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Sometimes You Have To Stop And Smell The Roses

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Sometimes You Have To Stop And Smell The Roses

Sometimes you can be chastised as an introvert for being a pessimist. Whether you feel it’s a choice or if you simply could never stop being so negative, in some way you may actually like it. Let’s face it we all see that overly happy person at work, serving us food, or taking our order for something, and we think “How can they be so happy?”. So many videos and posts urge us to have this outlook on life. They say we would be much better off being positive and happy. What if we don’t want to? Some people just want to watch the world burn, and nothing will stop us from having such a nihilistic viewpoint, which we prefer. So what are some of the earmarks of liking your own unhappiness?

When the glass is always half empty

For as long as I can remember I have thought of the glass as being half empty. If a glass is presented to you that has a liquid level of exactly half of its volume, what would you say the level of it is? Is it half full, or half empty? Recently I have changed my response to a more realistic one. I just tend to say that there is only half there. But with that new response there is a resistance to change; for ages I had thought of the glass as being half empty. The question of the glass has always been one of optimism versus pessimism. Now that I am older and wiser I know that being negative is not always the best thing, yet my reluctance to even simply say that the glass may be half full is apparent. Now there’s just half a glass. Baby steps.

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When you feel stuck, and put conditions on your happiness

There was a point in my life where I had begun to feel positive. I had positive thoughts and emotions, my relationship was going well, and my work life couldn’t have been better. This terrified me! I had never had these feeling before; I’ve never been a happy person, luckily it didn’t continue and my unhappiness reared it’s ugly head once more. I once again stumbled about life trying to find my way and the ultimate goal of my ideal happiness, is that really the life for me?

That’s right, I too aspired to be happy. But there’s a catch– I put so many conditions on my happiness that it became almost unattainable. I’d like to make X amount of money, live in X house, and have the partner that has X qualities. What happens when we are trying to attain these goals? We’re usually stricken with the kind of unhappiness that I’ve felt over the years. And when we do meet these goals for happiness? Well it just so happens that more goals are placed on the pile to achieve before we can become a “happy person”– that way we are always unhappy.

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When your personality separates you from others and makes your unhappiness grow

Some people are more comfortable with a solitary life, they would rather stay in and not go out. An introverted person will avoid personal encounters with even the people they are most familiar with. It’s not that they don’t want talk, they just won’t have the sort of open and happy conversation you’re looking for. Introverted people know the daily struggle of being seen as shy or awkward, and when they open up and talk they hear things like “Wow I really brought you out of your shell.”, or they’re told something about how well they speak. It’s wasn’t that they were never a good speaker and couldn’t speak, maybe they just didn’t value the low brow conversations they had heard before? As introverts, we really don’t like small talk.

When you feel the whole world is against you

Some of my relationships are the source of my happiest times. Most of my relationships, however, have been a headache, or ended in heartbreak. The difference between the two is subtle. Some relationships fall together like they were meant to be. They don’t always have to be romantic ones, in fact most of my happiest relationships are with friends of the same sex. My unhappiness in relationships has been the result of failed romantic endeavors. If you’re currently single then all of your romantic endeavors up until this point have failed. With romance, it’s a mutual thing, and you have to look at the cause of the failure; you can’t say that it was entirely their fault. Maybe you will be destined for unhappiness, and if you’re looking for love on Tinder or other dating apps this is likely. The only form of comfort we can hope for is to share our cynical perspective and unhappiness with someone equally as unhappy as we are.

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Conclusion: Live for today

I won’t tell you some spiritual nonsense about learning to love yourself. This plight is certainly not due to the fact that one cannot love the inner self that you retreat to when society seems cruel and uncaring. When all your relationships have failed you and even your family and close friends have grown and become distant you will need to find something to hold on to. You can read a book or other helpful articles on Lifehack.org on the same topics.

If you’ve found that the world inside yourself has become grey and dull from the unhappiness you experience find another world to explore. Life can be mundane at best, and wherever you travel humanity has a way of being indistinct in certain cruel or pernicious ways.

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But find the love, find it whenever you can and hold on to it. It has a nasty habit of slipping through your fingers sometimes but if you feel you have lost it, just remember there is a whole world out there where you can look for it. It may be in the tiniest of books, or URLs. It could be in the smallest laugh of a child or whimper of a baby animal, and sometimes when you’re looking for too long, it might be right inside yourself that you find the cure for your unhappiness. The help you can give to others, even a stranger, can open up the most trod upon of hearts and emotions. This too, I’m sure you will hate, for it is a thankless act.

Featured photo credit: ☻☺ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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