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Side-Stepping Second-Hand Stress

We learned last week twelve ways that emotional bullies and master manipulators dump their pressures and problems onto us. Assuming now that you can identify these stress-inducing behaviors that will trigger your bogus pressure alarm, how can you keep people from throwing you under the busload of stress that they carry around? How do you avoid absorbing someone’s second-hand stress? Here are some ways that are polite, and respectful of …Read More

Second-Hand Stress

As a follow-up for my recent columns on Coping with Difficult People, here is some assertiveness training for dealing with emotional bullies or master manipulators. The key is to see the invisible force they hit you with–stress. When somebody “stresses” you, according to the dictionary, they are subjecting you to pressure or strain. The verb “subject” literally means to throw somebody under something, like the proverbial bus, or in this …Read More

For Holiday Love, Joy, & Peace: Ten Tips for Avoiding Holiday Distress

1. Have realistic expectations. Don’t sentimentalize old memories too much. And don’t go the other way either, replaying empty, depressing memories of the past. Content yourself with reality. 2. Give to others, without expecting anything in return—especially appreciation. Let that be a pleasant surprise, and give just for the pure joy it. 3. Dust off two or three good holiday memories as annual keepers, and make at least one good new one this year. 4. …Read More

Stress: Who Needs It? Somebody Does!

Reader: My pastor says I’m a peacemaker, a good thing. My friends and doctor say I’m a sponge for stress, a bad thing. How could making life easier for others be wrong? Is physical pain a good thing? It doesn’t feel good, but it does good. It draws our attention to the problem that’s causing it, and motivates us to get it fixed. Without pain, we’d all die of infection. Stress works the …Read More