Category Archives: Personalities

What Happened When I Stopped #Complaining for Two Weeks #BetterLife #HolisticCounseling #SelfImprovement #PersonalGrowth #Behavior #Society

Via @HealthyLiving

Alexii Lardis, author for the Huffington Post, challenged herself and, for 15 days in August, she ”fasted from complaining” [1]. She stopped yelling at those irritating drivers that seem to have NO common sense, much less common decency, she stopped saying: ”I’m tired”, come 3 o’clock at the office, etc.

I was intrigued….it turned out that, after the fifteen days, she realized something extremely valuable about herself.

Here it is: ”The top five things that occurred when I stopped complaining, both the good and the bad…[excerpt only, read full article here.]

  1. I realized that I don’t sleep enough. The biggest complaint that I had to bite my tongue on? “I’m tired.”
  2. I argued less: I’m not exactly one to pick a fight, but I noticed how many stupid arguments I can have in a week….I’m pretty sure we’ve been told since kindergarten, “Think before you speak” but I noted how often I neglect this simplest piece of advice.
  3. Angst builds up. Here’s the deal: this experience was overall a positive experience for me. It truly made me reflect on my reactions to situations.
  4. Negativity is a state of mind: When you stop yourself from uttering negative speech, you begin to notice how negative your thought process tends to be.

    I prayed more. If I was forced to turn the negative into the positive, I turned to God.

Her conclusion? “People have good days and people have bad days — but the truth is? It’s all about your outlook.” [1]

A valuable lesson this….and, to quote Epictetus: ”It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” [2]

[Please read the full article by ms Lardis here.]


  1. LARDIS, ALEXII.  2015/09/06  What Happened When I Stopped Complaining for Two Weeks on HuffPost  [Web:] HuffingtonPost.  [Date of Access:]  10 September 2015.
  2. GOODREADS.  n.d.  Quotes: Epictetus.  [Web:] Goodreads Quotes.  [Date of Access:  10 September 2015.

How To Stop Fearing Loneliness 

Via @MindBodyGreen

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

[Read full article on MindBodyGreen by Angie Sarhan.]

“Whether it’s loved ones, neighbors, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, or strangers, our days often consist of having to interact, to talk, to listen, and to give of ourselves, without any time alone. Sure, we enjoy, but often the result is that when we find ourselves in solitude, we get scared. It’s surprising how easy it is to go from being uncomfortable in a room alone to fearing that there’s no one to love us, and no one there to be a witness to our lives.” [1]

Continue reading here to find out how you can change your fear of loneliness and learn to treasure your time of isolation.


  1. MindBodyGreen: How To Stop Fearing Loneliness


10 Habits To Make You A Calmer Person

If you’re like me, always running from point A to B, constantly rushing things, categorizing and re-ordering my thoughts and, of course, those endless lists….tasks to be ticked off, done and re-done and the checking up on people….mind-blowing. I simply flop into bed each night, exhausted but unable to fall asleep, for fear that I’ve missed something urgent during the day and those thoughts…sometimes I’m sure my husband can HEAR me think.

There were times in my life that I wish I could just switch off, like a robot, and reboot myself into a calmer frame of mind. I’ve tried yoga, and yes, it did indeed work a little, but I think my instructor heaves a sigh of relief when I say my goodbyes. I can be exhausting!

So when I read these tips by Jacqueline Stone, author for, I thought….yes, this is just the thing.

Jacqueline says: ‘’Truly calm people are a rare and exotic species that you can learn a lot from. Learn their common behaviours and attitudes, and you too can become an expert in responding to everyday stress and frustrations.” [MindBodyGreen]

Have a read, you may also benefit from these:

[Do read the full article here.]

  • Take a walk…walk the dog, walk to the store, walk for fun.
  • Don’t rush things; give yourself plenty of time when you have an appointment. Do not wait until the last minute to finish a task….not rushing will probably mean you do a better job too.
  • Prioritize self-care; think good nutrition, exercise, sleep….do not be tempted to let anything get in the way of taking care of your health.
  • Use routines; plan ahead, meals, what to wear, daily programmes….this is not only meant to provide security for children, it can also give adults a sense of calm purpose to know where they are going and what they are going to do.
  • Practice being in the moment; enjoy the now….try meditation, gardening, anything to take your mind of daily stressors and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy… must not simply pass by, be in the moment and love your life.
  • Use your phone judiciously; do not let your phone rule your life. Most of us use our phones these days as an extension of our body, always brandishing it like a weapon, forever being interrupted by calls. Make a point to answer only when you HAVE to and do turn that phone off from time to time. If your boss calls you at midnight, well, you are NOT on the job and I’m sure that file can be collected in the morning.
  • Self-regulate and exercise healthy boundaries; learn to say no. Stop worrying that people will think you’re lazy or that people would like you less if you refuse to be available 24/7. If people don’t have respect for your boundaries, they are, in fact, not really friends. Make time for yourself and for the people close to you….be with the people that add value to your life.
  • Always understand that life is not perfect, that things can (and probably will) go wrong sometimes. You can plan all you want, but be prepared that things will not always work out the way you want to. If it doesn’t, it is not the end of the world, adapt your plan, go with the flow.
  • Connect with world in a meaningful, authentic way; spend some time with a precious family member, call a parent, spend some time in charity work. Do something every day that has nothing to do with making money or increasing your social standing, do something that has value, that can bring purpose and meaning to your life.
  • Embrace your small place in the world; accept and embrace your responsibilities at work or within your family and remain aware that there is more outside of your little circle of peace. Be happy, content and thankful that you have your place in the universe, but do not take yourself too seriously. While you remain aware of others and their needs, do not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Do what you can for others, but keep in mind that you alone cannot change the world.

I am sure that, by practicing these behaviourisms, we A-types will be able to bring about a sense of calm in our lives. It is only when we are kind to ourselves, that we will be able to reach out and help others with true compassion.

Now, where’s my diary, time to make a list of things to calm me down!


10 Everyday Habits To Make You A Calmer Person –

Bullying – how to take action to Prevent NOW.

Via @APA


Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. It is a repeated behavior and can be physical, verbal, or relational. While boys may bully others using more physical means; girls often bully others by social exclusion. Bullying has been part of school, and even workplaces, for years. More recently, though, technology and social media have created a new venue for bullying that has expanded its reach. Cyberbullying is bullying that happens online and via cell phones. Websites like Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr and Formspring allow kids to send hurtful, ongoing messages to other children 24 hours a day. Some sites, such as Tumblr and Formspring allow messages to be left anonymously.

Preventing and stopping bullying involves a commitment to creating a safe environment where children can thrive, socially and academically, without being afraid. APA recommends that teachers, parents and students take the following actions to address bullying.


  • Be knowledgeable and observant Teachers and administrators need to be aware that although bullying generally happens in areas such as the bathroom, playground, crowded hallways, and school buses as well as via cell phones and computers (where supervision is limited or absent), it must be taken seriously. Continue reading, click here. 
  •      Involve students and parents  Students and parents need to be a part of the solution and involved in safety teams and antibullying task forces. Continue reading, click here.
  •     Set positive expectations about behavior for students and adults Schools and classrooms must offer students a safe learning environment. Continue reading, click here. 


Parents of kids being bullied

  •       Observe your child for signs they might be being bullied Children may not always be vocal about being bullied. Signs include: ripped clothing, hesitation about going to school, decreased appetite, nightmares, crying, or general depression and anxiety. Continue reading, click here.
  •      Teach your child how to handle being bullied Until something can be done on an administrative level, work with your child to handle bullying without being crushed or defeated. Continue reading, click here.
  •      Set boundaries with technology Educate your children and yourself about cyberbullying and teach your children not to respond or forward threatening emails. “Friend” your child on Facebook or Myspace and set up proper filters on your child’s computer. Continue reading, click here.

Parents of kids engaged in bullying

  •        Stop bullying before it starts Educate your children about bullying.      Continue reading, click here.  
  •        Make your home “bully free” Children learn behavior through their    parents. Being exposed to aggressive behavior or an overly strict    environment at home makes kids more prone to bully at school. Continue  reading, click here.
  •        Look for self esteem issues Children with low self-esteem often bully to  feel better about themselves. Continue reading, click here. 


  •       Report bullying and cyberbullying It is important for students to report any bullying to a parent or an adult they trust. Continue reading, click here. 
  •       Don’t bully back  It may be difficult to not bully back, but as the saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right.  Continue reading, click here. 
  •        Avoid being alone Whenever possible, avoid situations where there are no other students or teachers. Continue reading, click here.

Remember, report bullying of yourself or other students to your teacher, coach, principal and/or parent.


Students who experience bullying may feel overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. If your child or student is having trouble at school or with friends as a result of bullying, a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, can help your child develop resilience and confidence. This will enable your child to be more successful both socially and academically.


Additional Resources

·         Net Cetera: Chatting with kids about being online

·         Stop Bullying Now Campaign

·         APA Q and A with Dr. Susan Swearer

·         Bullying Research Network

·         Target Bullying Survey & Intervention SystemBullying at School and Online

Click here for full article on American Psychological Association’s website.



American Psychological Association (APA). [Web:] Bullying: How parents, teachers and kids can take action to prevent bullying. [Date of Access: 24 March 2015] 

A double life

Via @APA

By Lea Winerman

In an interview with Nancy Segal (pictured above), Lea Winerman discovers the mystery of twins. Things that can be considered as ”coincidences” in two individuals who share the same appearance, but are obviously two very different individuals. As a psychologist and a twin, Nancy spent her career studying what makes identical twins unique. This included indepth study of nature vs nurture issues – what role our genes and environment play in shaping us.

Read the article and discover these ”coincidences” that can happen to twins separated at birth and who, later in life, discover each other, only to find strange similarities in their lives, despite having been apart for most of their lives.

This article makes for interesting reading indeed.

A double life

The excerpt below via APA.

”As a child, Nancy Segal, PhD, knew that she was a twin, but she didn’t always feel like one. She and her sister, fraternal twins, didn’t look anything alike and had few interests in common. Meanwhile, a set of identical twins whom she knew from school seemed incredibly similar and in tune with one another.

Segal was fascinated by the contrast. “I would think: My sister and I have the same parents, the same school, some of the same friends — why are we so different?”

Years later, in graduate school, Segal turned her attention to studying the topic that had fascinated her since childhood. In the 1980’s and ’90’s, she worked on the landmark Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. That research, which looked at identical twins who were reared apart and only met as adults, found remarkable similarities between those virtual strangers, suggesting that genes strongly influence aspects of our personality, intelligence and other traits that had long been thought to be mainly shaped by environment.

Today, Segal continues to study twins reared apart, as well as other “twin-like” pairs, such as look-alike but unrelated “doppelgangers,” to see what they can tell us about how genes and environment affect both twins and everyone else.”

Visit the American Psychological Association and read the full article. Click here.

6 Ways to Get Anyone to Do Anything

@PsychToday #Behavior #Relationships #Communication #JackSchafer

Via 6 Ways to Get Anyone to Do Anything | Psychology Today.

There are several subtle ways to get people to commit to helping you out.


6 Ways to Get Anyone to Do Anything


Adults and children alike often resist direct commands to perform tasks, especially when the people issuing the requests have no real or perceived authority. People who reluctantly comply with commands often develop resentment, which could take the form of passive aggression or not completing tasks as well as they could have been done.

There are, however, several techniques that reduce such resistance and increase the probability that people will do what you want them to—and, at the same time, maintain good relationships. with you. The trick is to get people to do what you want because they want to not because they have to.

1. Use the Magic Word

My parents told me when I was a youngster that “please” was the magic word. I soon learned that when I prefaced my requests with “please,” I tended to gain compliance. The word’s magic powers of have carried over to adulthood. People really do tend to comply with requests when the word “please” is embedded in the request unless they have a good reason not to comply. Children will comply with their parents’ edicts more readily if the word “please” is embedded somewhere in the command. “Please” is a command softener that gives the impression that the person who is being asked to perform a task has a degree of control in task compliance.

2. Say, “You’re Welcome”-Plus

When thanked, most people respond, “You’re welcome.” But to make your response more powerful, add, “I know you would do the same for me.” This invokes the psychological principle of reciprocity. When people are given something tangible—or even something intangible such as a compliment—they are psychologically predisposed to give something in return. Reciprocity increases the probability of compliance to future requests.

3. Get a Commitment

Getting a verbal commitment from people increases the likelihood of compliance. This technique is based on the psychological principle of consistency. People tend to follow through on verbal commitments because to do otherwise would induce cognitive dissonance or guilt. Verbal commitments are especially powerful when they are made in public. Getting a commitment transfers the responsibility of completing the task from the requester to the person asked to perform it, thus creating a sense of responsibility.

Example One

  • Mom: I want your room cleaned up by the time I get home from work this afternoon.
  • Child: Okay, I will.
  • Mom: Good. I’m counting on you. Do I have your commitment that your room will be clean?
  • Child: Yes, I’ll clean my room right when I get home from school.

Example Two

  • Salesperson: I am going to leave you with some brochures. Will you, at least, give me your commitment to look at the material before you make a decision to buy our competitor’s product?
  • Customer: Sure, I’ll take a look at the material this evening.

In both examples, the probability of compliance increases significantly when a verbal commitment is made to take action on each request.

4. Embed Your Command

Embedded commands contain direct requests but the requests are surrounded by command softeners. You’re still issuing commands; however, in this technique, the key is to cleverly embed the command within a string of softeners, the easiest being to add the word “please.” For example:

  • Command: Wash your hands before eating dinner.
  • Embedded Command: Please wash your hands before dinner.

Sophisticated embedded commands can be constructed by using additional command softeners to the request. For example:

  • Command: Fund my project.
  • Embedded Command: After reading my proposal, the only conclusion that I think you can come to is to fund my project.

5. Be Presumptive

Construct your request with the presumption that the person to whom you are making the request has already completed the task. The presumptive gives the illusion of commitment where no commitment has actually yet been made. Most people will accept an implied commitment and feel an obligation to complete the task. And instilling a sense of urgency to the request will increase the probability of compliance. Adding implied incentives to the presumptive further increases the probability of compliance. The incentive may look like a bribe, but incentives serve as a reward for good behavior—and increase the probability of future compliance. Rewards do not have to be issued upon the completion of all requests; in fact, they’re more effective when issued intermittently. The following examples illustrate the presumptive technique.

  • Mom: After you rake the yard, why don’t we go out and get an ice cream sundae.
  • Child: Okay!
  • Dad: Why don’t you rake the leaves (handing a rake to his child) and I’ll bag them.
  • Child: Okay.
  • Salesperson: After we close this deal, where do you want to have dinner?
  • Client: I know of a nice restaurant nearby.

6. Add a Sense of Wonder

Introducing a sense of wonder in conversation or in the form of self-talk also increases the probability of compliance. People typically want to tell others about their expertise. Introducing a sense of wonder takes advantage of this tendency. If you need help with a task, seek out a person with that skill and during the course of your conversation simply muse, “I’m working on this project and I’m having some difficulty. I was wondering if you may have run into the same problem.” An expert in the field will have difficulty not volunteering his or her expertise to show their mastery. They may even offer their services to help you solve the problem. This creates the illusion that the expert is offering his or her expertise and not being requested to provide advice or free services.

If you found these techniques helpful, go to for additional resources for effective communication, controlling anger, and techniques to detect deception. For additional information, you may contact the author: jackschafer500 [at]


John R. “Jack” Schafer, Ph.D., earned his degree in psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California and served as a behavioral analyst for the FBI