“Anxiety is a horrendous negative energy that clings to you like your own skin; [it’s] a feeling like catastrophe is immediate and inevitable,” says Matt*, a 31-year-old registered behavior technician from South Jersey. Matt is just one of the estimated 40 million Americans who suffers from an anxiety disorder – the most common mental health issue that afflicts US adults.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the trap of busyness and to think that the more activities we can cram into our schedule, the better we are doing. Our fear of missing out can get the best of us sometimes, and we start to feel like we need to participate in every church activity, have tons of friendships, work long hours, and hardly take a moment for ourselves.
Lately I’ve been encountering a very subtle thing that I like to call “soft manipulation.” Soft manipulation is a form of manipulation in which the perpetrator is so gentle and acts so loving that it becomes extremely difficult to spot what they are doing. They frame all their actions under the guide of “loving you” or “caring about you”, so if you do start to notice it, you might feel bad and recant your conclusion immediately.
Seasoned liars can be very deceptive. They have learned to convince themselves that they are telling the truth, so their body language may not have the same tells as someone who tells the occasional white lie (ie, not habitual or pathological). Usually you find out someone is a liar once you get to know them – you start to see that their stories don’t add up. You realize that they get a kick out of deceiving people. Once you figure out one of their lies, all of the other ones usually come unraveled.