How to Deal With Negativity

One person patiently listens to another who's upsetLittle Kidbit comes home from school and declares, “School sucks.”

Carl Coworker looks over the agenda for the upcoming meeting and sighs, “This is going to be a total waste of time.”

Spouse comes home from the grocery store and growls, “That grocery store has the worst parking in town.”

How do you respond?

It’s tempting to debate the facts of the case. You might even see it as an opportunity to do some “positivity training.” Read More

Take Charge of Your Life

The problem is that we started out as children.

Overcoming that fact can take a lifetime.

Programmed for Powerlessness

Children have no power.

If you had a normal childhood, you didn’t get to choose how or where you spent your time.

You didn’t decide when to go to bed or even what to wear when you got there.

You were told to brush your teeth, eat your vegetables (or face the intolerable prospect of no dessert), and go to school. Read More

Estrangement Takes Two

If someone has cut you off, and the two of you aren’t speaking, it can feel like something is being done to you. It’s like you’re the victim and they’re the perpetrator.

But if you take a step back and look at the entire picture over time, it’s probably not quite like that.

Two Perpetrators, Two Victims

Do you have an email, mailing address, website, or phone number for the person?

Do you know where they work or play? Read More

How to Deal With a Persnickety Friend

Do you have a friend who’s got you walking on eggshells — someone who makes you feel like you’re not a good person, let alone a good friend?

Friendship on Probation

I have a friend like this. Everything I do feels like it’s never quite right, or quite enough.

Each piece of positive feedback, every supportive email, all the small accommodations I cheerfully make around  her personal preferences — it’s like these are thrown down a well. Read More