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Breathe Magazine – Issue 55

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In this issue: Walk the talk – Float like a butterfly… – Share and share alike – Good vibrations – Treading the boards – Strength in unity – Rewilding the blue – Awkward encounters – Love, wisdom and creativity – Inner cube

Most people are familiar with declaring emotions online. A friend’s had a book published – ‘wow’; a sibling’s bought a new flat – ‘love’; a colleague is unwell – ‘care’. So far, so straightforward. Or is it? Is that ‘wow’ or ‘love’ totally devoid of jealousy? And what of that ‘care’? Might it be tinged with annoyance? No? Even on D-Day for a big project… What if the more honest response was the thumbs-down of ‘dislike’ or the scream of ‘fear’? Maybe something that combined all three emotions might get closer to the genuine reaction.

Occasionally, however, something or someone will raise the hackles and there it is – no-nonsense, undisputed dislike. In the online world, it might be possible to find a relatively easy workaround with judicious use of unfollow options and restricted friends’ lists. Face-to-face interaction is trickier. Blocking a colleague who’s coordinating the team’s efforts to win a company-saving deal probably isn’t the most constructive policy.

It isn’t a one-way street either. Pretty much everyone at some point in their life will have that moment of realisation that, know what, she doesn’t like me! And it might sting. That’s normal. Even so, it needn’t prevent colleagues – or even family members – from collaborating for the greater good, be that hitting a factory deadline or securing the best healthcare for an ailing parent.

It will take work. An understanding that everyone’s views and beliefs are informed (and formed) differently is important, as is an awareness of one’s own weaknesses as well as strengths. Equally, there’ll be a need to set boundaries. What’s essential is a non-negotiable, healthy sense of self-worth and confidence in taking up space. It’s possible to dislike others, and sometimes be disliked, but still blossom. No external emoji validation required – just maybe a personal reminder to like yourself

Cover Illustration: Maggie Stephenson

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