FRIENDSHIP

Dr. Sue's CD "Keys of Love"Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, our own experience, and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

“A good friend is like a good bra – gives you support and makes you look good! A bad friend is like underwear that pinches when you get it home – you can’t get a refund and you can’t give it away – so take the loss and move on” – Dr. Sue

How to choose and be a friend – ask yourself a few questions and be honest

  • Does this person support me – does he/she have talents, knowledge, skills  (material support is one kind of help -there are many others – all of value) etc. that help me?
  • Does this person support me in being a better person – does being in this person’s company make me happier, kinder, more generous, more committed in working toward my goals, more confident…etc.?
  • Does this person show me appreciation-by words and/or deeds?
  • Do this person compliment me on my good qualities?
  • Does this person present me to others in a positive light?  Or does he/she put me down in front of others?
  • Does this person give me honest, caring feedback on how I am presenting myself?

Be a Good Friend – ask Yourself:

  • Do I support this person with my talents, knowledge, skills (material support is one kind of help -there are many others – all of value) etc.?
  • Do I support this friend in becoming a better person  – does being in my company make my friend happier, kinder, more generous, more committed in working toward goals, more confident…etc.?
  • Do I show my friend appreciation -by words and/or deeds?
  • Do I compliment my friend on his/her good qualities?
  • Do I present my friend to others in a positive light?  Do I put my friend down in front of others?
  • Do I give my friend honest, caring feedback on how he/she is presenting myself – when asked or when it seems to get in the way of my friend’s happiness and goals?
  • Giving advice and feedback can be tricky. I try to do it only when asked – and to relate my feedback to the goals and needs of the person asking.

Be Your Own Best Friend

  • Treat your time, feelings, talents, knowledge, skills, and body as if they have real value – because they do!
  • Set Limits. Being a friend does not mean that you say “yes” to everything. Sometimes you need to protect your time, privacy, or personal space by saying “no”. Try to do it in a way that is courteous and clear. This can be a challenge, so get help if you need it.

Be a good friend to your romantic partner

  • We sometimes put friends and romantic partners in different categories. While it’s true that being a good friend doesn’t necessarily make sparks fly, being a bad friend will put the fire out. To sustain your relationship, be a good friend.

Be a friend to different people on different levels

  • Co-workers, classmates, neighbors, people you meet on line and online – they’re all part of a vast social network – so be friendly – you’ll brighten everyone’s day.

None of us are perfect friends – but we can work on perfecting our friendships.

If you have questions about friendship (or any relationship that has a friendship aspect) please post your response below. I’ll do my best to answer it.

Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue

Happiness Buddies

I got this tip from the locker room attendant at the gym where I do my morning exercise. As I stopped to sip some water, she said, “You look like you had a good workout.”  I nodded and asked, “Can you tell?”  She nodded and said, “I feel like I need a buddy to motivate myself to exercise.”  I agreed that it helped.  In fact, one of the things that motivates me to get to the gym is the thought that I will run into  activities buddies- a female accountant who likes to swim – and a good-natured, strong-looking maintenance worker. I never see him actually exercise – mainly, he’s eating doughnuts and drinking coffee – but he does cheer me on. (He also told me he shoots hoops, but I told him he better exercise or he will get weaker, and I (all of 5′ 2″) will get stronger and beat him at basketball!

Anyway…we can create Happiness Buddies – in life or online and check in with each other on how we are learning and applying Happiness Habits to our lives. It will motivate us to think and act in a positive way, and enhance connections to others – essential to happiness.

By the way, I did not really feel like exercising this morning – but it is a Happiness Habit – so I did it anyway.

My body thanks me and so will yours – I mean your body will thank you – didn’t mean to get personal 🙂

Let me know if  you find a Happiness Buddy- and post your responses below.

Happiness Habits

  • Motivate yourself  and a friend. Be “Happiness Buddies”
  • Learn from everyone
  • Exercise regularly – it benefits your body, mind, and mood
  • Be friendly – you will brighten your day, make connections, and learn new things
  • “No matter what the music, learn how to dance”

    Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue

    Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter CD “Keys of Love” (www.cdbaby.com/drsue), Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Ellen DeGeneres, etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry), Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF (https://drsue3.wordpress.com)

    copyright 2010 Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Dr. Sue's CD "Keys of Love"Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts – and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how and practice. Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Conflict seems to be part of nature and human life. Animals fight over turf and access to desirable mates. So do people. We fight for territory, mates, survival, dominance, and a host of other complex issues. Some disagreement seems to be inevitable, but how much we fight, how we fight, and how we resolve conflict have a major impact on our relationships, health, success, and happiness.

If, like myself, you’re interested in living a happy, successful life with minimum conflict, here are a few suggestions.

Prevention is easier than cure – to avoid conflict and stress –

  • Be slow to accuse. Allow for  misunderstanding, your own errors, and good intentions. Ask for clarification.
  • Phrase things in neutral ways. Saying that something is missing is less confrontational than accusing someone of taking it.  Saying you don’t understand the discrepancy between a C- exam and a A paper and asking for an explanation is less confrontational than accusing someone of plagiarism. (They can still redo the paper).
  • Avoid disrespectful, hurtful language. Words and phrases like “Shut up! ”  “Stupid!” curse words, ethnic/religious slurs, sexual slurs (like “slut” ), homophobic remarks, etc. escalate conflict and create bad feelings.
  • Cooperate with a reasonable request: Don’t defend or justify. Just do it.
  • Rudeness does not require a counter-attack. Try to set limits without escalating.
  • Useful phrases: “What do you think?” “How do you feel about…?” “I’m sorry.”

If you are already in a conflict situation, here are a few suggestions.

  • Vent safely: write it out, talk to someone you know you can trust – preferably not in your office or connected to the person you’re in conflict with.  If you’re a celebrity, be very careful about this.
  • Vent physically: Exhale sharply several times.  Then breathe deeply and slowly. Exercise. Walk around the block.
  • Do a CPA: How did I Create, Promote, or Allow this situation to occur.  Even if we think  the other person is 99% in the wrong, there is still that annoying 1%  🙂
  • Speak to the person in private or over the phone when it’s convenient – public accusations tend to escalate into fights.  Ask if this is a good time to talk.
  • Write a letter or Email – revise several times until you can do it without accusing. Writing gives you a chance to control your communication and keeps you at a distance. In-person communication is what you ultimately need for intimates – even if you email first.
  • Try to include at least some of the following in your communication.
  • Compliments – is there anything you like or admire about the person? Say it.
  • State the facts and state your feelings Keep your dignity. There’s no need to put up with disrespect or to lie – and no need to make negative generalizations about the other person’s character.
  • Make the other person at least partly right: A lot of conflict is about being right, so tell the other person where they are right and what you learned from them. Empathize with their situation.
  • Look for ways to agree /look for common goals and values. Don’t pretend to agree where you do not or promise to change behavior that you have no intention of changing – just focus on what you have in common.
  • Apologize where appropriate and where you can be truthful.  You can be sorry that you offended them  – even if it was unintentional.
  • Wish them well. Why not ? It costs you nothing, and makes you feel gracious.

If the other person continues to fight, you don’t have to. Stop emailing, get off the phone, walk away.  Give everybody a chance to cool off.

Ask yourself: is this really worth fighting for?

If the answer is yes – then go for it!  Don’t give up your own dreams or dignity to avoid conflict.  Conflict is not always bad – sometimes it’s the price we pay to live a full life.

But if, in the grand scheme of things – and your life – it’s not really that important, ask yourself – would I rather be right or be happy? If you would rather be happy, then let it go- and enjoy your life!

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT(Cell Phones/Interactive Learning)

Dr. Sue's CD "Keys of Love"Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. This blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, our own experience, and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Cell Phones

I don’t like cellphones to interfere with the lesson – or my happiness – so I don’t allow them int the classroom – but I don’t like to be a grouch about it.   I teach college so many of my students are adults – which allows for both discipline and banter.   During my last class, a young man was doing his presentation in front of the class when his cell phone went off – twice!  I asked him for the phone, and he gave it to me.  It rang again! I opened the phone and cooed sweetly into it, “Helloooo…”

It turned out there was no one on the phone  – so no trouble for anyone…and no more cell phones rang in that particular class. However, nothing changes overnight…

A few classes later, his cell phone ring again. It turned out he had plugged it into the wall socket to charge, but forgot to turn it off.  He fumbled with the phone, got up to give his presentation to the class – and it rang!  I took the phone away from him and saw there was  message from “Julie.”  As he started his presentation, it rang again!  A new name came up: “Theresa.”   I told him I would hold onto the phone – I was dying to talk to Julie and Theresa!   The student did his presentation – quite well as it turned out.  At the end of class, I gave the phone back but told him to turn it off – unless he wants me to have a chat with Julie and Theresa. His cell phone doesn’t ring anymore – at least not in my class.

I don’t think what I did with the cell phone is taught in an education course. In fact, it might get some teachers in trouble.  Teaching is a communication/art form and depends on personality, rapport, etc. Education takes place in subtle ways. I hope that I taught my students that there are ways to set limits and rules (like no cell phones) without confrontation, anger, or humiliation in a spirit of common educational goals and fun!

Interactive Learning

  • Students Participation is key to learning – they stay alert, learn better with less stress and more enjoyment
  • Find out what they already know and teach them something new
  • Give them a way to review what they know and ask questions to clear up confusion

Here a proven technique  to encourage student participation…

  • Write all the terms students need to know on the blackboard, flip chart, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Ask students to pick out terms they know and define them.  When there is a satisfactory definition, check off the term. Since it is voluntary, no one is embarrassed. If there is confusion, you can correct it on the spot. If there is a term they don’t know, you can teach it with examples. By the end of the class, you have checked off all the terms. They can measure what they have learned and so can you!  More techniques to follow in other blog posts…

Happiness Habits

  • Pay by the rules (no cell phones) …and don’t forget to play!
  • Use Teaching Techniques that are interactive, encourage students to participate and allow shine, and have measurable results
  • Review and check what they already know – and teach them something new.

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”
copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)

CLEAN UP CLUTTER: (Ellen Degeneris/Trash into Treasure)

Trash into Treasure?

@howtobehappyif “What you keep in your drawers can keep you!” Dr. Sue

Happiness Habit: Clean Up Clutter- Trash into Treasure

On Ellen Degeneres’ TV show, I hear her talking about “hoarding – a debilitating, embarrassing mental health disorder for 3 to 6 million people.”
Whoa! That’s a lot of people!

I start to wonder. Am I a hoarder? How can I tell? I have to admit my drawers are a little cluttered. I decide to look through my underwear drawer. Hmm. My oldest item is 2,000 years old!

I’m not kidding. My dad, who collected antiques from the Holy Land, left me an ancient glass vase. I love my little vase – its metallic, corroded green color, with just a touch of  encrusted, holy dirt. I certainly don’t want to mess it up by using for daisies. So I do the sensible thing – put it in a plastic bag and stick it underneath my bikini panties with the stretched out elastic. I know that someday I am going to fit back into the panties – just like someday I am going to find a wonderful place to display the glass vase. (Maybe on a shelf in my bookcase after I clear out the books, magazines, newspapers…this is embarrassing!)

What about the drawer under that? Hmm. Old name tags, campaign buttons, ribbons and scrunchies (my hair is too short for either). Should I clean up the clutter? Do I have enough time? While I’m thinking it over, I decide to read The New York Times .

There’s an article about gold being at an all time high. Whoa!  Under that mess, there’s some old jewelry that I always mean to wear, but never do (wrong color, broken clasp, missing earring etc.).  Didn’t I meet a lady at a party a year ago who owns a store where they buy, sell, and pawn jewelry?  There it is: GEM Financial Services, Inc., Brooklyn.

I may not be good at cleaning up clutter. However, I do like to make easy money, and I am good at deadlines. I make an appointment for 4pm and start searching feverishly for my ring.  I love my beautiful, old ring …but I never wear it  because the setting sticks up and catches on everything – which irritates me (irritation is not a happiness habit).  Use it or lose it!   Bye-bye ring.

I find the ring, plus $100 in cash and travelers checks, and the pearls with the broken clasp that I got for my bat mitzvah. That means I got them when I was thirteen years old.  (How long ago is that, anyway?  I could subtract thirteen from my current age …forget it! I don’t do subtraction – or addition – unlike you Nosy Parkers at school reunions who read my graduation year on my name tag and do the math  in your heads.  Like my old jewelry, I’m still a pearl of a girl – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

Anyway, I cart my old jewelry off to Brooklyn to have it appraised, fixed, and/or discarded.  The jewelry nets me$216 in cash, minus $16 to have my pearls re-strung.  Plus, I can now wear my beautiful ring – Eileen Kaminsky, the owner – a gem of a friend – asks her jeweler to fix it for free!

What about my 2000 year old glass vase? It is currently decorating my desk by my computer as  I Tweet, Facebook and Blog about clutter. Everything old is new again!

Happiness Habits:

  • Clean up clutter!  The enemy is procrastination – give yourself a deadline and a reward!
  • Turn trash into treasure – you might find money, jewelry, or antiques you can sell (Antique Road Show, anyone?)
  • Clutter management is time management – you don’t waste time and energy looking  for stuff
  • Less is More: Eliminating stuff you don’t use means access to stuff you do use!
  • Accomplishing a task is an antidote to depression and a Happiness Habit

So what are you waiting for? Clean up your clutter and send it to me (I have empty drawers that could use it) Just kidding! lol!

Please post your comments below – or ask questions.

How does clutter show up in your life?

Are you hanging onto stuff that doesn’t work for you?

Old clothes? Old objects? Old relationships? Old ways of thinking or behaving?

Let’s clean up the clutter and move on to a beautiful, happy life!

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”

Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue

Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter CD “Keys of Love” (www.cdbaby.com/drsue), Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.), “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF (https://drsue3.wordpress.com)

copyright 2010 Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz

KIRSTIE ALLEY (“My Big Life:) / OPRAH WINFREY

Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, our own experience, and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

KIRSTIE ALLEY (“My Big Life:) / OPRAH WINFREY

As a blizzard blankets New York, I think about layers of meaning for the word “snow job” Besides the flakes of white stuff whirling past my window and providing employment for street cleaners, “snow job” reminds me of the blather of celebs hawking their latest products and shows. To wit – yesterday on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, Kirstie Alley – who is mainly famous for being fat – was spokesmodeling her personal weight-loss system. This system includes chicken wings with skin (where the fat is) and a green drink.

Immediately after these revelations, we broke for an infomercial, where experts informed us that obesity leads to diabetes, heart disease, and other revolting developments.  Who am I to believe? The medical experts – or celeb spokesmodels like Ms. Alley?

Ms. Alley also has a new TV reality show “My Big Life”, where, as a dateless single mom,  she raises kids, looks for a man,  and gives diet and decorating advice – like how to decorate a bedroom for romance.

Whoa! Talk about multi-tasking!  And what does this say about pop culture and celebrities?

Is celebrity itself a qualification?  Does Ms. Alley’s career as a sitcom star and former spokesmodel for a weight loss product (Jenny Craig) provide the credentials to tell people how to lose weight and gain romance?  Does her life in a romantic desert (with dessert) qualify her to advise the public?  I guess so – at least if you want to take the advice.

I know this blog post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but, staying on focus with my theme “How To Be Happy If…” here goes –

Happiness Habits

  • Do what you love  (in this case, watching talk shows)
  • Make room for the occasional treat – like dishing celebs and pop culture
  • Learn from everyone – I have to admire Kirstie’s spunk and the way she makes the most of what she’s got

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”
copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)

HOW TO BE HAPPY IF…It’s Storming (The Wizard of Blizzard)

Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts – and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how and practice. Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

How to Be Happy If It’s Storming (The Wizard of Blizzard)

Starting a blog about happiness on a day of spectacularly “bad” weather seems both ironic and appropriate – since I believe that happiness is an inside job. Of course, it sometimes seems to take “magical” thinking to transform the negative into positive. That’s why I call it “The Wizard of Blizzard.”  Like any magic trick, we get better with practice – so I decided to practice on the weather – and on my students.

When I walked into my classroom, one of my students looked at the snow swirling outside the window, made a sour face and said, “Look at that disgusting weather!”   I said, “Nice to be inside!” The students had to agree – it was!

Then I told them a story about two friends of mine who sent me Emails comparing their sunny, warm weather to my snowstorms. I Emailed them back – “Cold outside – warm inside!”  (I guess my friends got their happiness from a touch of schadenfreud – the German word for delight in the pain of others.)

One of my students said that when she goes on vacation, she sends her friends postcards comparing her fabulous, sunny weather with the cold back home.  I said, “Well if that makes you happy, I’m happy.”

Now, I don’t actually write my friends about how my vacation weather is superior to the cold back home – I figure they don’t want to hear it.  But I do like to think about it – so, while it’s not nice to admit, maybe I have a touch of schadenfreud too!

I think that a positive attitude takes practice – if we practice on little things like the weather, we’ll have the mental muscle for bigger things.  Also, I don’t believe in denial – the weather is cold and snowy – but we can decide where to focus – on the cold weather – or on our good fortune in being inside, having warm winter coats, gloves, hoods, hats, earmuffs, boots, etc.

Anyway, I came home to a warm cup of spiced tea and smooth jazz while the blizzard roared outside.

As the song goes: “The weather outside is frightful, but in here it’s so delightful…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”

Happiness Habits

  • Remind yourself that happiness is an inside job – you can’t change the weather – you can change how you feel about it
  • Shift focus – denial doesn’t work – but you can shift focus from what you don’t like to what’s positive in your situation
  • Practice an attitude of gratitude – warm clothes, warm home, warm tea – not bad in a blizzard!

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance”

Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue

Web: http://www.drsue.com 

Keys of Love” –  positive songs on CD Baby – http://www.cdbaby.com/drsue

copyright 2010 Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz