When Fear Rules !

Self-Esteem

“Why am I feeling so sensitive to the comments of others lately ?” JT

by on Nov.05, 2020, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, Dealing with Controlling or Manipulative People, Self-Esteem

Dear J,

As I mentioned to you when we talked after I received your question, there are potentially many issues going on in your life.

First, your boss, who you said was being more critical of you lately, may be in the midst of anxiety and conflicts himself because the Covid Virus has effected his business. In that case you might mention that he seems a little on edge recently and if there is anything he has a problem with regarding you or your work, you would be happy to discuss the issues as you want to be successful and add to the bottom line of his business.

Then on the other hand, if he shows signs or a pattern of being critical of not only you, but most employees, and if there appears to be a pattern of control and manipulation on his part, you may want to seek another position.

However, in our discussion today, upon my probing your personal frustrations and conflicts, you seemed to be very critical and upset with yourself for the significant and persistent weight problem that has become an increasing frustration. I am betting that the weight has you feeling very out of control and fills your head with self-critical thoughts and potentially leads to lower self-esteem, whereby you are expecting others to be critical of you and to be judging you.

You and I decided to set goals and touch base in two weeks, because I believe if you see yourself taking control of the weight in reasonable steps, your self esteem will rise, your self talk will turn more positive, and your sensitivity to whatever comments you hear from others will be lessened. I will offer you SUPPORT, which we all need, as you increase your self esteem based on tangible evidence [the loss of a few pounds} you can use to fight off those negative thoughts.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Emeritus
The Benhaven Group

Leave a Comment more...

Self-Esteem: How you think , feel and what you do with your life !

by on Oct.20, 2020, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, Dealing with Controlling or Manipulative People, Self-Esteem

Self Esteem is critical to your mental health and well-being.

We begin to develop the components of our self esteem when we take our first breath and interact with our new world.

Most of us do not realize that a healthy self-esteem can be measured by taking stock of our inner thoughts, feelings and a survey of our actions in facing day to day life and its challenges. And you can take steps to improve your self-esteem, the awareness of our self-worth.

Think….Feel…Do
I often use this overly simple tool or formula to measure self-esteem, and I find it helpful. What you think about yourself in your private thoughts directly impacts what you feel, and what you feel directly impacts what you do in your life, meaning whether you grow or avoid. If you avoid conflicts or issues, or challenges to grow, then you create frustration and negative thoughts…and feelings which further paralyze your growth and self-esteem. Now, the more you face struggles and challenges, the more positive thoughts of yourself will enter your mind and effect how you feel. The better you feel, more more challenges and growth you will take on. It creates a positive cycle of mental energy.

It’s all about mental energy ! If you put energy into taking steps to challenge conflicts or issues in your life, that energizes you, and thereby takes away your potential habit to focus on negative thoughts.

However, the steps you take should be measured, taking one step at a time. As long as you know the steps are challenging but not overwhelming , you will be able to realize the positive energy.



Feedback anyone ?


Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/ Emeritus
The Benhaven Group

Leave a Comment more...

They walk among us, the Sociopaths.

by on Dec.29, 2017, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, Dealing with Controlling or Manipulative People, Self-Esteem, STOPPING ABUSE

It was said by Mark Twain that “ Truth is stranger than fiction !” In my line of work as a therapist, I have never been able to desensitize to the fact that when you are dealing with human beings, the truth is often more painful, destructive and bone chilling than fiction, yet at the same time ignored, denied to oneself and rationalized as, “ No, that could not happen !

Truth is real, and although often ignored at our own peril, there are consequences for when it is not dealt with openly and upfront.

Now, as a Psychologist for some forty-two years, I have specialized in dealing with severe anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and agoraphobia with some real success. But, the use of medications to extinguish the anxiety, in most cases, was only putting salve on the wounds, not fixing the causes or source for the anxiety. I was never satisfied with this, so for those not wanting a temporary fix, but a successful treatment to find and eliminate the source, I had much success. I will stress that at least fifty percent only wanted the medications, and would find themselves getting worse over the years.

Having had panic attacks when I was younger, and working through the causal factors, gave me a heads up to help others, but it was still a challenge.

One thing I learned, and this is an over-simpllification, is that most of the anxiety that was experienced by my clients was due to conflicts or issues in their life that they were avoiding, for fear of failure, rejection, ridicule for shame. They had learned, mostly since childhood, to avoid conflict. Most of them had at least one person in their life that they just could not please, and that list of persons grew as they went through life. They were addicted to pleasing, adapting to fit in, and conforming to seek approval. They were already setting themselves up for conflict.

It is my impression that at least a third of the population are caregivers, conformers or a subtype of perfectionists who fit into this group of adapting personalities. The rest are either so focused on success and are less emotional so they do not need approval, get their dose of approval from what they do, or have less empathy and less a realization as to how things they say or do effect others so that they experience less anxiety and conflict.

Then there are the Sociopaths who are selfish, lack empathy, are controlling and manipulative, and lack much of a conscience. These manipulative, often very successful, even charming personalities have the natural characteristic to look for other’s weaknesses and use them for their own advanatage.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “ I do not know any sociopaths ! ”

My response is that you most likely have such a personality within your extended family, friends, colleagues and do not realize it. Charming for sure, but if you dare explore most closely, they are selfish, say what you want to hear, but do what they want without a hint of care for how it effects you. They are specialists at manipulation. They use awareness of what you might be sensitive about, mistakes you have made, to have leverage and use the tools of blame, shame or guilt to have control over others.

I can say that at this moment, I know of mothers and fathers who are sociopaths, High School Principals who are sociopaths, parish priests who are sociopaths and therapists who are sociopaths. These are real people, who can entrench themselves into your life as they have my clients. To be armed to protect yourself from their manipulative ways, you need to know they exist and set strong boundaries while at the same time finding healthy ways to meet your emotional needs.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist
The Benhaven Group

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , , , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!