The Blame Game – Who’s Playing it and Why

There is a short and a long answer to this question. Short answer “Almost everyone is playing it. Because it is easier than looking at yourself in the mirror.”

“Blame.” The mere word suggests that something shady is going on. This word hardly ever has a positive ring to it, because it usually implies trying to “pin” fault on another. Most of us learn how to do it when we are little by watching our parents and peers and a whole lot of us never learn how to actually be accountable or take responsibility for our own actions. After all, that would mean we’d have to look at our own stuff, and god forbid, do some work.

Human beings generally resist change and most downright despise having to work for anything that does not hail instant reward or gratification. We live in a society that teaches us that we should have a sense of entitlement and that looking the other way is not only acceptable, but makes life easier. We don’t like getting involved, not with others and sure as hell not with ourselves. We do a lot of blaming, denying, avoiding and “existing.” We do a lot of sleepwalking and we rather engage in the status quo than question the system.

We do this year after year and we live mediocre, miserable lives, which we blame on our surroundings, circumstances, upbringing or on our lack of (beauty, wealth, health, etc.). We may be highly intelligent, but when it comes to our emotions, we don’t do the math. We find ourselves time after time in the same “bad” situations and somehow never add up that it might be us. Humans are the only intelligent creatures who do not learn from their mistakes.

When we blame we imply that we are right. Being right is the number one reason we fight, because ego keeps us alive. We also imply that we don’t need to adjust our own attitude. We do this by making the same points, with the same people with the same lack of success. We truly are the best example of insanity. When we run out of excuses, we fall into the victim mode and assemble; in other words, we find those who will agree with us. We keep building an opinion poll until we have successfully drowned out any logic or reason and hence, continue on our path of craziness.

Why is it so easy to do this? Because one of the most feared traits within human beings is conflict or confrontation. Hence, it is much easier to find those who (silently) agree, than those who call us on our own crap. And of course, because the majority consists of (excuse the harsh word) cowards, it is easier to get the buy-in from the majority.

Take a good look around you and tell me how many inspiring people you see? Now take a look and tell me how many followers you see. We are, by design, herd animals and we function better when we feel validated from the herd. One could say we are highly evolved Lemmings.

We are so easily manipulated via our emotions that we follow all kinds of crazy ideas, ideologies, statements and people. This is how religion and politics work. They appeal to our emotions, not our logic and the fact remains that most of us are emotional creatures, even if we are totally unaware of it! If I tell you the things that feed and validate your fears, paranoia and insecurities, I will not only have an impact on you, but possibly a follower, too. It appears as if inspiring people have the most followers, but sadly, it only appears that way. The ones who tell us what we want to hear and ask us for the least amount of effort will generally get our voice and devotion. In theory we want to be challenged, in practice we want to really not move a finger and have things fall into our laps.

I have spent over 20 years studying different philosophies, religions, psychology, psychiatry and scientific papers to figure out human behavior. Alas, I still come up short-handed. I still don’t know how you can put two kids into an equally miserable environment and one comes out a sociopath, while the other one ends up a doctor, helping people. I don’t understand why some have an uncanny self-awareness that allows them to rise above all their hardships, while others fall apart at every little thing. I have yet to find a single philosophy, religion or science that helps me understand the total irrational behaviors of people.

The blame game; I guess sometimes we all play it and maybe the best we can do is stay clear of those who live it every single day.



It’s Not You – It’s Them!

Watch out, for I’m in top form right now!

There are times in one’s life where it is absolutely OK to blame another! If you know in your heart that you didn’t screw up, but they did, I see nothing wrong with standing behind that. There are times when it really and truly is them! I can honestly blame my parents for screwing up my childhood. I can blame some douche canoe boyfriends who cheated, lied or deliberately deceived me; and I can blame myself for actually sticking for as long as I did with some of them. I can also blame other douche canoes who acted in selfish, cruel, disloyal and dishonest ways, while claiming to be my friend; and then again blame myself for not kicking them out sooner.

I firmly believe in recognizing your part in things, when life doesn’t go the way you want it. But I don’t believe in blaming it all on yourself either. I also don’t believe in being a coward and if you had enough “guts” to get into bed with a person, or start a relationship with someone, you should have the same guts to end with dignity and integrity. I believe the least you owe as a decent person is to tell a person to their face, versus cowardly tugging tail and running, talking behind their backs, or like some really great individuals I have encountered, befriending their friends to talk smack about you.

The sad truth is that most of us get into relationships without knowing how to truly be intimate, or how to be great partners. I have yet to meet someone who comes from such an awesome home that they learned the rules of true intimacy, integrity and fair fighting. A lot of us are broken in one way or another, and as soon as we get into a relationship we just mingle their brokenness with ours. What seemed “light” baggage can then turn into a huge mountain of it that will end up crushing both. I hate to say it but in my mind more than half of the population should be in therapy; and the one who need it most are not doing it at all. So chances to find someone wholesome, especially when you are no longer a kid, are slim to none.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to relationships, but also to  friendships. There are a lot of people who are OK with quantity; ’cause the more idiots stick around for my BS, the more I actually seem to be less of a douche. Granted, more than half of my “friends” are morons and have absolutely nothing to show for, either materialistically, or mentally and emotionally, but hey, we live in a world where our self-worth is measured by the amount of friends we have on Facebook and where it is OK to abandon all principles for the sake of not being alone and for what allows us to run away without taking an ounce of responsibility for our own actions or words. It is, after all, much better to not be an outcast, or god forbid, to take a long hard look at oneself, as long as there is someone or something I can blame. How did Project Pitchfork say that in a song “Your head’s only there, to wear your hair…”

The truth is that the vast majority of society is not only sound asleep, but are a bunch of mindless sleepers, weak, superficial and dysfunctional. The worst part is that those people are the ones who keep breeding, while the ones who should have kids have none or maybe just one. Those who are complete social morons attempt to have relationships, and even though they don’t really succeed and spend more time looking than actually being with someone, it doesn’t stop them. After all, sooner or later one Muppet is going to be dumb enough to stick around, and we all know, it’s a numbers game. “Yay, I had to do nothing, I had to learn nothing and I never changed my idiotic ways. Oh woe is me, all I need to do is find another dysfunctional Muppet, and we are set to spread “the love.” While we are searching we are going to drive everyone around us crazy by whining that no one wants us and that the world is so unfair. My response: “Bite me!” Of course, I cannot really feel sorry for idiots who stick around to keep reading this crap or worse, engaging in it.

Every time I hear of alien abductions I have to raise my eyebrows. If another species is intelligent enough to travel through the galaxies and to overcome the time and space continuum, they sure as hell would probably look at us the same way we look at an earth worm. I cannot fathom that they would find our crazy race even remotely interesting enough to “safe.” They’d probably sit back and watch us keep self-destructing, or maybe they’d just blow us all up before we  can finish the job.

I watch Bill Maher and Jon Stewart and I laugh and laugh, then I want to cry, because damn, they are showing how stupid our population is. Meanwhile, I am losing all hope, because the jerks of the world feel right as rain, gaining momentum by joining forces with other jerks; and those are the ones who scream the loudest and assemble in groups. Good times for all of us. I am going to hide under my rock again, almost ashamed to be human. Meanwhile, keep going my crazy nutjob friends! Keep being Switzerland, having no opinion, or only one behind a person’s back. Blame the world and the media for your own shortcomings and keep insisting that it isn’t you, it is them!


It’s All About You! – How to Get Your Priorities Straight

Being selfish or self-centered is not a desirable trait. However, there is a difference in being unable to connect to others and respecting their wants and needs, and taking care of yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving yourself and doing what is best for you. This does not equal being self-absorbed and hurting others.

It is not possible to live life to its fullest and to create lasting happiness without learning how to love and take care of you first, as well as learning to get one’s priorities straight.

How we define happiness and what our priorities are is different for each and every one of us. But there are priorities that probably apply for most people, regardless of value system, beliefs or tendencies.

First, take care of your body. Being healthy contributes to feelings of well-being, confidence and success. In order to achieve health, I included cutting out as much fast food, processed foods, sugar, white flower and high fructose corn syrup containing items as possible. I eat more raw fruits and vegetables and do my very best to limit my carb intake to whole grains. A few other things I changed consisted of eating butter versus margarine, drinking more water (I shoot for at least 2 liters a day) and herbal teas and cutting out caffeine, sodas and coffee. When I do have a soda or coffee, I literally treat it like a dessert, and hence, do it rarely. I quit smoking, I don’t drink alcohol and I work out regularly. I prefer working out with trainers, because they keep me motivated, make sure I don’t injure myself and they mix up the routines enough for my body to keep getting challenged. I work out at least 4 days a week and I mix cardio with strength training. Working out is hard, but it tends to make me feel euphoric afterwards. I also have more strength, stamina and less back, shoulder and neck pains.
Another very important step for taking care of one’s body is getting regular check-ups and physical exams.

Take care of your mind. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, so I try to keep abreast on current world affairs. I read more instead of only watching TV. I write more and I enjoy challenging conversations and debates. I also do cognitive behavioral therapy once a week. This actively teaches me how to reprogram “bad” responses, how to overcome triggers and most importantly, how to set proper boundaries and priorities. Personally, I believe that most people would benefit from therapy. I believe that the world would be a better place if more people would take responsibility for their own actions and words, versus repeating patterns and blaming others. Alas, I digress 😉

Taking care of your emotions. Doing what feels good for the heart is always a good idea. Sadly, a lot of people are completely disconnected from their heart and are either numb, or absolutely incapable of relating to others. This is where being selfish is not desirable; namely when you force your own stuff on others, in order to make yourself feel better or right. Therapy, again, falls into the category of things that are good for your heart; so does working out. Of course, engaging in healthy relationships with friends and lovers is highly important. If you don’t have the tool to know what is healthy or what is not, find something that will help you do so.

Taking care of your spirit. Well, this one depends. Not everyone believes in something. But for me, even an atheist can take care of their spirit. I feel meditation is an excellent tool, so is Yoga.

Obviously, everything within us is interconnected; mind, body, spirit, heart and will. We should strive for balance, as balance within those elements will generally bring true happiness and well-being. Doing activities that support the five elements is always a good idea and yes, it should be all about you. If you want a life worth living, then start making it about you and get your priorities straight!



Gold Diggers

Apparently, all I really need is keep reading Yahoo’s homepage. There is enough material on there to keep me “entertained” and annoyed enough to write for hours! So, after reading article after article about these two nutjobs:  http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/thefamous/secret-negotiations-reveal-why-mel-gibsons-ex-turned-down-16-million/687#mwpphu-container

I have decided to actually add my 2 cents, because it is my blog and this chick just pisses me off. Of course, Mel Gibson is a douche canoe, too. Who in the world would respect a bigoted, racist a-hole like him anyway? But then, this is precisely my point!

What in the world could this gold digging freak really have on him that could possibly make his image or reputation any worse than it already is? And why does he think that paying her millions of dollars would somehow repair any of it?

I’m not going to share in detail what I think about whiny a** bitches who somehow feel they are entitled to millions of dollars. None of these classy people apparently, want to work for a living. But then, maybe this is the point I am missing, because maybe all she has to offer to obtain an income is her crotch. Why she even succeeded I simply will never understand, because man, he should have seen her coming about 100 miles away.

I am repeatedly baffled at how stupid some very wealthy celebrities are. Over and over they are getting caught cheating, screwing hookers, driving drunk, stealing and other shenanigans the general public would never get away with; and none of them ever seem to learn. I mean, really? What part of them being in the public eye and everything they do going public do they not get?

I am going to take a judgmental stab at these chicks who blackmail these dumb asses for money. So, because she is so wholesome, loving and caring, she has no problem screwing you while you are married or otherwise engaged in a relationship? Because we all know, this is what good women do; they screw another woman’s man! Yeah, yeah, they are exceptions to the rule and if you feel offended go read another blog and bite me. Overall, a chick who has no problem going after another person’s partner is probably not going to be so trustworthy and usually not in it for the long haul, my friend. It takes a certain kind to do this, namely the self-serving, I-don’t-give-a-damn kind.

I am also simply amazed why these women always need millions? There are many single moms out there and none of them have millions. My mom was a cleaning woman and look at how I turned out 😀 What in the world makes a case for needing over 10 million dollars for giving birth? I mean, really? Plus, if I’d be the judge I’d tell her that she, by mere act of leaking all of this to the media, kinda screwed herself out of a large settlement as the intent for gold digging and douche baggery has clearly been established in her case. Come to think of it, we should have a law against gold digging and douche baggery!

Women like her make me so mad, because they give us all a bad rep. Not all women are calculating, gold digging, unfaithful, manipulative whores, who obviously don’t think with anything else besides their genitalia. And yes, quite a few of the decent, intelligent and successful women are also hot (<—insert Jennifer Aniston here). But then, maybe the reason these bimbos are as successful as they are is simply that they guys who get screwed also tend to be douche canoes; and as we know, birds of a feather flock together!

Meanwhile, I want to tell her the same I want to tell most people these days “Shut up, already and go away!” 


Walk the Walk!

 

Today, Yahoo posted an article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110217/ts_yblog_thelookout/help-wanted-jobless-need-not-apply#mwpphu-container

Said article was pointing out how companies won’t hire people who have been unemployed for too long! And the masses started ranting and complaining, pointing fingers and tearing each other into shreds. “It is the dems and libs, they screw up our country.” “Oh no, it’s those greedy republicans, because Bush did us in.”

Those who have been reading my blogs will know where I stand politically. Hence, I am not gonna reiterate my political views here. What annoys me, as usual, is the lack of responsibility people are taking for what is going on in our country at the present time. It seems to truly shock the public that our government is corrupt and self-serving, just like most of America’s corporations are. Really? This is news to you guys? I guess it’s a bit like religion. As long as we have someone to blame we feel a whole lot better and much more secure, because imagine how sucky it would be if one would have to point the finger back at oneself, admitting “damn, my choices contributed to this mess.”

Look, I drank the Kool-Aid, just like everyone else did. For a while I came close to actually feeling safe and almost taking things for granted. The rude awakening came in 2008 within a matter of 8 weeks! First I got dumped, which finally made me realize that my decision making in the relationship category was way off, and then Yahoo!, the company I had been with for 7 1/2 years, laid me off. This was the same company who had, in the same year, given me a retention bonus when a competitor tried to hire me away, a promotion and a Super Star award, which is supposedly given to a mere 50 within an organization of 16,000 at the time.
Was I bitter and distraught? You bet! Especially since I watched certain individuals unscathed who neither worked hard enough, nor contributed largely enough to warrant their continued safety. However, they had had done something I absolutely refused doing, kissing the right butts and making friends in the right places. My delusion came from thinking that hard work, honesty and integrity would always win over douche baggery and weasleness (how do you like THAT word?!).

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone who survived, god knows, how many layoffs is a douche bag; and thankfully, my bitterness is also slowly subsiding. What I learned painfully slow and the hard way at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 (and am still learning now) is that nothing can be taken for granted and doing the right thing or being the good guy doesn’t always make you finish first, or finish at all. I also learned that there is nothing gained by sitting around and moping or whining about the hardships I have endured and the unfairness I have experienced. Instead, I figured there had to be ways for me to contribute to our economy, besides just walking through life with integrity, honesty and loyalty.

This brings me back to my actual topic (finally!). Whenever I read these news articles I am completely astounded by the level of sheer stupidity, ignorance and denial sported in the comments. If people would actually spend some time reading and researching, instead of blindly following and watching “Jersey Shore,” or “American Idol,” etc., maybe they’d learn a thing or two. Maybe they’d actually think twice before voting for whatever douche bag appeals the most to their emotions and makes them “feel” as if they actually care, or make a change. Of course, I have to mention, yet again, that approx. two thirds of the population is actively voting against their own self-interest. Alas, I digress!

I sure know that being unemployed, or paid shitty kinda makes it impossible to spend money on quality. So “poor” people do not fall into this category. But for all the other Muppets out there, who have no problem spending money on clothes, tanning, big screen TVs, SUVs and god knows what other crap, this does apply, and I feel they need to shut up already! I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, EVER! I will not set foot into any store that I know contributes to the state we are in. Whenever I can and have a choice, I buy American. Sure, it’s more expensive, but I take it any day over the mass produced crap that is Made in China. Up until recently, I only drove American cars. Now I drive a Honda. Why? Because I am driving a hybrid and don’t want to keep supporting the evil oil companies. Yeah, it’s black and white like that for me.

Outsourcing? Not for me! I work in the fraud industry. I have done presentations that clearly proved that outsourcing in my industry does not save money at all. As a matter of fact, it becomes kinda costly. By the time you keep retraining a constantly revolving team in India, which cannot function outside black and white rules you actually lose. Too bad those large corporations are turning a blind eye on that, because they are still thinking that they can pay 10 guys in India for the salary of 1 guy in the US. Well, I’d rather pay for a consistent, well-trained and well-oiled machine, then to constantly having to face the headache of the job not being done right. Sorry, again, it’s black and white like that, because this was my experience when I had a team in India for almost 2 years. I am sure there are situations where outsourcing works, but for my industry it did not.

I am not really sure how companies quantify their savings, when most of us are extremely annoyed when we have to deal with agents in another country, who clearly respond like robots. I don’t know anyone who has pleasant experiences, when having to deal with a situation that requires the kind of support that doesn’t come in a handbook. But again, I digress!

All I can do is keep reading and keeping abreast with the stuff that is going on in the world, not just the US! I actually attempt to form my own opinions, instead of listening to Billy Bob, who lives down the road and doesn’t even know how to form a coherent sentence. The sense of entitlement needs to go. No, not everyone is entitled to a six figure salary, just because they have been somewhere for a while, or because this country is based on the idea of turning the trash man into a millionaire. It doesn’t work that way in reality, where we still need to do our jobs, work hard and actually contribute to the company. We don’t get to sit in the corner office, just because we feel we should. We also don’t get to bitch about the high cost of the surrounding food establishments, just because we are too lazy to prepare our own food, or god forbid, walk a few blocks. And while being on the topic, nope, a MBA does not entitle you to anything either! While there are still people out there who are impressed with such “shinery,” I for one have encountered plenty of not-so-smart people with degrees, but egos higher than a skyscraper, who got the salary and job, because they walked in with a fancy suit and said degree. I was actually turned down from a company because I didn’t have the American degree they asked for. The fact that in Germany we learn more in 10 years than Americans do in 12, oh well, is just a fact but didn’t do me any good, when I was told that “we are degree centric,” and when my years of experience, apparently, couldn’t overrule a degree I would have gotten more than 20 years by now.

These days, more than ever, I feel it should be much more about who you are and what you actually know and do. The bullshit shouldn’t fly anymore and based on our current economy, I’d say this is, at least to some degree, fairly accurate. The times where one could sit on one’s butt, collecting a paycheck and excellent benefits for merely showing up, maybe even on time, are gone for a lot of free-loaders and whiny people. Unfortunately, some people who didn’t deserve it still got axed. But at the end of the day, this is where my idealism still prevails, as I do believe that in the long run we all get what we deserve and what we have coming to us. I guess one could call it my version of karma!

So, if you want the American dream you can still have it; it’s just not thrown at you anymore the way it may once was. If people keep going at the rate they are, I feel this country will sink even further; and maybe that is a good thing. Because when I take a look at the masses I must say “wow, they truly are idiots, because they keep repeating the same stupid behavior without ever learning a damn thing.” So in the spirit of said morons, I say “go team, go!” Meanwhile, I am going to pull out a lawn chair and keep watching as Billy Bob is emerging from the trailer, sporting his few remaining teeth and voting for Sarah Palin as president, “cause we can’t let those damn libs and dems turns us into communists.”


Get Mad – Don’t Get Even

There are days when I am really angry or even enraged, and believe it or not, I am not necessarily PMSing every time. I know this is the general excuse for a female’s bad attitude and it is actually a valid point, but for those of us who are not mere slaves to our hormones, please don’t assume that all our anger is PMS related.

Having said that, there are a few “rules” one should follow, in order to not be seen as a drama queen, or in order to not royally upset people, i.e. make enemies. Take it from me; I used to be a master in the “rubbing the people the wrong way” category, by means of my “refreshing,” in-your-face honesty.

Anger is a perfectly normal emotion. All of us get angry here and there and it is not only normal, but healthy to express anger. Of course, there are different ways of doing this. My idea of expressing anger used to be by yelling, screaming and attacking you in such a way that you wouldn’t get up for a while. I would repress my anger, disappointment or resentment for a long time, until the proverbial s*** hit the fan and I’d lose it. By that time I’d be fuming to the point of absolute rage and what little self-control I may have still had would quickly go down the drain, if the poor sucker had the nerve to not own up to their part.

I would like to remind people again of my mantra “you are allowed to feel it, but you cannot act on it!” It is OK to tell a person that you are angry. It is; however, never OK to act out on it. No, we do not get to rant, rave, hit, scream, yell, lash out or passively aggressively attack another; it is also absolutely not OK to hit below the belt line or to go behind a person’s back! This is what cowards do and we never accomplish anything by acting in the aforementioned ways. As a matter of fact, when you reach the boiling point it is best to call a “time-out” and simply walk away!! You may want to agree to talk when you are less emotional and when your anger has subsided. Only when you are calm and collected is it a good idea to talk about your feelings!

To act in the temper tantrum, passive-aggressive, out-of-control kind of ways, including name calling or bad-mouthing another, is acting like a 5-year old. Hence, people who behave this way don’t ever win and always end up losing credibility and the respect of others; well, at least of healthy people. I would be highly concerned with my friends if they would allow me to get away with such childish and crazy behaviors!

When I get angry, I usually pack a damn good punch! This can work in my advantage, because it allows me to channel this raw energy into something I really enjoy. Exercising, especially cardio work-outs do wonders for my enraged mind. I can start punching the punching bag in the gym, or run like a maniac on the treadmill and by the time my body is tired, so is my mind. I feel refreshed and at the same time exhausted enough to relax and calm down. If I am in a situation where I cannot go to the gym, I will simply write my anger down. This includes writing letters to the people who really pissed me off. I write them a nasty gram, telling them what jerks they are and how they can go to hell…and never send it!! By the time I complete my letter to the tools of the world, I feel a whole lot better!

The key is to never bottle up your anger. The worst one can do for one’s emotional, mental and physical health is to keep things inside. The challenge is to get this stuff out of you before it does damage to you or others. This is why we behave in a grown-up manor, unless we want to find ourselves alone, friendless and relationshipless. People don’t like being around time bombs, because most of us want to feel safe with those we spend time and space with. A person who is about to cuss you out, attacks below the belt line or otherwise behaves like a toddler is not safe and probably only fun for a little while, because you always have to tip toe around them, wondering what will happen if you piss them off. The same goes for those who are awesome in criticizing and/or belittling others, but will lash out when you call them on their stuff.

How you treat others and who you are being in the world, is what and whom you attract in return! So no, you don’t get to be a freight train, no matter how you have been wronged! Sometimes it’s just simply better to take the high road, i.e. hold your head up, keep your dignity and just walk away. Here is another motto for you: Just say no!!


Approval Junkies

We all want approval! It starts from the moment we are born until the day we die. When we are children, we constantly try to get the approval from our parents. Unfortunately, those who grew up not getting it can turn into approval junkies.

The worst thing for most people is rejection. If we grew up in a nurturing home where we were taught that it is ok to be who you are, even though this is less than perfect, we usually learn how to deal with rejection. Those who were constantly criticized, ignored or abused usually end up craving approval almost like a drug. Just like most “imbalances” this one shows itself in many different ways. Here are some of the behavioral patterns that show up for approval junkies, i.e. highly insecure people:

  1. No backbone/wishy washy – Since rejection and lack of approval feels almost like dying, it is necessary to not really firmly defend one side or another. To disagree or stand up for someone or something you believe in might result in rejection, which has to be avoided at all cost. Hence, when someone attacks them, their opinion, or a person they care about, they will usually shrink away and not say a word, which makes it impossible to figure out who they really are.
  2. Disloyal – insecure, approval seeking people are not necessarily disloyal by heart, but they are so by necessity. Because they fear rejection so much, they have to be a people pleaser, even if it is at the cost of losing some of them. As long as the majority seems to do or say one thing, it is still safer to follow the herd, because it will result in the least amount of loss.
  3. Shallow relationships – the key word is not quality but quantity. The more people seem to “like” me, the less I will feel alone, rejected or sad. Also, deep relationships cannot be formed when one has no ability to hear any form of criticism, is wishy washy or flaky and hence, unreliable.
  4. Sometimes moderately, but usually never highly successful. In order to “climb the ladder,” one has to be able to take losses, disappointments and detours. Sometimes, doing the right thing may not necessarily be the most popular thing. Being attacked or rejected for decisions that you may have to make on the path of “making your mark,” can be taxing and requires the ability to quickly recover and at times, take it to the chin. It is virtually impossible to always be liked in business, which is not an issue for most of us, as long as we are respected; a path like this usually quickly sorts out those who cannot deal with rejection or disapproval.
  5. Depression – living under the pressure of trying to be perfect, trying to say what others want to hear and walking the path of least resistance will usually create friction sooner or later. And even if a person manages to stay under the radar without friction, they will generally feel exhausted and drained all the time, which will eventually lead to depression. They tend to feel very lonely, because it is difficult for them to form meaningful relationships. A person who constantly operates on “lukewarm” is hardly alluring enough to draw attention, let alone keep it.

We can argue how it isn’t fair that the majority of the population is drawn to strong, assertive and self-expressed individuals. It won’t change a thing and it sure as hell won’t make it better for those who cannot overcome their need to please and to constantly seek approval. We live in a society that allows us to “fix” pretty much anything that may hold us back or work against us. It is up to us though, to make the decision to break the ties that bind us. It may appear as if people will like us a lot more if we agree with them, but the reality is that we just end up losing respect for someone who has no opinion and therefore can’t/won’t do the “right” thing for themselves or others. 


Valentine’s Day – We’re Doing it Wrong!

 

On Monday is Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day has been around for as long as I remember, except that it used to be the day for lovers and that maybe you received a rose. It has now blown up to a complete three-ring circus, seemingly created to make men across the globe feel miserable and help turn a huge profit for flower shops and greeting card companies. Now, I am not going to be a hypocrite here, by claiming that I won’t indulge in such nonsense, because I am no different than most other women and love receiving candy, flowers or a card. I am, however, a pretty realistic and practical person as well and my marriage is not going to end if my poor husband, who is currently getting up at 7 AM, coming home between 9 and 10 PM, including Saturdays and Sundays, doesn’t make it to the store to buy the obligatory Valentine’s present. It might be a cultural thing, because in Germany we just never made a big fuzz about something like this. It’s great if our guy remembers, or chooses to participate, but it isn’t an indicator of how much we are loved and we certainly don’t feel that the world is ending, if he doesn’t come home bearing gifts.

I might stand alone with my opinion, but I think that gift giving has gotten completely out of control. The expectations of how to show love are so completely unrealistic and are set so high that I would be seriously concerned if I had to raise kids. When ads tell us that we should remember out parents for Valentine’s Day (yep, this is what I heard on the radio this morning), when children receive $2,000 laptops for Easter and the expectation for an engagement ring lies in spending thousands of dollars, where does gratitude come in? What ever happened to “it’s the thought that counts?”

There are quite a few guys who do an amazing job in the gift giving department and are still bad excuses for a boyfriend or husband. Receiving expensive gifts does not show how much a person loves another. Gifts only mean the world to me if they are thoughtful and if the rest of his actions match the gift! I couldn’t care less about getting a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day, if he is a selfish or thoughtless jerk for the rest of the year!

Maybe we would end up getting more at times, if we’d learn to expect less? Maybe we’d receive more by being grateful and learning to fill our needs from within, versus expecting another to make us look good, feel worthy or good enough? Sure, we are taught that we should always raise the bar and expect nothing but the best, but maybe our idea of “the best” has become distorted, spoiled and added a sense of entitlement. I always felt that in order to expect and get the best, I, as well, have to be the best! My man surprises me at times by not spending a dime, namely when he “sings” a song to me that tells me how he feels about me (his idea of singing is blasting a song on his iPhone while happily mouthing the words and gesturing along).

I think the world would be a better place if we could all just strive to always give our best; not just on one day and definitely not just by buying heart-shaped candy!