coping - Laura Giles, LCSW - Page 4
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resting bitch face

Is Resting Bitch Face (RBF) a Real Thing?

Do you have resting bitch face (RBF)? Don’t know what that is? Here are some symptoms:  people frequently ask you to smile morepeople think you’re angry or sad even when you’re notyour friends tell you that when they first saw you, they thought you were a bitchpictures of your face never look the way you feelpeople often ask what’s wrongwhen people get to know you, they remark about how pleasantly surprised they are to find you’re actually nicepeople avoid you “Resting” means that the face looks this way when the person is unprovoked. It’s an every day look. “Bitch” refers to the unapproachable, hostile interpretation of the facial expression. It can also be perceived as contemptuous or annoyed. Either way, it is not warm and welcoming. The overall effect is that viewers are...

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dealing with racism

How I Am Dealing With Racism

There is a push for business owners to make a public statement to proclaim how we are dealing with racism by working to change systemic racism, educating ourselves about how to not be racist, and changing policies to more make services and work opportunities available to minorities and the disadvantaged. So here is my statement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't really share my story because I'm private. It's not about me, and frankly, it's none of your business. So this is very uncomfortable for me. But when I was a child, other children used to ask me, "What are you?" I didn't understand the question. "What" is a word we use with objects. I would have thought it was obvious. "I'm a girl," I replied. "What are you?" I wasn't trying to be a wise ass....

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Embrace Your Destiny

Everybody’s got tragedies. Everyone has greatness – some big and some small. Not all of us survive our tragedies as we can live our lives as victims. Not everyone reaches their greatness because we can get stuck in our stories. The way around this is to embrace your destiny. What’s your destiny? It’s whatever is happening to you. What?! Isn’t your destiny supposed to be something worthwhile and grand? What if what’s happening right now is mediocrity, being a war refugee, or failed writer? Is that your destiny? Yes, your destiny is whatever is happening to you right now. The only way forward is to accept that. So let’s say that you never knew your mother. Your father is a raging alcoholic, and because of his absentee parenting, you did a lot of ineffective things...

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What You Might Not Know About Arousal, Orgasm, and Rape

Psst! I have a confession to make that I think everyone needs to hear. I am really embarrassed to admit that I worked as a domestic violence advocate and rape crisis counselor for a while without knowing that a rape survivor could experience arousal and orgasm. Yep! That was shamefully left out of my training. I learned it from a more seasoned colleague. I am taking the time to tell you this because I am not sure how many other professionals and survivors still don’t know this. When I have a really tough case of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to sexual assault, arousal and/or orgasm is almost always a factor. It’s usually because the victim can’t face the shame of lubricating, feeling aroused or experiencing an orgasm. It can...

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Ten Pick-Me-Ups When You Don’t Have Time to Be Cranky

All emotions are normal. We all feel angry, happy, sad, worried, frustrated, cranky, and everything in between. But sometimes we don’t have the luxury of feeling what we are feeling. We just have to snap out of it so that we can focus and be effective. Here are ten pick me ups for when you don’t have time to be cranky. Get Outside Something about changing your environment can help change your mood. Going outside in the sunshine and fresh air is even better. Make it mindful. Tell yourself you’re going outside to breathe in a new attitude, then chill. Take a few minutes to let yourself be somewhere else. Enjoy it. When you go back to where you were, take the freshness with you. Smile Emotions are tied to physical states. Your brain...

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Eight Tips to Boost Your Courage

We all need courage. Courage is what takes us from where we are to heights unknown… or maybe just the next step. If you find you are lacking in courage, here are eight tips to boost your courage. Adopting just one strategy will create some change. Try incorporating more than one and see how your life expands. Acknowledge Your Courage Courage means feeling the fear and acting anyway. You are already more courageous than you know. Think of all the things you’ve done just in the past month that you’ve done that you did despite fear. It’s like the lion on the wizard of Oz. Once someone acknowledged his courage, he began to see it for himself. So see it in yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Once you know you have it,...

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Rearing Healthy Children

It's more and more common for me to see adults whose often well meaning parents just killed their spirits. These little people don’t get to grow up to be healthy big people. If I had a dollar for every potential client who tells me a childhood story of how their child self was killed, I’d be a millionaire. We need to stop murdering our children. Carl Jung first popularized the idea of archetypes. Archetypes are these human energies that exist in all cultures throughout time. We all either experience them directly or indirectly. He said that we all start out life as the Child. This is the light hearted, creative, innocent side of us that needs to stay alive inside of us throughout life so that we maintain connection to our inner...

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Argue for Your Limitations and They Are Yours

Have you ever said, “I can’t because…” the economy is badmy boss doesn’t like memy parents were mentally illI’m too (insert adjective such as short, tall, young, old, etc).my mom didn’t love memy dad was an alcoholicI’m not (insert adjective like good, smart, worthy, or clever) enough “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” ~Richard Bach Your mindset is powerful! If your self talk is repeatedly reinforcing your limitations, you will continue to be limited. You are the most powerful part of any change work, so if you aren’t open to a new possibility, it can’t happen. Belief and expectation are powerful. When we believe and expect that nothing will change, nothing changes. If we are open to the idea of change, the door opens. Let’s look at what I mean.“Sheila”...

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When You’re Feeling Like “I Didn’t Sign Up For This!”

There may be times in our lives when we throw up our hands and say, “I didn’t sign on for this!” It’s normal to have a pity party when things don’t go as planned. When the pouting is done, there are three things you can do. Deal with it anyway, walk away, or blame and complain. So what types of things can make us say, “I didn’t sign up for this”? Here are some examples. your child is born with special needsyour partner leaves youdomestic violenceyou or your partner contracts a debilitating illnessyou or your partner gains a lot of weightnatural disaster strikesyou get firedyou or your partner has a mental breakdowninfidelityyour child causes expensive damage to someone else's propertyyou or your partner goes to jailaddiction Nobody willingly signs up for these things....

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Numbness, Dissociation and Feelings

Do you feel asleep at the wheel? Do you miss subtle cues about what’s true or how people feel that other people seem to “just know?” Are you feeling numb, depressed, or just not here? Maybe it’s because you’re numb or dissociated. You can’t have a full, vibrant life if you are not in your body. You can’t feel if you’re not embodied. How would you know if this is you? Numbness Numbness feels like the absence of sensation. You’re in your body, but it’s not really responding to stimulus. Perhaps you’re at your birthday party. All your friends are there. There is great food, music, and company – all the things that would normally make you happy. Yet, you’re not really feeling anything. You’re not even all that interested in being here. That’s...

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