Tag Archives: Negativity

Listen Up, Ladies! Ten Reasons to Ditch a Guy

In general, people say you shouldn’t pass judgment on others.  Well actually, when it comes to dating, you should.  When you date, you’re supposed to discern what is good, bad, right, wrong, healthy, and unhealthy about a person.  You need to know when to pull the plug because if you don’t, you’re going to experience misery, anguish, and frustration, and waste a hell of a lot of time.

Although I could discuss the topic both ways, I’m going to focus on the ladies.  Here are 10 reasons to ditch a guy:

Reason #1: He’s base when talking about women
You know the music where the singer calls women “hos”?  That sort of thing.  If he leers, acts snotty, calls women “bitches,” or worse, it’s not a good plan to be dating him because his disrespect for women in general also includes you.

Reason #2: He’s a momma’s boy
Relationships are filled with enough decisions to be worked out between the two of you – it doesn’t need to be the three of you.  If his mom handpicks everything from his career path to his apartment, take caution.  I assure you my son’s apartment was definitely not selected or decorated by his mother (even if his taste is, as I like to say, “Eclectic”).

Reason #3: He’s primarily interested in himself
If everything is about his opinions, his concerns, and his dreams, or he likes to hear himself talk, then he’s not really interested in you to any great depth.  You’re just a window dressing on his life.

Reason #4: He has addiction issues
If he has had any trouble with drugs, gambling, or alcohol, don’t even bother.  That often requires a whole lifetime of management and counseling.  Instead of marrying into it, go to school and get a license to be a clinical social worker – that way at least you’ll get paid to do it.

Reason #5: He’s not honest and/or trustworthy
Now, I’m not talking about him saying, “Of course I enjoy your cooking,” and then going out to get a taco when he says he’s putting gas in the car.  That’s what we call telling a “white lie” in order to avoid hurting your feelings.  I’m talking about major things: He says he has never been convicted of a felony and you find out he’s got a rap sheet, or he swears he doesn’t have an STD and then you end up with a little surprise.  Big lies like, “I’ve never been married before,” or, “No, I don’t have kids,” set the foundation for a lack of trust, and if you can’t trust your man, you’re in store for a lifetime of anxiety, frustration, and big-time drama. 

Reason #6: He’s negative
You know the type: He doesn’t like his job, thinks everyone on the road is an idiot, and pouts about nothing ever going his way.  Everybody has bouts of negativity (I know I do), but dealing with a constantly negative person is draining.  It will eventually drag you – and the relationship – down.  If you’ve got a guy who is negative all the time, dump him.

Reason #7: He’s got Peter Pan Syndrome
Guys like this seem charming because they act like kids or perpetual teenagers.  However, unless a guy can take emotional and fiscal responsibility, you don’t have yourself a real man.

Reason #8: He lacks ambition
This funnels from reason #7.  He needs to have a goal – any type of goal.  Life is a challenge, and if you don’t want somebody who isn’t going to protect and provide for you, don’t stay with someone who has no passion or ambition.  A guy who gets fired and then sits back and doesn’t look for a job isn’t the kind of man you want.  If he’s got a “why bother” attitude about life, you should have a “why bother” attitude about him.

Reason #9: He’s a cheater
Life is short.  The last thing you want to do is spend your time worrying about who your guy is in bed with.  I think there should be a one-strike law: If you’ve made a promise to each other that you’re not going to date other people anymore and he strays, dump him.  Don’t accept any excuses.

Reason #10: He isn’t good boyfriend material
Though somebody may look good on paper, if they don’t mesh very well with your lifestyle, family, or friends, you don’t want to have a future with them.  Otherwise, it’s going to be a lifetime of dealing with them not bothering or caring, and making a mess when they can’t fit in.

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Learning to Be Joyful

My friend, Patty, called me this morning to ask how I was feeling.  I told her, “Well, I can breathe through my nose, my Eustachian tubes are about 90 percent unclogged from my allergy stuff, I can run around, and nothing hurts – so I’m good.”  We both laughed.  We were just both so grateful for our parts still working and for the opportunities that go with that. 

Finding joy in life is not terribly difficult, but it is a learned skill.  First off, being in a state of joy is not the same thing as being happy.  Joy is more of a deep and profound type of feeling.   Secondly, joy is not innate.  You are not born with it – it’s learned.

Some of you have a tougher time acquiring this skill because you were raised in harsh or negative families.  However, it’s still possible for you to learn – it’s just harder. 

One of the first things you need to do to be joyful is to change the way you talk to yourself.  You need to take all that negative-speak going on in your mind (e.g. “I suck,”  “I’m terrible,”  “I should have never done ___”) quite seriously.  You may flippantly say, “I suck,” but you are really hurting yourself deeply on the inside.  Stop the negative self-talk, and instead, replace it with the phrase, “I could be doing ___.”  By giving yourself some leeway, you’ll have choices and flexibility.  These statements give you room to explore and not feel so bad about yourself.  Tearing yourself down is not motivating.  By saying, “I could have made another choice and the next time I will,” you’re going to provide yourself with a lot more opportunity.

Another thing you can do to experience more joy is to have at least one big laugh each day.  It has been proven that laughter makes you feel better and reduces stress.  Laughter makes hormones that boost immunity and creates beta-endorphins that stave off depression.  Moreover, laughing every day is not all that difficult.  There are copious amounts of things to laugh about: funny articles, comic strips, movies, hilarious memories, etc. 

Another tip: try absorbing nature.  Focus your attention on your natural surroundings.  If you do something as simple as examining a plant leaf by leaf, you’ll improve your attention and begin finding joy in the every day.

Now just to be clear: I’m not saying that you should gloss over the negative, ignore painful emotions, or pretend that everything is OK.   What I am saying is that you should be moving forward and trying to be flexible.   Paying attention and practicing gratitude gives you some peace.

It’s hard, no doubt about it. But just because something is “hard” doesn’t mean it should stop you.

Every day I put up a question at Facebook.com/DrLaura.  Recently, I asked, “What’s your secret for remaining joyful even in the midst of tough times?”  Here are two of the responses:

From Loren:

Last night I was reminded of this as we were traveling down I-5 with our three kids under 4.  They had colds and were coughing constantly while trying to drift off to sleep. We were well on our way and had already stopped three times to accommodate the needs of everyone. My oldest son, 4, started coughing harder and harder in a sleepy daze when he started vomiting.

Ugh! I was so tired – my husband and I had been on a nonstop agenda for weeks and we wanted to escape for a peaceful early Thanksgiving break with family, but now this happened. I know both my husband and I could have very easily argued and been stressed, but I grabbed a blanket, caught all the upchuck, and snapped at my husband desperately, “Pull over!!!” He didn’t want to because of the small shoulder on the road, but he did anyway. Barefoot and now smelly, I got out and assisted my son.  Together, my husband and I worked to switch out the car seat, wipe him down, and change his clothes, and we were back on the road 15 minutes later.

Four minutes after that, the rain started.  We both looked at each other and laughed thinking the same thing, “Well, at least we missed the rain!”

Although it was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, we found joy in the midst of the unexpected, unplanned interruptions of the journey.  My husband offered me his hand and said, “That was good teamwork.”

Now, they certainly have a good marriage.  And here is Deborah’s response:

As the parent of a soldier killed in Iraq, for a while joy didn’t seem to fit my vocabulary or mindset, but with time and meditation, I knew the only way to feel joy again and to honor our son and all those who have sacrificed for our country was to dwell on how they lived, not on how they died, and to let our son’s humor, leadership, and love of family and friends shine as best as I could through myself

I also choose not to keep company for very long with family or acquaintances who thrive on negative thoughts and attitudes. As our son did, I find ways to serve others, which brings much joy. I surround myself with words of positive thoughts by way of motivational books and framed motivational thoughts in each room of my home. As a person who deals with depression, “changing the way I think, speak, or do to the positive” helps keep me balanced with a heart of joy.

How to Be Happy

I think you have to be on a valium drip to be happy all the time.  For the sake of full discloser, I’ll tell you that I’m certainly not happy every second of the day.  However, your motive should be trying to be happy.

Being in a good mood or having a peppy personality is not a disposition you are born with or without.  You have options and choices, which I’ve proved many times on my radio program.  I’ve had so many callers who were initially negative, but by the end of our discussion, they were laughing.  What happened?

Their mood changed.

Your level of happiness is a learned skill.  A lot of you come from a background where your family was warm, happy, cheerful, and supportive, so you’ve learned those skills.  However, some of you haven’t.  Some of you are just too lazy to learn them, or you have been given too many perks for being mopey.  For me, I grew up in a house where everybody was always annoyed.  My parents didn’t walk around being cheerful and pleasant.  So, I didn’t learn those skills.  Nevertheless, I sure learned how dangerous the world could be by just watching them arguing and complaining.  It was horrible.

So, what are some of these skills?

First, you can only have one thought at a time.   I had a caller who was beaten by his dad all the time while he was growing up.  He had come to associate physicality with something bad.  On the air, I had him close his eyes and go right back into one of those experiences where his dad was beating him.  You could hear his breathing change.  But then I asked him to think about his wife sitting next to him and imagine her touching his face softly.  He started tearing up.  We did this back and forth three times to prove that he could put his head anywhere he wanted to.

He learned that he needed to have only one thought in his mind at one time, and that’s true for all of us.  You decide what your thought is going to be.  If you start thinking about all the horrible things that might happen, then they may happen.  However, if you put your thoughts toward how you are going to handle something, you can immobilize your fear.

Another essential part of being happy is to think positively.  The negative stuff gets replaced when you see the outcome positively.  And it’s also very important for you to sometimes take your brain out of an action and allow your body to do what it knows it needs to do.  For example, when you’re having sex with your spouse, your body knows what it needs to do.   That’s why I tell people to fantasize and go wherever they want to go.  Just disengage your brain.

In order to be happy, you also need to be motivated about something.  This is where being a maniac comes into play (I think the happiest people are maniacs, and I don’t mean it in a psychiatric sense).  You have to be a maniac on a mission.  What is it you want to make happen?  When you dive into something with a lot of energy, optimism, and commitment, your life will be happier.  People without a purpose are not happy people.  Wishy-washy people are never happy and they are not successful.  You have to be able to take risks and make decisions.  If you take a risk and you fail, then you take another risk.   If you take a risk and it was a mistake, then you repair it and do it again.   You have to have strong ambitions about something (and I’m not talking about making a lot of money – that usually doesn’t work).

You also need to have the gumption to make changes from where you are now.  A lot of people like to stay in their comfort zones or in their familiar surroundings.  A lack of familiarity makes them uncomfortable, and a lot of times people try to stay comfortable even if it’s bad, stupid, or destructive.  But just because you’re familiar with something, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get anywhere with it.

Lastly, you have to be tenacious.  Life requires persistence.  The people who are ultimately successful at being happy are the ones who can delay happiness.  For example, people who shack up do it because they want the gratification of having a relationship without the work of building one.  They think, “I want my gratification now.  I don’t want to work slowly in a respectful, modest way and take my time.  I want sex now.  I want to feel like I’m intimate and committed now.”  However, that’s when everything blows up.  Kids who grab the marshmallow are not the happiest – the ones who earn it are.

If you want to be loved, you have to earn it.  Jumping in bed instantly, shacking up, and being ridiculous doesn’t earn love.  If you want to be loved, you’re going to have to take the time to build love, awe, and respect.  People who are impulsive and refuse to delay gratification just can’t keep plugging.  That’s why their relationships and their businesses don’t work out because it takes years sometimes with no gratification whatsoever to build something that can sustain itself.  If you look at orthodox versions of various religions, it’s no surprise to see practices like couples not holding hands until after they’re married.  They delay physical gratification to learn about each other and become more mature.  They earn their relationships, and THEN they get the cherry on top.