I feel like I am always either keeping my mouth shut or not saying what I think just to keep the peace. With strangers it is easy for me to say what I think but not with family or my companion. I have a history of being an enabler.

Learning social skills and interpersonal effectiveness skills can be beneficial when managing relationships. These skills can help you get your needs met and ensure you are able to advocate for yourself. Trying to keep the peace is a common passive communication style. This type of communication suppresses your own needs or thoughts and can be damaging to your self-esteem. It can also impact your relationships negatively as you are not communicating with your family and companion how you are really feeling. Our communication patterns often develop early in life so understanding how and why you developed this style of communication can help you make changes in the future. A psychologist can teach you assertive communication skills. One of the most important parts of learning these skills is that you get a chance to practice. One other important point is to fake it till you make it. Pretending to be confident and trying out different skills can help you when it comes to using these skills in a more difficult situation.

Is it normal to hear a voice in your head? I hear a voice in my head that doesn’t sound like my voice. That voice is mean. Help!

Voice hearing is often called auditory verbal hallucinations in the research literature. The content and tone of the voices people hear is often different, with some people finding the voices comforting while others find them distressing. Research has suggested that hearing voices does not necessarily indicate that someone is going to develop a psychosis or schizophrenia. Generally, an indication that someone may benefit from help or treatment for their voices is that you have negative experiences or beliefs from the voices. This can include negative content, frequency or emotional tone. In your message you say that the voice you hear is “mean”. As this voice is negative it indicates that you would benefit from discussing your voices with a health professional. There have been many advances in treatment and there are psychological treatments which can assist with the symptoms you describe. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in the treatment of voices, delusions, or other psychotic symptoms.