“Gravity doesn't work on Monday.”
Monday Lisa's Podcast
the audio version of her columns
Difficult people are…well, difficult
by Dr. Terry Martin (a.k.a. Monday Lisa and Bob Cayne July 6, 2020
Regardless of our age or social status, there are difficult people out there who want to bully and belittle others. They may be colleagues at work, family members, neighbors or mean kids at the playground. In fact, bullying is one of the most unreported problems in schools. Cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking are also types of bullying. Topics often include personal appearance, social status and politics.
It’s not easy to make wise choices in the heat of the moment. But transforming pain into personal growth and strength improves your life as well as the life of the person you are dealing with.
There is a proper way to respond if somebody bullies you. Retain your dignity. Their pain is their pain, don’t let them make it your pain. Handling a person with aggressive behavior isn’t easy. Detach yourself from their abuse and biased opinions. Walk away and contain your emotions even if you’ve reached the boiling point.
When you are confronted by a person taking a hard stance, someone who wants to ‘air their laundry,’ stay calm…just listen. Bullies behave the way they do in hopes of getting a reaction. Don’t interject while they’re revved up. Let them talk until they run out of air. Then, and only then, should you respond.
Always model the behavior you want to see. When someone foists their hostility and drama on you ignore their antics. Decide if you can productively resolve their problem as you listen to what they are saying. Be compassionate. When you talk don’t raise your voice. Speak calmly to demonstrate strength and conviction and de-escalate a challenging situation. Bullies usually have a hard time defending themselves.
If you disagree with a manipulative or difficult person there will be consequences for you to deal with. If at all possible take positive control of negative conversations. It’s okay to change the topic. Steer the conversation away from pity parties, drama, and self-absorbed sagas.
Establish healthy, reasonable boundaries; maintain physical space between you and the other person. Be aware of your own feelings and needs. Think about times and circumstances when you’ve been resentful for fulfilling another person’s needs. If you were bullied did you play into what the bully wanted by confronting them?
People who wallow in problems and fail to focus on solutions are hard to handle. They want you to be sympathetic so they’ll feel better about themselves. Don’t RSVP.
Show bullies that you won’t cave. Let ‘train wrecks’ know you aren’t their station. Ultimately, you will get the results you want.
See you next Monday
What Have You Learned?
by Dr. Terry Martin (a.k.a. Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne June 29, 2020
In 1918, the Spanish flu, also known as the Deadliest Pandemic, infected 500 million people. It also killed more people than… well, anything.
Medicine was nothing like it is today and it was said that doctors were more likely to kill you than cure you. A medical manual, for heaven sakes, recommended champagne for seasickness.
The pandemic stretched over two years and killed an estimated 20 million people. Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in a period of twenty-four weeks, and more than half occurred in even less time.
More people lost their lives in those twenty-four weeks than AIDS killed in twenty-four years. But do they teach any of that in school?
So here we are again, fighting an old enemy, influenza. This time it’s COVID-19, a pathogen that isn’t new at all.
Apparently, humanity hadn’t learned its lesson.
We coasted along pretty well for quite some time. Then, all of a sudden we got jacked up to attention and found ourselves wondering if the Mayan calendar was right about the end of the world, except they blew it by a few years.
This column isn’t about controlling disease. This is about what goes on today. You and me looking like masked marvels, being fed hand sanitizer every place we go. We’re in a damn pandemic.
The question is: so what’s the lesson this time?
As of today, over 9.6 million people have died worldwide from mankind’s old enemy. That’s what we’ve learned so far and new numbers keep hiking the total. After enduring months of quarantine lockdown during an event this big shouldn’t we come away with some sort of a valuable lesson?
How has the pandemic and quarantine upset your life? Who do you believe and what do you believe from the experts on TV? Will your life and habits change in the future? What things will you do differently going forward?
I’ve learned a lot about gratitude. “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” is a cliché. But there’s some pretty good meat in those words.
This morning I was reading my umpteenth article about respirators, instead of being on one. That sure clarifies matters for me.
I remember days when I whined about dropped calls on my cell phone. Now Mother Nature’s like, “If you really want something to crab about, try this.”
We took life for granted before the lockdown deprived us of our freedom. Things sure have changed, haven’t they?
Have you noticed that when something valuable is taken away, getting it back boosts your appreciation and happiness?
When tragedy strikes, don’t ignore its lessons. Think about your personal relationships, the friends you haven’t been able to see and be with.
By the way, who do you miss the most? Call them, right now.
Get a New Story
by Dr. Terry Martin (a.k.a. Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne June 22, 2020
In my practice I enjoy helping people who seek fresh starts.
A fresh start involves disconnecting with the past. Any notion of throwing the door open and finding a new beginning is like saying, “My problems were caused by who I was yesterday.”
The transformation process––and it is, indeed, a process––begins when your actions actually move your life forward. Saying you want a fresh start is not enough.
Let’s look at a few Fresh Start Behaviors:
Spend time with the right people.
Be around people you enjoy, folks who love and appreciate you and encourage you to improve in healthy, exciting ways.
Be honest with yourself.
Be honest about what is right and what needs to be changed.
Make your happiness a priority.
There is a story about the Richest Man in Babylon. The moral is pay yourself first. That means lookout for yourself; value yourself; stick up for yourself. Otherwise you will sabotage yourself and others will join in the take down. Paying yourself first isn’t selfish. It is vital and helps you thrive.
Realize how wealthy you are.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” When times are tough, keep things in perspective. After all, you won’t go to sleep hungry. You choose the clothes you wear, have clean drinking water, access to medical care. You can read and have access to the Internet.
Think about those things. You really are incredibly wealthy.
Be grateful for the things you have.
Take nothing for granted. When dealing with a chronic disease you may think the things you have don’t help. But they do. Even acute challenges can bring the gift of patience, knowledge, and empathy.
The story of your life is an autobiography; you are the author, you write it. Avoid negativism, complaints and doubts. Arise each day with new intentions, happy thoughts and a state of mind that: ‘it will work,’ rather than ‘why me?’
Focus on positive outcomes. Your mind has to believe it can do something before it’s capable of doing it. Show your mind a plan with a written (longhand) list of steps you will take. Evolve so much that you have to re-introduce yourself to a few people.
You’ve probably heard pessimists say, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Think positive, that way you’ll see it when you believe it. Be a believer.
How is your EQ?
by Dr. Terry Martin (a.k.a. Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne June 15, 2020
Think about someone you know who you’d characterize as intelligent. Now, think about somebody you’d characterize as smart.
Could they be the same person, or are they different? What separates them? Do you think one is wiser than the other?
Let’s delve into it.
Intelligent people have a high Intelligence Quotient, or IQ.
Smart people have a high Emotional Quotient, or EQ.
EQ can be more meaningful than IQ because it affects the impact the EQ person has on people around them. EQ people understand their own emotions and influence the emotions of others. Individuals with high EQ have a storehouse of information, they are able to make more friends and have better relationships.
As children grow into their teens EQ governs how well they manage their time, develop peer relationships, navigate social activities, hold down part-time jobs and prepare for life as a young adult. Social responsibility, being part of something larger than themselves, is key.
Self-awareness of our emotions, both positive and negative, is apparent by our behavior. Be sure to control your emotions when you are under pressure, and when you deal with other people.
EQ is important in leadership, sales and management work. EQ in the business world is particularly important when working in teams and understanding your customers’ needs. High EQ people are C-Suite candidates. Your EQ skills can be developed and/or enhanced at any time in your life. You are never too old to benefit.
I encourage you to take a quick test and see your score.
EQ people make you feel comfortable and optimistic, they get you feeling good about yourself.
Emotionally immature people may have low EQ even if they have a high IQ. They are unaware of others and may be overly serious about a particular matter. A Mensa with years of experience may make poor decisions if their EQ is out of whack.
Laughter can be a barometer of emotional intelligence at work. But rampant anger, fear or apathy––even sullen silence––spells trouble. A person’s social competence is on the rocks if their EQ is low.
EQ is a relatively new concept. It holds considerable promise because it teaches us the skills we need to better relate to each other; skills that lead to positive outcomes in many areas of human interaction.
If you have difficulty making decisions, assessments are available and should be considered. Learn to manage your emotions and connect more skillfully with others.
See you next Monday
Your past doesn’t belong in your future
by Dr. Terry Martin (a.k.a. Monday Lisa) and Bob Cayne June 7, 2020
We begin this week with a quote:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As painful and unpleasant as our past actions may seem, they are a part of life.
The past is in the past. Do yourself a favor and move on. No amount of thinking or worrying can undo it. Remember the job you left? There’s a reason why you don’t work there anymore. Stop beating yourself up over it.
What we view as challenges can be opportunities for growth.
Self-assessment can be a lesson or a blessing depending on how you look at it.
It’s okay, even natural, to feel crummy now and then. Old habits die hard and a good memory is vital as you plan your future, in fact it’s fundamental to helping you move on. At one time or another, we’ve all learned how not to live life. Avoid being attached to those experiences.
Many highly successful people have gone through their share of flops. Warren Buffett once owned a Sinclair Texaco gas station that lost money. Then he controlled a textile company that he calls his “200 billion dollar mistake.” Michael Bloomberg was fired from Salomon Brothers. Jeff Bezos started a book selling company named Cadabra, Inc. that people called ‘cadaver’ until he straightened it out and renamed it Amazon.
Mistakes are a part of life. We all make them, you aren’t plowing new ground. Is it possible that anyone else in your shoes would’ve made the same mistakes? Of course.
Too many of us are defined by the company we keep or the choices we made. Focus on what you can do in the future to improve yourself and don’t repeat the same mistakes again. Put your past where it belongs, behind you. Experiment a bit, discover new disciplines that bring energy and invigoration into your life. Embrace them.
Talk to someone you trust. Sometimes talking to a loyal and trustworthy friend is the best way to get rid of a grudge or dilemma.
I bet there are plenty of accomplishments in your life to feel good about. Start with about the people and things that inspire you. Be grateful for things that are comfortable and uncomplicated.
I ask my patients to consider why a windshield is so large and the rear-view mirror so small. Move forward. Be free to shape a better, brighter future.