I'm really glad you hit the gym. The best thing you can be doing is working on yourself right now. Don't let anyone tell you how long you need to get over it either. You'll know when you are and when it's time to let go. If you care for reading at all then definitely pick up a few books. Listening to podcasts is another really great thing for getting over the loss. I liked listening to things like Snap Judgment and This American Life. It just helped to hear stories of other people lives. Hearing their struggles and successes, it just helps.
As for dating someone else -http://www.amazon.com/Models-Attract-Women-Through-Honesty/dp/1463750358
This book did wonders for me. This book is not about how to get laid ten times a week or whatever. It's more about how to be yourself and be okay with that. You'll get through the depression, man. You've learned a lot from this experience and you'll come out the other side stronger. You know more now about how you want to love and be loved, how you think you ought to be as a friend or a lover.
Good luck, man.
\> I know they say you have to be okay on your own before you can be in a healthy relationship- but it seems like a tall order if you have no support. Just wondering if anyone else can relate.
I used to believe that you have to be okay on your own, but now I disagree with statement. Based off of my personal experience and information knowledge of trauma and attachment, I've revised my belief: Even if we don't need one (1) human to be our other half, we need the right social circle and the access to the right resources to have a solid foundation in order to have the skills, motivation, and support make progress toward their goals, feel secure, and be happy.
While I'm not a professional psychologist, what's working for me is trying to be vulnerable but being careful about who I do it with. There needs to be some thought about who I share it with, like what am I trying to do by sharing it with *this* specific person. Am I feeling some inner pain that I believe this person can ease? Am I sharing an experience that I think they will understand? If they don't understand, am I sharing this because I still trust them and I want to bond with them?
I believe healthy relationships is a balance of *relying* (as opposed to needing) on the *appropriate* people depending on the situation (as opposed to relying on the same person for every situation). Sometimes we will take risks and be let down. Over time by doing so, you refine your radar to know who is the best person for a feeling, situation, or experience.
Wishing the best in your healing.