Being True To Yourself

Are you true to yourself? Think about it? Do you hang with other people just to get their approval? For many of us this can fall into several categories.

Let’s break it down:

  • Work: many of us are at a job we don’t like. Fortunately, I enjoy training people and watching them change, motivating them to be their best. This is my raw talent. What is your raw talent & are you using it? If so, does it bring you joy? Follow what feeds your spirit and soul and the money will come. You’ve only got one life.
  • Love I cannot tell you how many people are in relationships that they should not be just because they want the other person’s approval. I am guilty of this as well. It is normal to want approval but to love the other person more than you love yourself and abandon yourself and your values is unhealthy? Are you true to yourself in your relationship or just a puppet?
  • Your Friends My father once said to me when I was in preschool “You will only have a few people in life you can call true friends.” How true it is. Are your friends your real friends or just mannequins standing still who seem to care but don’t and you just hang around them to impress them? Real friends give you good solid advice and don’t co-sign your lies, they help you be real and are understanding and there for you. They are not takers.

It can be scary to follow your dreams. Failure is certain as you will stumble along the way but the payoff is HUGE. And when you are true to yourself and express how you really feel, it can be scary. This brings you true peace and fear as when you tell someone what you really feel.

In both cases you face rejection and in both cases you face pain but it will all make you stronger as you (I hope you do) learn from your valleys for at the top of the mountain, you are closer to being to the peak of Being True to Yourself.

Questions: Why am I in a job I don’t like & not using my raw talent? Why am I not speaking up with my partner? And why do I not tell my friends (or hang with them) how I really feel?

By #hughesorlose



Family isn’t always blood. They’re the people in your life who appreciate having you in theirs – the ones who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways, and who not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be. These people – your real family – are the ones who truly matter.
Here are twenty tips to help you find and foster these special relationships.


Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.


The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need. When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave. The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great people you can count on. We rarely lose friends and lovers, we just gradually figure out who our real ones are. So when people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you. It doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means that their part in your story is over.


When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone hasgone through something that has changed them, and forced them to grow. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours. We meet no ordinary people in our lives. If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer. So appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.


Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother. People will notice your kindness.


In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try. So save yourself from needless stress. Instead of trying to change others, give them your support and lead by example.


Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.


In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self. And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same. Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress. Be your imperfectly perfect self around them. We are not perfect for everyone, we are only perfect for those select few people that really take the time to get to know us and love us for who we really are. And to those select few, being our imperfectly perfect self is what they love about us.


Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life. Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.


Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.


As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. Remember, life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up really late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your real friends in life. They are the ones who matter most.


True love and real friendship aren’t about being inseparable. These relationships are about two people being true to each other even when they are separated. When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option, but a priority. Loyalty is everything.


In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart. So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words. Stay in touch with those who matter to you. Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of. Paying attention to these people is a priority.


If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE! If you say you feel something, MEAN IT! If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE. It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies. Remember, love and friendship don’t hurt. Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts. Never mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours. Always be open and honest.


Don’t expect what you are not willing to give. Start practicing the golden rule. If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want money, provide value. It works. It really is this simple.


Give the people in your life the information they need, rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. Information is the grease that keeps the engine of communication functioning. Start communicating clearly. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours. Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationships, start with bad communication.


Do not judge others by your own past. They are living a different life than you are. What might be good for one person may not be good for another. What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better. Allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.


Less advice is often the best advice. People don’t need lots of advice, they need a listening ear and some positive reinforcement. What they want to know is often already somewhere inside of them. They just need time to think, be and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help them find their direction.


Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right. There are many roads to what’s right. And most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much.


No one has the right to judge you. They might have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently. So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right. What most people think and say about you isn’t all that important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.


One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving others too much, and forgetting that you are special too. When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters? When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there? When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?


Are You Narracsist?

A couple of years ago my therapist confronted me and told me I was a narcissist and then my ex-girlfriend said the same thing!

At first I took it personally. I didn’t even really know what a narcissist was. Then I decided after being honest with myself that they were both right.

I decided in my heart I wanted to change myself to strengthen my relationship others and improve myself.

It’s not easy but it sure is possible! You can change your behavior.

Are you? Take the quiz below and HUGHES IT OR LOSE IT?

Are You a Narcissist? 6 Sure Signs of Narcissism

How about you? Are you someone that your guy friends, girl friends or spouse like and yet often also find demoralizing to be with when serious issues come up? Do people tell you that you seem to take up all the space in the room because conversations with you so frequently take an “it’ all about me” turn? When others express feelings and concerns, is your reaction “Well what about me?” Do you monologue or pontificate instead of sharing equal air time?

To identify narcissism a good place to start is with clarity about what healthy functioning look like.

You can most quickly tell narcissism by how well a person listens. Someone who is all talk with very little interest in what others say is generally a pretty high likelihood of scoring high on the following narcissism checklist.

Someone who disparages what you say instead of finding what makes sense about it, or who ignores what you say altogether, is likely to be functioning narcissistically.
Not listening leads to showing minimal responsivity to others’ concerns. The bottom line is that healthy folks in healthy relationships are able to sustain both responsivity to their own concerns and responsivity to others’. They are able to be self-centered in the best sense (taking care of themselves), and also altrusistic (taking heed of others’ desires).

I call the ability to hear both oneself and others “bilateral” or 2-sided listening.

When differences arise, folks who do bilateral listening are pros at taking into consideration both their concerns and others’. This bilateral listening ability enables them to routinely seek and create win-win solutions, which in turn sustains their relationships with on-going goodwill.

For instance, if you are tired, you would listen to that feeling and head for bed. At the same time if you have just received a call from a friend who has a problem and urgently wants to talk with you, you might suggest that the two of you talk for a few minutes now, and aim to talk more at length in the morning. That could be a win-win solution.

By contrast, if you function narcissistically you might respond with an immediate”No. I’m too tired,” to your friend’s request. Or with a more gentle, “Yes I hear that you want to talk but I’m just too tired. In the latter case you seemed to be hearing your friend’s request, and then your but minimized, dismissed and discarded the data about the friend’s need.

Similarly, if your friend is a narcissist, the fact that you are tired would slide by him/her. Talking together now would be the only option. ‘It’s all about me’ would prevail, with anger at you if you were to refrain from complying.

Narcissistic folks often are very generous. They may, for instance, give away large sums of money to charity. Generous giving makes the giver feel good and also feels appropriate, like “the right” thing to do. At the same time, in a situation in which someone who tends toward narcissism wants something, and that desire is in conflict with what someone else wants, that’s when the selfish side takes over.


Expanding on this core definition of narcissistic functioing as a difficulty in listening, here’s six signs for sizing up narcissism. Score each dimension from 0 to 10. Zero is not at all. Ten is all the time.

First assess yourself. Then circle back to score someone in your life who is difficult to deal with.

The goal: See your and others’ patterns clearly. Clarity is a strong first step toward being able to make changes for the better.

Sign #1: Unilateral listening.

What what I want and what I have to say are all that matters when we talk together. When we make decisions, what you want, your concerns, your feelings..these are mere whispers, inconveniences and irrelevancies. When we discuss issues, my opinions are right. Yours are wrong or else of minimal importance. If you expect to have input, you are undermining me.

Narcissistic listening focuses on how to dismiss, negate, ignore, minimize, denigrate or otherwise render irrelevant other people’s concerns.

One sign of narcissistic non-listening: a tone of contempt instead of interest. Another: frequent responses that begin with “But….”, which is linguistically a backspace-delete key.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SIgn #2 It’s all about me.

I know more, I know better, I’m more interesting, When we talk, it’s mostly about me. In conversations, I take up most of the air time. Almost all of my chatter is about what I have done, what I am thinking about.

If you begin to talk about yourself, I link back to something in my life so that the focus of the discussion again turns onto me. Maybe that’s why people say I suck up all the air in a room.

When I want something, I need to have it. Never mind how you feel about it; it’s all about me. I’m big and important and you are merely also here, mostly to do things for me, like a third arm.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Sign #3: The rules don’t apply to me.

I can have affairs, cut into a line where others are waiting, cheat on my taxes, and ignore rules that get in the way of my doing what I want.. Rules are for other people to follow.

Narcissists suffer from what I call Tall Man Syndrome. They experience themselves as above others, so the rules don’t apply to them.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Sign #4: Your concerns are really criticisms of me, and I hate being criticized.

If you insist on my listening and taking your concerns seriously I’m likely to get mad. Criticism hurts. I can criticize others, and often do, but if you criticize me you’re hurting my feelings so I’ll hurt you back. And if you say you are at all unhappy, that’s a way of indirectly criticizing me. Since “it’s all about me” your feelings must be about what I have been doing.

Narcissists paradoxically manifest both an inflated idea of their own importance and quickness to feel deflated by negative feedback.

In addition, because they think everything is about them, they hear others’ attempts to talk about personal feelings as veiled criticisms of themselves.

The clinical term for taking others’ concerns as personal criticism is personalizing. E.g., If she says “I’m feeling lonely,” her narcissistic friend will hear the self-statement as an acusation, “You don’t spend enough time with me.”

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Sign #5: When things go wrong between us, it’s always your fault.

I can’t be expected to apologize or to admit blame. I’m above others and above reproach. You shouldn’t have… . Don’t threaten me with expecting me to say how I’ve contributed to a problem or I’ll get mad at you.

Unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes goes hand-in-hand with quickness to blame. This trait may come from confusing the part with the whole. “If I’ve done one thing that’s not right, then I must be all bad.” That’s also all-or-nothing thinking.

Whatever the source of the sensitivity to criticism and difficulty admitting mistakes, the upshot is a tendency to blame others when anything has gone wrong. Blaming and fault-finding in others feel safer to narcissists than looking to discover, learn and grow from their own part in difficulties.

While narcissists are quick to blame, they may be slow to appreciate. Appreciation and gratitude require listening.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Sign #6: If I’m angry, it’s your fault.

You made me mad. You didn’t listen to me. You criticized me. You’re trying to control me. Your view is wrong. So you need to apologize, not me.

I’m not responsible either for my anger. If I’m mad, it’s because I’m frustrated by what you are doing. My anger is your fault. I’m only made because you … ”

Some narcissists show major charm and social agility. At the same time, these seemintly super-confident folks also can be quick to anger. When they do become inflamed, they then immediately blame their anger on others.

What are typical anger triggers for people with narcissistic tendencies?

Critical comments will do it. As I said above, as much as narcissisitc folks see themselves as special, they also can be remarkably thin-skinned. Any feedback that punctures their belief in total specialness can feel quite threatening. The immediate response will be to issue blame.

Telling anyone what to do, or sounding even somewhat like you are telling them what to do, also is likely to provoke irritation. Pretty much everyone prefers autonomy (unless the two people have an agreed-upon boss-worker or similar relationship). Narcissists however tend to be hyper-sensitive about feeling controlled. Any request therefore to a narcissist is at risk for sounding to them like a demand and therefore triggering irritation.

Asking someone who is narcissistic to do something your way rather than theirs is particularly likely to sound to them like you are telling them what to do. Their anger in response, of course, is your fault.

Score: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TOTAL SCORE: ___ What does this score indicate?

The interpretations below are based on my clinical hunches, not any scientific testing. They’re meant just to give you a general indicate of what your quiz suggests.

Scores that total 5-10 probably indicate normal human fallibilities with room for improvement. No one is perfect. If you think you are perfect, and scored therefore below 5, you might check again. Be sure your scores do not indicate a narcissism of excessive belief that you are perfect, another potential sign of narcissism

Too much narcissism in your habits would be indicated by a total score of 10 to 30. Pay attention to your “narcissism lite” and you may fairly easily be able to lower that score considerably.

A total score of 30 or higher spells significant narcissistic habits that probably do not serve you well. Time to make some serious habit changes!

40 to 60 would indicate to me severe problems with narcissism. With this understanding of why your relationships become distressed, hopefully you will commit yourself to some serious personal growth.

Again, note that these score interpretations are based on hunches, not an experimentally validated scoring system. They are meant as a personal heads-up, not a clinical diagnosis.

What are your options if you are uncomfortable with the score?

The bottom line is that “narcissism” is basically habit-patterns, and habits can be changed. Awareness of your narcissistic tendencies is a strong first step that can empower you to notice and fix slippages.

You also might want to check out my blogpost on overcoming narcissism and borderline personality habits.

What if you are using this checklist to score someone else?

If someone you interact with regularly shows narcissistic patterns, it’s not up to you to change them. Better for you to focus on how you yourself can change the dance you do with that person.

For instance, you can choose that you will no longer let yourself be intimidated or controlled by fear of anger. Just gracefully leave the situation for a cool down period (“I need to get a drink of water.”), and then return for a calmer second-go at the conversation.

When you have something important to communicate with a narcissistic loved one, what can help? Be sure to follow the rule of talking about yourself, not about the other person. See my post on 6 sentence starters for sensitive discussions for illustrations of how to follow this rule to more effectively be past the deafness wall.

Having trouble getting your views heard? You can choose to speak up a second or third time about your concerns to increase the odds that your concerns or viewpoint will eventually get heard.

You can ask, after sharing a concern, “So what made sense to you in what I said?”

You can digest aloud what makes sense in what your partner said, and then make a second attempt to say your viewpoint. Once your partner feels heard, the odds go up that he or she will mirror your good hearing habits.

And becoming a master at win-win problem-solving can put you in a leadership role for situations in which you need to make a decision together so that your eventual plan of action heeds both of your concerns. This earlier post on win-win decision-making may help so that your partner feels that s/he has gotten what s/he wants even though your concerns also have been responded to in your plan of action.

Almost everyone tends to behave less narcissistically when they are happy. Most of us tend to become increasingly narcissistic as anxieties prime the pump of anger.

Anger promotes the sense that “What I want is holy, and what you want is irrelevant.” That’s why it’s so vital that in important conversations you stay calm. Talking about sensitive issues in calm good-humored ways without arguing has the highest odds of leading to mutual understandings instead of the narcissism trap.

The bottom line? For a happier life and more gratifing relationships, especially if your scores indicated some narcissistic tendencies, tame these trends with better skills. Noarcissim is not like height or eye color. It’s a behavior problem. Upgrading your listening and shared-decision-making skills can make a huge difference!


Susan Heitler, PhD, is a Denver clinical psychologist specializes in treatment of relationship difficulties, anger, narcissism and bpd. Her book The Power of Two and interactive website, (which is for singles also) teach the skills for relationship success.

How To Win Friends and Influence People

YIP Day 305 - Dale Carnegie
Image by Auntie P via Flickr

The founder of the company I work for wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People and is one of the first bestselling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1937, it has sold 15 million copies globally.

Ask me how I can help change your business today and check out this incredible book.

-Peace, Frazier


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