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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Hi there- No matter what I do I seem to be attracting the same

Resolved Question:

Hi there- No matter what I do I seem to be attracting the same kind of people to me.
Everyone I know goes away after a while, or betrays me in some direct way, with seemingly no regard for my feelings or value of our friendship. It's my goal to be as compassionate a human being as I can, and I usually make it a point to do things to show that I care and be supportive.. a loyal good friend. But I can't seem to find people who give that back in return.. I seem to be alone all the time, which is ridiculous because I know I'm a great person and try to make people laugh as much as possible and at ease.
I know whether your a good person or not things will happen to you.. but it just seems to be a real pattern with me, that after a while people drop off or feel it's ok to treat me a certain way (flaking on meeting up, inviting me somewhere then taking it back.. very strange). Anyway, it's a horrible pattern that just seems to repeat itself no matter what I try to do different. Please help.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello, and thanks for visiting JA.

I looks as if you spend a lot of time being caring and supportive, and looking after other people - however not everybody is like you, as you've found out.

I think you would benefit from being a bit more assertive for yourself, and to that end, I'd like you to use this tool:

The Bill of Riqhts.

This Bill of Rights was one of the tools used by Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist. Containing some really basic psychological rights belonging to every person, it really helps to identify and deal with areas in which we have problems.

Read the statements. Note down any immediate thoughts or feelings that come to you and discuss with your therapist.

Look at yourself in a mirror and read it out loud to yourself. Listen to your voice grow in strength and volume so that you can really start to feel it inside. In the beginning, you may feel silly or embarrassed. You may hear the inner voice say, "That's not the truth". Just hang in there and keep doing it - you'll notice the change within six weeks, if you do it regularly.

1. I do not have to feel guilty just because someone else does not like what I

do, say, think or feel.

2. It is OK for me to feel angry and to express it in responsible ways.

3. I do not have to assume full responsibility for making decisions, particularly where others share responsibility for making the decisions.

4. I have the right to say "I don't understand" without feeling stupid or guilty.

5. I have the right to say NO.

6. I have the right to say No without feeling guilty.

7. I do not have to apologize or give reasons when I say NO.

8. I have the right to refuse requests which others make of me.

9. I have the right to tell others when I think they are manipulating, conning, or treating me unfairly.

10. I have the right to refuse additional responsibilities without feeling guilty.

11. I have a right to tell others when their behaviour annoys me.

12. I do not have to compromise my personal integrity.

13. I have a right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. I have a right to be wrong.

14. I do not have to be liked, admired, or respected by everyone for everything I do.

a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

Hope this helps,


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