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The True Happiness that Only Parents Understand When Children Do These 40 Small Things

The True Happiness that Only Parents Understand When Children Do These 40 Small Things

Being a parent means navigating a never ending and unexpected myriad of adventures, emotions, celebrations and experiments; and at times living what can be deemed as both the best of and worst of days. It can be the toughest and the most blessed job in the world – so here’s 40 treasured child related moments guaranteed to leave a smile on your face, an acknowledging nod and a glow in your heart.

  1. Snuggling up close
  2. Feeling the warmth and energetic vibrations of their little bodies merging with yours
  3. Sticky little hands and chubby wrists gripping and holding you tight – as though their world depended on it
  4. Feeling their strong beating hearts fluttering against you
  5. Knowing that you are their everything
  6. Crying out only for you, and knowing nobody else but you can help them
  7. Picking them back up after they’ve fallen (physically or metaphorically)
  8. Empowering and reassuring them when another has emotionally hurt them
  9. Being the safe harbour when the world becomes too overwhelming and they need help regaining their bearings
  10. Drawing a picture, singing a song, making up a story, telling a joke for your entertainment only
  11. Doing whatever it takes to engage your full attention and watch your eyes light up and your smile spread from ear to ear
  12. Being privy to all their hopes and fears, secrets and vulnerabilities
  13. Encouraging and applauding their originality and creativity for the same task for the hundredth time
  14. Looking for your encouragement and approval that it is okay to be exactly as they are
  15. Every time they proclaim and express their love and gratitude for you (long may it last!)
  16. Colourful scribbles of unidentifiable objects, out of tune ditties with made up words, never ending stories that have no beginning, middle or end
  17. Repeating made up jokes that they find the hilarious (but make no sense to you!)
  18. Playing make believe, exercising your imagination and creativity and resurrecting your own inner child
  19. Being a single person engaged, enthusiastic and cheerleading audience like no other will ever be
  20. Being gifted hundreds of interesting facts that you probably already know
  21. Laying claim to being the raison d’etre of your child’s budding talents
  22. Being repeatedly informed and re-educated on topics such as the difference between each of the Disney princesses and Skylanders
  23. Having the privilege to play Santa, the tooth fairy, the elf on the shelf, and the Easter bunny
  24. The day they finally recognise that your way is the best way (for now!)
  25. Watching tongues slightly protruding from the lips, eyes glazing over and ears tuning out when utterly absorbed in a task
  26. Being totally occupied by something other than you
  27. Falling asleep on you
  28. FINALLY falling asleep on their own (although this can be a double edged sword!)
  29. Listening in on their conversations with friends on whose mummy or daddy is the best
  30. Knowing you will take on exalted challenges like a knight in shining armour, fighting any monsters or demons that may be lurking to keep them safe
  31. Hearing them say I love you for the first or the millionth time
  32. Listening to their ideas of what they will be like when they grow up
  33. Watching them earnestly attempt to dance and master their body movements
  34. Multiple happy birthday, Christmas and other special occasion cards, notes and letters created for you
  35. Their take on ‘helping’ you
  36. Telling you that you are the most beautiful, brave, amazing, special person ever
  37. Their idea of taking turns and rules when playing a game
  38. Fitting together puzzle pieces that don’t fit together
  39. Tidying up
  40. Knowing that no matter what came before – and what is to come after – it has all been worth it

Featured photo credit: beautiful little girl with her mother outdoors in Autumn via shutterstock.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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