Iris Barrow is an author of self-help books and audio resources. Her practical guides include information, exercises and tips to help with the problems many of us face some time in our personal or work lives. These include relationship difficulties, stress, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and low self-esteem.

Iris originally produced her books and CDs to give her clients work to do at home between counselling sessions. News of their effectiveness soon spread. There are now 12 books and 8 audio resources. Many of the books are available as ebooks and the audio resources as MP3 downloads. Please browse the shop for titles that may interest and help you.

Hurt Feelings. We've all had our feelings hurt at some time or perhaps have hurt someone else's feelings possibly without even realising it. We all know what it feels like to be rejected, ridiculed, sidelined, bullied, overlooked or unjustly criticised. It can be very painful. If we're reasonably resilient, we can usually recover from minor incidents fairly easily, but some hurts can leave deep scars that take a long time to heal. Whatever the severity, there are things we can do to help ourselves recover. We can also learn to avoid hurting others. Please scroll down to read Iris' tips on how to manage hurt feelings.

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Congratulations to March 2016 newsletter winners. Due to the large response, we sent Learning to Relax CDs to four subscribers - Sarah and Carolyn both from Northland and Rupal and Judy of Auckland. Thanks to all those who entered our draw and for your comments and feedback.

** All of Iris Barrow's resources can be purchased from the online shop. If you'd prefer to purchase books and CDs directly from Iris Barrow, please send an email.


Words of Wisdom

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted".



Ask Iris

I'm lonely

Q: I am 25 and used to have a good circle of friends to do things with. That's all changed. Most of my girlfriends have boyfriends and don't call me like they used to. Sometimes I can feel quite lonely, especially at the weekends.


Life Skills


Can you recall the last time you felt really hurt? Perhaps it was something someone said (or didn’t say), or something they did (or didn’t do). Perhaps your partner forgot your birthday. You may have been sidelined for a promotion. You may have provided a lot of help and support to a friend and felt unappreciated. You may have felt publicly and unjustifiably ridiculed.

It's relatively easy to brush off or recover from a small incident especially if we can somehow justify the other person’s behaviour; perhaps they were drunk or unwell or under stress. We are more able to say, “They didn’t mean what they said”. Other hurts can go deep and can leave scars that stay with us.

'Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you' is an old saying that I think needs a major rewrite. Words can certainly hurt and we can all be more mindful of how we treat others to ensure we don’t hurt them unnecessarily. If we have an issue with someone, we can think in advance how we might approach them so we avoid causing hurt. Sometimes it’s a case of treading lightly and choosing our words and actions carefully and asking ourselves how we might react if we were on the receiving end. If we respect a person’s feelings and dignity, we are more able to resolve any issue we have with them and preserve the relationship.

No-one can 'make' us feel a certain way. We do have some control over how much other people's behaviour affects our emotions. We can learn to develop a tougher skin and distance ourselves from the person and their comments or actions. Very often people will lash out and hurt us if they’re upset or feel aggrieved. We can say to ourselves, “I just happen to be the target today” or “They’re probably under stress and I’m just a bit player in their drama”.

If someone has hurt us, we can talk to them about the impact their comments or actions had on us. This takes courage but can be empowering and help us let go of the hurt. Rather than use ‘you’ statements, try using ‘I’ statements. You could say. “I felt really upset when you put me down in front of our friends. In future I’d like us to talk through any problems in private”. 

Nearly all great thinkers and spiritual leaders say that the secret to peace of mind is to live in the present and let go of the past. These wise words can help us gain perspective and stop dwelling on past hurts. This doesn't mean we shouldn't seek to heal ourselves in the present or respond to those who've hurt us in the past if it's appropriate.

Avoid 'what if?' thinking. For example, "What if he ridicules me again at the next meeting?" You will only stress yourself unnecessarily by worrying about something that may never happen.

With practice we can learn to hurt others less and suffer less from hurt feelings ourselves. Give it a go.



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