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Ask Julie: I Feel Like a Failure As A Mom And Fiancee

Q: I am a stay-at-home mom, and lately, I have been feeling like a failure. I feel like I can’t do anything right and that everything I do goes unnoticed. I have a wonderful fiance, who works hard to take care of our family and who loves me very much, but the problem lies with me. I can’t express my feelings to him. I have so much guilt inside of me: I feel guilty when I need money and my fiance gives it to me. I feel guilty if he comes home and the house isn’t spotless, even when the baby was a handful. I feel guilty if I take time for myself or if we go out without the baby. I feel guilty when the little one cries or throws tantrums when my fiance is at home, because I am supposed to be a good mother and a good housekeeper and a good fiancee, but I don’t feel like I am. I am a failure at everything, and I am just so sick of crying everyday. How do I get past this? Please, please help me.

A: Thanks for your email. You sure put a lot of pressure on yourself! But who says you have to be a perfect fiancée, house keeper, or good at finances? It sounds like you want to be more than just good at those things, it sounds like you want to be perfect. I wonder if there’s something deeper going on, or how you learned to be so hard on yourself. Watch the video for the full answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Passive-Agressive Conversation Killers: Studio 5

Some people joke that women talk in code (and there’s probably some small truth to that!). But what if women owned up to their mixed messages and instead spoke their truth and said what they meant? That’s the topic behind this round of “What To Say Instead.” While it can be tempting to speak somewhat passive-aggressively, it’s much better to be honest and authentic about our feelings.

The following scenarios are ones in which woman mask their true emotions with trite sayings. But doing so is harmful to relationships because it’s deceptive and can limit intimacy. Read about better things to say to communicate and bridge those connections:

Scenario #1: Jane gets a call from her sister. At the time, she is trying to make dinner for her family, take care of her sick baby, and help her recently unemployed husband comb through job applications. Her sister asks how she is doing. Her response: “I’m fine.”

What To Say Instead - If this is a sister with whom she has a close relationship, it’s okay to open up! She doesn’t necessarily have to divulge all personal details, but saying something as simple as, “I’m having a really hard day, honestly” is telling the truth. There’s a pressure as women to appear as if something is going smoothly, but it’s okay to admit we don’t have it all together.

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Five Ways To Boost Your Confidence: Studio 5

Confidence is one of those characteristics that almost every woman desires for herself. We understand that in many ways, confidence is key to happiness, assertiveness, and success. But how exactly do we acquire it? Here are 5 actionable items to boost your confidence:

1) Be Conscious of Societal Context

Sometimes, we as women believe that struggling with confidence is a weakness we alone experience. But the truth is that many of us feel insecure and inadequate at times. Remember that although women have come a long way in the rights and opportunities available to us, we still need to continue to advocate for our equality. Feeling self-conscious or unconfident is part of the result of a bigger systemic picture. If you struggle with these feelings, know that you are not alone!
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Ask Julie: I’m Madly In Love with My Ex-Therapist!

Q:  I am madly in love with my ex-therapist.  This is not transference; I truly love her! I never had the chance to tell her, and now we no longer talk to one another. This has and is still bothering me. I can’t stop thinking about her, and it is killing me inside everyday! I wanted to tell her back then during sessions, but was afraid to, and now I will never have the opportunity to ever tell her. This is not healthy…what should I do? (28 year old female)

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Lady Diana The Princess With the Heart of Gold: Celebrity Legacies

I’ve loved providing mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of celebrities for Reelz Channel. One of my favorite Celebrity Legacies episodes airs again today: the life of Princess Diana.  I watched her life unfold in real-time during my adolescence and young adulthood. She was my princess. During her marriage to Prince Charles, she became a fashion icon, and among the most photographed people in the world.

The world was shocked to learn of the untimely death of Princess Diana of Wales on August 31, 1997 in Paris. A combination of factors, including a high speed chase from the paparazzi and an inebriated driver, caused the deadly crash that claimed her life, as well as that of her bodyguard and her boyfriend. She was only 36.

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Ask Julie: My Anxiety Is Hurting My Relationships

Q:All my life, I have never been able to do what i like to do for the fear of being judged by other people. It has come to such a point that I cannot think for myself; it always has to be “if I do this, what will others think?”I have good friends who keep advising me to be more social, but my fear gets the better of me. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a long time. I am scared if that if I keep being such an introvert, I’ll end up with no life. I have lost all sense of emotions in the last few months and am becoming desperate for companionship and just to be accepted.

A: Thank you for writing in. I wish I could talk to you to clarify how long this has been going on. I do have a few thoughts, though. You may have developed social phobia or another form of anxiety disorder. What you’re describing sounds like more than just simply being introverted. I really think you should get some help from a professional. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Ways to Develop Resilience: Studio 5

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Everyone goes through challenging experiences: loss, illness, divorce, and other hardships can take a heavy emotional toll. Resilience is being able overcome these kind of struggles and is the ability to “bounce back.” But you don’t have to wait until the storms hit to develop this skill. Here are 5 ways to build resilience for when you really need it:
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How to Help an Unhappy Friend: Studio 5

How to help and unhappy friend: Julie Hanks, LCSW on Studio 5

True friends often go through a lot together. They experience the joys and good times, and sometimes they seeeach other through harder seasons of life as well. But it can be difficult to know exactly how to react when a friend is weathering a particularly difficult storm or is in some way unfulfilled. Here are 5 strategies to employ when a friend is unhappy:

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Ask Julie: How Do I Open up Emotionally to my Therapist?

Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?

A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Common Creativity Myths: Studio 5

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When you think of the idea of creativity, what comes to mind? A brilliant painter? A famous film director? An acclaimed composer? While those examples certainly are true, there is more to creativity than famous artists and their work. For the purpose of this discussion, the definition of creativity is the ability to make new things or think new ideas, transforming existing materials into something novel and beneficial. Here are 5 common myths about creativity:
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