Critical conversations that can strengthen your relationship.

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None of us are probably walking into our relationships looking for awkward things to talk about or ways to make our partner cringe. We know the importance of effective communication. We’ve learned it from trial-and-error, or baptism by fire. We’ve attended workshops or retreats. We’ve asked our friends for their input. We may have seen their relationships go up in smoke, along with a few of our own.

And, we’ve…


Why we get hooked into it…and how to unhook ourselves.

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Have you ever convinced yourself that you’ll never be good enough no matter what you do — so you wind up doing nothing but replacing your motivation with procrastination?

Have you ever found yourself going with the flow (but against your values or moral compass) at work or around your friends or family, even though it leaves you feeling confused or ashamed?

Or have you ever found yourself settling for less than your worth in a relationship, or lying to yourself that you’re authentically happy, when the best you feel is…


Why recognizing the pattern isn’t enough.

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You’re attractive, loyal, honest, hardworking and…well, boring. I mean, let’s face it: when you’ve got your life together, some potential partners will see you as rigid and boring because it’s monotonous. When our partner is “too together”, we can set our watch by their predictability. Up by 6 a.m. Home by 6 p.m. Check-in text by 1 p.m. Asleep by 9:30 p.m. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Synchronize Swatches…

Is this a bad thing? Nope. It’s a boring thing.

When you’re seen as stable and predictable, boring always seems to…


Understanding the link between trauma and behavior.

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Most of us aren’t in the market of getting into a relationship, only to push our partner away. We probably aren’t in the habit of saying we want to feel a deep connection with others, while doing everything that preaches a different story.

And, most of us usually insist that we’re fine, that our childhood was normal, our home-life is satisfying, and everything is status quo, including our relationships.

The fact…


Knowing whether it’s self-preservation or if they’re just not interested.

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The excitement of a new relationship always has us psyched. We’re sleeping less, we’ve got more energy on reserve and our S.O. is constantly running through our mind.

The novelty of a new relationship can feel like the antidote for just about any ailment we have:

Feeling run down? Nothing beats a massage and a dip in the hot tub with our S.O.

Don’t want to cook tonight? There’s nothing better than takeout and bingeing our favorite video game together.

Stressed…


Sorting out the differences and misunderstandings

Photo: Author

Did you know there are four recognized types of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? If you didn’t know, you’re not alone.

According to the DSM-V (2013), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is “…a pervasive and chronic pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts as indicated by five (or more) of the following”:

· Frantic efforts to avoid…


And why our personal blind spots are even more important

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Have you ever heard of a blind spot? It sounds obscure, right? Like something out of an old-school driver’s ed manual.

Even Google pulls up a “blind spot”as being “…an area where a person’s view is obstructed.”

Anyone who’s ever changed lanes thinking the coast-was-clear, only to hear a horn blaring and an obscene finger gesture waving from the driver behind them — has found out the hard way about “blind spots”.

Blind spots are about comfort zones. Ruts. Familiarity. Autopilot. Complacency. And, just like our driving blind spots…


And how to spot the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Let me start by saying this: We can’t escape survival mode. We can’t ignore it. We can’t continue denying it’s there because it will ooze into every area of our lives. We can’t rationalize it as a bad day or a bad relationship. We can’t pin it on our ex. OK, maybe we can, but it won’t help our cause. …


The focus should be on support and education, not labels

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We all have stories of how a friend was callously discarded by their “narc ex” or how a coworker’s mother or brother is a “borderline” because of their impulsive behavior or emotional outbursts. As a whole, we’ve become so desensitized to these type of stories and their attached labels that we find ourselves nodding along in gist.

Social media is no exception. We’re bombarded with “narcissisties” that have catapulted the selfie to a label that’s allegedly diagnostic-worthy, yet gets…


Understanding emotional unavailability as two sides of the same coin.

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Over the years, I’ve had people ask me if there’s such a thing as being “too close” to someone. Others have asked me if there’s such a thing as being “too detached”.

The short answer: Yes, on both accounts.

I write a lot about emotional unavailability because, well…I’ve experienced it. I get it. I’m shooting from the hip when I talk to others about it because…

Annie Tanasugarn, PhD

Psychologist. Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Certified Trauma & Addictions Specialist. Specializes in BPD, cPTSD & emotional/behavioral addiction.

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