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  • Loyalty is Overrated

    Ask a hundred people on the street what character values they admire most, and almost all of them will eventually say “loyalty.” It is universally praised as a most likable trait.
    I, however, find loyalty to be overrated, as we typically understand it. Overrated and misguided.

  • The first step in helping others

    When someone asks for your guidance, what’s your best first step? When someone makes an emotional comment that says more about themselves than they realize, what do they need most from you?

  • Wow, What a Response!

    Well folks, it looks like we’ve got quite a few marriage gurus out there in ScreamFree land! In response to yesterday’s Daily Pause, in which I asked you guys to consider how you might respond to a man demanding  his fiancé never change after they got married, you guys blew me away with the number, and quality, of your replies.

  • Stop caring so little about your looks

    One of the “joys” of having teenagers is listening to them make fun of your little quirks and idiosyncrasies.
    Two of mine that get highlighted regularly are 1) I’m terrible at imitating accents (everything ends up sounding Jamaican somehow); and 2) I apparently have RJF (resting jerk face).

  • Stop talking about your problems

    We see it everyday:

    –people on their cell phones, talking animatedly about what another person did to them, and what they told them (or wished they had told them) in reply

  • Would you rather be unhappy, or uncomfortable?

    One of the most difficult things about being a professional helper is watching people choose unhappy over uncomfortable. Rather than choose to take a new, albeit uncomfortable step, they choose to sit back into their familiar unhappiness.

  • The Only Way Forward

    “What if my son hadn’t tried drugs?” But he did.

    “What if my wife had more respect for me?” But she doesn’t.

    “What if my boss didn’t freak out so much?” But he does.

  • Don’t Be So Nice

    Those who know me personally know that I’m not really big on “nice.” I don’t really strive to be “nice,” I don’t really trust people who are always “nice,” and one of my favorite parenting books is The Danger of Raising Nice Kids by Timothy Smith. Now, all this is not because I prefer the opposite of nice; I don’t ever want to come across as mean or cruel or cold (well, almost never). But I also don’t ever want to be seen as so sweet or pleasant or “agreeable” that I really have nothing substantive to offer. Especially in my marriage