Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Power of Confidence-- Technical Language and How It Affects Public Perception

I am not a victim.

I can say that without any doubt in my mind, without any hesitation, without feeling silly.  It is a fact.  1 + 1 =2.  I am not a victim.  Pass the butter.

When one has confidence, the need to persuade others of something lessens.  This is because your care of how they feel is lesser than someone without confidence.  You see, your confidence often directly correlates with how you think people treat you.  Understand that sentence: "How you think people treat you."  How you think people treat you is what affects your confidence, not how they actually treat you.  Your perception of how you are treated is what defines your internal level of confidence.  You define it.  How other people treat you actually, has no affect on that.

Why is this?

Walk into an empty room.  Do you feel worried about how you look, sound, or behave?  Most likely, the answer to that is no.  Nobody is there to judge it.

Walk into a room full of people and ask that question again.  This defines your confidence level.  Now ask yourself what you think people think about you, namely the things you WORRY about when you are around other people.  Do they overshadow everything positive that you believe people think of you?  This too, defines your confidence level.

You see, it is your perception, and not necessarily reality, that affects your confidence level and your view of the world.

If you say, humbly, but with conviction, "I am not a victim,"--very good on it's own--but then, you proceed to give a bunch of reasons why.  This can actually discredit you.  Silence is incredibly powerful.  You can win over every person in the human race with a short and sweet statement followed by silence.  Every reason you give for a statement you make, can be discredited, can be disagreed with.  A simple statement followed by silence creates a window for any belief system to fill in the blanks for you.  It is THEIR perception that is now formulating the reasoning behind your actions.  The human mind is wired to find the reasoning behind why a choice is made.  When you make a statement and give no reasoning behind it, those who do care enough to have an opinion, will fill in the blanks for you.  You don't have to do anything, and often, because most people are wired to believe people are making decisions logically, this is to your benefit.  Whatever you choose to say, people are more likely to believe it when it is to the point, and not weighted with reasoning.  Unless of course you are writing a news report, but we are referring to the conveying of the self.

"I'm not a victim because I am a very energetic person, I love life, I don't care what people think, and I am physically and mentally strong."
Through this, what you are conveying to the average listener is that you feel the need to defend yourself because you are a victim.

I am not a victim.  Period.  Point blank.  With conviction, but without emotion.  It's very hard to argue against a statement with no reasons.  Anything short and sweet like that, often becomes a fact in the human mind.  It's too hard to argue against.  You didn't let your emotions--which often are chemical and have nothing to do with the truth-- get in the way of what you are trying to convey, and you didn't let reasons discredit you.

The beauty in this is that you do not HAVE to give reasons for who you are.  Who you are, is who you are.  For instance:  We are all born with certain traits.  I have brown hair.  I don't have to explain that to people.  I could say, "I have naturally brown hair," and that would suffice for most people.  But some people take it a step further.  "I have naturally brown hair.  It is genetic."  Did you need to say that it is genetic?  No, it's overkill at this point.  And it comes off defensive, like you are worried about what people are thinking.  Have confidence.  "I have naturally brown hair."  You don't have to give any explanation.

Another point that needs to be driven is that people do not deserve your explanation.  Nobody is entitled to the reasoning behind why I do what I do.  Nobody.  If I want to eat a salad today, I'm going to.  I don't have to tell you why.  If I like the color green, I like it.  I don't have to tell you why.  If I wear a pink dress, I'm wearing a pink dress.  I don't have to have a reason for it and I certainly don't have to give you one for it.  Hell, there may be NO reason for it.  Maybe you grabbed it--dresses are a hell of a lot easier to throw on and run out the door in, than putting together an outfit.  "I wore a pink dress because it is pretty."  For some people, that will suffice, for others, they now think you put it on to impress people (and they may think that regardless, but your reason, which was highly unnecessary, is converted in the brain to become an excuse--excuses and reasons tie together, they go hand in hand with unraveling an argument or discrediting what a person is saying).  Do you see how reasoning can discredit people sometimes?  More often than not, not only do you do NOT need to share a reason for what you are doing, but that reason can often hurt you!  Some things are not WORTH sharing reasons for.  Some things have to be owned.  Wear the pink dress.  Own it.  Do not give a damn.  It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Make America Great Again--A Poem of Pleading

Make America Great Again—A Poem of Pleading

Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
Like back in the day,
When we could be assholes and never have to take accountability,
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again, Rick,
It wasn’t great for everybody, but it was great for you and me,
Now we have to compete with Julio, Dunia, and José,
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
Back when people supported the good stuff,
Like segregation, slave-holding, and no women voting,
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
When people gave a damn,
And got a job, without complaint, and brought the food home to Mary Anne
Now Mary Anne’s a CEO and I don’t even own land,
Why Can’t We Make America Great again,
Back when people had rights,
And you and I could get away with murder on a dark lonely night,
Why Can’t We Make America Great again,
So the people can be free,
And we can continue to support the good stuff, like white superiority.
Why Can’t We Make America Great again,
Back when we valued the bible,
A man was a man, a woman was a woman, and rape was just a foible!
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
When things made sense to us, the world was with us,
Now we have to watch ourselves when we make fun of the Blacks, Trans, or Gays,
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
And get our jobs fair and square,
Wipe out all the immigrants and Native-Americans so us whites can have our mainstay!
Why Can’t We Make America Great Again,
It only makes sense.
The past worked in our favor, after all.
Cheers to that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How To Tell Someone Is Bullshitting You, 4 Signs and How To Deal With Them

How awareness helps in the literal sense.

People are ignorant as hell.  I'm willing to say to some extent, we all are and we cannot help it.  We do not know everything everyone else does.  It is what it is.  Since I cannot claim to know everything, I have to claim ignorance on certain things.  We all do.  Whether you can admit to that or not is part of your responsibility as an adult.  I find this especially notable in people with degrees such as doctors or engineers.  These fields are where you will tend to find a plethora of people who believe they know everything about a subject when in fact they know little about many facets of it because they specialize in one or a few aspects of it, or in fact they made it through college but are unable to apply what they've learned cohesively in the field.  In a career, when you are expected to be knowledgeable and are constantly questioned and expected to have answers, your defense mechanism becomes improvising even if that improvising is quite frankly, bullshit.  Having the insight to see the difference between someone who is bullshitting you and someone who is giving you an honest, educated answer is a valuable skill and one that you should absolutely put into practice.  This is not witchcraft, this is logic and common sense and anyone can achieve this task.

How do you tell someone is bullshitting you?  Here are 4 signs and how to deal with them:

Some roses have thorns.
1.) The person/group answers everything with a positive answer, giving absolutely no negatives on a subject.
-- Many of you will roll your eyes at this because it seems quite obvious, but you would be shocked how many people fall for this.  With everything, there are pros and cons.  There is always a drawback.  There's always something that could be a hindrance to someone, even if that hindrance isn't necessarily obvious to everyone.  But with experience and thought, usually one can find cons with practically everything.  So if someone is trying to sell you something and they can't tell you why it wouldn't be good for a certain type of person, or they are telling you it is good for everything and they don't give you specific uses for the product, chances are they are full of shit.  Intelligent people tend to be convinced more by an argument when you share some cons about it but upsell the cons.  At least the cons show that the seller has experience with the product, since typically someone who hasn't tried or learned about something wouldn't know what goes wrong with it.  There are many people who do feel swayed more when you gush about all of the positives about something and don't share any negatives, but there's also the other 50% of the population who will walk away from the seller like they are the plague.  Even if something has a lot of positives, an argument sounds a hell of a lot more credible when it has some cons.  And it shows that the person selling the product to you has consideration for what people do not like--that's very important.

When you are asking someone questions, you should NOT have to feel like you are walking through a rainstorm.  Questions are how the world learns from each other.  If the person you are questioning cannot value that, frankly they are not a worthwhile person to talk to.
2.) The person/group gets angry/frustrated when you ask them questions.
-- This is a huge red flag.  Some people are not used to being asked questions because people tend to take their word for it on matters.  I've had some doctors do this (and granted, yes, they are also in a hurry, but seriously, if that's irritating maybe it's time to find another career path, because it's their job to answer questions).  But if you keep asking and they are not only irritated but will not give you a direct answer, it's time to run like hell.  You deserve to be informed on choices you make in life.  That's your right as a human-being.  Whether it's a surgery you are asking questions about or a new lawnmower--you deserve credible research so that you are able to make educated decisions.  For every asshole that avoids your questions, there's someone brilliant who is happy to answer.  Go find THAT person.

3.) The person/group changes the subject after asking questions.
-- If you are easily distracted this one is going to take a lot of mental effort and quite possibly a therapist's assistance if you are on the ADD spectrum.  Some people are brilliant at changing the subject when asked a question they don't know how to answer.  Be aware of this.  Come prepared.  Expect this to happen when you are somewhere where you need to ask questions, because this happens far more than you think--and stay on top of it.  If you need to, bring a list of your questions.  Highlight the most important ones and make sure they are answered.  Just because someone is witty, does not mean they know the answer to something.  There are a lot of witty ignoramuses in this world and you need to be alert about that.  Just because someone is witty and they sound compelling, doesn't mean their reasoning behind their behaviors/beliefs is actually sound.  So be prepared, stand your ground and keep asking your question.  If they blow you off or get angry--they don't know the answer.

This next one could apply to people from any political party, and this political photo I took at a Middle-Eastern restaurant, is not a representative example, but one tiny facet of what I'm about to explain.
4.) Group mentality.
-- There are a lot of people who join or talk to a group and feel that everything the group says or believes must be true because the entire group believes it--so someone must have researched it or had experience with the matter.  This is completely untrue, and what you need to realize is that often, groups foster inadequate belief-systems in a very unhelpful way.  If one person says something incredibly opinionated with no research to back it up, and the rest of the group agrees, often it becomes an unwritten law of the group simply because the others feel strongly about it, and not because there is actually sound reasoning behind what the group is believing.  It is very important to be able to separate yourself from group mentality and look into what is being discussed.  To take not just what individuals claim, but what groups claim with a grain of salt is incredibly important.  As a fellow human-being, think about how much more confidence you get when one of your opinions is validated by another person, and then imagine a group of people doing this.  Groups can foster entirely false belief-systems in a way that no individual-being can.  They are dangerous because they are compelling--people tend to be swayed more by numbers than by actual research.  As a responsible adult, you need to ignore the quantity of people buying into a belief, and go out of your way to look at facts.

Be aware that many people throughout your life have their own goals and selfish reasoning for the poor choices they make, being misleading people for income so that they can put dinner on the table for their children, misleading for ego and popularity, and buying into hype to feel part of a group.  You have to be able to see these issues for what they are so that you can make decisions in your life that are beneficial to both you and the world.  We still have a long way to go.  Our world would be better if more of us were able to separate bullshit from truth, but it would be so much farther back if less of us had that ability.  To fight the good fight, our individual vote on everything we do, is our awareness of bullshit, because when you buy into a bad cause, such as buying into a bad doctor, or buying into a bad company, you are supporting it.  Fight the good fight and stay aware of these techniques! :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Achieving Happiness

This photo was not captured by trespassing someone's sunflower field...But if I go to jail for it, I can't say I feel like much of a criminal.
There has been a theme in my life lately of happiness.  I've been scared to admit it, but I might actually be very happy with my life right now.  When you admit that, a lot of fears come into play... it feels like there is so much to lose and that it could so easily be tilted in the other direction.  Through all of this loveliness, deep down I keep waiting for doomsday.

my picture is attempting to demonstrate retrospect.
In my grasp of happiness, I've come to terms with a few things.  Firstly--it takes far less to make me happy than it does some people.  Everything society has told me to do to have a successful life has made me utterly miserable.  I went to an expensive four-year school--I dropped out due to not having the guidance to accept my health issues and medications were deeply affecting my performance.  In fact, I went for two years...I wanted to leave after the first year--and I even stayed after being encouraged to by people I trusted around me, which I do not blame them and I love and have no qualms against these people for it--they were doing their best--but unfortunately I was too young to know I should have been listening to my gut.  The student loan debt has wrecked me financially and made my life harder, and the memories of being there are painful and filled with regret.  I know I bring it up a lot--it's the most profoundly life-altering memory and regret that I've got.  And yet, after years of feeling bitter about it, I've managed to overcome a lot of that and I'm still happy now.

I don't have a job that makes me hundreds of thousands per year.  I have a part-time job that is incredibly accommodating and filled with lovely people, both who work there and attend there.  I feel at peace.  I enjoy my work.  There's no drama there and none of the emotional turmoil.  When I'm there I just feel a sense of peace and purpose.  I'm not making a lot of money, but I'm happy.  And I've also realized the location gives me a great sense of joy too.  I'm so used to walking out of the door of a job, feeling disgusted at how ugly, gray and industrial everything looks, and rushing to my pretty home in the trees as fast as I can.  I linger in the area after work.  It's fascinating.

I don't own, or live in, a large, amazing house.  I live in a 900 square-foot space.  It's too small to fit all of my and my roommate's hobbies inside.  But I am happy here because of the location (it's been my dream to live here for years), and I make it work.  I don't mind mess on the occasion on the inside, when I can garden outside, look at the beauty of nature, and enjoy.  I feel very grateful for my tiny home, I will say that less clutter would make me happier, and that I hope we can find better storage options, but ultimately I'm very grateful.  Location seems to mean a lot to me.  Anywhere gray and industrial seems to take a toll on me emotionally.  I live for the beauty of nature and I believe that nature is what makes life worth living for.  I will be commuting most likely, to where-ever I work, in order to preserve this lifestyle that I love, and it's a sacrifice that's worthy to me, for my happiness.

I don't have a large group of friends.  I have a small group of different, individual friends, no more than four.  They are wonderful, lovely people.  Every time I see a friend, I feel happier inside.  They are all so different and yet such a wonderful asset to my life.  I am working to see them more often, as I'm realizing how preciously short life is.  It is really important to set that time aside, and they all know I've been terrible at it in the last 10 years.  Regardless, these people make me happy.

I love my family.  How many people can say that?  I feel incredibly blessed to have both of my parents, to have my sister, to have my relatives.  I was born into a family filled with all inherently good people.  Not all of us are that lucky.  I know that I am and I count my blessings on that every day.  We may not all be the closest knit family, but I never have to deal with family members who are trying to hurt others.  I visit each of my parents and I just adore my family, and adore the new family members I have now that each parent has remarried.  I'm so lucky to be surrounded by so many good people.  Not perfect people, of course not--but genuinely good people.

I don't have children.  I feel very happy and grateful for life as it is already.  Why tilt the scales?  I may one day adopt--I see no reason to procreate when there is already so much suffering on this earth.  I am against breeding dogs and cats because of their overpopulation, why would humans be any different?  I truly believe we can love people just as much or moreso who are not of our own blood.  But all that aside, I'm just happy now, as it is, without children, and I don't need the added stress and responsibility.  If I'm already thrilled with how things are going, why make my life harder?  This is another one of those categories where again, I've found I have to not listen to people.  Every time I do something in my life on the recommendation of someone else, and not through my own heart, I end up unhappy.  While a child one day could be an asset to my life, I certainly don't need one to fill a void of unhappiness--because that void is not there.

And I think that is the thing with happiness and why some people never truly achieve it.  There is constantly a need for more.  Constantly a hole.  Constantly an dissatisfaction with life as it is.  And nothing is ever good enough.  Constantly trying to get the next promotion.  Constantly switching to the next job.  Constantly switching romantic partners.

Or little things.  The house isn't clean.  I didn't get my __ in the mail yet.  I didn't get to go on the trip.  I didn't get to eat the meal I wanted.  I couldn't afford the thing I wanted.
Nothing is ever enough for some people.  If I get this, then I will be happy, if I get that, then I will be happy.  But the truth is that while some happiness can come from satisfaction with your financial situation, your job, your children/family, or your romantic partner, it actually starts within yourself.  And if you can't start out with some sort of inner-peace and enjoyment out of life, as much as you get, it will never be enough.  Because while yes, not getting what you want is annoying or even disheartening, depending on what it is, it should not be affecting your overall happiness, again and again.  You should have that vitality flickering like a candle, inside of you, on a consistent basis (obviously not all of the time, but MOST of the time).  Every time you complain about something you don't have, you are not appreciating something you do have.

There are people who are happy, living in much worse conditions than you are, and there are people who are sad living in much better conditions than you are.  Happiness is not given to you on a silver platter.  It's earned.  It's self-improvement.  It's not other people's responsibility--your happiness is your responsibility alone and only you can improve upon it.  Your happiness is part of your work-ethic.  If you have poor work-ethic when it comes to making yourself a better person, poor work-ethic in changing your life for the better in ways you have control over, and poor work-ethic in noticing and enjoying things you could take joy from, you will have a very difficult time being happy.  Remember this--your happiness is NOT given to you.  It IS you.  For most of us, we have to stop blaming other people and other factors and get to stepping (and for some of us, that includes psychological treatment, and there is nothing wrong with needing to go in that direction either).

"Just keep going."--Elizabeth Taylor

If you are truly unhappy with your current situation--sometimes bad luck can be good luck because it pushes us to change something for the better.  Keep looking for that job.  Keep looking around at different locations until you find one that makes you smile, and pursue actually living in it.  Keep saving money to get that car.  Just don't stop.  Sometimes, the act of making a change is enough to make us happy, because we know we will not be stuck in the spot we are in forever.  Believe that you have the power to make a change, no matter how small, and keep going for it.

But then stop.  And admire the fact that you have the option to even MAKE those changes.  And appreciate what you do have.  Work on appreciating the beauty around you.  Work on being a more positive person FOR the people around you, and either lower your expectations of people, or remove them from your life.  You need to be in a place where you can truly appreciate--NOT keep trying to change and adjust for a better result, or you will never be happy.  Happiness is an acceptance of what something is--it's not achieved by manipulation, rather by finding and accepting.  Happiness is a lot more concrete than other things because it's within you.  You can't have what is not already there.  You don't mold something to make you happy, you take it for what it is or you leave it.  Happiness and appreciation go hand in hand--when you have to change something to appreciate it, you aren't truly happy with it.  That has to be deeply taken into account.  If it's something little that you needed to change, then it shouldn't have been affecting your happiness in the first place.  Make sense?  If the change you need in something or someone, to make you happy, is something big, then you should probably move forward and acknowledge the goodness in something else if you are unable to accept and notice the goodness in it, for what it is.  Because when the change you need to be happy, is something big, it's highly unlikely it's going to change.  This goes with everything--potential housing, relationships, lifestyles, jobs.  You are the one that's broken if you keep trying to fix something in order to make you happy--rather than move on to something else.

Summary:  Happiness is acceptance.  Happiness comes from you alone.  It is not achieved through manipulation of people and objects around you.

Have a good day! :)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Having a Handle On Our Emotions For a Proactive Life

As I grow older through the years, I realize more and more that men and women are very alike.  We have different anatomies and hormone balances, of course, and the way others have treated us can often be gender-based, for better or worse, but other than that and the way we present ourselves to the world, we aren't very different.  I've met just as many men who are good listeners as women.  I've met just as many men who are emotionally present, as women, in fact I believe most of the men I have met are slightly more sensitive than women, but some do not address it upfront the way in our culture, women often are more comfortable doing.  That extra sensitivity men experience, could be because there is a lot more pressure, culturally, to be strong, and any sign of weakness feels like a blow emotionally.  Sometimes sensitivity is expressed through anger or silence.  For instance someone could be in a perfectly good mood, and then something is said and suddenly they are sullen or quiet.  That's, through whatever means, sensitivity.  We do not have reactions like that unless something affected us.  It isn't the way we express our reactions to situations, such as through crying, that makes us sensitive.  It is what affects us inside, emotionally, that makes us sensitive.  That said, this is not to be confused with the ticks that people with psychiatric disabilities face.  That's not necessarily sensitivity--and I'm not knowledgeable enough on that subject to even touch it.

When watching others react to certain situations, many of us do not realize that it is that person's emotional response, internally, that makes them sensitive, and not how they communicated a verbal/physical response to a stimulus.  You may have yelled at someone after they called you a name, for example, and regardless of whether or not it was deserved, what you felt inside in that moment is your sensitivity.  You are not less sensitive, simply because you yelled--your sensitivity level is ultimately what you feel at the end of the day.  Yet our communication is very real to other people--that's why children so often bully each other--those who do the bullying are seen as "strong."  And yet, often the bully is the one who is feeling the most sad inside.  They create fear in others to shield themselves from showing their weaknesses.  To a bully, being seen as weak is often the worst thing imaginable.  Why do they care so much about that?  What does it matter how people see them?  And the answer to that is, it's because they are hurting the most.  They have a lot more at stake if they show how they are truly feeling.  And often, they feel they have a lot to hide, even if they don't--and that's because of the inner-turmoil they are experiencing.  Just in the same way we can feel someone is treating us badly, when actually you are just in a bad mood and/or maybe they just are not good at communicating.  Often, I would say at least 50% of the time as healthy adults, it's our very own emotional chemistry that is getting the best of us, and not other people at all.

The way we communicate what bothers us, may be different because that is what has been taught to each gender or individual, or how we have coped in our own lives individually, but we all have things that bother us and affect us (and that is OKAY!).  Humans are sponges to everything that happens to them.  That said, it's good to get a grasp on your emotions, if possible!!  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could act on the situations we disagree with positively and proactively, without having negative emotional reactions to them.  Emotions just seem to get in the way of getting things done sometimes.  Our tears ruin a moment where we could have stood up for ourselves.  Our anger ruins a moment where we could have been a peacemaker.  And yet most of us have strong emotions to certain situations, because we were born with them.  We are affected by our environments, the way we are treated and the people around us.  We are affected by our own thoughts, and the sensitivities we have developed over time, often through our own doing.  And it isn't helpful!  So it's good to find solutions within yourself, to come to peace with your sensitivities, so you can handle situations proactively.  For some, like myself, that's through introspective, writing, for others, it may be more useful to find a therapist.  We don't all think alike and sometimes our strengths do not always lie in recognizing ours and others' emotions.

Since I only know my own internal dialogue, I'll be elaborating on how I alone handle my emotions.  While not perfect, I'm very much able to recognize whether my reactions to things are appropriate or the result of being emotional thanks to my mental chemistry.  Usually, for me, it starts like this--I wake up first thing in the morning and feel like I have a rock in my stomach.  That's usually my cue for, okay, it's going to be what I call a, 'high-chemistry day.'  I start worrying, and then I will realize that these problems are not the real issue, and they are not even real problems.  For instance, I will pay my bills today, so stop worrying about it.  They are there and will continue to be there until I pay them.  That in itself is a solution that can calm me.  And yet sometimes, the feeling of anxiety persists long after I realize that I'm emotional, and the real issue is not the 'things I'm concerned about' but whatever is going on internally in my brain.  The first step is just REALIZING it is even you!!  As a kid, I remember thinking it was the stimulus.  That person was mean because they MADE me feel this way.  When in actuality it was my own emotions making me worry--that was what made me feel that way, and not, for instance, the fact they were really interested in their tv show at the time when I wanted to talk to them.  It's a useful tool to keep in your arsenal--because what could have caused resentment between you and someone else was handled and realized as an individual, internal thing (please don't do this if you actually have a problem with someone though!  That is called conflict-avoidance, and it's the opposite of healthy).

So for you, think about WHY you are sad, worried, upset, angry, stressed out, whatever expression it may be.  Is there a truly good reason for it and is that reason truly valuable to you in the scheme of your life?  Is it something that needs a real solution, or is it your own chemistry that is getting the best of you?  If you can separate those two things, that is key in overcoming everything.

If the problem that is affecting you emotionally does need a solution, come up with one that solves it, in a peaceful, but direct manner.  Be mentally prepared--if you go in a situation with a thorough plan that addresses different potential issues you could encounter, you are FAR less likely to over-react when those issues arise. You will handle them.  And that will be that.  And as you continue to handle things, it will all get easier and easier.

However if you still feel a ton of negative emotions, even after coming up with a solution or after realizing that you are brewing over stuff that does not matter, that's the time to consider other options!  That could be biological--maybe you aren't getting enough sleep--that can cause anxiety in the most healthy of people.  You also need to be eating and drinking regularly throughout the day.  Many people skip meals for hours on end, and find themselves to be quite moody until dinner-time--it was the blood-sugar drop, and all of us experience this, though for whatever reason I've met people who can tolerate it better (you should still eat regularly to prevent this).  A form of physical activity you enjoy is also beneficial for emotional health, because it raises endorphins (makes you happier naturally) and keeps the body functioning normally.  Just some light physical activity that you like can help.  Just pick something!  What doesn't suck??  What sounds fun?  Don't pick something torturous that you're going to hate doing.  Do you like gardening, swimming, or dancing to your favorite music for 15 minutes?  Walking around the city with a friend or two for a half hour?  Walking dogs at an animal shelter?  Something you LIKE is going to help you way more emotionally than forcing yourself to do something you hate, and you can tailor it to your schedule and your own personal needs.  Don't make it torturous.  We tend to think things that help us should be difficult, that's a cultural thing.  There are many instances where a good thing is not a sacrifice.  We can make things that benefit us enjoyable and tailor them to our schedules if we try to.  If you don't try to be accommodating for yourself though and come up with solutions that help you, of course you're going to be miserable.  Apply for another job if you hate the one you are at.  Believe you CAN be treated better by other people, as long as you treat them with respect too.  Believe you can make things better and come up with every opportunity you can to do so.

All else fails and you're still struggling, if your insurance covers it, find a therapist you like (you'll most likely see several you don't like before you succeed in finding a good one, but press on!), if needed, or try to find a free service.  Maybe use and find a group you can discuss topics with.  Use what tools you have available to you to create solutions in your life.  Things do not happen for us in life unless we initiate the process and keep pushing to find them.  Most people do not fall asleep and wake up the next morning suddenly stress-free.  Nothing changes for you.  Getting the life you need to have lower-stress levels takes the foresight to address the problems, your own initiative and your own active pursuit.  It's all there waiting for you, but the fruit does not land in your hand.  You have to find it and pick it, sometimes you even have to plant it and raise it.  Nothing is done for you.

Take care! :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Anger Management and Respect Of Others

While I value peace and serenity deeply, a lot of that is rooted in the fact that I have a temper.  In the workplace, I receive a lot of compliments for how grounded I am and how peaceful I am, and I take great pleasure in this.  Although part of it is, I am shy, for the most part, it means my hard work has paid off.  I have heard many people brag about their bad temper in public, and while I've done it in the past privately, I get both envious and a little annoyed when they do it out in the open.  I feel if you truly have a bad temper, you would not be bragging about it.  You would be working on it, and you would be very embarrassed by it.  I do think some things require energy, such as political movements, not through violence, but through persistence and numbers.  On a personal level though, I know enough about life and how it works to know that most things are not worth getting very worked up about.  They are worth handling, openly and seriously, but always in a peaceful manner.  Before anything else, take a step back and look at what you are disagreeing about.  Is it worth the amount of chemistry you are feeling inside?  Are there other reasons beyond this argument, that are causing you to feel this way, that also need to be addressed, or is it simply an over-reaction on your part?  These are key things to know.  I have learned that sometimes, for no reason at all, I get angrier than I ever need to on things that deep down, I know, do not require near that level of energy to problem-solve.  Although the issue is still relevant, and still needs to be addressed, I personally need to calm down.  It is that simple.  And that helps put things into perspective when I am in an argument and helps me to focus on what really matters: solving it rationally.  We all, throughout our lives, can use that as a tool, called introspective, when our feelings are getting the best of us!

Rationality and Accountability

That said, not everyone and everything deserves a sweet, sugary, apologetic confrontation either.  Sometimes people/groups/corporations need to be addressed, and they need to be handled seriously, because otherwise they'll have no idea of any wrong-doing they did.  If you sugar-coat your confrontation, a lot of times what you are trying to communicate will go in one ear and out the other, because your repentance outweighed your communication of the implications of what they did are.  Everyone makes mistakes that should be addressed in a serious manner in their lives.  That is life.  They are not to be excused simply for that reason though.  Accountability exists so mistakes will not be repeated.  When someone truly feels accountable for a mistake they made, they are far less likely to do it again.  That means less hurt is caused.  We hold people accountable to make the world a friendlier place, and that always needs to be kept in mind when you are confronting someone.  Therefore, if we try to problem-solve by shedding anger on others, we are hypocrites, because we are causing pain while trying to eliminate it.  Remember this:  You cannot hold someone accountable at all if you cannot be accountable for your own chemistry.  You cannot truly hold someone accountable if you are bouncing off the walls, seething with anger, because that is your own problem.  You are only causing more hurt, with that type of behavior.  You must address issues seriously, making eye-contact, acknowledging them and why they caused hurt, but without expressing anger in an irrational manner.  You can say, 'This made me angry,' but you don't also get to spontaneously combust, unless you want to make the issue worse!

Rationality is the only way to solve a problem.  If you find you are feeling irrational, you need to walk away and try again at another time, no matter how inappropriate it feels.  If the person you are addressing says you are weak for walking away--they are being a bully.  This is why people who brag about their temper truly throw me off--I think someone with a really bad temper would be more worried about the other party at that point, than themselves.  Keep walking away--in fact if you are facing true anger management issues, you can privately know that walking away is the safer option, not for you, but for the person who said that.  You have nothing to prove to someone with values like that.  Life is never about being better than.  It is about making the world a friendlier place.  Be okay with being wrong, be okay with being worse than.  Be okay with them believing that, true or not.  We cannot ever be right about everything.  Nothing ever got better by believing it was always right.  Nobody ever improved by thinking every mistake they made was correct, and we all make them, all the time, more than we ever realize.  In order to give accountability, you also have to be clear-minded enough to hold it for yourself.  Value what is actually important, which is doing good, as best you can, and owning the fact that you make a lot of mistakes all the time.

Others Feelings Are JUST As Important As Your Own

Something I realized I have messed up on is, half the time, I have subconsciously only been remembering a part of the equation.  I have been holding mantras like this, 'Stay calm, handle this calmly, life is short, be peaceful,' for years now.  It is something I really value because life cannot be enjoyed and appreciated unless we are calm.  However the other part of this that you need to really remember and value is that, even when someone disagrees with you, even if their values are completely convoluted, even if they are so wrong, it almost burns you inside (lol), they STILL have feelings.  And those feelings are to always be valued before anything else, because if you cannot remember that the people behind the wrong-doing/saying have feelings--you've got no business addressing them.  The point of any confrontation is to do more good than harm.  For most things in life, you are not in a war battalion.  You are not curing cancer.  99.9999% of the time, you are disagreeing on every day things, and you don't fight poison with poison.  Most people you meet are innately good, no matter how they came to the conclusions they did, right or wrong.  You not only need to stay calm, but above all, you need to have respect for others feelings and well-being.  That comes first.

Value Trust

Another thing to remember is that if you do not trust people, you cannot truly like them.  As a woman, I think we can have a difficult time of this when it comes to trusting men.  We have so much adversity against us, as the physically weaker sex, and often, for whatever reason, when this fact is taken advantage of, we are not believed.  Bad people take advantage of weaknesses--that is what they do.  Even as someone who has been lucky enough to have never faced anything past superficial harassment (like a butt grab--have not met one woman who has not experienced that), I still catch myself walking around in public and worrying about my safety, being extra loud and aggressive with how I walk and unapologetic if I accidentally do something mean like cut a man in line.  It's not that I hate men, but I'm worrying about my safety.  Yet, if we take that further and we do not trust others, we can never really like them or appreciate them.  If we do not trust the people or environments around us, we can never really enjoy them.  Because the worry, the what-if, is painful in itself.  It's there, it's pressing at us, it's reminding us we have to be on guard, and if we are working to be on-guard we can never truly relax.  We need to remind ourselves, most people are good.  For every bad person you meet, there are three more that would love to kick that person's ass if they physically hurt you.  We have to trust and believe good in others exists in order to keep maintaining good.  If we do not believe that good can exist in others, we will not even attempt to do anything to please them.  We will not think of their feelings.  We will be too worried about protecting ourselves from their perceived evil.  And that is sad.  So it is very important to trust and believe that others are innately good, and by having respect for yourself as well as them, we can all guide each other into making the best decisions for ourselves, our environments, and therefore the world.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Inner-Strength, Happiness, and The Varieties of Negative Outlook

There is a very common mindset, that if one brings up a topic that is unpleasant, they are being negative, or if they do it too frequently, they are a negative person.  And, in some respects, this can be true.  Some people continue to drag others down, bringing up negative topic after negative topic, and never coming up with real solutions.  These people have a sense of hopelessness that can be contagious and debilitating for the people around them.  They carry an anger or a real sense of unjust with them.  They can frustrate other people and cause some to shut them out, because their attitude towards life is so unpleasant to be around.  They seem to lack appreciation for the good things, only focusing on the bad.  This lack of appreciation can often cause this type of person to stop trying to work for things that would earn them rewards, because they feel that they are hopeless, that the reward will never come.  We have ALL felt like this person from time to time.  And yet, a lot of us still hold disdain for people who are currently in this mindset.  However, nothing is black and white.

There is also another breed of person.  One that believes by talking and creating awareness, they actually can do something.  Whether that is changing one person's vote on a representative, in support of a cause they've decided to value.  Or maybe one who speaks to a manager at work to help them shift their mindset on some unpleasant things that have been happening in the workplace.  And you have a choice to partake in these conversations, and have beneficial discussions, or you can leave.  But the fact of the matter is, life is NOT perfect.  Life is NOT great all of the time.  We have to have some sort of awareness of bad situations, bad people, bad events, bad choices, because nothing ever got fixed until someone KNEW about it.  We do not put a bandaid over a broken bone.  It's still there until we go to the person (in this case, a doctor) who has the right tools to help us repair it.  We do not hide and pretend that the negative things are not there.  Until you address a serious problem, it's only going to get worse.  As responsible people, it's our duty to be aware of things that are unpleasant.

This is all about your OUTLOOK.  By ignoring the negative, you are BEING just as negative as the person in the first paragraph.  You either feel helpless to put a stop to bad situations, and therefore you ignore them.  Or, you are simply not strong enough to stay happy, while having the knowledge of the things in the second paragraph.  That is mental weakness.  Staying that way, is a form of giving up.  It is a form of negativity in it's own right.  By ignoring the negative because you can't handle it, you are being negative about yourself.  You are endorsing the belief that you are not strong enough to stay happy while knowing about negative events.  You have given up on yourself.  And by only focusing on the positive things in life, you have given up on other people, because you have given up any real attempt to help them.

We must teach ourselves to know about negative things and act on fixing them, while also having a positive outlook.  That is the difference between being a truly strong, motivated person, and someone who drags others down.  There are MANY varieties of both.  Who do you choose to be?