Be Good To Those You Love

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When someone loves you – really loves you – treat them gently. Text your best friend back when you can. Tell your mother you noticed her haircut and that she was right about that recipe. Tell your grandfather that the boats in his bottles are the best things you’ve ever seen. Be good to the people who are good to you. It’s the least you can do.
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7 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self

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19-years-old in Prague
  1. Don’t worry so much about what others think or say about you. The older you get, the less you give a damn about what people think. We tend to get to get so caught up in the opinions of others, when really, they have absolutely no power over your life unless you give it. Life is so fluid, so exciting, so changeable – just like you. Wear what you want to wear, say what’s on your mind, be whoever you want to be and let them talk.
  2. Enjoy your teenage years as much as you can. The memories you create in your teenage years are the ones you will look back on when you are older and think, “Damn, that was fun.” Make it worth looking back on – stay out until the sunrise, have late night rendezvous with friends, laugh and dance and cry as much as you can. You are young and wild, and these are the years where you can (almost) get away with anything.
  3. You don’t have to have it all figured out. There tends to be a lot of pressure to follow a certain linear path in life: university, career, marriage and then children. However, while that works for some, a lot of people find that this is not the trajectory for them – and that is okay! Some of the most interesting, successful and inspiring people in life are still figuring things out and willingly admit that they don’t have their shit together (no one does). There is no end destination, no final frontier; the happiness is all in the journey.
  4. Nurture friendships with people who are positive, loyal and loving. You’re going to meet people who will betray your trust, use you and take advantage of what you have to give. Be thankful for those people because, even if they have hurt you, they have taught you the power of true friendship and loyalty. The people who stick with you through the hard times, uplift you when you are feeling down and believe the best in you when you are at your worst are those you need to invest in. Keep them close to your heart – they are your lifeline.
  5. Invest in self-love before looking for a relationship. It gets said often, but one of the most important relationships in life is the one you have with yourself. Don’t pine or seek out romantic love if you don’t yet love yourself. Learn to be comfortable alone, take yourself on dates, travel solo (even if it’s just the next city over), and fall in love with you are. You learn your value, worth and beauty when you know what is truly at stake, and that can only come through self-care.
  6. Things won’t always be so bad. It may be that things are so dark that it seems it will be like that forever. This is not true. Your life is a work in progress – it is constantly changing along with the feelings and people in it. Sometimes, things happen that will exceed your wildest dreams. Sometimes, you will cry because your heart is so full of joy. Sometimes, someone will tell you that they love you and you will believe it. There are days to come where you will be glad you held on despite how sad and broken you feel. Which leads me on to the next point…
  7. The best is yet to come. Never would I have imagined when I was a teenager the amazing things that were to come. The most happiest and life-altering experiences all happened outside of my teenage years, and I’m so glad I held on for them. There is so much for you to see and do. There are endless possibilities for you to explore, hundreds of countries for you to travel to and plenty of people to meet and fall in love with – and the best thing is, you are only just getting started.

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Tips For Listening Well

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1. Don’t interrupt. Let the speaker finish what they are saying – and at a speed that is comfortable for them – before formulating your own response.

2. Give the speaker your full and undivided attention. Ignore what is happening around you and block out distracting noises.

3. Pay attention to your own internal dialogue and don’t allow your mind to wander. This is not the time for you to be judging or mentally criticising the speaker or thinking about all the items on your to-do list for the day. Focus on what is being said, the tone of voice, and the body language of the speaker.

4. Pay attention to your own body language. Ask yourself: what kind of vibes am I giving off? What kind of message am I sending? The emphasis should be on looking and sounding concerned, interested, focused, accepting and genuine.

5. Be comfortable with silence. Often silence encourages the person to say more. Also, we don’t need to have an answer to every question or a solution to every problem. Most of the time it is presence and empathy that count the most.

6. Don’t get drawn into playing the game of “I have it so much worse than you; or my problem is bigger than yours.” In this situation, you are there for them. They are the focus and priority right now.

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Control Your Reactions

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Being jealous and insecure is okay. Demanding that your friend or partner stop seeing their other friends isn’t.
Wanting attention is okay. Demanding your friend or partners attention 24/7 isn’t.
Being angry is okay. Taking your anger out on innocent people isn’t.
We can’t control our feelings and we shouldn’t attempt to, but we can and should work to control our reactions to said feelings.
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How To Trust Again

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1. Recognize the benefits of trusting others and building meaningful relationships. If you never let others get close to you, then you’re likely to feel lonely and empty inside.

2. Remember that one person doesn’t have to meet your needs. We can trust different people with aspects of ourselves. Doing that can feel less risky and a lot less scary.

3. Look at the actions of other people before you decide if you can trust them or not. If they are kind to others and they seem reliable, then it’s likely they will treat you in that same way, too. However, be wary of people who are mean or critical, talk about others or are unpredictable.

4. Give trust slowly – let others prove themselves – and if they seem trustworthy then start to trust them more. Share a few small things before you share some bigger things.

5. Trust yourself to cope if someone lets you down. We’ve all been disappointed and betrayed by other people. Have the confidence to know that you will manage and survive.

6. Don’t pressurise yourself to give more than you are able. It’s hard to trust others if you’re feeling insecure, if you’ve been hurt by others or if trust is threatening. Decide to take it slowly and be patient with yourself.

Online Counselling College

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