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Michelle Elman

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Michelle Elman last won the day on September 11

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  1. Thank you everyone for all the questions! Really enjoyed answering them! Have a wonderful weekend M xx
  2. You are learning something new so it will be uncomfortable at first but as you do it more and more, it will become easier. My advice is to start with people you don't know so get confident with actually saying no when a waiter asks if you are happy with your food and you are not, or when a hairdresser asks if you are happy with your haircut and you want to say no, that's the easiest place to start. The first boundary to test your skills with is the word 'no', it is the simplest boundary there is. Another tip I would say is that if you cant' set the boundary in the moment, that's OK, there is no time limit, step away from the conversation for a while and come back to it when you feel ready. In terms of fear of confrontation, realise that confrontations get worse by not saying how you actually feel. A lot of people bury how they actually feel until they explode and thats' when it becomes harder to handle confrontation. Instead of confrontation, see it as simply communication, and people will good communication prefer honesty. M xx
  3. My first book 'Am I Ugly?' was a memoir and I never intended to publish, it. It was me writing to just get it off my chest and have somewhere to keep all my memories about what had happened to me in the first 20 years of life through all my surgeries. When I finished it, it was only then I got the urge to publish it and the motivation behind that was the fact that I wish I had a book that had spoken about childhood illness without the "brave" or "inspirational" lense but was more realistic. "The Joy of Being Selfish" is all about boundaries and it had become my favourite topic over the years and what I loved speaking and writing about the most and the motivation to write that book was that I found so many people using the term boundaries wrong and I believed there needed to be an educational resource to teach people how to actually set boundaries
  4. You can't control his reaction and there is no way you can say it that will guarantee he won't get upset because he is allowed his response, his reaction and whatever emotions arise for him. The longer you wait, the harder this is going to get. It won't get easier so you need to have the hard conversation now. Be as kind and as caring as possible, provide him as much detail that is necessary for him to have closure but do not include any details that are unnecessarily hurtful. It's OK to be scared about these things but don't let the fear stop you from having the conversation.
  5. You don't get over it as much as you get through it and you get through it by sitting in your feelings and letting it hurt. It's painful and excruciating to feel your sadness and your hurt and the pain you have in your body but as you said, it consumes you anyway so you either heal it by sitting in it or you spend your whole life avoiding it and it affecting your life. You can find meditations online to start this process or you might just find it easier to pick a song that helps you feel feelings and do a scan of your body. Where can you feel the sadness? Place your attention on that sadness and when you do this, it is normal for this to hurt more, breathe through it, make any sounds that you need to or shake it off if you feel the urge to shake and keep focusing in on that point. You might find that physical sensation moves around the body, follow it around the body until the pain lessens. The first day you might only tolerate one song length and by the end of the week if you make time for it everyday you might be able to sit with it for 5 minutes. This is the pain that needs your attention and presence and needs to not be ignored M xx
  6. Hey there! How I started gaining confidence in my body was actually to stop caring about my appearance anymore and to stop thinking about it at all. I stopped vocalising the negative thoughts about my body and because I stopped saying it aloud, the amount of time and energy I spent on those thoughts decreased. When you spend less time and energy thinking about your body, you also spend less time criticising it and as a result, I used that extra time and energy I had in my life to create a life I loved and realised I was so much more than a body or what I looked like. If you want to know my full body confidence journey, you can watch my TedX talk here:
  7. Be honest with him. I personally don't stay friends with any exes, it doesn't work for me and it really doesn't matter why it doesn't work for me, it just doesn't and I honour my feelings and my needs and am clear with my partners about that. How I would start this conversation is simply saying "Hey! I enjoyed being in a relationship with you but this friendship thing is not working for me anymore. I need space and a clear break and no communication is what I need right now. I hope you understand, take care and wish you all the best with everything". Then delete his number and move on with your life and create space for someone new to enter. If you want a new friend, you can make a new friend, but transitioning from a relationship to friendship when you still have feelings for him is just going to feel like settling. M xx
  8. The first time you wear shorts or a swimming costume, you will care. And then the next time it will get a little easier! Remember that people are not noticing your stretch marks as much as you are noticing them. You are the person most conscious of your appearance and instead of focusing on your stretch marks, put the shorts on and then focus on your day, go about your day like normal and you might find yourself after a week of wearing them, actually forgetting about your thighs for a whole day. If you let a piece of clothing have control over you, it will. The way you change that is doing the thing that scares you and realising the worst thing that you think is going to happen, won't happen and if anyone does make a comment or is judgemental, they are just showing you who they are and it's better you knew that's the kind of person they are like now better than later! M xx
  9. I know it can be hard to set boundaries with people who are older, especially if they have grown up with the "respect your elders" mentality but I believe respect is earned and just because they are family doesn't meant they are owed a place in your life. You do not. have to accept worse treatment just because 'that's the way they have always been' and whilst we might not be able to change their behaviour, we can limit their impact on us. M xx
  10. Hey there! It is a very odd experience being in the public eye in positive and negative ways. In positive ways, it's weird to me that anyone would care what I think on a matter, let alone care about my opinion so much that they would write me or message me online. On the more negative side, the criticism is also strange to me because at the end of the day, people don't know me. What I love most about my job though is that I am able to explore all my interests creatively and that I am helping people in a way that maximises my strengths. M xx
  11. Thank you so much! Simply put, boundaries are about how we are treated, what is and isn't acceptable. It's how we teach the world to treat us and it's the line between who we are and who the world wants us to be. M xx
  12. Hey! Motivation is created by finding your 'why', remind yourself 'why' you are doing this so if this is completing a job, your 'why' could be being paid. The other side to people procastinating is that there is an underlying fear that isn't being addressed so a lot of the time people procrastinate completing a piece of work because when it is finished, it means it will be graded and that fear of judgement is what stops you from wanting to complete the piece of work. How you stop this is by staying in the moment and focusing on what you are doing right in front of you, reassuring yourself that you can handle whatever happens and that you are safe. In terms of the constant pressure, separate your life into 100% work or 100% play, do not do a middle ground of working while going on social media or relaxing but worrying about work. Allowing yourself real rest time and real play time means you will be even more productive when you decide to work. M xx
  13. Hey there! I believe boundaries are no different with parents than anyone else. Family do not get to treat you differently just because they are family so I would set my boundaries the same way and if they respond negatively, I would reinforce the boundary in the same way I would with anyone else. With families, it might require a number of reinforcements for parents to accept that your dynamic has changed but perservere. You can set simple consequences like if they walk into your room without knocking a lot, a consequence would be telling them "I have asked you to knock when you enter my room, if you aren't able to do that, I'm going to lock my door next time I need privacy". M xx
  14. Hey there! When you admit to liking someone, you definitely take a risk that it could affect the friendship either temporarily or long term or create some awkwardness. There is no way to guarantee no awkwardness will happen so you need to weigh up in your mind, is it worth the risk? What will you lose if it is awkward and what will you gain if it works out? For me, I always think a little bit of awkwardness is worth it. I know you said you are worried about her saying no but on the flip side, the worst thing she can say is no! Feel the fear and do it anyway. If she says she isn't interested, then accept it graciously and casually with a "no worries, I had to shoot my shot but thanks for being honest with me". Some feelings of rejection may arise for you and you will need to process that but if you act normal, what you will find is they will reciprocate and at the least you know the awkwardness is not coming from you. Good luck! M xx
  15. Hey there, it sounds like you prioritised their perception of you over your needs. You cared more about what they thought of you than honouring your own feelings and as a result you were not honest with your friend. You feel angry because you have not honoured those needs and not communicated them. You are projecting that on to your friend when you are actually feeling it towards yourself. What you need to do is to be honest with your friend, you are right that you cannot dictate who she is messaging or who she is friends with but you can still communicate with her that it upsets you and allow her to make a decision based on the information you have told her. Start the conversation owning up to the fact that you should have spoken up, it can be as simple as saying "Hey! I wanted to speak to you about something. You know you've been asking me what is the matter and I have said nothing. I wasn't being honest and I didn't know how to tell this to you but it does actually upset me when you talk to my ex. I'm really sorry I didn't say this earlier and let this affect our friendship but I wanted to tell you how I was feeling, no matter what decision you make". Then I would sit with your feelings, why is it an issue that she is friends with him? What does it mean? What are you telling yourself about it? For example, if you are telling yourself that he is more interested in her, then that's the problem, not the fact they were talking. You have created a meaning that doesn't match the behaviour and therefore you need to adjust the meaning. What else could it mean? It could mean they just want to be friends and enjoy each other's company. You've got this and it might be a hard conversation to have but it's better you vocalise it than keep it inside, M xx
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