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Must read holiday dieting advice Eat what you want. Your grandma is not going to live forever. So eat her pecan pie while she’s still around to make it for you. Low-fat eggnog is gross. Drink the good stuff. Low-fat mashed potatoes? Why bother? Eat it with butter and smother it with gravy. If you are...

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To Be Creative, Go Play!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in healing | Posted on 08-23-2016

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“Think about it deeply, then forget it, and an idea will jump up in your face.”
~ Don Draper to Peggy Olsen, TV episode of “Mad Men”

Most of us face challenges all day long, the solutions for which require at least some creativity on our part. What most people don’t realize is that “creativity” and “anxiety” are not friends. Anxiety significantly blocks your creative ability, causing you to miss solutions—even the most obvious ones—to any problem you face.

If you find yourself mulling over something too much, consider the wisdom from the quote above. Forget about the issue for the moment, and go see a movie, take a walk, or play with your animals. The key is to play, which is like a vitamin for building creativity. When you fortify your creative side, fresh options seem to appear like magic!

Think of your creativity as being a bit like a child, one who likes to play and responds very well when things are fun. Few of us are allow ourselves enough playtime, and the result is a lot of stress.

I practice playing myself, as you can see below:
Jill with a Goat
Yes, that’s me—a grown-up without a child in tow, who waited in line with a bunch of kids so I could get my picture taken with a baby goat. It sounded like fun!

If you are sitting around worrying about a problem, I cannot stress enough (pardon the pun) that you need to go play. The choices are clear: worry and misery, or fun and problem-solving. Decide for yourself that you are worth the happier option…you may be amazed at what opens up for you.


Jill Thomas, Board Certified Hypnotherapist, weight-loss consultant, & author, has been a health and wellness professional for over 15 years, specializing in stress / anxiety reduction and attainment of holistic wellbeing.

Healthy Habits Hypnosis
187 Calle Magdalena #209
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 803-2841

Get Some Sleep

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in healing | Posted on 08-17-2016

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extra

So often when things get difficult out there I get a lot more calls for sleep deprivation.  This short 6 minute meditation will help you go into a deep sleep and stay there for the night.

Some of you will recognize this because I put at the end of your recording if you ask for a sleep process.  It’s a client favorite and my friend Augie Augusto put cute cat pictures in the background to make it a video rather than just a audio file.  Decided to use You-Tube’s bandwidth rather than my own.

Hope you enjoy it.  Be warned..it does work so don’t try it while driving.

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

Anger is a Beast – Handle with Care

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-02-2016

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angerI remember once being so angry at a boyfriend for something he’d done that I wanted to skip the break-up and get right down to taking him off the planet! My friend Jackleen, a very intuitive person and the voice of reason in my life, commented, “You know, what David did really wasn’t that bad. I’ll bet this is about something that happened a long time ago, involving a different person.” After stewing a bit, I realized she was probably right. I reluctantly drew in my claws. The problem was, now I had to take a deeper look at why I was so mad, and more importantly, WHO it was that had triggered my anger. David had been a jerk, too, but even though it looked like he was to blame, he really only deserved about 5% of the fury and pain I wanted to fling at him.

That’s how the anger beast works most of the time.  When you are really mad to the point of raging (you know what I am talking about!), and it’s clear the target of your feelings didn’t do anything to deserve that level of reaction, you can figure this is about someone or something else that hurt you in a similar way in the past. Since that person or situation is long gone, however, you explode at the one in front of you now.

This is not to say that the person you’re dealing with now didn’t do anything wrong, so don’t make the mistake of dismissing your feelings and letting the other completely off the hook for unacceptable actions. Some women, with excessive guilt about overreacting, apologize for getting upset about completely out-of-line actions on another person’s part, or worse, completely discount that they had any reason to be upset! Obviously, this isn’t a healthy way to handle conflict either, and the answer lies somewhere between inflicting corporal punishment on someone and being a doormat.

So…what should you do when the monster jumps out?

Experiencing that intense, terrible, fury – the type that makes you feel a bit out of control – is your first clue that something else is being triggered. There are few in-the-present things people do to you that warrant such extreme rage, so chances are that some older hurt is being activated.

Next, force yourself to do the nearly impossible…WALK AWAY!! Actually, walk away quickly, and if you are armed in any way, run—before you do irreparable damage to the relationship. I know how hard this is, but you have to do it.

Go and take a few moments, hours, or even days if necessary, to get calm. Nothing needs to be handled immediately, and you won’t lose anything by taking a breather. Always handle your instinctual emotional response first.

anger2There are a couple effective ways you can become more cool, calm, and collected. While in a quiet state (or as quiet as you can get), ask yourself when this situation, or something similar, has happened in your past. Then, look at the initial event—what occurred, who was involved, and how it was similar to what is happening now. After this, journal like crazy about how you felt at the time.

Once you’ve done this bit of work and you are capable of having a composed and rational conversation, i.e., one that does not involve the f-word, go and talk about it with the person involved or with some other, trusted confidante.

I once had a client come to me after discovering that her husband had been cheating. She hadn’t confronted him yet because she was afraid she would explode. I told her to journal about her feelings.  She came back two weeks later with a journal completely filled with one phrase: “F*** you, John.” No joke, she must have written this over 100,000 times! I wouldn’t have believed it was possible if I hadn’t seen it myself. Once my client did this, though, she said she felt a lot better, and she and her husband were able to have a calm talk before scheduling an appointment for marriage counseling for the two of them, as well as one with her lawyer just for her.

If you don’t like to journal, bring the anger to your conscious awareness, and then purposefully direct that energy to some form of exercise, like running or weight training.

Remember, “E-motion” is just energy in motion. Don’t make the mistake of stuffing it down, because this simply doesn’t work and will actually make things worse. The forceful energy of anger needs to be channeled in a healthy direction, or it will default to an unhealthy one.

In the case of my own fury with that old boyfriend David, I spent an afternoon throwing rocks in the ocean until I wore myself out. I couldn’t move my arm the next day, but I did feel much better and ended the relationship without too much drama by saying, “I’m sorry, but that behavior just doesn’t work for me, so this is where we will have to part ways.  I wish you the best.” This was a long way from where I had been just 24 hours before!

I know dealing with anger effectively is hard, and it does take practice. Trust me, you will likely fail at this a few times before you get it right, but working on it until it’s a habit is the best thing you can do for your relationships. All of them.

Don’t let the next person who hurts you take the fall for historic injuries you haven’t put to rest. This is unfair to them and multiplies your pain. Put in the effort to heal from past anger beasts so that your relationships are more loving, workable, and based in the present—after all, right now is our only true reality.

 

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

Six Surprising Observations about Men, Women & Relationships

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-21-2016

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observationsAs some of you know, I’ve been a certified, practicing hypnotherapist for about ten years now. In that span of time—after talking to hundreds of clients about issues in their personal relationships—I feel a bit more qualified than most to share some general observations about human behavior in this area. Many of these common threads among my clients have surprised me, and maybe you, too. Or not. Anyway, here they are:

1. DIVORCE – Among couples who have divorced, a great number of men expressed regret. Quite a few times, I’ve heard things like, “My next marriage was so much worse than my first one!” “I should have worked harder on that first marriage,” or “The grass is definitely not always greener.”

By contrast, a lot of divorced women have said they wished they had gotten divorced much sooner than they did, and from them I hear things such as, “I can’t believe I waited so long for the freedom and fun I am having now!” and “We should have broken up a long time ago.”

As far as the children of divorced couples, nobody is happy about their parents getting divorced. However, I hear far more adults express shock and perplexity about why their parents “who clearly hate each other” are still together, than tell me they wish their parents hadn’t gotten a divorce. This last comment is actually quite rare.

observations22. CHEATING – From what my clients have confided, it appears that women cheat just as much as men, but are better at covering their tracks. The men almost always get caught, whereas the women seem to get away with it more often.

I can’t say why, but the ugliest cheating stories I’ve ever heard have come from exceptionally attractive women. Many former models have told me awful stories of men cheating “all over town” with their friends, sisters, and even prostitutes. At the same time, many plain-looking women tell me they are in happy relationships with devoted partners.

Even though we have been programmed to think that women who look better, keep their weight down, and get “enhancement” surgeries have happier lives, this is apparently not the case. Perhaps what women can take from this is that instead of worrying so much about those few extra pounds, focus more on choosing a better match.

3. MONEY – It is much more common – about four times as often, actually – that people tell me they’re staying in an unhappy relationship for money, as opposed to staying for the sake of the children. I hear both of these reasons fairly often, though.

4. BLAMING – Sadly, men come in complaining about having the same exact relationship issues with the last five women they’ve been with, and yet they still place the blame on the ex-partner: “There just aren’t any women out there who don’t have this problem!” They fail to realize that the one common factor in all those failed relationships is—them. By contrast, a woman is more likely to come in after several relationship failures and say, “It’s all my problem! Can you help fix me so I don’t choose this same kind of guy again?” This attitude shows more self-responsibility, but it’s likely that both men and women who repeatedly have unsuccessful relationships need to do some family-of-origin (issues with mom and dad) healing work.

5. ALTERNATIVE SEXUAL PRACTICES – I had always thought people with alternative sexual lifestyles – like swingers, polyamorists, or sex club participants – must have a lot of intense relationship problems that cause this behavior or result from it.  Some do, I am sure, but after working with many of these people over the years, they seem to have the same frequency of relationship problems as everyone else, and actually tend to be more comfortable talking about the conflicts. In fact, from what I’ve observed, besides their sex lives, they are basically pretty ordinary people with normal occupations and the same issues as everyone else, just brought up in a sometimes different context.

With the exception of military personnel, I almost never hear a man admit to hiring a prostitute. When I have, it’s usually been described as an interaction similar to buying a hamburger at Wendy’s—a business exchange only. Also, the women with the men who’d hired prostitutes expressed more upset about this than the women whose partners had had an affair with a coworker. I found this odd, because to me, the coworker affair seems like a worse violation.

observations36. WHAT WE WANT – Men universally express a desire for more sex in their relationships. In spite of the legions of women (not that I am complaining about the business!) who want me to help them lose weight so that their husbands will find them more attractive, I almost never hear a guy say he wishes his partner would slim down.

Women tell me over and over again that they want their men to put more effort into planning the time they spend together. A woman wants her date to say, “I’m picking you up at 7 – wear something dressy,” rather than, “Where do you want to go tonight?”

Okay…hopefully, now you’re ready and armed with some new information to tackle the relationship game. Because let’s face it, any advantage in this area is more than welcome!

 

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis
760-803-2841
www.healthyhabitshypnosis.com

The Heartbreakingly Easy Problem to Solve

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-07-2016

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easy_problem_to_solveOne of the most difficult parts of being a practitioner is seeing a client fail. When I say “fail,” I’m not talking about the client not reaching their goal, as in losing the amount of weight they wanted to lose, or achieve the result they wanted. I don’t consider these situations as failures, but rather as part of learning and sometimes adjusting the approach used.

Failure to me is when a client cannot or will not see the value of investing the time, expense, and work it takes to create lasting healing for themselves. They apparently don’t understand that they are worth the effort it takes to heal, whether to change their weight/body size or shed destructive habits and attitudes. Sadly, this happens all the time.

One example was when Trish, a prospective client, contacted me because of a challenging yet totally solvable problem. She was having trouble staying connected in a long-distance relationship, and also suffered extreme separation anxiety. Whenever her boyfriend would leave, an intense sadness would come over her, along with the fear that she would never see him again. This made her very clingy with him when he had to go somewhere, and she would insist they schedule their next date right then and there to allay her anxiety. Basically, Trish said she was a “wreck” whenever her boyfriend went away.

Knowing how difficult this issue can be, and how destructively those feelings can affect anyone’s quality of life, I was happy that Trish contacted me, because I knew I could help her. Her problem is actually one of the easier issues to resolve using the tool of hypnosis, and I knew Trish would feel a lot better even after just one session.

After scheduling an appointment with Trish, my mind was already busy planning out her protocol, anticipating some of the conversation, and feeling happy knowing she would see improvement very quickly. I could see the light at the end of her tunnel of pain, and it wasn’t an idiot holding a match!

Unfortunately, Trish never made it in for help. At her appointment time, she called me complaining that I didn’t “warn her” about San Diego traffic (doesn’t everyone who drives know there may be traffic?), that she would arrive too late at this point, and that all of this was my fault. She then added that she thought I charged too much, my intake forms were too long, and a couple of other silly, untrue “reasons” why she wouldn’t/couldn’t come. In spite of all her angry justification, I knew that probably because of the same issues that caused her trouble in the first place, Trish was backing away from her own healing. I was sure she did this in many areas of her life—blaming others for her problems, complaining about the cost of things, and probably not taking any help or advice offered that could really help her. Maybe she and I weren’t a match for treatment, but our conversation told me that on some level, she wasn’t ready. Trish cancelled her appointment and never called again.

easy_problem_to_solve2It broke my heart, as it always does when this type of thing happens in my practice, that Trish was one more person in the world suffering needlessly and at her own hands. Her pain doubtlessly affected those around her, too…her friends, coworkers, the family watching her suffer, and maybe even a person she cut off on the freeway because her anger towards her boyfriend turned into road rage. Her boyfriend was likely the most affected, and whether or not they were a good match for each other, it was almost a guarantee that their relationship was already, or certainly would be, sorely tested by her issues.

I’ve talked with many practitioners about people flaking out on their own healing, and not surprisingly, it’s a very common drawback in the therapy field. Patients either stop showing up for the appointments they make for themselves, or stop treatment too early when there is still a lot more work to do. Sometimes they say they can’t afford treatment, which is always a ready excuse. My experience over the years, however, is that when people are ready to heal, they find a way to make it happen no matter what, even if that means sacrificing some material comfort for a short time, finding child care, or rearranging their schedule so they can keep their appointments. For those who are not ready, any excuse to cancel is used, and if none is available, the inner saboteur creates one.

Our egos hate change, and will fight like heck to keep the status quo, even if it’s a lousy one. Change – even beneficial change – can be hard because it requires us to grow, shift, and create different habits around the new way of being. Even if something isn’t good, such as being in a bad relationship, there is a certain degree of comfort in it because it’s familiar.

I have to face this with clients all the time and it stings, not so much because of loss of business – although I love what I do and being busy – but because I know that society at large is made better when someone gets healed. The reverse is also unfortunately true.

Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t let money, your or your kids’ schedules, “life,” or whatever obstacle you run across, keep you from the quality of living you deserve. Life goes on whether you are healthy and whole or not, so you may as well get healed! If you consider what you spend your money on, why wouldn’t you pay to get help for the most important person in you and your loved ones’ world—you?

There are few things in this world that can’t be made better through creative solutions. Your physical, emotional, and spiritual health are the most important things to attend to, for your own benefit and that of this world we all share. Remember that no matter how things may “seem” at any given moment, you are loved, special, and extremely important! There is something on this planet that you, and onlyyou, can do. Value yourself enough to heal the wounds that block you from sharing your unique contribution.

 

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis
760-803-2841
www.healthyhabitshypnosis.com

I would kill to be her size!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-21-2016

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her_sizeIt was one of those rare days when my appointments were back-to-back, and every client arriving saw my last one leaving. Normally, I leave sufficient buffer time so this doesn’t happen, but I was going on vacation the following week and squeezing in as many clients as possible before I left.

It just so happened that almost everyone scheduled that day was coming in for weight loss. My first client weighed about 200 pounds and spent much of our session talking about how her body size made her feel unattractive and unworthy of love. We worked on building her confidence and strengthening her commitment to healthier behaviors and attitudes, ones that would help her make the changes to her body that she wanted.

My next client appeared, passing my first client in the hall. As soon as she entered my office, she remarked, “Wow, that woman looked great! I would KILL to be her size.” I smiled to myself, knowing how my first client felt inside about her weight.  The second client expressed many of the same feelings as the first, and the processes we worked on were similar.

The third client, who weighed about 300 pounds, arrived as the second was leaving. When she sat down and I asked her about her goals, she said, “I want to look like your last client. She was beautiful, and I know if I were her size, I would be happy.” I sighed to myself. Too bad my last client didn’t feel that way.

The last weight loss client that day was referred by a nutritionist, who wanted me to help this woman create some new and very specific habits. The client’s current weight was about 375 pounds, making her my heaviest client at that time. She sat down and said, “If I could only look like your last client, then I know I would finally be happy.” At this point, I was thinking, Okay, Universe, I get the message you are trying to send me! You can stop now…it’s getting a bit silly!

her_size2After this session, my final appointment showed up—a former model who weighed around 110 pounds, who wanted help with public speaking because she was pursuing a career in event hosting. Great…I was done with weight loss clients for the day! She and I had a good session, and when she left, she passed my suitemate, Karen.

Done with my appointments, I happily accepted Karen’s invitation to join her for an end-of-day cup of tea. Karen was 5’10” and probably weighed around 115 pounds. As we sat sipping tea, she said, “Jill, your last client looked amazing. I would KILL to be her size.”  I almost spit out my tea… Clearly, it was time to go home!

No matter where you think you are, how fat or unattractive you see yourself, know that someone out there is sitting in envy of you and your amazing body, and is likely thinking, “If I could only be her size, then I would really be happy.” Decide to be happy no matter what your size, shape, financial situation, relationship or employment status, and make it so. Life will happen whatever your appearance or circumstances, but you always have a choice over your attitude: enjoy and appreciate who you are, or beat yourself up and suffer. Trust me on this one—deciding to be happy and grateful produces far better life results than choosing misery. Focus on the positive and it increases. You are too important to settle for less.

 


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

No More Pizza for You!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-07-2016

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No_More_PizzaAs a long-time weight loss coach and formerly overweight person myself, I know from firsthand experience that telling yourself, “No! Never, ever again!” about a particular food simply doesn’t work. The reason I bring this up is that it’s a big problem for a lot of people. As humans – and especially humans who love food! – restricting our diet does not come easily for us.

A while back, I had the distinct displeasure of learning from my doctor that all those terrible and debilitating stomachaches I was having after meals were, sadly, not caused by an ulcer (I say “sadly” because an ulcer wouldn’t be that difficult to resolve), but instead, severe gluten intolerance. What?

Yippy! Now I had to give up everything I’d held so dear from my cupboard. In my case, the sensitivity is so bad that I can’t have chocolate, coffee, or most grains. Aren’t I the lucky one…?

One must adapt, though, so birthday cakes got replaced with bowls of brightly colored, flavored popcorn – I try to have some fun with what my body can handle – and I switched to a mostly Paleo diet, which made me feel about 1000% better almost right away.

So what if you have to change what you eat?

If you have a health problem, like gluten intolerance or diabetes, that makes it very unhealthy to eat particular food items, don’t count on the negative physical consequences of eating those things to deter you from eating them anyway. Scientific research has shown that just doesn’t work.

Research has also revealed that the anticipation of having a particular food item causes the body to release more of the “happy hormone,” dopamine, than actually eating the craved item. In light of this, eating the forbidden item won’t make you happy, either.

Wait… There is some good news.

I have a tried-and-true tip to share about my own journey giving up favorite foods. For example, as I write this piece, I’m actually picturing this chocolate-covered marshmallow thing that is sold at Trader Joe’s. I love these thingies and am dying for one right now. Bad, Jill, bad! I’ve found I have to deal with this longing, or it will deal with me, and not mercifully. Here’s the tip:  Allow yourself to feel the anticipation of having whatever it is that excites you. Then, make a special trip to the store and buy…wait for it…baby carrots!  Yep, baby carrots.

No_More_Pizza2Make a big show of sitting down, pouring the whole bag of those bright orange crunchies in a bowl, and eating them. Don’t restrict yourself to just a few, but eat the whole bag or half if it’s a big bag. Again, we know the anticipation triggers more dopamine release than eating the actual item, so much so that from a chemical perspective, eating the food itself is a bit of a letdown.

Baby carrots taste good enough that you will actually eat them, and yet not good enough that you will splurge on them like you would chocolate. The result of eating carrots or chocolate will be the same in terms of satisfaction, except that you’ll get even more delayed satisfaction with the carrots, knowing you didn’t indulge in something that will make you fat. Worst case, you might suffer a little stomach upset from eating too many baby carrots. However, you won’t be hungry anymore, and more importantly, you didn’t contribute to that habit of rewarding a craving. (Often, cravings are a kind of inner child response to stress, because children “want what they want” and won’t be happy until they get it.)

I guarantee you won’t have to do the baby carrot technique many times before you start picturing baby carrots when the craving starts for your favorite sugary treat. It’s an amazing buzz-kill, really, but it works!

If this admittedly pretty ridiculous idea sounds just plain stupid to you, consider that what you have been doing probably isn’t working either, which makes that stupid, too. I encourage you to give this a try, since there’s little to lose and possibly much to gain (not pounds, either). On the other hand, if you find the baby carrot approach doesn’t work and you come up with something better, please email your idea to me. Once I check it out, your tip might appear in a future blog of mine, and be available to help others. The feeling from offering solutions to those in need…well, talk about dopamine release!

In the meantime, I am headed to the store for some baby carrots.

 


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

Summer Fun and Weight Loss

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-25-2016

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FEEDYourRealHungerIn honor of what I expect will be amazing summer for everyone I am going to participate in Kindles giveaway program and my Weight loss book “Feed your real hunger; getting off the emotional treadmill that keeps you overweight” Will be free for the entire Memorial Day weekend.  (May 26th –30th) See link below if you are a Kindle user.

Here’s the thing, even if you don’t want to lose weight but have a Kindle I would love it if you downloaded the book because if mine becomes a “Bestseller” (funny huh) then I get a cool badge that I get to keep for when I do sell it.

http://www.amazon.com/Feed-your-real-hunger-overweight/dp/0984705406/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322436860&sr=1-1

 

Additionally, I am also giving away Track 3 “Creating Healthy Habits” from my 30 Day Weight Loss Jumpstart companion CD which you can download using the link below.  That link will be good till July 31rst so be sure and save the recording on your laptop somewhere.  There is a pause before it starts after you click play-think I gave it too long of a buffer.

https://www.hightail.com/download/ZWJWanZrMVhmVGF4djhUQw

free-thecathouseonthekings

If you like the recording and are so inclined I would love it if you gave a buck to my favorite charity.  Cat House on the Kings which is a no kill, no cage cat shelter in Northern California. Or just accept it as my thank you for downloading the book.

http://www.cathouseonthekings.com/

Feel free to share all these links with anyone and everyone you know. I am very proud of both the book and the CD and I think you will like them too.

Wish you all a wonderful fun summer and let me know if I can be of service to you.


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

Manipulation

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-17-2016

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img_manipulation_01

There is a person in my family who is so good at manipulation, I would love her to write a book on the subject! Except I have this awful feeling that, somehow, she’d get me to write it for her and take all the credit… Anyway, she shows her special giftedness in controlling others by using a variety of different techniques, depending on whether she’s dealing with a family member, one of her circle of friends, or her coworkers.

The really aggravating part is that although I can clearly see her using tactics on my husband that wouldn’t work on me, I’ll suddenly find myself blindsided by another one of her maneuvers. Then it’s my husband shaking his head at me, saying, “You’ve been played by the master” as I stand there, dumbfounded, cleaning her fish bowl and perplexed at how it happened.

I think that understanding manipulation – why people do it, and how – is a valuable lesson for all of us.

As children, and particularly with girls, we are taught not to ask for the things we need, sometimes receiving messages from our parents that this is selfish, and will make us seem bossy or demanding (as in, “She’s such a bit**!”). For example, if a girl asks for something that the household can’t afford, her parents (usually mom) might minimize the girl’s need or desire with phrases like, “What are you going to do with that, anyway?” “That’s too expensive…don’t be greedy,” or “Who do you think you are, asking for that?”  Rather than making the discussion a lesson about money and needs versus wants, parents mistakenly shame their children for even asking.

Mom and dad don’t realize it, but this type of response to a child’s requests, rather than teach the child to be “unselfish” and “considerate,” teaches them they must figure out other ways to get their needs met. This is why, at a very early age, people discover that manipulation of others can bring about huge pay-offs. With practice, they learn which buttons to push, and with whom.

For instance, dad and mom may respond to them if they take advantage of “divorce guilt,” or “You-work-all-the-time guilt.”  For other relatives or friends, it might be the ol’ “You don’t want me to look bad in front of so-and-so, do you?” A variation on this, which unfortunately seems to work on me occasionally, is when someone plays on my wish to “look good” in front of others. They’ll say to me, “Oh! I am in such a bad way, and I need this soo much!” with pleading eyes and in a pitifully desperate voice, when others are standing there, too. It’s nearly impossible for me not to cave with pressure like this.

We can all be manipulative, and some of us do so far too often. Of course, in the meantime, others try their own control strategies on us. The hope is that we can learn to speak honestly and directly, unafraid to ask for what we need or want…whether we get it or not. Thankfully, much of the next generation is learning to be more straightforward and assertive, especially girls.

 

The next time you catch yourself talking in circles to try and subtly dictate someone else’s actions, think about using language that is more authentic.

Below are some examples:

Instead of:

“Doesn’t Rubio’s sound good? Their fish tacos are awesome!” 

Try:

“I would like to eat at Rubio’s tonight. Would that work for you?”

Instead of:

“I’m so lonely in this big house all the time. I could sure use some company…”

Try:

“Would you like to come over this weekend for dinner?”

Saying what you truly mean can spare you and the other person the drama of losing your temper when someone doesn’t do what you want them to. Take a deep breath instead, and say:

“In the future, I would prefer…”

Similarly, instead of resenting your significant other for not giving you what they should KNOW you want, remember that no one is a mind-reader! Play fair and try these phrases:

“I would like you to…”

“That doesn’t work for me. I would prefer…”

“I (think, need, feel) x, y, & z…”

If someone reacts to your directness with anger, or by telling you that you’re being selfish or unreasonable, listen to them and calmly respond, “I know, but that’s just how I am.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with being quirky, needy, or simply yourself at any given moment. Remember, though, that the other person has a right to say “no” to you, or even reject you if that is what they feel they must do.

Another tricky interaction is when someone lies to you consistently, and you wrestle with confronting them about it. After their next whopper, you might say, “I accept your answer, but I don’t believe you.” How you say this is important! If you speak in a neutral instead of emotional tone, you can often avoid an argument. Hopefully, the person will remember that you’re aware of their dishonesty, and they’ll tell the truth to you next time (either that, or they’ll lie more cleverly!)

Avoiding manipulation by being direct is sure to help you grow in self-esteem and confidence. But it requires a consistent effort to become aware of the way we relate to others, and practice at changing our old patterns. Keep reminding yourself that just as you are important and valuable, your needs and wants are valid and deserve to be shared.

 

 

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

A Few Bits of Advice my Mother Gave Me…or at Least, I Wish She Had

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-03-2016

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  • Once you start waxing, dying, or polishing any part of your body, you can never stop, and this will get expensive. Decide now to be happy with the genes your dad and I gave you… It’s so much cheaper that way!
  • About half of what I have told you over the years, under the guise of “wisdom,” is complete nonsense or domestic myth, particularly stories that end with someone not being able to see anymore (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”). The downside is, it may take you a lifetime to figure out which half is nonsense and which half is valuable truth.
  • Nylons and high heels were invented by a woman-hating man as a way of controlling women’s ability to move freely.  I’ll bet he never expected them to catch on the way they have! He must be so proud!
  • It’s not on the ingredient list, but they put crack cocaine in both bacon and sugar to make them highly addicting. Use both of these at your own risk.
  • You are perfect no matter what you look like. Your voice, your words, and your opinions are very important to me and to the world. Please never feel “less than” because of your weight, height, or any other aspect of your appearance.
  • In a world where many women are not allowed to work, drive, or even vote, it’s important that you do these things in honor of those who aren’t so lucky.

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  • You are worthy of the very best, which may mean saying “no” to people, places, and situations that are not for your highest good and in your very best interest, even if – in fact, especially if – doing that is difficult. Protect yourself the way you would protect your very own child.
  • Be your own best friend. In a world full of people who will want to take advantage of a kind and giving nature, make sure the one you give the most and best to is you. Don’t worry about being selfish.  Just thinking that you might be, means that you are not.
  • Don’t be fearful or naive. Most people are basically good, but some are not. Make sure you listen to that inner voice warning you when something, or someone, isn’t right. It’s the best defense you have. Even if your intuition is wrong, that’s totally okay, too.
  • Love yourself, no matter what stupid, childish, and occasionally reckless thing you do. This way, you will know that you are loved even with your flaws.
  • Lastly, know that one day I will be gone and that you will wish we had patched up our differences before I had left the earth. Maybe it’s time to try and do that now.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com