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How to Find Happiness After Divorce

walk after divorcePhoto courtesy of Ahmed Sinan

When a marriage ends, it’s normal for both parties to feel a wide array of emotions, including: anger, anxiety, confusion, disappointment, fear, freedom, guilt, loneliness, relief and sadness. Most people go through a mourning period after a breakup or divorce, even if the relationship had turned sour.  This happens due to the loss of a future that no longer exists.

Three years ago, my ex-husband and I just weren’t working as a romantic couple any longer. Deciding to divorce after ten years of marriage was a painful and difficult decision for both of us. During the time surrounding the separation and divorce, unanswered questions ate at me. How would I support my children financially? Who would I turn to for emotional support? Would I lose the close friendships I’d formed with my in-laws? How could I protect my children from feeling insecure during such an unsettling time?

Since the end of a marriage or long-term relationship is one of the most emotional hurdles that you’ll ever have to face, make it your goal just to clear this one without falling flat on your face. A little stumbling is to be expected.

  • Feel the pain. Like physical pain, being mindfully aware of emotional pain is crucial and will help you overcome the worst of it much faster. Allow yourself to sit with your feelings. Give yourself permission to let the grief and sadness wash over you. Sit with your pain and really feel it. In doing so, you release the power it has over you.
  • Then feel happy. Although it may not be as instantaneous or complete as you’d like, mindfully releasing your grief will make room for a degree of happiness to eke its way back in.
  • Accept the change. As you begin to feel little twinges of happiness again, you’ll also want to mindfully accept this new life as your life now.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Whether it’s a paid professional or a close friend, verbalizing your feelings is another great release. Speak your worries, and then let them go.
  • Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. Your life isn’t over; it’s just different. Although it may seem impossible at first, your life at the end of the grieving period may be even better than before.

Once you’ve been able to accept the changes that’ve transpired, you’ll want to focus on moving forward and living your new life to the fullest. Dr. Phil says:

  • Explain to your kids what Mom and Dad’s new relationship is. They need to understand that you’re still a team, but they also need some clarity on your new roles. Don’t try to “outparent” your ex. Do you really want your children to have a bad parent? Focus on the future and begin to see your ex from your children’s point of view instead of your own.

If you don’t have kids, you’ll get to the next part faster:

  • Make some time to get reacquainted with yourself.  This might take quite awhile; you’ve probably been getting at least part of your self-awareness through the feedback provided to you by your significant other. Re-visit some of your old hobbies or explore something new. Let yourself be a little selfish and take the time you need to strike a harmonious balance again.
  • Don’t play the blame game. Instead, focus your energy on what you can do to make your life better now. Keep your eyes facing forward and give yourself permission to be happy regardless of what has transpired in your relationship.

As a newly single person, you’re not up against the world – but you are up against two version of yourself. Whether you find happiness after divorce has nothing to do with the world around you. Dig deep, find your inner strength, and let your best self prevail.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Like a Dud

Photo courtesy of Melissa Maples

It’s become a popular trend to come from “a place of yes” in many aspects of the hustle and bustle of modern life.  The pressure is on to do good deeds, raise well-rounded kids, have a respectable job, serve on a multitude of committees, attend the right social events, and look good while doing it all seamlessly.

I support the idea of generally coming from a place of yes; in fact, one of the quotes I live by is: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” (Winston Churchill). I work hard to make sure my children know that they can do anything they set their minds to. I applaud their attempts at new things and their willingness to step out of their comfort zones whenever possible. And of course, I lead them by example.

With all of that being said, without the right boundaries in place, this can easily lead to a life crammed too full of all the wrong things. By saying “yes” too often to others, your life may suddenly seem emptier than ever before.

The solution sounds easy enough, but suddenly saying ”no” can be quite difficult. Your desire to keep the peace, fear of appearing rude, and a strong desire to be helpful are some of the reasons that may be causing you to overfill your plate, time and time again.

Surprisingly, many people report that others begin to show a newfound respect for them once they start declining, and that their own self awareness improves exponentially. The key is finding the right way to say “no.”

  • Get clear on your “Yes.”  Decide what is most important in your own life, and get your priorities in order. By putting your needs first (and the needs of your family), you’ll then have a better idea of how much you can agree to take on without cutting in to your own time, creating a sweet balance.
  • Think before agreeing. Some people feel pressured into taking on more than they can handle when put on the spot.  To avoid this, practice buying time. Tell the person that you’d like to think about it/check your calendar/ask so-and-so before committing. By putting a little time between the request and your response, you’ll have an easier time coming up with a reason for saying “no.” Anyone who is respectful of your time will be ok with waiting for a response.
  • Offer an alternative. Sometimes you may get requests for your help when you’re really not the best person for the task. If this happens, explain that while you may not be able to offer much help, you can steer them in the right direction to get the help they need.
  • Share your reasons. If you simply can’t help because you’re too busy, it’s ok to say that. Explain that you’d love to help, but that you’ve got x, y, and z going on at the moment, and that you don’t like to commit to something if you can’t devote the appropriate amount of time and effort required to do it well.

It’s easy to fall into a pattern of bowing to others’ needs before your own, but it’s also really important to get out of that habit as soon as possible. Helping other people is admirable and can be an extremely rewarding part of life, as long as you leave more than enough time in your schedule to be able to stop and smell the roses on a regular basis.

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14 Better Ways to Express Yourself on Valentine’s Day

Photo courtesy of Kell

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that has mutated into a commercialized abyss into which many of us repeatedly toss scads of our hard-earned money. Besides the fact that we’re already a nation overwhelmed with material possessions (most of which we don’t really need), how about thinking outside the proverbial gift box this year?

Believe it or not, there actually are much better ways to demonstrate your appreciation and love than slapping a heart shaped box of calories onto the kitchen counter as you mutter, ”Happy Valentine’s Day, Babe,” before you scoot off to work for the day. Think you’ve done your job as one half of a relationship?  Think again.

Let’s take a look at some of the more creative ways to express how much you love someone. Although Valentine’s Day is typically for lovers, it’s also appropriate to celebrate your love for your children or other friends and family members who hold a special place in your heart.

For your significant other:

  • The snail mail - This idea is going to require a little bit of forethought, but you may be able to to accomplish it quite easily with the convenience of the Internet. Research a way to to get your hands on a postcard from the town, restaurant, or wherever the two of you happened to meet. You could try mailing it from the local post office, but you’d risk the postcard arriving on the wrong day. A better plan is to strategically place the postcard in with the rest of his or her mail on February 14th.
  • The Shades of Grey gift basket -  If you need ( or simply want ) to spice things up in the bedroom, create a gift basket filled with things meant only for your lover’s eyes. Some ideas include: a blindfold, handcuffs, massage oil, candles, a CD of romantic music, bubble bath, a sexy board game, and anything else that might turn your lover on!
  • The notebook -  In a luxurious notebook, write down one thing you love about your significant other every single day for one year. Present it to your partner wrapped in a bow on Valentine’s Day. If you like the sound of this idea, but haven’t had the necessary prep time, dedicate some time each day to create a similar list in the days leading up to the 14th.
  • The big favor -  Take over doing your partner’s most hated chore for a time period of your choice.
  • The scavenger hunt – Send your partner on a fun and exciting set of clues that ends with you waiting at your love’s favorite restaurant or store.
  • The recipePick a recipe that you can both cook and enjoy together. The time you spend together preparing the meal will be the real gift.
  • The adventure – Discover an unusual part of your city or town that you’ve never experienced before.  Take the day off work and explore it together.
  • The money saver- Create a fun basket filled with everything you’ll need for a fun and affordable date night in: popcorn, a movie rented from Redbox or your local library (look for free movie codes), a small bottle of champagne (optional), a deck of cards, a few chocolate-dipped strawberries. If you have kids, see if Grandma and Grandpa want to have a sleepover that night!

For your children:

  • The treasure hunt – Send them all around the house searching for new clues leading them to a fun, colorful box full of their favorite goodies.
  • The list – Make a fancy list of 14 things you love about your child and frame it. You could also include it in the treasure box above.

As a family:

  • The new tradition – Together, decide on a new family tradition that you would like to start. My husband, sons and I have a ‘Foovie (Family+Food+Movie) Night’ every other Saturday. We snuggle up as a family, enjoying delicious bowls of buttered popcorn and chocolates. No cell phones or other distractions are permitted, allowing us to focus on our time together. Perhaps you could start your first tradition on Valentine’s Day this year, or even the day after Valentine’s Day (since it will be the start of a weekend).
  • The walk - Set a family date to take a walk together on February 14 this year, if the weather permits. Walking together is a great way to spend family time because you can mindfully enjoy the outdoors and your loved ones simultaneously.
  • The project – Whether your family is into art, science, cooking, fixing, building or something else entirely, put your heads together and come up with a project that you’d all like to contribute to.
  • The helping hand – This February, make it one of your family’s goals to help those less fortunate around you. Not only will you be helping those in need, but you’ll be doing something really meaningful together.

By doing something a little off the straight and narrow this year, you’ll shift the focus from materialism to what really matters. And remember that any day is a great time to slow down and take the time to appreciate those closest to your heart.

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When and Where to Practice Unconditional Love

Photo courtesy of David Laporte

Unconditional love is considered by many to be the ultimate of all affections, a love that knows no bounds and cannot be broken. A concept sometimes referred to as ‘mother’s love’, this type of bond is typically only found in extremely long-term committed relationships and among close (usually immediate) family members.

Should we love our family unconditionally?

Of course we should. In fact, without the security of unconditional love, most children will not be able to thrive. Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed that firsthand. I personally whole-heartedly adore the two beings I helped to create. Each one of them has flaws, but to me, the mix of all of their traits (the good and the less-than-good) combine to make two people I love without bounds.

That sentiment generally holds true for all family members. You can pick your friends and your nose, and you can pick many a rose, but you can’t pick your family. No matter how many fights you and your brother have, at the end of the day, he’s still your brother.

What about romantic unconditional love?

While it’s true that there are people involved in no-holds-barred romantic relationships, it’s also true that those relationships are undeniably doomed.  Those people who present others with the gift of their unconditional devotion often do so at the cost of their own emotional well-being. They can also lose their sense of self, making them dependant on their significant other for validation.

The bottom line is this: all healthy relationships must exist with some conditions and boundaries. In relationships with no boundaries, or where basic conditions like respect are missing, eventually the love vanishes and all that’s left are invisible lines that were crossed and unspoken needs that weren’t met.

Loving someone despite their physical appearance, ethnicity, financial status, medical conditions and other similar factors that may be out of their control is about as close to unconditional love as you should get. Instead, you should be on the lookout for some basic telltale signs that your relationship is headed in the right direction:

  • Mutual respect: You should give and receive respect in a sound relationship. If your significant other regularly disrespects you, your future together doesn’t look promising.
  • Trust: Neither party in the relationship should give the other one a reason to doubt their word. Period.
  • Compatibility: Do you have fun together (in and out of the bedroom)?
  • Good communication: Even solid relationships have bumps along the way. Happy couples have staying power if they can effectively share, listen, and problem solve together.
  • Equality: Resentment builds quickly when one spouse or partner feels overworked and unappreciated.
  • Room for personal growth: Healthy teamwork aside, the most satisfied couples are the ones who allow eachother to strive for and achieve personal goals.
  • Security: The ability to be your true self without worrying what your partner will think is one example of how happy couples make each other feel safe and secure.

Requiring your significant other to meet your needs is something that all smart, self-confident people should be doing. Be sure to honor your partner’s wants and needs, too. Save the unconditional love for members of your family tree. When it comes to romantic love, conditions are required.

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Create Timeless Rituals with Fun Holiday Traditions

Photo courtesy of Carrie Stephens

Every year I look forward to December 1st with great anticipation. On that day, our family decorates our home for Christmas. We make a huge event out of it – using teamwork to lug all of the dusty boxes from the attic, heaving and grunting under their weight, but loving the exertion because we know what their contents represent. My favorite part of the day comes when, after hours of deciding on the perfect location for all of the glittery snowmen and the mistletoe, we flip open the boxes filled with ornaments. Each tiny but ornate decoration reminds us of all of the happy Christmases we’ve spent together, and we reminisce about years gone by as we select the perfect spot on the tree for each treasured trinket.

Researchers tell us that the fun holiday traditions that our families enjoy every year are actually way more important than most of us probably ever realized. They’re so important, in fact, that families who establish and regularly carry out yearly traditions are stronger and have more tightly bonded members than other families because these rituals instill a deep sense of consistency and reliability in an otherwise hectic world. Traditions that we can rely on help us develop feelings of trust and confidence – two very important characteristics that aid in creating mentally stable and happy individuals.

Because traditions create a sense of unity among family members, it means that people in families who practice yearly traditions will be less likely to seek out feelings of belonging elsewhere in other (potentially negative or dangerous) social circles. This naturally adds even more strength and importance to the familial bond. Family traditions help build a sense of identity in all members of your family, because the customs you create will be special and unique, ranging from the timing of certain events to inside jokes. The youngest members of your family can even gain a connection to their ancestors through rituals that have been passed down through the ages.

Traditions and rituals don’t have to involve a holiday, but as we are currently right in the middle of the holiday season, it just so happens that most of us are spending lots of time preparing for and enjoying holiday traditions at the moment. Because of the emotional connection that is tied to the events, foods, songs and rituals that surround holidays year round (but most significantly the holidays in December), it’s important to be aware of just how important these moments are to your family as a whole, and to your family members as individuals.

In today’s modern society, as we are constantly confronted with the interference of technology and with the advent of an ever-changing definition of “family,” it can be challenging to honor traditions that many family members have strong emotional connections to. We must all work to find a way to put down our electronic gadgets and make compromises that will enable us to keep our time-honored traditions alive. Even as family structures shift, the stability of practicing family rituals will keep any family strongly bonded and emotionally sound.

We here at TinyShift would like to take this moment to wish all of our readers Happy Holidays.  We sincerely hope your family traditions go off without a hitch.


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7 Steps to Becoming a Better Team Player

Photo courtesy of Gavin Llewellyn

As we were coordinating a recent event here at the TinyShift offices, there were quite a few details that we had to iron out in short order. Just like our readers, we’re learning everyday, and this time we were learning how to produce a pretty substantially sized project by working together as a team.

Whether you’re just starting your self-improvement journey or if you’ve been walking down the path for awhile now, remember that being a good team player is a skill that you’ll use in multiple areas of your life. Make sure you can hold your own when it comes to the areas listed below, and you’ll see the payoff in your work life, your friendships, your family life, and even your love life.

  1. Effective communication skills – Speak your mind and know when it’s your turn to listen to others’ ideas.
  2. Unique knowledge base  - Bring a skill to the table that your team values, and keep honing it so that your value doesn’t depreciate.
  3. Dependability – A functional team needs all of its members to do their part well and on time.
  4. Team loyalty - If you don’t believe in your team and the projects you’re working on, you might as well quit now.
  5. Strong work ethic – Don’t let anyone walk all over you, but be willing to push your limits when you’re asked to.
  6. Openness to new ideas – A person who is ‘always right’ will never make a good team member.
  7. Willingness to ask for help – While they need you to be able to pull your load, being part of a team means you all help eachother anytime you can.

If you think about it – all of the skills or attributes listed above apply to many relationships in your life. Sure, we usually associate working well as a team with our professional lives, but truth be told, old fashioned teamwork is what makes the world go ’round. And when there’s a lack of teamwork, chaos generally ensues in short order.

Keep your team-building skills on the burner at all times. Let them simmer, but make sure there’s a steady fire under them. That way, you’ll never have to attend a team event empty handed, and you’ll be sure to impress everyone!

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The Friendship Test: What’s Your Score?

Photo courtesy of Kiran Koduru

As I started thinking about Thanksgiving this week and all that I have to be thankful for, my family members naturally sit at the top of my list. However, my friends are a close second, and for many people, they tie for first. As we think about why we are thankful for the amazing friends we have, let’s take a moment to reverse it and think about what our friends want and need from us. After all, this Thanksgiving day, those same friends are going to be sitting around a table (maybe yours), thinking about why you  make their lives more enjoyable.

What makes you a good friend? Do you know? Take a look at this list of traits that people treasure most in their nearest and dearest companions, and see how you measure up :

  •  Trustworthiness – This personality trait covers a lot of bases and, when it comes to friendships, most people are looking for someone who will keep their secrets and keep their promises to be there when times are tough.
  •  The ability to forgive – Of course it is important that friends don’t do wrong to each other on purpose, but when you are friends to the end, you’ll be going through many life events together and mistakes are unavoidable. True friends forgive easily because they have a solid foundation based on a connection that goes beyond trying to be perfect. A good friend understands your faults and flaws and loves you anyway.
  • Self confidence - While this may not seem like a necessary component of being a good friend, a person with a high level of self-confidence is more likely to be giving, loving, and generally more fun to be around.
  • Reliability – If you’re showing up for your friends late all the time, you’re sending them a message loud and clear: Their time is less important than yours. Make the effort to be on time more often, and let your amigos know they’re worth it.
  • Willingness to give slack – Long-lasting friendships can span lifetimes if you treat them right. As we know, time brings struggles of all shapes and sizes. When your friend is facing something challenging and asks for a little slack – give it.
  • Going above and beyond - Friends will go to the limit and beyond when a friend is in need. Are you willing to go to extraordinary lengths to help, even if it inconveniences you greatly?
  • Taking one for the friendship – Sometimes you might be called on to take the fall – or the blame – in order to save a friend’s hide (or reputation.) Are you willing to put a friend’s reputation before yours in times when it might really make a difference?

Of course there are about a hundred other good qualities that lead to great friendships, like having things in common, having fun together, and having similar goals and aspirations. This Thanksgiving, let your friends have one more thing to be thankful for by making sure you ace the friendship test. If you don’t ace it, at least put forth the effort to make sure you consistently do the best you can. Your true friends will be willing to cut you some slack.

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Afraid to be Alone? Learn Why and What Can Help

Photo courtesy of Matt Janicki

My old dog used to get so upset when I left the house that he’d start crying and howling if I so much as touched my shoes or looked at my keys. Admittedly, I thought he was being more than a bit dramatic about things.

Then I had children, and I learned that babies do it too! Infants go through a very distinct phase of not wanting to be away from their parents when they develop the concept of object permanence - the knowledge that objects and people don’t disappear when out of sight. Infants from age 10 months to 3 years may put up quite a fight any time they are asked to separate from Mommy or Daddy. I experienced this with both of my children; however, one was much more anxious than the other.

Traditionally, diagnosed cases of separation anxiety have been limited to young children, pre-teens, and pets (usually dogs).  A dog is a pack animal and it goes against its nature to be left alone. Human infants are learning object permanence, and adolescents are going through a lot of transitions, during which anxiety is common.

But what if you don’t fall into any of the above categories and you’re still extremely distressed when faced with being apart from a loved one? In the 1990s, Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder became recognized as a specific mental disorder because of psychology pioneer Vijaya Manicavasagar.

If you’re suffering from Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder, you’ll exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Major feelings of distress when thinking about being apart from an attachment figure (usually this is a spouse or friend)
  • Excessive worry about this person when you are apart
  • Extreme fear of being alone
  • Fear of going to sleep alone or inability to sleep away from home; insomnia
  • Nightmares about being alone or being separated
  • Headaches, stomach pains, vomiting or dizziness when anticipating separation from the person to whom you are most attached

In your efforts to make small but significant changes in your life, the stress and fear of being alone is definitely something that you should address. Being overly attached to someone as an adult is hard on relationships and individuals.

I’ve recently met several people who were really struggling with being alone, and the suffering of their partner was what was I noticed first.  Most spouses simply can’t deal with such neediness and many turn away from the relationship. Ironically, many people with Separation Anxiety have trouble forming lasting relationships.

Any type of anxiety is something that can be treated successfully. If you or a loved one is suffering from feelings of excessive fear and nervousness that are out of proportion to the situation at hand, don’t be afraid to turn to a professional for help.

I did, and it made a major difference in my life. The right medication combined with talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy eased my anxiety and helped me start functioning normally again. In your journey to take control of your life and get on the right track, remember that asking for help is a very courageous thing to do, and  in the case of a mental disorder, it will make all the difference.

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The Vote is in: Strangers Often Nicer than Friends

Photo courtesy of Susan Babbitt

I’ve been totally awestruck by the plethora of good samaritans who have been helping people recover after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. I became more and more interested in the situation as rescue teams from all over the country came to our aid. As I sat at a red light one day, my jaw dropped as a fleet of Mississippi patrol cars and rescue vehicles went past, speeding north, where the damage was the worst.

On top of what I read and witnessed about those highly damaged areas - people continued to ask if I needed any help, asking what they could do if my home or family had suffered any damage.

Thankfully, although we were right on the edge of disaster, my town was barely affected by the storm at all.  I did what I could to help those who were greatly affected by Sandy, but continued to be genuinely astonished by the simply Herculean efforts put forth by some of the volunteers.

One thing that seemed noteworthy to me was that a huge percentage of the people reaching out to me - offering help, prayers, good will?  Were complete strangers.

Now – don’t misunderstand me here – friends and family checked in too – but I was literally inundated with a huge number of concerned people that I simply didn’t know.  I found that interesting and confusing, and I wanted to learn more about this – the kindness of strangers.

Most of us have heard a friend complain that her spouse or significant other takes her for granted, ignores her, or pays more quality attention to other people.  On a related note – many times people talk so poorly about a family member that you’d think they were discussing a mortal enemy. Avoiding phone calls, skipping out on family events, screaming matches, name calling and blatant disrespect are all common behaviors among some families. What amazes me is that these very same people are more than willing to go above and beyond for people they don’t (or barely) know.

The main psychology working behind this behavior is the belief that family members and spouses can’t reject us, no matter how poorly we treat them. Of course, this isn’t necessarily true – especially when it comes to married couples, as evidenced by the divorce rate.

But what else is at play here?  During my research on the topic, I learned that the ‘kindness of strangers’ phenomenon occurs more often in people who were taught as young children to treat strangers with a high level of respect.  These same people also often view their spouse or significant other as a virtual extension of themselves – and those with low self-esteem consequently end up treating their spouses as poorly as they treat themselves.

There’s also something known as the ‘closeness-communication bias’. Psychologists have found that, although partners usually think they are communicating their wants and needs well - the truth is that many couples are interacting at or below the level of people who have just met.  This communication breakdown occurs when people spend so much time together that they stop taking the perspective of “the other person.” When couples and close friends talk, they often have an unfortunate ‘illusion of insight’ which leads them to leave out critical details that would not get left out while talking to a stranger. In short: we end up explaining ourselves and behaving ourselves better with strangers, because we make so many assumptions with those closest to us.

There is so much to be gained from the kindness of strangers. I’ve been completely fascinated to learn what motivates us to help people we barely know more readily than we’ll help our own family members and our husbands and wives. While the kindness of strangers has literally helped millions of people who were left devastated by Hurricane Sandy, what we can learn from their kindness and their behaviors can even help us in our close relationships. Since we’re all working to be as happy as possible, naturally we want our loved ones to reap the benefits of our happiness, too.

And maybe the best way to do that –  is to treat them like complete strangers.

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How to Kick Life’s Buzzkills to the Curb

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Early in my third decade of life, I really started ‘coming into my own,’ as they say. In my twenties, I scoffed if someone suggested that I wouldn’t be fully self-aware and self-confident for another ten years. I thought I knew everything back then, but it’s true that a powerful shift begins right around the age of thirty. It’s mostly common sense, though, and can be chalked up to simply getting wiser with experience.

Regardless of the reason, as the years continue to fly by, my tolerance level for nonsense continues to drop. I believe the young people today would define my attitude as living “drama-free.”

I suppose the definition of ‘drama’ is different for everyone, but as we used to say in the 90s, it’s basically when someone puts a ‘major buzz kill’ on your mood.  Now that you are starting to find a direct path to being high on life, don’t let the following undesirable personality-types kill your mojo any longer:

  1.  The Cray Cray – This person is constantly full of wildly swinging emotions and usually has a dangerous potential for big blowouts. They may seem delusional and irrational.
  2.  The Negative Nancy – If you have a friend who is a constant whiner and always harps on the bad points of everything, maybe it’s time to tell them to cry a river somewhere else.
  3.  The Busybody - This is someone who appears to have no life of her own, giving her an excess amount of time to monitor and judge your every move.
  4.  The Emotional Drunk - All hell breaks loose when this person has one too many  drinks.  Sensibilities are lost right along with inhibitions, leading to ’dramatic’ professions, confessions, and sober tension the next day.
  5.  The Time Suck – Body language and social cues mean nothing to a time vampire. They show little consideration for anyone else’s time but their own, and if they get you cornered, or stuck on the phone, you can wave bye-bye to your productivity.
  6.  The Truthfully Challenged – Getting caught in a web of lies is what these people do religiously. For some, compulsive lying can be a very real mental disorder.
  7.  The Bitter Pill – Someone who’s perpetually in a bad mood due to what they consider a series of negative life events aimed at them personally can be a bit tough to swallow.
  8.  The Jealous Janet – They may display their envy in a variety of ways, like downplaying your successes, spreading rumors, or making snarky comments like, “Must be nice.”
  9.  The Braggart -With a constant need to impress, these name-droppers will never end up impressing anyone until they stop trying so hard.
  10.  The Absentee – Known in the 90s as a ‘flake’, this person often commits to things but doesn’t show up or follow through. This group also includes those who constantly ‘Tardy for the Party.”
  11.  The Close-Minded Fool- Completely unreceptive to new or different ideas and opinions, this person is very ‘un-fun’ to have a meaningful conversation with.
  12.  The Control Freak – Wanting to dominate every situation, a control freak will try to manipulate you until you relinquish all power in the relationship.
  13.  The Two-Face – Someone who expends all extra energy discussing the faults of others will not only have a negative effect on your mood, but is guaranteed to be talking behind your back, too.

Of course, nobody’s perfect, and maybe someone from the above list is on the same journey toward happiness that you are.  If that’s the case, they’ll be receptive to making changes in their behavior that are good for them and you.  Otherwise, it is most definitely time to move forward and ’kick them to the curb.’

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