"I hope we feel like this forever
Forever, forever ever, forever ever?"
Andre 3000 does a great job at summing up how most of us feel when we sit down and analyze what forever really means in terms of a relationship. Andre was referring to his strained relationship with Erykah Badu. Things got tense and attaching forever to the situation no longer made sense. People identified with this. We can understand expiring romantic relationships. Most of us have either been at this point or witness it happening around us. Breakups are difficult to endure but people recognize the need for them. This level of understanding is not extended to the realm of friendship. Many people view friendships as being lifelong arrangements. This is true for some, but not for all. It’s important to be able to distinguish between lasting friendships and ones that are just seasonal. You need to able to identify an expiring friendship and also feel comfortable walking away if necessary. Here are few questions to ask yourself when trying to determine if it’s time to end a friendship:
If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions then it’s time to re-evaluate your friendship. Ending friendships can be hard but it is necessary if you’re not feeling fulfilled. The therapists here at Philadelphia MFT are skilled in assisting people through breakups. If you are having a hard time detaching from a friend, do not hesitate to contact us.
This Topic of the Week was written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease that impacts the ability of the brain to transmit information. The exact cause of MS is unknown, but many scientists hypothesize that there is both a genetic and an environmental component. The affect MS has varies from person to person, but typically progresses over time.
MS does not solely affect the individual who has it- when someone you care about has the disease, it impacts you as well. MS can be unpredictable, and the course it takes can vary from person to person. It is essential that all parties keep open lines of communication as there is so much unknown with the disease. Keeping one another informed of changes, needs, and progression can be difficult, but is far better than remaining silent. Not talking through the trajectory of experiences can make couples or families grow apart, or even lead to resentment. A couple and family therapist can help all parties to become better at communicating with one another.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with MS, consider talking with a relational therapist to work on how best to help one another through open communication and better understanding. And please join Philadelphia MFT on May 2 at the Art Museum for Walk MS, or donate to the National MS Society.
This Topic of the Week was brought to you by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT
It's a dilemma we experience sometimes when interacting with people or our partner in difficult situations. We go the honest route, but it blows up in our face. We take the polite route but feel deflated.
Honest: sincere, frank, genuine or unadulterated
Polite: showing good manners toward others, as in behavior, speech, etc.; courteous; civil
There is a time and place for both of these choices, and it depends as much on that other person's state of mind as our own. When we say “I don't want to hurt her feelings”, we are also saying I will keep my true thoughts to myself and this does nothing to help the situation between you and the other person.
Being polite certainly has a place in lighter, shorter or passing conversation. Polite can also be a good way to postpone a difficult conversation. “I can't talk about this right now” or “I'd like to hear more about that later” or something similar so that you can be prepared to have deeper discussion, perhaps in a more private setting. You are also giving the other person time to prepare and think.
Honesty is sometimes confused with being “mean.”
Mean: offensive, selfish, or unaccommodating; nasty; malicious
When we go into a difficult conversation from a vulnerable or open place, we can be honest. When we are defensive, we are mean. Being honest doesn't mean the other person won't have hurt feelings, but the hurt is different. When we are having a deep conversation and when we are being honest, we can't take responsibility for the other person's feelings at the expense of our own. Being empathic in such situations also means the other person isn't left sitting with hurt feelings, but rather you both are talking about your emotions and working through them as they come up.
In therapy, a couple, or an individual can learn to be vulnerable and empathic when it is needed and safe to do so. The therapists at PhiladelphiaMFT have training in Emotionally Focused Therapy to help our clients achieve this goal.
This Topic of the Week was written by Brian Swope, MFT.