The Chill Pill

There are many ways that we feel stress in our daily lives. Frustration at not being able to communicate to your parents can easily cause stress. Rushing to find the proper dress to wear to a special occasion, and knowing that you have to be home to pick up a child from school, is extremely stressful. There are many other such times, and we get a headache, or become nervous, or unable to relax. Too much stress can cause many actual physical ailments, including a stroke or a heart attack.

Shopping for a last minute gift can in itself be stressful. If you also have a deadline to keep across town, watch out! Take the time in between to have a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe, or a bite to eat. This will calm you down so that you can safely make the drive to the next destination.

Remember that taking care of children, especially when they cannot go out to play, starts out fun but can end with stress. Soon they get restless, start to fight or argue with each other, nag or whine. You can feel the walls closing in on you, but there is no where you can go. Stop! Put the kids in front of the TV, give them a snack, and settle down in your easy chair and wind down. The cleaning up of messes can wait. Make a cup of coffee or tea, and think pleasant thoughts.

Learn that no matter what situation you are in, no matter your age, there are times that each one of us faces a stressful moment. This is part of living. Whether the stress evolves out of cramming to take a test or working two jobs to pay the bills, we become stressed. The main thing is learn to stop, sit down, and relax.

Think of it as a way to lose yourself for a little while. Let all your troubles go and just chill. Always remember, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”

Chill with earphones

Read a book

Watch a really good DVD or TV show

Go for a leisurely walk

Write a note to a friend

Draw, or doodle, or color in a coloring book. This is a great way to chill out. People of all ages have learned to relax this way.

Being Funny And Making Fun Friends : BFF Part – II

Talk to older people, maybe even your own folks. They will be less likely to ridicule you, therefore making it easier to learn to talk well.

Place importance on making social contacts. The people who are considered popular may not be the sharpest tacks in the box, but they are acquainted with important people who may contribute to their future careers. It is never too late to feel that being popular is important. If your work environment allows for it, host a party, organize a sports game, etc.

Love yourself. It is difficult to like others when you do not appreciate yourself for who you are. Try exercise to improve your self-esteem. Start your journey to “self-discovery.”

Be loyal. Little things count. If you make an appointment, be on time. If you’re in a group, show up early, and stay late (even if you don’t have anything to say at the moment).

Be nice to others. Always give compliments, but don’t try too hard. If you are shy, take a deep breath and risk it – you never know what might happen. Again, if you are shy on the outside but a little crazy on the inside, let it out once in a while. Wear your hair up high and spin around or dance. Others will laugh and find you funny and fun to be with.

Try not to be defensive over something that is possibly your own issue. For example, don’t shout, “Why are you so prejudiced?” or “Why don’t you like women?” when due to past situations you may just be overly sensitive. Try to always believe the best of others and give them the benefit of the doubt that can go a long way in getting to know the real person. If it turns out they are a bigot, then move on to befriend the next person and don’t waste any more energy. It may take a few tries to find friends that “click.” And anyway, if you’re arguing with someone about something stupid such as shoes, drop it. Try to get out of arguments that are dumb. If you’re arguing because you were sticking up for your friend such as something like someone was making fun of her and you were trying to stand up for her, then I completely understand.

Be honest. Lying will make people not want to be your friend any more, because they will not trust you anymore.

Respect everyone, no matter what they think or say. They are a person and deserve to be treated with respect. If you treat people well they will treat you the same.

Build confidence. Try to get younger friends if you are in middle school. Hanging out with kids a year or two younger than you will help build confidence, which will help you with kids around your own age. I know, no one wants to hang out with the 10 year old next door. But i promise just hang out and talk to them and your confidence will skyrocket!

Avoid saying something that could be taken the wrong way, but don’t over-analyze what you want to say. If you think about it too much, not only will you miss out on your chance to contribute to the conversation, but what you do end up saying might sound scripted and unnatural.

A pendulum has to swing in the opposite direction before it lands in the middle, so if you have too much of a problem over-thinking things, first let go of it allowing for errors or failed attempts — and let yourself say things that could be taken the wrong way (be inaccurate) until you get the hang of it, and then learn how to “filter” out those errant efforts at conversing and associating for fun and friend.

Find people who share your interests. Get up, move and join a group of classmates that has similar interests whether at lunch or at a party. In that environment, it would be easier to meet people and make friends.  And it’s fine if your friends don’t have much in common with you as long as you both are happy and comfortable. If they judge/don’t approve of something you do, they aren’t friends…

Being Funny And Making Fun Friends : BFF Part – I

Simply making friends can be easy. It depends on how outgoing you are. If you’re shy, then you need to build up your confidence to become popular.

Just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to express your opinions. If someone insults you, just ignore them. The people who are jealous and hate you will be outnumbered by the people who love you for being yourself.

Be optimistic. Even if you are feeling really down, remember that there’s always something out there to smile about. A positive outlook will make people want to be around you a lot more. Be cautious, however. There’s a point where optimism can be annoying. Don’t be too optimistic.

Crack a joke. (Having a sense of humor is important, but don’t get too carried away, there are some things you have to be serious about.If you joke about your friend in a rude way it could damage your relationship with them.)

Smile as much as you can! Signs of encouragement let people know you care about what they are saying. But have a reason to smile. Make it clear you have a reason to smile with humor or optimistic words. Smiling without a reason, or smiling too much may creep people out.

Share interesting/silly ideas. Your thoughts can open up many doors that can lead to friendship.

Listen more than you talk. Instead of nodding and smiling and occasionally wiping the drool off your face, try to take what the person says and run with it. Add your own thoughts into the mix – but don’t hijack the conversation.

Start by doing little things if you are very reserved. For example, every time you go to school, work, or wherever, say hello to one person and have a one-on-one conversation with them.

Say “hello” to those that don’t talk much. (Share something about yourself, such as where you’re going or why you’re there. Avoid talking about the weather – as Tom Waits says, “Strangers talk about the weather.” Try to compliment them.

Don’t expect perfection out of anyone, especially yourself. For example, if you forget your own name while introducing yourself (which probably won’t happen), just make fun of the situation.

Be Patient. If you are still among strangers, the apprehension of a conversation may cause a delay in comments. Don’t worry, that will go away in short order…

Learn To Stop Lying

Admit that you have a problem lying. This may sound bad to some people but if you think of it you should notice that if you can confront that you lie then you should be able to stop. When you can say that you lie to someone then you should be able to stop. To some this would be really hard; as for some it’s even harder. All you have to think of is that when you can talk about it then you start stopping yourself.

The one thing you have to really remember is that if you don’t confront your “bad behavior” it will take longer for you to break the habit of lying. In other words, if you don’t when you feel guilty you would start to feel bad and would start being able to make yourself better by telling the truth. No, I’m not trying to say I want you to feel guilty, but I am saying you do need to feel bad or feel ashamed for what have done.

React to your own lies. If you don’t know how just read and you’ll find out how. Well, to react to your own lies means to confess and apologize when you know you lied. This will help you because you would be able to notice that you have told and are sorry for what you have done.

Also, when you react to your own lies it shows the person you told the lie to that you are sorry and that you know helping it makes that person feel like they have a chance.

Also, when you talk you can let your feelings come out and tell that other person how you feel about lying. Then when you do so they can help you deal with your problem.

If you communicate about your problem it also takes the urge off you. By that I mean, if you tell someone about your problem you then can think of a way to stop. Also, when you talk, that person could give you some tips on how to stop.

Use your sense of humor to tell the truth. Laugh at yourself with other people. Just saying “Could I be any worse at managing my checking account?” out loud, rather than denying your problem can get you on the road to recovery.

Guess what – the definition of being human is that we are not perfect. You will never be perfect! Don’t set yourself up thinking you should be.

Don’t tell yourself you are telling the truth if you are lying. If you don’t know a question that one of your friends or family members asks you say that you don’t know instead of lying to yourself and to your friends and family to look cool. It will just come back and bite you in the butt!

If you lie a lot over everything, realize that you can’t stop in one go. It’s just like a drug, it’s really hard to stop. You need to slow it down. Parents will tell you when you are about to lie you should stop and ask yourself, “Is this wrong?” Try asking yourself, “Is this a lie” really quickly. It takes time, but eventually you will stop if you really try. Also ask yourself how you would feel if people constantly lied to you.

You can’t stop lying unless you want to, it’s up to you.

Remember, it is way easier to just tell the truth than having to come up with a lie.

Ask yourself why you lie, and try to resolve the problem…

Emotional Spending

To buy something you don’t really need when you’re stressed, bored or needing a boost of self-esteem is classified as emotional spending. Impulse buying, while giving you a temporary emotional boost, can wreak havoc on your budget and prevent you from having money for future needs or to put in savings. Learn how to avoid emotional spending so you can also help avoid the feelings of guilt and the eventual credit card debt that can occur.

Acknowledge the triggers that lead you to indulge in emotional spending so you can consciously avoid them. Much like someone watching their weight makes the conscious decision to avoid the cookie or candy aisle at the grocery store, you need to recognize what tempts you so you can avoid it whenever possible.

If perusing the pages of fashion magazines makes you want to rush out to the store to buy the latest high-dollar styles so you can look like the beautiful models in their pages, the magazine may have done its job, but you may need to avoid such publications.

If going to the mall and window shopping with a particular friend who always has plenty of disposable income results in your going home with bags full of things you don’t need and an empty bank account or more credit card debt, then stay away from the mall.

Change your habits by finding other ways to spend your time so you’re not spending your money haphazardly and irresponsibly.

Instead of going to the mall with your deep-pockets friend, find other ways to spend time with that particular friend. Try activities such as a regular Saturday morning breakfast at a favorite diner, a movie and ice cream after once per month, or a weekly walk in the park.

If fashion intrigues you, instead of looking at fashion magazines that tempt you to buy, take a sewing class so you can learn to make your own fashions. Or you can check out books from the library about fashion design and the people behind the industry.

Track your emotional spending totals for a week by keeping your receipts and circling everything you didn’t absolutely need to have, things you bought on a whim. Include even small purchases the $6 ink pen when you already have a drawer full of pens, the new $10 billfold you bought because it was on sale when you already have a couple of nice ones, or even the favorite movie in the $5 DVD bin at the discount store when you’ve seen the movie hundreds of times on TV.

Emotional spending on small ticket items can be just as destructive as large ticket items in the long run because those small things add up more quickly than you realize. The little things might be fun or nice to have at the moment, but will you even care about them tomorrow? Or will you just have buyer’s remorse?

Plan out a workable monthly budget that includes setting aside money for an emergency, for something big you want to save toward, and for your regular necessities, and then stick to it. Then budget a small amount, after accounting for the more urgent and necessary things, to spend on the occasional impulse buy. Buying on impulse every once in awhile, a small weekly or monthly treat, is fine as long as you plan in advance for it.

Think before you buy. Always look back to your budget before you spend money on something you don’t need. Ask yourself a few honest questions before spending money on an impulse buy: “Do I really need this? Can I live without it? Will this truly improve my life having this?” If you answer “no” to these questions then you’ll probably feel guilty later if you do spend money on the item.

Being A Parent That Rocks & Punked : Part 2

Use your punk roots to teach your children valuable lessons about not judging people too quickly. While instilling the ever essential need to beware any possible stranger danger, teach your children ways to balance their initial gut reactions with a willingness to get to know a person properly. Some of the punk-based lessons you might be able to share with your kids include:

Show them how creative people of all types like to push the appearance of boundaries for specific reasons that have nothing to do with fear or spite. Sometimes it’s about challenging the less tolerant elements in society; other times it’s about self-expression and being open to all the possibilities by keeping an open mind. In some cases, it’s a deliberate poke at societal ideas of beauty, while in many cases it’s simply about having fun and doing things differently.

Explore difference with your children, using your punk experience. Explain that punks have often frightened others by their appearance alone, with their piercings, tattoos, ripped clothing and brightly colored spiked hair. Explain how some people choose to interpret this as “bad” or “deviant”. This can then lead you into a discussion about why people might be frightened by mere appearance (for older children, you can also explore the implications of the philosophies held by punks). For many punks, looking distinct is a story of creativity, boundary-pushing and challenging assumptions. And you might like to highlight how challenging conformity through appearance, actions and words can often cause fearful or uncertain people to feel threatened because they might either be upset that others have the pluck to self-express while they’ve spent their whole lives conforming or they may be jealous or fearful of what would happen if things changed too much from what they know.

Don’t sugarcoat everything. Punk culture has its dark side too, and that is something that can be explored with older children, with

Wear your punk self in ways that fit your current lifestyle and parenting role. While the green hair and black nail polish may have been “very you” in the nineteen eighties, the reality is that trying to relive the past by way of clothing, makeup and hairstyles is often a self-defeating action. Rather than clinging on to the past, find ways to look punk that fit your age and lifestyle now––there are plenty of cool quirks you can get away with that flatter your age and still denote a lack of conformity to the expected. For example, not wearing a tie, wearing brightly colored shirts, dying your hair in interestingly creative ways rather than dramatic ones and wearing cool shoes made by a local craftsperson are just some possible ways to punk up your gear without letting yourself down.

Be aware that parents can embarrass their kids easily by how they dress. However, if you’ve done a good job of teaching them tolerance and acceptance, this will hopefully be less of an issue. If you still wear a mohawk at 50, give your kids a chance to express their feelings and be open to discussing the reasons for your choice. Ultimately, while it’s important to give consideration to how your kids might feel about your outward punk expression, this is another lesson for them in being understanding and accepting.

Be careful to avoid wearing anything that could harm a child. Accidentally knocking your baby with a stud wristband while wrestling with the diapers on the change table is not a good outcome.

Come to peace with some of the nasty necessities of life, or find viable alternatives. Grown-up realities like mortgages and daily work can either be something you groan about or you reach acceptance about. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up––it means finding ways to make your current reality less onerous, more cheerful and one that works best for you. And if you can’t reach acceptance, find an alternative like freelancing, renting, living off-the-grid, etc., while still making sure that your kids are getting a decent, healthy upbringing. Whatever you choose, help your children to see that life has meaningful purpose.

Parents who keep trying to “stick-it-to-the-man” risk teaching children more about anger and staying stuck than about being free unless you action your words and be that entrepreneur, business owner or free spirit you’d prefer to be. Show your children more personally satisfying ways to live than complaining and running away.

Being A Parent That Rocks & Punked : Part 1

Although your child may not be aware you once had a green Mohawk in your twenties or that the pair of red and black bondage pants in your closet is actually not part of a Halloween costume, it’s comforting to know that there are good reasons to revel in your punk roots far into middle age. As seen on the documentary “The Other F Word”, a profile of middle aged fathers who fronted the biggest punk bands to hit the world, being a punk rocker can be balanced nicely with parenting duties. In fact, enlightening your children to your talents and refusal to grow musty can teach them a lot about tolerance and the passion of pursuing a talent lifelong. So, without further ado, even if you feel a little too creaky to jump into the mosh pit at the next Penny wise show, here is how you can still be a punk rock parent with class and dignity.

Teach as many resourcefulness and DIY skills as you can to your kids. Teaching them how to do things rather than how to buy things will be one of the most useful and thoughtful gifts of punk philosophy that you can pass on.

Teach independence in chores and responsibilities early on. Doing everything for your kids teaches them to feel entitled rather than capable. As soon as your child is old enough to do things on his or her own, encourage it. Show how to wash dishes and clothes, clean the house, mend clothing and all of the daily necessary things, then build expectations that your child will do his or her own chores from that point on.

Obsolescence-proof your kids. As far as you’re able, teach kids how to life hack everything from the motherboard to the vacuum cleaner. Being able to fix things that break, to re-engineer things that get overtaken by technology and to make completely new things from scratch will give your kids a sense of strength in an ever-changing world.

Be conscious that your kids and teens may not experience rebellious moments, especially if you’re a permissive and tolerant type. In fact, they might even goad you into telling them off once in a while, just to see if you care enough to set limits. That’s okay––set a few simple ones and always be there for them when they need you.

Calm the anarchy. While anarchy may reign supreme in the credo of a punk, anarchy in the household is rather less helpful. Having systems in place to remain organized, from cleaning clothes and bed linen to preparing the kids’ lunches is essential for keeping on top of everything that child raising entails. If you haven’t already discovered this, cease your resistance to household systems, for these will restore calm and precious time in your life, freeing you up to pursue more exciting things that you love, like punk rock.

Don’t force punk rock on your kids. Don’t be bothered when your kids tell you it’s weird music and they’d rather not hear it, or they prefer Justin Bieber. And even though you may recall the time your best friend had his teeth kicked in during this great Black Flag song, be ready for your teen to think it blows. Your kids are individuals with their own taste. It may take time to win them over unless you’ve had punk rock blaring in the background since their birth. In turn, be ready to appreciate their music taste too, without your sarcastic commentary!

Find out if any of your kids’ favorite bands were inspired by one of your former punk bands. As with most musical cycling, many of the emerging bands (both non-punk and punk) today have been inspired by a punk band from the past. If you discover this, it’s a great way to point out how your kid’s favorite band was inspired by one of your favorite bands.

Being Yourself = Being Cool, Part 2

Relax. Stop worrying about the worst that could happen, especially in social situations. So what if you fall flat on your face? Or get spinach stuck in your teeth? Or accidentally head butt your date when leaning in for a kiss? Learn to laugh at yourself both when it happens and afterward. Turn it into a funny story that you can share with others. It lets them know that you’re not perfect and makes you feel more at ease, too. It’s also an attractive quality for someone to be able to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously!

Treat yourself as you’d treat your own best friend. You value your friends and those close to you; well, who is closer to you than you are? Give yourself the same kind, thoughtful, and respectful treatment that you give to other people you care about. If you had to hang out with yourself for a day, what is the most fun/enjoyable/fulfilled/calm/contented type of person you could be, while still being yourself? What is the best version of you? Believe in this idea and use that as your starting point. Love and accept yourself as you are now, just as you do for your close ones.

Be responsible for yourself and for boosting your self-esteem. If others aren’t telling you you’re great, don’t let it get to you. Instead, tell yourself you’re special, wonderful, and worthwhile. When you believe these things about yourself, others will recognize that glow of self-confidence and begin confirming your self-affirmations in no time!

Develop and express your individuality. Whether it’s your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream and produces positive outcomes, then be proud of it. Be a character, not a type. Learn to communicate well – the better you can express yourself, the easier it is for the people who like you as you are to find you and the ones who don’t to just steer clear.

Stop comparing yourself to others. If you’re always striving to be someone you’re not already, you’ll never be a happy person. This comes about through comparing yourself to others and finding yourself wanting in certain ways. This is a slippery slope to tread, though. You can always see the appearances others wish to portray publicly but you won’t ever see what’s really going on behind their façades in their apparently perfect world. By comparing yourself to others, you give their image-portrayal way too much power and reduce your own worth based on a mirage. It’s a useless activity that only brings harm. Instead, value the person you are, love your personality, and embrace your flaws; we all have them, and as explained earlier, being honest is better than running from them.

Avoid being unfair to yourself. Sometimes comparison causes us to compare apples with pears. We’d like to be a top movie producer in Hollywood when we’re a lowly, aspiring scriptwriter. To see that top producer’s lifestyle and find yourself wanting as a result is an unfair comparison – that person has years of experience and hobnobbing behind them, while you’re just starting out, testing the waters with writing skills that may one day prove to be exceptional. Be realistic in your comparisons and only look to other people as inspiration and as sources of motivation, not as a means to belittling yourself.

Never stop looking for your own strengths. Over time, these may change and thus, so may your definition of yourself, but never let up in focusing and refocusing on them. They more than adequately balance out your flaws and are the principal reason for not comparing yourself to others.

Comparison leads to resentment. A person filled with resentment cannot focus on the mantra of “be yourself” because they are too busy hankering after someone else’s spoils!

Comparison leads also to criticism of others. A life filled with criticizing others stems from low self-esteem and a need to pull other’s off their perches that you’ve placed them on. That’s both a way to lose friends and respect, and it’s also a way of never being yourself because you’re envy-struck and spending too much time on others, not on improving yourself.

Follow your own style. The common thing a lot of people do is copy others’ actions because it seems like the better route to fit in, but really, shouldn’t you stand out? Standing out is very hard, yes, but you need to try avoid assuming other people’s perspectives of you, even if it’s not something you would normally do; that’s what being yourself is all about. Maybe you like to sit outside on the deck under an umbrella in the middle of the rain, maybe you have different ideas of things, rather than other people, maybe you like strawberry cake instead of the common chocolate cake, whatever you are, accept it. Being different is absolutely beautiful and it attracts people to you. Don’t let people change you!

Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and that some days you are the statue. People might raise eyebrows and even make fun, but as long as you can shrug and say “Hey, that’s just me” and leave it at that, people will ultimately respect you for it, and you’ll respect yourself.

Being Yourself = Being Cool, Part 1

Just be yourself. That sentence is quite possibly the most commonly used phrase in the history of advice: Be yourself. It’s such a vague adage. What do they really mean when they tell you to be yourself? And is it really as easy as it sounds?

Find yourself and define yourself on your terms. Oscar Wilde once said with his usual wit: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. As humorous as this might seem, it’s a basic summation of the truth. Yet, you can’t be yourself if you don’t know, understand, and accept yourself first. It should be your primary goal to find this out. Find the time to dwell upon what you value and take time to consider what makes up the essence of who you are. As part of this, contemplate your life and choices. Try to think about what kinds of things you would or wouldn’t like to do, and act accordingly; finding out through trial and error helps more than you might think it does. You can even take personality tests, but be careful to only take what you want from them so that you do not let such tests define you. Instead, ensure that the defining you do is based on your own terms and is something you feel absolutely comfortable with. You may feel self-conscious, but over time if you are around the right type of people for you, they will accept you for who you are. And love and start to look at the real you.

In finding your values, don’t be surprised if some of them seem to conflict. This is a natural result of taking on broad values from a variety of sources, including culture, religion, mentors, inspiring people, educational sources, etc. What does matter is that you continue working through these conflicts to resolve what values feel most true to yourself.

Avoid fixating on the past and not letting yourself grow. One of the most unhealthy approaches to being oneself is to make a decision that who you are is defined by a moment or period of time, after which you spend the rest of your life trying to still be that person from the past rather than someone who is still you but grows with the passing of each season and decade. Allow yourself this space to grow, to improve, to become wiser. And allow yourself to forgive past errors and past behaviors you’re not so proud of. Work on accepting mistakes and choices you’ve made; they’re done and in the past. You had your reasons for them and the decision made sense at the time, so instead of harnessing yourself to past mistakes, allow yourself to learn their lessons and continue to grow.

Look for people around you who proudly proclaim they are no different than they were the day they turned 16 or 26 or 36, or whatever. Do these people seem flexible, easygoing, happy people? Often they are not because they are so busy insisting that nothing has changed for them ever, that they’re incapable of taking on new ideas, learning from others, or growing. They might believe adamantly that they are “being themselves” but in reality they are often enslaved by the past and a particular image of themselves that they would have done better to have released long ago. Growth into every new age and stage of our lives is an essential part of being true to ourselves and to being emotionally healthy and whole.

Stop caring about how people perceive you. Some of them will like you and some of them won’t. Either attitude is as likely to be right or wrong. It’s next-to-impossible to be yourself when you’re caught up in constantly wondering “Do they think I’m funny? Does she think I’m fat? Do they think I’m stupid? Am I good/clever/popular enough to be a part of their group of friends?” To be yourself, you’ve got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filter — not their consideration of you. Besides, if you change yourself for one person or group, another person or group may not like you, and you could go on forever in a vicious cycle trying to please people instead of focusing on building up your talents and strengths; being a people-pleaser or always wanting everyone’s love and respect is a totally pointless exercise in the end that can harm your personal development and confidence. Who cares what other people say? As Eleanor Roosevelt said once, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” and what matters most is that you listen to your own inner confidence and if it’s missing, that you start developing it!

Does this mean no one’s opinion in life matters? No. It hurts if you’re socially rejected. If you’re forced into a situation where you must spend most or all of your time among people who can’t stand you for reasons of their own, it’s dangerous to internalize their negative ideas of who you are. What you can do is exercise some choice in whose opinions you value more than others. It’s much healthier to pay attention to people who genuinely mean you well and who agree with you about what you want to do with your life.

Be careful though, an individual can mean you well, but it may be only on their own terms. This could steer you down the wrong path, and with all the passion of true consideration for your well being. Maybe they think you’d be better off in a different occupation, different lifestyle or religion. Think of an enthusiastic evangelist from any religion.  In the path to being yourself many people think religion, regardless of which one it is, as a true path. The only true path is under your feet, walking others path will just take you wherever they went.

Don’t trivialize it if you face negative social pressure or bullying. It’s easier to withstand it if you are aware of it as pressure and build healthy defenses. Building up a circle of trusted friends and people who share your views and beliefs in life is a good way to help reduce the impact of hostile people. You can tell yourself their opinions don’t matter, and they shouldn’t, but that’s a lot easier when there are others who agree with you and stand by you. If you are alone that is fine, just think about how the people in your life who care about you. Then compare them to whoever the bully is; suddenly you can realize that their opinion of you, your family or your lifestyle, is worthless. We inherently care about the opinions of those we respect and look up to. This works both ways; if you someone has no respect for you than what they say is just empty words coming from someone who is only one step above being a total stranger.

Learn the difference between intimidating, sarcastic, conniving, or thoughtless comments from others and constructive criticism which is well intended. It will focus on real faults that you don’t know about, and could do with remedying. In the latter case, people such as parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, etc., might well be telling you things that you need to digest and mull over at your own pace, to make self-improvements for the better. The difference is that their critique of you is intended to be helpful. They care about you and are interested in how you grow as a person, and are respectful. Learn how to spot the difference and you will live well, dismissing pointless negative critiques, and learning from the constructive critique.

Be honest and open. What have you got to hide? We’re all imperfect, growing, learning human beings. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself — and you feel that you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally — then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so-called flaws into individualistic quirks or simply as basic, down-to-earth acknowledgments of your own imperfections. Be honest with yourself, but don’t beat yourself up; apply this philosophy to others, as well. There is a difference between being critical and being honest; learn to watch the way you say things to yourself and others when being honest.

Try the tactic of owning up to your imperfections mid-argument with someone. You will often discover that suddenly you’ve removed the very reason for stubbornly holding the line of argument, which is often about preserving face and not giving in. The moment you say, “Yeah, look I get really irritable when the room’s in a mess too. And I acknowledge that I shouldn’t leave my clothes in a pile on the floor and yet, I do it because that’s a lazy part of myself I’m still trying to train out of the habit. I’m sorry. I know I could do better, and I will try.”, you suddenly infuse an argument with genuine self-honesty that disarms the entire point of the argument, which in this case is messy habits but could apply to anything about your own behavior.

Mending A Broken Relationship

If you feel that sinking feeling coming on that means your relationship is on the rocks, now may be a good time to re-examine your relationship with your loved one. There are several steps you can take to put you and your partner back on the road to recovery.

Decide if it is worth it. It is a depressing fact about life, but some relationships may happen to be too far gone to save. Therefore, take some time to really think about the relationship. Find out the real cause of the conflict or breakup. Is it your fault or your partner’s fault? If you are in an abusive relationship, physically or emotionally, it may be best to leave and find a fresh start. If not, you must be willing to take on the following steps with a passion. If at the end of the day you still think that the relationship is worth saving, then go all out to save it.

Pinpoint the problem. It is hard to fix a relationship when you do not know what went wrong. Talk to your partner to see if they are willing to try a problem-solving method known as “Plus Delta”. If he or she is willing, take some quiet time out of your day where you two can do the following:

Each person needs a piece of paper folded length-wise into thirds.

Label the first column “plus”, the second column “minus”, and the third column “delta”.

In the plus column, each of you must write several things that you personally find to be good in your relationship. Ex. “our walks in the park” or “the way we wake each other up when we have a bad dream”

In the minus column, individually write what you each think are some negative aspects of your relationship.

Delta is a term used in math and science that means “change in”. You should use this column to identify specific changes that you wish to make in your relationship. This can mean doing less of one thing or doing more of another thing. Ex. “more cuddle time while watching T.V “or “planning special dinner dates” or “more daily communication”.

Share your thoughts. It is important that these thoughts are not shared in an angry or argumentative way. You should hold each other’s hand while sharing your thoughts or cuddle up together. It may feel awkward to do this if you have been fighting a lot lately, but it can make a difference.

Listen. When your partner is talking, do not interrupt them to “counter” what they said or to defend yourself. Keep in mind that if they wrote something down under the minus column, it is because it is truly hurting or worrying them. Whether their feelings seem rational or not, it is important to respect them.

Take action. Try to identify some of the most important problems on each other’s list and find a way to fix the situation. For example, if communication was a big problem, make it a point to talk to each other for twenty minutes each day without the T.V., radio, or computer on.

Maintain your progress. Be sure to apologize for hurting each other’s feelings and repeat the process as often as needed

Love each other

Try different moves with that person.