Can We Be Too Empathetic

I empathize.  Actually, I am an empathy-aholic.  There I’ve said it.  It’s not that I do it on a conscious level.  It comes automatically from somewhere deep inside my brain, I suppose.  I think I have some idea of where it comes from and how I got trained into being this way but, it hasn’t stopped me from doing it yet.


Being empathetic is a good way to understand others and what they may be going through.  When we draw on our own experiences with issues or situations that we’ve been through, the idea is that perhaps, we can more fully understand and help in some way, those who are traveling down paths that we’ve been down.  At the least, we can imagine what they must be feeling and offer them some form of help one way or another.

Sadly, that’s not how it always works out and there’s good reason for it not always being the case or a help for that person.

We are not that person and no two people are exactly alike.

No one is you or will experience things the way that you do.  Some will take things harder than you would while others will experience those same experiences to a lighter degree than we do.  A lot will depend upon the person, themselves as well as what other experiences they’ve had in their lives.  We’re all created differently.  What soothes me may make you simply annoyed.  What calms you may make me question other things happening because I’ve had a different set of experiences than you and therefore, see and feel things differently.  What your friend, loved one, partner or spouse might feel, you’re not necessarily going to feel the same way.  Vice versa, you may have had a set of life encounters and dealings or issues that your friend, loved one, partner, neighbour or whomever may not have had and you may react far more towards certain things than they will as a result of those things.

Possibly the best thing one can remember or keep in mind is that what you felt during something you’ve experienced, may or may not be what the other person has or is feeling.  Empathizing internally or externally with that person or group of people might be fruitless for them and you because they’re not feeling or reacting the way that you imagine they would be for all of the above reasons.

Trying to feel what someone else may be feeling won’t necessarily help them but, it can hurt you when done too often and to excess.

Each of us in this life will have our own sets of baggage to carry around or deal with.  No one alive is baggage free.  If we’re metaphysical or spiritual or religious, we can put it down to the fact that each of us has a certain number of lessons to learn.  In other words, we need to go through what we have to go through for some Cosmic reason that we’re unaware of as a “lesson” of sorts.

If we’re not spiritually inclined or religious, we can say that perhaps, what circumstances we’re in, we’re in because of choices that we or others around us have made or are making.  If that’s the case, it’s often up to us to either find a way to cope with it or to make other choices wherever possible.

Whatever the case is, we’re all going to be dealt some good and some crappy hands in this poker game we call, Life.  Some will get more cruddy hands than others will.  Is the luck of the draw or our own personal choices or, is it the choice of something or someone else or higher than us?  Often we’ll never know which but we can decide how we deal with it one way or another.

While we can try to give advice or opinions to others we cannot climb into their skin and brains with them or do it for them.  Not only is that not a healthy way for that person to deal with things but, it’s not healthy for us either.

Simply put, we cannot take on everyone else’s burdens, problems or issues too lest we become over-burdened.  Emotional and mental health is fragile when we take on too much of anything.  Certainly, trying to feel what someone else or even everyone else around us is feeling and trying to take some of the weight off of their shoulders, is unhealthy and unhelpful more often than not.  Do that enough times, with enough people and we’ve got a recipe for disaster for ourselves.

Those we empathize with, often move on and out of situations while we’re left feeling dragged out, worn out and depressed.  

Many times now, I’ve worked hard at trying to help someone out of a jam or situation by empathizing with them so that I can draw on my own feelings and experiences to do so.  Unfortunately, I’ve done it with everyone around me at the same time while trying to deal with my own too.  I can say first-hand that it’s not a good nor, healthy thing to do as I’ve been left feeling overwhelmed, burdened, even ill and it’s not solved the other person’s issues.

Worse than that, I’ve found that once I’m a mess, those people I empathized with so heavily, have found a way to deal with their situations and moved on in their lives while I’m laying in a ball, trying to pick up my own pieces.

Human Nature wants equilibrium and will seek it out.

Most people will have to endure some not so lovely experiences.  We all have to face deaths of loved ones if we live long enough to see it or, we’ll all have money issues at some point or another unless we’re born with a proverbial silver spoon in our mouths and a never-ending stream of funds coming our way.  We’ll all feel the sting of rejection from one source or another, one type or another. We’ll all get sick even with only a cold.  We’re all going to die.  That’s the bottom line to Life here.  We’re all going go through negative spots or many.  The reality is, we will all seek out a more comfortable way of feeling and being.  Unless we have a true mental illness that keeps us in one state of mind, we’re going to automatically seek out feeling better and do whatever it takes to feel that way.  It’s part of Human Nature.  No one wants to feel down or depressed forever and we’ll do whatever it takes to feel better for the most part.  Empathizing with someone only takes the energy out of you in this case because:

  1. You can help but you cannot change someone else’s situation, pain, hurt or whatever they are going through.  That is their path to go down.  You can’t change it by trying to feel what they are feeling.
  2. By the time you’ve worn yourself out empathizing, they’ve likely found other ways to deal with their situations or emotions.  If they haven’t already done that, they eventually will.
  3. Because of the first point and the second, you’re doing no one any good except to weaken yourself to your own challenges in Life.


Not many will empathize with you in the same way nor to the same extent so, why not reserve some energy for your own struggles? 


Have you ever noticed that you’re always there for others during their times of crises but, when you need someone or some help, everyone you’ve turned somersaults for during their bad times, is suddenly “too busy” to be there when you need someone?  I’m sure many of us can relate to this one unless we’ve led a rather selfish existence in not helping other soul.  Not many people can or will say that.

Not that we expect something in return when we try to help other people but, we would hope that the kindnesses that we’ve shown others will be returned to some extent or another should we ever need something.  However, that’s often not the case.  The question always begs, why doesn’t that happen?

“I’ve given and given to this person and that person and the other one down the street but, when I needed one simple favour, there was no one around,” you may be saying right now.  “As a matter of fact, the only time I’ve had someone help me, it’s been only half of the effort that I’ve put into them or less.  I don’t get it!”

You’re not alone in wondering why that is but, there’s often a simple answer.

You’ve been far too kind or generous with your time and emotions and, you’ve thought of others in ways that they don’t think about you or anyone else for that matter most of the time.  

If the truth is told, not many people can or will even attempt to empathize with you the way that you have done with or for them.  That doesn’t necessarily make them selfish but, it does stand as a lesson that putting too much effort into someone else, is not only not necessary but, it doesn’t get you anywhere except a lot of being overwhelmed then, frustrated and disappointed.  It’s time for you to turn down the volume a bit on your pouring out of empathy towards others.  That’s not to say that you don’t care about others but, it’s saying that you have to put yourself up there in the ranking of first place because while others may help you, they’re not going to take your problems over.  You need your emotional strength for your own issues.

Some points to remember:

  • It’s ok to understand what others might be going through on a “cerebral level” but, it’s not healthy for either of you to reach down inside yourself and try to feel what the other person is feeling.
  • If someone is in a hole, jumping into it with them (via empathy) is only trapping both of you.  You’re far more helpful to that person to stay safely on the side, being their for them to throw them down a rope so that they can climb out versus you being in there with them.
  • Expecting others to empathize with you in the same way or to the same extent as you’ve done for them, is not only unhealthy but unreasonable to expect because no one is you or can feel like you do and, not many people will be able to or even want to try.  Most people are in this world to look after themselves first and foremost.  Help but, don’t jump into that pit with them because they likely won’t do the same for you when or if you needed that kind of help.
  • There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy is the ability to feel sorrow for what one is going through without the extra step of actually trying to put yourself in their shoes and feeling what they may be feeling.  Too much sympathy can be unhealthy too but, it’s easier to recuperate from and less intrusive to your life than full empathy.
  • You don’t need to feel what other people are feeling nor, can you really feel what they may be feeling.  As explained above, no two people are alike and even though they may be going through what you’ve been through, their other experiences in life as well as their personalities are going to shape how they react to a situation.  It’s rather fruitless, unhelpful and unhealthy for you to try to put yourself in their emotional shoes because they likely not only won’t fit but, it doesn’t help them or you.  Throw them a rope and let them climb out of the hole they’re in.
  • Look after your own needs first and think about yourself because not many people in your life will be there for you 24/7, trying to feel what you’re going through.  Those who have been there in their own experiences don’t want to re-visit it and those who haven’t, can’t feel what you’re feeling to help.  More to the point, not many will even try.

From my little corner of life, I see helping others as something that should be done when your own needs have been met and you’re able to emotionally be strong.  It does not mean hurling yourself into an emotional tailspin.  No one need do that to help others.  Heaven knows that were doctors, nurses, police officers, first responders, fire fighters etc., were to do that, they’d be crippled and couldn’t do their jobs after one or two incidents.

Do yourself and other people a favour.  Stay healthy by helping others in a healthy way.  Empathy has its place but, it’s limited.

Be well.  Love and Light.



Who Is Rory’s Baby Daddy On Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life?

It’s been since November 25th, 2016 that we’ve been handed 4 brand new episodes of Gilmore Girls thanks to Netflix being brave enough to have revived it from the ashes like the phoenix.  We are forever grateful to the Powers That Be at Netflix, Warner Bros., the cast of Gilmore Girls and, of course, writers and producers Amy Sherman-Pallidino and hubby, Dan Palladino.  However, enough is enough so, if you haven’t watched these 4 movie-length episodes and don’t know the final 4 words yet, you’re out of luck because even the title of this piece has spoiled it for you.  Now, we need to know who the father of Rory’s baby is, how Rory and Lorelai deal with this baby and so much more.  There’s millions of Gilmore Girls Fans out here, waiting for more Gilmore Girls to be born from ASP and DP’s brilliant minds and Netflix can be the god who makes that happen for us all.  Hint, hint, Netflix.

Netflix has posted what may be a teaser tweet recently that has the millions of Gilmore Girls fans leaping for joy that there could possibly be more Gilmore Girls to come.  Let’s all hope and pray to the television production gods that there are.


Netflix tweeted this photo with a caption that read, “Where’s an eighth grade science fair when you need one? #GilmoreGirls”

Co-writer and producer, Dan Palladino stated in a recent interview that there were plenty of hints given as to who the father was though Rory seemed to want to go it alone after having visiting her father who wasn’t around for her own childhood much of the time.  She then reveals to her mother, final shot, final famous 4 words, “Mom”, “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant”, fade to black.

“I think a lot of clues are out there,” Dan Palladino said in an interview recently.  “I know with the time passage it wasn’t 100 percent clear, but we also didn’t have her engage with who she thought was the father. She felt like she was going ahead on this, deciding what to do and how to do it solo, that’s why we had her go to her father.”

So, who could the father be?

There were old boyfriends and a new boyfriend who showed up in the 4 episodes as well as a one night stand with a guy in a Wookie costume that we know of thus far.

Let’s look at Dean, (Jared Padalecki).  He was Rory’s first boyfriend in the show.  He showed up for an extremely quick, short scene, married and seemingly uninterested in Rory as anything more than an old friend from Stars Hollow.  Not much even hinted there.  Besides, Padalecki is quite busy starring in his own show, “Supernatural”.  It’s not likely to be him nor, was there any hint or room left for him to be Rory’s love interest, let alone baby daddy.

There was poor Paul, played by Jack Carpenter that no one could remember was ever there, including Rory.  She kept leaving him and having to go back for him.  Even Lorelai, Luke and Grandma Emily couldn’t remember ever having met him though Rory had allegedly been dating him for at least 2 years.  If Rory couldn’t remember him being there when he went to the bathroom, it’s likely that he wasn’t the father of her child.  It seems unlikely that she’d have unzipped her pants and remembered he was in the room, long enough for anything to happen between the 2 of them.  Let’s strike pathetic Paul out as simply the guy who filled a space.

Next candidate we have is Jess Mariano played by Milo Ventimiglia of “This Is Us” fame and now up for a Golden Globe Award for his part in that show.  That means that the show is likely to be going on for at least another season with NBC and Milo (Jess) will be locked into it.  His appearance on the revival 4 episodes was extremely limited and not too revealing as to there being anything between them that could have led to a romantic interlude where Rory would get caught up in a pregnancy.  I think it’s safe to rule Jess out as the sperm donor.

Last but, not least from Rory’s roster of old boyfriends, we have Logan, played by Matt Czuchry.  Logan was Rory’s longest and most deep love.  During the 4 episodes, Rory had been sneaking around to see and sleep with Logan while jet-setting it back and forth between Stars Hollow and London, England where Logan has taken residence to work for his father, in his father’s business and run it.  Uncharacteristically, Rory knows that Logan is engaged to be married to a wealthy woman, likely chosen by the Huntzberger family or his father yet, still sleeps with Logan whenever there, lying to her mother, Lorelai that she’s staying in England with a girl friend.  What is clear though is that while Czuchry was still embroiled in a role with “The Good Wife” at the time this was being filmed, the series is done and Czuchry is now out of work.  Does that mean that he’s Rory’s baby’s father?  It’s an interesting thought but, one has to wonder given that Rory and Logan had lived together during the original series and the plot line never had her pregnant, it’s likely that birth control was taken care of both then and now.  The only time that it could have happened, without warning would have been during Logan’s surprise but, final visit to see Rory in Stars Hollow where she bid him farewell, knowing that he was set to marry “Odette” and didn’t want to keep up the charade of a relationship any longer.  Though, it wouldn’t be Rory’s first indiscretion.  Rory lost her virginity to a married Dean and considered him, hers, not his wife’s.

There’s another possibility that was left in the show.  A one night stand with a “guy dressed in a Wookie costume” which was highly uncharacteristic of Rory to have done but, then again, not much that Rory did in these 4 episodes was characteristic of her character.  Even then, this Wookie character was nothing but a comedic rant for Rory to have given, unless it was Logan, dressed up as a Trekkie and meeting up with Rory as yet, another surprise visit from England?  Not likely but, Logan (Matt Czuchry) does know who the father is as Amy Sherman-Palladino left him with that knowledge.  He won’t reveal that news however, he does hint that there could be more episodes to come as it’s left a lot of unanswered questions and room for a future series to come.  Great timing since “The Good Wife” is ending for a spin-off series that he won’t be involved in apparently.

Finally, there was an outlandish guess by some fans that Rory was acting as a surrogate for Lorelai and Luke’s baby.  I, personally, will dismiss this idea because Luke was abhorred by the idea of anyone else having his child except for Lorelai.  The fact that Luke also considered Rory as his pseudo daughter, would make it far too creepy an idea.  I’m tossing that one out with my empty Diet Pepsi can as I type this right now.

In taking Dan Palladino’s hint that there are hints, though time may have lost them (meaning that they were held back in the original series which would require watching them all again in spite of many of us, having watched them more than 2 or 3 times each), we could let our imaginations run wild in figuring it out.  However, from my little corner of life, I think that there are millions of us out here who are chomping at the bit for there to be more Gilmore Girls and the series to re-start so that we can get more answers and start fresh again in 2017/2018 and beyond.

Netflix, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino…are you listening?  Our voices are screaming out for more Gilmore Girls.

Why You Can’t Ignore Other People’s Thinking Or Feelings Without Consequence

I recently read what one could call an “inspirational” book that had an entire chapter dedicated towards the idea of speaking one’s mind in a non-confrontational way but, getting what one wants.  Within a few hours of finishing that chapter in the book, I was told about a video that contained a similar type of message but, expanded to include the idea that one should only hang around those who have the same ideals and lifestyle that you have.


We’ve had a few large snow falls lately and my neighbour across the street whom I will call “Jane” had called me, upset and grumpy because her next-door neighbour has been outside with a loud snow blower at 6:30 a.m., clearing his snow from his property almost every morning.  The noise awoke Jane of course and her late shift working husband.  This happened three days in a row and, she was about to lose her cool with this man’s early morning work habits.

The snow blowing wasn’t the only thing this man had been doing early mornings though to get her to this point of frustration.  Summer or warmer days included 6 and 7 a.m. lawn mowing, electric hedge trimming and, a radio, hung in his garage full volume which acted like a megaphone blaring out onto the entire street from 6 or 7 a.m. until roughly noon when his work day was over and everyone was up.  He’d then, take a nap.

I thought about this scenario carefully and thoroughly.

Jane has a back issue and pain in spite of chiropractic care, heavy medications and physiotherapy, often keeps her awake most of the night.  It is often 4 or 5 a.m. before she can simply fall into a bit of a peaceful sleep.  Her husband tries to sleep during the mornings and into early afternoons.  Jane was not only in pain and getting depressed through lack of sleep but, her husband wasn’t getting his much needed sleep either.  Both of them were upset, angry and frustrated with the situation as well as one another. Even I have to admit that this man’s early electronic work habits were also being heard across the street and upsetting myself as well as other neighbours who also aren’t early risers either.  One neighbour has a baby who wasn’t sleeping through the night and needed her sleep when baby slept.  In short, it has been annoying everyone around the neighbourhood.

The video maker that I watched, had endorsed the idea of speaking one’s mind.  He  advocated that people not care what others thought yet, was “hurt” by someone else who felt that what the video maker was doing, was unfair to him as it disrupted his sleep far too early in the morning.  A commenter on this video, had brought up a few good points.  He/she had asked why the video maker was hurt by the fact that someone else had done exactly what the video maker was advocating people do by speaking their mind.  It hit me that the video maker was being unfair in expecting that there should be allowances for the endeavours they were setting out to do.

In my neighbour’s case, the man who was out there making loud noises at 6 and 7 a.m., that was a normal time for him to be out there, working.  He goes to bed at 9:30 or 10 p.m. and he rises at 5 a.m..  For him, 6 or 7 a.m. wasn’t early and he’s retired so, his time is his time.  He can do what he wants, when he wants for the most part.  Like the video maker had pointed out to him by his neighbour, the neighbour in my area didn’t take into consideration that he was not only breaking noise by-laws but, he didn’t take into consideration what everyone else living around him might think or feel.  He was doing as he pleased, as was the video maker in this case.  Truth was, by someone ignoring other people’s possible situations and doing what they wanted, when they wanted, these people were opening themselves up to other individual’s potential anger and the likely hurtful words and actions or reactions that will most likely ensue.

While in theory, it’s all well and good to say “do your own thing, how you want, when you want and not worry about other people or what they have to say,” unless you are living in a cave in the desert with no one else around you, you have to take other people and their circumstances into consideration as well, not just your own.  Not only had the video maker not taken this into consideration but, the neighbour in my case wasn’t doing that either.  As a matter of fact, the video maker had advocated standing his ground and continuing to do what he was doing at 7 and 8 a.m. no matter what effect it was having on his neighbour. Yet, he was talking about feeling hurt by his neighbour’s words while telling viewers to rise above someone else’s circumstances by changing how to think about it all and continuing to do it as wanted.  Wrong idea because I know what happened when the person on my street continued to ignore other people’s feelings, doing what he wanted, when he wanted.  It wasn’t pretty, kind or nice.

First of all, no…you don’t need to bow down to everyone and take their flack or put up with everything that they do and, yes…it is more desirable to just stay out of their way and be with people who don’t annoy you but, that’s not always possible to do.  We have to live next to these people and we have to sometimes, work with these people.  Most of us aren’t retired or living isolated from others.  Nor, is that desirable to do.  We need other people and we do live (most of us) in communities where we will have others to consider in a reasonable manner as to what we do, how we do it and when.  As a matter of fact, the video maker, contradicted themselves in several parts by saying the exact opposites of what was being preached in that video then, telling viewers how to mentally get out of that situation.  How about just stop doing it your way and compromising?  Did that not cross the video maker’s mind?  Apparently not.  It seems that the video maker wanted to do things his way and convert other people to his lifestyle or way of doing things.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch here, (not literally a ranch) it took a group of us to go and speak to this early bird neighbour and let him know that others are not as early a riser as he is and his work habits were ignoring everyone else’s rights to sleep later than him and that we all had reasons why we weren’t up at 5 a.m., ready to hear his snow blower, lawn mower, hedge trimmer or radio blaring by 6 or 7 a.m..  Since he was retired, we asked, could he not do this type of work and leave the radio off until at least 9 or 10 a.m., a more reasonable time for loud equipment, doing something else quiet, instead?  We met with resistance when he declared that it was his wish to get that done when he wanted to do it.  We tried citing the by-laws on the noise factor but that we didn’t wish to call city officials or police but, if he persisted, we’d have no choice but to do so.  What became clear was that he really and truly didn’t care.  He wanted it his way, on his time frame and nothing we said, no explanation was going to change that with him.  This is exactly what the video maker was saying as well about their own choices and yet, couldn’t understand why he had “hurt feelings”.

We still haven’t solved our own issue but, one thing does stand out.  When others don’t care about anyone else but themselves, their own wants and needs and, doesn’t take others into consideration, that’s a recipe for not only disaster but, likely hurt feelings as others shun and get angry.  It’s akin to the 2 year old who is told over and over again to stop jumping on the couch and getting a smack on the bottom or time out because the child persists in doing what he/she wants.  It’s going to happen.  One cannot simply change their thinking to suit what they want to do.  We have to take other’s feelings into consideration to some degree or another in a lot of instances.

One need not become a doormat, always thinking about what others will think or do if we do what we wish to do but, we also can’t simply ignore other’s rights by changing our thinking so that we can continue upsetting others and do what we want.  There’s got to be a balance somewhere and, unless we’re dealing with a difficult person who simply wants to control everything and everyone, we owe it to both ourselves and others to think twice about what we’re doing and how we can change that somehow to compromise to a suitable degree.  One cannot be selfish and expect not to have hurt feelings nor, can one always move away from those who bug us or don’t live as we do as the video maker would have us believe.  That’s narcissism from my perspective in my little corner of life.

Love, Light and Blessings.



Can Helping, Caring and Loving Too Much Drive People Away?

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll likely come to recognize that my adult-daughter has taken off to be with a narcissistic, controlling Jerk with severe emotional, social and mental issues who smokes weed and, in reading my last entry, you will know that my husband is somewhat less than a stellar listener, likely locked within his own little world more than 90% of the time.  In other words, I don’t have either of them.

If I were reading my own words, I’d be thinking, “hmmm…must be her.  She’s driving people away!”

Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you were thinking that as I’ve wondered the same thing and asked myself the same thing, over and over and over again, grinding myself into the floor, stomping on myself and beating myself up a bit more just for good measure.

However, after a lot of therapy sessions where I’ve posed this scenario, 10 or more notebooks worth of journalling, 3 copies of cognitive therapy books worn out and replaced each time, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, it is me that’s to blame.

Now, before you say “ah-ha…thought so…”, let me say that I’m not a Fish Wife, nagger or someone who simply gets under someone else’s skin.  Those aren’t the causes of both my husband and my daughter being as they are with me.  As a matter of fact, you might recognize this “flaw/fault” within yourself too and it may be the reason why some of your relationships are or have been literally, kicking/kicked you in the ass.

I’m going to admit something here that I have been told and are thinking about for a long time.

I mother and help people far too much.

That sounds a lot like back-patting rather than an admission of any blame, fault or flaw, doesn’t it but, let me assure you that it is a wart that drives people away for several reasons.

  1. The people you help come to resent you.  Unbelievably, at some point or another, helping others too much, turns against you because people feel “weak” around you.  They know that you know their weaknesses and they don’t want to be around you once they no longer have the issues that you were helping them with in the first place.  You remind them of those times and no one wants to remember their weakest times especially, if they were chronic.
  2. Mothering everyone is nice when others want and need it but eventually, you actually start becoming too caring, concerned and they see you as being more of a pain-in-the-ass when they want to do things on their own.  As an adult, when someone is constantly swooping in to “clean up the boo-boo’s and make it all better”, people come to a point where your maternal help is more annoying than anything else.  They need to fall and make mistakes, get scrapes and cuts, bruises and broken bones and hearts in order to grow.  If you’re taking that away by softening the blows or preventing their need to do things as grown-ups, you’re stunting their growth and they will resent you for it at some point or another and want to break free of your “smothering”.
  3. You’re seen as controlling even if that’s not your intentions.  You’d think that helping others and mothering them, would somehow endear you to them, wouldn’t you?  However, that’s not the case.  Even the laziest or most inept person on this planet, eventually comes to see someone who is constantly there, helping, hand-holding, telling them how to deal with their issues (no matter how kind-hearted you were in giving it all to them) as “controlling” them.  They eventually come to the point where, again…they feel smothered and come to resent it.  It is looked upon as a form of control on your part rather than a loving gesture or set of gestures.

This is the point where I am at with both my husband and my daughter.  I cared too much. I loved too much.  I couldn’t stand to see either of them fumble, fall, get hurt or be in pain of any kind so, I’d try to help sort things out for them and yes….”mother them” silly.  I gave far too much of myself to both of them and I am paying for it dearly now through both rejection on my daughter’s part and by distancing himself on my husband’s part.

If you truly want people to be in your life fully, STOP CARING SO MUCH!

While that may sound counter-intuitive, it’s not.  It’s what will keep people in your life more than not.  For all of the above reasons, it’s important to take a giant step back from the situation and get yourself in check.  Ask yourself if you really need to help them.  Look at the situation and size it up for what it is.  Slap yourself if you have to but, ask yourself if they fell, got hurt or felt “pain”, would they really fall apart or, would they learn from it?  If you can answer “no, they won’t fall apart and yes, they will learn from it,” remain standing back and let it happen.  If they really want you, they will ask but, stop swooping in like a guardian angel, ready to take over all of their problems for them.  Not only will they learn and grow from it but, they won’t resent you.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson from being hit across the head one too many times.  I don’t intend on continuing to help or mother the world.  I’m turning down the volume on caring quite so much and I’m finding both my blood pressure as well as my anxiety levels dropping.  Carrying everyone else’s issues on your shoulders and making it your responsibility is a heavy load to keep carrying around especially, when you’re losing people anyway.  Something has to give so it may as well be other people’s problems rather than you and your self-esteem.

From my little corner of life, I can see where my energy is better placed and that is…into my own needs, wants and more importantly…me!


Does My Husband Really Hear Me Or Is he Ignoring Me?


It sounds laughable and perhaps, even comical….sometimes….but, for the most part, it’s become more than simply an annoyance when your husband is constantly asking you “what?” after everything you say to him, including long explanations.  There isn’t enough time nor, energy in the world to keep repeating every word you say or have said over a day’s time.  It’s exhausting to say the least.  I’d wring his neck but, it’s illegal.

I’m not joking when I write that everything that I say to the man, literally, has to be said 2, 3 or 4 times before he “hears it” and, I practically have to be yelling where he takes offence.  Worse than that, he has no hearing problems.  I should know because I sent him to have his hearing checked, telling him that I would definitely apologize to him if he did have a hearing impairment.  His tests came back “perfect hearing”.

The man hears what he wants to hear.  If there’s someone he wants to talk to or there’s a ball game on television, in spite of traffic noise that could drown out a fog horn, he hears.

So, what are the potential issues if an audiologist has deemed him with no hearing loss or problems and he can’t hear me when I’m right beside him?

  • The tone of my voice gets drowned out.  Perhaps, there’s a certain frequency that he “tunes out of” and my voice is one of them?  Wouldn’t surprise most women, I’m sure to know that their husbands are quite capable of attuning their brains to only understanding frequencies that don’t match those of their spouses. However, that doesn’t hold water much because I’ve tried changing the pitch of my voice and changing what I’m saying to him.  No winners there.
  • He doesn’t want to hear me ask him to do anything.  That might be a possibility except that I could be saying “dinner is ready” and he doesn’t seem to hear that either.
  • His brain cannot process what his ears pick up. That would fit the bill if he couldn’t comprehend the football, baseball or soccer games via radio or one of his buddies’ phone calls over a small cell phone.  He can understand all that so, I have to assume that it’s not that his brain can’t compute.
  • He’s lost in his own little world and only hears what he selectively wants to hear better than 90% of the time.  This is more than likely the cause of his “hearing loss” when it comes to my voice.

I’m betting that it’s the last idea that is his problem.  He’s likely allowing himself to be lost in an inner world of some making that he only comes out of when it’s convenient for him or, he wants to be out of it because there’s something more interesting for him when out of it.  That must mean that he finds me either terribly boring or, he’s really avoiding responsibilities or being asked to do anything or, that the little world he seems to dwell in, is really exciting.  Or, it could mean that it’s so peaceful in there, being empty that he loves being there.  I’d say it’s exciting but, he doesn’t appear to have many insightful thinking of his own. At least, not from what I hear coming from his mouth to me or anyone else for that matter.  There’s no “light bulb moments” that he has or expresses.  As a matter of fact, he seems to express very little other than surface conversation with anyone I’ve ever seen him talk to.  He also quickly seems to be able to snap out of it when there’s “blame” placed upon him for not doing something because he’s extremely quickly heard every word and responded with an “if you can do better….you do it,” type answer.

Whatever the issue is or, whatever the reason is for him not hearing me or my voice, I’m tired.  Repeating everything 2, 3 or 4 times is totally mind-blowingly exhausting.  I’ve even begun sentences with nonsense words such as “gobbledeegook” to see if he’ll budge an inch.  Nope.  Nothing is said…not even a “what?”  Does that mean that he hears my voice but, could care less about anything that I have to say?  Perhaps, my next sentence should start with…”I’m having a torrid love affair with…..” and wonder if he’ll hear that?  If he claps with glee….he’s been drowning out my voice and is totally tired and fed-up with me.

The real issue here is that I could be in trouble, dying or needing help quickly and the man just doesn’t hear me.  What then?  Is it Life Alert for me next?  May as well.  At least “it” will hear me.

From my little corner of life, I’m wiped right out of trying to talk to him and, likely won’t be uttering more than I absolutely have to anymore.  In fact, any time that I do have to speak to him about anything since we live in the same house, I’m going to be sure to stand 2 inches from his face, literally be up in it, catch his attention speak really slowly, enunciating every word as though speaking to a nearly deaf person and perhaps, between his hearing and lip reading, he’ll get what I’m saying.  I’ll reserve my energy the rest of the time for pillow punching, instead.

Maybe….I just need to run away from home?





Teaching Your Child To Respect You…Even When Grown Up


It’s unavoidable given that my grown daughter has nothing to do with me, to see parents and children with loving gestures towards one another and not say to myself, “you wait…one day, all that you’re doing for your child is going to backfire and that child will leave you by the wayside.”  Of course, that’s not true for most parents.  However, for a handful of us, we are in that situation in spite of our best efforts.

I’ll be the first to admit that not only was I doing back-flips for my daughter as she grew up, sacrificing a lot of things for her but, I was afraid of upsetting her by not giving into whatever she wanted and needed or I thought she might need to be happy. Oftentimes, she didn’t have to ask as I was already doing it for her.  I hated seeing her upset and crying or in discomfort of any kind.  Part of that came from my own childhood where not only was I abused, vowing to never treat my child the way that I was treated but, also from being trained to keep people “happy” to hold onto their approval or stop World War III from breaking out.  It was a survival mechanism that I had subconsciously learned and carried forward into raising my daughter and I did keep her happy and growing up well in every conceivable way.  As a matter of fact, my home became “The Haven” for her friends when they had problems with their own families.  I was there for all of them because I didn’t want to see anyone feeling pain of any kind having known what it was like to be in horrid discomfort throughout my own childhood.

Had I known then, what I know now, I would have done things a lot differently because there’s such a thing as doing too much for others and it backfires on you.

While most parents will agree with the idea that we love our children so much, we’d give our lives for them to have theirs, it’s not healthy for us to give up who we are as people nor our lives (meaning lifestyles) completely for them or anyone else for that matter.  Nor, need we “please them” in every conceivable way in order to be loved.  Fact of the matter is, they can easily dump us after taking from us while we’re pleasing them because they feel entitled or owed whatever they can take or get from us.  After all, we’ve trained them into thinking and behaving that way.  We’ve done them and ourselves no favours.

If I could go back in time and re-do things, there are a number of things that I would do differently, knowing what I know now.

  1. Give your child responsibilities.  No matter what else everyone needs to learn that life has responsibilities and being a child makes no difference.  Of course, what responsibilities a child has changes with age and abilities but, there’s always something children can do that gives them the idea that life is not a free ride.  Even a toddler can be taught to put their toys into a bin and made a game in doing it.  A school aged child should be expected to get homework done and perhaps, help with taking out the garbage or clearing the salt and pepper off the table or, setting the table.  Older children can help prepare dinner in some way or vacuum the living room once a week.  As the child grows old enough, doing their own laundry or preparing a meal while you set the table and clear it off can be done.  Making their own beds even if it isn’t done to your standards but they’ve put the effort into trying is another.  There’s a list as long as our arms that can be given to a child but, they need to learn responsibility for not just themselves but for the good of everyone around them and being part of a family.
  2. Don’t hand your child everything.  Let them either make-do without some things or find a way to get it or do it for themselves.  Having everything done for you and handed to you is a sure fire way for children to get the idea that they are somehow entitled to everything being handed to them.  Handing them everything sets up two sets of thought processes in them.  Firstly, they feel that sense of ease where everything they want simply lands in their laps.  Last time I checked, none of us are Santa Clause 365 days a year and, it’s not healthy to get everything we want.  We all know life doesn’t have a magic lamp of wishes or a fairy godmother that grants all of our wishes. Why should children come to think of life in those terms.  We’re doing them no favours because in the real world we all know it doesn’t operate that way.  Secondly, it sets up a lazy attitude where they come to expect that they needn’t expend any energy but will get what they want so, put their energy into themselves.  A child who has no real need to expend any energy while being handed everything on a silver platter constantly, becomes “me centered”.  They can come to believe that the world owes them everything and the only thing that they need to focus on is…themselves.
  3. Put up boundaries that they cannot cross with you and others.  If a child isn’t given boundaries with you, they will expect that the sky is the limit.  They will treat you as you have trained them to treat you.  In other words, let them know that it’s not ok to disrespect you and your home or rules.  Some things can be bent from time to time but, consistency is key here.  Figure out where you end and they begin and let them know that you have definite rules and personal boundaries that neither you nor they can cross.  For instance, your child expects dinner on the table by a certain time so that they can jump up and go out with their friends.  If that isn’t your time for dinner or you’re busy with other things, they have 2 choices.  They can either help to get dinner started (if old enough and capable enough) or, they can wait.  One way or the other, dinner is part of their day with you (if that’s what you’ve set up and can do it) so, there’s no getting out of that because they want to get out with friends.  Let them know that you have a life too and expectations of them or from them and you’re only human.  You are not their maid, cook butler and chief bottle washer.  If they are impertinent with you, there’s always their rooms and no friends for that night and perhaps, a few more.  Again, there are so many scenarios that can come up, you’ll have to decide where your own personal boundaries lay but, set some.
  4. Treat you with respect! Did I say that loud enough?  I’ll repeat it again to be sure.  Your child needs to learn to treat you, your authority and others with respect.  Don’t let your child talk back to you in a disrespectful manner.  If you do, they will keep right on doing it and have even less respect for you as time goes on.  Remember that if you wouldn’t allow others to treat you with disrespect, why should your child have that ability? Why would you accept that type of treatment from them if you wouldn’t allow it from the majority of people around you in your life?  Once they get into that habit, they are learning that it’s ok to treat you that way.  You are teaching them how to do it and it will continue or get worse.  Stand up for yourself and place a firm disallowance on that type of behaviour with your child from early on.  If they’re already older, it’s harder to break but, even if it means that they’re not going to see you or speak to you, it’s never too late to stand up and let them know that it’s not ok to continue treating you that way.  Older children will balk and perhaps, pull at the guilt strings or perhaps, walk away but the alternative of letting them continue to treat you with disrespect is a sad one.  Don’t allow it.  Stand up for yourself.  People in general respect people who respect themselves.
  5. Don’t put up with an obnoxious/disrespectful friend, girlfriend or boyfriend/significant other to your child.  If you’ve set up the above scenarios, there shouldn’t be much of a problem with talking to your child about your feelings towards allowing someone around you or into your home who disrespects you or your family.  That child should need one simple reminder that you won’t permit that type of treatment from anyone.  If you haven’t done the above and they bring home a rude, obnoxious jerk who makes your skin crawl, try talking it out with them first and letting them know how you feel and why in a respectful way as one adult to another.  If that doesn’t make them see what that person is doing wrong and how they are making you feel then, you have other alternatives to consider.  One of those is that your child respects that person more than they respect you and your feelings.  At that point, you have every right to refuse to have that person around you and not permitted back into your home.  Let your child know that you love them and you want them around you but, not their significant other…at least, until/unless they can learn to respect you and gain some social manners.  In spite of what the “experts” say about this (most will tell you to “put up with it and hope that the child sees it for themselves) you have every right to not accept that type of behaviour from anyone both within yourself or your home nor, do you need to be exposed to that type of treatment.  Putting up with someone else’s poor treatment of you in the hopes that your child will see what that person is doing or not doing, is a recipe for disaster down the road.  Often they will not see it and you’re going to get walked on by either this person or both of them.
  6. Be the “Squeaky Wheel”.  A lot of parents will cater to and put up with a tremendous amount of garbage from their children and not say a word about how it makes them feel or, they will say it once then, give up saying anything.  This rarely gets any action from your child.  If you have a wish, need or want from your child (within reason, of course), speak up and don’t stop letting them know what you want/expect from them  in a kind and gentle but firm way.  Don’t give up on your needs being filled because you’re being drowned out by them.  Keep on letting them know that it’s what you want from them no matter how many times you have to do it.  Eventually, the squeaky wheel gets the oil….even if only to stop the “noise”.

As I watch young parents doing cart wheels for their children, sacrificing their own needs and wants, their time and energy, I can’t help feeling that at least a few of these children are going to go down the same path that my own daughter has taken because I did the same things.  Again, not every child who was catered to, hand, foot and tail will turn out this way but, there’s a good chance that they could.  Do you really want to take that chance?

If your child is still growing up and young, start slowly implementing some of the things that have been mentioned above until they get used to “the new rules”.  If your child has already grown up and is treating you like you’re their dishrag or doormat…it’s time to stop it now and start to let them know by talking it out that it’s not acceptable from here on out.  If they don’t understand that or they walk out on you, well you can go on doing the same things and getting hurt more and more or…you can decide that they’ve made choices that don’t include respecting you as a person.  Do you really want them in your life if that’s the way that they will continue treating you?

I’m not a counsellor of any type so take what I’ve had to say here as personal experience and opinion only and make up your own mind as to how to best handle it with your child/children.

From my little corner of life anyway…you deserve a respectful, loving, reciprocative relationship with your child of any age.  If they can’t do that much, doing more for them won’t net you anything different or better.  Take it from one who has been there.

Give me your opinions in the comments section.  Let’s talk parent to parent.