Tag Archives: bullying

Social media detoxing – all you need is love

Tonight while binge watching season two of Sex and the City, I hopped onto Facebook to see what was happening. Someone from my old office made the announcement that she was leaving the site to focus on her family. And while the thought of not seeing her adorable baby photos, I have to admit – I totally understand the decision. I sent her a private message and wished her well – encouraging her to continue posting baby photos on Instagram.

Some of my favorite people in the world don’t use social media at all. Like Keanu Reeves. It may be why I like him so much. There’s a bit of a mystery to him.

People ask me all the time how I can stand to be on Facebook with all the politics and the drama as of late. To be completely honest, the answer is simple. I just ignore it. It’s that easy.

The only reason I still use Facebook is to keep in touch with friends and family that I don’t see often in person. Like my cousins in Denmark and older friends who are afraid to go out while the beer bug is still happening around the globe.

I have a love-loathe-hate relationship with Facebook. I love it for the marketplace as I often check to see what kind of home rentals are on the market. I also picked up my last piano from there. But every third post is an advertisement of something I was thinking of buying and it feels so intrusive.

When it comes to Facebook games and apps – I just don’t use them. And as for anyone posting extreme political views (as in overly aggressive, threatening or hate remarks) – I just unfriend them or unfollow them and limit my interaction with them.

There are those friends that you can have a serious and intellectual discussion with while respecting each other’s viewpoints. And then there are those who are toxic influences who want nothing more than to tell you that you are a horrible and bigoted person for your beliefs.

Like recently someone asked me if I had canceled my Netflix account yet and I said… to their dismay: Hell no. Why would I? This time next week the cancel culture will forget why they even canceled their accounts and will move onto something else.

Social Media Detox

When I left my job to go on health leave, I removed all of my colleagues from my friend’s list and took a long break from posting or interacting with people. It felt good. It helped me heal from the anxiety from being ill, and it kind of served as a proverbial “detoxing” of my life.

I removed all those people who no longer served a purpose in my life. Anyone who caused unnecessary stress or drama – instantly removed. And it was a HUGE relief.

Over time, I slowly started adding those people I could trust and my friend Jo was one of them. The list of trusted colleagues is very small. But I can openly discuss this now — but that’s a story for another day. I’m “in between jobs” at the moment.

When it comes to social media, I think we all spend a little too much time online. If it weren’t for this blog and my music, I probably wouldn’t use social media as much as I do. Twitter is a disgusting and vile place to be sometimes with today’s cancel culture. But at the same time, I’ve met some pretty awesome local artists that I have a lot in common with. It’s fun to share stories of our city and experiences. I also get a lot of my news from Twitter.

Instagram is a place where I share pictures of food and the occasional selfie. Those are rare these days as there’s nothing exciting going on at home. I use Instagram mainly to stalk my favorite musicians and celebrities. I unfollow anyone who is overly political or that I don’t see eye to eye with. Why? It’s just less drama.

Plus…. I love these videos and collaborations with Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds. Who wouldn’t? Both are absolute dreamboats.

Talk about things you love

Even when it comes to using sites like Reddit – I’ve learned to avoid politically charged discussions, sticking to my favorite television show subs like Sex and the City or Xfiles. I love giving advice to new cooks and discussing food, music and all the fun things in life.

And when it comes to WordPress, I’m a terrible reader. I mostly just stalk the website to see what my stats are for the day and compare to other days to see if I need to change up my posting schedule. Which I do often. Did you know Mondays are my most popular days? Well, you do know that now!

Youtube. What can I say about youtube. I love this site for learning new cooking skills, recipes and even technical stuff. I have a few channels I watch daily about celebrity or Hollywood gossip like the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard lawsuits.

Youtube is one of those places where you can easily get lost down the rabbit hole. You start off watching a vegetable casserole cooking video and five hours later find yourself watching an old interview with Joe Rogan and Elon Musk. Or you stumble across Ryan’s youtube channel and see him insulting Josh Brolin.

Don’t argue with the trolls – they want you to react.

Do I have a point with this post? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just rambling and sending thoughts out to the universe again.

I think people get too personal and too involved when it comes to politically charged discussions on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Even I’m at fault for letting trolls get the better of me from time to time.

It’s good every now and then to just remove yourself from the toxic environment. Take a break. Unfollow those who no longer serve a purpose in your life. Are you getting into daily arguments with someone you haven’t seen in twenty years and have no interest in meeting for coffee? Then let it go! Move on. Trust me. There are better things you can do be doing with your time.

Every now and then I go through my friend’s list and “purge” them. My Facebook friend’s list is at a whopping 120 friends. Instagram is even less at 102 friends. Youtube is at 60 on my music channel.

For me, it’s not a popularity contest. I don’t need thousands of friends online. I don’t need to spend my time arguing with people I’m never going to meet. And I don’t need to get into heated debates about something I have absolutely no control over like politics or taxes.

Moving On – Letting Go

What I will continue to do – is gush over adorable baby photos. Share some of my best creations in the kitchen and on the piano. And maybe leave the odd comment like “way to go” or “that’s awesome” to spread some positive vibes out into the universe.

Because at the end of the day – isn’t that what we all could use a little more of? A little love? A little positive reinforcement? A little encouragement? A little note saying, “hey, I know we haven’t seen each other in a while, but I’m thinking of you,” just to let that person know they mean something to you.

So, next time you find yourself arguing with a random person on the internet – take a step back. Take a break. Don’t let the internet or social media control your life. You’re better than that.

And if you need even more positive encouragement in this messed up world. Here’s a message from The Beatles.

If you enjoyed this little rant, then sign up for more! I rant about all kinds of things from love, relationships, sex, food and more!

The problem with 2020, is we all lack empathy for each other.

After hearing that a gamer took his own life today I’ve been lost in thought for most of the day thinking about empathy. I apologize for writing three posts today – I might schedule one for the weekend. But this upset me – I mean, really upset me.

I’m not a “real” gamer – but I have enjoyed playing games over the years. I got tired of Mincraft after a month, but then I hopped onto youtube last year and started watching popular gamers like Markiplier and GrayStillPlays.

It turns out – I was gaming all wrong. I had no idea the different things you could do in Minecraft alone.

Watching these gamers, has become a bit of a morning ritual for me. As I drink my first cup of coffee and eat my breakfast, these are the youtubers I start off my day with.

And even though I didn’t watch Reckful’s channel – I’m not into a lot of the games he played – I know the gaming community is hurting right now.

One thing I love about Marikplier is that he supports his other friends who are gamers. They all get together and do multi-player game streams together.

Mark gets a lot of shade thrown at him. I think it’s jealousy a lot of times. People are jealous of those who are successful and doing what they love to do.

I’ve never laughed harder than when the gang was playing Uno and Wade got so mad he broke his hand for real. It reminded me of playing the Atari with my brother back in the day.

He would get SO MAD when he lost games that he’d smash the controller into the floor. I have no idea how many controllers he actually went through.

I saw the news of Reckful’s death trending on twitter. I hopped onto Youtube to see if I could learn more. A lot of videos had already surfaced in tribute of the legendary Twitch streamer.

The sad thing is – and I talk about this topic a lot in this blog – he just did an interview three months ago on how he handles his depression. I guess he posted some pretty emotional videos lately to his fans. He’s been receiving a lot of hate comments, tweets and DM’s.

But the killer of this is – HE TWEETED up until two hours before his death.

Twitch streamer Byron 'Reckful' Bernstein 'dead by suicide' at 31 ...

Some are speculating that it was pressure on social media that contributed to his mental state. And as a fellow youtuber – I can tell you – the amount of hate out there on social media is disgusting.

It’s actually the reason I write this blog anonymously now. And why I don’t appear on camera for music.

I’m lucky – most of the people that come to my youtube channel are there for the music. All 49 subscribers. I get the odd spammer but for the most part – it’s chill.

I try to engage with other youtubers often and leave comments and likes to let them know that, “Yes, I appreciate their content and thank them for their videos.”

It’s real – you know. The empathy you can feel for someone you’ve never met. But if you watch them on camera almost every day for a couple of years – you FEEL like you know them.

Sympathy vs Empathy

What is empathy? People often mix up empathy with the word sympathy. Sympathy is to feel sorry for someone else.

“I’m sorry your mother died” – this is expressing sympathy.

Sympathy can be felt when a relationship ends, when a loved one dies, or even when you lose your job or something you think of as important.


Empathy on the other hand, is when you feel what the other person is feeling. I think the term Empath stemmed from an old Star Trek episode and that’s what I often use to describe myself.

Emphatic people are often sensitive to other energies around them. When there’s excitement in the room, they feed off that excitement and almost get this high – like an endorphin rush. I’ve had this many times – like every registration day when I worked at NorQuest College.

When there was tension in the office, I’d pick up on that too. I’d get headaches or this tight feeling in my stomach. I always knew when something big was going to happen – or when we were going to get some bad news.

The whispered conversations. The meetings behind closed doors. Those are all signs that something is up.

Feeling what others feel

When it came to my relationships, I would often pick up on my partner’s feelings before they even knew what was wrong. If they were mad, I knew and would pester them for answers until they finally blew up at me.

Sometimes being an empath – is a blessing, while other times it can be a curse. But mostly, it’s a curse. It’s why I’m a homebody. Noisy bars, large parties – I hate going to these places so much. I’d rather be alone in the comfort of my own home.

Empathy and world events

In times of great sadness, like when a Tsunami hit Japan in 2003, I was working a short job at an Engineering firm (very short like six weeks). I remember walking into that office with my heart heavy and I didn’t know why. When I read the news later on, a light bulb went off. Thousands and thousands of people died. The earth was hurting that day.

And I could almost feel their pain in the air. I can’t explain how it feels. I just knew something heavy happened before I even knew it happened.

When 911 happened, I was glued to my television and couldn’t shake myself out of that awful feeling. Same thing happened again just before COVID hit – I knew something was changing. I could feel this coming on for weeks ahead of time.

I said to say to Wally often, “I don’t like this. Something feels wrong,” I said and he’d shake his head at me.

Empathy as a warning signal

Years ago, back in 2000 I think, I attended Canada Day festivities with some friends at the government building. The park was overcrowded and people were starting to get rowdy as they were waiting for the fireworks. It was hot, sweltering hot.

My head started pounding. Tony, a good friend, reached for my hand and started using the pressure points technique on my hand which relieved the pain for a little bit. But then I started getting that gnawing pit in my stomach.

I looked around nervously.

“Tony, where’s Lisa?” I said. He shook his head.

“What’s wrong? he asked me.

“We need to get out of here – NOW,” I said.

“Why? Are you getting – wait, what the fuck?” he said and looked up.

We both looked up towards the steps of the Legislature building and there was a SWAT team – dressed in full SWAT gear with batons.

“Get Lisa, we need to go,” I said.

Tony nodded, and we met up with all our friends a few minutes later at the parking lot. We made it out just in time. I don’t think anything bad really happened – but the SWAT team had started making their way through the crowd. We left and went back to Lisa’s place for a couple of drinks.

Some people might tell me that this was my intuition warning me that something was happening. It could have been – but I think it was a combination of being an empath too.

The world lacks empathy

I blame the advancement of artificial intelligence and advanced technology for our lack of empathy in this technology fueled world. People, including me, are glued to their devices. They spend so much time on their phones that they ignore the world around them – and people too.

I’ve noticed this even at family events. All the teenagers and young adults will sit around a table and they are all glued to their phones. It’s like they don’t even know how to communicate with each other.

The art of communication is going out the window at the same time.

The more detached we become as humans, turning more towards artificial intelligence, we risk losing that thing that makes us human – empathy.

It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen and lash out at people you don’t know because you’re using a fake account or troll account. It’s easy to call each other names – because you think your actions have no consequences.

But let me tell you – all actions have consequences.

And we saw it today – with Reckful. A beloved gamer in the gaming community who took his own life. It’s too early to know the reasons behind why he did it – I can only speculate that social media play a big part.

The Outrage Culture

I’m glad that I grew up in a social media free world. I spend more time on Twitter blocking people. We’ve lost the ability to “agree to disagree”. People lash out because of difference of opinions. The cancel culture tries to cancel something different every day. It’s getting to the point where we won’t have any nice things in the world because everything good has been cancelled.

People are erasing history, renaming streets, because they don’t like what the names represent. People are banning books, movies, television shows and lord knows what else.

And maybe that’s why I get so angry sometimes – because as an emphatic person, picking up on other people’s emotions – I feel all that anger too.

And it makes me sad – and it’s exhausting. It exhausts you after a while.

No longer do we live in a world where people are proven guilty in the court of law. Entire careers are destroyed because of something that happened or was said – on social media.

This isn’t a “2020 sucks” posts — this is much more than that

I don’t have any parting words of wisdom today as I write this. My heart is heavy and it is full. We lost Carl Reiner yesterday and that story hurt my heart. We’ve lost Reckful today, and my heart hurts – and I didn’t even know him. But I hurt for the gaming community.

I hurt for all the things going on in the world today. The things we’ve lost due to the cancel culture. The things we’re going to lose as people continue to erase history.

And I hurt – for losing the opportunity to learn from these things. Mistakes make us human. We learn from them. We grow from them. It’s part of what being human is.

So, I guess I’ll end this by saying – next time you type angrily on your keyboard or phone – take a minute. Step back. Re-think your words. Are they hurtful? Could they drive someone to hurt themselves? How can you express your feelings without insulting the other person or putting them down?

I’m all for keyboard warriors – but please, do it with kindness.

And this isn’t a “2020 sucks so far” – this is me – a fellow empath – who is hurting for all these reasons today. And I just want to let you know that I’ll do my best to make the world a better place.

Watch with caution – there is a lot of swearing which doesn’t bother me. But this may trigger some emotions for those who have been bullied.

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Conflict Resolution: Dealing with difficult people (repost)

Fitness Challenge: Mental health is just as important as your physical health

Disclaimer: this post is not aimed at anyone in particular – just some things I learned in training over the years. I decided to re-post this as I’m searching for courses that I can take over the summer.

In continuing with my Fitness Challenge – Mental Health and Fitness theme – I decided today, to focus on how to deal with difficult situations and people. Most of you know by now that I work in an office type of job. And I have been in this line of work for nearly twenty years. In the past few years, I’ve really focused on building on my coaching skills and taking as much professional development as possible. I look for courses that can help build on personal skills that I can apply in daily life and at work. I’ll be going through some of my notes from my courses and sharing them with you. I also really hope next year when things are more settled – to take more professional courses like this.

Every time that I am faced with a challenging person or difficult scenario, I am reminded of some advice that a boss gave me to a few years ago. The advice was LIFE changing and I often apply it in my personal world. I hear her voice inside my head every day. It’s something that I will never forget.

How does this apply to mental health and general health you might be asking yourself? There is a method to my madness.

Dealing with stressful people and situations at the office can take its toll on your mental health. Dealing with other people’s quirks and unrealistic expectations can stress you out. I speak from real life experience. A lot of it.

While I’ve learned that this approach doesn’t necessarily work in all situations – I can’t tell how you much it has helped me when dealing with difficult people at work or in general. It has helped reduced some stresses in life that you just don’t need.

You can’t change who people are – but you can change how you REACT to them.

Image result for pulled in all directions

How is an employee expected to meet expectations when the employer can’t make up their mind on what those expectations are? 

There was one particular afternoon  a few years back – I was having a really bad day at work. I sat down in my director’s office. And I broke the cardinal sin. The one rule that everyone tries to avoid breaking.

I cried.

And it wasn’t just “sniffle sniffle” – I ugly cried.

I had reached my breaking point and I knew that I couldn’t carry on anymore. Not at that pace. Not at that level. Not with three very different personalities demanding 100% of my attention. (I can talk about this now – I no longer work with these people).

My #1 boss, still one of my favorite people to this day, did exactly what I needed her to do. She listened to me. She listened to everything I had to say – she really, truly, listened to me. 

At the end of it, she stood up and gave me a hug.

“Look, I know you’re having a difficult time. But I’ve got your back,” she said.

“You can’t change who people are. You can’t change how she is. But you can change how you react to her.” 

Image result for aha gif

We chatted a bit more and she offered some more sage advice. It was probably one of the most rewarding discussions I had ever had. I sat back in my chair and looked pretty much like Chandler does above. I was stunned. If only I had been given this gift before.

Life could have been so much simpler.

Here are some tips she offered to me. So this is really, second hand advice you’re receiving today. But it’s pure gold.

  • When asked to do a simple task, “No problem” or “Right away”
  • When given vague instructions that require clarification rather than send multiple emails back and forth – just pick up the phone and call. Or ask if they can call you.
  • Just don’t email back and forth. Short, simple answers, yes or no. Or call her.

Still confused? Don’t worry. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. And trust me – when I did – well, dealing with the impossible suddenly became – enjoyable. Her opinion of me changed.

Remember – the only thing that I changed was the way I responded to her. By the end of that quarter – the exec was actually supportive of me. She would actually come to me in times of stress for assistance. My, how times had changed.

It took some trial and error to finally figure out how to respond to her. But once I got the hang of it – things fell into place naturally. I also learned that giving her options made her feel like she was a little in control. Even though she wasn’t in complete control, she felt like she was.

Image result for you can't change who people are but you can change how you react

Giving her that little bit of false control back – changed everything for us. I wish I had only known how to do this when early on. Now – I know better and I have adopted these simple principles into my daily life.

I can tell you that most of the stress in my life disappeared once I learned these tricks. Sure, there is still work stress and financial stress – but stress caused by people in my life? I’ve figured out how to deal with that. And I’m a happier person for it.

Personal life and dealing with difficult people

I’ve learned to handle messages and emails from abusive people as well in my personal life. We all have those people in life who think they are the most important thing. They expect you to drop everything you’re doing and focus only on them. And the one time you actually stand up for yourself – you’re suddenly an asshole or bitch.

I have someone in my life like this. And I’ve learned NOT to respond to her when she gets like this.

You can also choose NOT to respond. That’s right. You have every right to not to respond to someone who is rude or belligerent. We all deserve to be treated with respect. And if someone can’t extend you the same decency – you have every right to deny that person your time and attention.

What I’ve learned through my professional work has helped me so much in my own personal life in responding to negative people. Sometimes – there isn’t much you can do except to avoid them all together. 

End the conversation.

Don’t even bother with a response. I find that after waiting a few days that person will either forget what they said to you – or will have realized that they were in the wrong. This used to happen all the time with someone in my life. I actually can’t remember the last time we had a blow because I stopped responding to her when she became abusive.  I would just drop the conversation because I knew she was looking for a reaction.

Sometimes – people want you to respond. They know that what they say will get a reaction out of you. And they know what triggers those reactions. They know that they can push certain buttons to get you going. It’s a game to them. And they thrive off it.

Deny them the pleasure. Just choose not to react. Don’t give them that control or power over you. 

Don’t expect apologies

Don’t expect these people to apologize. They almost never do. They may know that they’re in the wrong with the way they treat you but they will never admit it. They will not admit that they are at fault. They will not own up to their behaviour. In some cases, they might even turn things around on you, so you are apologizing to them.

It’s their issue – not yours

Remember – that when dealing with difficult people, the issue is mostly theirs and not yours. People who are generally unhappy in life, are more likely to deflect what they are feeling onto others.  It may seem like no matter what you do – you never have the right answer. Or the work you produce is never good enough. Even if you are doing a great job. And you’re good at your job. Even if you’re following all the proper procedures and protocols. People like this will always find fault.

So, whether you are struggling in your professional career or personal career – it’s okay to look after you. Follow your company’s protocol. But know that you have every right to stand up for yourself. It’s always a little easier to stand up to people in your life – the ones who aren’t cutting your paycheck every month.

But in the end, the only one looking out for you – is YOU. Be your own advocate. Stand up for yourself. Use your voice and make sure you are heard.