Be Courteous, Kind And Forgiving

Man being courteous and giving money to a homeless man on the floor

When Being Nice Has Become Hard

Depending on multiple factors, such as where you were born and raised and where you are currently living, you most likely have a different experience with the act of being nice and courteous towards others. Your personality traits, upbringing, personal experiences and people in your neighborhood have shaped your perception on being nice to those around you.

Besides some exceptions such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, substance use or physical and sexual abuse, most children display innocent and nice behavior. But somewhere along the lines of adolescence, something changes: we become competitive, selfish and determined to fit in with our peers at the expense of being nice and courteous.

As we enter adulthood, we become more in touch with the real world and enter an ocean full of sharks, eels and stingrays waiting to chew us up and spit us out. What once felt normal and easy, has now become surprisingly hard to do: be nice, courteous, kind and forgiving to those around us!

This is because individuality is supposedly rare to come by; most people prefer to adopt a herd mentality. A herd mentality is when someone is influenced by his or her peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis. To avoid social complications and dilemmas, most people join “the herd”, even at the expense of remaining nice towards others.

Selfishness has always been and always will be, but that does not mean that you have to partake if you feel otherwise. Utilize your free will and set your own path, even if it means being lonely for a very long time! Be the role model and shows others that respect, courtesy and dignity are more valuable than a selfish and mindless herd mentality.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Having Patience With Others

Asian woman sitting in front of a laptop and being patient with another woman

Practicing The Act Of Patience

Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. There are many times in life when you cannot control yourself and make a mistake or get into an argument; this is because patience needs to be practiced.

The more that you practice the act of patience, the easier it will become to tolerate uncomfortable situations. Being able to withhold yourself in a situation that is being prolonged by another person requires maturity and strength. Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we must allow another person to set the flow and pace of the interaction.

If not an emergency, it is better to match the other person’s flow and work on your patience. Cutting an interaction short may come off as rude, disrespectful or disinterested. This can affect your reputation and your character. Rather, learn how to develop patience by listening to the other person and understanding what they are trying to communicate.

Anytime that you find yourself in a situation where you feel bored, inpatient or dissatisfied, remind yourself to practice the act of patience. There are many benefits which you can reap:

  • Patience improves coping with upsetting and stressful situations
  • Patience improves listening skills and empathy
  • Patience may help you become a better friend, neighbor and coworker
  • Patience increases your strength and stamina and helps you achieve your goals
  • Patience helps you more effectively tolerate irritability

Remind yourself that you are not the center of every interaction, regardless if you work a nine to five job or are a famous celebrity in Hollywood. We are all human beings who deserve respect, honesty and care. Therefore, be patient with yourself and others and provide an environment which fosters love and happiness.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Having Empathy For Others

Man and woman hugging and showing empathy for each other

Teach Me Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Sympathy is the feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. Do not confuse the two, as having sympathy in a situation which requires empathy can turn out to be an awkward situation.

In this day and age, genuine empathy is difficult to come by; selfishness, loneliness and a competitive society are driving more focus on the self. We are becoming more disconnected by focusing more attention on our issues, rather than showing more concern and care for others.

You will actually like yourself more by being empathetic towards others’ feelings. It feels good to take away attention from “me” and redirect it onto “you.” By listening a little more to what others have to say, you are acting at a higher maturity level, providing you with a sense of calmness and dignity.

By being empathetic towards others, you are reassuring them that someone is listening and caring about what they have to say. The act of listening can go a long way to helping someone with their disappointments, feelings of inadequacy, depressive and anxious states and even suicidal thoughts.

So how do you become empathic? Open your heart and realize that there is more to this world than just “me.” Find a soft spot in your heart that is willing to absorb the concerns of others, without taking it personally. Be willing to understand and relate to somebody else’s stories of pain and suffering; show them that you are human too!

At all costs, avoid superficiality and empty responses; they do nothing to help others feel listened to. Do not offer false praise or hope; this provides misdirection and misguidance. Being empathetic is based on honesty, connection and understanding. It’s taking away attention from “me” and delivering genuine and selfless attention to “you.”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Importance Of Avoiding Arguments

Man holding white telephone at work screaming and arguing

Avoiding Arguments At Work

An argument is an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one. Unless done on a friendly and playful basis, they are an unnecessary waste of time and energy. Arguments increase your stress level, affect your reputation and make you look unprofessional.

The workplace is an especially important location to avoid getting into arguments. Negative attention spreads very easily; oftentimes, much easier than positive attention. Your coworkers may become influenced in a negative way by your involvement in an argument, depending on your words and actions.

Arguments also make you look weak: they promote awkwardness, insecurity, unreliability, defensiveness and uncertainty. Negativity often sticks in peoples’ minds much longer than positivity. This is because positivity is temporary while negativity is much more impactful on one’s emotions.

The solution is to stand your ground by stating what you believe without actually getting into an argument. If you find yourself dealing with someone who is heading towards an argument, back down before it escalates. Backing down does not make you look weak; it actually demonstrates maturity, confidence and leadership.

Be a role model and avoid arguments. People are always searching for someone to look up to! If you become involved in arguments, it will be very difficult for people to view you as someone they want to imitate; being argumentative is not an attractive characteristic. It is important to maintain a consistent reputation backed by high quality traits!

Arguments lead to losses. Reasonable and professional disagreements lead to gains!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Be A Role Model

Silhouette of a role model leading people after him

Confidence And Leadership

Being a role model can be quite painful at times. It is not easy to strive for perfection on a daily basis. It requires consistency and determination which are difficult to uphold; especially when experiencing stress, pain and worry. But the first step is to change your mindset and strive for being a role model.

You must be able to demonstrate confidence and leadership. Confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. People are attracted to confidence; it spills over into the category of leadership. Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Being a leader requires trust; who is going to listen to you if your words and actions are deceitful? Being trustworthy requires earning the confidence of those around you. You must be able to tell and show people that you stand by honest principles which they can respect and adopt into their lives.

Excellent communication is key to being a role model. You must be able to speak fluently, make great eye contact, be easily understandable and pick your words wisely and effectively; having a versatile vocabulary can help a lot. Your delivery must also be attractive: an understandable and easily relatable rate, rhythm and tone are a must.

Being respectful of others is a given. Even if annoying people surround you on a daily basis, you must brush them off and continue to demonstrate a respectful attitude towards them; their insecurities should not affect your position as a role model. And do not forget to respect yourself; the process always starts within.

Be humble and willing to admit mistakes. Nobody wants to be around someone who blames others for his or her mistakes. Admitting mistakes demonstrates confidence, courage, responsibility, honesty and a drive to learn more! Go about it by being humble and you become very close to capturing the hearts of those around you.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Respect Others As You Respect Yourself

Man standing behind green leafed plants wearing a black shirt that says "respect"

What Does It Mean To Be Respectful?

Without taming our human nature, we’d be running around like a wild pack of animals with no remorse for each other. Human nature does not mean that society works best on what is “natural”; just because something is natural and universal does not make it effective and productive for modern-day society.

From a Freudian perspective, every person has an ego, superego and ID. The ID is the animalistic side of us seeking pleasure: food, sex, sleep and fun. The superego takes societal values and morals into consideration and balances our ego and ID. Some of us are more in touch with our ID.

The problem with too much ID is that respect for others is sidelined while selfish “natural” drives take priority. This causes many problems for society:

  • Women are looked down upon as sources of physical pleasure (lust)
  • Too much emphasis is placed on the self rather than helping others (pride)
  • The quest for power, fortune and control take over (greed)
  • Habitual greed or excess in eating (gluttony)
  • Looking down upon others who hold qualities or possessions which one lacks (envy)
  • Extreme anger towards others for no good reason (wrath)
  • The reluctance to work or make an effort to better humanity (sloth)

One can argue that the seven traits mentioned above are part of human nature; all perfectly “natural” behaviors that serve to benefit us. And for the most part, they are part of human nature. But the argument is that human nature is not always what is best for mankind.

Clearly, the seven traits mentioned above are destructive to an individual and those around them. The solution is it sideline your ID and begin to respect yourself and others. Respect is the due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others.

When we begin to respect ourselves, respecting others no longer poses a challenge.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Relationships Over The Phone

Man sitting at table texting on the phone

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

With so many cellular features at our fingertips, it is hard not to engage (or disengage) with another person in the blink of an eye. There are many advantages and disadvantages of modern cellular communication, but it is important to be aware of how and when to use these features.

If you enjoy talking a lot and find yourself going on for hours at a time, talking on the phone can be a great relationship booster! It is much easier to express yourself by talking than through texting. Talking over the phone can help you learn more about the other person and be more understanding of their emotions, concerns and struggles. It can be used as a continuation of conversations that occur in person, making the transition much easier.

If you are not the type of person who enjoys long chats or are awkward speaking on the phone, then do not utilize this feature; it can potentially ruin a relationship. Unfortunately, talking on the phone is becoming a lost art. Many people prefer to text, which is taking away our opportunity to hear the other person’s voice, emotions, laughter or pain.

Beware of texting! It can either boost a relationship or throw it in the dumps. If you and another person click via texting, then you have nothing to worry about; continue typing away. The issue that presents itself with texting is that your words can be misinterpreted by the other person, resulting in an outcome which you did not intend for.

An important point to make is to always be yourself! Unfortunately, we live in a society where selfishness, manipulation and “ghosting” have become the norm; many people are too self-absorbed. In result, your innocent and friendly texts can go unnoticed, leaving you wondering what you did wrong.

But you did nothing wrong! This is the problem with modern-day texting. It’s hit or miss: either you have people who you can rely on without the worry of them vanishing or you message people who transform into ghosts and disappear from your life. People cannot be changed nor should it be your agenda to change them.

No matter what the positives and negatives of modern cellular communication are, the most important point is to be yourself, live with dignity and focus on bettering your life. Do not waste time and energy wondering why someone is ignoring your calls or not responding to your texts. Live your life on your terms! Find a path that anchors you in a stable mindset and keep moving forward towards success!

The people who are meant to be in your life will stick around or will come back at the right time. Do not chase after people; chase after happiness, excellent physical and mental health and prosperity!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Blaming Others For Your Actions

Man blaming someone else by pointing finger at them

Stop Blaming Others

Sometimes the basics need a refresher. One common theme that still persists in our society is the blaming of others for our actions. We have a tendency to find fault in someone else before we stand guilty ourselves. Blaming each other contributes to the anger and violence circulating amongst us.

Rather than blaming others, we need to admit to our faults and correct them. This will help us remain honest, grow as individuals and build character. And even if someone else is to blame, it is unnecessary to point the fingers at them; life has a way of delivering justice.

It is human nature to be selfish and self-protective; not a lot of people demonstrate altruistic behavior like an ant colony working for the queen. Most people want to be the queen and have others do the favors and hard work; and if not done, blaming becomes the automatic defense mechanism.

One can argue that another problem with our mental health in America is that we are not honest with ourselves and are quick to blame others. If we are feeling depressed, there must be someone else at fault that is causing us to feel this way. If we are feeling anxious, it is because someone else’s behavior is making us uneasy.

Finding excuses rather than making improvements is why mental illness remains a serious problem and concern in our society. We are fueled by differences in culture and beliefs which sometimes lead to hate in regards to another individual’s race, ethnicity or background.

And hate leads to another Sandy Hook, Las Vegas or El Paso shooting. We look and hope to find problems which are external to ourselves, when in reality, most of the problems stem from our lack of accepting responsibility or practicing self-improvement.

Rather than blaming others, look into your own eyes and make the necessary changes that will turn you into a better person!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

When Death Makes An Appearance

Praying angel statue next to orange flowers outdoors

Dealing With Death Of A Loved One

It hits you like a thousand paper cuts. Your emotions cloud your consciousness like a dark summer thunderstorm. Your eyes begin to tear like the flooding of a category V hurricane. Someone has knocked at your door but did not wait for a greeting. It’s death.

You cry before you even hear the name; just the thought of it makes your soul shrivel. The name is announced. You fall down faster than the cataplexy experienced by a narcoleptic. You slowly lose touch with reality. Reality loses touch with you.

Whether or not you attend the funeral, the pain you are experiencing is unbearable. You don’t want to eat, cannot sleep and everyone around you is annoying like a summer bee buzzing in your proximity. You start hating people for no reason; they hate you back but they don’t know why.

A few weeks have gone by and you start to come back down to reality, like a chopper headed for its helipad. Life still feels dull and gloomy but you are at least sane again. You start to apologize to those who you have turned into enemies during the last couple of weeks. They hug you back.

Life goes on but you cannot stop thinking of your family member who passed away. You are in the eye of the storm called bereavement. You start to hallucinate your loved one; you wonder if this is how it feels to be on LSD. You don’t care. The hallucination goes away.

You go back to work but you are not really there; mentally that is. You cannot stop thinking about him or her. Their lack of presence haunts you. You head to the restroom and burst into tears. The tears burst back and tell you to stop crying. You head back to work.

You don’t enjoy life but you remain occupied. Whatever you do is less pleasurable. You are functional but empty inside. Life is hollow and you are floating, feeling numb and detached. You wonder how long this can go on for.

The above scenario is a classic situation that many people experience after the death of a loved one. Many people recover from grief but many also progress to major depressive disorder. It is very important to not allow death to throw you into a cycle of depression.

Understanding that death is part of life and that there is no way of avoiding it, can at least psychologically prepare you for when it arrives. Grief is normal to experience but you must learn how to put an end to it and move on with your life.

Your life does not end when death has taken your loved one!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Finding Old Friends

Two female friends holding flowers and reuniting in nature

Old Friends Who Turned Into Strangers

One of the beauties of life is that you never know who you will run into again. There are so many avenues and paths for people to take, that it almost feels impossible to reunite with old friends who have left your life a long time ago. But little do you know that life sometimes brings back people from the past.

We all must know a friend or two from our past, who somewhere along the way, turned into a stranger who we no longer recognized. Sometimes that is normal. The personality of a person does not remain constant at all times; life helps mold a person and reshape him or her for the new circumstances that present into their life.

Just because an old friend becomes a stranger does not mean that you have to do the same. Do not attempt to get back at a person; it is a waste of energy and time. Allow people to act as they wish; if they make a change which you don’t like, then move on with your life but on friendly terms.

Sometimes people go through changes and end up returning back to their true self. This is when old friends potentially return back into your life after many years of no interaction with them. And little did you know that after meeting them again after many years of no communication, you would still have so much chemistry and things in common!

This is why you must not close yourself off to old friends who are no longer in your life. Do not burn bridges that can still be crossed in the future! Everyone has the free will to experiment with different beliefs, ways of being and experimental routes in life.

But by keeping your door wide open, you welcome old friends back into your life. And this is a very good feeling when you realize that they have not changed much after all. It’s as if they never have left your life in the first place!

The lesson learned here is the importance of not becoming bitter, stubborn and attempting to get back at an old friend. Old friends who reemerge into your present life have the potential for becoming lifelong companions!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)