The Focus On You

Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

Tag: family (page 1 of 3)

How My 2017 Highlight Reel Shocked Me

This post contains affiliate links.

The power of writing things down is amazing.

It’s amazing that a few simple questions about my highlights and patterns for the year shocked the hell out of me.

I shouldn’t be surprised though since I require my clients to write down goals and questions during therapy sessions.

I downloaded a worksheet from Danielle LaPorte’s newsletter that focused on this year’s retrospective. I listed my highlights and fulfilling events for the year and the patterns I saw in this list. What is obvious and what was omitted?

Without going into too much detail I can say that I had a blessed highlight reel. The majority of events that fulfilled me included trips with my husband, being with friends and taking adventures.

So what’s shocking about that?

Here are the lessons I learned:

1. The amount of time I spend each day at work or online didn’t really matter. My highlight reel didn’t include binge watching shows, being at work, attending work conferences, personal growth, live tweets or number of Instagram followers.

2. I didn’t include local events or gatherings. Hanging out with family, barbecues, watching sports or visiting the Strip didn’t make the list. What’s funny is that these aren’t in my camera roll either. I started cleaning out my camera roll in my phone and it’s 50% doggie pictures and 50% pictures of vacations. (I attribute this to being more mindful and tech free when hanging out with family)

3. The people that matter the most (parents, my pups, family) and the support you rely on may be forgotten in our highlight reel. A highlight reel is different than a gratitude list. But it makes me wonder… those lists ever look the same?

4. If you had a business-related WIN, this may end up on your highlight reel. But what if you didn’t? Would you still give yourself credit for being a trailblazer? Are you still an exceptional employee without the award? I didn’t win any awards this year so does this mean I had a terrible business year?

5. What happens if this year was full of loss? If you lost your home, job or loved one do you still count the fun vacation you took?

Let’s circle back to my comment about time spent online, I have to be present on social media to keep the blog alive but in a macro perspective it seems like wasted time. Being aware of social issues is important to me but how can I trim out some of that time online if it’s not “evolving” me in the long run?

Mind you, I have to work to survive and to afford vacations (which obviously are my priority) but it’s sad and interesting to look at the effect of time.

Danielle says that her micro perspective is: “We deserve to be lit up by what we do in the world. It’s your life.”

My wish for you for 2018 is to find ways to thrive. Find what lights you up, even if it's something that you do only a few times a year Click To Tweet. I’m blessed that my yearly retrospect didn’t include survival. I’ve had those years of struggle and I work harder now to prepare for that (hello 2008). Yet the everyday struggle can feel like surviving and not THRIVING. Commutes, emails, grouchy colleagues or clients, no breaks in your schedule and being broke, can damage our spirit.

No matter what we do to survive, make sure there’s room to thrive, to have joy, to reward yourself, to share your joys with loved ones and get a change of scenery every now and then.

Check out Danielle LaPorte’s highly recommended planner. Get 2018 off on the right foot by documenting your WINS!




Passive Aggressive Behaviors & Relationships: Part 1

Has anyone ever called you “passive aggressive?” Do you deal with passive aggressive behaviors at work or home?

Last year I enlisted the help of my friend and licensed clinical social worker, Glenna Anderson, to help break down myths of couples counseling. This year she is back to explain these pesky behavior traits. This post is a 2-part series describing passive aggressive behavior in ourselves and our family. Glenna will also share how she can help you overcome this!!



How can you tell someone is being passive aggressive?  

Let me preface this answer by saying this is by no means exhaustive. People exhibit behavior in many different ways, but I will use this time to highlight some of the more common things you might see.

Passive aggressive people all have different motivations to drive their behavior.

They may operate out of fear, meaning they are afraid of the response they will get if they speak up. They may think they are being respectful by not imposing on the other person. Or sometimes, they do not intend to be passive, but they may lack the vocabulary to properly say how they feel.

  1. People who are passive aggressive tend to be inconsistent, meaning they will say one thing and then their actions reflect another. For example, they might say “Yes, I am fine” or “Sure, I don’t mind doing that”, but their actions say that they are not happy with the way things are going. They may sulk while they are there, have an attitude or complain, or maybe they do not participate fully in the activity.


  1. One of the most common displays is indirect communication. We have all heard of roommates that leave notes on the counter instead of saying things out loud, or people that use texting instead of having verbal conversation to handle serious issues. Another more recent form is subtweeting and subposting: posting something on your social media page that is geared towards someone without actually stating that you have them in mind.


  1. Withholding is another sign of passive aggressive behavior, such as withholding intimacy, affection, praise, attention, etc. For example, people refusing to show affection towards their partner because they are not getting what they want or doing so with the intention of teaching a lesson. Withholding resources, whether financial or otherwise is another type of withholding. An example of this is when someone will only contribute financially if things are done their way.


  1. When a person takes digs at someone else, this can also be a passive way of expressing themselves. This could be little jokes, statements made in front of a group, but not directly to the person, or comments like “well since you never call me back, we know what that means.” These statements are intended to elicit a response without the speaker having to say, outright how they feel.


  1. Passive aggressive communication can also include gossiping. People who have difficulty saying how they feel still need an outlet to vent. Click To TweetThis comes in the form of gossiping with the intention to let off steam and garner validation for their feelings. We all have a need to feel accepted and understood and this is one way passive aggressive people get that need met.


  1. Passive aggressive people tend to be suggestive without insisting. They will offer a series of soft suggestions to lead you in the direction that they want, rather than just coming out and saying what is on their mind. Phrases like, “Maybe we could go to the movies, I mean, we don’t have to, but if you want to”, instead of saying “I would like to go to the movies. Would you like to come with me?”

What impact does this behavior have on relationships and friendships?

The impact on friends and relationships could go either way. Sometimes you will find that the PA person has surrounded themselves with people who support or enable their behavior. All of their friends and family are non-confrontational and they do not attempt to call them out on their behavioral patterns. When that happens, they have no motivation to change.

On the other hand, their behavior could put a strain on relationships, especially in romantic relationships. The people in their lives love them, but the inconsistencies are confusing and extremely frustrating. Friends get tired of the excuses that are made for being mysterious and indirect. People can lose respect for you when you come off as not having a backbone. People begin to distance themselves to avoid the emotional rollercoaster.

In addition, partners get tired of having to figure out why you are upset or what you are trying to indirectly communicate. Passive aggressive people leave their partners in constant wonder, which increases their stress and anxiety. They make their partners have to walk on eggshells because they will not definitively say what they are looking for.

We are all guilty of exhibiting these behaviors at some point in our lives. It’s not healthy to be confrontational all the time.  It’s not healthy to push away the people who mean us no harm because we have little faith in our feelings.

In this recent political climate, we may be afraid to stand up for our values in a responsible and respectful manner. Talking with a professional can help. Eliminating passive aggressive behaviors can increase your confidence and ability to advocate for yourself. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part 2 where Glenna talks about passive aggressive behavior in children and how to prevent it! Plus, she describes how she works with clients to overcome passive aggressive traits. In the meantime, follow Glenna on her Instagram and Facebook pages to learn more about her products and therapeutic services! 

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