Does he good-naturedly taunt you about certain habits? Do you lovingly tease your friends? Perhaps you were given an endearing nickname back in the day. Is the jesting welcome, or do you feel picked on? It may be that the joking remark helps point out some of your character traits in a non-threatening way.

Close friends could have genuine insights into who you really are. They can see past what you only show others on the surface. Gentle ribbing may even be viewed as affectionate teaching in a way.

For our emotional survival, we often have little option but to be defensive and protective of our true selves. We hide our vulnerable side and unknowingly close ourselves off from our own emotions. But in order to be truly loving and genuinely loved, we must be courageous enough to reveal our tender, fragile, and delicate parts.

It may feel like quite the balancing act at times. We know all about balance. Some days, we eat our veggies and drink our kale smoothies. Other days, we dream about swimming in ice cream and inhaling stuffed crust pizza. Listen, when life gives you pizza, eat it quickly before anyone realizes that you have it. Hey, I got out of the ice cream business; I didn’t like working on sundaes. And y’all know that one-minute party when your balance sheet actually tallies. But just remember, if you fall, you can always regain your balance, sweet friends.

Try cultivating gentle acceptance of all that befalls you. Regretting the past or bemoaning the future is no formula for happiness. Sure, we all wish things could have gone differently at times. Do you often sing the blues over your fate? Please stop tripping on what’s behind you.

Please do not resign yourself to the way things are. Action and initiative make you conquer obstacles. Seek out new ideas and place them in your mental tool kit. Stop fighting against the inevitable in life. Can you prevent aging? Guess what? You’re aging as you read this. Listen, it’s the only available way to live a long life. Then again, it’s been said: “Time may be a great healer, but it is a lousy beautician.”

Do you find yourself asking soul-sapping questions like: “What if?” or “Why did this happen to me?” No doubt some things in your life went right, but perhaps some went horribly wrong. We must ultimately commit ourselves to accept both. Draw attention to your strengths. What are they? Do not hold back from challenges, even if you think you may end up looking foolish. Sure, some people will dismiss you as a featherweight or a “loser.” However, if you do not venture out of your comfort zone, you may very well miss out on some of the best opportunities of your life.

You may have a warped image of what you are supposed to be. The truth is that none of us can live an entire life without at least once making a total fool of ourselves.  Trust me. And arguing with a fool is the easiest way to become one.

Despite how learned or talented he may be, no one is spared. She has surely had some impaired judgments. His emotions have undeniably gotten the better of him at times.

The way to greater self-worth and confidence is not to assure yourself of your own stature. Instagram is down. Just describe your lunch to me. But truly, it’s to embrace and accept your own version of foolishness. Sure, others may regard you with condescension or contempt. But once you accept your limitations as a human, fear of humiliation will no longer stalk you in the recesses of your mind.

Did you somewhere along the way get the impression that you need to be an overachiever in order to deserve a place on this Earth? I know: You always try to go the extra mile at work, but your boss always finds you and brings you back. Are you never “enough”? Please do not feel compelled to be exceptional. Learn to bear an ordinary life, sweet friends. The bravest decision you can make each day is to be in a good mood.  Continue your process of self-growth and self-development. Throw off the unrelenting and unsympathetic expectations of others. Live together gently with yourself and with your household. Keep your home in order and listen attentively to loved ones.

Find joy in simplicity. Keep that sense of humor, my friends. It’s been said: You grow up the day you have your first real laugh – at yourself.

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

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