Tag Archives: emotional health


Face it, criticism hurts. Hurt tells you to run away or stay and fight. Best way? Be grateful and decide for yourself to laugh it off or use it wisely.

Laughing at criticism

The  Happiness Gurus tell you “You are perfect just the way you are.”

They lie.

The makers of the classic movie Love Story believed  Love meant “never having to say you’re sorry.”

Another lie.

Remember, all  the sages across all the ages have bemoaned the fact that “Love is blind.”

Love may mean you never have to say you are sorry, but it also means you see the other person’s flaws as well as the good stuff.Virginia Satir, family therapist, believed  healthy relationships mean being able to tell each other who needed a deodorant.  Good to say the critical stuff kindly, but better to have it said; you can always make an amends if you say it mean.


Emotional Fitness tip one: Think about what matters.  Criticism only matters if fits you. That means you have to put aside emotions and think about yourself as if you were another person. Hard to do. The Rule of Three helps.  Than means wait until you have heard the same criticism at least three times and preferably from three different sources.

Emotional Fitness tip two:  Strengthen your self-soothing skills. Maybe it is time to buy my eBook about Creating Calm in Your Life. Minimally, learn these four Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises. 


 Parenting tip one; Teach you child the rule of three.  That can start once your child starts walking by using Thomas Phelon’s One, Two, Three Magic. It really is magic in terms of disciplining.  In a nut shell, you give your child three chances to obey a rule, and then it is time out.

Parenting tip two: When the child is in third or fourth grade, talk directly about how to handle criticism.  At that point teach your child to respond in one of the following ways.

  1. “Thank you.”
  2. “I need to work on that.”
  3. “I am trying my hardest.”
  4. “I need time to think about what you are saying.”

Role play criticizing.    You be the critic and have your child practice saying the above you and s/he can figure out what to say when.


DAILY PROMPT It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World by Michelle W. How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

Writing forces you to think a bit and that is practicing emotional fitness. Of course, some think little as they write so when angry don’t push send. Or do you disagree and think  “letting it all hang out” is more honest and best?


Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same . As noted above,  I am not perfect, no one is and this week;s post will be all about praising imperfection.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.




Don’t think you can afford a life coach? Like a life coach, EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, motivate, and reinforce thinking about what matters.  To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often.  Poster Coaches can also be used at  Family Meetings to start a discussion about what matters or in a class room to encourage critical thinking.

Killing Relationships by Third Party Complaints

Be like NASCAR Drivers: be who you are up front. That also means not just dressing to say who you are, but being direct about what you do not like.


We all be able to vote with greater wisdom if our politicians aped the NASCAR drivers.

Third party complaining is venting to another person about something you do not like in yet another person and with the expectation they will tell the third other person.  Makes you able to be the good guy, but leaves two other people carrying your burdens.  Not healthy.

Moreover, the complaint carrier is just as much to blame for this. Positive relationships depend on respect and honesty. A complaint carrier does not respect the complainer’s ability to do the right thing. A complaint carrier  allows dishonesty to fester in the complainer.  Finally, a complain carrier does not respect the person complained about to do the right thing.

My second job as a trained social worker taught me this lesson.  The head of the department was a lovely woman, gracious, warm, kindly and revered by all. Her second in command was a Mrs. Lamb. No lamb she and both feared and hated by all for she was the bosses big and nasty enforcer.

Even worse when it happens in families and it happens there all too often.

Emotional fitness tips

Emotional Fitness tip one: The two parties involved in third-party complaining are both in the wrong. 

Emotional Fitness tip  two: Learn the art of feedback.  The complainer has to face all the fears involved in telling it like it is. The carrier has to tell the complainer “Your monkey, not my circus.”

Saying what you mean without saying it mean. Feedback suggestions.

Emotional Fitness tip three: Apply the rule of three. In baseball you get three strikes, three outs and the multiple of three found in nine innings. Even then all things being tied, the game goes on.

Applied to complaining for the complainer:

  1. When someone does something that makes you unhappy about something, just make a non-verbal gesture that makes a gentle point. Raised eyebrows, even a neutral face, or changing the subject make a quiet statement about your feelings.
  2. Second time the same thing happens, try feed back, but let it be known you disagree.
  3. Third time, ask for change.

Applied to the complaint carrier.

  1. At the first complaint,  just listen and nod your head.
  2. Second time, listen and say “This really seems to bother you.”
  3. Third time, say, ” You need to figure out how to ask for change directly or how to  let it go.”

Emotional Fitness tip four: How to ask for change:

#feelingmanagement #parenting tips #emotionalintelligence


Parenting tip one: As always, age and stage matter. The younger your child the more directly s/he makes it know what they do not like. Then parents and others teach kids to “Suck it up, buttercup” or “If you cannot say something nice don’t say something at all.” Not healthy.  Then come the pre-teens and teen years when at least parents are bashed. Also not healthy.

Parenting tip two:  Model proper expression of negative feelings. “Wait until your father/mother gets home” is third-party complaining. Not healthy.

Parenting tip three: Be patient. All change takes time for you and for the children you love. Become your child’s wise complaint partner. Than means listening and then helping them learn how to deal directly with others.


The stronger the relationship, the greater our fear that telling it like it is will only mess things up. The only sane answer, however, is to tell it like it is and work to work it out.

Think about this. Runaway spouses are a common example of pretending every thing is okay when they are not.  Runaway spouses are on the increase. Easy divorce and the media ranting to leave the person you are unhappy are only partially to blame.

The measure of all relationships lies not in how happy you are all the time, but how you deal with being unhappy. Being direct about your hopes and needs but then accepting that your happiness is up to you, being grateful, practicing kindness and forgiveness are key to living a good life.



 Tagline Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

Mine should be obvious by now.  What would yours be?  Not sure? It might be helpful to download my eBook Know your missions so you can reach your goals. It costs less than a movie.



The pursuit of happiness is a selling device.  Buy into it and waste time, money, and effort. Pursue contentment instead; try these ten tips.

Tips for finding contentment


Most of today’s tips are in the poster. However here is an extra one. Learn the art of rating things.  Here is a Feeling Thermometer Poster rating Happiness.

Measuring happiness on a feeling thermometer

Four to six are realistic feel good measurements. These are when you can work on being happy or at least content. Seven to nine ratings are to be enjoyed.   Reserve ten ratings for  moments of complete happiness. You’ve won the lottery, found true love, know the joy of becoming a parent to a very wanted child.

Always keep in mind that “Now is not forever”  All is change and feelings come and sometimes faster than race cars at any  Speedway. This helps you stay strong when bad times come, and remind you to cherish all the good that life gives you.


Teach children to use a feeling thermometer.  Post one where all can see it. Use it yourself. When your kids can read and write, have them make a personal feeling thermometer.


This quick post was inspired by: Weaving the Threads – Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

At first I thought no way I am doing this one and went in search of another topic.  Stretching a bit one could say I wove pain, contentment, and happiness together.

Do you have a better explanation?


Life is hard and we all struggle, some far more than others.  The fact is when we suffer we suffer and we are the ones who need to deal with it.  Emotional Fitness Training seeks to help you stay strong.

Watch for my newest venture. Publishing short eBooks at my store. My other books will continue to be sold on my Amazon.com Author’s page.

This new venture is related to feeling the pressure of age and the on-going wish to share the  knowledge I and others have found useful.  Money makes self-publishing in a PDF format the only way I can  do that.

The books will not be perfect,dygrapia will interfere,  but each will be good as I can so without spending money.

As usual thank you for supporting me. I am so lucky so many of you are there for me.




Our self talk can lift us up or tear us down.  Silencing the negative buzzing improves your emotional intelligence.

How to turn self-talk into useful slogans.

Emotional fitness tip

Pick a slogan that lifts you up and repeat it every time you become aware of negative buzzing.  Also repeat it every time you answer your phone or text a message. Repetition is necessary to counter the long practiced strength of negative buzzing.


Find some affirmative slogans you can use with your kids. The more you use them, the better.


This quick post was inspired by this Daily Prompt. Fly on the Wall:  If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

Do you see how that lead me to thinking about the buzzing in our head?  If I hadn’t read it, I would not have posted today.


Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness now is to share this post with someone who will find it inspiring.  Thank you.