Psychiatry & Psychology--General/friendships changing


Hi Dr Elmore,

I am quite loyal to my friends in general -  I think more so because I am single and possibly more dependant on friendships in my life because I am not married and live by myself. I have a busy life in general and a profession I love.

There are two friends that I have stopped seeing in the past few months. This is because, over time I have found them to be intolerant and judgmental and no longer people I enjoy being with. I now realise that possibly for too long I put up with behaviour from them that is unacceptable - in fact, these friends have behaved in a way that they would have found unacceptable had I treated them in that fashion. I realise that this is partly because I've let them get away with it, but it is also because I won't tolerate their behaviour anymore.

While in many ways it is a relief to be free of those friends their absence does leave a gap. In particular, there are activities I no longer do because these were people I did particular things with. These are friends I have had for many years (in one case, 17 years)so I am going through a kind of 'mourning' in a way.

I would be grateful for your advice on how to handle this transition away from these friends and also the best way that I can make new contacts that are more constructive in my life.

I am also seeking ways to motivate myself to start dating again. Right now I am feeling that being in a good relationship would give me a better foundation than I have now to enjoy friendships without being so dependent on them for companionship. How does one develop a dating 'habit' after not dating for a few years?

Many thanks



The answer to both of your thoughtful questions about, friendships and dating, is the same.

One of the most common things amongst good and thoughtful people is how much more discriminating we become as we acquire more experience in life.  It is natural that we tolerate friends and lovers that are not such a good fit when we are younger and learning about ourselves and the world.

In order to live an authentic life it is important to have friends and lovers who compliment our lives in a way that does not make us feel as though we are encouraging values in others that are unacceptable to us, as well as wasting our time.

The problem is that as we get older and more discriminating it is harder and harder to meet new people, both because there are now fewer people who "fit" and also because it is generally discouraging to realize that you have spent a lot of time with people who did not make you feel right.

To make new friends and to start dating again you have to put yourself out there in the wilderness of the social world deliberately, like we used to do without thinking about it when we were younger, like getting your sea legs back after a long time on land.

Don't force yourself to do anything, just go out as an observer, like an anthropologist, and pay attention.  Eventually you will feel comfortable enough to start interacting with new people and beginning the challenging but always interesting process of finding new friends and potential dates.

It takes time and it is a different process than it was when we were younger because experience makes us more thoughtful.  However those changes can make the whole affair a bit richer, even if it slows the process down a bit.

Best always,

Dr. Andrew Elmore  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Andrew M. Elmore, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about: Stress. Headaches. Stress-related Disorders. Anxiety/Panic Disorder. Depression. Psychopathology. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Personal Problem Solving. Life in General. Relationships: Love, Friendship, Business Partner, Coworker, Family,Child/Parent. What makes us tick. The use of psycho-pharmacological agents in combination with psychological treatment. How to deal with evil people in your life. How to improve your outlook under duress. How to control stress. How to control mood. How to control headaches. I cannot answer: Questions about Eating Disorders. Questions about computers.


30 years in private practice as a psychologist in Manhattan. Dealing with people from almost every conceivable ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and as many character types as exist in this country. Dealing with patients from 8 years old to 90 years old. Pioneer in biofeedback and the treatment of stress-related disorders. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1982. Treatment of stress-related, anxiety and depressive disorders with biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy. Developed personal problem solving, an extremely precise form of psychotherapy. Relationship therapy for couples, families, parent/child issues, business partners, coworkers, employers, and dealing with psychopathic individuals in your life.

American Psychological Association. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. New York Academy of Sciences.

The journal, Psychophysiology. The book, Expanding Dimensions of Consciousness. The journal, Headache. The journal, Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. The journal Psychiatry Digest. The book, The TMJ Book. The book, Dental Phobia. The network, CNN. Parade Magazine. The newspaper, Newsday. The Manhattan TV station, WCBS. The national news program, The CBS Evening News. The newspaper, The New York Post. The national TV program, The Phil Donohue Show. The magazine, The New Yorker. The magazine, Glamor. The magazine, Redbook. The magazine, Health. The magazine, Bottom Line Personal. Web MD. The website, Healthology. The magazine, Newsweek.

Ph.D. SUNY at Stony Brook, 1979. B.A., magna cum laude with Honors in Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University, 1974.

Awards and Honors
Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, First, Second and Third Editions, 1997-2000. Appointed to the Training Faculty of the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA), 1993. Senior Fellow BCIA. New York Academy of Sciences, 1987. Who’s Who in the East, 1983-present. Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology, First Edition. Citation Paper Author. Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Biofeedback Society of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1980. Biofeedback Society of America Scholar, 1979. Co-author, USVA Grant, “Variables Affecting the Experience of Pain in Migraine,” USVA Medical Center, Northport, New York, 1977-1979. Biomedical Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 1978. NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship, 1976. BA, Magna cum laude, with Honors in Psychology, 1974. Danforth Fellowship Nominee, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, 1973.

Past/Present Clients
Most of my clients are my private patients. However I have provided many seminars, lectures and workshops for: Columbia University. The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum of Natural History. The UJA Federation. The university, CW Post. The College of New Rochelle. Equinox Fitness. Travelers Insurance. AutoOne Insurance. Chubb Insurance. Metropolitan Life. Allstate Insurance. State Farm Insurance. Encompass Insurance. The public relations firm, Porter Novelli. The investment firm, Capital Re:. The Estee Lauder corporation. The law firm of Irwin Abrams. The National Insurance Crime Bureau. GEICO Insruance. Beth Israel Hospital.

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