Problems with our loved ones or friends can be looked at through the prism of disconnecting and reconnecting. Every relationship can at times suffer a loss of trust or care. Sometimes the hurt is small or of no great concern. The pain can be more serious if there was a genuine breach of trust. We are all at risk from those to whom we deposit our trust and love.

She didn’t respond kindly to you at the family party. He called you a name in front of your friends. A tongue has no bones, my friends, but it can break a heart. Do you have the ability or willingness to work through and repair those fallings out or fractures?

So how do you mend a broken heart or a fractured friendship? And do you even want to? We would like to think of others as decent - perhaps even kind. How good are you at interpreting others’ needs? What identifies you as emotionally healthy and mature includes the willingness to apologize when wrong. Before you can forgive her, you have to understand her. When was the last time you owned up to being selfish or inconsiderate of his feelings?

Have you been hot-tempered or possibly controlling? When he does apologize, can you forgive? Decent people behave badly at times. Some of us are entirely awful when we are hungry or tired. Speaking of which, I hate when I’m waiting for my mom to make dinner and then I realize that I’m the mom. By the way, “sushi” is Japanese for: You’ll still be hungry. Hey, I’m on that new diet where you eat anything you want and pray for a miracle.

But truly, learn to extend grace and cultivate a forgiving outlook when warranted. Do not divide the world into good and bad folks. As misguided as this is, perhaps she was trying to get something across when she raised her voice. Maybe he was trying to teach you or help you understand his needs. Swallow a dose of humility and seek the intent beneath the action, so long as you are not being mistreated.

By all means, push upon the bad behavior and hold him accountable. But do try to learn what she is trying to convey. If he criticized you respectfully, perhaps he is invested enough in your relationship to actually care to mend it.

Patch things up with those with whom you had a falling out if possible. We all crave long-lasting serenity and security. However, anxiety is truly a permanent feature of life. We all fall prey to a fantasy where at last we will have peace within ourselves and others. We think: “If only…’’ When one day all our wishes come true, we imagine that we will be eternally calm and compassionate to all.

The fact is that we are intensely vulnerable human beings and quite fragile at times. Accept that there will always be some degree of tension and trepidation in your life. How do you approach anxiety? Are you anxious about being anxious? Spare yourself the thorn of loneliness. Find others to laugh with a bit about some of the butterflies in your stomach.

Don’t settle for the forced pseudo-intimacy of texting and tech. Find a real-life listener and get some genuine hugs while you’re at it. Me? I do my best proofreading after I hit “send.” I don’t know about y’all but I correct autocorrects more than autocorrect corrects me.

Do not be disagreeable and dreadful to yourself, sweet friends.  Release yourself from the grip of self-hate. Do not allow each day to be marred by uneasiness or doubt. If you spontaneously imagine that no one really knows or likes you, you may have a truly worried mind. This could destroy any joy you may have in just being yourself.

Have you ever tried to be kind to your mind? Try only presenting your mind with the most kind-hearted and gentle ideas. Please do not allow hurtful or harmful beliefs to have their usual rule over you. You know what they say: When life gives you a dumpster fire, roast marshmallows.

Where do you stand on the spectrum of self acceptance? Do you like yourself? There may have been some who were not especially kind to you. Do not surround yourself with anyone who makes you feel bad or shameful,

Rediscover your goodness and virtues. Do not cave in internally in the face of criticism and cruelty. Your real enemy may be inside of you. Do the voices inside of you defend you in the face of disapproval? Please be on your own side. Have you told you lately that you love you?

Grasp the one life-saving thing in this world: Absorb the kindness and love of those who cherish you. Ask for help when you need it, my friends, and please allow others to occasionally take care of you. Let’s be honest; you have two choices in this life: evolve or repeat. 

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at