Here’s a tip that has never failed me in my office, or anywhere else for that matter: Whenever you are faced with a situation where the words you are hearing do not match the behavior you are seeing, go with the behavior every time. Behavior speaks louder than words.

And speaking of the truth, have you ever noticed that the people who brag about being brutally honest seem to enjoy the brutality more than the honesty?

And speaking of the truth one more time, when someone says to you “Well, if you want me to be honest …” does that mean that they are normally willing to deceive?

There just has to be something very wrong with a culture that requires its men to wear little nooses (ties) around their neck to go to work every day. I consider it a great year when I can go the whole year without wearing a tie. When someone hires me for a speaking engagement and wants me to wear a tie, I tell them that there is an extra charge for wearing a tie called my “tie fee.” So far, no one has been willing to pay the extra fee and I haven’t had to wear a tie.

The two most powerful ways for a man to mess up his life are to have an affair or get hooked on internet porn. An affair wreaks havoc on a marriage and a family. Internet porn does what I call “cauterizes your conscience.” In other words, it hardens the heart.

As I was putting the finishing touches on a column on a recent Sunday afternoon, the power went out at my office. It was a dreary rainy day, so I did a little bit of work by the light of the overcast day coming through my window. It wasn’t long before I found myself with my feet up, looking out the window and enjoying the sound of the rain. Just as I was beginning to really relax, the power came back on. So I got up and turned off my lights and sat there enjoying the sound of the rain just a little bit longer.

Be sure to slow down enough this week to allow yourself to enjoy your own version of staring out the window and listening to the rain. And don’t let the power coming back on, or anything else, get in the way!

Oftentimes clients will tell me that they are trying very hard not to cry in our meeting that day. It seems to me that the times when we are trying very hard not to cry are one of those times when we most need to cry.

The best quote I have seen recently: “You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?” – Richard Bach

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist.


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