Archive for April, 2016

Criticism Doesn’t Work! Understand? Try This!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Most of us know when we screw up. How we need to apologize and change the behavior is a different complicated story! I’m in a change profession. My life has been passionately devoted to helping people, and myself, become a better person. Such a life would include being a person who prospers in the chief roles of life, i.e., spouse, parent, provider, etc… .

Being a change oriented, results driven, pragmatic idealist therapist, I employ what works. What is the ideal desired and how close can the client and I work together to approximate the goal through wise strategic planning.

Criticism does not work. One more time, criticism does not work. Depending on the personality type the criticized person either lashes back defensively with anger or poutingly withdraws and stays resentful.

A preferred approach that I suggest consists of three parts. First, state what you would like from the other person, perhaps with a rationale. Second, be aware and notice such an effort by the other. Third, serve up a compliment – a positive reinforcement of the behavior.

Too many people are not attuned (psychological term for being aware, or noticing) to the behavior of the other person – except when it is wrong or undesired. Then, usually a swift criticism occurs. What I am suggesting, Respected Reader, is that you enhance your radar to look for, find, and tell the cared for person that you appreciate what s/he has done. Such observation and complimenting skills can be acquired and developed with intentional practice.

The result of your compliment is that the other person will appreciate it, feel validated, and is most likely to continue the affirmed behavior. Plus s/he will feel more positively toward you. Think about it. When you feel criticized, how do you feel toward the other person? On the other hand, when you are complimented, how do you feel? Point made, I hope.

Along the journey of life too many of us were made aware of when we did the wrong thing in some manner or form. Such a negative approach did not, and does not, bring out the best in us. Positive reinforcement does, no matter the relationship.

As an aside, I am waging a war against the negativity present in social media comments and posts. There are too many people who seem to enjoy putting people down. They ridicule people, particularly in the political realm, or make derogatory and often hurtful comments about others. What I enjoy seeing and posting are the positive things going on in peoples’ lives. Offering congratulations and support, posting fun and loving pictures, sure is a more enjoyable and positive way to participate in social media.

Bottom line, be the kind of person who looks for, finds, and offers something positive . May it be a personal comment, written note, or post in social media. The recipient will be grateful for such acknowledgment and will be inclined to continue such a behavior – and maybe offer in kind back to you. Plus, you will be viewed in a better light! And who would not want that?

“The unexamined life is not worth living”     Socrates

Being Your Best Self And Creating A Loving Relationship

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Most people want a loving relationship that is special and enduring. Most people do not have a clue as to how to create and maintain such a relationship. This writing focuses on finding a healthy balance within yourself and then developing the skills needed for such an endeavor. If you have already reached such a state of excellence, read no more. I expect that most of you will continue on!

Let me address balance first:

  1. Are you a person with thick “Desperado” walls around you? You are so closed off such that no person can touch your heart. OR, are you the other extreme having no boundaries. You are so open that any misfit can steal your heart. You continually get hurt.
  2. You are cynical, sarcastic, don’t trust anyone. OR, you are naïve, easily suckered in. Way too trusting.
  3. You are pretty closed mouthed, don’t talk much. OR, you never shut up, yakking all the time.
  4. You are not very aware of your feeling and unable to share what you do feel. OR, you are too open with uncontrolled waves of feelings.
  5. You are overly cognitive, always in your left brain. OR you are not very logical and thought out.
  6. You are a Lone Ranger type, independent. You don’t need anyone or anything. OR, you are very needy and dependent.

How do you come out on this? Balanced? Leaning one way or the other?

Skills. Like any successful endeavor you need to know what skills are needed to reach the objective.

  1. Communicate openly and effectively with both content and feeling.
  2. Be affectionate, capable of giving and receiving love.
  3. Be compassionate, capable of empathy. Not critical or judgmental.
  4. Capable of forgiving, letting go, and moving on.
  5. Be honest, worthy of trust and respect.
  6. Be dependable. “Suit up and show up”!
  7. Have a sense of humor. Laughter is a great connector.
  8. Understand romance and have the ability to bring it to your partner.
  9. Be capable of sensual touch and pleasurable love making.
  10. Have an adventurous spirit exploring life to its fullest.

(Certainly there are more but I thought I would stop here and let you master these ten before moving on to more!)


I hope you are in a loving relationship and that the above commentary further embellished it. If not may you heed the solid advice offered here to move you forward, capable of entering in and maintaining such a relationship.


“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates


Successful Ways To Create A Miserable Life! Guaranteed!

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Many of my articles focus on creating a happy life, one in which a person can learn certain things, practice some new behaviors, and live more joyfully. I have come to understand, regrettably, that there are some people who choose to be miserable. It is their identity, their brand. Thus, I feel that I should give equal opportunity to those people and assist them to become even more miserable.  I am aided in this endeavor by an excellent article by Cloe Madanes in the Psychotherapy Networker. I will highlight some of her suggestions and embellish them as best I can to help ensure that misery seekers will be successful in their quest.

  1. PRACTICE SUSTAINED BOREDOM: “Cultivate the feeling that everything is predictable, that life holds no excitement, no possibility of adventure, that an inherently fascinating person like yourself has been deposited into a completely tedious and pointless life through no fault of your own. Complain a lot about how bored you are.” Such a perspective and commentary will surely turn off most people toward you thus facilitating a life of misery.  Yawn!
  2. GIVE YOURSELF A NEGATIVE IDENTITY: “Allow a perceived emotional problem to absorb all other aspects of your- self identification. For example, if you feel depressed, become a “Depressed Person”. … Talk about it to everybody. … Practice the behaviors most associated with being depressed, particularly when it’ll interfere with regular activities and relationships.” People then may feel sorry for you which can further enhance your state of misery. Play it to the hilt.
  3. BE CONFLICTUAL: Find a way to pick fights, especially with those closest to you. Be argumentative, critical, and condescending. Thus, you will be rejected and can feel content that you have further enabled yourself to be a miserable person.
  4. ATTRIBUTE BAD INTENTIONS: “Whenever you can, attribute the worst possible intentions to your partner, friends, and coworkers. Take any innocent remark and turn it into an insult or attempt to humiliate you.” Whenever you can try to see how someone is trying to hurt you, screw you over, and reject you. This will help with your misery mission.
  5. AVOID GRATITUDE: “Research shows that people who express gratitude are happier than those who don’t, so never express gratitude. Counting your blessings is for idiots. What blessings? Life is suffering, and then you die. What’s there to be thankful for?”
  6. BLAME YOUR PARENTS: “Blaming your parents for your defects, shortcomings, and failures is among the most important steps you can make. After all, your parents made you who you are today; you had nothing to do with it. … Extend the blame to other people from your past.” As long as you can dwell in the past and play the blame game you can be assured that you will in no way move toward happiness. Misery is sustained.
  7. DON’T ENJOY LIFE’S PLEASURES: If you inadvertently find yourself enjoying anything or anyone in your life quickly change your thought to focus on something that is negative, wrong, or depressing.
  8. RUMINATE: “Spend a great deal of time focused on yourself. Worry constantly about the causes of your behavior, analyze your defects, and chew on your problems. This will help you foster a pessimistic view of your life. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by any positive experiences or influence.” Negative self absorption is one of the keys ways to stay miserable. Cultivate this ability.
  9. FIND SOMETHING WRONG AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY: Look for and find something wrong as much as possible, and be sure to mention it to anyone and everyone around. Most people will shun you because you are a negative person, a downer. In reality, misery does NOT like company. Enjoy your loneliness, miserable person.


Respected Reader, there are many more ways to develop a life of misery. You may well be an expert on this life style. These, however, are good starting points to ensure that you can develop, practice, and maintain a life of misery.

It is my hope that this master guide will serve as a mirror for you to look into and determine if you have been creating a life of misery – that it is your identity. Or, perhaps, you will recognize that some of the things you are doing need to be changed should you desire to create a life of happiness. May your mirror accurately reflect currently and in the future who you are and assist you in becoming the person you want to be.

I HOPE YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A MISERABLE PERSON! (There is so much joy and goodness in the world to be enjoyed. May you add to it!!)

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates