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Coping Skills Intro

Rebecca Bennington Blog Picture

I wish I could tell you that your Path to Happy will always be filled with joy, but that is not true. Happy people experience problems and disappointments and sometimes they are put down, hurt, or somehow victimized. Happy people experience anger, sadness, jealousy, and all other negative emotions. The difference is, they experience them, COPE with them, and then move past them. They have coping skills.

What are coping skills?

Coping skills are skills that you learn to help you negotiate the struggles in life. Hopefully you learned coping skills somewhere in your childhood. Coping skills are what you tell yourself or do when you face adversity so that you can get through the situation as unscathed as possible.

How do you get them?

People learn coping skills in a lot of ways. Hopefully your parents taught them to you. They can do that by either literally teaching them to you, or modeling them. Unfortunately, not all parents have good coping skills so possibly they modeled skills that are not helpful or effective. You could also learn the from other relatives or at school, or from characters and stories on television. You could learn them online as well. Regardless of where you’ve learned your coping skills I would say that if they were working well for you, you would probably be happy already, and you would not be on this website learning how to become happier. The exercise attached to this article will help you determine if you have good coping skills or if you need to improve in that area.

Why don’t you have them?

You may have learned coping skills somewhere, but maybe the methods you learned are dysfunctional. For example, if you learned to manage your anger by punching someone in the face, and now you are facing assault charges, then that was not a good way of coping, and you need to work on that. If the coping skill you are currently using does not help you resolve the situation that triggered you in a nonharmful way, then it is not a good coping skill.

Do you need them?

Without coping skills you cannot reach a place of satisfaction in your life. Through no fault of your own, bad things are going to happen in this world and sometimes they are going to happen to you. If you can’t cope with that, then you will be left feeling sad, angry, and resentful for a long time. That’s not a Path to Happy.

Can you learn them?

Anyone can learn good coping skills. Anyone can use good coping skills. The difficult part comes about when you prefer your dysfunctional skills to your new skills. It feels good to punch a wall, or scream, or use drugs, or lash out at others or yourself in a harmful way. It just does. But, the consequences of that behavior does NOT feel good. Relationships are damaged, sometimes irreparably, or it costs you money to replace items you broke, or you harm yourself physically in some way, or you go to jail. All of these are not good outcomes for your method of coping.

Are there prerequisites to learning them?

There are no prerequisites required to learn coping skills other than, you have to want to. Frequently the reason someone wants to is because they have experienced a consequence from their dysfunctional method of coping. If that’s your situation, then I am sorry you are going through that. But, maybe it took that experience to lead you here and start your Path to Happy, so there is still potential for a positive outcome. At this point you should examine your coping skills to see if this is something you need to work on. When you are done, if you feel like you need more help please reach out to someone to talk to. In addition to the coping techniques found on this website, we would be happy to help you along this journey.

Thank you,

The YP2H Team

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Rebecca Bennington

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