Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Choose Your Friends and Partners Wisely

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 9, 2013 10:21 PM

If all your friends and family were just like you, how boring life would be. Sure, it's nice to have some friends with mutual interests, values and attitudes--people with whom we can discuss things without an argument. or do something mutually-satisfying together. We, also, seek people who are different, whom we admire because they can do what we can't. It's great when there's a blend of or sharing of talents and skills, as when she gives you a painting she made and you give her advice in an area of your expertise or he fixes your chair and you expose him to a movie he would have missed otherwise.. You enrich each other's lives.

What you have to watch out for is that you become fascinated or attracted to people who feel familiar because they remind you of the negative parts of your past, like the critical friend who comes across as well-meaning as did your mother or the partying man like your father. Unconsciously or not, there's a feeling that somehow things will go better this time. You could repair all the damage done by past negative relationships by doing this one right Rarely does it work, only when some people actually change . Mostly, the person ends up as obnoxious or problematic as the other.

So, the idea is to get to know yourself very well first. Learn what you need for a heathy, happy life and then look at people in terms of who can provide it and who can't, keeping in mind that not all your needs are satisfied by any one person. It sounds selfish, but you can be a good friend or whatever and return kindness, love, caring, favors, etc. when you are really not with someone who is catching you into the old traps but exposing you to something constructive and, thus, contributing to the balance in your life.

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