He said you feel so good

26 Signs He Has Strong Feelings For You

In This Article

Men, unlike women, have a hard time letting other people know what they feel.

Not knowing what a man feels for you is hard for a woman. After all, it’s not easy to assume that he has feelings for you or be the one to ask the question.

A man could already like you but might not even say it.

When a man doesn’t say what he feels, this can cause confusion and sometimes misunderstandings. 

If you know the signs he has strong feelings for you, then you don’t have to wait for him to say it out loud.

You would be able to know what he feels and what he’s trying to say through his actions.

Related Reading: 10 Common Causes of Misunderstanding and How to Solve Them

Why are men not vocal about their feelings?

Isn’t it frustrating when you know that you are already developing feelings, but he doesn’t admit it?

“I have feelings for you. I’ve fallen in love with you.

Isn’t this easy to say? So, why is it so hard for men to say it and be vocal about their feelings?

Let’s go back to when boys start growing up. 

In our society, boys are expected not to cry on ‘small’ problems. They should grow up tough and strong, ready to handle any situation – like a real man.

For most people, when you’re a man, you’re expected to be masculine, and you are not allowed to be mushy, emotional, or even too sweet. 

It’s one of the reasons why some men can’t and won’t admit solid feelings for you. 

Now, some men are just shy and are afraid of being rejected. That’s another reason they can’t be vocal even if he has feelings for you. 

Knowing this, when a guy says he has strong feelings for you, how do they show it?

Related Reading: 15 Ways to Help Your Partner Understand How You’re Feeling

How does a man express his feelings?

Have you seen your special someone show signs he has strong feelings for you? 

You’re not making a mistake. Men would choose to express what they feel through actions and body language. 

You would be able to read a man’s actions and catch feelings through his actions, facial reactions, and body language. 

If he’s clenching his first or gritting teeth, he’s angry. If he’s always cooking food for you, getting you everything you need, he cares for you.

Does a man change when he’s in love? 

Now that we know how to read a man’s gesture, we won’t fail to notice changes in his behaviors, actions, facial expressions, and even his habits when he’s in love. 

When a man is in love, you’ll notice changes. It’s one of the ways how to know if someone has feelings for you.

Are you noticing signs he has strong feelings for you, and you want to know if you’re right? 

  Then, we will be giving you 26 signs he has romantic feelings for you.

26 Signs a man has strong feelings for you

“Does he have feelings for me? I don’t want to assume that he does.

Being in a situation where you’re ready to fall in love but unsure if the person you like has feelings for you is hard.

These 26 signs will help you read your man to see if he has strong feelings for you. 

1. He stares at you – a lot

One of the signs he has feelings for you is when he could not get his eyes off you. 

Every chance he gets, he will look at you. 

This gaze is intense, deep, and full of emotions. So let’s not confuse this with the type of stare that will give you the creeps. 

If you catch him, he might even smile and blush. 

Deep inside, he contemplates how he feels about you and how he could show you what you mean to him.

2. He always wants to be close to you

 A man who has feelings for you will try to be close to you. 

He might choose to sit close to you, be your teammate, tag along with a group event, etc. 

A man doesn’t need to think long and hard about this. It happens automatically. He would take every opportunity to be close to the person he likes – you.

Related Reading: 30 Signs He Loves You

3. He’s not seeing anyone else

One proof that a man has genuine feelings for someone is that he won’t be seeing anyone else when you’re already dating. 

He won’t try to flirt or entertain anyone who does. 

When a man is in love, his focus is all yours. How sweet is that?

4. He shows you his vulnerable side

As much as possible, a man will not let his guard down. 

However, if he has feelings for you and he trusts you, he will start to show you his vulnerable side. He would even open up to you.

A man who has strong feelings for you will tend to drop his guard and become less defensive in your presence.

Related Reading: 16 Powerful Benefits of Vulnerability in Relationships

5. He texts, calls, chats with you all the time

One of the signs he has strong feelings for you is when he constantly tries to communicate with you.

He checks on you by texting or calling you. He would even chat or text you when he wakes up, letting you know that you’re the first one he thinks about upon waking up. 

If he has some good news, you may even be the first one to know.

6. He acts silly when he’s with you

Men are not that good at processing their emotions. 

For some, when they start falling for you, they would act weird. Men who are falling in love are not doing this on purpose. 

They’re confused and are trying to process their feelings so that they may act nervous, awkward, and even silly at times.

Related Reading: 30 Signs You’re Falling in Love

7. He tries to make you laugh

One of the signs he has strong feelings for you is when he tries to make you laugh.

Why is that? 

When someone is important to you, all you want is that person to be happy? He tries his best to make you laugh because if you’re happy, he’s also happy.

Related Reading: 10 Benefits of Couples Laughing Together in Relationships

8. He’s always smiling when you’re together 

When someone is happy and in love, they have that noticeable sparkle in their eyes. 

If you notice your special someone smiling often and has that sparkle in his eyes, he may have feelings for you. 

Love and affection can light up anyone’s mood. Happiness is one of the side effects of being in love.

9. His friends know you

A man who already has feelings for you will have the urge to talk about you with his friends.

He could even start a topic or tell stories about you. How much he admires you, how strong you are, etc. 

Don’t be surprised when his friends smile at you and comment, “Oh, so she’s the one!”

10. His family knows you too

Has your special someone introduced you to any of his family members? 

Like his friends, he’d want his family to know about you too.  

Men aren’t vocal creatures, but they would still mention you when they are with their family, which means something. Don’t be surprised if he’ll ask you to come and eat lunch with his family one day. 

That’s a lovely gesture too.

Related Reading: A Guide to Romantic Gestures for Him and Her

11. His kisses are passionate

 There can be different types of kisses. Some kisses are aggressive and lustful, while others can be romantic and passionate. 

When a man has feelings for you, expect his kisses to be passionate, slow, and romantic. 

A kiss with love is different. You’ll know when it happens. You will feel the difference between a kiss with feelings and a kiss of pleasure. 

12. Sex is intimate

Where does romantic kissing lead? 

That’s right, passionate and romantic kisses lead to intimate love-making.  

It’s more than just fulfilling carnal desires; it’s all about showing your feelings to someone.

Each caress, each movement is different. The passion is intense, and the connection would be undeniable. That’s the beauty of having strong feelings for your person. 

13. He shares his childhood memories 

 Have you seen a man sharing his childhood memories with someone else? 

We seldom come across a man who would open up to his experiences, but it means you’re important to him when he does.

Most men wouldn’t even dare to share their past, let alone their childhood memories, so if he does this, it means he is comfortable having this conversation with you.

Related Reading: How to Accept the Past of Your Partner: 12 Ways

14. He’s acting weird when you’re together

Does he make silly faces, laugh out loud, or even sing his heart out? 

If he does, he is comfortable with you and wants you to see who he is. It’s one of the signs he wants to get closer to you by showing his true self. 

He can act weird, silly, and even funny because he wants you to see him like this. He wants you to realize that he’s spontaneous, fun, and genuine.

15. The conversation is deep 

A man developing feelings for you will start loving the time you’re having conversations. It’s an opportunity to get to know you more, and besides, everything about you becomes interesting for him.

It’s no longer small talk.

Your conversations now consist of deep conversations. It may include serious topics such as plans, finances, religious beliefs, and more.

16. He always compliments you

Compliments are a man’s way to show you how he feels.

He may praise your achievements, your beliefs in life, your intelligence, and of course, your beauty.

Since he already has feelings, he would notice every detail about you and appreciate them. 

So if a man is constantly praising you and gives you sweet compliments, then this is one of the signs he has strong feelings for you.

Related Reading: 30 Compliments for Men That They Love to Hear More Often

17. He feels jealous

One of the most obvious signs he has strong feelings for you is when he gets jealous. 

Men are not vocal with their feelings, but their actions are a dead giveaway. If he has feelings for you, he won’t be able to control his reaction when he sees someone else trying to get your attention.

Did you notice his mood suddenly changed? Did he stop talking to you or reply with “K” or “Fine”? It would help if you asked him. 

Mark Tyrrell, a qualified psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, teaches us how to treat jealousy in this short but informative video.

18. He’s caring, even in public

A man who has genuine feelings for someone will care, even in public. He would open the car door for you, get your coffee for you, or anything chivalrous would mean that he’s a true gentleman who has feelings for you.

While there are men who are just plain gentlemen, a man who has feelings for you will go the extra mile. 

Your instinct will tell you, and you’d feel it in his gestures. 

19. He’s very protective 

When you see signs, a guy is protective of you, and it’s because, by default, men will have the hero complex, especially with the one they like. 

He would go out of his way to help you, make things easier for you, and be there when you need him. 

A man who will do this for you has feelings for you. 

Related Reading: Overprotective Partner? Here’s What You Can Do

20. He surprises you with gifts

One of the sweetest gestures of men in love is they give unexpected gifts.

It doesn’t need to be expensive gifts. It could be a cup of coffee, a cupcake, a box of chocolates, or maybe a pack of your favorite candies. 

If a man, out of the blue, showers you with unexpected gifts, then there’s a chance he likes you.

Related Reading: 10 Romantic Gestures for Him to Show You Care

21. He can spend time with you doing nothing

 Does he try to be with you even though you have nothing to do? After talking or eating, you lie in bed or watch movies, but you still have a good time.

If you are smiling because you know you have been doing this with your special someone, that’s already a sign for you!

Keep in mind that even silence is enjoyable when you’re with the person you like.

22. He tells you his secrets

 If you think telling you his childhood memories is sweet, wait till you hear some of his secrets.

Why do men do this? Aren’t they secretive? 

Well, they are, but when he feels comfortable around you, and he trusts you, he would be the one who will initiate this conversation.

It’s his way of slowly opening up to you. It’s a way to show you that he trusts you and values you.

Related Reading: 15 Secrets of Happy Couples in a Relationship

23. He allows you into his world

You know a man has feelings for you when he slowly tries to include you in his plans. 

It’s no longer about hanging out or having a date. 

You’ll notice how much he tries to invite you into his world. You’ll meet his friends, family, even workmates. He’ll show you his hobbies, favorite places, and everything about him.

Related Reading: 6 Hobbies That Will Strengthen Your Relationship

24. He remembers details about you

We all know that men always forget important dates. It’s one of the most common issues of couples.  

So, if he remembers details about you, he’s into you. 

If he remembers your favorite color, coffee, the brand of cake, and even your favorite show – it means you’re more than special to him.

25. He includes you in his plans

Does he ask you if you want to join their party? Maybe, he wants you to accompany him to his family reunion? 

Here’s a secret, men won’t do any of these if he doesn’t have feelings for you.  

If he includes you in either present or plans, you’re more than just someone he likes. He might have strong feelings for you.

26. He respects you

 A man who has genuine feelings for someone will show his utmost respect. 

Showing respect is one of the most beautiful ways a man can show his feelings for someone.

Respect is one of the most beautiful ways a man can give to someone, especially the girl he likes.

Related Reading: 25 Signs He Respects You


 Who doesn’t want to fall in love? Who doesn’t want to feel the butterflies in their stomach? 

However, for a woman, it’s not that easy to ask whether you’ll be in a real relationship or continue dating.

Sometimes, we get to the point where we want to know if we’re moving forward or not, but what if your special someone doesn’t say anything?

Men aren’t vocal, especially with their feelings. 

Don’t get upset if they don’t bring it up. What you can do is to look for signs he has strong feelings for you.

By knowing this, you don’t have to assume anymore. You will understand your man’s actions and what he is trying to tell you.

Once you do, it will be easier for you to ask him about your status. 


12 Signs Someone Sees You As Something Special


Experts share the clues to look out for.

by Kristine Fellizar


Originally Published: 

Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images

No doubt, dating would be much easier if everyone were more open and honest with their feelings from the very beginning. For example, when someone says you’re awesome, it’d be helpful to know whether they’re just saying that to butter you up or they really think you’re something special. Unless you're intuitive or just have mind-reading abilities, knowing if someone likes you and sees a potential future with you is no easy task. Fortunately, dating and relationship experts say there are certain signs you can look out for, from their body language to their reactions to your bucket list items.

"After spending time with someone, even just for five minutes or an hour, a connection or spark is usually lit when making eye contact or conversation," relationship expert and marriage attorney, Vikki Ziegler, tells Bustle. "Sometimes one person may notice a special or unique quality and acknowledge it with a, ‘Wow, that's awesome,’ or ‘I like what you’re saying.’ Other times, a person may give other compliments — anything from ‘You have a really great smile’ to ‘I like your take on life.’"

According to Ziegler, these are just some of the more obvious signs that someone notices unique qualities in you. So how else will you know if someone sees you as someone special when you first meet? Here are some signs dating and relationship experts say to look out for.


They Try To Keep Eye Contact

Martin Novak/Moment/Getty Images

It’s not just eye contact that’s a good sign someone likes you — it’s the intensity of it, too. "They'll look directly into your eyes with a level of intensity that makes your heart aware," relationship expert and author, Cindee Bartholomew, tells Bustle. "They will often continue to stare at you even after you look away and when you look again at them they will smile again."


They Remember Things You've Said Before

A person who is interested in you from the get-go will be motivated to learn more about you. If the person remembers things you've said earlier on and is able to reference them as the conversation progresses, Coree Schmitz, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle it's another huge indicator of interest.

"In today's society where being present in a conversation is one of the hardest things to do, giving a new person full attention during [a conversation] is one of the highest compliments," Schmitz says. "To me that says, of all the 1,000 things I could be thinking about right now, I prefer to genuinely hear and think about what you have to say."


They "Mirror" Your Actions

You may have heard before that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. According to Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, that rings true for first dates.

"You may notice your date 'mirroring' or subconsciously copying your body language, gestures, speech patterns, or attitude," Bunn says. "If your date is interested, you'll get the energy you're giving off. So it's important to keep your verbal and nonverbal body language in check. If you're closed off, negative, or not fully present, you may squash the romantic spark before it even has a chance to emerge."


They Show Their Curiosity

Think "wide eyes, bright smiles," Kimia Mansoor, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle. If someone thinks you're someone special, they'll be curious about you. "They'll ... [observe] you carefully to try to learn as much as possible," Mansoor says. "They'll want to know more about you." Even if someone seems quiet, shy, or reserved, they'll still be listening and paying attention to all the little details.

According to Stephanie Churma, spiritual relationship coach and owner of The Good Love Company, there's a look people get in their eyes when they're completely captivated by someone. "You'll best spot it when you're knee-deep in a story about anything that lights you up," Churma says. People who are attracted to you will nod and smile. But the one who sees you as something special will watch and listen intently "with actual awestruck."


They Notice Your Similarities & Make Connections

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We all want to feel understood, especially in romantic partnerships. "If someone thinks you're special, they'll want to showcase how similar they are to you or how they can empathize with you," Samantha Campbell, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle.

For instance, if you're sharing a story about your cousin who's about to have a baby, they might share how they just went to their first ever baby shower. Or maybe if you complain about how your favorite snack from Trader Joe's is no longer being produced, they might joke they're still grieving over the closing of their favorite restaurant. Whatever it is, they'll try to make connections between what you say and their own experience. "Whether it's conscious or not, they're trying to say, 'Hey, I get you,' and hoping that you feel the connection, too," she says.


They Laugh At Your Jokes

Laughter has been known to improve relationships. But everyone has their own idea of what's funny and not. So as marriage therapist, Kimberly Hershenson, tells Bustle, "If [they] already find you funny early on, they likely think you’re special."

In fact, a 2015 University of Kansas study put this idea to the test. Researchers put together 51 pairs of college students who identified as heterosexual. Each pair was told to sit together in a room alone to talk for about 10 minutes. They were then given a survey to fill out after. As it was found, people who shared more laughs together were more likely to say they were romantically interested in each other. If someone's laughing at your jokes when you first meet, it's a good sign.


They Make You Feel Like You're The Only One Around

A good sign that someone thinks you’re amazing is the amount of focus and attention they put on you and only you. "They don't want to talk to anyone else," Hershenson says. "If they were around you the entire time and didn’t bother to meet other people or [start] up a conversation with anyone else, it's a sign they think you’re special."

When someone is completely focused on you, they'll stay engaged in the conversation. You won’t find them checking their phone or responding to their friend's text while they’re with you.


They Want To Prolong The Time They Spend With You

PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and co-owner of matchmaking agency Platinum Poire, tells Bustle that if it feels like time time is flying when you’re with them, that’s a good sign early on that they think you’re special.

If someone's interested in you, it doesn't matter how long you've already been talking — they'll still want more. "Anyone who's genuinely smitten with you will want to extend your time together," Churma says. So if they're asking you to grab coffee after dinner or just take a walk to talk more, it's a good sign they’re interested.


They Won't Waste Time

As Sophy Singer, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, tells Bustle, when someone thinks you’re amazing they won’t waste time trying to see you again. "Before the date (or random social encounter) is over, they're already testing the waters by making future plans," Singer tells Bustle.

While Singer says they might not ask you right then and there, they will make a mention of something fun that the two of you might enjoy together in the future.


They’ll Try To Help You Reach Your Goals

When someone thinks there might be a future with you, they’ll be invested in your happiness early on. If you have a goal or bucket list item that they can help fulfill, they will make the effort to do so. According to relationship therapist Kimberly Panganiban, LMFT, these could be simple goals like finishing up a project, or a bigger goal, like finding a new job.

“If they offer to help in any way, this is a sign they really care about you and your future,” she says. “While some people are open and direct, most people share their feelings a little more indirectly in the beginning in case the feeling isn’t mutual.”


They’ll Want To Know How Often You Like To Stay In Contact

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As common as it is to text back and forth all day with someone you like, according to Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author, a person who sees you as something special will make it a point to ask you about your personal needs for staying in communication.

“They’ll want to engage with you on a level that feels right — neither underwhelming nor overwhelming amounts of connection (e. g., texts, phone calls, and dates),” she tells Bustle.


They Become Genuinely Happy When You Compliment Them

If someone has strong feelings for you, it will show through their reaction when you compliment them. According to couples therapist Ana De La Cruz, LMFT, tells Bustle, “We communicate that feeling through different venues, through our eyes, our smiles, our way of walking, our way of moving our hands and of course, our choice of words.”

Cruz suggests starting by complimenting your date on how nice they look. Then, carefully analyze their reaction. Do they have a smile on? Do they seem excited or happy? Do they become flustered? Do they compliment you right back?

“If what you are saying is making them uncomfortable, most likely the person will be indifferent to your compliment, they might try changing the subject, keep it short, or cut you off,” Cruz says. If any of this happens, there’s a good chance they might not be into you.


Vikki Ziegler, relationship expert and marriage attorney

Cindee Bartholomew, relationship expert and author

Coree Schmitz, professional matchmaker at Tawkify

Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify

Kimia Mansoor, professional matchmaker at Tawkify

Sophy Singer, professional matchmaker at Tawkify

Stephanie Churma, spiritual relationship coach and owner of The Good Love Company

Kimberly Hershenson, marriage therapist

Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and co-owner of matchmaking agency Platinum Poire

Kimberly Panganiban, LMFT, relationship therapist

Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of upcoming book, Date Smart

Ana De La Cruz, LMFT, couples therapist


HALL, J. E. F. F. R. E. Y. A. (2017). Humor in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis. Personal Relationships, 24(2), 306–322. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12183

This article was originally published on

The toxic positivity trap: what it is and how to get out of it

  • Lucia Blasco
  • BBC News Mundo

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Do you hide "negative" emotions?

Do you ever feel like you have to hide your negative emotions? As if you are forced around the clock and at any cost to maintain the image of a "happy person"? nine0020

It may sound counterintuitive, but being positive can be toxic.

"Everything of value in life is achieved through overcoming the accompanying negative experience," says American writer and personal development consultant Mark Manson.

  • Optimism 2020: stories that helped us not to lose heart in the year of the pandemic
  • “No strength to live”: the pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for psychological help in Russia
  • When home is a prison, and the coronavirus does not make sense. How do people with mental disorders cope with isolation?0004

"Any attempt to avoid negativity, suppress it or stifle it, results in a backlash. Avoiding suffering is a form of suffering. Denying failure is failure," he continues.

But toxic positivity requires you to do just that - force yourself to pretend to be an optimist and drown out negative emotions, no matter how false your optimism may be.

Psychologist Antonio Rodellar, a specialist in anxiety disorders and clinical hypnosis, says that negative emotions (the psychologist prefers to call them "unregulated") need to be acknowledged. nine0011

"The palette of emotions includes unregulated feelings such as sadness, disappointment, anger, worry or envy," he recalls.

"We can't ignore the fact that as humans we have a whole range of these emotions that are useful and give us information about what's going on around us and in our bodies. We can't ignore them," adds Rodellar.

British therapist, psychologist and author Sally Baker agrees: "The problem with toxic positivity is that it requires us to shut down some of the wide range of emotions we may experience in a difficult situation." nine0011

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Accepting our emotions makes us stronger, says Sally Baker

"If you allow yourself to experience only positive emotions, you're lying to yourself," she says.

"When you're in a difficult situation, suppressing all the 'negative' feelings that come up will exhaust you. And worse, you won't be able to build up resilience to them," says Baker.

"It isolates us from ourselves, from our true emotions. We hide behind positivity so that people don't see us in a bad light," she sums up. nine0011

Positive - ordinary and toxic

To understand what toxic positivity is, we must distinguish it from positive thinking. It sounds similar, but they are completely different things.

"Positive thinking was popularized by psychologist Martin Seligman, who studied depression. He found a new approach to a number of problems, situations and pathologies," says Rodellar.

In the 1990s, Seligman, then president of the American Psychological Association, told a conference that psychology should take a new step in the scientific study of everything that makes people happy. nine0011

  • "The virus gets into your head." How depression and other problems catch up with those who have recovered from covid
  • How to survive the covid winter and not succumb to despondency: five simple tips
  • The tyranny of time. How to turn off the ticking clock in my head?

In his famous 1995 book The Optimistic Child, an American psychologist explained that people are not born pessimists, but become pessimists because of their life experiences. He argues that we can combat this pessimism and transform our negative thoughts into more positive ones. nine0011

Excellent! So if I'm sad, all I have to do is focus on being happy, right? Not certainly in that way. This would be the short cut into the toxic positivity trap.

Negative emotions cannot be ignored - you must first recognize and accept them.

The trick is to moderate your positivism and avoid extremes.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

You won't always feel good, and that's okay

"Positive psychology has become distorted over time," says Rodellar. decrease in the ability to withstand negative situations, "says the psychologist.

"Properly applied positive thinking is very useful, but it inevitably creates a fragmented perception of reality and a sense of helplessness. Denying harmful and painful situations is like looking at the world with one eye," says Rodellar. nine0011

How to know that you are trapped in toxic positivity

  • You are hiding or masking your true feelings.
  • You are trying to "not dwell" on the problem by ignoring your emotions.
  • You feel guilty about how you feel.
  • You try to minimize the negative experience of others by saying things that make you feel good.
  • You try to rationalize the situation ("it could have been worse") instead of acknowledging your emotional experience. nine0004
  • You shame or point the finger at others if they express disappointment or other "negative" feelings.
  • You ignore what's bothering you ("as it is, as it is").

Source and : Tamara Quintero (Trauma, Hypnotherapy and Personal Growth Specialist) , Jamie Long (Relationships, Eating Disorders and Anxiety Specialist 2) 1

How does this affect us? nine0058

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Suppressing or ignoring "negative" emotions can be bad for your health.

"All the emotions we repress are somatized [psychological stress manifests as physical symptoms] and manifest through the body, often as a disease. When we deny an emotion, it finds another way out," says Rodellar. nine0011

Baker agrees: "Suppression of emotions affects your health. If you hide your problems behind a façade of toxic positivity, they will show up in your body in alternative ways, from skin problems to irritable bowel syndrome."

"When we ignore our negative emotions, our body tries to draw attention to the problem. Suppression of emotions exhausts us physically and psychologically. It's unhealthy and doesn't work in the long run," says the therapist. nine0011

Another consequence, says Rodellar, is that "when we focus only on positive emotions, we get more naive, infantile versions of situations that happen to us in life, and we become more vulnerable in difficult moments."

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Are you honest with yourself?

Psychopedagogy and neuropsychology expert Teresa Gutierrez believes that toxic positivity "has more serious psychological and psychiatric consequences than depression. " nine0011

"The world of emotions is devirtualizing, and this can lead to the fact that a person does not live a real life - this affects our mental health. This amount of positive is harmful for everyone. If there are no disappointments and failures, we will not learn to develop in our lives", she says.

If you're not okay, it's okay

Is toxic positivity in fashion? Baker believes so, and attributes this to the proliferation of social media "which forces us to compare our lives with other ideal lives that we see on the Internet." nine0011

"There's a constant trend on social media to show the most perfect version of yourself, it's exhausting and not real," says Baker.

"If we were more honest, we would feel free to experience any emotion. We are human beings, we should allow ourselves to experience the full range of emotions. It's okay if you're not okay. We can't be positive all the time." she supposes.

Gutierrez believes that "in recent years" toxic positivity has become more common, especially during a pandemic. nine0011

"We are living in atypical and strange times, many people are suffering. Anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, fear... All these are normal feelings. But we are too addicted to toxic positivity, and this is dangerous," she says.

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

"Everything will be fine" is a nice thought, but not very valuable advice

Rodellar says that "people are trying to find a shortcut to mental health, to feel better immediately, as if it is a right given to them by nature." nine0011

"It's nice to think that everything will be fine. But this does not mean that the process of achieving a goal should be pleasantly easy. It's more realistic to say to yourself "this will pass" when you have a difficult period in your life," says the psychologist.

"Emotions are like waves: they accelerate, gaining strength, and slow down, becoming foam and disappearing. Problems begin when we do not want to feel what we feel, then we lose resistance to the next wave," Rodellar explains.

Recognize and not ignore

Psychologists consulted by the BBC agree that the ideal is to embrace all emotions without suppressing the ones we don't like.

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We always "should" feel good, but it's unhealthy pressure moment, even if we are uncomfortable.

"Be more honest with yourself, don't be afraid to say that you're sad, that you're depressed, that you're worried. It's important to acknowledge when you're feeling down and understand that it's happening and will continue to happen," says Baker. "Just get on with it." your emotions and learn from them to become more resilient" (this advice will not work for those suffering from clinical depression, clinical depression can worsen without treatment). nine0011

University of Michigan psychology professor Stephanie Preston says the best way to test your emotions is "just to listen to them. "

"When someone shares negative feelings with you, don't rush to encourage them or try to get them to think positively by telling them that 'everything will be fine.' Instead, try to think about what is bothering or scaring them. Try to listen," - advises the expert.

"To be emotionally disturbed is already isolation, and when people try to drown out these feelings, especially if they are your family and friends, it hurts a lot. Listening to someone who is hurting can lead to big changes in their lives " says Preston. nine0011

You may find it useful too. There is evidence that being altruistic is good for your health, Preston notes.

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Listening to a friend is more important than trying to encourage them

What if you feel down?

"The most important thing is to practice mindfulness," says Rodellar.

"Acknowledge the situation and your feelings. Don't deny that something is wrong, don't look the other way, and at the same time don't dwell on negative emotions," adds the psychologist. nine0011

"Emotions are information that we need to read and understand in order to take a better look at the situation and see what lessons can be learned from it, what can be changed in the future," says Rodellar.

How to put this advice into practice? Here are typical phrases characteristic of the toxic positivity paradigm and alternatives to them.

Toxic positive

  • "Don't think like that, be more positive!"
  • "Don't worry, be happy"
  • "Defeat is not our option!" nine0004
  • "Only positive things here!"
  • "Could be worse!"

Emotion validation

  • "Tell me how you feel, I'm listening"
  • "I can see that you're not well. How can I help?"
  • "Failure is part of success"
  • "I'm here, you can rely on me"
  • "I'm sorry you're going through this"

Source: The Psychology Group for your happiness, achieving it with the help of constructive psychology," calls Rodellar. nine0011

"It's okay to think that the glass is half full, but we need to accept situations when it's half empty, and from that point on, take responsibility for how we build our lives," he adds.

"All our emotions are real and real, and they all have value," Baker agrees.

how to answer awkward interview questions

The Labor Code duplicates the guarantees enshrined in the constitution: it is forbidden to conclude an employment contract “depending on sex, race, skin color, nationality, language, origin, property, family, social and official status, age, place of residence (including the presence or absence of registration place of residence or stay), attitude to religion, beliefs, belonging or non-membership to public associations or any social groups, as well as other circumstances” (Article 64 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation). nine0011

“If we interpret this rule literally, then when applying for a job, it is inappropriate to ask about age, nationality, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, since the answer to these questions cannot become a basis for refusal,” explains lawyer Polina Pavlova .

However, there is no question of punishment for such questions in the law. It is extremely difficult to hold the employer accountable for them. “It is prohibited by law to place discriminatory restrictions on job postings. Personal matters do not really fall into this category, although they are discriminatory. This is bad both from the point of view of the law and from the point of view of violating personal boundaries, I’m sure Maria Makarova, internal communications specialist at one of the IT companies. - But not only is the Federal Law itself written in such a way that it only applies to vacancies, but in our country no one even goes to court. Why, for example, does it work in the same America? If you ask such a question to an American candidate at an interview - about children, about her husband - then the next day you will receive a lawsuit. In Russia, there is a category of professional "rights shakers" who sue state organizations and even win court cases, but the percentage of such people is negligible. I, as an employer, as an interviewer, know that if I ask this question, the likelihood that the person I ask this question will go to court is very small. I do not personally know a single person who went to court on this matter.” nine0011

“If an employee has received a refusal to conclude an employment contract due to circumstances not related to his business qualities, such a refusal is subject to challenge in court. As a rule, the courts take the side of the applicant and recognize the employer’s refusal to conclude an employment contract as illegal, and upon request, they can recover compensation for moral damage from him, ”comments Polina Pavlova .

More often, women suffer from uncomfortable questions: employers do not hesitate to ask about their personal lives and possible pregnancy. But men are not immune either. At the interview, the applicant may be asked: nine0011

  • "Are you planning a baby?"
  • “Why are you still not married / not married?”
  • "How does your young man earn?"
  • "What does your wife think of your career ambitions?"
  • "Can you manage a team of men / influence women?"

Other tactless questions concern religious beliefs. From the position of the employer, it would be more correct to ask the candidate: “Are you ready to work on the proposed schedule?” - rather than specifying his religion or church affiliation directly. nine0011

Questions regarding sexual orientation, financial status, nationality, age, place of birth, appearance, and political views should also not be asked in an ideal world, as well as questions for applicants with disabilities, if they do not interfere with the work under discussion.

If you are asked a personal question during an interview, there may be several reasons.

  1. The employer has faced a similar problem in the past. nine0020 Once, a man got a job in the company, whom his wife, dissatisfied with his position, convinced him to quit after six months. Or an employee who has been looking for a year and who has been entrusted with a responsible task goes on maternity leave four months later. The employer in this case is simply trying to protect the interests of the business.
  2. The employer is not familiar with ethics. Sometimes a person does not understand that he asked about something personal, or considers such questions normal, because "everyone asks." It is hoped that one day someone will explain to this recruiter or boss why it is unprofessional and unethical to ask such questions. nine0004
  3. You've landed a stressful job interview. Many consider this method of verification unacceptable. In addition, not all HR managers know how to conduct stress interviews so that the candidate does not feel really offended.

“In Russia, people often ask questions about personal life. I think that these are echoes of the Soviet past, when everything was common and no one had secrets from anyone, - suggests partner of the recruiting company "Marksman" Natalia Valdaeva . - The employer is not shy about asking questions about his personal life and is wary if the candidate leaves the answer.

Often people ask about personal life not out of idle curiosity, but in order to better understand what a person breathes, what interests, opportunities and limitations he has. This information will help to conclude whether the new employee will be comfortable with the team, and the team with him. For example, studies show that “family” employees are more stable.”

The answer largely depends on how interesting this work is. There are two extreme options: laugh it off and change the subject or end the interview immediately. nine0011

We propose to address the issue:

  1. Make sure you don't get into a stress interview. If the recruiter is behaving strangely and a boorish question is not the only deviation from the norms of business communication, you may be being tested for strength. This often happens in positions that involve working in stressful conditions: managing a problematic team, communicating with difficult clients, with law enforcement agencies. In this case, it is important for the employer to see your reaction: it will tell a lot about how you will behave if you get a job. nine0004
  2. Ask the employer why they think the issue is important. Without aggression in your voice, gently and calmly ask why the employer needs to know about what he just asked. Perhaps there really is a reason - it is connected with the future duties of the employee or the mood in the team. Or the company has already had an unpleasant incident.
  3. Say it doesn't affect your ability to do a good job. At this stage, the employer should guess that you think the question is incorrect. You can help him get out of an awkward situation and change the topic. Being polite but confident is the best strategy in an interview. nine0004
  4. If the employer does not understand your hint, say directly : “I feel uncomfortable when you ask me about it. This is a personal question that does not concern my professional qualities. I want to work for a company that believes in law and equality." In Russian realities, this prepared wording may sound strange - or it seems to you that it may sound so. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide what kind of relationship with the employer should be and where the boundaries of personal space lie. During the interview, these boundaries can be identified. nine0004
  5. If the question is completely unacceptable to you, end the interview. It’s not a fact that it will turn out to be a failure: what if the employer analyzes the mistakes and, taking into account your other advantages, considers you a highly moral person?

In any case, be polite and control yourself.

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