How You Treat Others is a Reflection…

But Just What is it a Reflection Of?

Quote About Treating Others with Kindness

When you think of a “hateful” person, what do you think of? Someone with a biting sarcasm and so much nastiness about them that they’re pretty much a human repellent? I’ve known a few people like that – so mean-spirited it’s a wonder they could stand themselves.

Then again, maybe they couldn’t and that’s why they’re so mean.

I’m actually not thinking about the word “hateful” in regards to how a person acts, though.  I’m not thinking of it as an action verb as much as a state of being verb. I’m actually thinking about the following definition of the word:

Hateful – full of or expressing hate; malignant

Sadly, there are a lot of people who are full of hate and this makes them, just as the definition says, malignant.


  1. disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately
  2. very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.

Ugly stuff, right? It’s especially ugly when you think of a truth we’ve all heard for years: How we treat others says more about US than it does THEM.

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – T.H. Thompson

I can’t imagine that anyone would wake up in the morning and tell their cat, “I’d sure like to be malignant today! Yep, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to spread destruction, suffering, and hatred. If I get cracking, maybe I can contaminate a good 10 people or more before lunch.”

Nah. Maybe I’m naive, but I doubt there are any human Grinches walking around. More likely than not, having a sour disposition has crept up on them and they don’t even realize it. They’ve become a negative, cynical, pessimistic, and hateful person without even realizing it.

That’s how all bad habits take root in our lives. Over time, they slowly soak into us until they become one with us. If left to their own devices, they come to define us. Think for a minute about the people you know – most of them, when you think of their name, conjure up an attribute or characteristic. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse than to be considered “hateful.”

The problem with being filled with hate (anger, resentment, bitterness – or any of its other cousins) is two-fold:

  1. hate makes its host miserable
  2. the host then takes it out on everyone else

Personally, I think some people treat others badly – not so much because of who the other person is – but because of the hateful seed deep within themselves.

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. – Winston Churchill

Here’s an example, without going into specifics:

Recently one of my favorite athletes shared a family Christmas photo. The shot included himself, his girlfriend, his mom, and his grandmother! Precious, right? Most of us who commented on the picture wished him and his family a wonderful Christmas. One person (it may or may not have been me) commented on how downright adorable his grandmother was.

But there were others who, disgustingly, left cruel comments about him and his family. Some hate-filled jackasses simply said, “Shut up.”

Seriously. There are people like this in the world.  When I saw these comments…. left on an individual’s family Christmas photo, mind you!.. I grew angrier by the minute. I ran away from Twitter and practically threw my iPad down. I’m not sure I could have been any angrier if this young man had been my own son!

As I sat there wondering what was wrong with humanity and how such vile humans could even exist, the anger slowly turned to sadness.

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. – Author Unknown

Let’s face it, for anyone to leave UGLY, HATE-LACED comments (which is literally speaking to someone) like this, they have to be filled with hate and ugliness, themselves.

When I pour myself a glass of sweet tea out of my favorite glass pitcher, sweet tea goes into my glass. Sweet tea is in the container. Sweet tea comes out.

Those of us (Thanks be to God we outnumbered the Nasty Nellies!) who wished this athlete’s family a wonderful Christmas and echoed his happiness with our own words were filled with happiness, kindness, and love for others.

Sweet tea’s in the container. Sweet tea’s in the glass.

The others were obviously filled with unhappiness, bitterness, ugliness… not just the cousins of hate – I think they were hosts for hate’s entire family.

And an ugly sight they make.

The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid. – Author Unknown

I was thinking earlier about some of my favorite people. I’ve always been particularly fond of people who are agreeable, funny, and kind-hearted. People who are so busy living their own lives and trying to perfect the person in the mirror that they haven’t time time to criticize and demean people around them.

They’re happy with their life. They’re happy with themselves. They don’t want to knock anyone down or spread toxicity because they’re too busy enjoying life.

Show me that sort of individual and I’ll walk to the ends of the world with them. I’m lucky to have a great number of people around me who fit that bill.

The next time you catch yourself even thinking something mean or hateful about another person, catch yourself and MAKE yourself think something positive about them instead. After a while you will have developed a newer, better habit and no one will benefit from it any more than you will.

What if any one of the individuals who lashed out with ugliness and toxicity had stopped themselves and typed in: “Beautiful family! Y’all have a wonderful Christmas!” instead.

What would have happened? Well, think back to the Christmas classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”  Remember when his little bitty heart grew larger?

Yeah. Something like that.

Very often the way we treat others is the way we look at the world. It’s a reflection of how we feel about life, in general – especially as it relates to us.  Someone who is never content or happy with life – the one who thinks nothing is ever good enough – is often the one who treats others the worst.  Their discontentment with life makes them discontent with just about everyone in it.

Like most things in life, the choice is ours. We can improve the way we treat others by improving our outlook on life or we can become so toxic and negative that small children run from us.

Not much of a choice is there?

Here are a few Calls to Action (because nothing is ever of any  use until it’s put to use!):

  • Start being kinder than you have to be.  When you feel the temptation to say something negative to someone (whether it’s about their job, their weight, how they wear their hair..), say something nice instead. Not only will they feel wonderful (and possibly even surprised), something unexpected will happen – you’ll feel even better than you make them feel!
  • Do something unexpected and kind for someone. It doesn’t take much (time or money) to make someone smile.  If I haven’t said it recently (which I know I have), I’ll say it now – I’m the luckiest person in the world when it comes to family.  This colorful cast of characters that fill my life are wonderful about doing extra little “somethings” for one another. Whether it’s me grabbing a great looking color of nail polish for my girls simply because, my youngest daughter leaving unexpected gluten free treats on the kitchen counter for me, one of my other daughters (or sons-in-law) bringing me a favorite drink from Starbucks, or my husband ordering me something awesome off of Amazon just to make me smile – we are all always thinking about ways to bring smiles to one another’s faces.  What a wonderful world it’d be if everyone had the same mindset – about family, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
  • Remind yourself each day to be the kindest person you know!  New concepts, habits, and mindsets can quickly be tossed aside. After all, that’s why we have to make NEW New Year’s Resolutions each year.  If you’re striving to be a kinder person – to life, to yourself, and… by reflection.. to others – remind yourself each day that life is a wonderful gift! To behave differently is a slap in the face to God, himself. Stop dwelling on negatives and dwell, instead, on positives. Doing so will affect the way you feel inside and the way you make others feel outside. The way you make other people feel is a reflection on you more than it is on them.
  • Be careful what you THINK and how you TALK about others behind their back.  These thoughts and “private” words will come to the surface and do more damage than you have right to do.

If you improve just one thing this year, improve the way you treat others. You may be thinking, “That’s fine and good for them… but what’s in it for me?!”  Well, everything! If you treat others with kindness, you will be the biggest benefactor of all. Should that be your number one goal? Of course not, but it’s the truth.

Spread kindness. Spread happiness. There’s enough toxicity and negativity out there and the world doesn’t need any more of it.

~ Joi

See More Quotes About Kindness.

Quote About the Way You Treat Others

People Who Talk Behind Your Back

A Couple of Quotes, a Couple of Thoughts, and One Big Question

Quote About People Who Talk Behind Your Back
Sometimes I’ll hear from individuals who are troubled by things that resonate with me. For example, when I hear from people who struggle with eating healthy, I automatically think, “I know, right!?!”  As they go on about how fried food simply tastes better to them than quinoa, my taste buds and brain agree with them completely.

Even if it’s a problem I don’t, myself, associate with (loneliness, for example) – I’ll often be able to empathize with their emotions by putting myself in their place.  I can almost always identify with someone by putting myself in their place. I find their footprints and put my own feet in them.

However, I’ll occasionally hear from someone (or talk with them) who’s going through something that’s so alien to my way of thinking that I struggle to find their footprints… let alone step into them.

Here’s a perfect example:  Girls, boys, women, or men who are heartbroken because their “significant other” talks badly about them to….

  • their best friends
  • their co-workers
  • their own family

Why am I unable to find these particular footprints? Because I can’t figure out what makes this sort of person worthy of being called a “significant” anything.


Think about words for a minute.  As someone who writes (to the tune of all day.. everyday..) and reads a great deal,  I may attach more emphasis, importance, and value to words than the average person. Having said that, I don’t think anyone can or should undermine their importance.  Feelings, emotions, and knowledge are conveyed with words. Whether it’s the spoken language or written language – we convey the essence of our thoughts and feelings with our words.

If we’re hurt, it comes out in our words.

If we’re angry, it comes out in our words.

If we’re bitter, it comes out in our words.

If we’re happy, it comes out in our words.

If we’re grateful, it comes out in our words.

And on and on and on.  Our words, in many ways, identify what we feel inside.

Do you see why I said what I did about some people not being worthy of being called a “significant” anything?

Some people talk about their families in a way that seeks only to build them up. If they call a friend up and happen to mention their wife, girlfriend, or children – the friend knows it’s going to be a positive conversation. The friend (or co-worker) will think this guy’s family is the greatest family in the world! Why? Because the friend feels that they are the greatest!

Other people talk about their families or friends in such a way that others start wondering, “Are they complete losers?” or, worse, “I don’t think this guy /girl really loves her/him.”

After all, if the only thing out of someone’s mouth about someone is negative, after a while, you can only draw one conclusion: This person doesn’t care about them.  IF they did, their words would back it up.

So. What do you do if you KNOW someone is running you down or talking about you behind your back? For what it’s worth, here’s my advice:

  1. Make sure of your facts before you say anything. If an individual who you can trust explicitly tells you that this person has been talking about you OR you have seen or heard the evidence, yourself – then you probably have all the proof you need to confront them. However, when I say “confront,” I’m not talking about an ambush. You’re cooler than that.  Also, don’t ask them if they HAVE BEEN doing it – that only gives them an “out.” Without getting (or at least, without appearing!) angry, tell them, “I just need to know something… why do you talk badly about me to ________?”  Let them know that you know they do – you haven’t run for the hills, you aren’t armed and dangerous – you simply want to know why they feel the need to do this and if there’s anything you can do to make it stop. Please make sure you KNOW the facts before saying anything. Few things are less attractive than a paranoid person on a hunt when there simply isn’t any prey.
  2. If the information they’ve spread is LIES, you have a right to ask them to set things straight.  If they’ve exaggerated the details (in an attempt to garner sympathy, I suppose), tell them it’d mean the world to you if they’d let the person know they were upset when they spoke about you and that they shouldn’t have said the things they said.
  3. If the person gets angry and defensive, just drop it for the time being. You absolutely cannot reason with someone when they’re like this. Simply say, okay, let’s forget it for now. There’s no need in escalating the situation or helping a hot head get even hotter.

In the end, if you have someone in your life who you think of as “special,” yet they continue to run to others anytime you have an altercation or they tend to paint you in a less than positive light to other people, please ask yourself just how “special” they are.  That’s the “big question” I mentioned in the title. Words convey what’s in our heart. There’s a little flow chart:  OUR FEELINGS —> OUR THOUGHTS —> OUR WORDS. If someone’s words are unkind about an individual, their feelings or thoughts are polluting their words.  That’s why you have to talk to them.

I saw a quote graphic on Pinterest one time that encouraged girls to find a guy  with whom “you know your name is safe in his mouth.” I love that. It can go for guys or gals, of course, but the gist is this: You want someone in your life who… whenever your name is on their tongue… it is as safe as a baby in its mother’s arms.

You should seek to surround yourself with people who you KNOW – beyond a doubt – speak highly of you. People who, whenever they speak your name to ANYONE, there is kindness, love, and even pride involved.

That’s what you deserve. Don’t ever forget that!
~ Joi

The Names We Call People are A Lot Like Post It Notes

For Better or Worse.. They Just Might Stick

I can still feel the impact of a musical friend who one day called me ‘musical.’ No one had ever called me that. I didn’t really play an instrument. I was no soloist. Yet . . . I instantly felt known and loved. . . . [He] noticed, validated, and appreciated something deeply true about me.” 

These words were written in an article by Mark Labberton and beautifully remind us of the importance of “names” we assign to one another.

Whatever “names” or even “images” we assign to other people carry a lot of weight, and for better or worse, you’d better believe they stick.

Power of Names

Long before I considered myself a writer, I thought of words as little pieces of puzzles. The end result of piecing them together might be a letter to a loved one, an essay at school, or a few lines in my diary about the impossibly cute boy who worked at an arcade in town.

Naturally I never thought about my effectiveness with words. I simply knew I loved being in their presence.  I remember when I actually began to feel like, maybe… just maybe… they enjoyed being in my presence as well.

My aunt (one of the sweetest people in the world, by the way) was always one of my favorite family members to write letters to.  She loved to hear about my pets, friends, school, clothes, etc. If I had an interest in something, she wanted to know all about it.  One Christmas (I believe I was around 14-15), she and my uncle came home for Christmas. Right smack in front of the entire family, she launched into how much she loves getting my letters. She said I had a “gift” for writing.   She went on to say that she kept all of my letters.  Then my mom said that she kept all of my poems and short stories that I’d written in school.

I thought, “They KEPT all that crap???”

My aunt told me, “You should be a writer,” and my mom replied, “She already is.”

I have no idea what gifts I unwrapped under the tree that year, but I know that two of the most important people in my life gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten – belief in myself.

Since that day, whenever I’ve written anything I’ve sat a little taller and felt a lot more confident.  Whenever I’d get anything less than an A+ on an essay, I’d think, “Well, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m the writer here.”

Some might say my mom and aunt created a monster and I can’t say they’d entirely be wrong. But it’s a writing monster and that’s what counts.

Many years passed between the day my mom and aunt made me feel 10 feet tall.  I became a wife (to the cute arcade boy, by the way) and mother of three beautiful daughters.  I threw myself completely into these roles. The only writing I did was letters and curriculum for my daughters, who I home-schooled all the way from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.

When I decided that I’d very much like to be a web publisher and blog writer, I remembered what my family had said all those years ago.  Their words gave me confidence to try.  They stuck.

When I first began writing online, sometimes I’d read the work of truly great authors and I’d begin to doubt myself. I’d think, “I haven’t been doing this as long as them… I don’t have their education…” ” Right around this time, a friend of my husband’s who happened to have a great reputation online as a web publisher said that he was “in love with my writing.”

This compliment was like a shot in the arm and I felt positively sassy again.

Words carry so much weight! Whether they’re words we say to our children, our spouse, ourselves, or people we barely even know.

Power of Names

Think of words like this: When you call someone “dumb” or even say they did a “dumb” thing – it’s as though you’re writing the word on a post it note and pinning it to their top.  They WILL live down to your expectations.

When you call someone “gifted,” “smart,” “witty,” etc… they WILL live up to your expectations.

Think about things people have called you. No doubt both good and bad names come to mind.  That’s a perfect illustration that these labels STAY with us and a wonderful reminder to watch what words come out of your mouth.

Now for a harder exercise – think about the names you have called other people or the titles you’ve given them.  If you’re the sort of person who has pinned far more negative words than positive, make it right. If you think you’ve been particularly harmful to someone’s self confidence or fear that someone doesn’t think you believe in them – don’t let another day go by without clearing things up.

Words have the power to change lives.

Thanks for reading… you’re awesome!
~ Joi

“If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.” - Earl Wilson


What You Allow is What Will Continue

One of the Most Powerful Quotes EVER is Always Right

What you allow is what will continue. - Unknown
As you know, I’m an avid collector and great lover of inspirational quotes. I’m not sure I ever met one I didn’t want to sit down and spend a little time with. Over the years, I find that I always have a few “favorite quotes of the moment”  at any given time. The quotes that just seem to find their way into every conversation and seem to be applicable to whatever is going on around me.

Funny thing is, the quote you see above has been a favorite quote for as long as I can remember.  What you allow is what will continue. It never goes out of style, never gets old, and (as far as I’m concerned) should never leave your side.

This past week, alone, the quote came to mind in three different instances.

  1. My husband and I were at a favorite restaurant in town that often seems to have a problem with being understaffed. We’ve heard, on several occasions, that they have a problem with servers simply calling in at the last minute. As the manager ran around like a chicken in search of its head, I wanted desperately to write the quote down and slip it to him as he flew past our table on one of his rounds. If he keeps allowing his workers to treat him, the restaurant, and their co-workers with such blatant disrespect, they will.  It’ll continue.
  2. I heard about a girl (from one of my daughters) who has a ridiculously unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend. He treats this girl in a way that makes me want to smack him in the head… with an electric eel.  And she isn’t even MY daughter – I don’t want to even think what he’d be in for if she were! The relationship (if you can even call it that) has been going on like this for a few years and, by now, this unhealthy and abnormal reality probably seems normal to this young girl.  What I wouldn’t give for 10 minutes with her.  If she continues to allow herself to be treated like a doormat, this jerk will continue to trample on her.
  3. Okay, time to rat on myself. I try to eat healthy. Like most people, these days, I try to make the right choices in the store, in my kitchen, and in restaurants.  A few times this week (alone!) I messed up big time. Let’s see, I messed up in the grocery store by buying unhealthy snacks, I messed up at home by choosing the unhealthy ones over the beautiful fruit that was sitting on the counter, and I messed up in a restaurant (Seriously, Joi? Three rolls?  With Butter? Three?) I whipped out the beloved quote on myself last night in the grocery store. I had a bag of Doritos in my hand, licking my lips as I was thisclose to throwing it into the cart.  Then I realized that if I keep allowing my inner snacker (she with the rationality of a 10 year old) to call the shots, my downward spiral will continue.  I put the bag of crunchy goodness back on the shelf and got some celery instead. It was cheaper, healthier, and is one step in breaking a cycle I want to break.

The celery over Doritos choice may seem small – and I guess, compared to gleefully eating 3 rolls… with butter… it is small. However, we’d all do well to keep in mind that every choice we make either carries us one step forward, one step backward, or sinks us further in the ground where we stand.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the most searched things on Google is How to Be Happy. Ironically, that fact makes me pretty sad.  The thought of so many people out there who may be so removed from happiness that they’re turning to a search engine to remember where it is… well, that’s sad.

The thing is, we’re born happy. When we’re babies and toddlers, we wear our happiness on our face for the world to see.  Think of the insanely popular videos on YouTube with nothing but babies laughing.  People (including me) love these videos and spend copious amounts of time watching them… laughing with the babies the entire time.

Why? Because pure joy is a beautiful, intoxicating thing.  If we allow the wrong things to keep playing out, we’ll continue to be further and further removed from happiness and joy.

Leave behind anything that stands between you and happiness and, while you’re at it,  tuck this life-changing quote into your pocket so you never forget it again…..

What you allow is what will continue. My wish for you is that you’ll only allow positive, uplifting, joyous things in your life because… mark it down.. they’ll continue! Pure joy is what I want for YOU – the kind you just can’t keep in or hide.

~  Joi

I Think We’re Seeing a New Breed of People Being Born Right Before Our Eyes

Frankly, It's Not a Very Pretty Sight...

Quote about Egotism

Picture it. A documentary is coming on the television set. The music sets a dramatic tone.  The narrator (let’s give him a British accent for effect) announces that a new tribe of people has been discovered in (surprisingly) a part of the world that isn’t even remotely remote. You lean in close, wondering how a new race of people could have hidden all these years, undetected.  You watch, expecting them to be draped in animal skins, living in caves, speaking in grunts, and sporting, possibly, nose rings.

You admit to yourself that maybe you watch too much National Geographic.

As you wait, literally on the edge of your couch, for the big reveal, the camera zeroes in on the new breed.

Wait… What???

It’s us. As images of social media, pictures on Facebook and Instagram, infidelity statistics, divorce rates, and so on flash across the screen, the narrator pauses dramatically then announces the name of the new breed:  the Self Absorbed.


Kidding aside, I just have to ask, what is with people these days?  Why are so many individuals as self absorbed as high-end paper towels? When I was in high school, the ancestors of the self absorbed were called “self centered.”  But the generation they gave way to has far surpassed their efforts.

Odds are you know at least one person (the odds are greater that you know quite a few) who is self absorbed.  Heck you may even be showing signs of heading that way yourself.  If that’s the case, take heart.  Maybe this article was meant for YOU and will prove as a life boat to keep you from drowning in a sea of YOU.

When something happens gradually, it becomes our NORMAL.  What we accept as the norm today would have mortified us 20 years ago.  As a comparatively small example, think about the commercials you see on TV today.  If you could transport yourself back 20 or even 10 years ago, can you imagine your reaction if you saw some of this crap come on? Something my husband used to do, when our girls were younger was probably the best way of handling idiot commercials I’ve ever seen.  He’d always have a “back up” channel in place during the show we were watching (especially during sporting events, where commercials really show their immaturity).  He’d flip over to the “back up channel” (usually the Golf Channel or the Weather Channel) as soon as the commercials tried to throw themselves into our living room.

Since he didn’t want three young girls exposed to stupidity and flirtations with porn, he’d simply opt out.  He was a dad who didn’t want to let what was becoming “norm” to the rest of  the world to become the “norm” for his family.

Unfortunately, the commercials – gradually – have become even worse.

Isn’t that how most things happen? Slowly. Gradually.  Then you sit there one evening while a commercial plays out that leaves your jaw on the floor as you ask, “America… what happened?!”

Like commercials (and magazines, movies, television, music…), the road to self absorption for so many people has happened gradually.  They didn’t set out to become narcissists.  But unfortunately, they didn’t set out NOT to become narcissists either.


[nahr-suh-sist] noun

1. a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.
2. Psychoanalysis . a person who suffers from narcissism, deriving erotic gratification from admiration of his or her own physical or mental attributes.

Signs of a Self Absorbed

In a nutshell, the self absorbed makes every single moment, every single situation, and every single experience about them.  What matters most isn’t who they are with, the beauty around them,  the moment they’re in, or what they can do for anyone else.

What matters most to them is… well… them.

A few questions that’ll help classify a self absorbed person:

  • Does the person talk, at length, about their health, their diet, or their appearance?
  • Does the person buy things only for himself or herself?
  • Does the person ever do “cool” things for others?
  • Does the person give to charities… could the person even name three charities?!?!
  • Does the person look at the world around them or are they too busy demanding that the world look at them?
  • On Twitter, is the person 95% about self-promotion?
  • On Facebook, are they begging others to LIKE them (or their product) or are they working hard, giving others a reason TO like them?
  • Does the person ask… and actually listen to the answer… how someone else’s day was?
  • Is the person friendly, respectful, and courteous to servers in restaurants or do they have the, “You are here to serve me and you’d better do a darn good job!” mentality?
  • Does the person have any idea, whatsoever, what’s actually going on in the world – or is the world, to them, literally what’s in the room with them?
  • The self absorbed individual is the one who, when talking about their success (something they’re always doing),  shows pictures of their car, their vacation, and sometimes even their home.  I’m never impressed with that – come on, just about anyone can buy a car or take a vacation!   To borrow a phrase from an old Shania Twain song, “That don’t impress me much.”  Show me what you’re doing to make THE world a better place, not YOUR world.  Show me how you’re helping precious children who need someone to care, show me how you’re saving a beautiful animal from becoming extinct, show me how you’re helping elderly people live out their lives with dignity, show me how you’re making the world a better place. Put your car in the garage, dude, it’s the least of my worries.

In Defense of the Self Absorbed

Before you start to think I hate self absorbed or self centered people – I do not. I don’t hate anyone.  In fact, I feel sorry for them because if you limit your world to YOU, you’re missing out on so, SO much.  If you make every situation, every day, every holiday, every moment all about you, you’re missing out on everyone around you. What’s more, you’re creating a void between you and everyone else. If your life is all about you 24/7, make no mistake about it, you’ll end up pushing everyone away and you will be left with your one true obsession.. yourself. How lonely does that sound?

As I said earlier, sometimes things happen slowly over time. Many self absorbed people slowly transition into being that way because of a health scare or other dramatic event in their lives.  A loss of a very close loved one makes some people become very self absorbed.

Over my lifetime, I’ve seen a lot of people become very self absorbed because of a health issue or because of  aging.  They become, literally, obsessed and preoccupied with the person they see in the mirror.  They’re every conversation and thought is channeled in that direction.

To me, that’s not LIVING, that’s simply TRYING NOT TO DIE.

There’s a big difference.  But, again, things happen slowly over time. The same person who would have been mortified by the idea 10 years ago is, today, discussing bodily functions with the hostess at Cracker Barrel and medications with a stranger in Target. Just because someone politely asks, “How are you doing?” doesn’t mean they want your medical history.

When you read interviews with people who have celebrated their 100th birthday, they look back over a life of living. They don’t look back over a life of trying not to die.

I think we have to cut our young people a little bit of slack, too.  Young girls and boys, today, have grown up with Facebook, Instagram, constantly taking selfies (pictures taken by oneself of oneself), reality TV, and with the mindset of “By gosh, it IS all about me!”  Sadly, it’s their norm.

And our future is in their hands.

Are you scared now?

Dangers Posed by the Self Absorbed

I am a positive person – very positive, in fact. However, even I am driven to say that the self absorbed breed could just be our downfall.  Think about some of the problems we face.

  • Divorce rates are through the roof.  Self absorbed people don’t think about the other person, all that matters TO them IS them. So what if they “flirt” online or go to websites that bother their spouse – it’s their life, by gosh, and they’ll do what they want.  And then they do…. all the way to divorce court.
  • People are falling for scams online left and right. The person they THINK they’re having a relationship with is completely different from what they think. Sometimes the other person is actually married and often they aren’t even the sex they believe them to be! Talk about awkward.  When people only care about themselves, they don’t care if they hurt another individual or not. They don’t even care if they wreck their world.  Remember, the self absorbed care only about themselves – all others are irrelevant.
  • Relationships are crumbling because men and women seem to have complete misconceptions about infidelity.  If you are in a committed relationship, your every e-mail, “tweet,” direct message, etc. should be able to be seen by your companion.  If they can’t be (without you wanting to run for the hills), you’re cheating. Plain and simple. I read a few days ago something that stood out to me. If you could not exchange phones with your significant other without panicking, you need to wake up.  Same can be said about e-mail and social media. Self absorbed people only think about what makes them feel good at the moment – they don’t have any respect or regard for anyone else.  And then they wonder why their relationship fails.
  • I don’t get shocked easily.  I always say the reason for that is I lived with three teenage daughters – how in the world could anything shock me?! However, I am shocked by what’s considered normal these days. During the Super Bowl, for example, there were about 3 different commercials that left me grasping for reality. Do advertisers not realize (or give a darn) that kids watch television? Do they not realize that the only people who buy their products aren’t 15 year old boys?!  Many companies are just as self absorbed as the individuals who run them.  They think, “I’ll do what I want to do, and if offends people… I’ll probably just make more money.”
  • Self absorbed people are the ones who text while they drive. The dangers they pose don’t matter – the only thing that matters is that they have something to say and… after all… their words are worth any chaos they cause.  Especially if they happen to have a picture of themselves to show off.
  • One of the biggest dangers of the self absorbed person is the fact that they’re keeping the breed going.  They’re continuing a “norm” that needs desperately to end.

Is There Any Hope for the Self Absorbed?!

If you had an uneasy, “Uh oh” moment when you read the words “self absorbed” and saw a bit of yourself in the descriptions, you’re lucky.  You’re probably cured already.  Sometimes all it takes is a wake up call. It’s kind of like taking a good look in the mirror before going out for dinner and a movie and seeing that your hair’s standing straight up.  It’s not a pretty sight, but thanks be to God you saw it before anyone else!

Personally, I think there’s hope for even the most self absorbed people.  If not… at least they provide the rest of us with a little free entertainment.  Just be sure you don’t buy into what they’re selling – it really isn’t any way to live.

~ Joi

Inspirational Quote of the Day: Don’t Take it Personally!

This is an Especially Great Quote


Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. – Miguel Angel Ruiz

How could I have gone through my entire life of being full on obsessed with inspirational quotes and not come across the one above before?

I even collect quotes!

This wonderful quotation is a perfect reminder to take everything others say or do with a grain of salt. NEVER let others define you or direct your world. There are people in the world who delight in trying to do both.

Live your life on your own terms, be the best you that you can be (as defined by YOU, not someone else), and never look in someone else’s mirror to see your own reflection.

As you know, I often tell you to write certain quotes down.  This time I’m ordering you to!  This one’s a life changer.

~ Joi

Why We Should Carefully Watch Our Words

Does the Word Boomerang Mean Anything to You?

Deliberate much before you say and do anything; for it will not be in your power to recall what is said or done. -Epictetus

  Be Careful What You Say Have you ever said something and instantly wished you could grab the words by the tail and eat them.  Or, better yet, go back in time and never let the words out in the first place?  Since we’re all human, we’ve all been there. It’s a downright sickening feeling when words come out of your mouth and you can’t do anything about it other than stand in the ruins.

Fortunately,  for me as well as those who have to listen to me, I’m one of those people who almost always lines my words up and quickly examines them before they come out of my mouth. This practice came about because of something I call “mommy speak.”  I was a “stay at home” mom to our three beautiful little girls (one of my daughters is pictured in this post). As you may know, I home-schooled each of our daughters all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

That’s a lot of time spent with little people!

I quickly realized that the way I related with my girls might not be appropriate with an older crowd, so I got into the habit of examining my words before allowing them to make an appearance.

I lived in fear of telling a perfect stranger to brush her hair before someone thought she was a cave girl, or telling my husband to eat all of his vegetables if he expected any chocolate cake. While playing a board game with adults once, I was bumfuzzled when none of them knew who Snuffleupagus was.  I thought, Seriously, don’t these people watch tv? I instantly wished I’d used chocolate or an UPS truck to indicate brown – but to me, Big Bird’s buddy was synonymous with brown.

Mommy speak.

I’ve heard enough people (politicians excel at it) open their mouth, THEN examine their words.   Most people simply need to get into the practice of interrogating their words before allowing them out of the confines of their mouth.

Before inmates are released from prison, they have to face such an interrogation.  Given the fact that words can do as much damage as a convict who’s on top of his game, it’s obvious they need to face similar inspection.  A few things to ask yourself before the words come flying out:

  • Will this hurt someone’s feeling?  Some people seem to forget that people have feelings.  Just because the speaker may be hardened, doesn’t mean everyone else is.  No one deserves to have another person tear them down with words. It’s called bullying and it isn’t the least bit attractive. Even small children have feelings and unkind words can shatter them like glass.
  • Am I speaking out of anger? Speaking under the influence of anger is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.  Take deep breaths, calm down, then speak. It’s best for everyone, including yourself.
  • Are these words for ME or THEM? Most of the time, the things we say are self-serving.  A father will call his daughter’s boyfriend names to make himself feel good. He isn’t thinking of the young man, his daughter, or the rest of the family. He’s thinking of himself.  His words make everyone uneasy, but none of them truly matter. He’s only thinking of himself.
  • Will any good come from this? If nothing GOOD or positive will come from your words, why not just keep them to yourself?

It’s worth mentioning a special word to parents.  I never cease to be amazed by how much my daughters actually remember about their childhood. Sometimes one of them will be walking or having lunch, and they’ll come up with a memory from what seems like a lifetime ago!  Thanks be to God that they’re almost always positive, happy memories.  The point is, kids have excellent memories and the things you say to them (even in anger) STAY with them.  If you have children at home, make certain you’re giving them words you’ll want to revisit them time and time again.  Because they will.

Young parents go through A LOT of crazy things in life. Many times there are job changes, moves, family drama, and so on. Just remember, don’t take it out on your children. One day, they may be all you have.  Say words to them today that you’ll WANT them to repeat to you one day.  Even when disciplining them, do it with love and remain calm. As adults, they’ll respect that.

Whether it’s with children or other adults, watch your words because they’re very much like boomerangs.  They’ll come back to you and their sense of direction couldn’t be more accurate.

The Root of the Problem:

The reason people say things that’d be better left unsaid has more to do with their brain than their mouth or even their temper.  People who use words as bullets generally do so because their thoughts lead them to it.

No one’s good enough to suit them, no restaurant’s up to their standards, etc. If their thoughts were a tv station it’d be ONTH: Only Negative Thoughts Here!

Every word out of our mouth has a source of origin. This source is thought.

Guard your thoughts and, in turn, you’ll guard your words.

Quote About Love for All Girls to Memorize

Truer Words Were Never Written

Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep… wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’ re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU… The one who turns to his friends and says, that’s her. – Unknown

I wish I had a dollar for every time I put this quote in front of my daughters’ faces over the years.  I could buy my husband a boat and possibly Kentucky Lake to go with it!

More quotes about love.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. – Og Mandin

Dealing with Rude People

When You Can't Run and Hide!


Rude, obnoxious people are like unpredictable thunderstorms. Running and Screaming in the other direction isn’t just my first impulse, it’s my first, middle, and last impulse.

As I’ve said before, I always welcome topic suggestions on my self help blog. I even have a contact form on my mental fitness website where readers suggest subjects they’re interested in “hashing out.”  After all, if I’m going to talk (cue my husband, “She most definitely is going to talk.“), I’d rather talk about what YOU want to talk about than what I want to talk about.

Anyway, a recent subject brought up in my e-mail was this: “How do YOU deal with obnoxious, mean-spirited, and generally unpleasant people?”   I replied that my first response was AVOID THEM LIKE SNAKES IN THE GRASS! Naturally, that’s not always possible, so we simply have to out-class, out-smart, and out-pleasant them… which, fortunately, is never very hard.

My new e-mail friend (bless her) works with the public and sees humanity on parade each day. She tells me that, at work, she knows how she has to deal with difficult people: She has to smile, be courteous, and try to resolve the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible. Her real problem was people who aren’t her customers (co-workers, neighbors,  etc.).

Just as she and I were about 4 e-mails deep in our discussion about difficult people, I got another message from someone else asking if I’d ever had to deal with “jerks” online. When I stopped rolling on the floor, laughing, I replied that I’ve seen enough “jerks” online to populate a small country. One I’d never want to visit, I might add!  This individual was tired of rude comments left on Facebook and Twitter from people who don’t even have enough guts to use their name.  You know the ones – the spell checkers, grammar police, and general know-it-alls.  The people who serve no real purpose in the world and never actually help anyone or anything.

Apparently this person (I honestly couldn’t tell from the name if they were male or female – it could go either way. I love the name, though, and plan to use it on my next cat) had ran into some of these online cesspools of negativity. They’d made the mistake of trying to reason with them.  Never. Do. That.  They simply aren’t worth your time.

Here’s my personal routine for handling these characters:  I smile (because I’m not them), I keep singing along with whatever song I’m listening to at the moment (without missing a beat), then I delete every proof that they ever existed in my world (they’re toxic).

When it comes to dealing with negative, difficult people, I think the most important thing to realize is this: They’re the ones with the problem, not you. Plus, as I’ve often told my daughters when they’re dealing with hateful people: To a certain extent, you kind of have to feel sorry for them.  After all, how much bitterness, anger, negativity, and downright misery must lie within them for them to be so disagreeable?

Difficult and negative people entertain difficult and negative thoughts.  That’s where it all starts. If they’d learn to cultivate positive, helpful, and generally pleasant thoughts, they’d cease to be snakes in the grass and they’d find more people gravitating TO them instead of running away FROM them.

Every thought is a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.  – Bill Meyer

Most of the time, the most miserable people you know are, indeed, the most miserable people you know.  If they behave in a miserable way, chances are the action springs from a miserable inner pool. If they mean something to you, I’d suggest trying to find ways to help them be happier. If you have to be around them any time at all, you’ll benefit from it at least as much as they will.  Try to avoid confrontations and do all that’s within you to keep conversations cordial and positive.  Arguing with difficult people only brings you down to their level and, in many ways, allows them to win.  They were able to ruin your day and, for a period of time, make you as miserable as them.

Refuse to give them that!

Simply ask them, “Is there anything bothering you? Anything I can help you with?”  The funny thing is, very often JUST the words alone will snap them out of their ugly mood.

Negativity is a very real, tangible, and hurtful thing. My husband once spent a few days with a colleague – on a golf trip.  When he got back home, he nearly threw himself into our house. I watched as he, literally, tried to “shake off” the experience.  The other man was, apparently, one of those people who is never, ever satisfied.  He complained about this, he complained about that… and when he got through, he complained about complaining.  The negativity was so thick, I suspect my husband found it hard to breathe!

Dealing with difficult people is tricky, make no mistake about it, and only you know for certain how to handle your own personal Oscar the Grouch.  However, since you are the person I’m worried about here, as opposed to O.T.G., I want to look out for you.  Below are the top 3 things to remember when handling the negative and rude crowd:

  1. Realize that THEY are the ones with the personality problem, not you. They’re the one with so much negativity inside that it’s oozing outside. Get away before it gets on you.
  2. Don’t mirror them by sinking down to their level.  You should never mirror anyone, of course, but if you ever DO try someone else’s “look” on, make sure it’s attractive. Why’d you want to be ugly too?!?!
  3. Never allow anyone to rob you of your happiness.  They say misery loves company. Just because the invitation’s sent doesn’t mean you have to accept!

What are your ways for dealing with difficult and/or negative people?!

Something for Human Spell Checks (and Grammar Checks) to Keep in Mind:
More times than not the individual you’re trying to “call out” is at least as intelligent as you. More times than not, they know very well how to spell the word in question. Even if they did not, berating them or trying to come across as their superior does nothing for them OR you. The individual who made the error could have been sick at the time or they could have recently lost a loved one, for that matter. Having said that, they may have made a good, old-fashioned spelling error! Human mistakes are something we all make, you included. Instead of stepping on someone in an effort to make yourself feel bigger, why not spend a little quality time with yourself and figure out why you can’t stand tall on your own two feet.