Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Dealing with a Bully

We all have bullies in our lives. We all have those jerks and a-holes who, for some reason, because their life sucks like a vacuum, need to come in and wreak havoc in ours just to make themselves feel good. Loosers.

When dealing with a bully, I encourage people to engage in a two-step coping, problem solving and communication psychological fitness routine known as Empathize then Pivot. This particular skill allows you to maintain a sense of self-esteem, self-advocacy and, at the same time, control the situation not allowing the bully to get away with all of their crap and leave you feeling as though you’re a complete wimp.

The next time someone starts to blame you, shame you, attempt to make you feel guilty, attempt to make you jump through their Fiery Hoops I want you to empathize. Empathizing with someone is a basic and vital psychological fitness skill that helps us communicate to another person our awareness and understanding of their emotional state and why they feel that way. When a bully is blaming or shaming, say to the jerk in your life, “Sounds like that’s very painful.” Or perhaps you might say, “that seems like it would be very frightening.” The goal here for you is to focus on the bully so that you can reflect back the emotion you believe they are genuinely feeling; which b6 the way, is actually fueling their aggressive and often annoying behavior.

Once you have empathized with the bully, pivot. Empathizing with the bully will throw them off their game, bewildering them. You’ll see it written all over their face. Once you have empathized and thrown them off balance now take control of the situation by pivoting the conversation away from their agenda to your agenda or something completely benign such as the weather, sports, politics, or one of my personal favorites, movies.

Once you pivot you have gained control of the conversation. The bully may try to take control back from you by siezing the proverbial Talking Stick. If this occurs do it again, empathize than pivot. And keep in mind that your pivot can also be walking away. Empathize then excuse yourself and walk away.

When you engage this particular psychological fitness skill, you will see your general and overall mental wellness skyrocket. You will feel a sense of confidence and your anxiety will diminish.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Getting Negative

I have noticed that I am getting more and more negative in my thinking and also in some actions.

Not sure why. Which not only perplexes me it also pisses me off.

I have become aware that I usually expect the worse outcome when out and about living my life. Case in point. Picture this, a man with his family visiting Las Vegas for the weekend is sitting at a UNLV Rebels football game when he suddenly realizes that the game may go into overtime. The man and his family have tickets for Cirque du Soleil and the time between the game and the performance is shrinking. His mind begins to wonder. He begins to imagine all of the reasons he and his family will not make the show on time. He becomes anxious. He becomes agitated. He no longer is enjoying the game. He can no longer look forward to the performance. He is in the Twilight Zone of anxiety.

The game did not go into overtime. We had plenty of time between the game and the performance. We even stopped at a sports bar and had snacks and drinks before the performance. After the performance and once I returned to my hotel I reflected and noticed that I have been more and more negative in my thinking, anxious emotionally, agitated, verbally abusive, and a pain in the ass from a behavioral point of view.

Something must be going on. Has to be.

But what?

I think, reflect, ponder and look inward. Can’t pinpoint the possible souce of my almost automatic negative view of the world and corresponding emotional and behavioral responses.

Past trauma? Could be. Fear of dreams failing to materialize? Possible. Just a funk? Maybe.

Either way, pain from my past, struggles with an existential reality or just some kind of Uptown funk could all be answers. Key here is that I need to step up my Psychological Fitness skills to manage this new wave of whatever it is until I can get a better handle on it.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Infidelity in Modern Times

Modern Take on Cheating

Who doesn’t love a TED Talk?

This one in particular is worth watching even if you’re not a counselor. Helps understand and break down the difference between infidelity and monogamy in 2021 versus of course these two concepts in 1981.

As we all know times have changed. So does our concept of marriage, fidelity, monogamy and all of the interesting trimmings that go with it.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Anger or Passion?

I’m not angry I’m passionate.

I’m not angry I’m just expressing, cathartically, maybe even satirically, my passion. I am trying to motivate myself to do something impressive.

Is there a difference between anger behaviors and a dramatic or cathartic or satirical display of passion for intrinsic motivation?

Of course there is!

We usually intuitively “know” the difference based on the situation. Situational awareness often dictates the difference between “passion” and raw anger. In a sporting event, for example, competitors express their emotiond through cathartic and expressive behavior we may call “passion”. In that moment, the passionate competitor fears losing. In that moment, the competitor senses the disappointment of losing creeping in as doubt replaces faith.

Anger, on the other hand, is behavior expressing hurt and/or fear, the same as passion, yet anger’s intention is to manipulate or control. That is the biggest difference between passion and anger. Passion does not seek to control another, rather its intent is to intrinsicly motivate the one who is expressing themselves through a rather aggressive or anger like behavior.

Maybe I am wrong! It happens. No problem with it.

I think for those of us who enjoy sports we love Angry passion love can be shown in the heat of competition. This is why I love hockey, NASCAR and other physically aggressive sports that balance aggression and skill.

We know the difference when that behavior is about motivating oneself verses about controlling or manipulating another.