7 Simple Ways to Be Diplomatic in a Difficult Conversation

7 Simple Ways to Be Diplomatic in a Difficult Conversation

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who really avoids difficult conversations. I mean, I avoid conflict like the freaking plague. I prefer to have nice, happy conversations if at all possible. If we’re being honest, this is a result of having experienced narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. It’s a very common issue that people experience as part of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).

Unfortunately, avoiding confrontation isn’t always an option. Sometimes, you’ve just got to suck it up and have a tough conversation.

How to Have a Tough Conversation Without Ruining Everything

Effective communication is the cornerstone of great relationships. Whether you’re communicating with friends, family, coworkers, your partner, or even strangers, everything goes smoother with effective communication. You get more of what you want and the other party is happier too.

Even difficult conversations – when handled with grace and composure – can be beneficial to your relationships – at least the ones that don’t involve toxic narcissists.

Consider using these tips the next time you face a tough conversation with a neurotypical person.

  1. Face the issue as soon as possible. It’s tempting to put off difficult conversations. However, not dealing with the issues can make them worse. In addition, it can prolong the anger and resentment you feel. Find the courage to face the other person and make the conversation happen.
  1. Prepare before the conversation. Consider all aspects of your concerns. You may benefit from making a list of points you need to discuss. How will you address these issues? Try to find the heart of the issues, so you don’t get lost during the conversation. A good analysis can save you time and effort later.
  1. Decide what you want to accomplish. What is your ultimate goal with this conversation? It’s important to have clear goals in mind ahead of time so you can stay on topic. What kind of an outcome do you want? Do you want to see things change? In what way? Do you want the other person to apologize?
  1. Give yourself time to calm down before you discuss the issue. If you’re angry or hurt, it may not be the best time to talk. It’s more effective to enter a difficult conversation with a calm attitude. If you’re too hurt to see past the emotion, put off the conversation until later. Try to see the issues from multiple perspectives and the other side.
  1. Understand the importance of silence. Silence isn’t a bad thing during a difficult conversation. You don’t have to fill every minute with words. TIP: Silence can be used to give you both a break and a chance to figure out what to say next. It can help you analyze the previous words. Pauses can also help you both maintain calm.
  1. Watch your emotions. During the conversation, you’ll benefit from controlling your emotions. Focus on staying positive and calm. Controlling your emotions may not be easy, but it’s important. Difficult conversations can dissolve into madness if emotions take over. Try focusing on the other person’s feelings and the long-term impact of your behavior.
  1. Think about your relationship. Friends, coworkers, spouses, family members, and others have unique relationships with you. The way you talk to them will stay in their memory. Difficult conversations are easy to ignore, but ignoring them is a slippery slope into frustration. Instead of hiding from the issues, consider how you can resolve them. Your relationships will benefit greatly when you can work together to find solutions.

Learn to handle these tough conversations with grace and, over time, you’ll find fewer and fewer issues that you have to resolve. As you flow more naturally and become more diplomatic, the issues will become opportunities instead.

(That is, of course, unless you’re involved with a narcissist – in which case there are a whole other set of rules for dealing with conflict.)


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Dollar Store Philosophy: 12 Amazing Things Being a Cheapskate Can Teach You About Life

Dollar Store Philosophy: 12 Amazing Things Being a Cheapskate Can Teach You About Life

“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” ~Lord Byron

I don’t know about you, but I have an occasion now and then that takes me into a local dollar store. Sometimes it’s because I know I can get a certain thing there cheaper than anywhere else, and sometimes it’s just because I happen to be in the area and figure I’ll stop by to see if anything on my list can be picked up for a buck.

Okay, you caught me. It’s MOSTLY because I’m a total cheapskate. I can’t help it. It hurts me to spend money that isn’t necessary when I could have something of the same or similar quality for much less if I’m willing to find it. 

What, you thought that was a secret? Oh no, my friend. I kinda like that about me. So much I’m willing to do this.

Go ahead. Click it. Tell the whole tweeping world! I don’t even care. In fact, I dare ya!

Wasn’t that FUN??

Anyhoo, I have an idea for you to consider today. 

I propose that, next time you go to the dollar store, you can pick up something more valuable than clothes pins, candles and funky socks.

Yeah, I love a good bargain just as much as the next cheapo, but next time you’re cruising for one, try stocking up on some really useful life lessons too. 

Are you ready to discover how dollar store shopping can make you smarter and more productive? Let’s do this. 

How does any of this have to do with life lessons? Seriously, you wouldn’t think that shopping on the cheap (yeah, I’m proudly a cheap shopper – why spend more than you need to??) would induce any seriously philosophical thought, but somehow, my brain goes there – and I’m always happy to share it because, even though it might come out in a somewhat unorthodox way, it might be exactly what someone needs to read in order to finally have that breakthrough moment they need. So stick with me – I’ll explain after the jump!)

life lessons cheapskateSo, it occurs to me that shopping on the cheap could actually teach you a little something about how to get what you want in your life – and about how to do it successfully every time. 

Indulge me a moment, won’t you? 

12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Bargain Shoppers

Here’s how bargain shopping can relate to your being ultimately more successful in every aspect of your life.  Yes, there are serious lessons you can learn from your cheapskate friends. 

  1. Plan ahead. It’s easy to become carried away at the dollar store and start loading up your cart with specials that you really don’t need. Writing out a list helps you to resist impulse shopping and other temptations.
  2. Seize the day. And don’t miss any potential opportunities. Watch for exciting circumstances and opportunities that come your way – and be sure to grab them! Keep your eyes open for new friends just like you watch for marked down items.
  3. Look beyond the surface. You probably know that retailers sometimes lure you in with low prices on certain merchandise so you’ll stick around and buy more. Think carefully about how you invest your money and efforts.
  4. Manage your time. Part of the appeal of dollar stores is their convenient one-stop shopping. Check your schedule regularly for other ways to free up time.
  5. Make a comeback. A lot of the merchandise in discount stores is leftovers that customers passed over in other shops the first time around. Give yourself a second chance when you need one.
  6. Do it yourself. Some of the best buys are staples like cleaning goods and greeting cards. Then again, you may be able to save more money by making them yourself.
  7. Appreciate quality. Finally, some items are overpriced even when they cost a dollar. Check the label to see what ingredients are in that chocolate bar or skin moisturizer. Sometimes you need to spend more to achieve the results you want. Pursuing ambitious goals could be more fulfilling than coasting along.
  8. Break free from labels. By now you’ve probably noticed that most of the merchandise at dollar stores costs a lot more than a dollar. Think twice if you’ve been letting any label limit you. A stay-at-home mother can return to college, and a bookworm can learn to play field hockey.
  9. Throw a party. Dollar stores also specialize in party supplies. Why wait for Christmas when you can treat your friends to your hospitality all year long? Parties help you strengthen your support network and connect with others in a setting outside of work.
  10. Give stuff away. Studies show that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves. Even better, dollar stores will stretch your money so you can enjoy more happiness. Give your coworkers novelty candies or toys. Surprise your babysitter with a funny t-shirt.
  11. Change your look. A new hairstyle or home improvement project can lift your spirits and build your confidence. Try on a variety of hair bands. Paint an old chair.
  12. Lighten up. As long as you love something and it’s functional, why worry about whether it comes with a prestigious label? If your kids seem to lose their socks after each gym class, buy cheaper pairs. If you want to save up for a house, simplify your wedding decorations with a visit to the dollar store or borrowing a cake stand from a friend.

Bargain hunters love dollar stores because they’re cheap and convenient. Now, these discount shops can make you wiser and more prosperous too. The strategies you use to find the best deals on toothbrushes can help you to overcome other challenges and live out your dreams, right? 

So what about you? Tell me about your bargain shopping habits. Maybe they’ll inspire even more life lessons (or give me some good ideas! LOL!). Let’s talk. 

Karma: Ashley Madison hackers expose personal info of cheaters

Karma: Ashley Madison hackers expose personal info of cheaters

Jul 20, 2015 – Oh boy. It’s not that I’m loving this or anything, but it turns out that someone hacked Ashley Madison, the infamous cheater’s website that blatantly advertises in the faces of nervous wives everywhere.

You know. The one that literally GUARANTEES anonymity to its so-called “users” (quite a fitting moniker in this case, IMO).

Not only that, but the hacker was so kind as to post the personal information of some of the patrons of the highly-trafficked cheater’s site on the web today.

Oh yeah. OH! And, the hackers are threatening to release ALL of the site’s sensitive info, including the SEXUAL FANTASIES OF ITS MEMBERS.

So, how many of you are crapping your pants right now? Just curious. Anyhoo, it seems to me that this hacker might have been sent by my girl Karma. 🙂 I’m just saying.


Of course, cheating spouses is nothing new – it’s been happening since the beginning of time. I mean forever. I’d go over a bunch of historic instances with you, but let’s use one that shouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings today – my husband’s cousin Marilyn was believed to have been involved with a very married president if anyone knows their fairly recent history.

But back to the story – this isn’t the first time in recent months that online debauchery has been exposed. Oh no, don’t you remember back in May when the Adult Friend Finder site got hacked?

And, according to the AP:

The hacker or hackers also posted a manifesto alongside the data, accusing Avid Life Media of lying to its customers about a $19 service that would scrub all of their personal information from its databases, saying that the data doesn’t actually go away, Krebs says.

Plus, the AP notes, “the hackers say that if Avid Life does not take its Ashley Madison and Established Men sites offline, it will release all of the company’s information — including customer records, nude photos, sexual desires, online conversations, matching credit card transactions, real names, and addresses, along with employee documents and emails — according to a screen capture of the hackers’ manifesto posted by Krebs.”

I’m just guessing that some of these hackers had their lives ruined by these kinds of sites. Do you think so?

Also, the parent company released a statement Monday morning saying that it has fixed the issues and that their customers’ data won’t be further compromised.

“We are working with law enforcement agencies, which are investigating this criminal act,” the company’s statement reads. “Any and all parties responsible for this act of cyber-terrorism will be held responsible.”

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m secretly kind of pleased by this development. Not that hacking is EVER okay, mind you. But sometimes, karma makes a worthy b*tch her b*tch. Or a whole bunch of them.

Are you worried that someone is cheating on you? Take our free relationship infidelity assessment here. 

16 Simple Habit Tweaks to Help You Start Losing Weight Now

16 Simple Habit Tweaks to Help You Start Losing Weight Now

So here’s a new idea – how about using your birthdays and other big dates on the calendar to do a once-over in your life? Take stock of what you’re doing, where you’re going and what you can do better. 

You can have more to show for your birthday than cake crumbs and burnt candles. Let each annual celebration serve as a trigger to develop habits that contribute to a longer and healthier life. Take a look at these suggestions to help you get started.

Simple Habit Tweaks to Enhance Your Mental Health

1. Let go of expectations. While many events may be beyond your control, you can decide how to respond to them. Welcome whatever comes your way and use your experiences to learn and grow.

2. Give generously. Focusing on others brings more happiness into your life. Share your time, expertise, and possessions.

3. Practice forgiveness. Take a load off your mind by giving up any grudges or resentments. Wish others well even when you disagree with their actions. Show compassion for yourself as well.

4. Develop a hobby. Put your leisure time to good use. Learn how to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.

5. Communicate directly. Express your true thoughts openly and tactfully. Offer constructive feedback. Ask for what you want and need. Your courage will help others to do the same.

6. Deepen your relationships. Concentrate on the quality of your relationships. Make time for family dinners and meaningful conversations with old friends. Pick one acquaintance you want to know better and invite them to lunch.

7. Look on the bright side. List the things you are grateful for, and start each day by giving thanks for your blessings. When you’re feeling challenged, think of what you have to gain.

8. Meditate and pray. Take care of your spiritual side. Follow your faith tradition or invent rituals that are meaningful for you.

Simple Habit Tweaks That Lead to A Better Body

1. Exercise regularly. Keep your body strong and limber. Aim to work out for at least a half hour three days a week. Find a variety of activities you enjoy so you’ll stay motivated.

2. Move around. Build more physical activity into common tasks. Stand up when you talk on the phone. Climb the stairs instead of riding the elevator.

3. Sit up straight. Good posture requires no extra time out of your busy schedule. Straighten your back, lift your head, and lower your shoulders. You’ll instantly feel more alert, and protect yourself from back pain.

4. Sleep well. Your body needs good quality sleep and rest to keep running efficiently. Go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule.

5. Eat a balanced diet. Stock up on nourishing whole foods. Fill your plate with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on processed foods that are full of sugar and empty calories.

6. Apply sunscreen. Put on your sunscreen year round instead of saving it just for summer. Reapply it if you’ve been sweating or swimming.

7. See your doctor. Ask your physician what lifestyle changes would have the greatest impact for you. Maybe you want to quit smoking or lose weight. Maybe you want to manage your diabetes or reduce your risk for osteoporosis.

8. Manage stress. Stress affects our bodies as well as our emotions. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation which is associated with many conditions, from headaches to heart disease. Find effective ways to relax, like listening to classical music or playing with your dog.

Look forward to growing older. Stop counting your grey hairs and start counting how many positive changes you can make to your daily routines. Turn each birthday into an opportunity to enhance your mental and physical well-being.

Get your copy of my newest book, Skinny Head, which is a companion to my best-selling book Project Blissful. Check it out, right here. 


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