All posts tagged psychology

Growing Old is a Gift (Or how I gained an extra half day per year!)

Published February 10, 2023 by Maryanne

Me, selfie in car last month, January 2023

My 6th book will be coming out next month. When my publisher recently asked for a photo to use, I sent him one from early last summer that I felt represented me. I looked laid-back, happy, and healthy. He told me he found “a more glamorous photo” of me on Face Book that he wanted to use.

I nearly cringed because I thought he was going to use a picture from 10 or 15 years ago when I was much younger. But no, he chose the above photo — from last month! That pleased me. I wanted a current photo on the book. And I am proud of my age.

I always say, I am not anti-aging, but pro-aging. Aging is a gift that not many of us get. I will be 60 this summer, and just learned that Sonny Bono was only 61 when he had the ski accident and died. Knowing that it could all end, puts life into perspective, that’s for sure. My husband and I had 17 happy years together, and I desperately trust that we can have another 17. The years fly by and you have to make every moment count. (And, I truly do!)

Earlier this week, the talk of the internet was Madonna’s extreme plastic surgery. My thoughts are, she’s an artist, she can do what she wants. No matter what she looks like, she’s Madonna — and I like her.

People can do whatever they want to their faces. I don’t do anything to mine, and here’s why … First of all, I am afraid of procedures. Second of all, I don’t like people going near my face. Decades ago, I did the facial thing. I even had that popular “Diamond Facial” that was popular in the early 2000s. After one where it was too intense and my face was red afterwards, I wasn’t into it anymore. I do my own simple facials at home — a face massage with olive oil, and that is that! (And some face yoga).

Yes, self care is important — skin care and exercise. Even going to get blood work or going to the dentist. All should be part of a routine as we age. HOWEVER, let us not forget how important TIME is, as it’s fleeting. Almost a year ago, I decided to no longer dye my hair. While I rocked every color — purple, red, lilac, magenta, chocolate w/snow white underneath — from 2016 to 2022, it was no longer worth my time to sit at a hairdresser for three hours every other month. As you can see in the photo, I am not gray yet, and I’m rocking the ombre, which is actually faded magenta from April 2022.

Thinking about the time I save not being at a hair salon getting a dye job — it adds up to half a day per year! I’m giving myself almost 366 days instead of 365! As my grandmother would say, “WOWIE WOW WOW!”

Now, imagine the time it takes to have anything facial? And for those who get face lifts and have to hide under scarves, hats, and sunglasses until healing time. NO THANK YOU! I’m much rather spend time with myself or my husband than with a plastic surgeon!

While someone like Madonna feels she needs surgery to keep up with the Joneses or express who she is, I can do the same naturally. Okay, so at almost 60, some bags under my eyes, or a double chin when I laugh, but I’m still the same person I was at 30. I’m sweet, funny, smart, cute, and yes even bitchy. I don’t need to look younger to be all that. I am me.

For a brief time I tried so hard to be extra nice since I’m aging and I don’t want to be a “mean old lady.” But, no, I’m going to rock my personality. And if that means standing up for myself, I’ll continue to do that. I spent too much time being shy in high school. I’ve developed a strong personality and that’s who I am. I’m still way nicer than most people I know anyway.

That’s my take, and that’s my little world. Sadly, the masses will continue to be ageist and make fun of celebrities whether they have plastic surgery or not. And it’s not always ageism too. People will make fun of anyone, not matter how young or how good they look. Haters just have to hate. The thing is, when people make fun of others, they do not like themselves very much. That is Psychology 101.

Just continue to love and embrace who you are. Don’t ever feel you need plastic surgery, or even a dye job, unless you REALLY want it. There’s so many things that are more important than what we look like — especially TIME. And if we can squeeze more TIME out of our short lives, we are very blessed.

If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

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

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel:

Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at:

Don’t Treat Your Friends Like Fans

Published December 11, 2022 by Maryanne

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

When you’re a creative person it’s no coincidence that you attract other creatives in your life. Maybe people you went to high school with, or maybe people you met during your creative career. Whether you’re a singer, actor, writer, or artist, creative people understand each other. We are there for each other. And it’s awesome when we can support each other.

Those who have a certain talent will definitely get the breaks if they stay focused. Sure, there will be ups and downs along the way, but you will accomplish some or many of your goals. You may lose friends because you’re no longer in the same place. They will not understand your drive or passion–and that’s understandable. But what about those whose career paths are similar to yours, yet it goes to their heads?! You begin to realize you’re being treated more like a “fan” than a “friend.” For example, you’ll go to his/her events but you won’t see him/her at yours. You’ll be “liking” their blogs, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages, but they ignore yours.

One time I received an email from someone who was trying a new career promoting bands. She asked me if I could “like” her pages to help support. I said, “Sure.” Then I asked if she, in turn, could help support mine too. She said, “I’m too busy.” I immediately unfriended her and stopped supporting her pages because to me, this type of person is a “taker.”

When someone starts being a “taker” it’s a major red flag that the person’s career is either going to their heads, or they are using you. Don’t ever let someone take advantage of you as they try to advance their career. It’s not right.

The thing is, we are all created equal. Any bout with success shouldn’t make someone feel superior. Motivational speaker, Jay Shetty, once said in a YouTube video that people support celebrities, why won’t they support their friends who are trying to get ahead? It really is a shame, but at least I am one friend who is very supportive (unless I feel I’m being used, then I cut ties).

I have to pat myself on the back because I know I am great in this area. I’m nobody special, but I am a good person to know; I’m every friend’s biggest cheerleader!

And, yes, fans do have their place in your world and you can’t get too close to them. You have to set boundaries. But a friend — or associate — is much more than a fan and he/she should never be slighted or not appreciated.

Here is clarification (or hard truths) regarding what a friend/associate is versus what a fan is.

  1. They’ve been to your home, that is a friend, not a fan — obviously you invited them!
  2. You had a meal with the person. Breaking bread with someone means he/she is a friend or associate, not a fan. (Unless you’re a rock star and they won a prize and dinner was part of it).
  3. Someone wrote an article about you or had you on their podcast. That is an associate, not a fan.
  4. You put someone on the guest list for one of your events. That is an associate or friend. Fans are not on the guest list unless they’ve won tickets to the event.
  5. You dated someone. I don’t care if you’re Mick Jagger, if you choose to date someone, that elevates them to a higher status. They are no longer merely a fan.
  6. You’re sending someone a holiday or birthday card in the mail on a regular basis. That is a friend, not a fan.
  7. If someone buys your records/books/art and goes to your events and that’s the only time you see them, that is a fan, not a friend.
  8. If someone knows more about you than you know about them, that is a fan. (Or a stalker!)
  9. If someone “friend requests” you on Facebook and you don’t know who they are, they are either a fan or some egomaniac who is in some industry and wants to jack up their business.
  10. If someone calls themselves a “fan” they are most likely a fan, but if they’ve been to your home, that is the best friend you can have because he/she is humble enough to admit you are cool and he/she admires your work.

Like any other relationship, creative relationships have the same rules (or they should). If you feel someone is looking down on you, or not giving you the time of day but expecting you to do things for them, or the only time you hear from them is if they need something, it’s no longer a friendship. It’s not even something that should be on “associate” level. Stop supporting them immediately. They may not even notice you are gone from their lives, but it’s okay. We’re here to support each other, not work for free for someone who doesn’t appreciate it.

If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

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

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel:

Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at:

Bloganuary Challege – Day 15 – What’s a Life Lesson You Feel Everyone Can Benefit From?

Published January 15, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Josue Soto

Patience is a life lesson everyone can benefit from.

Just yesterday I was having an amazing conversation with a young man while waiting on a long line at Whole Foods. I rarely converse with strangers because I’m often bored with small talk. But we got deep fast–career, meditation, philosophy. Wow, what a treat.

He told me he worked in film. I joked and said, “If you ever need someone to play a mom, contact me.” (Because I have played moms in indie films, commercials, and videos).

He was impressed that I did acting, but I told him writing is my real career–that I’ve been writing professionally since 1995. He said he was originally a writer, but went into film because writing didn’t pay much.

I disagreed and said you just have to have patience and weed out those who low-ball you, because you’ll always find a client or company willing to pay you what you are worth. TRUTH!

I’ve always been the late bloomer, but by waiting my turn in life, I’ve gotten everything I want out of life. I published my first article at 35. Married at 48. And wrote my first book at 50. And in between all this, there were many more firsts later in life, but these were the most significant, for me.

Moving at a slower pace doesn’t make you lazy or complacent. It means you are choosey. And you should be. Nothing is worse than rushing and making a bad move. Trust the journey, and love your life even while you are waiting.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

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

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

The Sigma Female

Published December 8, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano Mistretta

I am a sigma female, the rarest form of female.

Honest and sharing, but also mysterious. There are things even the closest friends will NEVER know about me. I’ve been told by a few, “I can’t figure you out.” Sigmas are also independent leaders who prefer working alone, loyal (we make the best friends), emotional, and intimidating. We thrive on alone time and people can drain us.

Other female personality types include: alpha, delta, beta, and omega. What is yours? Google if you are unsure, lots of info out there)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

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

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Only Creeps Say “karen”

Published July 18, 2020 by Maryanne

CreepsPhoto by Robert Zunikoff, courtesy of Unsplash

If you Google what the slang term “karen” means, there’s just so much about it and so many ways to analyze it, and misuse what it originally meant. In a nutshell, nowadays, it’s any middle-aged white woman who complains to a manager because she feels entitled. We’ve gotten to that point where the term is so misused (like the words “narcissism” and “literally”) it’s derogatorily tossed at ANY woman who complains.  It’s a stupid word that translates to “Shut the fuck up — WOMAN!” It is downright nasty — and creepy! And merely another way loser men try to belittle women; taking us back to the 1800s. Way to go, assholes!

I get it, you think you’re such a big deal sticking up for a worker who doesn’t do his/her job right? Well, let me ask you, why should a person who works in service be cuddled like a little lamb? If you are hired to do a job of service your job is to do it with a smile on your face. Don’t take your shit out on customers!

This is where society has gone wrong — big time. Long gone is the saying, “The customer is always right.” We’re living in times where it’s frustrating to even call on a manager because no one has the balls to train their employees correctly. People of service can do whatever the hell they want — and get away with it. They will lie and so will the manager in order to not look bad. No one wants to man up and be responsible for screwing up.

That is bad news. You can’t even say it’s “bad business” because no one cares. From the largest corporation down to small businesses, everyone has to be right. All. The. Time.

And you have the self-righteous stander-bys  chiming in, “Calm down KAREN” which makes the situation no better. Doing that makes you a BULLY! Why don’t YOU calm down and mind your own business? No, man’s gotta be a “hero” — but the “hero” has it all wrong. Making someone feel small just because she spoke up for herself makes you a ZERO! And a CREEP!  In fact, anyone who jumps on the “karen” bandwagon is a CREEP and here’s why:

  • Mentally stable people don’t call names. If there’s a problem, they talk to each other like adults.
  • Mentally stable people don’t randomly attack others. They mind their own business.
  • Good service is a part of the job. A worker is representing a company. When you go to an establishment, you deserve good service. No one should be called names for calling a manager if service is not up to par. In fact, going to management will help the establishment develop and grow. You learn from mistakes, so put on your big boy pants and LEARN!
  • Using a sexist/ageist term in general means you are a loser. Sexism and ageism is a thing. Educate yourself.
  • Women should not be silenced. Simple as that.

So, you have a choice. Do you want to continue acting like a big baby and calling others names? Or do you want to up your game and learn that it’s not cool to judge people?

And, to the ladies, I say, continue to stick up for yourself if you’re being treated poorly. Don’t let men try to silence and shame you by name-calling. They are fools. You know who you are!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

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

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique


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:

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:



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!


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:  







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:



Alcoholism … Face Book … Same Difference

Published April 24, 2015 by Maryanne


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.