Good Relationships Can Be Painful

Even the best relationships cause some pain.

rowing-in-different-directions-conflict

To expect your relationships to function “glitch free” is unrealistic.

No two people, whether co-workers, friends, or life partners; will always agree. Therefore, there will be times when you will be at loggerheads.
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Verbs Versus Nouns

Language evolves; it’s a living entity.

websters-dictionary

As example, in the 1700s, what was a “butt-plate?”

If you thought it to be the 18th century version of shape wear or something on which you placed your “pratts” (buttocks), you’d be completely wrong. Rather, it was the metal plate at the “butt end” of a musket, used to protect the wood and possibly make the butt a better weapon unto itself.

Moving into the late 1800s, “seven miles behind the moon,” had nothing to do with astronomy. Rather, it was a way of saying someone was “crazy,” or “out there.”

We needn’t look too far into the past to see this evolution.

In our lifetimes alone, the use of words has drastically changed. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still uses the term “righteously bitchen.” Yet when I was a teen, that manifestation was about as common as platform shoes and aviator glasses. Now it’s heard as often as we see pet rocks.

This year, the latest additions to Webster’s dictionary included “crowdfunding,” “selfie,” and “fracking;” three terms that would have made its users seem seven miles behind the moon in the very recent past. [Read more...]

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Yes Dear, Whatever You Say Dear…

I’ll admit it; I’m wimpy when it comes to confrontations.

man-coweringI don’t like people getting mad at me. So oft times, I go out of my way to pre-appease them; assuming they won’t like something and sidestepping the issue all together. Yes, I realize I’m co-dependent and yes, I’m trying to stop; I even tried to form a support group for co-dependents but no one would give me per-mission. (Insert rim shot here…)

What this means is that I become concerned that my politics or opinions might show through my writing, resulting in me being harangued by internet “trolls” who have nothing better to do than spend every waking hour scouring the interwebs waiting to pounce on anything I write. (Self-importance much?)

In fairness, my concern is not without basis.

I’ve been flamed because of my views on guns, political candidates, and even negative communication styles (obviously missing the irony). The column that garnered the most hate mail was a humorous piece where I postulated the theory that, based on a trip to New Orleans, the only foods allowed in the south must be deep-fried. (I was even accused of trying to re-ignite the civil war; really.)

Anyhoo… my concern with attempting to avert these curmudgeons can — at times — cause me to pick and choose my topics and words with extreme care. After all, someone a thousand miles away, reading my piece two weeks after I wrote it might feel awkward and shoot negative vibes toward me. Goodness knows! I wouldn’t want that to happen.

Like I said: co-dependent.

This piece however might cause a ruffle or two much closer to home, including in my own household so I now begin to tread in dangerous places.

New and recent findings, published in the journal Emotion, show that long-term marital satisfaction depends on wives — more so than husbands — regulating their emotions during arguments. Researchers from two major universities found that the happi-est marriages, in both the short and long-term, were those where the wives were able to regain their self-control quickly after disputes erupted.

The lead author of the study (whom I point out is a woman) said, [Read more...]

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Lower Your Voice to Get What You Want

angry-men-in-conflict-yelling

Yelling can be as abusive as hitting.

We all get frustrated; that’s normal.

It’s how we handle it that matters.

As difficult as it might be to stay calm when things are going like you’d like to them to, remember, getting louder does not get the message across any better. Quite the contrary, it generates barriers.

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Go for a walk. Think of your intention.

Then, calmly, try again.

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Dealing with Complainers

They are numerous, ever-present, ubiquitous; present at work, parties, and even family gatherings.

complaining-man-ranting If attitude is indeed contagious, they are the Ebola virus of a positive outlook. Bringing their own “gloomy sunshine” wherever they go, they leave behind a trail of mental and emotional destruction wider than a hurricane’s wake. Should we discover the cure to all illnesses tomorrow, they would protest that it put the doctors out of business.

woman-rantingWe can tell they’re nearby, even before they open their mouths. Dour expressions firmly etched into grim-faced expressions and unconstrained bitterness dripping from their souls, they pummel, pound, and persist until they reveal the dark cloud behind any silver lining. Even after short encounters with these denizens of dourness, their dark energy can drain the happiness from even the most upbeat individual. They are Eyore to our Tigger, Ying to our Yang, frowns to our smiles; they are (insert ominous music…) the “bearers of badatude.”

Whether it’s due to the state of the world, the change in seasons, or just bad luck, they do seem to have multiplied lately. (Maybe it’s their mating season?) For whatever the reason, it seems more difficult to avoid them than it used to be.

Ever the helper — and in the interest of public service and a better community attitude — I offer a few suggestions on how to deal with complainers.

Rule One: Understand that when a freight train is roaring down the tracks at you, GET OUT OF THE FREAKIN’ WAY! Do not plant yourself firmly, attempting to block its path, expecting to convince it to take the switch. Instead, realize that batatude folks are better about plowing you over and dragging your formerly upbeat demeanor into a negative mood than you will ever be at changing their direction. They are professionals; having honed the dark art to a fine talent, they inflict bad attitude among even the most optimistic individuals. You — on the other hand — pale in experience when it comes to turning it around. It’s not a fair competition; don’t even try. You will lose. Move elsewhere; if not physically, then certainly to the happy place in your head.

Having not been able to circumnavigate Mister Miserable, the next step is to put it in perspective by employing the “Five Year Rule.”

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