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Accepting Partner’s Friends: 3 Steps For Dealing With Your Wife’s Annoying Friend

You love your wife — flaws and all. But sometimes, the flaws are far easier to deal with than that one, insanely annoying friend that she insists on keeping in her life. And yours. Sounds familiar?

Before you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone, there are many things that you should discuss. Finances, family planning, and future goals are all no-brainers. But what about accepting your partner’s friends?

You can’t tell your partner who they can and can’t be friends with, but the people they associate with do impact your life. This makes figuring out how to best deal with personality conflicts between you and the people your partner is close to a crucial, and often overlooked, step for a harmonious relationship.

So what should you do if you really, really can’t stand your wife’s friend(s)? Check out these three steps for some guidance on accepting your partner’s friends.

Step One – Weird, Annoying, Or Toxic?

accepting partners friends analyze

Before you actually do anything, you need to figure out what it is that really bothers you so much about the offensive friend. Is it just a personality clash or do you really feel that she’s a bad influence?

Figuring this out means that you will need to make sure you take some notes. It may seem like a strange thing to do, but actual written notes are more accurate and reliable than mental notes.

And if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel something needs to be done, having specific examples to discuss is helpful and important. It will also allow you to reflect on what it is that you’re seeing and feeling, whether there are valid concerns, and what you think needs to happen.

You may also need to consider whether your issues have more to do with you than with her. Are you possibly jealous of the time that your wife spends with this friend, or the amount of fun they have together? This doesn’t mean there’s not a problem and it doesn’t need to be discussed, but understanding this will make it a very different kind of conversation.

See Also: How To Distance Yourself From Toxic People Without Them Noticing

Step Two – What Do You Want To Do?

Annoying people exist everywhere.

If your wife’s friend is just a really annoying person, she may just be someone you need to put up with. A whiny voice or obsession with cat videos can be irritating. However, if she’s your wife’s BFF, then you may want to find reasons to be somewhere else when she’s around.

But if your wife is friends with someone who’s toxic or somehow detrimental to your wife or your relationship, that’s a different story.

Once you have taken the time to observe and reflect, it’s time to decide what you want to do and why. If this friend you can’t stand is taking advantage of your wife, a narcissist or enticing her into making poor decisions or behaving in unhealthy or irresponsible ways, then you will need to plan for a conversation.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, however, they can sometimes be very unbalanced. Friends who bring drama or need to be rescued all the time can drain a person and that person’s other relationships. If this is the case, your wife may feel responsible to help her or feel guilty if she doesn’t.

It’s possible that she needs help from you to see things from a larger perspective. To understand that what she’s doing is enabling bad behavior and not actually being a good, helpful friend.

If, however, this person that appeals to your wife’s wild side (or irresponsible side), and things like girls’ nights are becoming more and more dangerous – to her or your relationship – she may not be aware of how her behavior is affecting you, your family, and potentially, even her.

In this case, your wife will need to examine her own behavior and the reasons she continues to participate. Word to the wise — people don’t love to admit they need to change or that they’re doing anything wrong.

Step Three – Talking To Your Wife

accepting partners friends talking with your wife

Once you are certain that a conversation is the appropriate next step, you’ll need to make sure you approach things the right way. Saying, “I hate Jane and you need to stop hanging out with her,” or “It’s her or me babe — you choose” are examples of what NOT to do.

You’ll need to be mindful of the importance of friendships and accepting partner’s friends. And that trying to influence her friend choices may seem controlling and not be well-received. Choosing the right time, approaching it with understanding and kindness, and having some real, impartial examples of your concerns are all crucial.

Bear in mind that there may be no resolution to this situation right away. These relationships can be complicated for many reasons. But if you really feel there’s a reason to be concerned and your wife’s annoying friend is potentially worse than simply annoying, continue to have gentle conversations when appropriate. Her respect for you and your relationship will likely mean she’s taking things to heart more than you realize.

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The Link Between Social Media and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can have many forms and they are incredibly common these days. The problem does not target a specific gender or age. It can affect anyone regardless of who they are.

Nonetheless, teenage girls are the demographic category most likely to develop an eating disorder. Researchers claim that an estimated number of 30 million people go through Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, or other deviant eating behaviors in their lifetime.

However, the number has been increasing recently. Some associate this fact with the popularization of social media, drawing close connections between the two. But how exactly are social media and eating disorders connected?

Unrealistic expectations in regards to the body image

social media causes eating disorders

Social media is often the place for people to show themselves in the good light instead of their real selves. Most of the content posted online, both textual and visual, are altered in some way to appear more flawless and close to being ideal.

Long before social media became a thing, images of celebrities and models shown on magazines and televisions were retouched to look perfect. It has been overcome in recent years by people finally realizing that this is a requirement of commercial photography and videography.

However, when it comes to social media, it becomes a problem.

In the past, only a handful of people had the skills to professionally photoshop pictures. Nowadays, editing software has become accessible to everyone. It became extremely easy to alter pictures on mobile devices.

With the use of filters and in-app tools, anyone can make themselves look the way they want. They can fool people that they have clearer skin, higher cheekbones, and tinier waist. And with today’s technology, it is hard to tell the real and the fake images apart.

It starts small.

People start changing tiny details that do not have much effect on the final image. However, step-by-step editing becomes addictive. Eventually, social media users end up altering their appearance to such a point that their photos no longer look like them. Moreover, their photos become way too unrealistic.

This is harmful to both the person who uses the editing apps and those who see the final version of the photo on their feed.

The first ones develop severe body image issues. They feel pressured to match the image they have created which is essentially impossible. This pushes these people to restrict themselves food-wise and adopt unhealthy eating behavior. If left unattended, this could lead to extreme cases of eating disorders.

The latter ones are affected in a similar way. By seeing such content online, they start questioning their personal appearance and become feeling self-conscious. They want to look as flawless as the person they saw on the internet. Subsequently, they start paying much closer attention to their diet and physical activity. This, in essence, is not a bad thing. However, considering the fact that the results they are interested in are impossible to achieve, they might get frustrated. They may end up developing obsessive behaviors since they are too focused on this issue.

See Also: How Social Media Seriously Harms Your Mental Health

Promotion of questionable products

These days, a lot of people use social media as a platform for selling products. While some of them work, others are just clearly questionable.

It does not necessarily have a direct connection to eating disorders, but can definitely be detrimental for overall mental stability. It can cause the development of insecurities related to an individual’s appearance.

Paid weight loss programs and products have always been in high demand. Large corporations see people’s insecurities as a market opportunity.

In the past, such products were mostly advertised on television and in the press. Today, however, with the world rapidly transcending into the virtual plane, marketers have accordingly adjusted their strategy to fit the modern realities. Instead of publishing ads in the newspapers, they turn to famous and popular bloggers or the so-called social media influencers.

Depending on the content the aforementioned influencers share, the average age of their target audience may vary. Nonetheless, the majority of active followers are often teenagers and children on the verge of entering their puberty stage. This age group is the most vulnerable to the effects of what they see online. They try hard to emulate the behavior of the people they look up to.

A number of psychologists claim that at such tender age, teens are more inclined to look up to someone well-liked. They perceive them to have more authority.

Usually, teenagers find a role model outside of their family and circle of friends, most frequently among celebrities. By co-operating with these celebrities (who often are large social media influencers), companies gain access to a big number of easily affected customers.

This is dangerous as it is, but is even more dangerous if slimming and weight loss products are the subject of aggressive marketing.

Usually, the social media influencers who are chosen to promote the products are already fit and toned. They have achieved this look through working out and/or plastic surgeries as opposed to using the weight loss product they advertise.

Teenagers, the category that is most prone to developing eating disorders, start believing that weight loss products are a necessity to achieve the desired look. They purchase them, entering the vicious circle of rapidly developing self-consciousness.

Those products, however, rarely work as advertised. They don’t even bring the anticipated effect. This brings teenagers (or other mentally vulnerable people) to focus on achieving the results in other ways, often much harsher and unhealthy.

They become hung up on the idea of losing weight at all costs. This eventually leads to the adaptation of inadequate and dangerous eating habits.

This problem is unfortunately intrinsic to almost all major social media channels. It happens even though those platforms recognize the aforementioned actions as harmful and are actively trying to fight against it.

See Also: The Millennials’ Mania Over Social Media

Glorification and eating disorders online

social media and eating disorder

On a number of occasions, people who already have an eating disorder are trying to use the powers of social media to find like-minded individuals. For them, it’s a form of a coping mechanism.

This leads to the creation of thematic groups dedicated to eating disorders that frequently surpass the stage of being ‘therapeutic’ and end up being propagandist.

People worship destructive eating behaviors which has a huge effect on those who may be prone to developing an eating disorder. Moreover, by joining the aforementioned groups, people often see such deviant behavior as normal. They see other people practice it and they stop seeing it as something bad.

Cyberbullying

Social media grants a certain degree of anonymity to its users. Unfortunately, a lot of people abuse it and utilize it to be offensive to others.

Cyberbullying is a huge issue in the modern world. While it does not necessarily have a direct impact on the development of eating disorders, it can definitely play a role in it as a side factor.

The post The Link Between Social Media and Eating Disorders appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt

We all have moments of self-doubt.

Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or moving to a foreign country, it’s impossible to escape the little voice in your head that questions your decisions. Not all self-doubt is bad though. Self-doubt can help identify areas that we need to improve. The problem arises when you live in constant state of self-loathing.

In this article, we offer 5 strategies for overcoming self-doubt.

Observe your self-doubt through meditation

beat self doubt

Understanding self-doubt requires an ability to observe our own internal monologue and behaviors. The objective of self-analysis is to look inwards in a constructive way, without being too hard on ourselves.

Meditation is a helpful practice for learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Set aside just 5 minutes everyday to watch the ebb and flow of your thoughts. The trick is to learn how to detach from your thoughts instead of constantly identifying with them.
The more you practice meditation, the easier this process of detachment will become.

Check out the Headspace app if you are looking for an easy way to get started with meditation.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Take action and learn by doing

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh once said:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Sometimes our thoughts of self-doubt can cripple us from taking action. When in doubt we suggest to take action! You might stumble, but that’s better than doing nothing.

Each mistake is a learning opportunity and each mini-milestone builds confidence. So next time you catch yourself mired in self- doubt, ask yourself “What actions am I avoiding to take right now?” and then take them.

Identify and overcome limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are those entrenched modes of thinking that prevent us from getting what we want. Because they run deep into our psyches, and are often formed in early childhood, limiting beliefs can be hard to identify.

A good example of a limiting belief is “People like me never end up rich.” Journaling is a great way to start to identify your limiting beliefs. Try writing for 10 minutes in a journal every day and start to observe the themes that emerge. Once you begin to identify your most common self-limiting beliefs, write them into a list.

Now, write a new list of positive statements to replace the negative ones. For example, “I believe in my abilities, and can make good money doing what I do.”

Be kind to yourself

Kindness and compassion are great antidotes to insecurity and self-doubt. Talk to yourself in the same way that you would talk to a close friend.

Be honest, compassionate, and encouraging.

Avoid self-judgment and focus on empathy instead. Try writing yourself a positive and encouraging message on a post-it note. Stick it somewhere you will see it every day and refresh the message every week with positive self-affirmations to keep you inspired.

Nourish your body and mind

beating self doubt thru food

Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between mental health and a well-balanced diet.

Make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, seafood, nuts and plant-based fats. If you are experiencing a low and stressful moment, you could also consider adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha or a supplement like L-Tyrosine.
Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha helps ease anxiety and L-tyrosine has been shown to improve concentration and attention during stressful periods.

See Also: Eating Mindfully: What It Is and What It Can Do To Your Body

The bottom line

Self-doubt should be seen as a normal and necessary part of self-improvement. However, it needs to be thoughtfully managed. As you begin to develop the right tools and understanding on how to beat self-doubt, you’ll have more confidence to take on life’s obstacles with a feeling of excitement rather than anxiety.

The post 5 Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Identify A Narcissist At Work: Nailing Down The Key Factors

Crossing paths with a narcissist is not rare. In the USA alone, 6% of the general population has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That is not a small number. Now apply the same number to the estimated population of the world and you have 450,000,000 people having the disorder.

So, tell me, how common would it be to encounter a narcissistic coworker? Quite common, no?

Dealing with a narcissistic individual at work can be mentally taxing. It will begin to take a toll on you alone since the mental condition of the narcissist will never waver.

However, knowing who the narcissist is at your workplace involves a lot more than your gut feeling and the uneasiness you feel when being around them. Since identifying a narcissistic coworker can be a real ordeal, here are some signs you can look out for.

They are control freaks

Pathological narcissists crave control. They would never let go of a situation where their ‘leadership’ tendencies are compromised. Such individuals are prone to controlling and leading operations, especially when they know they will be in the spotlight.

And no, it is not always your manager. Hunting for a narcissist using this trait can be confusing. However, know that there is a difference between leading and dominating. Once you know how to differentiate between the two, you will know who is a narcissist and who isn’t.

They love to blame

the narcissistic coworker

They are never wrong. When narcissists are called out for their noxious attitude, they tend to shift the blame to the offending party.

To them, life works like the UNO reverse card. Whenever they are stuck facing a situation where they have to face criticism, they start playing the blame game. They would come up with the most ridiculous of excuses to prove they aren’t wrong.

If a co-worker gives them negative feedback or criticizes them, they believe they are entitled to lash out and blame them for feedback, not themselves. That’s because they can never be held accountable for their actions.

Toxicity surrounds them

Passing judgmental remarks, throwing tantrums, and ridiculing others in the workplace — for what? Only to hide their measly self-conscious selves. But they don’t showcase what lies at their core.

They indulge in criticism and personal attacks to hide their own insecurities. It only creates a toxic environment for the entire workplace.

If you see a narcissistic co-worker trying to put you down and shoving their ego in your face, you should not give in but stand strong against their toxic nature. The moment you give in to their emotional attacks and threats, you will forever stay a victim of their abuse.

See Also: 5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work

They exploit and take advantage of you

It is common for a child to toss away the toys he gets bored of. But for a grown-up working in a prestige organization to do the same? How would it feel?

Well, narcissists will only approach and befriend you if they seek some sort of benefit from you. Soon, they will set you aside or just walk over your good deeds. They only ask for help because they have an ulterior motive.

Once you are of no use to them, you will be treated like a nobody despite your help and care for them. Narcissists never feel guilty to behave as they do and there is no possibility for them to feel bad about it.

The world revolves around them

a narcissistic coworker

It’s all about them. The pleasure of narcissistic people lie in their need to enjoy talking only about themselves. That satiates their narcissistic tendencies. Your opinions and contribution at work won’t matter.

Bombarding others with their achievements and disregarding what others have to share is a common trait as well. If you think your coworker is not giving you enough space and suffocates you during meetings, then you are likely working with a narcissistic coworker.

When they feel someone is more vocal and interesting than they are, they will sever ties immediately. Only they are meant to be in the spotlight and nobody else matters.

Do these red flags ring a bell and seem a lot similar to your situation at work? Now that you are well aware of their narcissistic traits, you will know how to ignore them and pave a separate path. Always remember, never feed a narcissist’s ego.

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How To Contain An Oozing Toxic Situation In Your Life

Imagine a container of toxic waste that is oozing out at the top. It is almost boiling over and the lid is barely hanging on.

Wouldn’t you do anything to stop it? Even from a distance?

Once we recognize that a situation is out of control, we should step back, reexamine, and reassess the situation. As much as possible, we shouldn’t start lying to avoid conflict.

Call It Ground Hog Lie Day with A Sprinkle Of Deja Vu

Here is a simple example:

Have you ever told a lie to your friends and it got worse? Suddenly, you have to tell another lie to cover that one up.

I had a friend who told a lie. She made up a story to her boss and said she couldn’t go to work because she was sick. She spent the next few days telling them the same story. After awhile, they told her she might be too contagious and couldn’t come back without a doctor’s note.

The lie she told had spilled in so many directions. She had to cover one lie with another lie. It started to affect her income because she was out for more than a week and her future employment at the job hanged in the balance.

avoiding conflict

It got so bad that she had to fake a doctor’s note. Eventually, she decided to go to a doctor and see if she could get a note explaining her “illness”.

The point is this could have been prevented at the beginning. It could have been more contained. Instead, it got out of control.

Some situations get worse and worse if we let them go. It can be too late!

The same thing happened to me. I got a DUI, went through two trials, and was convicted. It took three years of court cases and appeals to end the case. And that equals three years of anxieties.

Then, during a court appearance, I didn’t go. Instead, I ran away.

A warrant was issued for me. I told my roommates and they told me I couldn’t stay there. I lost my fingerprint card for my job as well.

It became hard to find a job. I ran from place to place and I lost my car for an extremely long time.

This could have all been handled better. What could have been a six-month problem became a 3-year issue. It would have been simple for me if I just took the classes and paid what fees I could. Not trying to whine or make you feel sorry for me, I’m just illustrating how everybody goes through difficult moments.

How we handle adversity in our lives becomes our defining moments.

Toxic Begins To Spread Fast

The toxic situation had spilled into every area of my life and eventually, I had to stop it.

So, my suggestion to anyone else is minimize the damage before it spreads to every area of your life.

Ask yourself:

How can I stop this virus from spreading?

What is your containment plan? Do you just put on a detox suit and walk away? Where will it spill if you just ignore it?

Stop It Before You Become A Zombie, Too

lie to avoid conflict

Where did the spillage begin and what stage is it in? Is it just beginning to spread or has it been contaminating for awhile?

Get help from others. Tell someone when things start to get out of control.

Stop the lies if you did it and come clean. Do it before it affects everyone around you.

There was this horror movie several years ago called Cabin Fever. In the movie, everyone in the town drank and bathed in polluted water until their bodies disintegrated.

They did not contain the situation or realize how bad it was until their limbs literally came off.

Time For That Painful Road of Self Admission

Save yourself and those around you from melting away because of your mistakes and lies. That is a little dramatic but the point needs to be reiterated.

Instead of lying to avoid conflict, save yourself by dealing with the issue. It gives you a better chance of keeping the rest of yourself and those around you intact.

The post How To Contain An Oozing Toxic Situation In Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos

Despite avoiding the news and mainstream influence 90% of the time, I’m still aware that the world is in a state of chaos and that people are having a hard time finding peace in chaos. Especially in the United States’ political climate, we see ongoing negativity, reactivity, and ignorance.

We typically see chaos as a negative concept while order is preferred. With order there’s stability and predictability, thus we know we won’t be challenged. But of course, a challenge is important to an individual’s growth and most of us know that deep down.

The same goes for societies – they must be challenged to either grow or dismantle.

In nature, chaos is generally what happens before growth and change. While yes, chaos can cause an organism to die. However, it is stagnancy and repetition of old patterns that lead to death.

So, what does this mean for the individual who’s trying to stay sane in the midst of (what is often) other people’s chaos and pain?

Here are what I’ve found to be the two most useful actions to take:

Disconnect

disconnect

NOTE: This does not mean give up. Disconnecting isn’t the same as becoming apathetic and complacent.

Disconnecting is an act of self-preservation and restoration. It simply means you are choosing to disconnect from the things that you know to be false. It could be anything that goes against peace, authenticity, etc.

This will probably include a lot of media.

You will need to take long breaks from the news, social media, and maybe even social events in which your friends/family relentlessly complain, argue, etc. By disconnecting, you claim back your power and separate yourself from the endless barrage of negativity – a lot of which is inflated and false.

You get comfortable in your own energy, without the TV blaring or a friend listing all the horrible things that happened that day. This is an especially critical practice for empaths who have trouble holding their own energy around others. Disconnecting doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you care enough to make a change.

Act from the Center

staying strong

Once you’ve disconnected from the mainstream thought process, you can then have a genuine, positive impact. This is HUGE.

Why?

Because everyone else is so caught up in the struggle – the bickering, the wallowing, the insistence that “my way is the best way.”

In this state, chaos, inequality, and violence will continue to flourish indefinitely. The only thing that holds society together is individuals who step outside the thought stream and say, “here’s what I’m going to do to benefit people today.”

Period.

They act from their center because they’ve disconnected from the outside enough to hear their own voice. These people go on to start businesses, volunteer projects, fundraisers or even just bring their own families back to a place of stability. As a famous musician wrote, “they hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds.”

So, if you’re uncertain of what to do and wish you could have an impact during these times of chaos, try this and see what comes out of it. You might be surprised at how stepping back can actually save time and allow for greater productivity.

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How To Tell If You Or Someone You Love Is A Narcissist

We have all known that person, the one who monopolizes the conversations or seems to always have a flattering story to tell – always about themselves. Maybe, we listen politely for a bit and make a break for it as soon as we possibly can. Perhaps, we suffer silently while inwardly rolling our eyes.

But what if that person is you? Would you even know it?

Identifying narcissism in others is one thing. There are some glaring signs that we can all agree upon. However, identifying it in yourself can be more difficult.

Most narcissists have no idea that they fall into this category. They often view themselves as unique, special, outgoing or justifiably confident. What they don’t realize is that those views taken to the extreme can cause many problems in their relationships, work or even their family.

Why Narcissism Is Dangerous

narcissistic person

Although narcissism can be a dangerous trait, it exists in all of us to some degree. In its most mild and most common form, it can be looked at as a desire to feel special. We can all relate to that on some level. Wanting to feel like there is something that makes us unique, interesting or desirable is completely normal.

For some, however, this goes far beyond the general desire to stand out. For certain people, narcissism can become so extreme that they can no longer relate to anyone around them. They feel they are in a category of greatness no one can understand. They may also assume that they are so unique that rules don’t apply to them or that they are more interesting and have far more to offer than anyone else.

The narcissist may become so intent on proving their superiority that they lie, manipulate or hurt those around them. They do these things in order to maintain the feeling that they are better and more worthy of admiration than anyone else. While these behaviors are destructive in and of themselves, they also have an impact that goes far beyond the day-to-day.

Relationships for someone with extreme narcissistic behavior are often either short-lived or unhealthy. A healthy relationship balances the needs of both partners with each respecting and appreciating the other. When your focus is completely on yourself, this isn’t possible. People in relationships with narcissists will often be used as a prop for the narcissist’s ego. This should prompt a swift end to a relationship because it often results in emotional and mental abuse.

Recognizing Narcissism

narcissist

This isn’t really a fair question because almost everyone will answer no. None of us wants to feel like our behavior rises to that level. It is possible, however, that you are or someone you love is exhibiting narcissistic tendencies.

Consider the following questions when recognizing narcissism:

  • Do you often feel like your decision-making skills are better than others?
  • Do you override what others want because you are sure your desires/interests/plans are better?
  • Are your achievements over-embellished?
  • Do you often think, “they will thank me for this later” when you are doing things?
  • Do you feel like you have an undiscovered talent and you are just biding your time until people see it?
  • Are you a good listener or are you just waiting for someone to stop talking so that you can talk?
  • Do you feel like you have a way to get around things you don’t like and that the rules don’t really apply to you?
  • Do you expect to receive special treatment above others in the same situation?
  • Are you looking forward to talking about your achievements?
  • Do you always have an “I can do you one better” kind of story when others have talked about something?
  • Do you reject criticism and feedback as being stupid or a product of other people’s jealousy of you?

If the answer to more than a couple of these questions is yes, you or the person you answered for could likely be classified as a narcissist.

Narcissism can be a disabling trait. It destroys friendships, romantic relationships, careers, and causes a great deal of personal pain and conflict. When a person finally comes to terms with the truth, it can be a difficult road to recovery.

If you recognize these behaviors in yourself or someone else, it is time to initiate change. For a narcissist, change is a big step in the right direction.

That change is possible but it won’t happen overnight. So, if you or someone you love is trying to make positive alterations, be patient. With time, effort, and a good support system it can be done.

The post How To Tell If You Or Someone You Love Is A Narcissist appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

They say you become just like the company you keep. Therefore, picking and choosing friends is one of life’s most underrated skills.

Friends make or break you. The right group of friends will help you get through life and succeed while the wrong ones will hold you down and potentially destroy you.

Moving through life, you’ll encounter countless people, many of whom you will call your “friend” at one point in life. Unfortunately, not every friend stays. In fact, the average length of a friendship is said to only be around seven years.

Most often, friends come and go but there are few who stick around for better or worse.

Not everyone who sticks is good for the relationship. Sometimes you must make the difficult choice of removing toxic people for your personal well-being.

Recognize these five signs to help you make this choice.

You Feel Drained Each Time You Hang Out

toxic friends

When you’ve been friends for a while, you’ve likely had your fair share of good and bad moments. Friends are there for you during bad times and vice versa. But this doesn’t excuse friends who always seem to suck the energy out of you every time.

Friends like these are toxic. They are usually negative, judgmental, and seem to be using you as a personal therapist to deal with their issues. This is extremely draining.

Cut these types of “friends” off before their negativity rubs off on you. Have some respect for yourself. You are not a personal punching bag.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

You Can’t Compromise on Personal Values

It’s necessary to have friends from all walks of life because they offer you different views and help you grow. However, there are friends who you will never see eye-to-eye with.

Initially, it may not be a problem dealing with these friends but as you move further in life, your personal differences may just be too big to ignore.

Compromising on things like what to eat or what to watch is one thing. But when you are dealing with differences in life choices, you can’t afford to be with someone who contradicts you too often.

You’re the Only One Doing the Work

It takes two to tango. Otherwise, you’re just dancing with yourself. The same theory applies to friendship.

When you start realizing that you’re the only one making any effort to hang out or talk, that’s a red flag that your friend doesn’t value your friendship as much as you do.

Life happens and sometimes we become busy and burdened by responsibilities. True friends will try to spend time with you. If they can’t do that, then it’s best to move on.

You Can’t Be Yourself Around Them

It can take a while for people to become comfortable. When you met your friends for the first time, you probably felt wary at first but once you gained each other’s trust, it was smooth sailing.

But if there are still people you don’t feel comfortable with even after knowing for a while, you should move on.

You can’t develop good chemistry with everyone. And it’s not a true friendship if you can’t be yourself around them.

One of You Develops Unrequited Romantic Feelings

unrequited romantic feelings

This is the toughest friendship to end because neither of you did anything wrong unless you count “catching feelings” wrong. When you or your friend becomes hopelessly smitten but the other doesn’t reciprocate, it becomes an awkward situation.

This is painful because you are ending what was once a great friendship.

Holding on will only be more tragic. Save yourselves from future drama and quit while you’re ahead. Maybe, when feelings aren’t as hot anymore, you can rekindle your friendship.

Identifying which friends to keep is a tough process but keep in mind these key points. Chances are, you are already subconsciously doing it. Being more aware of your feelings towards your friends and relationships can help you refine the company you keep.

The post 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Depression Is A Myth: 4 Simple Reasons Why You Think So

It’s easy to understand why depression is a myth for most people. Unlike cancer which has physical symptoms that you can easily relate to, the symptoms of depression aren’t easy to recognize.

What exactly is depression?

depression

Depression, also called depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder that affects your basic activities. It affects how you sleep, think, handle situations and the way you relate to others. Depression can also make you suddenly lose interest in things that would normally bring you pleasure.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Why You Think Depression Is A Myth

Quite a lot of people think depression is a myth and you just might be one of them. Below are some possible reasons why.

You have never been a victim

This, I believe, is the number one reason why you think depression is a myth. Experience is the best teacher and this is particularly true in this case.

There are over 300 million people worldwide suffering from depression. They all have their respective stories to tell.

These people believe depression is real simply because they have lived through it or are still experiencing it. They understand what it means to not be in control of your mood, to suddenly hate the things you used to love and to have sudden suicidal thoughts.

You have no personal relationship with someone experiencing depression

A mother who had to watch her child go through depression will never think of depression as a myth. You, on the other hand, would believe depression is a myth because you have never watched someone you know go through the agony of depression.

It’s usually easy to disprove a thing or not believe in it when it has no direct effect on you.

You confuse sadness with depression

sadness not depression

As humans, it is perfectly fine to feel sad at various times- your favorite team lost a perfectly fine match, your favorite designer ruined a dress you love, your relationship isn’t going all too well.

In each of those situations, it’s perfectly fine to feel sad for a few days. Depression, however, is totally different.

Unlike sadness, depression does not stay for a few days. It stays for weeks or months and even years. And the crazy thing about it is that you can feel depressed without a single reason.

You have zero idea what depression means

It is quite easy to consider depression as a myth when you have no idea what it means.

A kid believes Santa is real simply because the kid doesn’t fully understand the things that are going on. The same principle goes with depression but with a little adjustment.

Instead of believing like a kid, you don’t believe depression exists because you do not understand what it is.

See Also: How to Deal With Depression: 22 Things You Need to Try Today

Don’t be ignorant of the truth. Just because you say something isn’t true, that doesn’t make it any less true. You might consider depression a myth, but it’s not.

If you still can’t comprehend, talk to people who have gone through it. Try to get a feel of what it truly means or do a little research and get your self up to date.

The post Depression Is A Myth: 4 Simple Reasons Why You Think So appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy

There are some things in life that have us convinced that life without them would be terrible or uncomfortably weird.

In reality, however, life generally gets better without those things. Nothing in life should create a dependency.

I recently let go of a lot of junk, including material possessions, and I’ve never felt better in my life. If you want to experience the same things, here are the top things to let go so you can start living the life you’ve always wanted.

Checking Facebook Daily

checking facebook daily

Value your time and emotions.

What tangible good comes from Facebook? Ask yourself that and be critical for a moment.

Are you feeling uplifted and motivated by what you see there? If not, it’s time to abandon ship. If scrolling through all the baby, house, and vacation photos makes you jealous of your “friends,” it’s time to let go of Facebook.

You’re not going to “miss out” by not checking Facebook. If someone needs you to know something, they’ll text or call you.

Studies show that Facebook makes us feel bad about ourselves. That’s enough reason to leave it. Jealousy isn’t something you want consuming your emotional life.

I caught myself getting upset by the lack of engagement on my posts while I saw plenty of engagement on angry, political posts. That feeling was not helping me. Spending 45 to 60 minutes on Facebook per day was a huge time drain that could be spent improving my skills and life instead.

So, I replaced reading my Facebook feed with more positive things that stimulated my mind without causing emotional turmoil, like Futurism.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Watching Football

Value your time. It’s so important that I have to mention it again.

I used football as an example because it was an excuse to day drink for me. Watching football was an excuse to be lazy all weekend. Fortunately, I was only burning one full day on it (Sunday), but if you add up all the time I spent reading about fantasy football, that was a whole day’s worth of work per week.

Maybe for you, it’s watching reality shows and keeping up with celebrity gossip. Maybe it’s binge-watching an entire Netflix series each weekend. The exact television program doesn’t matter. We Americans watch five hours of shows per day. Yet, we complain about a “lack of time” for things we say we want to do.

Don’t know how to spend your time in a more positive way?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Go on a hike
  • Take a yoga class
  • Hit the gym
  • Cook healthy meals
  • Read good books
  • Play board games with friends

Watching football or any sport, for a lot of people, is filling a void – the football team is part of an identity. That’s not a good route, my friend. Just be yourself and accept yourself for who you are and what you like. Love yourself and don’t tie your identity to anything other than you. You are enough.

Trust me, addressing that inner void feels much better than avoiding it forever. Then, you can enjoy watching a game without being invested in the outcome, which is freeing for your mind and spirit.

Drinking Alcohol Regularly

drinking alcohol

Value your money and your body.

I used to drink three or more nights per week. And, predictably, I did not stop at one drink. That was Thursday through Sunday of drinking and feeling less than my best. For what?

This past December, I did a 30-day challenge of zero alcohol. It felt amazing for my body and it also boosted my mental clarity. There were no sloppy nights and subsequent hungover mornings which meant better productivity.

If you want to find a bunch of extra time in your week – stop drinking.

Did I accomplish anything by drinking alcohol?

No. Alcohol consumption prevented me from accomplishing my goals, actually. Time and money were wasted on an activity that was not fulfilling me or helping me grow. Fortunately, I was saving money by hosting parties instead of spending $10+ per drink at a bar, but that did nothing for saving time.

After letting go of alcohol and my emotional baggage, I lost 18 pounds in less than two months. That was more than 10% of my body weight at the time (cut from 173 to 155). Drinking tons of water, like Tom Brady recommends, helps, too. I also changed my diet to be a dairy-free pescatarian, thanks to the guidance of my health coach, Laila Robins.

See Also: The Tell-Tale Signs You May Have Alcoholism

Consuming the News

Most of the news doesn’t actually affect us. The news is meant to stir emotions and keep us hooked to the platform.

The big media outlets push fear and we absorb that fear, causing us to turn against each other. How?

Fear becomes anger and anger becomes hate. It’s a horrible cycle we’re spinning.

The only way out is to disengage. Unplug from the sources of negativity and fear-mongering. Stop tuning into the voices trying to drive a wedge between you and your fellow humans. That wedge does zero good for humanity.

We need positivity and love pouring from people. Be one of the people making the world lighter, happier, and better. Love your neighbors and don’t stop showing love even when it’s tough.

Show love for people who disagree with you instead of getting mad at them. And definitely don’t look down on others – condescension is really bad energy.

Be positive. Be happy.

Complaining

Eliminate the negativity in your life. You can start with complaining.

Negative emotions wreck our health and productivity. It spreads negativity from within ourselves to the world, too.

If we stop complaining about what we don’t have, we’ll be happier.

Tim Ferriss is brilliant and provides fantastic insight into this. He puts emphasis on the benefits of taking time for gratitude by challenging himself and others to go through 21 days without complaining.

This challenge will be a whole lot easier to accomplish if you let go of the aforementioned things.

Think about it: you won’t be able to complain about your “friends” having more than you because you won’t see posts about those things. No more complaining about your team or a celebrity making a dumb decision because you missed that, too. There won’t be any political talking head getting you to complain about other people with different views. You won’t be drunk or hungover, too.

Research shows how much we’re influenced by the people around us. This provides extra incentive to not stick with negative people. Let them go and cut them from your life. It may be painful at first, but you’ll be better after.

Who knows?

Maybe they’ll realize that being negative is costing them friendships and they’ll soon change their lives as well.

Conclusion

If you start eliminating those top things to let go, you may find yourself enjoying life more.

So, start today and give up something that isn’t serving you. Let that positive life energy flow through you and to the world!

The post 5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work

According to a Gallup research, 75% of employees in the U.S. leave managers and not companies. That isn’t surprising because while poor pay structures, stagnant jobs, and stunted growth are some reasons people quit jobs, dealing with a toxic and condescending boss at work can get extremely challenging.

Considering you spend more than half of your day at your workplace, having a toxic boss not only hinders productivity but is also detrimental to your mental well-being.

To help you out, here are some of the most useful tips for dealing with toxic bosses.

Do your job well

one on one meetings

Be observant and keep a check on all the things that irk your boss and you’ll surely find a pattern. Do your job to the best of your ability and make conscious efforts to refrain from giving your boss any reason to point fingers at you.

The best way to stay out of trouble is to effectively communicate with your boss. Make sure you give timely updates, have a solution-driven approach, and don’t shy away from asking questions.

See Also: The Importance of Meeting the Boss Regularly

Respond professionally

Thanks to a difficult boss, you might often find yourself at the receiving end of numerous insults and unreasonable outbursts. However, shouting back is the worst way to deal with it. While you may have the urge to argue, remember that it never ends well and only makes matters worse.

In the middle of an outburst, if you start getting anxious, take a minute to calm down and approach the situation with maturity and grace. It’s always safe to remain calm and respond in a professional manner rather than losing your cool.

Take the learnings

When you stop complaining about your boss’ difficult behavior, you realize that even this unpleasant situation has a silver lining. Apart from learning how NOT to be, there is a lot more you learn by dealing with a toxic boss.

Bad bosses help you toughen up and become more resilient. If taken in the right spirit, they can motivate you to do better and perform well under pressure. While it is easier said than done, these are essential soft skills that can take you a long way in the corporate world.

See Also: 9 Traits of a Great Leader

Think long-term

deal with toxic boss

Amid all the workplace drama, it is natural to forget the bigger picture and lose focus on your job. Yes, your boss makes coming to work a nightmare, but nothing is worth running your career over.

Bosses are transient and should not drive you to take decisions that can prove to be detrimental to your career. Keep your eyes on the end goal and don’t let everyday office politics deter you from reaching your destination. Once you are out of this situation, you will be glad you were patient enough to not derail.

Don’t take it personally

Last but not the least, do not let your boss’ behavior affect your self-esteem and confidence. Their behavior is a result of their own shortcomings and what they say in a fit of anger certainly does not define you.

The best way to deal with your boss’ undue criticism is to be emotionally detached. Form a strong support system at work with whom you can discuss your workplace frustrations. The last thing you want is to take the negativity at work back home and have it ruin your personal life.

Everyone comes across bad bosses at some point in their lives. You can either spend your time whining and let their behavior demotivate you or deal with it maturely and take it in your stride.

While these tips will help you deal with your toxic boss, remember to speak up and escalate matters if your boss’ behavior is getting out of hand. If you ever find yourself to be a victim of verbal abuses, racial discrimination or sexual harassment, you should immediately report it to the human resources department because you have all the rights to.

The post 5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough? Have you ever questioned yourself why you’re not appreciated and valued for who you are?

Well, let me tell you what I think.

1. You’re constantly comparing and measuring your standards of success against others.

“So what If I’ve graduated with a Bachelors degree, people are graduating with Masters and PhDs, I’m just not smart enough; I’m never gonna get a good job.”

2. When you don’t take care of your health, you feel like crap and you underperform.

Imagine this:

You only slept two hours the night before and you tried to work out the next morning. No matter how hard you try, you couldn’t lift as heavy as your last record. You start to think that you are deteriorating and you’re never going to improve.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

3. You complain that you’re not good enough but you don’t do anything to change.

You still continue doing the same shit every day that makes you mediocre.

always complaining

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”– Jim Rohn

4. You think you should be like Wonder Woman and be good at everything.

Well, you don’t have to, because you never will. This brings me to my next point.

5. You are a self-proclaimed perfectionist and big-time procrastinator.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” ― Ecclesiastes 11:4

6. You’re constantly thinking about the ‘What If’s’ but you don’t look at your current assets and how you can work them to your advantage.

7. You try to do everything but give up everything in the process.

You don’t have a goal or a list of things you want to achieve. You’re constantly stuck and feeling lost.

8. You’re not fully present when you’re working on something.

After you’ve completed a task, you don’t even remember what you did.

9. You don’t want to admit that you’re just a lazy prick and you’re not willing to put in the effort to succeed because acknowledging that makes you feel worse about yourself.

being lazy

10. You constantly think that you’re not good enough.

“What you think, you become.” – Buddha

By now, you must be thinking:

“Well, this girl sounds like she’s giving me advice because she’s got everything in one piece and is living out her life purpose which is making a difference in people’s lives by doing what she’s good at…”

Hell, no.

This girl is very aware what it feels like to never be good enough. However, despite that, she’s still trying to get out of her hole.

She scrolls through Instagram looking at her friend’s post about a pretty unicorn smoothie bowl he made and she thinks: “I have a degree in food nutrition and I can’t make stuff like that… I’m not healthy enough.”

She goes to Cross-fit class and she sees others doing pull-ups and handstands and she thinks: “I’ve been working out for donkey years and I still can’t do any of those… I’m not fit enough.”

She and her friend go traveling together and she sees her friend being the one connecting with people along the way and she thinks: “I can’t talk like that…I’m not sociable enough.”

And as she is in the process of writing an article, she thinks: “Why am I even spending my time doing this, I’m not…”

I’m not enough. I can’t.

You get the gist.

Final Words

If you don’t feel the same way, kudos to you. Keep it up!

If you do, then know that you’re not alone in facing this ‘fear’ of imperfection, of never being good enough.

I’m not here to offer pity or start preaching that you should change and start thinking positively.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m just hoping to be able to offer some comfort and make you feel comforted as well.
There’s no room for judgment here. Only understanding.

Oh, and ice cream.

Join me for ice cream? I’m thinking cookies and cream. What about you?

The post 10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It

Our thoughts are helpful. We need them to make sense of the information around us and to take action.

I used to believe this wholeheartedly, but is it really true? Is the stream of words in our heads really necessary?

As far as we know, animals don’t talk to themselves and they seem to manage. Some of our actions are prompted by our thoughts but most of them are the results of outside stimuli and our feelings.

Your Mind in Action

mind in action

When something triggers a response in us, our subconscious tries to come up with a proper course of action. Its final decision is reinforced by feelings and thoughts that leak into the conscious. These 2 combine to form the motivation for your response.

For example, let’s say you found a mountain of dishes in your sink.

Your brain (the subconscious) analyzes the situation and comes up with a solution (leave them). Your feelings guide you towards the couch and you start thinking about your favorite show.

Again, your thoughts worked against you.

But this is not always the case.

Sometimes, the subconscious comes up with the decision to clean your dishes and so do your thoughts.

Also, you are not at the mercy of your subconscious. You can say no to certain “solutions” by recognizing the feelings and thoughts that are rejecting them.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Don’t Argue with the Mind

When you feel like doing something you shouldn’t, become aware of this fact. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and start focusing on your task.

Most of us try to argue with our minds and the brain always wins.

Stop arguing.

When you’re feeling and thinking something you shouldn’t, simply ignore it.

If you think you can’t, you are wrong.

You’ve done it before. At one time or another, something triggered a messed up thought in you, like murder, suicide or rape. It happens to all of us.

We cannot control the thoughts we have, as they are simple reactions to the outside world.

If you watch enough news about murder and rape, these thoughts will inevitably end up in your mind. But they are disgusting, so we reject them immediately.

That’s what keeps us sane.

However, we do not reject thoughts of donuts and coca cola which make us fat. We do not reject thoughts of television and YouTube that keep us mediocre.

So, how do we do it?

How to Control Your Thoughts

To fully understand how this works, I recommend reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

the power of now eckhart tolle

An incomplete summary of what he speaks about is the following:

  • Thoughts come and go but you don’t have to accept and ruminate over all of them.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Open them and become deeply aware of your surroundings. Become present.
  • In this state, you have no thoughts. You enjoy being. When one comes into your head, make a quick decision: Is this thought useful/necessary or not? If it’s not (most of them aren’t), eliminate it and return to the present.

These steps will not only remove the pointless thoughts in your head but they can also force your subconscious to come up with better, superior ideas. What you’ll basically be doing is analyzing your thoughts, keeping only the good ones, and terminating the rest.

See Also: The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

Thinking vs. Being

Most people are stuck in their heads. Instead of admiring the sunset or having a moment with their friends and family, they’re busy thinking about nonsense.

Are you doing the same?

If you are, accept it and start working on it. You can try it out right now or when you’re taking a walk or a shower. If there’s nothing useful going on in your head, simply focus on the now and the present.

By training yourself to get rid of the useless thoughts in your head, you will build the discipline you need to succeed at work and your daily life. The more you do it, the easier it will be to remain in the present.

So, stop thinking. Just listen. Just see. Just be.

The post How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Control Negative Thoughts: A Practical Approach On How To Suffer Less

It is well-known that thoughts create emotions. But, the full consequences of this fact are largely misunderstood.

Thoughts create emotions. Then, those emotions guide our behavior. For example, the thought “I’m never going to succeed at school, why should I even study?” creates emotional distress. That emotional distress can easily trigger coping behaviors, like binge-watching House of Cards or mindlessly refreshing Instagram every five seconds.

That’s just the beginning of the spiral, though. That where learning how to control negative thoughts become difficult.

After you’ve been binge-watching TV or staring at your cell phone for an hour, you’re going to have a new thought, “Damn, I shouldn’t have wasted an hour on my phone. I’m so stupid. I’ll never pass that class.”

These thoughts create more emotional distress and that leads to more coping behaviors.

But, wait a minute!

Shouldn’t that thought help motivate you to study? Isn’t calling yourself out in an honest way helpful? Don’t you have to fight your way out of stress? If we were completely logical creatures, you’d be right.

Our thoughts don’t directly lead to behaviors. They create emotions which lead to behaviors. This creates a trap that is exceedingly easy for us to fall into.

The first step in this example is the thought, “I should be studying right now.” This creates the sense that we aren’t being productive enough and that we are screwing up. The emotion we feel because of this thought isn’t motivation, but distress.

What do humans do when they feel distressed? Cope. What are the most common coping behaviors used in 21st-century life? Electronic media, food, and drugs.

This is a counter-intuitive idea, but it has very important implications.

In her best-selling book, The Upside of Stress, psychologist Kelly McGonigal writes: “When I speak with physicians, I sometimes ask them to predict the effects of showing smokers graphic warnings on cigarette packs. In general, they believe that the images will decrease smokers’ desire for a cigarette and motivate them to quit. But studies show that the warnings often have the reverse effect.

The most threatening images (say, a lung cancer patient dying in a hospital bed) actually increase smokers’ positive attitudes toward smoking. The reason? The images trigger fear and what better way to calm down than to smoke a cigarette? The doctors assumed that the fear would inspire behavior change, but, instead, it just motivates a desire to escape feeling bad.”

This pattern is a lot like psychological quicksand. As soon as we have a negative thought, like “I should be studying or I shouldn’t be eating this pint of delicious Cherry Garcia Ice Cream.”, our instinct to fight it gives that negative thought more emotional charge. That emotional charge is expressed as an increased feeling of distress which makes us think even more negatively. And, before long, our head is beneath the sand and we’re suffocating from what was originally just a relatively benign negative thought.

Break Free

break free

Negative thoughts create negative emotions and that leads to negative behaviors.

This is an extremely frustrating pattern that can easily affect our behaviors and the quality of our lives. The solution isn’t to learn how to think more positively or to learn how to control your emotions. The solution is much more obvious than the traditional approaches, yet it is also more elusive.

To escape the vicious cycle of negative thinking, you must accept the negative thought as it is. Just like in a quicksand, to stop sinking, you must stop fighting it and be still. With negative thoughts, you must learn to compassionately accept them as they are.

Once you learn to accomplish this effectively, you will still have negative thoughts. However, they will drift away like clouds on a gentle breeze instead of darkening into a storm of emotional suffering.

See Also: 5 Steps To Release Bottled Emotions And Live Happier

The root of our suffering is our belief that we can (or even should) eliminate negative thoughts and emotional pain. The thought that suffering is ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ is already a negative thought by itself. This way of thinking makes stress a trigger for more stress.

To escape this spiral of stress and suffering that we get trapped in, we must learn to relate to our thoughts differently. Modern psychologists have developed effective strategies to accomplish this.

In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, cognitive fusion is a state in which we become entangled with our thoughts and we lose the ability to distinguish between thoughts and objective reality. Author Russ Harris says, “In a state of fusion, a thought can seem like: 1. the absolute truth 2. a command you have to obey or a rule you have to follow.”

The solution to cognitive fusion is learning cognitive defusion. According to Harris, “This is where we can observe our thoughts and see them for what they are – just products of our busy minds.”

There are numerous strategies that can help us achieve cognitive defusion. Here, I’m going to focus on one that is both easy-to-use and highly effective.

Labeling is a mindfulness technique that allows us to defuse from our thoughts. It helps us identify our thoughts as subjective opinions, instead of objective facts. I recommend practicing labeling as a dedicated daily meditation practice (5-15 minutes to start). This will help you build it into a natural thought habit.

How to practice labeling

practice labeling

Either during a sitting meditation or anytime throughout the day, notice your thoughts. For example, you might notice you have the thought, “I don’t want to be meditating right now, I have more important things to do.”

To label this thought, simply tell yourself, “I am having the thought that I don’t want to be meditating right now.”

If you are having the thought “I am too tired to work right now”, label it by telling yourself, “I am having the thought that I am too tired to work right now.”

Labeling also works with sensations and emotions. For example, “I am having the sensation of tightness in my neck,” or “I am having the feeling of anxiety.”

The practice is fairly uncomplicated and making it into a habit won’t take long. Of course, the more you practice this during dedicated meditation, the more you will naturally label your thoughts in your day-to-day life.

Labeling won’t eliminate your negative thoughts or emotional pain and it doesn’t have to. The point of labeling is learning to become aware of your thoughts so that pain does not need to become suffering.

Have your efforts to eliminate negative thoughts or emotional pain ever panned out? After years of struggling against pain, has it become clear that the traditional approach of coping through escapism or self-punishment doesn’t work? Maybe fighting pain just creates more pain.

Experiment with this technique and notice if it affects how you relate to your thoughts. Do they become louder or quieter? More invasive or easier to manage?

You may find that once you start to create distance from your thoughts (without trying to change them), that they affect you less.

You may notice that you still have the thought, “I’m never going to succeed in school, there’s no point in studying,” and that thought may still be painful. But, the thought isn’t you now. It’s just a thought and the pain is just pain.

You may notice that you are now able to accept stress as something that happens. Now, you can experience it without needing to avoid it through coping. You may notice that your thoughts and pain no longer spiral into stress and suffering. As a result, the quicksand no longer sucks you in. You’re able to surrender to it and you can finally be free.

See Also: 3 Simple Steps to Balance Your Emotional State

The post How To Control Negative Thoughts: A Practical Approach On How To Suffer Less appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Cultural Divide Due To Languages: Is It Possible?

Countries around the world experience division in so many ways. They can be divided by religion, caste systems, and even educational background. In some places, socio-economic standings count, too.

This particular article, however, will focus on language.

A cultural divide due to languages restricts people from socializing with each other. Take, for example, a person from a British-English speaking background. When he socializes with an American-English person, he may feel alienated due to their differences in accent and lifestyle.

For a person who is a non-native in an English-speaking country, embracing the region’s culture can be difficult. Since the person can’t easily mingle with the natives, he’ll feel left out and insecure. Because of these feelings, he’ll likely withdraw more.

mandarin chinese
Via pinterest

A cultural division due to languages doesn’t only happen in English-speaking countries.

Mandarin Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Despite this, not everyone in the world knows how to speak it.

For a first time traveler, surviving a trip to China alone is near to impossible. He needs to bring along someone who knows a thing or two about Chinese culture. If not, he’ll feel very much unwelcome.

One good reason is misconception. For people who know how to speak Mandarin Chinese, it’s easy to downplay others who can’t even understand its basic words and phrases.

Because it’s a widely spoken language, they expect other people to know it, too. And when foreign people can’t engage in small talks with the natives, they’ll consider them unfriendly and a snob.

However, what those natives don’t know is that the foreign people are just experiencing difficulty understanding their language and communicating.

People aren’t always expressive with these misconceptions. In fact, they are implied most of the time and it is what makes things a lot more complicated.

In many South Asian nations, being fluent in English means being successful. They think that English speakers are smart, witty and intelligent.

The ability to speak in a foreign language gives one an edge in the corporate world. Because of this, a lot of people try to learn the most influential languages in the world to get better career opportunities and experience professional growth. Some of these people even travel abroad just to master the languages.

When they get home, however, natives consider them as too good for their community. This, as a result, leads to isolation and the gap becomes even wider.

french language

The Solution

To bridge this gap, we must learn to appreciate diversity. People are different and so are the languages they speak.

Despite these differences, we should still learn more about other people’s languages. Being a native of one country doesn’t mean that you don’t have any right to learn another country’s language.

Think of it as a way to connect with other people.

Natives think that foreign people aren’t friendly because they are not talking to them. Foreign people, on the other hand, feel isolated and unwelcomed because natives aren’t reaching out to them.

By taking the time to learn a foreign language, we will be able to avoid these misconceptions. And the lesser these misconceptions are, the more we can prevent cultural divide due to languages.

See Also: 5 Tips to Learn Languages by Reading Foreign Books

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Can You Heal the Chakras By Being Grateful?

Can gratitude heal your chakras?

The short answer is yes.

Whenever you experience an energetic imbalance due to strong and persistent thoughts and emotions, your body experiences the imbalance, too. The body keeps all the information, such as your persistent negative thoughts and emotions, until you take care of their underlying causes.

Unfortunately, many people focus on addressing their symptoms, rather than treating the root cause of their problems. They medicate themselves until they feel better, like western medicine.

Although it does offer relief, it isn’t long lasting. Unless you take care of the underlying emotional issues, the symptoms will flare up again as the corresponding chakras remain blocked and unbalanced.

Let’s look at the destructive potential of persistent negative thoughts.

If you’ve ever been through a difficult emotional time, such as a relationship ending, loss of a loved one, or bankruptcy, you know exactly how these instances affect your body. You’ll experience a number of physical symptoms, like upset stomach, headache, hot flashes, and muscle tension. You can also suffer from insomnia, indigestion, fatigue, pressure around the heart, difficulty breathing and so much more.

If this is an isolated incident and you are able to bounce back quickly, that’s great. The problem, however, is that life rarely offers isolated incidents. Even your tendency to negatively talk to yourself counts.

The problem starts when the emotional trigger isn’t resolved quickly. As you drown yourself in that situation, stress hormones begin to flood your system and cause actual changes in your DNA. These physical changes correspond to energy blockages within the chakras which, in turn, causes a lot of symptoms.

So, how can you avoid all those things? Start with gratitude.

being grateful

Gratitude helps you see your problems in a better light. Instead of seeing them as situations you are powerless against, it enables you to see them as learning experiences and growth opportunities.

I realize this can seem far-fetched when you’re in the thick of a struggle, but there is no harm in practicing gratitude. So, what have you got to lose?

Practice gratitude very first thing in the morning, upon waking. Give thanks for the new day, hope and all the things you’ll get to experience. Things like health, friends, family and even your pet are some of the things you should be thankful for.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

As an added challenge, in addition to writing down all the things you’re grateful for, you should also express the reason why. This will help you truly feel the power of gratitude.

In addition to the positive things, you should also express thanks for the struggles you are experiencing, like the difficult people who have made life hard for you. Again, express why these difficulties and hurtful people are actually blessings in your life.

It may take some digging and introspection, but there is always a benefit, even if you can’t see it immediately. Other than helping you heal, you can also learn forgiveness and compassion. It will make you tougher and more capable than you ever believed, too.

Just keep digging until you see the benefit. That doesn’t mean you have to like the person or be happy with the situation. You just have to know what’s really causing you troubles so that you can easily get rid of their root cause.

chakras

See Also: How to Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Take it as a challenge to learn to be grateful, forgiving, and compassionate. You will soon feel be able to feel the difference of healing chakras.

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Why Criticizing Others Won’t Get Them to Change … and What Will!

When someone in your life behaves in a way that is off-putting or upsetting to you — maybe they cross one of your boundaries, or perhaps they just do something that is not cool with you, maybe even repeatedly, and you finally get fed up with it — how do you handle the situation?

How do you confront them about their undesirable behavior, or perhaps their lack of desirable behavior?

You want them to change, right?

But is your approach really working to bring about that change?

If you’re like many people, the approach you may very well take is to criticize them and find fault with their behavior. This often takes the form of “You never […]” or “You always […]” — then insert the behavior in question.

But have you ever stopped to consider the reasoning behind criticizing others, hoping it will change their behavior?

If you investigate it, the common thought process is this:

“If I just make this person aware of their behavior by pointing it out to them and how off-putting it is, it should be reason enough for them to change it.”

Sounds logical enough, doesn’t it?

But does it actually work?

When you criticize people and find fault with their behavior, do they end up changing?

I’m willing to bet the answer is: No way!

What usually ends up happening?

Don’t they generally just dig in their heels and become defensive and argumentative?

They either start trying to weasel their way out of the situation by making excuses for themselves and the way they act, or they attempt to justify their behavior by giving you reasons for why they act the way they do.

And in other cases, they may even turn the situation around on you and start criticizing you in return. They may retaliate and start picking out your own faults and flaws.

Now instead of getting them to change, the only thing that’s accomplished is a heated argument, where nothing comes of it but hostility and resentment.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

And how do we get others to change?

The first thing you need to realize is that finding fault with others and criticizing their behavior doesn’t work to bring about change in other people. In fact, it only brings out the worst in them. It only leads to them feeling like they’re under attack.

And how do we respond when we’re under attack?

We either try to defend ourselves, or we fight back

defensive argument

And in that, the whole aim or purpose of our initial actions and the results we hope to achieve (to get the other person to change their behavior because it wreaks some form of hardship on us) get lost along the way. They get pushed to the side and instead, the interaction takes on a complete tangent in the form of an argument, where nothing but animosity and strife are the result.

Then we may get angry and bitter because the person can’t see the error of their ways, even though we’ve so accurately pointed them out to them. And then when the argument is over, likely unresolved and filled with bitterness and resentment, perhaps we go and complain and gossip to our friends about how the person just can’t see and doesn’t understand how their behavior negatively affects us.

See Also: The Best Way to Win an Argument

We blame them for being the problem

blaming others

But what if the problem isn’t really with them? What if the real problem is the approach we took in confronting the situation? What if fault finding and criticizing just doesn’t work to bring about changes in others as it relates to us?

If so, what is the real solution?

How do we truly create change in others’ behavior?

The secret is to separate the behavior in question from the person’s sense of identity.

What do I mean by that?

Instead of criticizing someone’s behavior, making them feel like they’re under attack (which will generally only make them defensive and argumentative), we have to go under their radar and prevent their ego from getting involved in the conversation.

This is done by telling the person how their behavior (or lack of it) make you feel. Instead of placing the focus on them by putting them down, focus on your feelings.

Simply use a statement like this:

“When you […], I feel […].”

For example, instead of saying, “You always come so home so late! What’s the matter with you?” — which will probably just lead to a full-blown argument — simply say, “When you come home so late, I feel worried.”

This prevents you from putting a laser focus on them, which will prevent them from getting defensive and argumentative. Instead, it puts the focus on your feelings about their behavior. And because you haven’t involved their ego in the confrontation, they will be open to listening to you and understanding where you’re coming from.

Because it’s about you and not them, they won’t throw up their barriers as in the case of criticizing and fault finding.

Then the next step is follow-up with a “Would you […]?” question.

For example, “Would you please call if you know you’re going to be coming home late to let me know?”

Here, you’re not demanding anything of them. You’re approaching the subject in a civil way. You’re asking them for permission, in a sense. You’re asking for their consent in the matter.

You’re giving them the choice, and that always leads to more positive results.

If you take this approach instead of criticizing someone and finding fault with them, hoping it will change their behavior, you’re almost sure to find it’s a method that actually produces the results you want.

Remember:

“When you […], I feel […].”

Followed by:

“Would you […]?”

That’s it.

Remember those words the next time you feel like criticizing someone who behaviors in a way that is undesirable to you and you want them to change, and you’ll find it’s the difference between an argument where nothing but an argument is the result, and creating real, positive change in others.

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

 

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6 Ways to Recognise a Really Bad Manager

Managers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Unfortunately, not everyone has had the benefit of obtaining the necessary training to lead a team. Many bosses just do it because, well, they have to. When interacting with staff, it’s often their personalities that can dictate how they deal with their team.

Do you recognise any of these unhappy management traits?

The People Pleaser

Cast your mind back to Michael Scott from The Office and you will instantly recognise the type. People Pleasers have a deep insecurity and an ingrained desire to be liked by everyone they work with. Uncomfortable of exerting authority, they tend to avoid conflict and unpopular decisions preferring to be everybody’s friend.

As a result of their vague, noncommittal and ultimately ineffectual leadership style, no one really knows where they stand, who is held accountable, or if any progress is actually being made. The danger with this type of management is that the strongest personalities in the team will simply take over and make decisions instead without being held in check.

The Micromanager

The Micromanager is a perfectionist and control freak who wants to be involved in everything. No detail is too small, no activity too mundane, and no decision too minor for him/her to step away. The need to micromanage stems from a firm conviction that the manager is the only person who can do the job properly.

This distrust displayed towards anyone else’s skills and decision-making abilities makes the Micromanager a hard worker, but one who finds it hard to delegate. Often, these are people who have been promoted within the organisation, rising from functional/technical roles to managerial positions where a little more overview is required – and they’re struggling to stand back from the day-to-day detail.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

The Seagull Manager

seagull manager

You’ve no doubt heard the analogy: he flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and flies off. The opposite management style of a Micromanager, the Seagull Manager pays takes no interest whatsoever in the daily running of the project. He’ll be there at the beginning with a vague brief, but then is unavailable for long periods until he drops in at short notice and criticises everything and everyone for doing it all wrong.

Communication skills are not the Seagull Manager’s forte; This manager expects other team members to interpret his unclear directions correctly (perhaps using mind reading skills?) and are flabbergasted and highly critical when this approach doesn’t achieve the desired results. Projects tend to succeed in spite of the manager, usually involving superhuman efforts and oodles of goodwill by the team.

The Screaming Toddler

screaming toddler

This is the boss who throws a tantrum at the slightest problem. If anything goes wrong at all, however trivial, it’s a complete disaster. From forgetting to put sugar in his coffee to losing a major client, it’s always the end of the world. Shouting has become a habit.

Somehow, this type of manager lacks the ability to differentiate between what’s a small deal or a big deal. What’s worse, the verbal explosion will always be aimed at someone in the team, possibly even the entire team; the perceived ineptitude is never the boss’ fault.

Fear is the overriding emotion here. The team has to operate on the basis of second guessing their boss’ mood and make sure every detail is 150% correct to avoid a full-volume verbal dressing down.

The Best Friend

When you spend every working day with the same people, it’s hard not to develop a bond with them. But what if the line between professional and personal friendship is crossed? The Best Friend manager knows no boundaries, and will offload personal problems without hesitation, expecting individual staff members to manage his emotional state of mind.

This is incredibly draining on team members. When the boss’ bad day becomes your bad day, and their private troubles become your troubles, you take on the extra role of sounding board or and counsellor, which certainly won’t have been in your job description.

The Mushroom Manager

Another appropriate image: keep them in the dark and feed them manure. Another control freak, the Mushroom Manager will divulge information on a ‘need to know’ basis only. Project or company goals are hazy, budgets are kept under lock and key, and top down sharing of information is restricted.

Whether out of a desire to further their own careers or because their mantra ‘knowledge is power’ leads them to see anyone in the team as a potential threat, when a mushroom manager is in charge, communication channels between employees and manager are deliberately kept to a minimum. There may be a chosen ‘manager’s pet’ employee who is given access to insider information along with the best jobs, but the rest of the team is effectively ignored.

See Also: Four ways of effective Management: How to achieve Extraordinary results from Ordinary people

If you are ever in a management position, don’t forget this list of bad managers and avoid these same pitfalls.

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Drug Side Effects: More Dangerous Than You Think

More than ever before, people are often more willing to take a handful of pills first and ask questions later. If you have a headache you take a pill. If your back hurts you take a pill. If you have a vitamin deficiency, you take a pill. Heck, even if you don’t have a vitamin deficiency you might take a pill just in case. The problem with all these pills is that they can have bad interactions when taken together.

Do you always tell your doctor about every over-the-counter, herbal, vitamin, and supplement you take? Even if you aren’t on any prescriptions, these things can cause dangerous drug interactions.

When you go to pick up an antibiotic at the drugstore, do you tell your pharmacist about all the extra things you take? Even things that don’t have side effects on their own can have bad side effects when taken together, and telling your doctor and pharmacist about every single thing you take regularly is a crucial step in preventing many of these harmful side effects.

All Medicines Are Drugs

  • All medicines are drugs but not all drugs are medicines
  • A medicine treats or prevents a certain ailment
  • A drug triggers a certain response in the body
  • Pharmaceuticals are manufactured compounds used as drugs or medicine
  • Around 170 million people in America take pharmaceuticals

Side Effects Can Overshadow Benefits

drug interactions

Many times the side effects of a single prescription medication are negligible. Sometimes, however, those side effects can be so severe you have to do a cost-benefit analysis weighing whether you are better off with or without the medication. Other times some patients have to be on multiple medications at the same time, which can cause serious problems with interactions. Occasionally patients have to be treated for the side effects of a necessary medication with another medication, which causes still more side effects.

The bottom line is this: the fewer medications you are able to be on, the better off you are. Nearly 2 million people are hospitalized each year in the United States for adverse reactions to medications that have been properly prescribed. Even in the hospital, nearly 900,000 people each year are given medications that cause an adverse reaction. Over 100,000 people die each year from adverse reactions to properly prescribed medications.

The Opioid Epidemic

Prescriptions for opioids have steadily increased over the last decade. These days, “painkillers” are given out for everything from major surgery to a minor toothache.

This has caused an unfortunate uptick in heroin use in recent years, and news of people overdosing is a daily occurrence. In fact, it is estimated that a quarter of all patients who are prescribed opioids will become addicted, and the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last year that marijuana is no longer considered a gateway drug, but rather the real gateway drug is prescription opioids.

The estimate of how many people receive hospital treatment for complications from prescription opioids is as high as 80%.

Even Tylenol Can Be Dangerous

tylenol side effects

Taking Tylenol as prescribed is often very safe, but taking too much causes 100,000 visits to the emergency room each year. When mixed with alcohol, the likelihood of liver problems increases.

It’s also very important to read the labels when you take prescription medications – over 600 of them use acetaminophen as part of their chemical recipe, so taking additional Tylenol with many prescriptions can be a recipe for disaster.

Herbal Does Not Mean Safe

Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA the same way medications are, so pharmacists and doctors aren’t always aware of side effects and potential drug interactions. Calcium supplements are known to reduce the absorption of certain medications, while fish oil supplements can increase the risk of bleeding when mixed with blood thinners or blood pressure medication. It’s important not only to discuss supplements you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist, but to also weigh the risk versus the reward.

See Also: What to Ask Your Pharmacist

Knowledge Is Power

Knowing what you take and making decisions based on need is the first step to decreasing the likelihood of adverse drug interactions. Maybe the daytime talk show host who told you to take that extra supplement didn’t care as much about your health as he did about his own ratings.

Learn more about the potentially dangerous side effects of drugs from this infographic!

Via: ConsumerProtect.com

Drug Cocktails: Are the Side Effects Worth it? [Infographic]

 

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5 Things You Need To Get Rid Of To Become Successful In Life

What do you mean by a “successful life”?

Many people talk about having a successful life, but what do you mean by a successful life? Is it all about having luxury? Studies show that the suicide rate is a lot higher among rich people. If being successful was all about money, then rich people would never commit suicide. There are lots of factors to be considered in judging whether a person is successful or not.

Each and every person has different personality traits and habits. Some of the habits are good whereas some of the habits are bad. To have a successful life, we should never hesitate to learn. Moreover, it is also necessary to give up our bad habits.

Get rid of these 5 habits if you want to have a successful life

In this article, you will not learn new skills; instead, you will learn how to give up old habits that are bad. Yes, you will learn the art of giving up.

Here are the 5 habits you need to discard.

Get rid of your unhealthy lifestyle

healthy diet

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, you need to be concerned about your overall health. To ensure a healthy lifestyle, you need to focus on two major things — healthy diet and physical activity.

Without a healthy body, you cannot even imagine having a successful life. No matter how much money you have, you won’t be able to remain happy without good health.

To achieve a healthy lifestyle, research about diet plans and choose the best diet plan for you. According to surveys, the majority of Americans are ignorant even about basic nutritional facts. Don’t be ignorant, and be informed about health and nutrition.

In addition to a healthy diet, you need to be involved in regular physical workouts. Regular exercise will enhance both physical and mental health.

See Also: 5 Easy Healthy Habits You Can Start Straight Away 

Don’t have a short-term mindset

In today’s generation, people want to have everything quickly. They are always in a hurry. Because of this habit, many people have developed a short-term mindset. Most of these people have no long-term goals in their life. If we look at great achievers, they always had a long-term vision in their minds. Every action taken by those people was motivated by their long-term goals.

If you want to be a success, give up on your short-term mindset. Start developing long-term goals.

Stop making excuses

There are people who always blame others for their failures. If they don’t have someone else to blame, they blame external factors like luck. Well, if you want to be a successful person, then stop making excuses. Stop blaming others and don’t blame Lady Luck either. You are responsible for your actions.

When you start to take responsibilities for your own actions, you will start to grow as a person. This is how you keep on growing and ultimately it leads to a successful life.

See Also: Stop Talking Sh*t and Start Taking Action 

Don’t be too dependent on social media and television

increase knowledge

Do you get paid for watching too much TV or posting too much on social media? If you’re not paid, then avoid television and social media. Studies show that social media is highly addictive. Furthermore, this social media addiction could also lead to other substance addiction..

I’m not trying to say that you should completely give up your habit of watching TV and posting on social media. I’m trying to say that you should avoid pouring too many of your hours into them. Instead, you should utilize that time to enrich your knowledge and skills, which can lead to success.

Don’t try to control everything that goes around you

Some people try too hard to change everything. Instead of change, it brings stress in their life. Understand the things you can change and the things you need to leave alone. Adjust your behavior accordingly. Stay away from the things you are not able to control. Only focus on the things you can change.

This will help to reduce your stress, and reduction of stress will lead to relaxation.

Conclusion

Everyone wants to be a successful person, but only a few succeed in their life. It is because some people just don’t want to change, whereas some people are very flexible to change. The people who are humble enough to keep on learning by giving up their ego are the ones who are very successful in their life. Once again, I’m reminding you that success is not only about earning lots of money. It is about having a wonderful and satisfied life.

Once you give up all the bad habits mentioned in this article, you will realize that you’ve changed a lot. Your whole life will start to change. Remember that you should not only give up these habits for a certain period. No, this will not work out at all. You should permanently give up these habits. It will be tough at the beginning to give up these habits because it is not an easy task to give up on things you’re used to. It is hard, but it is not impossible.

Just don’t quit early. Keep putting in the effort, and at the right time, you will reap the fruits of your hard works. Have a wonderful and successful life.

 

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How To Overcome Negative Emotions Using 5 Writing Techniques

Having a positive attitude is important when it comes to improving your mental heath, but it can be difficult to push through negative thoughts. No one is immune to negative emotions – they can occur very suddenly, and in the most inappropriate situations. These emotions can also have an impact on work, studying, and our relationships with colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones. To keep these from becoming a problem, it’s useful to spend some time learning how you can get a handle on your negative emotions.

Luckily, there are plenty of tricks and techniques out there that you can use to overcome unpleasant thoughts. Writing has proven to be especially effective because it provides you with a way to release your emotions and deal with them in a more positive, efficient way. Since writing is a way of visualizing our thoughts, this tool can be useful in overcoming negative emotions and even helping us work out potential solutions to any problems.

Make a double list

make a list

Write down a list of things that make you upset/angry in one column, and opposite each of them write down things that make you feel happy.

There’s probably a lot more in your life for you to feel happy about, and seeing it presented in a list like this can help your brain move past the negativity to see what else there is. Focus on those positive things and pick a couple of them to experience today – go for a walk with a friend, spend some time with a hobby you enjoy, or just take a long, hot bath. Once you can see how the positive outweighs the negative, it’s easier to move on.

Write and revise

Write down what you’re anxious or furious about, go outside and take a deep breath, then look at your list again and write how your feelings have changed.

Once you’ve been able to express your feelings, it’s a good idea to put it aside for a while and do something else. Now that you’ve put it down on paper, your brain can let go of some of the negativity surrounding the situation, and you can come back in to look at it again with a fresh perspective. Often, you’ll find that whatever was upsetting you before isn’t upsetting you anymore. If you do still feel upset, you might discover that expressing yourself and then revisiting your problem gives you some ideas on how you might want to tackle it.

Describe emotions

Try to describe your emotions in writing in a detailed manner. Put as much description into your writing as you can to really purge yourself of those negative emotions. Be as clear and concise as possible, and don’t leave anything out. You want this exercise to give you a feeling of release, so don’t cut it edit yourself or cut it short. Write what you feel, and mean it.

The next time you feel upset, look at this description and see if you’re feeling the same way. Maybe you can see some consistencies and look at making changes in your life to avoid experiencing further negative emotions.

See Also: 7 Simple Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking & Set Yourself Up To Win This Year

Write a story

write a story

After a day at work, write a brief story and use yourself and your problem as a basis to construct the main character. Then build a plot in which this character will solve a problem; this story must have a happy ending.

Visualization is a great way to get you moving forward on the right path. By creatively plotting a positive solution to a problem for your main character, you can give yourself a bit of inspiration to apply some of the same techniques in your own life. See the fictionalized version of yourself enjoy a happy ending, and then you can take steps to achieve the same thing for real. It’s a nice bit of encouragement to get you working towards making some positive, healthy changes.

Let out frustrations

Vent your frustrations on paper, then tear it up, throw it away, or burn it. This follows some of the same principles as the third step – except that instead of revisiting this description later, you’ll never see it again. Be detailed and specific, get to the heart of whatever is causing you grief, and then watch it disappear forever. It’s a great exercise in learning to let go, and will help you move past whatever situation was causing you negative feelings in the first place. Get rid of it and move on. You’ll feel a lot better.

The important thing with any of these techniques is to get writing as soon as possible, so you can deal with your negative emotions before you spend too much time dwelling on them. The longer you let these unpleasant thoughts control your feelings, the more difficult it is to overcome them – and the longer you wait, the greater the risk of having these emotions negatively impact the important relationships in your life.

See Also: How to Control Your Emotions in Any Situation 

Throughout history, great writers have used their own negative thoughts and experiences to influence beautiful poetry and classic novels – giving these authors a feeling of relief and self-satisfaction and sharing brilliant pieces of literature with the world. Why not apply that same principle to your own life, and experience some of that relief for yourself? The next time you feel a negative thought or emotion creep in, grab a pen and a piece of paper and get writing.

 

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7 Ways to Manage Difficult Personalities At Work

Colleagues can either be constructive or disruptive!

The helpful ones make work much easier and the workplace a great place to look forward going to every day. But, handling the disruptive ones requires a lot of tact or else, they can make your already difficult work atmosphere even more difficult. With some tactful interference, you can either keep away or handle such difficult personalities at work.

Here are some tips to manage different personalities in the workplace:

Identify difficult co-workers

gossiping at work

The very first point of importance is to identify the difficult-to-handle co-workers.

They can come in all sizes and shapes. There are gossip machines, bossy teammates, blamers, victims and show-stealers in all organizations. The very first step involves identifying who’s who in the office.

Once you know the people who can create problems, the least you can do is to avoid their company as much as possible. It will not help you avoid the problems they create, but it will keep you away from them and you can better concentrate on your work and productivity. Out of sight, out of mind, so they say.

Have Patience

When you work in the same office, it is very difficult to avoid some people completely. They can provoke you into a fight and then scoot away easily when supervisors pop up. You will realize only later that the troublemaker who started it all has already escaped. So, don’t allow yourself to be provoked. Patience makes a great barrier against impending fights.

Evaluate the Situation

To help you avoid trouble at work, evaluate a sticky situation with a troublemaker officemate. See how it will affect your position in the office, how it will affect your relationship with your colleagues, and how it might affect all the achievements you’ve built up over the years. This way, you might be able to find a better way out of your situation that won’t mean getting into a fight with a difficult co-worker.

See Also: How to Deal with a Workplace Bully

Know who you are dealing with

As you evaluate the situation, you need to know the person whom you are dealing with too. Sometimes, troublemakers create issues just to gain some attention. Other times, it is for their professional gain.

Seniors can make your life hell at work just for the sake of playing the boss. If they have more connections in the office, it is best to avoid a confrontation as you will be the person who can be more affected because of it. If it is a teammate, evaluate his connections.

A colleague closer to the boss can invite more trouble than one who is not. It is hence important to know more about the troublemaker before you decide on a strategy to combat trouble.

No point discussing with colleagues

Discussing your issue with your colleagues will only make matters worse. If any of them spill the beans to the person involved, it can aggravate the issue. When there’s a gossiper in the group, anything you shared may be communicated in a totally negative aspect. More often than not, your colleagues will be hard put to offer a realistic solution so there’s no point discussing the matter with others.

Try talking truce

office truce

Once you have evaluated the situation and the person involved, you can try talking to the person involved to sort out your differences. If things can be settled amicably, that’s the best solution. Sometimes the issue might be because of a misunderstanding which can be sorted out by talking things over. One trial at discussing a truce will be a good option to try anyway.

Escalate when you cannot handle it

Finally, if things seem to be getting overboard, do not hesitate to escalate the matter to your boss. Make sure the communication is neutral and clear so that it is not used against you in any way. Take a peaceful stance while discussing with the boss or your superior and explain calmly all the steps you have taken including the confrontation. Also, make it clear that you are willing to give the other person another chance to change to be very fair. This way you are safe the next time some issue comes up.

See Also: Smart Ways to Navigate Office Politics and Emerge as a Winner

 

Author-bio: Levin George is a Search Engine Optimizer at OfficeRock.com. He actively pursues interests related to latest internet marketing trends. He spends his leisure time reading, meditating and enjoying the joys of technology.

 

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11 Things You Should Let Go Of To Be Happy

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you’re probably carrying around a lot of baggage that you don’t really need. Simplifying your existence can help you focus on what’s really important and get rid of what’s not.

To live a happier life, try to let go of the following 11 things.

Overthinking

overthinking

Sure, there’s value in considering all of your options and in planning ahead. However, over-analyzing will destroy your mood and block your intuition.

Breathe deeply and slowly, clear your mind and trust your gut. Your body knows what you need.

Trying To Please Everyone

It’s your life so don’t live it for anyone else. Believe that you know what’s right for you and follow that path. Those who truly love you will support you in all you do, and won’t need you to conform to their expectations or preferences.

Past Mistakes

Every one of your decisions and experiences has led to you becoming the person you are today. And that’s the person you need to be. Look to your past to learn important lessons, but let go of any shame and regret you feel about it.

Chasing People

Don’t run after people who don’t reciprocate your kindness or interest. The people you need in your life don’t need to be chased—they’ll come to you. Respect your own worth by refusing to engage in a one-sided relationship.

Worrying About The Future

Worrying just attracts negativity, so let it go! Believe that good things are coming your way, and you’ll soon see them manifest. View the future with excitement and anticipation, not dread—there’s so much joy still waiting for you.

Heartbreak And Anger

heartbreak

Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can stop it from ruining your present or future. Forgive those who have wronged you, and turn your attention to the things that bring you pleasure and fulfillment.

See Also: I’m Saying Thanks For Breaking My Heart

Fake Friends

We’ve all had friends who only contact us when they need something. This is disrespectful and devaluing, and these people aren’t worth your time or energy. Draw boundaries when people try to use you, and don’t let fake friends back in.

Comparing Yourself To Others

You run your own race, so only compare yourself to what you want to achieve. Our perceptions of others are rarely accurate, so stop thinking everyone else is happier, powerful or more successful. Set your own goals, and concentrate on meeting them.

Self-Doubt

Self-doubt paralyzes you, keeping you stuck in the same old place. In the end, you will only regret the chances you did not take. Step out of your comfort zone, believe you can handle anything life can throw at you, and reap the rewards!

Time-Wasting

Respect your own time, and use it to live the life you want instead of living by the minute. Prioritize the things you truly care about and stop scrambling to keep up with other people’s demands on your time.

Negative Thinking

When you feel negative thoughts creeping in, replace them with something positive. Come up with things that make you feel grateful, do a meditation exercise, or contact someone who makes you smile. If you let go of negativity, you’re guaranteed to live a happier and more successful life.

See Also: 7 Simple Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking & Set Yourself Up To Win This Year

The post 11 Things You Should Let Go Of To Be Happy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Simple Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking & Set Yourself Up To Win This Year

Negative thinking is such a downer and it gets in the way of most things. You start to lack creativity, you feel down in the dumps, and you actually start to get exactly what you expect – NEGATIVITY!

Most of us know that it would help to be a lot more optimistic about life but how do you do that when you are so used to thinking and feeling the way you do? I personally attack negative thinking in a range of ways.

Here are a few ideas that will work for you too.

Wake up earlier than your household

One thing that I know makes my negative thinking worse is being forced awake by my partner, the alarm clock, or my kids. If I am woken up, then I feel behind already and forced into everyone else’s agenda. Before I know it, the resentment and negativity starts to spike right at at the start of the day.

This no longer happens!

Now, I creep out of bed and creep past the princesses’ rooms and get downstairs, get myself a coffee and do the next point. This makes me feel a lot more in control of my mind. Yes, I love my family but I need time alone first!

And the alarm clock is just plain horrid so I never allow that to wake me up. I tap into the energy of Spirit and ask to be woken up at the time I choose and it works. Don’t ask me how. Just give it a go.

Make a commitment to wake up at least two to four hours earlier than everyone else to ensure you have enough time to feel in control of your day before everyone else wakes up. Imagine all that you can do during this time.

Journal

writing on journal

This is a key idea to defeat negative thinking. The time that I spend alone, I spend connecting with the energy of the Universe, reminding myself of my goals, and writing down who I choose to be.

This makes me feel in control and that makes me feel more positive. I write down my goals for my life and for that day and I decide who I need to be in order to make them come about.

If I want to make so much money that day, then I know I have to be willing to sell.  I write “I am confident and bold enough to ask for the sale today” and I spend some time feeling the emotions of being that bold, confident selling machine. Of course, there is no room for negative thinking if that is who I choose to be.

This works for whatever you want. Decide what you want to have and then decide who you need to be and then deliberately choose to take on the persona of the person that you choose. Write down what you would feel, how you would dress, and act if you are going to make that goal happen.

Set an hourly reminder

This is more of an emergency measure but I use it regularly because although I appear to be positive, I usually have to defeat a lot of negativity to appear that way. I no longer to leave this to chance so as soon as I finish my initial journal session, I set the timer on my phone to prompt me every hour.

The prompt reminds me to catch myself and check what I am thinking. If I have degenerated into crazy thinking, then I open a file on Evernote or whip out my journal again and write very quickly a series of I am, I have, and I do statements that remind me who I choose to be in that moment.

This usually works to get me ramped up again. The creativity returns and I can get back to whatever I was doing. This only need take 60 seconds or so but it works to bring me back to centre.

Have more orgasms

There is something pretty powerful about that moment of heightened emotion. When I am trying to get a new thought pattern secured in my brain, I make the decision to masturbate or make-love it in!

At that moment of orgasm, my brain feels more open, more willing to accept new thoughts, and I usually have something planned. I visualise my goals and what I want to achieve and it just feels more real in that moment as though I am changing the course of my brain cells. And I personally, think I am.

Stop second guessing

overthinking

When I spend time overthinking and second guessing the ideas that bubble up within me, I always end up internally beating myself up and feeling negative. So, I am choosing to act considerably faster on ideas.

I think it is better to have acted fast and failed than to keep waiting for certainty. Regret is also a downer and a negative form of thinking and so, I am going to act even quicker than I used to.

Notice & grow in self-awareness

Having been an avid journal-er for as long as I can remember, I am pretty self-aware. Still, I went through a phase of trying to pretend my negative thoughts were not there. This form of denial can work for some thoughts but others are more persistent. They want you to notice them, honour them and then release them.

This year, I am going to do just that – Become even more meditative and untethered from these negative thoughts so I can see where they come from, honour the story that led me to feel that way, and then choose what I want to believe instead and release the old thought.

It may sound a little woo-woo but again, try it before you second-guess it (pun intended!).

See Also: You Need Self Awareness For These 3 Important Reasons 

Refuse to Take On Drama & Giving Up People-Pleasing

Some of my negative thinking comes from believing that someone, somewhere is talking/thinking about me in a negative way and so, when someone would look at me a little funny, I would immediately jump to the conclusion that they disliked me. That, of course, led me to think negative thoughts about myself.

This year, I am going to choose to think the best of every sideways look. I am creating a new habit of choosing to think they are thinking about how awesome I am and then I will choose to forget them.

See Also: 5 Simple Lessons to Break the Shackles of People’s Negativity

No more dwelling on what could really be nothing. And definitely no more caring what people think of me except to tell myself that everyone thinks I am great!

Those are seven simple ways to combat negative thinking. Use them!

 

The post 7 Simple Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking & Set Yourself Up To Win This Year appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Simple Lessons to Break the Shackles of People’s Negativity

The world is a small place and no matter how hard we try to avoid negative people, we will end up running into them sooner or later.

It’s better that you run into negative people sooner because they present a perfect opportunity to practice bettering yourself. With every negativity, there is always a way to turn it around or use it to your benefit.

Now, I’m not saying to go out and start problems with people. Instead, whenever negativity happens to come your way, look for the good you can take out of it.

Below are some tips on how you can break the shackles that toxic people have on you.

An opinion is just an opinion

keep calm

When you’re in the heat of the moment, an opinion may seem more than what it is. You must learn to take a deep breath and calm yourself. If you go through life reacting to every little negative thing that’s thrown in your direction, you’re hurting no one but yourself.

Just remember that everyone is full of opinions, and you can’t let each and every negative one hurt you.

Growth comes from pain

Before I learned to outgrow the issues that would arise in my life, it would take me about three days to get over what people would do or say to me. I was one of those people. A day was the minimum it took to get back to my happy self.

But the more bad situations happened, the better I got at coping. My heart became more resilient and my mind wised up on what to do next.

Life is about learning, so when negative people want to try and bring you down, it may work temporarily, but you should rally and become stronger than ever.

Forgive and let go

People will always do an occasional wrong to you, but what you do about it makes all the difference. Holding a grudge against an old friend, family member, or even some stranger you’ll never see again will bring you more pain than it will bring them.

While you’re caught up on what they did, they have already moved on and forgotten about it. Holding a grudge against another will only turn you into what you hate.

Learn to forgive those that have hurt you and feel the weight lifting from your shoulders. I’m telling you this because, for most of my life, I hated my mother’s boyfriend. It marked the start of my depression and I held on to the hate I had for him for 7+ years before I finally learn to forgive and let go.

I learned to forgive others, but most importantly I learned to forgive myself, and the chains became light as feathers.

See Also: 12 Things To Let Go If You Really Want to Live A Happy Life

Change friends and environments

new friends

Sometimes, it may not be that you keep running into negative people, but that you surround yourself with negative people and hang around toxic environments.

Even childhood friends will have to be let go of at some point. You love the people around you because you feel comfortable, but if all they bring is pain to your life, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to be happy?

Everyone is in your life for a reason. You have to know when their time is up because a greater friendship is waiting for you around the corner.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

You’re doing something right

Some people find happiness by growing and constantly improving themselves, and some find happiness by causing others pain.

You must accept facts, that some people can’t be swayed from who they are choosing to be. Conviction is something that is nearly impossible to change in a person.

So when you start receiving bad vibes from others, it might just mean you are doing something right. Negative people don’t want to see others rise because it reminds them they aren’t doing anything with their lives, and rather than be encouraged and try to climb with you, they want to bring you down to their level.

They need something to compare themselves to when the worst thing someone can do is compare themselves to another.

It’s easy to fall to the levels of people who are toxic, but if you follow these five simple steps you will be able to deal with negative people easier.

Tomorrow is not promised, so enjoy your life and be the best you. Don’t try and find fault in others when things are going wrong in your life. Pain doesn’t last forever, especially when you know how to smile through the hard times and still see light despite shade being thrown in your direction.

Live your life to the fullest and always remember you can overcome any obstacle.

 

The post 5 Simple Lessons to Break the Shackles of People’s Negativity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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