All posts tagged jealousy

Gaslighting: Sneaky Emotional Abuse

Published March 17, 2019 by Maryanne

high-blood-pressureDon’t Let Them High-Blood Pressure You! 

Hello Happy Person!

Everything in your life is so right!

Maybe you just met the love of your life. Or you got a promotion at work. Or, I know, you just adopted the cutest little kitten. LUCKY YOU!

Then BANG! Some psycho comes along to try and steal your joy. Most likely it will be a jealous relative, or maybe a former so-called friend or ex coming back to haunt you after you made it very clear you don’t want that person in your life.

This happened to me a few days ago. Oh, I was in such a great place! As a writer, I was high on the fact that I’m half-way through helping an all-time favorite client write his book. And the fact that I have a new client. My writing and blogging with the new client may lead to more speaking engagements. I also joined a new spiritually aware group that had me especially stoked. AND, I just started healing after the loss of my cat. Boy, was I on Cloud 9!

Then out of the blue, I noticed an email in the box of my business page. It was from a former so-called friend who was reaching out. He said he wanted to “apologize.”

Five years ago, this so-called friend and I had a huge argument via emails. It got ugly. I couldn’t figure out what I did that triggered his anger to the point of no return. And check this out …He stooped so low to insult my deceased grandmother. (It was painful to type that…but I need to let people know if they are a victim of bat shit crazy, they are not alone).

So, five years later…

I’m a positive, look on the bright side kind of person, so I returned his email, with caution. I simply wrote something positive, accentuating this person’s good points, but equally illustrating my frustrations with his judgement five years ago (in a compassionate manner, not at all insulting). It was reasonable, I thought.

In his email, five years ago, one of his gripes was that I was bitching at him while he was jobless. I figured he was jealous because my first book was selling pretty well and he got on my case saying that I was over-promoting and “forcing” people to read my books. (I guess in his twisted mind I was holding a gun to heads screaming, “BUY MY BOOK!”) Heh. Not!

So, in this new email, I apologized for what happened back then and wrote, “I’m sure you’re rocking it now!” As well as other encouraging stuff, like I was sorry I let him down because I always admired him.

The punch line?

A returned email with venom! The same exact emotional vomit from five years ago, he was now stirring up again. He quoted word-for-word and also misquoted word-for word the entire fight from five years ago! He tried to make me feel small. Called me negative things and AGAIN brought up my deceased grandmother. (Thanks for reminding me my grandmother is dead, dude! You’re such a charmer!)

Man, it was all pure poison. Actually, the term is “gas lighting.” That’s when someone tries to manipulate you into believing that you are at fault and there is something wrong with you. Nasty people nail the whole gas lighting thing. Cool people don’t do shit like that. Cool people talk their problems out. They don’t attack and make the other party feel like shit — or try to.

I knew in my heart I wasn’t at fault because: A. I didn’t insult him, my email came from a place of love and forgiveness (though he certainly didn’t deserve it). B. When someone is constantly putting you down, it’s on THEM, not you. Sane, nice people don’t deliberately set out to hurt others. Sane, nice people are too busy doing great things for others, being creative, elevating their careers, or just having fun.

When someone is mean and defensive and doesn’t have anything good to say, they are “zero.” Nothing. (I wrote in the past, that it’s okay to fight. You can fight with your friends. You can fight with your significant other. You can fight with clients. But it’s HOW you fight. If you’re just arguing to make a point, and not hurting or insulting each other, chances are, it’s a wonderful relationship and you will make up!)

Anyway, I simply wrote back to the dude, “This is not a good friendship. Please don’t contact me again. Have a super duper fantastic day.”

I ended it with class and dignity.

Did I stew over his negativity? No! In fact, I welcomed it. Yes, that’s right, I WELCOMED IT! I’m of the belief that anything that happens is for good reason. A way to grow. And grow I did! It was a great test from the universe to help me know that I was in control of my brain!

Five years ago when the shit hit the fan, I was sad for weeks. But this go ’round, his gas lighting, and making me feel like I was “wrong” and attacking me like it was all my fault had ZERO effect on me. ZERO!

It only took 10 minutes to get over it! YES!!! JUST 10 MINUTES!

What did I do?

First, I took a deep breath.

A lovely new friend called me.  I told her what happened. She was sweet, listened, gave a few words of encouragement and emailed me a pretty song she wrote.

Her kindness led me to counting my blessings. I thought of all the beautiful friendships I have. In fact, the day after, I had a great lunch with two guys I was friends with since the 1980s! It was all positive, and inspirational.

I took 10 minutes to think about all the successful, happy, cool people I know and do things with on a regular basis.

Then I thought about my beautiful, supportive husband and how blessed I am to have him! (And how he thinks that ex “friend” is a nut case!)

And finally, I found a happy song that was stuck in my head. It’s an old song by Peggy Lee called, “It’s a Good Day”

I put the song on and did a cute dance!

Yes, it’s a good day!

Is someone is trying to gaslight you?

DO NOT LET THEM STEAL YOUR JOY! Re-train your brain. It’s not easy, but once you get the knack of it, it will get easier in time. You owe it to yourself, and the good people in your life not to let the shit heads get you down. Life is short. Cherish the lovely ones around you, and let the crazy ones go.

Share your stories below!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She is available for public speaking engagements. Contact her for availability and rates at: 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:



Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today!


Don’t Ever Friend a “Fan”

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

Selena's MurderFan murdered superstar Selena

A year ago when I published my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (available on Amazon: it was suggested by an author friend that I start a Facebook page. Over the years I’ve had so many problems on Facebook, I didn’t like the idea. However, I started it up once again because it did help sell a lot of books. Then once I started doing book signings, “strangers” started coming to my events and “friending” me on Facebook. I had a very hard time using the word “fans.” It sounded so … so … so old and weird, like I was Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” and the “little people” were peons buying my product.

Weirded out by “fan” I started calling those who brought my book, my “beloved readers.” It sounded more endearing than “fans.” But deep down, I wanted my readers to really be friends. They were buying my books and I felt I owed them my life. Dumb move. Making friends with fans is the biggest mistake any author, artist, actor, or musician can ever do. Fans are not friends.

Take the extreme case of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, singer, songwriter, fashion designer who was murdered by a crazed fan. Her family told Selena she was too trusting. And her murderer confessed she killed Selena because she was jealous.

I too, was told all my life that I was too trusting. I’m friendly and personable and make friends very easily. Only to get stabbed in the back over and over again. I’m honest. I’m sweet. And I’m vulnerable. Twice in this past week I was told I was “too nice.”

I said to my husband, “I need to harden up.”

He said, “No, being sweet is what makes you special. You just have to remember, these people are not your friends.”

I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a place for fans — in the audience. Do not exchange phone numbers. Do not friend them on Facebook. Do not let them take you out to dinner. Do not meet them for lunch. If they give you a gift, kindly accept it.

Learn how to be a respected author because you paid your dues in getting there. There is no shame in calling someone a “fan.” You earned the right to say that. You don’t always have to be so humble. Humble means people will take advantage.

As much as we’d like to believe everyone is equal, we are not.

Let’s be real. We’re not in the same league as Oscar winners and rock stars. And on that same note, our fans are not in our league either. Even if we’re just doing book signings in libraries in front of a small audience and getting royalty checks every few months, it’s a helluva lot more than most people are doing and that will provoke jealousy (the root of all evil).

People can be very nice to your face and stab you in the back. They might be excited and honored to be your friend at first. They may introduce you as their “author friend.” They may put great reviews of your product on Amazon. They may come to your events and tell you how beautiful you are. This doesn’t make them a “friend.” It’s like the old saying, “Easy come, easy go.” When people put you up on a pedestal, they’ll be the first to knock you down when they find out you’re human.

Or as the ego always dictates, they’ll knock you down when they find out you disagree with them politically, or spiritually, or even if you eat meat and they don’t.

We live in a crazy ego-driven world; people are control freaks and users. People only love you when it’s working to their advantage. Everyone loved the All American Ricky Nelson until he grew his hair long. That is what his song “Garden Party” is about — not pleasing others. Others don’t want you to have an  opinion of your own. If it doesn’t match theirs, you’ll have hell to pay.

I won’t get into the ugly side of being an author because some fans are so vain they’ll probably think this blog is about them. So let’s just say nasty people are good at it because that’s where their heart is — in a nasty place. If only that energy was directed into doing something creative, they’d be the ones signing autographs too. But they’re not … so the smoke starts coming out of the noses and the eyes turn green with envy.

This is why my husband advises, “Stick with your peers.” Those peers are my true friends who I can fight and disagree with, but who will never, ever really hurt me. Those peers are also the super cool acquaintances I’ve made in the creative world — the deejays who will have me on their radio shows or simply give me a shout out; my fellow authors who will surprise me with an email; the celebrities I’ve interviewed who on rare occasions drop me a line — even years after I’ve interviewed them; the librarians who book my programs; and anyone I work with in the art/music/publishing media world. That’s why I love my career so much, it’s about being with your friends and doing a little bit of work — an easy, breezy, enviable life.

So, to any new authors reading, I say, appreciate who you are and be real about it. Don’t humble yourself so much like I did that you put yourself in a vulnerable spot, set up for abuse. (Note: This is why famous celebrities on Facebook and Twitter DO NOT interact with their fans).

Have a little pride in yourself and realize that it’s OKAY to have fans and enjoy the fact that you do. Just keep them at bay. This way when you inadvertently piss them off, the worst thing they can do to you is write you a bad review. And at worst, bad reviews are pretty funny. At best, they are bad-ass because it means people are reading — and that’s just what a writer wants!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s second book “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats ( Her former fans loved it!


Published April 26, 2015 by Maryanne



(Deal with it!)

One of my biggest complaints in life, as those who follow my blog know, is when people begrudge others for being happy.

It’s just not fair when you’re doing what you want, in life, and others have steam coming out of their noses because of it. Oh yeah, that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head.

We all know our strengths and weaknesses and my biggest strength is that I’m a good person and a great friend. Morrissey has a song called “We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful.” Not me! I’ll be the one who cheers you on! Do you have great news? Give me a call! I’ll support you.

I’ve had people call to tell me they knew I’d be happy for them when their own family (or spouse) wouldn’t get it. People just can’t wait to share their good news with me, because I am genuine in being happy right along with them.

So, why is it wrong that I’m doing what I want?

Can’t you be happy for me too?

Sound familiar? It did to my husband when he was listening to the lyrics of “Entitlement” by Jack White.

My husband said, “You have to listen to this! Jack White wrote a song that you could have written! You can write a blog about this!”

I listened to it … and, yeah, sad but true, that’s how neglected I sometimes feel when it comes to other people. I’m so tired of people who are competitive and always trying to “one-up” me. I’m so tired of being quiet and downplaying my accomplishments around certain people because their jealousy is so apparent.

If you can’t be happy for me, like I am for YOU, you best believe I’ll be avoiding you as much as possible.

There is no shame in the fact that I’m happily married, that I love my work and never want to retire, that I live each day to the fullest, and that at 51, I am still confident, attractive and in shape.

I got all I ever wanted. And I am entitled.

The other half of it, is how many people feel “entitled” in a negative sense. Those who feel the world owes them something. Kids who want jobs, but don’t want to work … spending all the company’s time while they are on cell phones, texting.

A few days ago, I wrote about parents coddling their children as if they could do no wrong. These kids grow up believing they are always right and have hissy fits when they are corrected. I know, because as far back as seven years ago, when I was still in the work force, editors didn’t dare tell the young-uns who just got out of college their mistakes. They couldn’t handle the critique like the more seasoned writers could. You had to walk on eggshells. And this is the direction the world is heading towards: bowing down to the entitled.

Jack White’s song, clarified that.

Even in his superstar status — where he sits — he sees this new family way that we, as civilians, are enduring day-by-day.

It’s the way of the world, how some parents are giving the “tools of life” to their kids by entitlement — and not hard work.

Stubborn Intellectual

Published March 3, 2015 by Maryanne

maryanne-1211Looking smart in my glasses

People have called me “too sensitive” more times than I care for. But my general make-up goes beyond sensitivity. “Smart” plays into the factor too. This is the first time I’m admitting this in public, but I truly feel if I wasn’t as smart, I wouldn’t be so sensitive.

I took this test on Face Book where they analyze your personality according to things you “hate” (the choices aren’t anything intense, just minor nit-picky things such as ironing). Turns out I’m actually a “stubborn intellectual” which makes a lot more sense than just being stereo-typed as “too sensitive.”

Here are my test results:

When you express hatred, it comes from a place of intellectual frustration and the belief that the world should make sense. There is nothing worse than people and things that waste your time and rational energy.

You are remarkably smart, but more than that, you are adept at analyzing and understanding situations and people. More than anything, you are concerned with understanding the world around you and grasping its ideas and functions. You should continue making thoughtful choices and the world will follow your lead!

It’s true I want the world to make sense more than anything! I don’t like when people waste my time. I want life to run smoothly. Some may ask, “who wouldn’t?” but many people do thrive on drama and disorganization. It’s the American way.

It’s also so true that I am adept at analyzing and understanding situations and people — to a fault almost where it backfires on me. I can see right through people who are jealous and I have a keen sixth sense when someone is not on my team. So that always makes me the person who can say, “I told you so.” But most likely I won’t, because, well, I’m sensitive and don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Then on the other hand, I hurt more deeply because I always “just know.” It’s a very intense feeling to pick up on people’s vibes like that. Though on the flip side of the coin, I know when I’m loved too.

I don’t like the word “stubborn” as I do feel I’m very flexible. But I guess I admit I’m stubborn about the most important things in life. My standards are very high and I like to be around the same kind of people.

If you’d like to take the test, visit here:

And let me know if you’re a “stubborn intellectual” too!

Why Are Women Catty?

Published June 25, 2013 by Maryanne

catty Why are women catty?

I don’t know, I can’t relate to that mindset. I’m a lover not a fighter. I’m a person who compliments to your face, not one who stabs you in the back.

But nevertheless, it goes on and on and on.

Years ago, I read a letter to Dear Abby. A woman said that she was very attractive in her younger day and that women were always taking cheap shots and throwing digs to make her feel worse about herself. She wrote that now she was a middle-aged woman and happily married. And while she was still attractive to her husband, people viewed her as a middle-aged woman and she wasn’t subjected to cattiness anymore, so on the whole she felt better.

I wish I could say that this was me who wrote that letter. But sadly it wasn’t. Just a few weeks ago I was once again victim to catty behavior. What did I do? Nothing. I let it go, as always. I continue to be pleasant and nice to these women who I can’t figure out why they have to go out of their way to try and make me feel bad. Sometimes I think if I be very nice (not phony, but just giving my best shot) sooner or later I might get through to their thick skulls that I’m not the enemy.

Since I am not close to them, I can only guess why they see me as such a threat. Maybe their husbands don’t give them enough attention. Maybe they didn’t get enough attention as children. Maybe they don’t like the way they look. Maybe they are jealous of how I look. Maybe they hate my tattoos (which is ridiculous). I don’t know. And I don’t think I want to know either because catty people scare me and I don’t want to figure them out. I only want to be in their company as little as necessary. Maybe enough to see if they changed, but they usually don’t. Catty seems to be a way of life for some.

You can try anything to make it stop, but I choose to do nothing because catty women are often in denial. Nothing works anyway. I’ve tried everything. If you confront them, they may apologize to high heavens, but only to do it again in the near future. Or they’ll pull the “I was only kidding” card. But honestly, what is funny about hurting someone’s feelings and being mean?

Women who have mastered catty are very smart. They have a secret way of getting away with being cruel. They will fool their own husbands (some of the worst offenders have wonderful husbands) their family, their friends … They will make up lies about other women just so others can share in their hate. And they know exactly who to target: girls who are sweet, girls who don’t do catty, girls who are happy, girls who are unique, and yes, girls who are probably prettier than them and even if they aren’t they will still hate someone who has a little extra they believe they don’t.

You know the deal.

Years ago, when I just turned 31 and was working as a waitress at Cozy End in Montclair, as I tried to get my writing career going, one of my customers was a gorgeous young woman named Delilah (I think her real name was Deborah, but we all knew her as Delilah). She was one of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen in my life. Delilah had perfect posture and always wore her jet black hair pulled back in a severe high ponytail. And she had eyes like a cat with a piercing stare. And boy, was she stylish! Like a retro Hollywood movie star. Delilah was the kind of girl that when she walked into a room, everyone turned around to look.

Delilah and I got along great and I always looked forward to when she came to eat at Cozy End because we’d have amazing conversations and she was an absolute doll. I also loved that she was a strong woman. I was in awe of her.

One day, out of the blue, Delilah said, in a voice loud enough for the entire eatery to hear, “Why are women catty?”

I knew I heard her correctly, but asked to make sure. “What?”

“Why are women catty?” she repeated in the same loud tone.

She had the undivided attention of the entire little restaurant.

“What do you mean?” I asked again. I knew what she meant, but she was obviously looking to me to be a part of whatever she was about to aim for, so I went along because, yeah, I was con-catty women too. Whatever she was about to say, I was all for it. I waited for her next words with baited breath.

“That group of women over there …” She pointed to the table. It was a table of middle-aged women. They all shut up to listen to Delilah, who continued. “Their friend just left and they all started talking about her! C’mon, that’s your friend!”

I was so proud of Delilah for speaking up, not just for the friend, but for all women who are victims of catty behavior. She shut an entire table of women up. No one dared argue with her because they were wrong and she shamed them. Little by little, the women got up and left, quietly.

Perhaps that is what needs to be done. If a person is a victim of cattiness, defending herself may fail because like I said catty women are sly as a fox, but if someone else defends the victim, it could be a well deserved slap in the face to the offenders.

Delilah, where ever you are, I still love you for what you did, fall/winter of 1994 to 1995!

If you know someone who is catty, try not to be in a situation where you are alone with them. Always make sure another women (one who isn’t catty, preferably someone like Delilah who will defend you) is in the room with you. But definitely do not be alone with a catty woman and a man — even if he’s the greatest guy in the world, guys can be clueless when it comes to women being catty with each other. Sadly, the dig will go right over a guy’s head in 90 percent of the cases and he won’t understand why you’re upset. Guys, even the great ones, need to be taught how catty women operate in order to be more compassionate towards a victim (who could be the woman they adore).

I don’t know how to make the hurt any easier. It’s just so difficult when someone has it out for you, or just dislikes you for no reason, when you are always nice to them. It’s something a good person just doesn’t get.

You can always vent to caring friends. Or even blog about it. Perhaps they will see this blog some day and think, “Hey, that’s me” and either get professional help or make a conscious effort to make a positive change in their life.

When women resort to drastic measures like making other women feel bad about themselves, it’s truly pitiful. Jealousy is ugly enough on it’s own, but when you throw catty into the mix, it’s absolutely hideous.

Someone once told me that if someone is catty toward you, take it as a compliment because it means they are threatened by you. I will not take such disturbing behavior as a compliment. The best I can do is just erase such people from my psyche. People who behave like that do not deserve a ranking of “co-star” in my life. I consider them mere “extras” — background people that don’t count. And they put themselves there so I don’t feel bad. I mean, really, how much hostile behavior can a person take? And that’s exactly what a catty woman is — a hostile, frustrated person who is holding something deep inside her. Think about it … will a catty woman tell her husband what she is doing to other women? No, she’s keeping a secret. She’s letting her ugly behavior manifest inside her. So ashamed of what she is doing, of course she won’t share with her husband.

That is why catty women are repeat offenders and you can’t trust them unless they get psychological help and try to change for the better. Catty women are like roller coasters: very moody, one minute they are nice and back stabbing or throwing digs the next. So  you never know what to expect from them. Stay away from them. They are poison.

Well, in the end I’m happy I’m not like they are. Thrilled, actually.

As Iggy Pop once said on his Metallic K.O. live record, “You can throw all the ice cubes you want, your girlfriend will still be in love with me.”

YEAH! Throw all the digs you want, I’m still fabulous Maryanne! HA!


Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here:

Valentine’s Day is Coming, Hide Your Love from the Green-Eyed Monsters!

Published February 5, 2013 by Maryanne

Love - oceanI want everyone to know how much I love you!

(But not everyone deserves to know!)

Many years ago a co-worker told me this most amazing, off the hook Valentine’s Day her husband had planned for her.

I was still single and in awe of their love and the generous, creative gift he was giving her. This couple also had the most beautiful little boy. What a gorgeous, gorgeous family — all three of them!

I was not only thrilled to hear about her Valentine’s Day, but honored that she liked me enough to share the news with me! Why? Because I was the only person she told about the trip. She didn’t want to tell others because she feared jealousy. But I was trusted because I’m not that way and I can be totally happy for someone else. And I sure was!

When people fall in love, they want to share it to the world! And they do. Wedding vows are said out loud for all to hear. Hands are held in public. Some even make-out in their cars during red lights. Those in love float around with such a glow on their faces, there is no denying who is in love! And all our loved ones are happy for us when we fall in love.

But not everyone is in love with love. And now that I’m happily married — I totally understand where this girl was coming from in not wanting to cast her precious jewels before swine.

The green-eyed monster and bitter pill gets some people BIG TIME. And it never ceases to amaze me what creepy bullshit comes out of people’s mouths. They make their envy so obvious!

Sometimes it takes me awhile to pick up on this ugly behavior because I see the good in everyone. But once it’s evident that someone is jealous of my relationship with my husband, I clamp my mouth shut — not only about him but about everything else in my life. Because if someone is jealous about love, they’ll be jealous of other aspects of your life too, such as career, creativity, your other friendships, maybe money if you have it (I sure don’t! LOL!)

I will not share what I do on weekends with a bitter person. I don’t share the creative things I’ve done with my husband. And if a jealous person asks about him, I’ll simply give a sharp one-word answer and change the subject.

It will go something like this:

Q: “How was your weekend?”

A: “Terrific…………” (word dragged out to put emphasis on: “I don’t want to talk about it to you, please go away” as I turn my head and make no eye contact) ….

Conversation done!

I just refuse to participate in negativity. No ifs, ands or buts about it!

Misery may love company, but I’m sorry, I’m just not miserable. Get over it!

I hate acting like this because by nature, I’m a sweet, honest and loving person. Just a mere mortal on this planet who is happily in love (isn’t that what life is all about?), not just with my husband, but with life itself!

I’m certainly not a celebrity desperately seeking privacy!  I’d love to just live naturally as possible, talking casually about my life, my friends, my pets, my family, and of course my husband.

I hate secrets. I hate censoring conversation. I hate trying to avoid conversation with certain people.

However, when it comes to jealousy, there really is something to that saying, “Do not cast your jewels before swine.”

Love is something very precious and special, that should be cherished and held close to your heart and I just can’t see sharing something about my relationship to someone that’s going to be resentful, envious and try to mock what I have.

But the beauty is, I have many friends who are also in beautiful relationships that I can share things with.

And I thank God for them!

And I also thank God for those who aren’t in beautiful relationships — YET (but they will be!)

Because it just shows that not everyone is jealous and there are SO MANY fantastic people out there

People who know that there is so much LOVE in this world for everyone, including themselves someday

(YES! That’s what I always thought for me!)

God provides to all who truly want.

And if it’s love you want, there is PLENTY out there, just waiting for YOU!

(And when it happens please feel free to share with me, because I’ll be the happiest for YOU!)