Feeling Respected: A Guide To Your Emotions

Let’s start this convo off with a question. What comes to mind when we say “respect?” Thank you. Yes, Aretha Franklin WAS the correct answer. Now, what comes to mind when we ask “Are you feeling respected?” 

No one really asks if you feel respected these days. It’s not like it’s a common greeting. “Hi, Michelle! Long time no see. Are you feeling respected these days?” Really…feeling like you’re not respected is a much more common occurrence. But, you’re not here to talk about that! So, let’s discover more about feeling respected!

A Deeper Look At Feeling Respected

When we think about feeling respected, what comes to mind? A relationship, your family, work, a friendship…maybe all of the above? Respect is something that is part of every aspect of our lives whether we recognize it or not. Why? Because respect is when we accept someone as they are, for who they are. That means accepting them even when they are different from us in some way, or differ from us in opinion. Respect creates trust between people, helps us feel safe, and keeps communication open and easy. 

Think about your relationship with your partner. When you feel respected by your partner, you feel like your input, dreams, desires, your job, your happiness, your interests…everything matters! A respectful relationship is full of equality and patience, kind honesty, and respect for boundaries. And, when conflict arises, you respect each other enough to know how to approach the issue and talk it out. 

Family relationships require respect too! Respect can come from many shared experiences, but it was hopefully taught to you as a child as well. When you literally live with the same people from the time you’re born until the time you move out, you can feel a bit entitled to a person and their time (“Mommmm! Mommy! Mama!”). Respect comes from learning to love and accept the other people in your family by recognizing their interests, personality, and right to space and autonomy.

When we’re at work, we want to feel respected by our colleagues, bosses, clients…you name it! Respect in the workplace builds trust, gets people excited about coming in to work, and helps them feel like they have a purpose as they come into work every day. Who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re wanted, needed, and respected at work? We certainly do! 

How Feeling Respected Shows Up Mentally: 

No one really sits around thinking about how an emotion they’re experiencing is a byproduct of feeling respected. But your eyes aren’t about to believe what they’re going to read! (Or maybe they will. We don’t know your eyes!) When you’re feeling respected, you’ll feel:

  • Safe
  • Free to express yourself without fear of judgement
  • Confident
  • A sense of purpose
  • An increased self-worth 

When you think about it, this list makes a lot of sense! When you feel respected, your mindset ends up in a far more positive place. And your outlook on the world, and towards other people, is ALSO that of respect. Omg, it’s like an endless respect cycle. WE LOVE THAT! 

How Feeling Respected Shows Up Physically

As you read this, you might be thinking “But DiveThru, how can an emotion like respect show up physically?” Well, be ready to have your mind BLOWN! You’ll be surprised at how many ways feeling respected can impact us physically. It can: 

  • Improve relationships and friendships
  • Improve job performance
  • Increase motivation 
  • Increase self-care

There are so many ways that feeling respected can pop up. Your body and mind are probably feeling SO freaking amazing right now and you’re just along for the ride and enjoying it! (Kind of like a cruise, but instead of the ocean, you’re sailing on the open waters of respect. Aretha would LOVE that for you!)

5 Ways To Embrace Feeling Respected: 

We’re going to take you back to Aretha ONE. MORE. TIME. Woooo!!! Okay, remember what she said about respect? “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” So, let’s find out what it means to you! How do you do that? By embracing the emotion in these 5 helpful ways!

1. Connect With A Friend

Celebrating is always so much more fun when it’s not done all by yourself. So, call up your best friend in the WHOLE WORLD and have a little celebration with them! Plus, your bestie will hype you up and make you feel like you’re deserving of all the respect in the world!!!

2. Practice Meditation 

Really sit with, and connect to, this feeling of respect. Practicing meditation is the perfect way to do this! It allows you to experience this emotion, remember it, and cultivate it within yourself. Try a free guided meditation on YouTube if you aren’t sure where to start with your meditation practice. 

3. Journal

Write down the good stuff! As humans, we often hold onto negativity and remember the bad shit, rather than the good. So journal about this amazing feeling! That way, when you’re going through some rough stuff, you can look back on what you’ve written and remember how you felt, and why you felt that way. 

4. Engage In Compassionate Self-Talk 

It’s nice to be respected by others, but what about feeling respect for YOURSELF? Woaahhhhhhh!!!!! Yep, we switched it up on you! Compassionate self-talk is basically you being nice to yourself and respecting yourself. External validation and respect can feel amazing, but when it comes from ourselves, it’s a whole different and wonderful story. So, go on and be nice to yourself!

5. Engage In Something Creative

We don’t know about you, but we always feel AMAZING after we do something creative (it’s fun for your brain!). It helps us practice mindfulness in a super joyful setting, and allows us to connect to feelings of both joy and respect at the same time! 

Welp, we’re all out of things to tell you about respect for the moment. We hope that you learned a little bit more about this emotion (and how to feel it all the time) because you deserve to feel respected! We want only the best for you always!

 

Dating Someone With Depression? 8 Ways To Support Your Partner

Dating someone with depression can mean a LOT of ups and downs in your relationship. One day you’re living out the perfect rom-com montage, chasing sunsets and laughing in slow-motion! Then the next day looks more like a black and white music video to the saddest song, ever. Cue the pouring rain as you gaze longingly out the car window…

It’s not easy to watch the person you love struggle with their mental health. You might try your best to lift them up — especially on days when their depression is hitting extra hard — but no matter how hard you try, at the end of the day, they’re still depressed. That shit can be super disheartening, we know.

You can’t ‘fix’ your partner’s mental health, but you can help them cope and find professional help (because this can be SUUUPER hard for someone in the midst of a depression). So, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re obvs a super caring and thoughtful person! That’s why you’ve come here looking for answers, right? Right. So, here are some ways you can lovingly support your partner with depression.

1. Learn More About Depression

If you’ve never experienced depression then supporting someone through it might be totally new for you. Where TF do you even start?! Well, now’s the time to read up and learn alllll about it! Instead of asking your partner to walk you through it (because they might not even understand it), dive into some good ol’ fashion Googling. It never fails.

Once you’ve got some info under your belt (symptoms, causes, treatments and coping techniques) go ahead and ask your partner about their own experience with depression and how they cope. That way, you’ll notice when they’re having an off day and better understand what you can do to help them through it. Even if that means just giving them space, or letting them cry it out without being asked “what can I do” or “what’s wrong.” 

2. Understand Your Goal Isn’t To ‘Fix’ Them

“Fix You” by Coldplay might still be one of the greatest songs ever written (we won’t be taking any criticism at this time) buuut don’t take the lyrics literally. By supporting your partner through their depression, your goal here isn’t to ‘fix’ them. Because they’re not broken. So, if that’s your endgame, the odds will never be in your favour.

Instead, simply accept them and their depression for what it is. That’s what unconditional love is all about, baby! Constantly shoving advice or solutions at them only shows how not okay you are with their condition. In the end, you’ll both become frustrated and resentful over what you can’t change. And, that brings us to the next point…

3. Encourage Them To Seek Treatment

Good news — depression IS treatable! If they’re not seeking treatment already, you can give your partner the confidence they need to ask for help. Right now, they might feel ashamed or be dealing with a ton of negative self-talk that’s holding them back. So, remind them they’re not alone on this journey and that you want what’s best for them, no matter what!

Another important note…we know you have your partner’s best interest at heart, but let’s leave the advice to the pros, okay? Encourage your partner to work through their depression in therapy, where a licensed professional can give them the tools they need to succeed. Heck, you can even ask your partner if they’d be comfortable with you sitting in on a session. (Don’t take it personally if they say no. It’s a VERY private, and different, experience for each person.)

4. Listen And Validate Their Feelings 

Chances are, your partner doesn’t wanna drag you down in any way because they fucking love you so much. People with depression can often feel like their problems don’t matter, or they’re burdening others by unloading all of their shit. So, let them know that you’re always there to listen when they need a vent sesh! Validating their feelings will make them feel heard and confirm to them that their problems truly matter.

That being said, don’t ever forget that your personal boundaries are sooo important! You can still be there for your partner and have firm boundaries in place. Maybe you ask that they don’t call or text while you’re working (unless it’s an emergency, of course). You’ll be available later when you can give your full attention and don’t have a ton of other things on the go.

5. Be Flexible And Understanding

Try your best to be flexible with your time and show some understanding, even when it’s hard. Maybe your partner promised to be your plus-one to your corporate holiday party, but then the big day arrives and they can’t get out of bed. It sucks, but depression can be unpredictable. You might feel really disappointed, and even frustrated, at times when things don’t go as planned. Especially when you were reallyyy looking forward to those said plans (you found the perfect shoes and everything)!

Remember — your partner isn’t purposely trying to let you down. It’s just that managing their depression can be extra tough some days. And, that’s out of their control.

6. Don’t Take It Personally

It can be hard NOT to take it personally, but remember that your partner’s depression isn’t about you. So, when they snap at you out of nowhere or melt into a puddle of tears, be patient. Remind your partner that even when they try to push you away, you’re not going anywhere!

You’ll likely notice that your partner has certain triggers for their depression (that have nothing to do with you). If you’re not sure what they are, ask them! It can help you avoid triggering them — because we know all you want to do is help. And, it helps you both prepare for those unpredictable depressed days.

7. Remember That Not Everything Is About Their Depression

When your partner comes to you about a problem or wants to express something that’s been bothering them, don’t write off their feelings as ‘just a symptom’ of their depression. Gentle but firm reminder: people with mental illness still have regular feelings too!

Maybe they come to you with something like, “I feel like we don’t spend a lot of quality time together lately.” Quality time is probably something they really value, so you should defs validate their feelings and ask how you can work through any problems together. 

8. Take Care Of Yourself

Anddd last but certainly not least, don’t forget to support yourself too! Your own mental health is important, so make sure you’re checking in with yourself on the reg. Are you feeling kinda down, drained or emotionally checked out? Supporting someone with a mental illness can be overwhelming sometimes, so don’t feel guilty for admitting that it’s hard.

Find a support system who YOU can turn to when you could use some help. It could be a friend you trust, a close family member, or even a support group. You might think that you don’t need therapy since you’re not the depressed one in the relationship…but guess what? Compassion fatigue is real, and talking to a therapist about alllll the things you’re going through is a valid option for you too!

And finally, if you’re sacrificing SO much of yourself and it’s becoming unhealthy then there is absolutely nothing wrong with honouring what is best for you — even if that means ending the relationship. As much as we all want to be able to help our partners, sometimes it just isn’t in our capabilities to do so. And that is okay.

 

6 Ways To Cope With High Functioning Anxiety

Picture this. You’re reaaally struggling at work, yet you somehow still manage to get all your stuff done (probably because you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself). But then, when you voice your struggles to a coworker, they say “Oh, you just need a vacation” or “You’re just a worry-wart” — which completely invalidates what you’re going through! 

Many of us struggle with anxiety (okay, a LOT of us!). It’s usually temporary and comes in bursts depending on what situation we’re in! There are also many kinds of anxiety, ranging from generalized anxiety to health anxiety to OCD (some easier to pinpoint than others). Every type of anxiety has its unique and difficult challenges. But when that anxiety turns high functioning it’s like a pointy rock in your shoe — no one else sees it, but you definitely know it’s there. (And if others can’t see it, they can’t help to lessen your stressors.)

It can be SO hard when your suffering isn’t recognized just because it goes unnoticed. But, your pain is REAL. So, let’s talk about high functioning anxiety, how it shows up, and what you can do about it!  

What Is High Functioning Anxiety?  

High functioning anxiety (or high-functioning anxiety) involves alllll the same uncomfy aspects of any anxiety disorder. But, if you have it, you’ll know that it pushes you forward rather than making you freeze in your tracks. You’re always able to finish your tasks flawlessly and you appear to function well in any social situation (emphasis on appear)! 

That’s because high function anxiety lies under the surface, never seen, all while creating COMPLETE chaos in your brain. It’s a daily struggle that gets swept under the rug only because you ‘seem fine.’ But we’re here to help you recognize when it shows up and prove that your anxiety is valid — even when it’s invisible to others. 

High Functioning Anxiety Symptoms 

When you’re in a professional setting, your high functioning anxiety will take the form of taking on too many projects, always striving for perfection, and living for approval from others. Also, overthinking…ALWAYS overthinking. Then coworkers and managers praise your ‘incredible work ethic,’ which just gives your anxiety permission to keep holding your brain to impossibly high standards! 

High functioning anxiety symptoms also manifest themselves in physical ways, you’re probably just a lot better at hiding them. Let’s take a look at the 10 ways it shows up! 

  • Sweating
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach problems or nausea 
  • Derealization or depersonalization 
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Chest pain
  • Insomnia

Allll of these symptoms, if left unchecked, can cause long-term issues for your health, self-esteem, and relationships. So, we’re gonna walk you through the process of getting diagnosed and some tips to help you cope, so you can regain some control and stop the endless cycle of overthinking.

How To Deal With High Functioning Anxiety

Here’s the tricky part. High functioning anxiety isn’t really a recognized mental health diagnosis! It’s basically a blanket term for people who struggle with very real anxiety disorders but still manage to lead a normal life (or seem to, anyway). Your self-doubt might tell you that you’re overreacting because you’re doing ‘fine,’ but we’re here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be your existence (and you should never have to settle for ‘just fine!’).

A mental health professional will be able to diagnose you for whichever anxiety disorder is lurking behind the scenes and set you on the right therapy plan. And, it’s always good to incorporate some mindfulness exercises on top!     

6 Ways To Cope

It’s hard to admit you’re struggling when, so far, you’ve just put your ‘best self’ out there. But self-care is sooo important, especially for someone with high functioning anxiety. If you just keep on your current trajectory, you’ll eventually burn out. And we don’t want that! So, try practicing some of these exercises to calm down your mind. 

1. Get To Know Your Symptoms

View your anxiety as any other medical condition, and show yourself some extra care when you’re having a more challenging day.

2. Accept Your Fear

You can’t ignore or suppress anxiety, so instead feel where it’s coming from and try to relax your expectations of yourself.

3. Come Back To Your Body

You’re likely spending too much time in your head, so try some deep breathing or exercise for a few minutes to channel your anxiety outwards.

4. Use Mantras

Sometimes you just gotta remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can and deserve to take a break in order to take care of yourself.

5. Intervene

When you notice your thoughts are starting to snowball, walk away. You can’t fight anxiety with more anxiety, so take a short break.

7. Get Support

You don’t have to tell everyone what’s going on but choose a few select people you trust to help keep you grounded throughout the day.

Now, because you have high functioning anxiety, we’re going to remind you to be patient. Incorporating these coping techniques won’t happen overnight. But, if you shift the energy you used to rely on for overachieving to now focus on yourself, we know you’ll begin to see some positive results!

 

Feeling Hateful: A Guide To Your Emotions

Growing up, your parents or teachers probably told you that hate is a strong word. Well, hate IS a strong emotion! Think about a time where you used the word ‘hate.’ Ugh, I hate this song! Don’t you hate how cold and rainy it is today? I signed up for this spin class, only I actually hate exercise. It’s gonna totally suck! Feeling hateful is a super intense and angry emotion, but we can use it pretty casually. Do we really feel that strongly about not liking brussels sprouts, or is hate just a default word?! We’ll never know.

Surprise, surprise: feeling hateful takes up a LOT of our energy. This negative feeling can eat us up inside if we let it (and let’s be honest, it’s easy to let hate take over). That’s why it’s so important to understand our feelings and where they’re coming from. That way, we can conquer our negative thoughts and improve our mental wellbeing. So let’s look at how to cope with feeling hateful!

A Deeper Look At Feeling Hateful

What does it mean to feel hate? APA Dictionary defines hate as: “n. A hostile emotion combining intense feelings of detestation, anger, and often a desire to do harm.” Yeahhh, it’s a big one, that’s for sure.

We can feel hateful for lots of reasons. If you’re dealing with burnout from school or work, you might start to hate your studies or job. Sometimes, if we resent someone we interact with regularly, like a coworker, friend or family member, their actions can start to annoy us and we might feel like we hate being around them. That could be a sign that we need some space or alone time. It’s also common to hold onto hurt and anger when a person does something that hurts us, like lying or making a super hurtful comment. Instead of forgiving them or working through it, we might hold this anger inside. Setting boundaries in all of our relationships is a great way to avoid some of this stress. Even though you can’t control how other people act, stating what your boundaries are will help protect you in the long run.

Self-Hate

If we’re struggling with self-hate, we can feel a lot of frustration and anger towards ourselves for not meeting our own expectations. We can be our own worst critic and think of our successes in extremes, like…if I don’t prove myself at my job, everyone is gonna hate me and I’ll get fired. We tell ourselves I’m worthless instead of I feel worthless. Our thoughts lean towards the negative, instead of remembering all the positives we like about ourselves or our achievements. Low self-esteem is also an issue with self-hate where we believe we’re not good enough. All in all, self-hate can consume our happiness and turn us into angry, hateful people. We might even start to take out this anger on other people, which can affect our relationships and success in our professional lives.

How Feeling Hateful Shows Up Mentally

Feeling hateful can take over our thoughts and create space for a lot of negativity. And the worst part is that it shows up in a variety of different ways! Here’s how you might experience feeling hateful mentally:

  • Feeling an extreme case of envy
  • Having contempt for someone
  • Feeling humiliated by another person or situation
  • Feeling powerless or shameful
  • Self-hatred and negative self-talk

These toxic symptoms can also indicate mental illness including depression and anxiety. Please seek the help of a mental health professional if your intense feelings of hatred aren’t manageable on your own!

How Feeling Hateful Shows Up Physically

Feeling anger and hate can really put a lot of emotional stress on your body over time. Here a few ways your physical health becomes affected by hateful and negative emotions:

  • Chronic stress
  • Insomnia
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Poor immune system
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Digestive problems 

Not-so-fun fact: these symptoms can actually shorten our life span. Yikes! The relationships between our emotions, mental health and physical health are very strong. This is why it’s so important to find healthy ways to work through our feelings and take them seriously. They affect our quality of life!

5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Hateful

It can be hard to get past your feelings of hate and anger, we know. But don’t worry! We’ve got some coping strategies for you to help overcome this negative emotion and go back to feeling like your regular self!

1. Practice Deep Breathing

Hatred can make you feel pretty heated! Need to calm down and cool off a bit? Take deep breaths in, followed by deep breaths out. Taking a moment to focus on your breathing has actually been proven to lower anxiety and reduce stress. Plus, deep breathing slows your heart rate and provides your brain with enough oxygen to chill.

2. Reach Out For Support

Stewing alone with your hateful feelings can be tricky. Try reaching out to a friend, family member or loved one when you need to have a good ol’ vent session. They can be there to listen and support you, and maybe even offer up some advice if that’s what you need. Either way, just having them be there for you can make all the difference in the world! ‘Cause let’s be honest, we’re not always the most rational when we’re angry.

3. Engage In Something Soothing And Comforting

Ya wanna know what’s calming? Enjoying a nice bubble bath. Curling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and drinking a mug of hot tea. Going for a walk. Listening to a podcast or watching your favourite show. Doing a peaceful activity, like puzzles, crosswords or colouring. Try doing something positive that will improve your mood and take your mind off those hateful thoughts!

4. Journal

The best method out there, in our humble opinion, is journaling. We LOVE it. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can give you a ton of clarity. Plus, it’s helpful for reframing all of those negative thoughts you might be having. It also feels very therapeutic and will help release some of that pent-up anger — just be careful not to push so hard when you’re writing! We don’t want your hand to cramp, friend. ❤️

5. Move Your Body

A huge benefit to exercise? Those endorphins, baby! Getting physical not only improves your mood, it also releases stress and improves your focus. So try doing something active that you personally enjoy! It could be dancing around your room to your upbeat playlist, or following along to a yoga video on YouTube. Maybe you like to run. Or swim. There are endless activities that get you up and moving! Not only will your heart thank you for it, but so will your mind.

 

Okay, that’s all we’ve got. Hopefully, this helped you gain some insight into how you’re feeling and how you can move on from feeling super mad and hateful. ‘Cause this feeling sucks. And you deserve better, friend!

 

Feeling Stupid: A Guide To Your Emotions

Everyone ends up feeling stupid at least once in their life. There can be so many situations where, in the back of our minds, we stop and think: Holy shit, am I really this stupid?! Maybe you’re in a group and a topic comes up that you’re not familiar with, at all. It could be a political debate, discussing a current event in the news, or even the most recent winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. You have nothing to contribute to the conversation and it makes you feel like a certified dumbass. Or you’re writing an exam and while everyone else is flipping through test pages like it’s NBD, you’re stuck on the same. damn. question. Not to mention how awful it feels to hear someone say: Oh, you didn’t know that? Suddenly, you just want the earth to open up and swallow you whole out of total humiliation. Whether it feels like everyone knows something you don’t or you’ve made a mistake, it can make you feel really, reallyyy stupid.

Here’s an important reminder: just because you FEEL stupid, doesn’t mean you’re actually stupid. ‘Cause, you’re not! But when we feel stupid, it’s hard not to feel totally insecure and tear ourselves apart. We start comparing ourselves to other people and wonder why we can’t be better. It can make us feel so out of place and alone. But don’t worry! You’re not alone or the first person to ever feel this way. So let’s talk about feeling stupid, why this shitty emotion affects your mental wellbeing, and how to cope.

A Deeper Look At Feeling Stupid

Okay, we know what stupid means. Dictionary.com defines stupid as “adj. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.” Ouch. Who wants to feel like this?! But, it’s probably one of the most common words in the English language! We use it all the time: Well, that was stupid. Did that sound stupid?! What a stupid mistake! 

There are so many different scenarios in life where we might feel stupid. An obvious one is getting a bad grade can make us feel really stupid. You might equate self-worth to how well you perform at school. So when you don’t get the grade you wanted, it can be devastating. Some people have test anxiety and struggle to get good grades on tests, which has nothing to do with how well they understand the material. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has different learning styles, strengths and talents. A bad grade can come from stress, anxiety, burnout, lack of preparation or not fully understanding the material. None of those things have anything to do with being stupid. It’s all about learning what works for you!

Sometimes other people can make us feel stupid, whether they mean to or not. If they criticize, patronize, or speak down to us, all of our self esteem can fly out the window. FYI, it’s never okay for someone to call us stupid or treat us like we’re idiots! In other cases though, constructive criticism can be really helpful. There are always opportunities for us to learn and do better! There’s a difference between helpful and hurtful feedback, and you’ll probably know the difference when you see it. But no matter what, just because you have made a mistake or have more to learn does NOT make you stupid. We’re always learning and growing as humans!

Imposter Syndrome and Feeling Stupid

When we question our knowledge and skills, and feel like we don’t deserve our achievements, it’s known as imposter syndrome. Maybe you’ve started a new job and all of your coworkers seem so accomplished, unlike how you feel inside. You start to feel like a fraud and worry that your boss will realize they’ve made a huge mistake in hiring you. When we feel stupid, it can be from a case of imposter syndrome. We feel like we don’t belong or deserve recognition for our work, even though we absolutely do. But the voice in our head keeps on insisting that we are stupid, so we start to believe it.

How Feeling Stupid Shows Up Mentally

Feeling stupid can obviously have a negative impact on mental health. It can be a sign of social anxiety disorder where the thought of looking stupid or saying the wrong thing in front of other people holds you back in life. You avoid socializing, speaking up in class, or taking leadership at work out of fear of judgement. This can make you feel super alone and even more isolated from everyone around you.

Low self-esteem and insecurity are common causes of feeling stupid. The doubt, feelings of worthlessness and beating yourself up over mistakes can create turmoil in your mind. You might engage in a lot of negative self-talk, even telling other people that you’re not smart enough to do something because you don’t want them to beat you to the punch. Chances are, you probably compare yourself to others too. Remember: we are our own worst critics!

We all feel stupid sometimes. Eventually, we get past our mistakes or insecurities. But if these feelings become overwhelming and don’t pass, it can be useful to talk with a mental health professional.

How Feeling Stupid Shows Up Physically

Since feeling stupid can be linked to low self-esteem, insecurity, social anxiety and overall feeling sad, the physical signs are also similar. You might have a hard time focusing, feel fatigued, have headaches, and experience stomach aches or digestive issues. These signs are only more serious if they are prolonged and don’t go away on their own.

5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Stupid

Let’s be real, it can hard to get past feeling stupid. When we obsess over insecurities and have low self esteem, we tend to fixate on the things we find wrong with us. And feeling stupid can be a big one! But we have some coping strategies for you to help move past these negative thoughts. ‘Cause, we want you to feel good about yourself!

1. Journal

If you’ve never gotten into journaling before, you might be rolling your eyes right now. But we swear by this practice! Writing down how you feel can be a great way to gain some clarity and reframe the negative thoughts you’ve been having about yourself.

2. Reach Out For Support

It can be embarrassing to admit when we’re feeling stupid, especially when we’re comparing ourselves to other people. But you should never feel ashamed for reaching out to a friend or loved one for support! Sometimes just having someone to listen to us and validate how we’re feeling makes all the difference. 

3. Comfort Yourself Like A Friend

If you don’t have anyone who can be there for you right now, that’s okay. You can be there for yourself! Think about how you would want a loved one to comfort you in this moment. Give yourself a pat on the back, write a list of the things you like about yourself, and reflect on your accomplishments. 

4. Give Yourself A Pep Talk

Sometimes, we gotta give ourselves a little pep talk in order to turn those negative thoughts around. Try saying some encouraging phrases to yourself out loud: I feel stupid right now but I know this feeling will pass. Everyone makes mistakes and feels stupid sometimes. I’m gonna be okay. 

5. Engage In Compassionate Self-Talk

It’s safe to say that when you’re telling yourself how stupid you are, you aren’t showing yourself the most compassion. Try giving yourself compliments out loud, even if it feels silly! I am smart. I’m super knowledgeable about ____. My talents are ___. I’m really proud of the time that I ___. Reminding yourself of your strengths will help you focus less on what you perceive as weaknesses.

We hope these tips help you out, ‘cause you deserve to feel your best! It’s not always easy, we know. But keep in mind that everyone feels stupid and insecure sometimes. You are not alone, and you will get past this feeling!

 

Unhealthy Relationships For Queer Folks: 5 Things To Look Out For

Just like there are a few extra precautions for LGBTQIA+ folks to take in healthy relationships, there are also a few extra red flags. And def not the fun, circus kind — the harsh and suuuper toxic kind! Abuse can wrap its sharp talons around any relationship, but the shame, and fear of seeking support, that some queer folks experience can make those talons dig deeper and hold on for much longer.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report states that 54% of trans and non-binary people experience abuse in their relationships. And a 2016 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs shows that, in particular, transgender women are THREE TIMES more likely to experience abuse in relationships compared to cisgender women. On top of that, the 2010 National Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Survey says that 61% of bisexual women, 44% of lesbian women, 37% of bisexual men, and 26% of gay men experience abusive relationships at some point in their lives. Can we all agree that these numbers are WAY too freakin’ high?!

So, let’s talk about why queer folks experience higher rates of relationship violence, and the red flags to look for to identify unhealthy relationships.

Spotting Toxicity In Queer Relationships

Take a minute to think about Adam and Eric from Sex Education. Adam was HELLA toxic to Eric from the start. He bullied him, shamed him over his sexuality, and even threatened to kill him. All the while, he was smoochin’ Eric on the down low and pretending like nothing was happening! 

Adam redeemed himself in Season 2…but that verbal, emotional, and physical trauma stuck with Eric and made him “lose his sparkle.” The whole situation was not at all comfy to watch, but it was an example of some signs of unhealthy relationships! So, while we’re at it, let’s get into some more examples of unhealthy relationships specific to queer folks.

Pressure To Come Out 

A partner should never pressure you to come out to family, friends, coworkers…anyone! They may try to guilt you into it by saying they feel like you’re ashamed of them. And, horribly, they might even threaten to out you themself. But that is YOUR thing to come to terms with and YOUR announcement to make (when YOU are ready!). If a partner is doing this, they are most likely trying to control you and want to make you seem helpless, just so they can control you even more

Identity Or Orientation Used Against You 

An abusive partner might use your sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression, against you to make you feel inferior. Rewinding back to the toxic couple in Sex Education, Adam coined the nickname “Tromboner” for Eric — along with calling him by a whole bunch of other homophobic slurs. A healthy relationship does not include bullying and oppression!     

Invalidated Gender Or Identity

One step further from using your identity or orientation against you is to not even acknowledge them at all. A partner might say that you’re “just looking for attention” or that you’re “being dramatic,” which is sooo derogatory! Only YOU know how you feel and what is right for you. If a partner doesn’t take the time to get educated and use inclusive language that will make you feel supported, they don’t deserve you, honey!   

Restricted Access To Medication And Care 

A partner might do things like hold back medication (such as hormones) or not let you seek counselling. This can be downright DETRIMENTAL to trans folks who need hormonal therapy because they can go through intense withdrawal symptoms without! Just think of Sophia Burset in Orange Is The New Black. While it was not in a relationship context, she was denied her medication in prison and suffered because of it. And counselling can be vital for queer folks who are still figuring out their identity. A partner who doesn’t want you to be your best self is not one you want to have around!

Abuse Denial Because “It Doesn’t Happen For Queer Folks”

There’s a big misconception that abuse doesn’t happen in queer relationships, especially when the typical man/woman power dynamic is shifted. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! If you need another reminder, just look at allllll of the stats listed at the top of this article. Abuse and unhealthy treatment can show up in all relationship dynamics — including friendships! So, never let a partner gaslight you into thinking they’re not abusive by using this excuse. 

Barriers To Support

When on the receiving end of these kinds of behaviours, a lot of queer folks find it difficult to seek support! And that’s because of the anticipated stigma or shame they think they will face. The fear of being outed, and sharing that incredibly sensitive side of yourself, can be terrifying! But not being treated right by someone you care about (and who’s supposed to care about you) is worse. 

 

This article may bring up worries that toxic, unhealthy relationships are unavoidable, but that’s not true. Rest assured that you CAN have a healthy relationship with a partner who will value your identity and accept you as you are. If you are spotting these red flags (or any others!) and aren’t sure how to fix an unhealthy relationship, you may be scared right now. Take some deep breaths and try to turn to a trusted friend, a family member, or a therapist. As difficult as starting that conversation can be, people who truly want the best for you will put your safety first!