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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Another Year To Grow On

Hey All!  About to close the door on another year.

Technically speaking, we can start a new beginning any time we feel like it, but there's nothing wrong with making that commitment on New Year's.  It's just a matter of not completely forgetting about it the next day!

Well, since you'll have me blogging and posting for the next 52 weeks, hopefully we'll both stay reinforced.

Let's make commitments to:

(1) Remove the wrong people from our lives, and erecting boundaries so solid that they'll never return;

(2) Respect the right people in our lives by Acting Like It Matters;

(3) Set goals that are finished when we reach them, and not those that are finished when we get bored with them;

(4) Accept responsibility for our mistakes and learn from them, instead of just getting angry;

(5) Be assertive in all dealings, not passive so you are taken advantage of, and not aggressive so you are not taken seriously;

(6) Say no when no is the right answer, and follow through without being manipulated by guilt or doubt;

(7) Decide what should be thought about, and remove, dismiss, and reject what should not be thought about;

(8) Address conflict only when necessary for prevention of imminent harm or for professional obligations, and not because someone else is bored and needs to provoke fights;

(9) Respect your body enough to set limits as to what you eat and drink, and how much;

(10) Respect your personality enough to not be in environments or situations where you are not respected.

This list is inclusive, but not exclusive.  No matter what you choose to do, I wish you all a year of Emotional Maturity.





Sunday, December 3, 2017

Where Does It Start?

Sunday Morning, All - Time to bring back some thoughts and wisdom.

Throughout the halls of government and the tinsel of entertainment, we've borne witness to a Reckoning:  Powerful men who had, for years, used women as sexual playthings, are being accused by scores of women of crossing the line too often.  Nearly every day, new revelations are being made, new belated apologies are issued, and established careers are ending.

Women are lashing out in anger and resentment, and some confessing that they, too, were abused or harassed and know the pain.  Men are, once again, being faced with the reality that unlike our Neanderthal antecedents, we cannot have our way with women as we feel like because they are still just as human as we are.

Any thought to how this type of savagery, and resulting backlash, originates?

I'm pretty sure I do.

Bullying, in and of itself, is clearly a less egregious offense than rape and sexual abuse.  Nobody's arguing about that.  The grotesque physical violence involved with those actions have been properly criminalized, the rights of those accused of those crimes have become narrowed, and the consequences of those convicted of those crimes are the harshest possible without a death sentence.  We should all be in agreement on that.

However, it appears to be that the dynamics between perpetrator and victim in both situations are actually quite similar:
(1) A perpetrator who seeks to dominate the victim;
(2) A victim who is in some way weaker than the perpetrator;
(3) A sentiment that whatever the perpetrator does is completely the victim's fault by way of provocation; and
(4) Even worse consequences if the victim seeks to have the proper authorities execute judgment against the perpetrator.

As a whole, society has attempted to reverse the way rape/sexual assault victims have been treated, as stated above.  Nowadays, it seems antiquated and backwards to suggest that a rape victim provoked the attack, and those victims who do come forward are lauded as courageous heroes.  Also, as stated above, the constitutional rights that are guaranteed to those accused of other felonies seem to be minimized for those accused of sexual offenses.  Ideally, this should lead to extreme deterrence, and a reminder that no self-respecting person should ever even consider committing these offenses.

But even if, as stated above, bullying is a less egregious offense than crimes against sexuality, why does the above dynamic remain the same for bullying when it has changed for sexual offenses?

Why, in the instance of bullying, does the perpetrator face little or no deterrence?  Why is the victim of bullying blamed for its occurrence in the way that rape victims once were?  And why is a victim of bullying labeled a coward when the proper authorities get involved, where a victim of rape is deemed brave for doing the same thing?

I have a few conclusions of my own:

(1) Reverse Sexism:  It goes without saying that most rape victims are female.  It also appears that most bullying victims are male.  For reasons not made clear, the notion that men and boys must be more self-aware of their actions and respectful around women is non-existent in the scenario of bullying apparently weaker males.  Instead, victims are labeled with misogynistic terms for not being "man enough," and they are shamed for not knowing how to "fight back."  This is a short-sighted mistake.  Ancient and medieval societies lived by "might makes right."  They're still extinct.

(2) One Thing Leads To Another:  Bullying might not be a crime, but that doesn't make it acceptable.  It seems like a fair inference that when children are not taught to treat other people with respect, and are instead enabled, encouraged, or rewarded for abusing those weaker than them, they will simply graduate to doing it on a larger scale.  And since women are still, for the most part, physically weaker than them, it's not such a stretch to expand from abusing weaker males to abusing females.

(3) Lack Of Empathy:  There is still a strain of society that seeks to criticize faster than it seeks to praise.  It somehow seems more exciting, more self-justifying, and even more fun to point a finger at someone else's misfortunes than it is to applaud someone's successes.  For reasons I have not yet figured out, it is somehow easier to blame a victim than it is to blame a perpetrator - possibly because the self-appointed critic is convinced that their life experience has provided them with untold knowledge and wisdom, and that because of that, they know that they would never have made the same mistake.  This may or may not be true, but a reminder that not everyone has the same upbringing/culture/worldview might persuade them to be less critical.

So What Can We Do About It?

(A).  Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be . . . I'll be nice and not use my official term for them.  Teach them to Respect All, whether they're friends with them or not.

(B).  Stop Enabling.  If you have friends or relatives who get a charge out of bullying, tell them it's not ok.  If you'd rather not confront them, then just stop associating with them.  We don't live in a comic book, so you don't need a classic line - just make it clear you don't accept it.

(C).  Condemn Bullying The Same Way We Condemn Rape and Racism.




A good Sunday, all!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Most Unforgiven

Hey All - hope you had a nice weekend!

Recently, a heard a clergy-person's sermon about empathy for others, and the rejection of selfishness.  He questioned whether or not we care about the plight of those who lack what we have.  And he included whether anyone cares about inner city "ghetto" residents, or even prison inmates.

This is only an idea, nothing's been done yet, but that gave me food for thought.  I wrote some time ago about how those in poverty are living that way, and often stay that way, because of their mentality and attitude.  They feel stuck, powerless, and unable to move forward.  They turn to activities that give them momentary comfort and pleasure - hence the alcoholism, drug addiction, and unintended pregnancies - because they know only too well that the rest of their day is filled with regret, sorrow, and frustration.  You don't have to be a bleeding heart, a social justice warrior, or a tree-hugger to understand that these people are hurting, and that they see no end in sight.

What if I had some of my videos emailed and broadcast in homeless shelters and jails?  What if I gave them a message they could get into?  What if they found Emotional Maturity and could either (a) find a way to get off the street; or (b) rejoin society without the desire to commit crimes again?

Don't get it twisted, I'm not giving anyone handouts.  We've seen well-intentioned social programming fail, since there still are poor, and there still are criminals.  We've also seen this 99%/1% divisiveness, blaming those who are wealthy for the plight of the lower classes.  Neither one is right.

They do need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, no doubt about that.  But first things first, they need to start believing in themselves big time.  They need to know that they Exist, Matter, Belong, and Deserve.  They need to know that they are Bold and Bulletproof.  And then they need to learn enough discipline to master their emotions and expend their energy in the right direction.

Feedback would be appreciated, but by private message only.  This is something I'd like to make happen.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Forgiveness - Giving and Receiving

Hey All - had the best weekend, period.  Message me why and I'll give you the low-down.

Every year, Judaism has the Ten Days of Awe.  It begins with Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the religious calendar, and ends with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Custom states that at the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, a celestial auditing commences, and all the living are evaluated as to their deeds and misdeeds.  At the end of those Ten Days, the auditing is concluded and everyone's fate is sealed.  Therefore, it's a custom to use this week and a half to be more self-aware, more reflective, and definitely more empathetic to others.

When I was a kid, the father of a friend of mine had a note hanging from the refrigerator with a magnet.  It stated that the six most important words in the English language were, "I Admit I Made A Mistake."  It felt good to read that, but I knew that making such a sincere admission wasn't always going to get me a pat on the head.  My experience with the authority figures at the time was that stating that you did something wrong, no matter how regretful or sincere you were about it, would get you very unpleasant consequences.  Not everyone knows this, but when you do this to kids enough times, you end up teaching them to lie - if they know that telling the truth will always mean something bad, then it shouldn't be a surprise when they just tell you what you want to hear.

Honestly, we could do so much better, as a society and as people, if apologies and forgiveness really meant something.  What if we were less willing to condemn, and more willing to understand?  What if we were less willing to deflect the blame, and more willing to accept responsibility?  What if being wrong, or mistaken, wasn't seen as the kiss of death, and was seen as simply being human?  And what if the desire to hold someone else's mistakes over their head permanently simply wasn't there?

If we're talking about criminal wrongdoing or fraudulent activity, that might be somewhat more complicated.  But just about everything else we do in life should be easily resolved with a simple apology and acceptance if those who make mistakes weren't made afraid to own them, and those who felt wronged weren't so adamant about holding grudges.

Of course, this may severely impact the legal community.  Then again, a less litigious society might be a more pleasant society.

(A)  Did you make a mistake?
    (1)  Admit it.
    (2)  Own it.
    (3)  Forgive yourself.
    (4)  After you've finished dealing with it, don't dwell on it.

(B)  Did somebody do you wrong?  And if so, did they accept responsibility?
   (1)  Accept it.
   (2)  Forgive them.
   (3)  Keep moving to the next issue.

This doesn't mean taking the hit for something that you didn't do.  It also doesn't mean that you have to let someone continue to do you wrong all the time.  But it does mean that if you did the wrong, there should be nothing preventing you from owning it, and if you were wrong, there should be no reason to hold grudges or seek retribution.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Use Your FIlter

Hey All - Sunday night, and you know what that means!

We have always been told not to let others' opinions of us affect us.  But we have also always been told that we should be open to criticism, accepting of new ideas, and not resist anything that contradicts what's "in our bubble."

Great, mixed messages.  Gotta love when they come our way.  How are we really supposed to know which way to go?

That's a trick question - we already do.

(1) In what manner is this opinion or "fact" being expressed?  Is it interrupting something you were already saying?  A catcall as you walk by someone?  Is it from someone hijacking, one-upping, or upstaging something you were already doing?  Shut 'em down.  You're dealing with a textbook example of a narcissist, and the only way to "fight" them is to not engage.

(2) Is it coming from someone who's earned your trust?  Is it in private, out of respect?  Is it focused more on help and/or friendship, and less on "I'm right and I'm smarter than you?"  Give it a listen, and listen good.  You don't really know everything.  So if there's something you can use that's being provided, accept it and say thank you!

As with all things, the key here is respect.  Bashing you in public and forcing an opinion on you is not respect, it's an attempt to subjugate and dominate in order to feed someone's ego.  Explaining things in private, with honesty, but not just for the sake of putting someone down, and explaining why they think it should be considered, then that is respect.

(Caveat - there is such a thing as stealth narcissists, who pretend to be your friend in order to manipulate you.  See, I don't only think in black & white)

We have in our minds a filter.  We can accept knowledge that is verified, solidified, trustworthy, and provided from credible sources, and use it to evolve and update our knowledge.  And we can reject unverified and unsolicited information from questionable sources that is not reliable and does nothing to update our knowledge.

But you have to understand this!  But you have to think like me because I'm right!  But you can't tell me that you still believe that!

Then stop trying to sell it.  Planting seeds is one thing, but anyone who forces their opinion on us needs to be removed.  We decide what to accept to update our knowledge, they don't.

In fact, that's one of the most powerful things we have over others:  Our choice whether to accept or reject their messages.  Some people simply cannot handle rejection, different perspectives, or adverse opinions.  They may or may honestly expect people to ask "how high?" when they say jump.  Merely saying "no" to them sets off alarms.

NARCISSIST SURVIVAL TIP:  When necessary, if they don't understand "no" after the nth time, just let them win.   Pretend they know it all, and they schooled us.  They obviously need the "win" more than we need to argue with them.  Then they'll be quiet and we can leave.


Sometimes you might have a message that others reject too.  If they're not interested, they're not interested.  Move on and don't beat a dead horse.




Night all.  Feel free to comment or PM me!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Respect All

Happy Sunday, All.  The temperature is still hot like we want it, but summer is slowly winding down.  For the meteorologists in the audience, we all know that summer does not end until the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, 2017.  However, the rest of us have gotten used to it ending prematurely on Labor Day, thanks to our friends in academia.

A lot of hot-button issues have popped up recently.  Racism.  Free Speech.  The Civil War.  Our President.  There has been non-stop, ad nauseum coverage of these issues on all networks, channels and frequencies.

I say that's enough of that.  Perhaps finding ways to resolve these issues might be better read.

(1)  Respect All.

We are all human.  Flesh and blood.  Heart and soul.  Thoughts and feelings.  On some level, all of us matter.  This includes every faith and stripe.

This does not necessarily mean that we must all love each other, as set forth below.  It does, however, mean that there is never a reason to hate anyone else.  We're all somebody, and we've all had experiences that others haven't.  We must accept that no matter what.

(2) Befriend Few.

Unfortunately, people judge us by the five people we're around the most.  It might not be fair, but it happens because our attitude, behavior, and conduct is heavily influenced by the five people we're around the most.

Some of us seem to be friends with just about everyone.  In one sense, this is a good thing, because you know how to say things people like to hear and do things people like to see.  It's also not the best thing because not everyone likes to see and hear the same things.  And even if we respect each other, that doesn't mean that we should all be friends - once more, it doesn't mean we hate them, it just means that we can't really be friends with everyone, despite appearances to the contrary.  Outside of the undergraduate academic setting, popularity is a ruse.

Moreover, being friends with everyone cheapens the value of a friendship.  Keeping a circle small, on the other hand, means that you might look to only befriend those who you can trust, and who can make you even better than you already are.

(3) Love One.

Not everyone is a fan of marriage, or even monogamy.  When we're young, we're often encouraged to play the field, and when we're single we are encouraged to meet as many potential mates as possible.  But in the end, it's our natural inclination as human beings to find that one person with whom we can share everything about our lives.  Yes, there is such a thing as divorce, since marriages are not always meant to last.  But there is also such a thing as a soul mate.

Once you find that soul mate, you do it right.  You don't violate the trust that's there.  You don't let disagreements become high-conflict sporting events.  You don't put your needs over the other's.  You make it a 50/50 equal partnership.  Nobody is the scrub, and nobody is on the pedestal.  You take the respect you show everyone else, and the friendship you grant to a chosen few, and you make it exponential.  You show that one person what nobody else gets, and you keep on doing it.


This just might be the most difficult thing to do.  Believe me, I know.  There are those who are not respectful.  There are bullies.  There are predators.  There are racists.  There are sexists.  There are those who think they're entitled when they aren't.  There are narcissists.  There are criminals.  There are pathological liars.  There are elitists.  There are people who try to minimize us, manipulate us, and fool us.

There are truly evil people in this world.  And when we hate them, we join them.

Unfortunately, we have triggers, and we have thresholds.  We still have that fight-or-flight reflex downloaded into our programming from the days of the Neanderthals.  We still feel compelled to fight fire with fire, and we still get a rush from our lizard brains when there seems to be a reason to engage in conflict.

We can acknowledge this.  And we can still, notwithstanding, control it.

We can romanticize "fighting fire with fire."  And we can also watch both sides burn to a crisp.
We can get our backs up, become militant, and smear everything the others stand for.  And we can also step back for a second, review our reactions, and realize that nothing we've done or said has made us any better than them.

We can also realize that we run the risk of letting them get under our skin when we react that way.  They want us to react.  They want to be the bad guy, because they think it actually makes them look good.  If we react in violence, we run the risk that they are better prepared for what we might use against them.  And even if we somehow overpower them with our kung-fu/UFC/smash-mouth moves we may have, we've really let them overpower us.  We have allowed them to dictate our responses to everything, permitted them to infect our well-being, and interfere with our logical reasoning.  We have accepted their way of might makes right, and we have allowed them to be our masters in that regard.

Contrary to popular opinion, we are a thousand times better off when we don't let that happen.  It's far better than you might think.

We may feel that American society is at a crossroads.  If that's true, there's actually a pretty good path to take instead of the others.




Feel free to react, comment, follow, or re-Tweet, within the bounds of respect.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Heart of Armor, Revisited

Hey All, it's about that time.

This weekend, I advanced my technology just a bit.  Well, more like I renewed a part of my technology that I hadn't discussed in a while.

Part of being emotionally mature means finding a way to deal with any and all negative thoughts.  Can we experience fear, pain, anxiety, anger, frustration, etc.?  Absolutely.  But we need to experience them without being ruled by them.

Years ago, I talked about a Heart of Armor.  That means there is a part of your mind/heart/soul that is completely, protected, insulated, and secure from the above negative emotions.  That means you don't think about that project at work when you're at the beach.  That also means you don't start immediately showing a mental rerun of bad stuff that happened just because you see or hear something that reminds you of it (that crap might work on Family Guy, but it doesn't work in your mind).

You might be aware of troubles and challenges - you kinda need to be - but there is a protected part of you that you never, ever, let those troubles and challenges affect.  If it's not in front of you that minute, you keep any thought of it in check.  If it is in front of you that minute, then handle it.  Regardless, you must keep those stress-causing, agita-inducing thoughts way out of your zone.

This way, you don't personalize or internalize the problems.  You don't make it all about you when it isn't.  And when it is all about you, you still don't let it immobilize, paralyze, or hurt you.

There is a difference between accepting responsibility for something, when you must, and hurting yourself.  When people know your weaknesses, they will try to make you feel like hurting yourself with no remorse and no regret.  It is our job, and only our job, to prevent this from happening at all costs.  Not just to protect us from them.  But also from ourselves.

When we can be aware of what is around us, good or bad, without being distracted or emotionally triggered by it, half the battle is won.  Our tormentors will realize that they're not getting the out-of-control reaction they wanted.  Our supporters will respect us more than otherwise.

"But I'm so passionate!"  "But I'm so outgoing!"  "But I'm just so badass I can't be contained!"

You may or may not be reading the wrong blog, friend.  Or more likely, you can use that passion with discipline and control.  That way you bring about positive results, and not just more and more debates and arguments.

More importantly, that way you don't get your buttons pushed.  You control your emotions, they don't control you.




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Of Pride And Celebration

Hey All.  Hope you're enjoying this first weekend of summer.  Kids out of school, teachers on vacation, both houses of Congress and many state and local legislatures ready to take a break.

This weekend is also being celebrated in many cities to acknowledge what we know as Pride - the celebration of acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

For generations, members of this community have faced discrimination, contempt, and bullying of extreme proportions.  It is encouraging to know that society has essentially opened its armed and accepted those with different sexual orientations than what was traditionally expected as the one and only way.  Laws are now in place that prevent discrimination against members of this community in all areas, including application for a marriage license.

For that, I congratulate this community.  You have come a long way, and you've earned it all.

However, with freedom, also comes responsibility.

When individuals are groups are discriminated against, marginalized, or hated in some way, it's very easy to play tit-for-tat.  It's very easy to demand that the pendulum be swung the other way hard.  It's very easy to demand revenge, very easy to demonize, and very easy to point a finger at someone else who seems "privileged" because they did not suffer the same adversity.  That's where we have a small problem.

The vast majority of those of us who are heterosexual have absolutely nothing against the LGBTQ community.  Speaking for myself, I know how amazing it feels to be in love with someone and be ready to marry them.  I am nobody to say that someone doesn't have that right simply because that love is aimed towards someone of the same gender.

Still, there is a minority that still has trouble accepting it.  They should accept it, as we have.  But forcing them to do so, or face civil or criminal penalties, is not the right way to solve that problem.

Part of Emotional Maturity means understanding that universal acceptance of who you are and what you say simply cannot happen.  Even if you achieve mass acclaim and overall acceptance, there will always be people who will not accept you, and nothing you, or I, or anyone else says will change that.

PERFECT EXAMPLE:  When I began this blog, and I wrote about the virtues of being a Bold Beta Male, and rejecting the idea that every man always be aggressive and abrasive, a particularly unfriendly critic told me that "the only people who are going to listen to you are gays."  I stayed silent.

As mean-spirited and below-the-belt as those judgments and comments can surely be, it is not our place to become triggered by them, to overreact to them, or to demonize those who deliver such statements, even if they most obviously deserve it.  It is also not our place to demand that they unscrew the top of their heads, remove their brains, and allow us to rewire them so they won't behave that way.  It's sometimes our problem that they act and think this way, but it's certainly not our fault.  Therefore, there is no reason for us to become offended, enraged, or outraged by this mentality - because it doesn't hurt us.

I could say the same about racism, sexism, or plain old bullying.  As long as there is something for you to be proud of, there will always be someone who opposes it.  It's simply there.

But the presence of a negative opinion in no way takes away anyone's right to Pride.  It doesn't invalidate you, or what you believe, or what you love.  It doesn't reduce you to dust.  And even if someone else's opinion of you is that unfavorable, it is only their perspective - which should never be yours.

So without rambling on too long, understand that not every single person in this world will accept that Pride.  But the vast, overwhelming majority of it does.  And that majority often includes the people who matter to us the most.  Be grateful for those who accept your Pride, and simply dismiss those who cannot, or will not.

And when I say dismiss, that's different from demonizing.  And it's also not the same as enabling them, or giving tacit approval.  It means remaining calm, unruffled, and not-triggered.  It also means erecting boundaries and removing those who are unable to respect them.  Leave the consequences to Our Mother Lady Karma, and keep your self-respect intact.





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Our Father

Hey All.  Hope all celebrating had a Happy Father's Day.

I know that I appreciate my dad immensely.  He'd be pretty humble about it, but much of what I post in the blog is an outgrowth of the life lessons he taught me.

But even more than my appreciation of him, is my appreciation of Him:  G-D the Father.

Now this isn't based on any religion in particular.  It's just an understanding that there is a supernatural being who has a completely rational expectation of us to recognize and fulfill our personal responsibilities.  Our Mother Lady Karma is the One who handles things we can't control, executes judgment against those who wrong us, and pardons us for our errors.  G-D the Father, however, has a very different role to play.

What He does is remind us of what we CAN control, and that we'd better handle it to the best of our abilities.  His message is, "I'm not going to do your job for you."  Should we get started and keep moving, He is very likely to provide assistance, and quite possibly rewards, along the way.  But if we don't work for it, He won't provide it.

Our Father G-D doesn't want us to give up trying after only a few attempts.  He wants us to get our hands dirty and fail again and again until there has to be some sort of success, great or small.  He wants us to rise above critics and nay-sayers, disable our triggers when they are not needed, and to be as disciplined as possible in our thoughts and actions.

He knows that we'll make mistakes.  Honestly, He expects them to happen.  And He also expects us to keep our emotional reactions to a minimum because they'll only get in the way.  Our Mother can kiss our skinned egos to make them better.  But Our Father wants us to heal them ourselves, because we can!

That doesn't mean He's mean or unforgiving.  If He were, He'd be convincing us all to jump off bridges and end it all.  Instead, He wants us to live, and live right.  He wants us to understand that every new day is another chance to get it right, and not to eternally punish ourselves for when we get it wrong.  He wants us to own The Four Pillars, and own them hard!

So, Friends & Neighbors, today I hope you told your fathers how much you appreciate them.  And every day going forward, I suggest we show appreciation to Our Father G-D by making ourselves even better.




Sunday, April 30, 2017

Speaking Their Language

Hey All.  It's another relaxing Sunday, and that means it's time for another post.

In our challenge to obtain Emotional Maturity, we are often confronted with manipulators, beyess artists, and posers who have developed talents that don't deserve respect.  Instead of owning up to their misdeeds, (or not even doing them in the first place - what a concept), they do everything they can to excuse, confuse, distract, or just babble incessantly in hopes of avoiding consequences.

It's very easy to become angry at them for being this way - and their apologists will not hesitate to remind us that it's a talent we lack - until we remember that this is their only talent.

However, when we are able to easily decipher what they say, we can avoid being manipulated by them.  Some prime examples:

(1)  "No offense, but . . ."  - I'm going to bash you, but instead of admitting that, I'm going to add this disclaimer so I end up looking like the good guy.

(2) "I have no idea what you're talking about."  You're right, but I'm too full of myself to admit it.

(3) "I see the good in all people" - I know my friends are assholes, but if they do/say things wrong to you, I'm going to defend them, because I need popularity more than respect.

(4) "You might learn something/Be open minded" - I'm better than you, so you have to let me interrupt and talk all over you.

(5) "I'm not putting one over on you" - Now that I disarmed you, you're going to fall for my BS just like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.

This by no means an endorsement of the brutally honest - there is such a thing as respect - but there are way too many bullies, abusers, and narcissists who victimize people by beyessing them so hard it comes out their ears!

There are way too many people who get bullied and disrespected when young, used and abused by employers when grown, and made mincemeat out of by spouses and significant others with no morals to speak of.  Contrary to popular opinion, the answer to that problem is not a left hook or a leg sweep.  It's preparation and maturity.

Once you know their language, you can provide responses that clearly indicate that we're not getting fooled.  Here are some examples.

(1) "No offense, but -" Why would I get offended if I wasn't even listening?

(2) "I have no idea what you're talking about."  That's OK, your six-year-old nephew will explain it to you.

(3) "I see the good in all people" - I'm impressed.  I didn't know they made microscopes for that.

(4) "You might learn something."  Mission accomplished.  Bye.

(5) "I'm not putting one over on you."  I didn't say you were.

Don't get it twisted, we're not looking to find the best comebacks, or to have the Hollywood ending.  We're also not looking to get the most hoots and hollers from the spectators and bystanders.  What we are looking to do is set boundaries, and let our egocentric cousins understand that they don't own us, that we are not their followers, and that if they want more tools, they can go to Home Depot.  One of the best ways to do this is to learn their language, instead of being misled by it.  Aside from this, we can leave people like this behind, and (if we choose) replace them with less predatory and more empathetic counterparts.

And even if you don't have a ready response to these meritless, untruthful, and deceptive statements, don't worry.  Our Mother Lady Karma has even better ones.  Maybe She thinks a good comeback might be a ride in handcuffs, an unexpected pregnancy test, or having those very words proven false.  Let Her handle that.  We'll handle our own development, our own happiness, and our own choices of whom we choose to include in our lives.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Deadly Trap of Demonization

Hey All - believe it or not, it's really spring!

Through my travels through social networking, I've joined a few groups that provide support to people recovering from abusive relationships.  Out of respect for those members, I won't reveal their names, but they are there, and hopefully some of their members will decide to like the Facebook page.

As I read the entries on this new page, I empathize wholeheartedly with what these folks have seen.  My heart goes out to how they have suffered, or continue to suffer.  However, it seems that telling the tales of woe is only one part of what's needed.  The other part is to heal and move forward.

At the beginning of this year, when I found Emotional Maturity and incorporated it into this blog, I started to realize that just bashing, crashing, and demonizing is not enough.  No, we can't pretend this didn't happen.  No, we can't pretend that what they've done is all our fault.  And no, we can't say that it was all our imagination when they've hurt us.

However, we can't just make their fault and misdeeds a crutch for everything.  At some point, we've got to stop the anger, end the grudges, and dispose of our ill will.

Many of those who do us wrong will not be apologetic or own up to their actions.  As Isaiah Hankel says, we cannot expect a confession from such people - all we'll get is an excuse, a denial, a reminder that we're not perfect either, or maybe a half-assed apology.  Accordingly, expecting to squeeze blood from a stone, or resorting to any other type of violence, is a waste.

Once we accept that they will not grow halos and wings, we have to stop cursing them for their horns and pitchforks.  We don't have to call it forgiveness - they may have caused harm that forgiveness won't resolve.  But we can call it dismissal or release.

We can censor them from our thoughts and conversations.  We can leave their scenes on the cutting room floor.  We can remove their likenesses from our internal Hall of Fame, and extend provide them with one of those tiny memorial plaques people screw onto park benches that nobody else notices.

For any of those group members who can read this, I feel you.  I've been done to, done wrong, rejected, dejected, and neglected almost as much as you have, though I won't minimize your pain or make it a competition.  I've also committed the erroneous error of holding onto those past wrongs for longer than necessary.  No matter how wrong they were, or how evil they may still be, believe me when I say that holding grudges against them doesn't cure it.  Instead, it eats away at you!

Even worse than that?  It lets them off the hook.  Yes, I know, that's shocking, but you're making something happen that's the exact opposite of what you want - you are letting them off the hook when you hold grudges against them.  There comes a time when our feelings about them stop being their fault and start becoming ours.  We are assuming liability for their fault!  We are bailing them out!  We are becoming just as bad as they are, because we emulate what we hate!!!!!!

You sure you want to give them that gift?  Or would you rather reduce them to the unpleasantness of a bad dream?

That's what I thought.

For those who prefer spiritual comfort for this effort, rest assured:  There's a Lady Named Karma.  She's not impressed with bad boys, and She's not friendly with mean girls.  She has the authority to pass judgment that we lack, and She has much better tools at Her disposal than we do.

Stop holding on to anger at our tormentors, and seeking revenge against our rivals.  Instead, direct that energy towards continuous life improvement, as expected by Our Father G-D.  Let Our Mother G-S Karma handle what the rest of them deserve.




Questions, comments, concerns?  Feel free to private message me.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Responses and Responsibility

Hey All - Hope we're all staying warm.

Like the title?  Wasn't thinking Jane Austen, but it just sort of happened.

To be honest, it's more than a little bit annoying to think that when someone else does something wrong to us, we still bear even a hint of responsibility.  Many times when people say this, it's because (a) they're the ones who did us wrong and they don't feel like owning it; (b) someone is trying to manipulate you; or (c) "they like to see you squirm."

When they're wrong, they're wrong, there's no denying that.  But that's not the end of the story.  Believe it or not, how we respond or react isn't exactly their fault.  They're not telling us what to say or how to say it - we are.

We need brevity.  As I've stated before, whatever negative emotion you're feeling about someone else must be felt for a short period of time.  It doesn't have to be only two seconds and then announce to everyone "It Doesn't Bother Meeee-eeeee" - that's just showing off.  But whether it's a few minutes or less than an hour, you must train yourself to stop it.  It's not helping you the longer it's there.  If you can't use it constructively, then you can't keep it around long.
    (1)  Can you do something about it?  Aim it that way, right now!!
    (2)  Can you not do something about it?  Get rid of it, right now!!

We need clarity.  We have to present a basic cost/benefit analysis as to whether the negative emotions are honestly worth it.  If they can't bring about a workable result, then turn them off.

We need faith.  We have to donate our hurt feelings, our grudges, our rage/fury/hatred and dislike of others up to the only One who can really judge them.  I wish I had a scorecard for you, as well as pie-charts and graphs to tell you how often it happens, but I don't.  Nevertheless, I've seen this Lady go to work and go to town on people who've done my wrong, and she's been known to pack a whallop on them.  So remember:

  • There's A Lady Named Karma.  She's not attracted to bad boys and She doesn't hang with mean girls.
  • She seeks justice and consequences in all things, especially when it can't happen due to others' misdeeds.
  • She has much better tools for vengeance at Her disposal, and She won't screw up the job the way you or I might.
That doesn't mean you just let things happen when you do have the opportunity to stop them.  There is a Father G-D above us who will remind us, "This is your job, not Mine."  But there is also a Mother G-SS who can handle everything that we can't.




Sunday, March 12, 2017

Less Blame, More Respect

Hey All!  Once again, the weather is messing with us, running hot and cold.

We live in a world with people who just aren't perfect.  They make mistakes, they don't think things through, they insult (sometimes with every intention of doing so), and sometimes they just give us reasons to dislike them.

Although it doesn't always seem like it, they are still human.  Flesh and blood, heart and soul, faces and names.  We don't have to pretend to like them when we don't, and it's wrong to pretend that they're our friends when they aren't.  We also don't have to turn a blind eye to our boundaries when they are violated.  But hating them is not the answer either.

There are times we have to be honest with them about why what they do is not acceptable to us.  And those times are limited.  There is no need to turn a statement into a rant or a lecture.  Not only would it be an in-your-face attack against them that might not be warranted, but spending more time than necessary disparaging them (a) doesn't change them; and (b) makes us worse.

As one of my influences, Dr. Isaiah Hankel, has said, it doesn't do us any good to pursue a confession from others.  Chances are better than likely that (a) the other folks already know what they did wrong, and don't feel the need to fall on their sword over it; or (b) they think they've done absolutely nothing wrong, and don't owe you anything.  All we're ever going to get out of these folks is (i) a half-assed confession; (ii) an excuse; or (iii) a counter-attack because it's just as easy for them to judge us as it is for us to judge them.  We don't need a confession if we already know what they did, and we don't have to argue for them to find themselves in the wrong if we already think they are.

Instead, it is better for us to simply understand that they either have reasons for what they do, or they're simply misinformed, and simply leave them as they are.  No, that does not mean we give them license to abuse us.  And no, that does not mean that we should give them unlimited free passes without taking actions necessary to protect ourselves.  What it does mean is that it's not our job to forever point fingers at them, demonizing them as undesirables and hating them as untouchables.  It simply doesn't help us to continue doing that.  There is far more strength of character to take only actions that are necessary, without demanding that they become more like us, and without any malice or hatred involved.

If we can remain unflappable around them, without letting them get under or skin, and without allowing them to tempt us into hating, judging, or demonizing them, we win.  Plain and simple.




Sunday, February 12, 2017

Limitations and Percentages

Hey All - a rainy Sunday afternoon is about to become a rainy Sunday evening.

Today I finally made it official and retitled this page.  It's not as short and snappy as the last one, but it's more real, more inclusive, and far more constructive.

I feel a little bit like someone who's been "born again" or "saved," but now that I've figured out how to practice emotional maturity, I feel like a new man.  I feel happier, calmer, and more able to accept new thoughts and information.  I can accept criticism or disagreement without getting amped up and raging out.  And most importantly, I can realize that there are people in this life who do not conduct themselves the way I'd prefer, but that instead of becoming enraged and infuriated like some dopey sitcom character, I can either accept them despite these objections, or reject them because of these objections with no second thoughts.

For many of you reading this, it might be old hat to you.  And it should be.  Therefore, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog, because you might have most of it figured out already.

However, I'm pretty darn sure that there are still many of you out there, like me, who did not have such a strong command of these things.  Some of you might be young, still going through school, unsure about what direction to take and a little bit scared, and having trouble coping with life's unpleasantness.  Maybe we can help each other out.

Until recently, I exhorted all the Bold Betas out there to be Bulletproof, and I threw a lot of shame and disapproval at all the alpholes.  In doing so, I made a few errors.
(1) I negated those who might be tough, badass, alpha types who are not seeking to harm those who weren't.  We live in a world where we need police, soldiers, firefighters, rescue squads, sailors, marines, special forces, and heavy physical labor.  I am nobody to say that those men and women who perform those jobs are no good.
(2) I overlooked the truth that simply being a Beta didn't insulate someone from being just as judgmental, just as hurtful, just as arrogant, and just as brutal as any of the alpholes on their worst day.

When we demonize, we obliterate anything good about someone, and when we deify, we place someone on a pedestal that they don't deserve.  To the extent I've been erroneous to do this, it's stopping now.

When we are emotionally mature, we understand that nobody is perfect, but also that nobody is evil.  That doesn't mean we're going to go out of our way to hang out with people we don't like and pretend to be their friends.  But it does mean that we should not think that this person can do no wrong, and that this person can do no right.  That way, we do not respond to people with childlike expressions of wonder and worship, or with infantile forms of name-calling and belittling.

Instead, we acknowledge everyone else has degrees and percentages.  If they score high on what we find acceptable, even leaving a certain amount of "room for error," we welcome them into our lives and bestow friendship and respect on them.  If they score low, we kindly and politely place them on the other side of our boundaries.

In understanding that there is no all-or-nothing situation here, I'm minimizing the use of the labels and concentrating instead on the real way to eliminate bullying, sexism, and racism - good old fashioned Emotional Maturity.  I hope you'll continue to show me support for this along the way.




Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Filter

Good Evening, Good Evening, Friends And Neighbors.

With this New Year, we've got a new attitude, a new philosophy, and possibly a new name.  And the best way to have that work is to aim at the political situation that has arisen out of the fact that we have a new President.

Now many of you might have seen posts where I demonstrated what side of the fence I'm on.  That's not changing anytime soon, and since this is America, I have every right to make that choice.  However, sometimes those choices must be tempered by wisdom and respect.

If I see someone else posting about the other side online, or overhear what they believe in real life, that's not my cue.  It's not my time to invite myself into their conversation and dazzle them with my perceived superiority.  The fact that they have a message that is the opposite of yours does not mean a confrontation needs to begin.  To behave otherwise is the reason why we have had racism, rape culture, and bullying - way too many people think having a mouth is more important than having respect for others.

So, while I have my preferences and my allegiance, you won't see me forcing them on other people.  I lack the authority to save or damn any soul in this realm, and I won't pretend I do.  To the extent I ever gave anyone that impression, that's a thing of the past.

I have seen those whose ego dwarfs their empathy, and see the introduction of this issue as a license to start an attack where an attack is not warranted.  Call it what you want, but I'm done engaging them.  As distasteful as I find it, and as much as I condemn that behavior, responding in kind doesn't stop them.  The only way to stop folks like that is to stop them.

In the realm of social media, we have the luxury of ending communications with them.  Our more high-conflict neighbors love to call that cowardice, wimping out, etc.  When they trot out those buzzwords, I hear them say "Wait a minute - you're not supposed to shut down my spewing!  You're supposed to let me have the upper hand, not have the upper hand for yourself!  You're not supposed to operate from a position of strength, only I am!"  It's not that different from a spoiled child not getting their way.

So, Friends and Neighbors, I invite you to elevate yourselves.  Respect the differences of opinions.  It may or may not be an opportunity to understand, if you're so inclined.  There is no reason to start more conflict, more drama, or more disrespect.  And if they try to do likewise to you, simply shut them down.  They want you to escalate it, they want your reactions, and they want to have more and more excuses to remind us that not everyone was raised like we were.

Thing is, they're proud of that.  We're not.




Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Year of Emotional Maturity

Good Afternoon, Friends and Neighbors!

A nice little run sweated the alcohol out of my system, and the NFL has the last regular-season games of the season.  So where does that leave you and me?

(1) Constantly Seeking Improvement.
Yes, it's a day off from most jobs, but that doesn't mean from all work.  Every day we have is an opportunity to learn from our earlier choices, to improve from our earlier state, and to do things we've never done before.

(2) Reserving Alone Time.
Our high-conflict neighbors simply cannot function unless they are active, around people, and "on" as much as possible.  Our secret weapon is in avoiding this trap.  Every single day, we are to spend some time alone.  To write/journal, meditate, relax, or just be there.  That doesn't mean you stop moving forward, do nothing, and get lazy.  It does mean you take a period of time, not to long and not to short, to clear your mind, stabilize your thoughts, and keep your emotions in check and in order.

(3) Looking For Reasons To Be Happy.
Always find something, every day, that makes you smile.  A joke, a quick word with a friend, anything that gives you a reason to appreciate everything that is right about this world.  Even if you're having a bad day, people are being challenging or difficult to you, or unfortunate consequences have happened, do this.

The Big 1-7 is going to be a year of changes for you all and for me.  I'm looking to become even more successful in my career, get my message out through this blog and other means, and to start a life of happiness with somebody special.