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I'm PRETTY sure I'm gay. Help me be okay with it.

I've always known I was a little different. I have trouble remembering things from my relatively normal childhood, so it took until high school to connect the few dots I had, but after I did that, I relished in the attraction I felt for certain other men. It was exciting and made me feel as though I was part of a community with a common story. I grew up with conservative parents who I haven't been able to tell but who I suspect have an inkling, given the things they found left open on my teenage computer and my shy, sensitive nature. I was fine with not making it a part of my identity and limited its sphere of influence to my taste in porn and online friendships. I never felt the need for a relationship- with women or men- but I enjoyed the way validation from "manly" men made me feel both emotionally and physically. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Jun 26, 2014 - 29 answers

Building a self destructing USB drive

Today's world demands high security devices, like an aggressively self-destructing USB drive. I would like advice on the possibility of creating such a thing if one wouldn't mind offering wisdom. [more inside]
posted by fieldcannotbeblank on May 22, 2014 - 17 answers

When no sex feels like I am not desirable

I need help. I am seeking therapy for this issue, but it will take about six weeks before I can get in. My partner (m 36) and I (f 34) are not having sex. It has been about four months. He is dealing with depression and anxiety issues and is on medication for this. This has been pretty hard for me since we greatly enjoyed such an active sex life prior to this. He attributes our sexual issues to his diagnosis and medication. In my head I believe what he tells me, but this is triggering past issues for me that are getting in the way of me believing what he says. The fact that he masturbates at least once a day is hard for me to handle. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 10, 2014 - 30 answers

I don't know if I like the person I'm becoming.

I've felt a change in my personality and how I handle things lately, and it's making me uneasy. [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude on May 7, 2014 - 15 answers

Self defense tool

What tools/gadgets for self defense would you recommend for a small to medium sized woman? [more inside]
posted by jbean on Apr 25, 2014 - 13 answers

Looking for books to nourish my 26yr old soul (Warning: v. picky)

Specifically books about the blossoming of The Self [more inside]
posted by winterportage on Apr 16, 2014 - 31 answers

Help me figure out how to trust again (both other people and myself)….

What I’m trying to figure out now is how to trust people again, trust myself again, and find myself/my voice again. [more inside]
posted by lullu73 on Apr 9, 2014 - 11 answers

Supporting a grieving partner - what do you wish you'd known?

I am struggling and I don't know how to handle this and not make myself completely miserable along the way [more inside]
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet on Apr 8, 2014 - 21 answers

Needs More Personality

As I'm edging closer to middle age, I am struck by how little I know myself. Occasionally I am asked to talk or write about myself (mainly for work purposes) and I have no idea what to say. I am fairly aware of my range of skills, but I have very little insight as to my personality traits. I have done the Myer-Briggs test, read several books and completed various career assessments, but I still struggle to define who I am. More details inside - but in short: how do others define and describe themselves? How do you become aware of yourself? Think more pragmatic/philosophical descriptions of your personality traits and less about CV bloats. [more inside]
posted by kariebookish on Feb 20, 2014 - 32 answers

Grad school self-comparison is the worst. Help me stop.

I'm in my second semester of a professional master's program at a top-10 program. I can keep up with the classwork, but I get really caught up in comparing myself to other people. It not only makes me feel horrible, it significantly takes away from me doing my work. I'm prone to depression and lots of social anxiety anyway (I do have a therapist, we haven't talked about the self-comparison as much), but am well-liked in my program. I'd say I'm about on par with other folks in my program in terms of accomplishments (some have much more, some do less), so my intense feelings of inadequacy are mostly unwarranted. However, when I hear people talking about doing things I'm not (eg working with professors more than me, getting fellowships), I feel absolutely terrible. What should I be doing or trying to do to knock it off? Mental hacks, philosophical approaches, practical tips all welcome, though I should say I understand intellectually that there will always be someone doing more than me and that's life.
posted by anonymous on Jan 20, 2014 - 10 answers

Books about suffering loss but being better for it

I'm going through some things that have both brought me a lot of sadness and presented an opportunity to change my life for the better. I'm wondering if there are any books the MeFi hive can recommend, novels, memoirs or otherwise. They should be about people who have suffered loss, perhaps enduring shame, but emerging better for it. [more inside]
posted by Cybria on Jan 17, 2014 - 11 answers

Am I making a mistake by going down this freelance route?

I'm 25. I studied design in school and realized I don't want to practice it and I don't fit in to typical office environments. I started freelancing and I'm thrilled by the amount of freedom it offers but I'm also worried about how sustainable this lifestyle is. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 13, 2014 - 12 answers

I feel invisible.

I feel invisible. Either that, or just forgotten/not cared for. Any solutions or experiences coping with being ignored? [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude on Jan 6, 2014 - 36 answers

Hey look at me!

I am fascinated and more then a little curious about self-promotion. Not the kind that you use to get hired or promote a new project or in a professional way, more of the spectacular kind of like the Xmas letter variety where everyone and all is so super great, but not just limited to that. [more inside]
posted by lasamana on Jan 4, 2014 - 27 answers

MFT application: letter of reference & personal statement samples? Help!

Hi Mefi Community, I would like to apply for an MFT grad program but feel a huge block when it comes to the personal statement, as well as the letter of reference(s). One of my recommenders has asked that I draft the letter of reference and he will approve it after review, but I've never actually even seen one of these before, so do not know where to begin! [more inside]
posted by Danah_78 on Jan 1, 2014 - 2 answers

How to deal with my height

I'm a girl that is 1,76 m tall, and I'm having serious problems with my height. I'm getting really depressed with it over time and I've come to the point where I am completely desperate. I really need some help. [more inside]
posted by Emily119 on Dec 21, 2013 - 88 answers

How can I just be myself?

I feel like I have very different (by society's standards) sides to me... and I don't know how to truly be myself in either one. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 7, 2013 - 34 answers

Living for myself

I need to learn how to live for myself first, and not place so much of my self-worth on how people I'm dating view me. Please help. [more inside]
posted by New Old User on Dec 2, 2013 - 12 answers

What is the best advice you would give re: rediscovering yourself/life

Or, more suitably... your best advice to someone trying to learn more about themselves (become stronger, learn what I want/need/wont settle for) to prepare for dating in the distant future. [more inside]
posted by BrandNewMe on Oct 21, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me date myself

I went through a pretty wretched breakup of a long-term relationship earlier this year and am still dealing with the ill effects. I'm not interested in dating anyone, or rather don't think I should date anyone, for a while. But I'm getting really into the idea of dating myself. Please help me come up with ideas to do that! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 14, 2013 - 21 answers

Resources for launching a personal consulting business

I've decided to quit my corporate job and try my hand at launching a personal consulting business. What are some excellent resources that cover all manner of logistical necessities in this domain? [more inside]
posted by mmmmbobo on Sep 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Dating filter: I like this guy - but he only talks about himself

I'm interested in dating and otherwise be-friend a guy. We have common interests and he seems to be "nice" and has a high level of intelligence. That said - Every conversation revolves around him. I love to ask people questions and let them "talk freely about their life or whatever"... but at some point you want to have a two-sided conversation. How can I politely make this point without coming across in the wrong way? This is not someone I have known longer then a couple dates.
posted by audio on Sep 18, 2013 - 25 answers

Which self help/self improvements books changed your life?

I know self help books have a bad reputation, but some transcend the genre. Any subject, from parenting to finance to spirituality is ok. [more inside]
posted by cherrybounce on Aug 30, 2013 - 29 answers

How much will the surgical practice get for doing a procedure?

Negotiating self pay medical bill. I want to have an idea of how much the surgical practice/surgeon would have been paid if the patient had had insurance. How much will they get if they hire a collection agency? Do they get a percentage or just sell the debit for a fixed price? The patient is being billed 1850.00 self pay for the procedure. The procedure was at a major Boston hospital and the patient is being billed self pay due to a temporary lapse in subsidized insurance. The hospital has already written off the bill. The billing date was sometime around the end of March 2013. The patient has been told by the billing organization that represents the surgeon that they have to deal directly with the surgeon or their practice.
posted by flummox on Aug 27, 2013 - 4 answers

How do I become more direct with my communication?

I need to be more direct with my communication, and I just find it very difficult to do it. What are some ways I can get over the fears in my head and be more direct, as in, ask for what I need directly and stop being such a pushover? [more inside]
posted by greta_01 on Aug 16, 2013 - 11 answers

Does a degree measure intelligent?

About a week ago I went through this horrible self-esteem crisis. It occurred to me that almost everyone I know has a degree from a university, but that I do not. In an organization I am a member of, everyone there is a lawyer, professor, teacher, engineer, etc., and the friends I have all have Bachelor's or Master's degrees. Here I am with no degree and having dropped out of three universities – it makes me feel like such a failure. In the next two weeks I'll be starting truck driving school – I feel like it is something I can do and be successful at? – but I still have accomplished nothing that compares to a degree! [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend on Jul 9, 2013 - 81 answers

First time self employed - what can be deducted? Therapy, bike, health?

Hello! I am an independent contractor (1099 Misc form) for the first time in my life and need some tax advice as the budget is a bit tight! Therapy, acupuncture, bicycle, insurance, computer, etc. How do deductions work? [more inside]
posted by Danah_78 on Jul 2, 2013 - 15 answers

Figurative acrophobia

How do I fight my inner self-saboteur? [more inside]
posted by dinosaurprincess on Jun 22, 2013 - 7 answers

Book for toxic thinking?

Hello all. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for the last 9 years. It even led me to develop an addiction. I have kicked the addiction, but now I cant seem to change my way of thinking. Does anyone know of any good books or workbooks that changed their toxic thinking habits? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
posted by Truts83 on Apr 1, 2013 - 9 answers

Self-help way back then

Self-help in the 19th century . . . During the Civil War era, if an ordinary person wanted to improve himself, what resources were available? [more inside]
posted by LonnieK on Mar 1, 2013 - 17 answers

A lady with hairy arms

How can I not be self-conscious about the hair on my arms? [more inside]
posted by thank you silence on Feb 22, 2013 - 57 answers

Bright and shiny me

Lets say you have 30 minutes a day for the next six months, and at the end of the six month period you have the vague goal of being an extra awesome, turned-up-to-eleven version of yourself. What types of things do you focus on? What skills/behaviours/changes to your life do you take on to achieve that goal? Big or small changes, it doesn't matter.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson on Jan 28, 2013 - 23 answers

Overcoming a Stigma of Helplessness

Hey all. Posting my questions to this community has been very helpful. I'm thankful so far for the advice I've been getting. This question has to do with something I've been struggling with my whole adulthood. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in my teens, and since then it's really limited a lot of what I can do. It didn't help much that I married a very overbearing person when I was 19 who basically took over my life for me. I left him two years ago and I've been recovering from my depression thanks to medication and a lot of self help techniques. I've started exercising and eating right, and I've lost weight, which I'm happy about. My next goal is to become self sufficient. My work ethic needs help though because I have a lot of trouble getting things done. I believe it stems from all those years I spent in deep depression and not being able to take care of myself. I procrastinate out of being overwhelmed and fearful of outcomes. I wouldn't call it laziness. It's just tough for me to learn a new way of living. Any advice on how to deal with this and improve my work ethic? I believe it's due time I start getting out of my own way. Thank you MeFi community. :)
posted by Cybria on Jan 24, 2013 - 12 answers

Resources for improving communication skills

Can anybody recommend a book that will teach me how to be assertive without sounding bitchy? Or, maybe it's a self-esteem issue that I'm dealing with. I'd like to communicate better. [more inside]
posted by little_dog_laughing on Jan 9, 2013 - 11 answers

Reeking of the Desperation Cologne

I’ve been researching a lot, and have read time and time again, that during interviews, you’re also interviewing the employer to see if you’re a “good fit” together and that you should never seem desperate for a job, but rather, you should pretend money is no object and you’re only there because you think it would be fun, etc. The question is—how do you do this when you are in fact desperate for money and you need a job ASAP? (long-winded details behind cut) [more inside]
posted by camylanded on Dec 16, 2012 - 19 answers

What's this red button do?

Self-destruction: How do you manage to dig yourself out of the hole? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 2, 2012 - 15 answers

I've recently realized that we develop and make progress in our life when we experience new things and get out of our comfort zone. What are the different ways we can experience new things?

I've recently realized that we develop and make progress in our life when we experience new things and get out of our comfort zone. What are the different ways we can experience new things? [more inside]
posted by markbao on Nov 15, 2012 - 19 answers

Techniques for developing a better sense/continuity of self?

Techniques for developing a better sense/continuity of self? [more inside]
posted by tzb on Oct 12, 2012 - 15 answers

What does it take to be a genetic engineer?

What does it take to be a genetic engineer? The sort that modify gene sequences to make organisms better suited for humanity. Is it possible to be a self taught genetic engineer with textbooks and home made lab equipment without endangering myself? I can spend 10-20 hrs a week on this endeavor. Going to college doesn't seem like a good idea due to my work schedule and because I already have an advanced degree and don't see the appeal. [more inside]
posted by savitarka on Aug 17, 2012 - 26 answers

Do people marry someone similar?

My friend has heard that people marry those who are similar to themselves (in looks, age, social class, education etc). He worries this will rule out all the "good" women. Help me advise him how marriages really work. [more inside]
posted by EatMyHat on Aug 15, 2012 - 36 answers

Do mastermind groups work?

Do Mastermind groups work? How do I find local mastermind groups? [more inside]
posted by raghuram on Jun 24, 2012 - 4 answers

Help me find myself, all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I am lost, I am interested in being a positive influence to other people by making them laugh or helping them out with life problems. Need some suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Trinergy on Jun 19, 2012 - 15 answers

I need to quantify myself

The mathematician Stephen Wolfram posted about his efforts at quantifying his activity over the past couple of decades. Of particular interest to me is his reference to having logged the keystrokes he's entered on his computer. Any idea how I could do that as well? [more inside]
posted by dfriedman on Jun 10, 2012 - 5 answers

learn on your own

What are the best workbooks you would advise someone to use ? [more inside]
posted by nicolin on Jun 8, 2012 - 4 answers

Help my 16-year-old sell his skateboarding booklet.

What is the best way for my teenage son to distribute a self-published book on skateboarding tricks? [more inside]
posted by zagyzebra on May 30, 2012 - 12 answers

How can I develop a more stable, internally based sense of self-worth? Or how to stop feeling insecure?

How can I develop a more stable, internally based sense of self-worth? Or how to stop feeling insecure? [more inside]
posted by jumelle on May 23, 2012 - 11 answers

I keep having bouts of self destructive behaviour in a relationship. 23/M Best ways to stop it?

I keep having bouts of self destructive behaviour in a relationship. 23/M Best ways to stop it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 18, 2012 - 8 answers

One sided friendship, or poor social skills?

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out if a new friendship is one sided and should be tossed, or if I'm just not presenting myself well. [more inside]
posted by Zapak on Mar 10, 2012 - 20 answers

Help me find myself?

Dramatic change in life has rock my foundation of self. I need to figure out who I am now that I lost my main identity. I’m in therapy to help with the change, but was wondering if there were any online (preferably) or offline workbooks, tests, or X activity that I can work through that will help me find myself? I’m at a lost. [more inside]
posted by bleucube on Feb 29, 2012 - 7 answers

... makes me stronger.

I want to punish myself. I want to do something that will involve hard work and hardship, that I can't get out of, that will not involve many other people, and won't cost a lot of money. Something like a long hiking journey through remote wilderness, or a boot camp, health camp or retreat where I don't have to be with a group, just me and some jailors. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Pastor of Muppets on Jan 2, 2012 - 46 answers

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