Me, basically pretend-blogging. Actually wine-drinking.

Welcome to my blog!

There is also a list of previous AND upcoming blogs.

So you always have something to look forward to. You're welcome.

But first, enjoy this bit of ironic truth:

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Books! Tiny Books! Books You'll Love!

 Books. And my monkey mug.

Books. And my monkey mug.

Hello, Voyagers!
Okay, so, who's up for some good readin'?! This list is from many requests over the years for book recommendations. It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a start. And trust me: you might not love these books, but you sure as s*%t will get something out of them. Plus, most are short, tiny, quick little reads. The best kind. 
1. The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker: This might just be the most important book you will ever read, and the closest you can get to taking my Interpersonal class (for now!). I was loaned the book by my friend Troy when I lived in L.A. and I read it in one night. Literally (and yes I am using that work correctly) I stayed up all night. THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. And might even SAVE your life. Read about him, get the book, and you'll thank me.
2. Loving What Is by Byron Katie. Go to her site, watch her videos, and do the work. Do it. When my best friend or I am having a bad day, we (try to remember to) go to her site and do the work. Only, we call it "Byron Katie-ing our asses off." The work WORKS.
3. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen. She wrote it for a commencement speech that got cancelled for political reasons. Just a lovely piece of writing from a writer from whom we could all learn something. Her fictional books are nothing to sneeze at, either. Everything she writes is smart, funny, insightful. Also check out the collections of her Pulizer-winning New York Times columns
4. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. Title speaks for itself I think.
5. Wear Sunscreen by Mary Schmich. This was also a song. And an accused-commencement speech. But, no, Baz Lurman didn't write it and Kurt Vonnegut didn't deliver it. Mary Schmich did.
6. The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. This is her fascinating exploration of her brilliant and insightful poem that went viral. 
That's it so far! Be sure to leave comments below, let me know what you think of these books, and recommend more for me!
More to come, Voyagers. But until then, stay Veracious, my friends.
Stay Veracious.

VV

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"These A**holes are Driving me Crazy!" (Or, How to Handle Passive-Aggressive People)

First, watch this. You're welcome.
Let's all agree that our girl Kristen has got the passive-aggressive crap DOWN. Humor aside, the truth is that people who are passive in expression but aggressive in intent can be, at best, annoying; at worst, pull-your-hair-out crazy-making. 
The P-A person is never going to come right out and say what it is they want but they will show it through their (infuriating) behavior. They will use sarcasm, derision, non-funny/insulting “jokes,” mutter under their breath, slam doors, and say, “I’m not mad!” while glaring right at us, all to avoid simply saying what they really want, think and feel. Well, good news. There is a solution, almost elegant in its simplicity. And it is something you can start now. Today. No, don't punch them in the face. What you do is:

Pay attention, and react, only to the words they say. Ignore everything else: body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, eye rolls, sighs, all of it.

Whaaaat? No way! It cannot be that easy! 

I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it is simple. And it is the ONLY way to handle people who make you crazy without going crazy yourself.

How does this look in reality? If the P-A person says, “go ahead and head to the bar, I’ll be fine here by myself…” but you know they don’t mean it, what do you do?  You calmly, sweetly, say, “okay, bye” and you get up leave. Don’t ask if they “mean it.” Don’t make sure they’re “going to be okay.” And for the love of Pete don’t pick a fight about it or top-spin lob the passive-aggressive volley over the net back at them. 

Why do this? Because P-A people won’t own their s**t. Ever. Direct confrontation isn’t in their DNA, and they are also incapable of stating what it is they really feel or want. 

What if they get mad. you ask. What if they stomp their feet, send ugly text messages, or don't speak to you for days? Hon, your sign is right there: get out. The behavior has become abusive. And if they person is a relationship of circumstance, not choice (like your mama or in-laws), you gotta settle in. Let them be angry. You cannot control their feelings. (Check back here for advice on dealing with controlling people.)

The best part is that once we do this, we get to stop mind-reading, guessing wrong and then paying a price for it. We get to have a rational, adult conversation or even conflict, or no conversation at all. And maybe, just maybe, the P-A person will learn that they had better say what they mean and mean what they say, or they won’t say anything at all. At least not to us.

Until then, we'll be at the bar.

-VV