psychology

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Ghosting or Honesty? Which Do You Prefer?

Published September 10, 2019 by Maryanne

GhostsPhoto by Maryanne 

Unless you married your high school sweetheart, or were very lucky in love with one great romance after another, you probably had some (or in my case many) ugly break-ups until the right one came along.

While getting dumped hurts, I truly believe it hurts more to dump someone, because even if you’re the one doing the dumping, you still go through a bit of a mourning period before that feeling of relief happens. And you’re doing the dirty work, which is harder.

There are two ways to get dumped (or to dump). The best policy of course is honesty. Then, there is ghosting. Ghosting is the easy way out. Have you ever been ghosted? It’s when you are left hanging, and then finally figure it out, you’re not going to hear from a certain person anymore. The person stops returning your phone calls just like that.

I admit, back when I was dating, I’ve ghosted. Back in the old days (in my case, the 1980s), guys would just show up at your house without calling! Imagine that?! I’d say to my grandmother, “Tell him I’m not home!”

I was only in my teens then, but as I grew older, I grew a conscience.  If I was no longer interested in a guy, I’d tell him directly.

Of course it’s easy to break up with a guy who is a jerk. But what about someone who is a nice guy, but he makes you cringe? When you’re single and not getting butterflies in your stomach when you think of someone, that’s reason enough to break up. Hell, I’ve broken up with a guy just because I didn’t like the way he said “cheddar.” This is acceptable and there’s nothing wrong with it. He wasn’t the one for you. End of story.

But what about friends? Did you ever have a friend that no longer excited you? 

Ghosting happens not only in a romantic sense, but in friendships too. We politely call it “drifting apart.”  Wouldn’t it be more adult if we were all just honest with each other? Easier said than done.

A few years ago I met someone I thought would end up a great friend. At first it seemed we really liked each other. We hung out a few times and it was fun. Then the friendship fizzled…just like that. I started avoiding her because after the initial friendship infatuation wore off, I realized she was…uh…boring. I tried spicing the friendship up by adding other friends to the mix, but she always stood out as the conversation killer. Whenever the conversation got good, she drew attention to herself by making dumb grandpa jokes. Or started talking about tragedies like car accidents or cancer. Or whipped out the phone to show photos. (Remember the old days when no one wanted to be that boring person who whipped out the vacation or wedding photos?!) Her friendship bored me to tears. I was getting nothing out of it. Simple as that.

I replayed the last time I saw her over and over again in my head. She wasn’t a BAD person. She was actually sweet. However, over the course of a year and a half, I began to feel like I was being choked. It was weird and uncomfortable. I just wasn’t happy being around her. I compared the friendship to being in an unfulfilled romance that I wanted to escape. She did nothing wrong, but I didn’t like her.

I felt so guilty for my feelings. How can I not like a nice person?  I felt evil.

Then I read this in Psychology Today online:

“We’re no more in control of our attraction to friends than we are our attraction to lovers. And to reject someone as a friend isn’t to declare them unworthy of friendship any more than to reject them as a lover is to declare them unworthy of love…
We are who we are and shouldn’t criticize ourselves if we find we want to end a friendship. We’re not evil because we no longer like someone, or because we never did. Or never liked them as much as they like us.” — Alex Lickerman, M.D.

 

That nailed exactly how I was feeling! So now what? 

I spoke to two trust worthy people about the situation. They supported my decision and suggested ghosting; or more nicely put, drifting apart, as mentioned above.

Bottom line, I couldn’t ghost her. If I didn’t invite her to events, she’d see photos of me with my other friends on Facebook. Sooner or later she’d call me to talk; or send an email (and she did!). Eventually I’d have to face the music.

Plus, my honesty was eating away at me. I felt I had to let her know that she irked me. Her grandpa jokes were not funny. I prefer talking about fun things while dining, not awful things that can turn my stomach. And at the dinner table, I don’t want to keep digging my glasses out of my bag to look at pictures. Let’s just drink wine, eat, and laugh. Put the phone away, please!

Of course she got defensive and there was some back and forth phone and email banter. Then I got what I set out for; it was all over. At first I was sad because I’m human and I have a heart. I mourned. And now I am relieved.

If a friendship isn’t going anywhere and either party is not getting anything out of it, it’s time to end it — now matter how nice the person is. You do not have to feel guilty or bad about it.

I’m far from a perfect person, but one of the things I am most proud of is my honesty. Friends never have to second guess how I feel about them, because I will let them know.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. People know when I’m happy with them; and when I’ve had it with them. If only others would be as honest.

Which do you prefer, ghosting or honesty? Share your experiences! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

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: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

 

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” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If82O1e0bow

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: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

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

 

Decadent Therapy!

Published October 15, 2017 by Maryanne

Cake PhotoThat couch! It’s a beautiful thing!

(Me at Cake, NYC in the 1990s, the decade of Prozac Nation)

It always cracks me up when someone tries to win an argument by suggesting that the person they are arguing with needs therapy. Therapy-shaming is ignorant. Therapy is something everyone can benefit from, and only a narcissist would think they don’t need therapy.

Every successful, truly happy person I’ve ever met has been clearly vocal about their therapist. This leads me to believe that people who ain’t too proud to admit they could use a little help are the ones that learn to move mountains in life.

“Asking for help is always a sign of strength” – Michelle Obama.

“It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you.” -Katy Perry.

Since the 1960s, therapy has been in vogue. For part of the ’60s I wasn’t even born, but I became aware of the power of therapy in the 1990s. I was in my early 30s — and we were in the musical age of grunge. Back then, it seemed like everyone was depressed. Books like “Prozac Nation” were top sellers. Kurt Cobain killed himself and it was documented that some fans followed suit and killed themselves too. People started to become aware that depression and bipolar and stress were real things — for real people. And all the cool people started going to therapy.

Jumping on the band wagon, I tested the waters with a few therapists back then. The problem is, like anything else good in life, it takes some time to find a good one. But the effort is well worth it. Over the years I found a couple good ones — and from time to time, their wisdom still seeps into my brain and it’s very helpful.

Earlier this week one of my favorite friends took me to a Katy Perry concert. I wasn’t familiar with her music; then during the show, I fell in love with it. Every song was amazing — and empowering. And her stage show was epic.

I Googled Katy Perry and was incredibly impressed by all she did. She wrote all her songs; songs that had hooks, songs that were clever and fun, and told me Katy Perry could be an old soul. It made perfect sense to learn that such a super high achiever goes (or went) to therapy.

And here I am relating, because I’m at a time in my life where my career took an incredible turn for the better, which goes hand in hand with stress. Then when it comes time to “down time” you have to spend it more wisely, being more choosy about the people you want to connect with.

Once things started getting super good, career-wise, I took the advice of a few friends and started letting go of things that no longer served me. Life was always precious to me, but now even more so. Each waking moment has to count. I needed to manage my personal life like I manage my career.

So, by the advice of a psychic, I cleaned out my Facebook page, getting rid of people I’m not relating to and probably would never see again in my life. (And in their favor, they probably wouldn’t care if they never saw me again; so if they want to be snarky about it, they can post those unoriginal memes that say, “The trash took itself out.”).

I also let go of writing for two freelance publications I felt were holding me back; whether it was the stress of not liking a particular editor, or always chasing after checks that were notoriously late. It was just something that was no longer necessary to my being. TW = time wasting.

It’s a huge relief knowing that I’ll never get an email from either publication again. And I take even more comfort knowing that there are people I really can’t stand and I’ll never have to see them in my Facebook feed again!

If only every problem everyone had could disappear with a “delete” button or just saying “I quit.” But, no, that’s not going to happen.

I look so good on paper. I have the most amazing, adoring husband; the most creative, loving girlfriends; and I get to make a living as an editor, writer, and public speaker. How cool is that?

The bottom line is — I’m human. I get nervous. I get scared. I have bursts of unhappiness. I terribly miss loved ones who passed and are waiting on the other side. I worry about things that may never happen. I am too sensitive for this world.

So what do I do about it? Call a therapist. Unfortunately the one that helped me the most 10 years ago has long retired.

I found another I really like. She wasn’t in my benefits network and offered to help me find others that were. When she sent an email with names and numbers, after researching them, I wasn’t feeling it. I shook my head. I wrote back to her, “But I want YOU!”

It made no difference to me that I’d be paying out of pocket. From my short phone call with this woman, she deserves my top dollar! And, I’m worth it. My first appointment is in two weeks.

I can’t wait to get on that couch, put my cute feet up, and have some girl talk with an intelligent age-appropriate woman who wowed me over the telephone in a short consult session.

God bless that good ‘ole glamorous indulgence called therapy. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for me! ❤

I feel better already!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a three-time author. Her second book, the fictitious “Love Cats” deals with the issues of selfish people. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confidence and Self-Love Isn’t Narcissism

Published July 9, 2016 by Maryanne

beyond-the-blue-horizon-my-photoBelieve in yourself.

“Narcissist” seems to be the catch-insult of the 21st Century people use when they can’t disagree like an grown adult and instead resort to name-calling.

Since I’ve caught a few people — college educated ones at that — misusing the word as an attack, I’d like to examine the word further.

Number one, let’s be clear, once and for all … a “narcissist” isn’t someone who rightfully defends his/herself. Nor is it someone who has high self-esteem and confidence.

The true definition of a narcissist is someone who has an excessive — or erotic interest in one’s self or one’s appearance.

Loving your appearance isn’t exactly a bad thing. It was said that Marilyn Monroe was caught looking at herself lovingly in the mirror. I’d love to be so beautiful that I could look at myself in the mirror and says, “Damn, I’m a fox!” Who wouldn’t?!

kitten lion

Yeah, I got it going on! 

But even if you’re not the prettiest, looking in the mirror and thinking you’re simply A-OK, is definitely something to aspire to. Feeling good on the inside transcends to feeling good on the outside. The world needs more of that.

Some of the most confident people I know are most generous in complimenting others and giving to others. Whereas a narcissist — an inflated sense of self-worth — has more to do with insecurities than confidence.

Of course people who have no love for themselves are going to be haters towards those who do. Hence misuse of the catch-word “narcissist.” So if someone calls you a narcissist, they are most likely subconsciously reflecting on his/herself and his/her exaggerated sense of importance in making someone feel “little” about his/herself in order to feel “big.”

Devaluing another person as a weapon is narcissism in the worst degree. I always say to belittle is to BE LITTLE. 

So you see, narcissism isn’t about confidence, but rather insecurity. Narcissists are the ones who add “friends” on Face Book just to show off what they have, rather than taking the time to get to know someone. They hide behind a shield of false friendships or anything else that is false. I’ve known one who hid behind a false sense of empathy, expecting a “medal” for being “so upset” over the news of the world. However, when I shared my concern about a sick relative, she showed no compassion.

Narcissism is someone who constantly talks about his/herself and doesn’t give others a chance to talk.

Narcissism is the person at the party who won’t say “hello” unless someone says “hello” first.

Narcissism is being obsessed with money and bragging about it.

Narcissism is always trying to one-up someone.

Narcissism is the person who expects people to chase after him/her and never initiates phone calls.

Narcissism is someone who fishes for compliments (with excessive photos of his/herself on Facebook) and never gives anyone else a compliment.

Narcissism is a taker. Someone who won’t attend an event if it isn’t about him/her. Someone who will expect others to do things for him/her and not give back in return.

Narcissism is someone who is too jealous to compliment someone on his/her success because it isn’t about him/her.

And, most narcissistic of all is attacking someone by using the word “narcissist.” Because like my grandmother once said, “It takes one to call one.”

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats.” The selfish lead character was inspired by witnessing many takers on Facebook. “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

 

 

Alcoholism … Face Book … Same Difference

Published April 24, 2015 by Maryanne

facebookstatus

Did you ever go to a party where everyone else was drinking except you? Maybe you were on a fast/diet, or maybe the designated driver … or maybe, you just don’t drink — period.

Well, it just dawned on me, it’s the same experience when everyone else is on Face Book, except you. The party just doesn’t make sense.

A few dear friends have told me, “I miss you on Face Book!” and in an endearing way, I have to admit I rolled my eyes. Why not just say, “I miss you” and leave it at that. I get it, I’m a positive person and people have always told me: “You have the best posts on Face Book!” But isn’t it even better to have a real life conversation with me, then?

Two nights ago, we received a phone call from a friend who sounded disappointed that we didn’t go to an event their child performed at.

“I thought you’d see it on Face Book?”

“I haven’t been on Face Book in several months.” And even if I was, I don’t have time to read everything! I tried to be a good friend. I tried to read everything. But then I noticed people weren’t reading “everything” I was posting either. That’s probably the only thing Face Book and real life have in common — blink and you miss something. And it’s not the end of the world. You really didn’t miss anything.

What’s really bizarre about Face Book is that once you get off, you have to deal with all the weirdness. People, right away, think, something “happened.” Yeah, something did happen — I decided not to waste my time anymore. That’s what “happened.”

Another weird Face Book thing occurred not too long ago, and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming — it was my worst Face Book nightmare come true. And I predicted it would happen, which is why I didn’t want to be on Face Book in the first place. A friend died. And it wasn’t until several months later that I found out. I was sad and upset that I missed the funeral.

“I thought you knew,” is what I was told.

Of course I didn’t know. I wasn’t on Face Book.

But even if I was … why does everyone ASSUME that every person sees everything that is posted? As much as I love my friends and mankind, it irks me to no end what a “me-me-me” world we’ve become and how Face Book intensifies it.

Can I beg anyone reading — if someone dies, please go the old fashioned route and CALL! Or even better, go to the person’s home, to make sure they are sitting down and comfortable when you share  the shocking news! Please, cruel world, can we go back to being humane?

While I was on Face Book, I took an extra hour each morning to read what my friends were up to. If I didn’t hear from someone too often, I un-friended them so I could pay more attention to those who were more in contact with me. I called that “maintenance.”

But, unfriending someone on Face Book is like taking car keys away from a drunk. I’ve had curses thrown at me, so bad they were like death threats! Oh, and those 15-inch Face Book messages when people list all your “faults.” Well, if I have that many “faults” — you should be glad I unfriended you, right?

People are just so silly. You could go a whole year without conversing with someone on Face Book, but once you “unfriend” them, the party invites stop. So do the phone calls, the luncheons and the emails. My husband — who is not on Face Book — pitied these people and said, “Unfriending someone on Face Book is like burning their house down!”

Yeah, exactly.

And don’t even get me started with business. Begin doing business with someone on Face Book and you’ll never get a phone call or regular email again. Everything is conducted via Face Book messages. Then if you need to find a phone number or address, it takes forever trying to find it. Face Book doesn’t make your business life easier by any means. So don’t buy it if someone tells you it’s for “business.” That’s just a “cover-up.” It’s like when an alcoholic keeps vodka in the cupboard “for house guests.”

I’ve gotten more work via my website and WordPress. Not to mention respect, as it seems people who prefer WordPress, Twitter and/or Linked-In behave more professionally by being supportive without going “tit-for-tat.” And I’ve never gotten a death threat for unfollowing someone on WordPress, Twitter, Good Reads, or Linked In. (Plus, it’s so cool I’m at a point in my career, that excessive marketing/promotion just isn’t necessary anymore!)

Just like going too far with your alcohol intake, going too far with Face Book is similar. Nothing good ever comes out of it. I tried to fit in by consuming, but it just wasn’t for me. Just like the old drunken cliche — I never woke up the next morning and said, “Gee, I wish I spent more time on Face Book last night.”

Years ago, when I consumed alcohol more than I should have, someone told me that there are more people in the world that don’t drink than people that do drink. I just couldn’t grasp that concept. How could people not drink? It’s the same way with people on Face Book. It’s their lifeline. When all people know is Face Book, they can’t believe others don’t want to partake.

Quite honestly, I’m sick of dealing with “drunks.” Face Book is not conducive to good business or good friendships. And by not being on there, I’ve weeded a lot of bullshit out of my life.

To Say “Don’t Judge” IS Judging

Published April 17, 2015 by Maryanne

judge

I’ve noted in the past how much modern lingo annoys me, which is why I love watching television shows from the 1990s like “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place” — the last time English language really was hip.

Over the past year, maybe a little longer, I’ve been hearing a phrase that makes me cringe: “Don’t judge.”

Other writers friends have agreed with me that it’s just so condescending. Oftentimes I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. Because in this day and age of everyone being in competition with each other, you are just not allowed to speak freely of what annoys you or it’s translated as “judging.”

The first time I heard this phrase, a client was sharing a quality about herself that wasn’t too attractive. And immediately afterwards said, “Don’t judge.”

I immediately felt belittled. (And as I always say, “To belittle is to BE LITTLE.” But a lot of people still have to learn this.) What did I do? I didn’t say anything? And who the hell are you to assume I’d be judging you?

I am the most open-minded person in the world and freely accept people as they are, as long as they are not breaking the law or hurting others — or themselves. I’ve always been of the live and let live mindset, which is probably why so many people share their secrets with me. They know that I understand that people make mistakes and that life isn’t always a bed of roses.

But if someone thinks of me as a friend and asks my opinion — he or she is going to get it. There are things I feel strongly about and the biggest one is to not put yourself in a complicated situation. That is when you definitely make your own misery.

For instance, if a woman wants true love and keeps dating someone who is obviously unavailable, I will tell her that she’s making a big mistake and wasting her life. Or if someone comes to me asking for my permission to cheat while they are in an unhappy marriage, I’m sorry, you’re not going to get it. Get out of your unhappy marriage first. Then you can do whatever you please.

It’s not a matter of morals, but a matter of common sense.

And if someone wants to “judge” me for what they feel is “judging” then it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

Can we please go back to having heart-to-heart discussions where we can learn and grow from each other without using hipster cliches like, “Don’t judge.” If someone is sharing something with you, hear him/her out first. Maybe you’ll learn something if you, yourself, “don’t judge.”

Nailing the Last Four Commandments with Common Sense

Published April 4, 2015 by Maryanne

10 CommandmentsCharlton Heston as Moses

While Easter weekend is a time to honor Jesus Christ, it’s also a time to reflect on God and the Bible in general. I got to seriously thinking about The 10 Commandments and how easy it is to follow the last four if you simply mix psychology, common sense, and love for your fellow man.

7. You shall not commit adultery. There’s an old saying that when you cheat you cheat yourself. This couldn’t be more true. Whenever someone confesses to me that they are unhappy in their marriage and thinking of cheating, I remind them of the consequences. For example, if you already have a partner who is jealous, imagine how much more tragic your situation would be if you got caught cheating? Especially in divorce court!

Before you even THINK about other people, it’s best to end an undesirable situation first. Cheating is always a lose/lose. When people start putting others (and themselves) “second” nothing good ever comes out of it. Sneaking around isn’t “real” just a mere fantasy. When you cheat, no matter how much you think you’re “connected” you’re not. And while there’s the possibility that one party could decide to make it “real” and leave one partner to go with the other — the other will most likely lose interest because he/she didn’t really want you, he/she just wanted to play.

Cowards lie, sneak and cheat. Adults discuss things and find solutions to problems. If leaving is a solution, go for it; don’t drag an unsuspecting party into your mess because karma is a bitch and the truth always comes out.

When I met my husband, we were both available. No sneaking around, not hurting others, and no baggage! Just being together as much as we wanted was heaven. Almost 10 years later and we’re still so in love! And that’s about as real as you can get!

Mind you, we’re no better than anyone else; people fall in love every day. But you have to be in it to win it, so be a winner by starting with a clean slate.

8. You shall not steal. Of course if you steal goods and get caught, the law will take care of that. But what about stealing other things? Like time.

I’m a stickler for being on time. It says a lot about a person’s character. It says that you care about other people’s feelings. It says that we’re all equals and no one should wait for another person — not even a doctor. I’ve walked out of doctor’s offices if they made me wait too long.

Life is short and while you can do some amazing things while waiting (perhaps for some, finding comfort in their own thoughts or reading a book; perhaps for others, texting) it’s the most awesome feeling in the world when things run smoothly and on time.

I don’t like when people have to wait for me, it’s embarrassing. And when I wait for others, it makes me question how they feel about me: Does this person really want to spend time with me or am I a chore to them? But no matter how much others make me wait, I will never steal time if I can help it. It just feels like good karma! So I love this commandment. Thank you God!

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Gossip and storytelling never sat right with me. So much so that I created my own business just to get away from that.

When I was still on Face Book, I had a musician friend who was having a hard time with an ex wife who was bearing false witness against him. My heart truly went out to this man and his wife for having to deal with such garbage, in and out of court. I was once acquainted with another man who went through something similar and it was hell on earth for him. My heart bleeds for those who have had false witnesses against them. I couldn’t imagine ever doing such horrible things to an ex. Trying to destroy someone’s life, especially if they are no longer in yours is the most psycho thing ever. Man, I had some disturbing exes, but my best revenge was that I married someone a billion times better! And the exes that were good ones, I always wish well and have nothing but kind words for them.

But as I said earlier, the truth comes out and the good guy always wins. So if you can’t love one another, at least mind your own business and don’t start trouble.

10. You shall not covet. I’m nothing special, nor do I have much, so it hurts me deeply when others covet the little I have. I always said jealousy is an ugly disease. So is begrudging. When someone has something you want, don’t be jealous or begrudge — be HAPPY for them. This is the greatest lesson in life my Mom taught me early on. So many people struggle with jealousy, so I feel blessed that I’m not a jealous person. But honestly, not being jealous is the easiest thing to do. Just live in a state of love, where you like to see good things for others because that is when others will be best for you — when they are happy! It’s just a win/win. Not everyone has the same path in life and we can’t always be on top. While many people insist misery loves company, I’m the opposite. When I’m down, I want my friends to share their good news with me — because that always makes me happy. And, hey, isn’t happiness better than war?

Happy Easter!

Whether you celebrate or not, embrace the contact high,

for He has Risen!

Jesus LambJesus Christ, the Lamb of God