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Things People With Anxiety Want Others to Know and Bonus Articles

36 Things People With Anxiety Want Their Friends to Know

1. “It may seem irrational to you, but what I’m anxious about is very real for me.” — Paige Johnson

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2. “I never know when it’s going to hit me. And when it does, I just need you to support me.” — Dani Hazlewood

3. “I’m not just blowing you off. It’s hard to make plans and just as hard to talk on the phone sometimes. It doesn’t mean I don’t desperately want to spend time and talk. I just can’t.” — Marie Abbott Belcher

4. “Don’t give up on me when I isolate myself.” — Jen Jolly

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5. “Just having someone you love and trust reminding you to breathe sometimes really helps.” — Tania Lynne Sidiqi

6. “Be patient with me; it doesn’t always look like a full-blown panic attack. It sometimes comes out in the form of anger or what looks like major frustration.” — Tabitha Rainey

7. “Even when things are wonderful, I’m always waiting for something horrible to happen.” — Lindsay Ballard

8. “When I’m being quiet, I’m not sad, bored, tired or whatever else they want to fill in the blank with. There’s just so much going on in my mind, sometimes I can’t keep up with what’s going on around me.” — Amanda Jade Briskar

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9. “I can’t just turn it off.” — Katie Keepman

10. “Sometimes when I’m feeling the anxiety, I have no idea why I’m anxious.” — Laura Hernandez

11. “Everything can change in less than 30 seconds. Too many people in one area, no known exits in a certain situation — the list goes on.” — Ashleigh Young

12. “For real — it’s not you, it’s me. Generalized anxiety feels like drowning all the time. Most times life in general intensifies that feeling. If I have a hard time making plans, don’t take it personally.” — Cory Lee Tyler

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13. “When you ask, ‘Are you OK?’ you might think I don’t trust you when I say, “Yes, I’m good!” But in my mind, I think you’ll stop seeing me as a kind, funny and calm person if you knew the truth.” — Arianne Gaudet

14. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for every invite I’ve declined, every time I’ve seemed irrational or nasty because I was overwhelmed or scared. I’m sorry for every time I’ve said I’d do something but then backed out. I’m sorry my anxiety hurts you, too.” — Melissa Kapuszcak

15. “Anxiety doesn’t have a ‘look.’ I don’t have to be trembling or hyperventilating to be anxious.” — Vicki Blank

16. “I need you to reach out to me, even when I’m so anxious I’ve stopped leaving the house. I need to know someone still cares and wants to see me.” — Hayley Lyvers

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17. “Don’t shut me out. My anxiety may stop me from doing certain things, but just being asked to join in can sometimes make my day.” — Vikki Rose Donaghy

18. “I analyze things constantly because of anxiety. I cannot turn my brain off and it can be exhausting.” — Cailea Hiller

19. “Anxiety is not an attitude.” — Clare Goodwin

20. “It’s not your job to fix me. Please just love me the way I am.” — Carole Detweiler Oranzi

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21. “I want to first apologize for the hundreds of times I’ve bailed on you. The hundreds of times I had to leave early and you had no clue. The hundreds of times I had to tell you no.” — Mary Kate Donahue

22. “Most of the time you won’t know I’m having anxiety unless I tell you,” — Kylie Wagner-Grobman

23. “If I’m not comfortable doing something, just let it go. Don’t try to convince me — it makes it worse.” — Jennifer DiTaranto

24. “I’m not a flake. Sometimes anxiety stops me from doing social things. I might cancel at the last minute, but it’s never out of unfriendliness or being lazy. Know that if you need me, I’ll be there for you in any way I can.” — Bridget Hamilton

25. “I don’t know what’s happening in my head a lot of the time either. I understand you don’t get it, but your efforts mean the world to me.” — Avery Roe

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26. “Please don’t tell me to just get over it or that I’m being silly.” — Carla Estevez

27. “When I cancel plans with you it’s because I’m afraid to admit I’m a heaping mess. It has nothing to do with you… and everything to do with my panic attack.” — Dorie Cabasag-Smith

28. “Keep inviting me to group things even though I usually decline. Some days I feel stronger than others, so my answer might surprise you. Be patient.” — Kara Edkins

29. “Don’t take it personally when I don’t want to go out. My comfort zone is my home. It’s my safe place.” — Elizabeth Vasquez

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30. “When I say I can’t take on even one more thing, I really need you to understand I really just can’t.” — Christine L Hauck

31. “When I can’t do something, no one is more disappointed than me. Please try to understand that.” — Lindsey Hemphill

32. “Sometimes I just need to be alone. It’s not personal. I’m not mad. I don’t have some problem. I don’t just need to shake it off and do something fun. I just need to be alone so I can reset myself and breathe a little.” — Stacey Weber

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33. “Every time I talk to you, I go over every word of the conversation many times in my head. If I said something I feel I like I shouldn’t have said, even if it’s as simple as incorrect grammar, I will obsess about it for years.” — Chelsea Noelani Gober

34. “I’m still me. I’m not my anxiety.” — Abi Wylie

35. “I know it can seem ridiculous at time, but please, please, please just love me through it.” — Melissa Renee Wilkerson

36. “Give me some space, but don’t forget me.” — Vickie Boyette

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*Some responses have been edited and shortened for brevity

Bonus thanks to CISRO – Psychologists explain your phone anxiety (and how to get over it)

Bonus – I named my anxiety Clive and it changed my life

Bonus: 11 Things High Functioning Anxiety People Do Without Realising

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Dr. John Demartini – The Art of Communication, Balance to Life and Purpose to Work Notes

These are just some notes for my reference. There was a lot more of such quality content.

The Art of Communication
– What does your person conversation end up to? Example of how one person kept going to surfing while another talked about money or business.
– When talking you’ll see people reacting with smiles and frowns. Those are their values.
– Anything that agrees with these values they call good and anything that challenges or goes against the values are bad. Example of family going shopping. Kids values would be toys, Moms values would be something else, Dads something else. CHAOS!
– When your internal words and your actions or external words and actions contradict each other they create conflict. And they think others need fixing.
– If you don’t know your values you’ll add the values of people you look up to. Then you start the ought to, should-ing and etc. Internal conflict starts.
– On the flip side you will push your values onto other people and create and external conflict of they ought to, should-ing and etc.
– Either one of the two above is where you feel there is something wrong with you. The higher you go up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs the more order you have in your life while the lower you go the more chaos.
– There is no such thing as a lazy person. It’s just different peoples values. IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY FOR TEACHERS/LEADERS – Everyone wants to learn if you communicate with their values in mind. Every relationship will be receptive if you learn this. When you don’t know how to communicate you will label people. All you do is this, always forget, etc. Communicate what is true for you in terms of what is true for others.
– What is lower on your value list is called disowned parts. And you attract lovers, family, customers, workmates with those disowned parts. (Article about illusion of happiness in a relationship).
– Talks about how in the relationship it goes. Don’t leave me, leave me alone. Push away, get close. Just like lovemaking ;o) Sex drive goes up with somebody supports their value system.
– When someone goes against your values you keep it as baggage and you carry it and project it on to next relationships.
– The voids in your life determine your values. What is missing is what goes up. If you think you don’t have money you seek it (even when you have more than enough). Funny thing is the bank will ask you if you have money to give you money. When you realise that you have what you are looking for the Universe provides it. (Paras note: I’m sure the Bible has this) You’ll be searching for all this until you find it in yourself.

Click to get the DVD

Balance to Life and Purpose to Work
– Make a list of everything you do and put a star next to the ones you love to do. Try to delegate the others. That way you do less out of desperation and do more of inspiration.
5 columns. 1 – Job description and everything you do. 2 – Dreams, inspirations, bucket list. 3 – Corporate strategies of the company and write 20 ways you’ll get fulfilment out of it.
– Connect the things you’re not inspired by with things you’re inspired with. E.g. – Taking trash out is not inspiring but inspired by Tai Chi. So mixing Tai Chi movements with taking trash, make it Zen. See how the things you think are mundane would help you in your dreams. Everything you’re looking for is surrounding you, it just may not be in the form you are looking for. So if you can’t delegate it find meaning in it or connect it with inspiring values.
– People leave their jobs because they don’t get their values met. Fire them up don’t fire them.
– Jokes about how relationships go from puppy love to doggy (style) stage lol. And then Old Yeller.
– Take each others values and question how is you fulfilling the top values help you get your values.

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Never Let That Weirdo Go (I’ll always encourage the Weirdo in you) … thanks Miten

Are you dating someone utterly out of his or her mind? Do you find yourself thinking about how crazy and “all over the place” your significant other is?

Do you find yourself describing your girlfriend as weird or your boyfriend as absolutely insane?

Well, you don’t even know how lucky you are.

If you’ve found someone brave enough to be him or herself in this world of standardized proportions and fixed ideals, adore that person.

If you’ve found someone strong enough to hold on to his or her childlike sense of wonder, to be completely and utterly free and uninhibited, cherish that person.

If you’ve found someone liberated enough to be a complete and utter weirdo, never let that person go.

You’ll know when you’ve found a weirdo.

He or she will be like no one you’ve ever been with before, a breath of fresh air mixed with an electric pulse that shocks you into another dimension.

Weirdos are magnetic, attracting and pulling you into them while at the same time, pulling you backwards, throwing things at you you’re not always ready for.

They’ll piss you off while at the same time showing you something you can’t live without — their world.

Their world of wonder and awe, the way they see things you didn’t notice before, look at things you never understood and question everything you thought you knew.

They’ll change your whole life without thinking twice about it.

If you’re lucky enough to be with someone crazy enough to let you into his or her weird world, cherish him or her and make sure never to let that person go.

Because relationships with weirdos are always better than with anyone who’s trying to be “normal.”

The weirdo will never let the fight be the same one.

Weirdos have feelings and opinions that will clash with yours like any significant other.  With them, however, it’s never about the same sh*t. Because your relationship isn’t the same sh*t. It’s new things, new tastes and definitely new points of view.


The weirdo will never expect the relationship to be a certain way.

They don’t have expectations of you or the relationship. Weirdos let the relationship coast the same way they coast through life — hoping for the best and going with the flow. They don’t go into things with preconceived notions because for them, a relationship is as random and unknown as life.


The weirdo will introduce you to the freak inside you.

You think you know yourself, and then you meet someone who challenges every part of your being. Weirdos make you rethink your life, your passions and what the hell you’ve been doing this whole time. You go from who you were to who you could be.


The weirdo will never be replaced.

You know you can’t let them go because everyone after them will never live up to the force your weirdo entered your life with. No one will ever show you as much, teach you as much and challenge you as much. Everyone will just make you wish you were with your weirdo again.


The weirdo will never question when you need to take time for your own adventure.

Not only do weirdos support your personal endeavors, they push them. They don’t just want to be there for you; they want to show you the way. They believe in everyone as much as they believe in themselves, and that support will change your life.


The weirdo will make you forget about the outside world.

Until you’ve met a weirdo, you’ve never understood the only world you need to judge yourself by is the world you create for yourself. You also never experienced what it’s like to live in your own world, to never have to enter society again. Weirdos bring the only world worth caring about into yours.


The weirdo will catalyze every single creative interest you have.

Any weird, obscure or crazy notion you pondered then let go of is now thrown back into your face. It’s molded and nurtured and praised. Those tiny thoughts you never gave any light to are suddenly magnified and urged to be chased and expanded. Those tiny dreams you never let yourself think about are all a weirdo wants to talk about.


The weirdo will never make you feel weird about your own weird self.

They want you to be weird. They long for you to open up that side you refuse to show the world. They’re ready to explore your inner workings and most obscure neuroses. They’ll thrive on your quirks and your idiosyncrasies… just make sure you don’t hide anything.


The weirdo is always worth the drama.

Yea, weirdos are not always the easiest people to deal with, but they’re always worth it. They’re going to bring with them drama and intensity, but that’s what’s going to make your life worthwhile again. Those days when you were just going to work, the gym and going to bed will seem like a fate worse than death after finding someone who won’t let you be bored ever again.


The weirdo will teach you to laugh everything off.

They’ll show you what it’s like to not take anything seriously, including yourself. Life is too short and too weird to judge anything, and if you can’t get serious about it, you may as well laugh about it. Embrace those who know how to embrace the moments that shouldn’t be anything but funny.


The weirdo is going to be the best sex you’ve ever had.

Weirdos are uninhibited, and their sex follows suit. They aren’t nervous or scared; they’re down to try anything. They want their lives between the sheets to be as spontaneous and crazy as the one outside. They’re not scared to show their true, naked selves.

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Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

Click to get the book or audiobook


Big up Big Brandon Carter for the recommendation.

Notes:
– Most common desire was to eat and sleep. Then sex.
– Carnegie’s Win Friends and Influence People book spent 8 pages on explaining to people how to have that winning smile. Passive bashing of similar books.
– Marshmallow experiment. Successful ones managed to distract themselves for 15 minutes to get another marshmallow. The ones that failed seemed to get in more trouble. The ones with more willpower had higher salaries, more points, better physical health, less issues with drug abuse, etc. So basically self-control in early age showed lots of good things.
– Amanda Palmer’s story of not breaking character by not drinking coffee and other practices for years. She only broke if a couple of times or so. 90 mins x 2 a day.
– Don’t think of a white bear and the monkey mind experiments. EEG experiments.
– Ago-depletion makes a big difference. Fatigue, tired, negative. Signal are things like reacting more sad to sad movies, ice cold water felt more painful, after eating one cookie there was a stronger craving. So look for a change in your feelings about these things. During withdrawal, the recovering addict is using so much willpower to break the habit that it’s likely to be a time of intense, prolonged ego depletion, and that very state will make the person feel the desire for the drug all the more strongly. It’s no wonder relapses are so common and addicts feel so weird when they quit.
– How during exams students would lose this ego. They’d increase their smoking, drinking, shopping, being messy etc. More coffee, less exercise.
– Beeper study: The more willpower expended, the more likely they were to yield to the next temptation. Cash rewards did boost willpower reserves but if it boosts it too much they get used up fast and don’t make it to the finish line if that makes sense.
– Two main points. 1 – You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. 2 – You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
– 4 uses of willpower – 1 – Control of thoughts. 2 – Emotional control. 3 – Impulse control. 4 – Performance control.
– Focus on one project at a time! Don’t make a long list especially after new years! You will lose.
– Glucose and self-control are connected. Hypoglycaemia was connected to criminals and violent people or such activities. The food gets converted to glucose but does not get absorbed into the body. Surplus of glucose is like lots of firewood but no matches. If it’s high enough it’s known as diabetes. If students were given a healthy snack in the middle they’ll be less rambunctious. Dog experiment where sugar drinks restored their willpower.
– Women are less likely than men to suffer from lapses of self-control but are affected most during the luteal phase of their PMS cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before the period starts. But they are less likely to become criminals or addicts.
– Always eat well or have enough glucose before dealing with things that need willpower. Even sugar tablets have helped reduce the need for cigarettes. Eat foods with low glycemic index.
– Driving with a bad cold is worse than driving intoxicated. If your child has a cold before an SAT test… reschedule. When you’re tired sleep as you’ll end up with less self-control, do more unethical things, etc!
– Even God had to breakdown the creation of the world into daily tasks. But his list he finished and the final task was rest. Our lists keep growing.
– Set a clear goal. We set too many. There are 3 consequences of existing goals.
a) Worrying a lot, over thinking.
b) Get less done, procrastination.
c) Health is affected. More physical, mental issues and anxiety.
– Experiments of people with self-control and addicts. Fast reward, their long term stories were just 9 days compared to 4 years of folks with better self-control. Ignoring long-term goals are not good both physically and fiscally.
– Debate of which is better Proximal/Short term goals vs. Distal/Long term goals.
– Monthly planning/goal setting is best. Daily is time consuming, lacks flexibility and with so many changes everyday it can get frustrating.
– How Drew Carey called up Dave Allen author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and hired his services … because he’s rich! Dave’s desk is complete absence of paperwork. Even the trays especially the inbox. Done, delegated, dropped or differed. I will be going through this book soon so you can read the notes there. Just do a search or click if the link is available.
– Zeigarnik Effect: Incomplete tasks and goals continue to pop in ones mind. Funny enough if you stop a song halfway your mind keeps thinking of it like it’s an incomplete task. So that’s why it’s stuck in my head! Which is why bad songs get stuck in our head.
– Grrrr. These books and their this study showed this but then that study negated it with this experiment and that experiment hypothesised … JUST GET TO THE POINT! Rant over. I’ll skip over the countless experiments mentioned.
– Mess is good but one mess at a time. Even if it’s getting cat food put it on a list!
– Marathon shopping depletes willpower. Bridal registry helps because it’s registered and things are in order.
– If you have a court case and it’s later in the day … bad news. Judges willpower and decision making will be depleted.
– When you have too much choice you get too picky and wait for something better. Shopping is the opposite, you deplete quickly so sellers market big things first and then towards the end save the impulse buys. How males lose their sense of priority and money when it comes to women.
– Self-awareness also plays a big part. Experiment where kids took more than one Halloween candy when the mirror was not facing them. People getting drunk to do all sorts of stupid things. 2 Step to improve this is 1. Setting a goal and 2. Monitoring your behaviour.
– Public info is also more important which is why all these fitness apps work so well.
– David Blaine’s doing all sorts of weird things so that he became an endurance artist.
– Sitting in good posture and upright helped lots of things.
– Many lefties are fairly ambidextrous.
– Exercises are like using proper words instead of yeah, nah and swearing. Exercise resisting to say them will grow the muscle.
– Exercise increases mental stamina and improved other aspects of life like studies, saving, less smoking and drinking, more chores, less junk food. Even though sometimes working out would mean eating more junk food.
– For men ‘oh heat’, will power is really low. This is where BBC (Big Brandon Carter of YouTube fame) talked about how he masturbates before making choices or how he recommended doing that when you start acting crazy.
– Use pre-commitment to stop you from getting into the bad habits. Making cash punishments help a lot and the more the money the more the success.
– Self-forgetfulness is another technique like how nurses distract you with other stuff and avoid using pain words.
– Talks about how prayer worked for non-believing Eric Clapton and Mary Karr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also talked about how to make thing sacred so you honour it more.
– Teenagers risk a hell of a lot to get social acceptance and do it in a cool way.
– The ones who were better at getting support from other people ended up abstaining more frequently and doing less overall drinking. The barbecue law is where you drink with your mates and risk offending people if not, so alcoholics need the same kind of peer pressure in reverse. Religious people are less likely to get into the bad things and misfortunes come to them.
– Bright Lines: These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. And if you believe that the rule is sacred—a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power—then it becomes an especially bright line.
– Self-esteem: Grades in 10th grade predicted self-esteem in 12th grade but not vice-versa.
– Narcissists: They need adulation and admiration but don’t require to be liked. Good first impressions but don’t wear well. They are everyone’s favourite person but only during the first few meetings and then slip to the bottom of the rankings. Recently it has risen with USA youth and even their songs full of I and me. (Paras note: One of the reasons I got bored of hip-hop). The exception is in Asian where it doesn’t show up because of good discipline and self-control.
– Confucian concepts of chiao shun, which means “to train,” and guan, which means both “to govern” and “to love.” Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take. Chua’s basic strategies—set clear goals, enforce rules, punish failure, reward excellence.
– The punishment has to be closer to the incident! A relaxed but stern word or two would be the best way to go. Don’t ‘let this one go’ too much or too early.
– Ferber method, or Ferberization, is a technique invented by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. It involves “baby-training” children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort. In this method both child and adult are happier in the long term. Children need and want clear rules and they need to know and understand them. Asking them what goals they have is good too as you can direct them accordingly.
– Money for grades is controversial but it works in the long term. Society will be doing it to them in future anyway.
– Children raised by single parents tend not to do as well in life as children who grow up with two parents. A lack of adult supervision during the teenage years turned out to be one of the strongest predictors of criminal behaviour. When parents keep tabs on where their children are, what they do, and whom they associate with, the children are much less likely to use illegal drugs than when parents keep fewer close tabs. Anything that forces children to exercise their self-control muscle can be helpful: taking music lessons, memorizing poems, saying prayers, minding their table manners, avoiding the use of profanity, writing thank-you notes.
– Most children aren’t being hurt by playing video games, and that they can derive some of the same benefits from the games as from practicing music, playing sports, or pursuing other passions that require discipline. Earn respect through their accomplishments. To acquire skills, they fail over and over.
– 3 Discipline to lose weight: 1. Never go on a diet. 2. Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food. 3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being overweight with having weak willpower.
– It’s better to make gradual changes because intense diets makes the body hold on to fat thinking there is a famine.
– Conterregulatory eating: Dieters have a fixed target in mind for their maximum daily calories, and when they exceed it for some unexpected reason, they regard their diet as blown for the day.
– Trying to hide your feelings while watching a movie drains your willpower, rendering you more likely to overeat later on in a separate, ostensibly unrelated context.
– Nutritional catch-22: 1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. 2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.
– Plan for battle in losing weight: Things like not keeping sweets out and visible, brushing teeth early before bed to stop from late night snacking. Using techniques like ‘if this, then that’. There is a connection with obese people clustering together like the story of how Oprah lost her overweight friends when she lost her weight. Weighing yourself everyday helps more than weekly. Prisoners gain more weight because they don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts so they can’t gauge it. Eating in front of the TV encourages snacking as you’re not paying attention. It’s better saying I’ll eat it later instead of never.
– Procrastination: They are healthier overall but the closer they reach the deadline the more health issues they had so it cancels out!
– See last chapter title under Conclusion. Willpower 101 for a quick summary.
– The Planning fallacy: Late and over budget is the norm.

Contents
Introduction
The Decline of the Will
The Comeback of the Will
Evolution and Etiquette
Why Will Yourself to Read This?

1. Is willpower more than a metaphor?
The Radish Experiment
Name That Feeling
The Mystery of the Dirty Socks
Lessons from the Street and the Lab

2. Where does the power in willpower come from?
Brain Fuel
Inner Demons
Eat Your Way to Willpower

3. A brief history of the to-do list, from god to Drew Carey
Which Goals?
Fuzzy Versus Fussy
Drew Carey’s Dream In-Box
The Zeigarnik Effect
Zero Euphoria

4. Decision fatigue
Crossing the Rubicon
The Judge’s Dilemma (and the Prisoner’s Distress)
LazyChoices
Choose Your Prize

5. Where have all the dollars gone? The quantified self knows
I’m Self-aware, Therefore I . . . ?
The Quantified Self
Not-So-Invidious Comparisons

6. Can willpower be strengthened? (Preferably without feeling David Blaine’s pain)
Willpower Workouts
From Strength to More Strength
The Toughest Stunt of All

7. Outsmarting yourself in the heart of darkness
The Empathy Gap
The Ties That Bind
The Brain on Autopilot
But Enough About Me

8. Did a higher power help Eric Clapton and Mary Karr stop drinking?
The Mystery of AA
Heaven (like Hell) Is Other People
Sacred Self-control
Bright Lines

9. Raising strong children: self-esteem vs. self-control
From Self-esteem to Narcissism
Exceptional Asians
Nanny Deb and the Triplets
Rules for Babies and Vampires
Wandering Eyes
Playing to Win

10. The perfect storm of dieting
The What-the-Hell Effect
The Dieter’s Catch-22
Planning for Battle
Let Me Count the Weighs (and the Calories)
Never Say Never

Conclusion : The future of willpower: more gain, less strain (as long as you don’t procrastinate
The Deadline Test
Willpower 101, First Lesson: Know Your Limits
Watch for Symptoms
Pick Your Battles
Make a To-Do List—or at Least a To-Don’t List
Beware the Planning Fallacy
Don’t Forget the Basics (like Changing Your Socks)
The Power of Positive Procrastination
The Nothing Alternative (and Other Tricks of Offense)
Keep Track
Reward Often
The Future of Self-control

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