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How to Kill High Expectations and Strengthen Relationships

High expectations uproot relationships. Even foundational friendships unglue when someone places unrealistic requirements on the other person. I’ve noticed this in my life. Others projected their lofty demands, and I faded. I’ve also handed out some unfair requirements. People I love seem distant. My high expectations are the cause. Have you noticed this in your relationships? Maybe an old friend doesn’t come around as often. Maybe you separated yourself because they weren’t trying hard enough. You weren’t pleased. “You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop… Read More

People-pleaser? Here is some useful advice to help break your bad habit

When it’s the holidays, and the family is together, do you stress about how everyone is feeling? You might be a people-pleaser. Do you think: ”Oh, I hope she doesn’t bring him up.” Or, ”I better not add that to the meal. I know how he complains.” You are always in the kitchen helping prepare a meal. Then when everyone else heads to the living room, you stay behind to clean. Sound like you? You’re definitely living to satisfy others. That’s not a bad thing, but it can be taken… Read More

Difficult people are often not our real problem

How do you deal with difficult people? First, you take a deep look inside yourself and make sure you’re not a hypocrite. I found that I am. For example, in arguments, I am thinking about my next words. I never fully listen. The brain is a wonderful tool. The neocortex wants to process those words, to comprehend them, but I rarely give it a chance. Conversations often escalate when I don’t slow down to listen. Simple dialogues begin to boom; frustrations bloom. I’m reactive. I’m easily offended. My problems occur… Read More

Here is the simple secret to living a happy life

Living a happy life seems to be allusive. Plus, “Everyone has an opinion about happiness,” Harvard University professor of psychology Daniel Gilbert wrote, “and unfortunately, many of them write books.” There’s no shortage of literature willing to help us wrestle for our happiness. All of culture is doing its best to help us achieve a more positive life. Cliches dilute our days. Walk into any craft store, and you’ll find an assortment of throw pillows offering their sage advice. Some of the most common messages include, “Happiness is not a… Read More

Stuck in Rumination

I’ve done a lot of not-so-smart things. I broke my car windshield once, with my foot. The music blared, the coeds approached, I found myself on the roof dancing and in need of a grand exit. So, I attempted to hop off over the hood. Ankle hits the windshield. Glass breaks. There you have it. Even as I write this out, I’m overthinking whether I should or not. What will you think of me? (That’s an easy answer). Why was I so stupid? (Again, easy). No one else does ridiculous… Read More