As Featured on News Cult: How to Get Over Being a People Pleaser

Even though we hate people, we still feel the need to please them. Because we are painfully self-aware, self-conscious, and apologetic, for no good reason. Except oh wait I can think of one—we live in a society that condemns assertiveness, save for self-important, over-compensational, egomaniacal men (although don’t get me wrong—P’s OS come in all genders). But just because we’re decent, humble human beings, doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our own well-being or sense of self. I, for one, am sick of giving people preferential treatment ahead of myself, especially because most of them don’t deserve it and wouldn’t do the same for me. So if you’re with me, here’s how to get over being a people pleaser.

Nip it in the bud

The next time you find yourself about to bend over backwards for someone, just shut. it. down. I don’t care if you’re literally bending over backwards—pick that shit up—or if you’re mid-sentence: “Sure, I guess we could go to that restaurant…” Just stop talking and turn it around: “… Actually no. That place is really expensive, awful, and I’m not going there at 10 PM on a Monday because they didn’t have any other reservations. That’s three hours past my bedtime and frankly anywhere that ‘trendy’ can blow me. And the horse I rode in on.” If it helps, carry around a spray bottle and spritz yourself in the face every time you start pleasing people (that sounds uncomfortably sexual but you know what I mean)—use pepper spray if you have to. Breaking yourself of this habit is going to take discipline, and if that means severe measures, so be it.

Use rage as your fuel

What I find particularly backwards is that, often, the people we feel the need to placate or appease the most are the people least deserving. For example, when someone is blowing their secondhand smoke in our face, we feel like we would be rude to ask them to stop, so we just breathe it in, even though they’re the rude ones for spreading their fumes. Or when someone is tailing us in traffic, we feel pressure to speed up and accommodate them, even though they can kiss our bumpers. So just let the rage that the intimidating person incites in you fuel your refusal to bow down, and, further, your insistence on standing up to them, telling them what’s what, and pulling the cigarette straight outta their ugly fucking mouth and sticking it right into their big fucking forehead. #WE’RENOTREADYTOMAKENICE #WE’RENOTREADYTOBACKDOWN #NEITHERARETHEDIXIECHICKS

Remember most people aren’t as accommodating

While you’re out there busting your ass to make everyone happy, they’re just looking out for #1. I mean really, how many people go out of their way to make sure all of your needs are met on a regular basis? What’s that, your loving boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner/mom does? Well how nice for you. But the rest of us are faced with constant disappointment in others on an unrelenting basis. So why bother? Quid pro quo, bro.

Know that people aren’t paying attention

As much as you think. You’re worried they’re as wrapped up in what’s going on as you, and that they’ll notice if you don’t go above and beyond to make their every wish come true, when, really, they’re thinking about how fat they do or do not (but do) look in that skirt. They probably wouldn’t even think twice if you didn’t add in that extra exclamation point at the end of your text message, or only had 3 instead of 4 gluten-free snack options for movie night, or decided to sit out clubbing because your pajamas sound more appealing. Trust that people are much more narcissistic than you give them credit for.

Know your worth

You are worthy, and are not obligated to chip away at yourself in order to make others happy or satisfied. You deserve your own attention, too. Now don’t go crazy, here—I’m not saying you should take care of your health by going to the gym or eating vegetables or anything ridiculous like that. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t put others before yourself. Unless they’re like your kid or something, in which case, it’s your fault they exist so don’t be an asshole.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/get-people-pleaser/

As Featured on News Cult: Travel Tips

Since I am well-versed in experiencing travel with a side of raft de shit, allow me to bestow upon you some advice for making it easier. 

1. Pack light

In other words, think, “what would a Real Housewife do (WWARHD)”? And then do the opposite. 

2. Forget your makeup 

You’re not going to have time or energy to spend hours painting your face until it’s socially acceptable. And you won’t be seeing anyone you know amongst the masses of other travelers anyways. Although knowing our luck, your ex will show up with his model girlfriend and you’ll be sporting the wet rat look. But whatever—her looks will fade soon enough and then you’ll rejoice in her misery. Plus, no makeup equals less to carry. #winwinwinning

3. Similarly, wear exclusively sweatpants 

You’ll want to be comfortable in transit. Traveling is no time to try to impress anyone. Actually, no time is time to impress anyone. But travel involves lots of uncomfortable seating, so sweatpants are especially justified here. Although I would say this is really the number one rule to live by generally in life. 

4. Follow someone from your flight to locate baggage claim

Why is it that it’s always impossible to find your baggage claim carousel? And that everyone else knows their carousel number except you? This is why you need to stalk your fellow passengers when you deplane. In order to do this, you’ll need to make an effort to memorize the appearance of at least five people on your flight before you land. If that means walking up and down the aisle, scanning the rows of passengers and stopping to stare at and evaluate a desirable or at least sufficient candidate for five minutes, then so be it. How else are you going to remember who was on your plane when you’re frantically searching the crowds at baggage claim, trying to figure out where you’re supposed to be and where you fit in and why you’re alone in life and have no purpose?

5. Don’t 

How about you just stay at home and refrain from cluttering the world with your presence? There are enough of us trying to get places—we don’t need you clogging up the thoroughfares. You want to see the world? Sorry, couldn’t hear you over the sound of me not giving a fuck. You need to go to Europe for your cousin’s wedding? Let me save you a trip—he only invited you out of a sense of obligation. He doesn’t really want you there, tainting the beautiful, perfectly put-together occasion with your chubby figure. You need to visit your grandma before she dies? No you don’t—she’ll manage. 

6. Pretend to be someone else

There will be no shortage of pests asking you where you’re going, why you’re going there, where you came from, why you came from there, blah blah blah blah blah. They don’t understand that your presence is not an invitation to conversation. So just make up an alter ego—one that doesn’t engage in conversation with strangers. And, better yet, one that makes strangers not want to engage in conversation. E.g. You could be Marla from Tennessee, who’s on the lam after having kidnapped her ex-husband’s new wife, rolled her in a tub of sprayable Easy Cheese, locked her in a remote shed and thrown away the key. Or you could be Carl, a man who believes he can sniff out virgins based on the stage of their menses, and that they should be sacrificed if they’re redheads [of course for this one, you’ll say all this while sniffing the person you’re saying it to, who ideally will be a redheaded female]. Another alternative is Shaqounita, a missionary from Texas, whose life purpose is to pair Russian mail-order brides with their future husbands. #OrdainedMatchmaker 

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/travel-tips-youre-going-need-youre-planning-adventures-2016/

As Featured on News Cult: 7 Morning Pick-Me-Ups for Non-Morning People

sleep

We aren’t morning people. We know this about ourselves. This is who we are. We don’t understand morning people. We don’t like them. In fact, we hate them. But, mornings exist, unfortunately, and we have to survive them in order to get to nighttime, which is our favorite time because: bedtime. Here are some morning pick-me-ups that will help you cope with mornings if you’re a non-morning person, AKA  a person.

1. Coffee

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You’re welcome,

Captain Obvious

2. The sitting nap

Just sit at your desk or wherever you’re unjustly forced to be in the mornings, and close your eyes. Whether you actually fall asleep or not, this is a good way to refresh yourself. And avoid doing work. And talking to people. And interacting with any other living being in any capacity.

3. Play music

Pump yourself up with some TUNES. I find the “workout mixes” on various music services like Spotify, Pandora, etc. to be good for this–because the whole point of those playlists is to motivate and energize the listener. And waking up and moving through the morning is the equivalent of exercise for us–strenuous, impossible, horribly difficult, the worst.

4. Give yourself a pep talk

You’re gonna need some real motivation to make it through your morning. And even though we don’t believe in motivational speaking because it’s the biggest joke ever in the existence of the universe, we are bright shining superstars, so if anyone is going to give a respectable pep talk to us, it’s ourselves. “I may want to die right now, and this morning may be Hell on earth, 1000%–actually infinity%–but I am a warrior, and I’m going to strut through this catastrophe like I’m James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting the 2011 Oscars–it’s going to be painful but I’m gonna power through.”

5. Day dream

Pretend you’re not where you are. Fantasize about being wherever you’d most like to be–swimming in an Empire State Building-sized chocolate fountain, at a 24/7 all you can eat pizza buffet, in a coma–wherever. Make like an online predator and Chris Hansen is in your kitchen–deny, deny, deny your reality.

6. Meditate

Another thing we don’t really believe in, but we’re desperate, so at this point we’ll try anything. Similar to the sit-nap, meditating is a good way to give yourself a booster shot. Close your eyes and focus intently on your breathing. Imagine anything that brings peace and calm to your mind—like the thought of taking one solid sternum-shot at that guy you hate—just one—that’s all you need. Or lying on a bed made of donuts, or never exercising a day again in your life. 5-10 minutes of this and you’ll return to the proceedings of your morning with renewed vigor, ready to bulldoze through and steamroll right over all the bullshit that’s inevitably headed your way.

7. Ignore all calls and emails

I would highly recommend this if you’re at work. If your phone has the function that allows you to send calls straight to voicemail, engage it. And don’t stop at ignoring emails that come in—get crazy and delete them all. “Morning, Boss…. Oh, you emailed me a to-do list three hours ago? How strange—I never got it!” This is also a great way to get your IT guy fired if you hate him and why wouldn’t you he’s the worst, as they all are—their job description is literally just, “the worst.”

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/7-morning-pick-ups-non-morning-people/

As Featured on News Cult: How to Survive Panic Attacks

The dreaded panic attack. Such a burden. As if we don’t have enough problems already. Like, we already have to shave our legs, pretend to work at work, and completely fail at navigating the painfully awkward dating scene–and now we have to be overcome by panic about it all, too!? A panic attack is like a bad boyfriend–it comes when it’s not the right time, stays too long, is driven by irrationality, and makes you feel like crap. But DON’T PANIC GUYS (self-five for that one! Yeahhhhhhh)–I have solutions. Whether you’re prone to completely paralyzing, disruptive panic attacks that stop you from functioning like a normal person in society (not that you ever really do), or more mild, less disabling bouts of anxiety, here’s how you survive them.

Breathe

It’s such a cliché, but it’s one for a reason, just like stereotypes–it’s TRUE. Focus on your breath–take one inhale and one exhale at a time. Imagine you’re breathing in the aroma of a freshly baked Funfetti cake, or the scent of coffee/salvation in the morning, or the smell of fear as your nemesis cowers in the face of your superiority and fabulousness.

Feel your feet on the ground

If there’s one thing panic does, it makes you feel like you aren’t solidly grounded. But you ARE–stand firmly and focus on the sensation of your feet rooted to the ground. You may feel completely thrown off, but the beauty is that the panic is in your head, and if you can squash it there, it can’t invade the rest of your body. Walk around if you have to–anything to prove to yourself that you’re here, now, and you’re not going anywhere–if only because you don’t weigh an insignificant amount, and as much as we wish we were light as a feather and could just float away like a balloon, we’re more like an anchor. Made of plutonium. The size of  Shaquille O’Neal.

Cry

Crying is the best–it’s such a release. Instead of trying to fight it, just let it out. I don’t care if you’re in the middle of a work presentation, or on an airplane, or in line at Starbucks–EXPRESS YOURSELF. Everyone can deal with it. Just wail. You literally feel like you’re dying, so get that overwhelming sensation out of your mind and body. Get it out, and eventually it will subside. And, bonus–if you happen to be in a public place, people will now think you’re extra psycho and will go even more out of their way than they already were to avoid you. #WINNING

Think of something funny

You’re going to find it hard to sustain your panic if you recall the time you ripped your pants sitting down at your desk first thing in the morning and had to spend the rest of the day walking backwards, or the time you spelled your own name wrong when submitting it to your college registrar for your diploma, or the time you showed up for a blind date and mistook the waiter for your guy, so when he came to your table to greet you, you stood up and hugged him.

Run in place

Similar to crying, this is a good way of expelling all the pent up energy that panic attacks entail. Plus, we never exercise, so we’re really killing two birds with one stone here. I’m really proud of our efficiency. It’s commendable, frankly.

Engage denial

Perhaps my favorite coping mechanism, denial is a proven, trusty, reliable fail-safe. Just start pretending that everything’s fine, and there’s no need to panic, and nothing is wrong. Take a page out of your parents’ book and act like there’s no problem that needs addressing and everything is perfect and everyone is happy and it’s Christmas goddammit so SMILE AND ACT LIKE YOU LOVE YOUR FAMILY. Talk yourself through the process out loud if you have to–“You are panicking–but don’t worry, there’s no need to. You didn’t completely just fuck up that assignment, your boss isn’t going to notice, your frenemy didn’t overhear you shit-talking her at lunch even though she was standing right behind you in line to order, you don’t have AIDS despite the fact that you slept with a questionable (at best) guy last night whose name you don’t remember but you feel like it definitely started with a ‘G,’ and you’re not sure you used a condom but, hey, it’s the 21st century–people do this all the time, right? and like ok, so you accidentally sent that confidential email about someone who was never supposed to see it to that person, but we’re all going to die one day anyways, so does it really matter?” 

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=55440

 

As Featured on News Cult: 5 Good Stress Relievers

If you’re like me and your life is an endless, paralyzing stress spiral, you need some methods for pretending like everything isn’t as bad as it really is. Here are some I use:

1. First and foremost, laughter.

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Laughter is everything–for reasons I won’t question, it provides an immediate sense of psychological and physiological relief. And, often times, it’s not laughter at innocently funny things that provides salvation–it’s laughter at wildly inappropriate, depressing, awful, difficult, horrible things. So, laugh AT whatever is causing you stress. Descend into maniacal laughter at how absurdly awful your life is, and it will, honest to God that I don’t believe in, do wonders.

2. Drink something warm

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Holding and sipping on something warm–be it tea, cider, coffee, hot chocolate, a hot toddy, just some whiskey you threw in the microwave, whatever–is like  simultaneously giving and receiving a hug from a cozy, delicious teddy bear, with the added benefit of not actually having to make physical contact with another person.

3. Watch TV

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There’s something about just zoning out and getting absorbed into someone else’s story that helps melt stress away. It’s distracting, engrossing, and, if you’re watching the right stuff, will make you feel a LOT better about your own life. Pls see: any TLC show or Lifetime movie of the week.

4. Masturbate

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STOP READING, MOM–I know, I know, this is like one of those taboo things you’re not supposed to talk about or that makes people uncomfortable or whatever. I don’t know and don’t care, and that sounds like a personal problem to me. I KNOW NO BOUNDARIES. So, moving on–you know how I feel about sex with another person–it errs on the side of being not that great usually. So, just DIY. You won’t have to worry about if your armpits are shaved, if you’re moaning in a sexy or creepy-grunting-lion way, if you’re arching your back to provide maximal thinness in your stomach region but without throwing it out, having to try to get off by another’s hand when you know how long and arduous of a process that’s going to be, and so on. You know how to get yourself there, so enjoy the process and the surefire stress-relieving, endorphin-based benefits.

5. Just Give Up

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When everything becomes too much, and you just can’t, just surrender. Lie on the floor, wipe the stack of papers that need attending to off your desk and into the trash, or cross things off your To Do list that you haven’t done and will not be doing. You feel paralyzed, so act paralyzed. Even though you should be working on all the things you need to accomplish that are stressing you out, doing nothing and letting go of control will provide some weird sense of calm at the pointlessness of it all. We’re all going to die anyway, so none of it really matters.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/5-good-stress-relievers/