counselling skills

Some Basic Friendship Skills


1. Talk about things that interest others, and not just things that interest you.

2. Share the conversation. Don’t talk over others, interrupt others, or seek to be the centre of attention.

3. Be interested in what other people have to say. Ask open questions, and try to find out more.

4. Notice when people do well, and make the effort to praise them for it. Try to be an affirming, and encouraging, friend.

5. Be respectful, considerate and polite. Be sensitive to the feelings of others.

6. Think before you speak. (Sometimes it’s better to say nothing than to speak your mind and upset or offend).

7. Learn how to ask for what you want and need in a non-threatening, and non-defensive way. Don’t react; and don’t pick needless arguments.

8. Try to understand the perspective of others – and don’t just assume that you are right and they are wrong.

9. Look out for others – and be a trusted friend

10. Back off, don’t dominate, and give your friends some space.


1. Don’t brag about what you’ve done or what you’ve got.

2. Don’t put others down.

3. Don’t judge and stereotype people.

4. Don’t take over the conversation. Let others tell their jokes, and have their say.

5. Don’t try to control other people, or to make them do what you want them to do.

6. Don’t talk, or gossip, about others.

7. Don’t make jokes at others’ expense.

8. Don’t demand perfection – allow your friends to be human, and to sometimes make mistakes.

9. Don’t be sensitive and quick to take offense.

10. Don’t be mean or stab others in the back.


Gandalf’s Counsel: what would it look like he’s trying to do? (35/49)

The dangers of making people feel safe

There are skills you can learn, that fairly reliably cause a large percentage of people to feel safe around you. These skills are important in a lot of roles, and they’re also dangerous.

The skills a lot have to do with affect, body language, tone of voice, and putting pauses in the right places. And a whole lot of other things.

I’m not going to describe these skills in detail in this post, except to say that they’re explicitly taught to therapists, social workers, chaplains, most clergy in non-fundamentalist seminaries, and others in counseling roles. Making people feel safe is a core professional skill. You can’t do your job without it.

The problem is, learning to make people feel safe and being trustworthy are different skills. Knowing how to make people feel safe gives you a lot of power over them; it does not in and of itself make you someone who can be trusted with that kind of people. It makes people more likely to trust you, whether or not you are trustworthy. It makes people more likely to believe you, whether or not you are right. It makes people more likely to tell you private information, whether or not you can be trusted to respond appropriately or to maintain confidentiality.

Making people feel safe makes them vulnerable. If you are going to learn how to make people vulnerable, then you have a responsibility to learn how to trustworthy.

Trustworthiness skills do not happen automatically. No one is born with them. It takes more than being a good person with good intentions, and it takes more than caring about others. Learning how to make people feel safe does not automatically teach you the skills you need to be trustworthy. If you want to develop ethical practice, you have to actively work on both skillsets.

Learning to be trustworthy is at least as hard as learning how to get people to trust you. In some ways, it’s harder. If your affective skills aren’t effective at getting people to trust you, that tends to be obvious. When you’re not good at making people feel safe with you, it’s harder to get people to cooperate, and it gets easier as you get better at it. It’s much harder to tell whether people *are* safe with you.

If people feel safe with you when they shouldn’t, they’re much more likely to be cooperative. They’re much more likely to do things that are validating and feel really good. They may listen more attentively, follow your advice, say that your insights are really helpful to them, or any number of things. It can be hard to tell from the outside whether or not someone’s trust in you is warranted. (Although it does help to remember that immediate unbounded trust is never a good thing.)

tl;dr If you learn to make people feel safe, then you also have to learn how to be trustworthy. This is particularly true if you have high-level professional skill at making people feel safe. If you can reliably make people feel safe, then you also have to work on making sure that people actually *are* safe with you. Trustworthiness is a complicated skill set, and it doesn’t happen automatically. Being trustworthy takes ongoing education, creativity, and effort.

What it means to have charisma

1. Charisma comes from being fully present – no matter who you are with.

2. It means treating others as if they are the most important person in the world to you right now.

3. It means being fully engaged in what they are saying – being genuinely interested in their thoughts and ideas, and listening without interrupting to what is important to them.

4. It means shutting down your ego for the moment, not seeking to be noticed, or needing other people to affirm your worth, or to boost your self esteem.

5. It also means being comfortable being genuine and real, expressing yourself with confidence, and being at peace with who you are.

shararrakesa  asked:

She's going to try (and fail) to draw a small, green dragon on his arm. Rip Yamu...

Grab a marker and write something on my muse! ( Anywhere over my muse’s body. )

             he raises his free hand to his mouth to attempt to muffle the soft laughter that threatens to escape as he watches her draw on his arm. he actually does manage to make out what she’s going for, but he can’t help but to tease her just a little, ❝ah, yamuraiha, i think those are beautiful seaweeds~! but why do they have eyes~?


Gandalf’s Counsel: what would it look like he’s trying to do? (29/49)

Qualities of an Attractive Personality

Someone with an attractive personality:

1. Is warm and friendly towards to others.

2. Is open and real

3. Knows their own strengths and weaknesses - and neither boasts nor puts themselves down.

4. Looks for the good in every situation, and is generally positive and optimistic.

5. Doesn’t gossip or pass on others’ secrets

6. Doesn’t gloat when things go wrong for others.

7. Is secure and has a healthy self–esteem; is not self-centred and narcissistic.

8. Is not highly critical or argumentative.

9. Is not possessive and jealous in relationships.

10. Makes time for the people they care about.

Tips for Improving your Social Skills

1. Work on remembering peoples’ names.

2. Make an effort to stay in touch with people – even if it’s only “liking” an occasional photo on facebook, sending a 2 line email, or sending a Christmas card.

3. Develop and improve your listening skills. This includes not interrupting when others are speaking, not trying to control the conversation, and showing a respectful, genuine interest in the speaker.

4. Hold the door for others, and let others out first (in elevators, on trains and buses etc.)

5. When you’re writing an email, keep it brief and to the point. Nobody wants to read a long, boring essay.

6. Keep your voice down when you’re talking on your phone. No-one wants to hear your private conversations (and especially when you’re travelling on public transport).

7. Show a genuine interest in the passions of others. Ask lots of open questions, and find out what you can about their hobbies and interests.

8. When someone joins a conversation you’re involved it, include them right away, and try to bring them up to speed.

9. Don’t be a whiner or find fault with everything. Instead, being affirming, optimistic, and try and find the positives.

10. Be tolerant and patient with other people, and do what you can to accept them as they are.

11. Don’t go on and on – so other people fall asleep, begin to feel annoyed or want to run and hide from you.

12. Don’t argue back aggressively, or try to pick a fight, if you disagree with someone – even if you know they’re wrong.


Gandalf’s Counsel: what would it look like he’s trying to do? (21/49)

6 Ingredients of Good Friendships

1. Genuineness. Friends “like” each other. There should be nothing fake about friendship. These healthy relationships are rooted in love, the bonds of which are trustworthy. It is never about what either party stands to gain, but all about just having that person in our lives. Friends are dependable and protective of each other’s interests.

2. Non judgmental: Friends love you just as you are! Always supportive, a friend’s business is not to criticize you, tell you what to do and how to do it, instead friends believe in each other, and have no hidden agendas.

3. Loyalty. Friends will always have your back! Loyalty solidifies such relationships. Rarely is there back-biting, gossiping, and spitefulness; true friends never gloat over your mistakes or snicker when you fall. What makes friends so priceless is that they stand by each other and are always the first to lend a supporting hand.

4. Mutual respect. You are precious just as you are! It’s all about respecting and appreciating all the differences in character, personality, career paths, etc … and never wishing the other person was different. Most importantly, “changing” or “fixing” the other should never be on the agenda. A friend respects your thoughts even when they do not agree; and never thinks he/she is superior.

5. Open communication. Talk to me about anything! Unless it’s superficial, friends are not afraid to discuss deep-seated feelings, thoughts, vulnerabilities, dreams and fears — knowing there’s trust and love. Friends know how to listen and not make it all about “me”. You can afford to let your guard down around friends and simply be yourself.

6. Forgive and forget. I still love you … regardless! Things are not always perfect. Yes, there will be misunderstandings and arguments, but friends don’t let these stand in the way. Friends sometimes make mistakes and even when they let us down, we are still able to forgive and wipe the slate clean … knowing that the intention was not really to cause pain. Hardly is there tension, mistrust, resentment between good friends.

-and-honest-friendships-td-jakes-video/ (abridged)

Want to Improve your Communication Skills?

1. Listen carefully when others are speaking. Keep your mouth shut – and focus totally on them.

2. Never, ever talk over other people. This is disrespectful – and a real turn off.

3. Even if the person leaves an hour between each word, resist the temptation to complete their sentence for them.

4. Don’t interrupt - let the other person finish. Then, acknowledge what they’ve shared before adding your own thoughts.

5. Paraphrase or summarise what’s just been shared. It shows that you have listened – and are keen to understand.

6. Maintain good eye contact as this says you’re interested, and the speaker and their story are important to you.

How to Make Small Talk at Parties

What you should say and how you should act depends on the context and who’re you’re with … but here are a few general ideas:

1. Smile – It’s welcoming, warm, and makes you seem more approachable.

2. Compliment people all the time. Most people feel awkward and ill at ease. So try and find something that is worth complimenting. You’ll help them to relax and to feel more confident (and they’ll also feel more positive about, and around, you).

3. Try and have a few stories up your sleeve that you’ve used before, and that make people laugh. This is really helpful when things go quiet, and the conversation dries up for a while.

4. Say nice things about people you both know. It makes you seem trustworthy, and a loyal friend.

5. Encourage people to talk about themselves by asking open questions – then probing a bit more. But stick to safe topics – and try to keep things light.

6. Make sure you mingle well and don’t talk for too long. This takes off the pressure when you don’t know others well. It also make you look more confident and sociable.

How to Connect Through Open Body Language

1. Be sensitive to body space. Don’t stand too far away from the person, or fold your arms across your chest. That sends the message “I don’t want to get close”. At the same time, don’t invade the person’s space – as standing too close is highly threatening.

2. Maintain steady but soft eye contact. If you avert your gaze that says you’re insecure; but staring for too long is intimidating. Eye contact should be confident and comfortable.

3. Invite the other person into your thought processes. Share your ideas, and think aloud. Also, welcome their comments – and don’t just brush them off.

4. Watch out for quick and stilted body movements as those create discomfort in relationships. Instead, run your hand through your hair, or use your hands when you talk as that creates a more dynamic interaction.

5. Related to this, minimise distracting movements like biting your nails as those usually turn the other person off.

6. Speak slowly and clearly in a varied and interesting voice.

7. Express emotions through your face as that makes you seem much more genuine.

8. Match your pace to the other person’s pace. If they are slow and hesitant then slow your pace down; if they are quick and lively then try and match that pace.

How to be Less Socially Awkward

1. Recognize that you’re not the only person who feels this way. Many of the people around you will be feeling self conscious and ill at ease as well.
2. Try not to over-analyze every situation, and how you come across, or appear to other people. That will only undermine your self confidence, and make your behaviour seem unnatural and forced.
3. Try to figure out the source of your feelings. For example, have you been criticized, bullied or shamed, or been made to feel that you’re just not good enough?
4. Recognize the thought patterns that are common at these times – like “I’m useless, inferior and don’t know what to say.” Then tell yourself you’re playing the same old record again.
5. Notice people who like you and who affirm who you are, and notice why they like you – then remind yourself of that.
6. When you start to feel anxious about being with other people remind yourself that others seem to like your company.
7. Imagine a scene where you’re feeling confident. Replay that mental picture as often as you can. It will help to change your feelings so you feel more confident.

How to Deal with Emotional Manipulators

1. Don’t negotiate with them. For emotional manipulators, it’s all about having, exerting and gaining more power. So they’ll always push for more and they’ll never compromise.
2. Don’t engage with them. Don’t try to talk, or reason, or discuss some matter with them - as they’ll try to twist your motives, and leave you feeling “bad”.
3. Don’t confront them. They’re quick to take offense and they love an argument. They’ll then turn and attack you – and never let things go.
4. Know your own personal buttons. They’ll aim to press your buttons to get a strong reaction. But knowing yourself well means you have the upper hand. Plan how to “not react” and to stay detached and calm.
5. Refuse to accept help as they’ll treat you like “you owe them”. You’ll then be in their debt – so it’s hard to feel you’re free.