Page 1


DeYtH Banger

How to Talk to Anyone (Junior Talker #5) Ain't FUCKING Creating a path


How to Talk to Anyone (Junior Talker #5) by DeYtH Banger


WARNING This book contains very graphic images!


Quotes "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts "You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." - Richard Jeni "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet." - Napoleon Bonaparte


Content Quotes Part 1 Chapter 1 - We Ruined Chapter 1.1. - Hidden (Part 1) Chapter 1.2. - Hidden (Part 2) Chapter 1.3. - What To Do When You Feel Lost? Chapter 1.4. - Hidden (Part 3) Chapter 1.5. - Depression Chapter 2 - Already In The Oven Chapter 3 - Face It (Part 1) Chapter 5 - Notes (1) Chapter 5.1. - Notes (2) Chapter 6 - Where? Chapter 7 - Why? Chapter 8 - What's wrong with you? Part 2 Chapter 1 - "Wow" Chapter 2 - "Wow" (Part 2) Chapter 3 - Anxiety and More Chapter 4 - Harsh Enviroment Chapter 4.1 - Harsh Enviroment (Part 2) Chapter 5 - Harsh Enviroment (Part 3) Chapter 5.1. - Harsh Enviroment (Part 4) Chapter 6 - Read Fast Chapter 7 - Anxiety


Chapter 8 - Wow Level (Part 1) Chapter 8.2 - Wow Level (Part 2) Chapter 9 - Not Funny Enough (Part 1) Chapter 9.1 - Not Funny Enough (Part 2) Chapter 9.2 - Not Funny Enough (Part 3) Chapter 10 - Too Far Chapter 10.1. - Example (Amy Schumer) Chapter 11 - Tricks Chaper 11.1. - Bonus (Material)


Chapter 1 - We Ruined Yeah, we are ruin ourselfs with so much Socia Media, Social Judgement and even books and audibooks... films and comics... we just fuck ourselfs... again and again and we go in endless loop. We watch and look for people who are having fun while we are bound into misery... we listen to all types of fucks. It's not just home, but school, university, social groups, social gathering, parents... all this fucks always put some boundaries on our existence... . and one moment you end up into a vicious circle of life. NOT SURE WHAT ANYMORE TO DO NOT SURE WHERE SHOULD YOU GO NOT SURE AS FOR SHOULD YOU LIVE... This here which I am saying is not a comic thing or comedian thing now... as far as now I am going to safe the jokes for later... or probably as for this book I will live the jokes aside and let to be serious. ... Look we always go around social media when we got free time, we start reading something or watching something WE STOP... WE JUST STOP MAINLY BECAUSE "You are wasting your time, you could be doing something else." "No need to do that..." "Kill yourself" "You are not worthy..."


"Oh come on and with friends suck... you know... go home do yourself a favor..." Our lifes go like a circle of vicious negativity... every negative data pop's up with a rough edge and it screw up your brain and mind and in the end you need to live with that... (Sorry for this parasitic word "and" and "end".... I just can't stop some of them...)


Chapter 1.1. - Hidden (Part 1) Note: Suck my cock you sick fuck... Dale Carnegie... show interest... call him/her By their names.

- Let's face it...

1) I Show everyday interest to my grandfather by beating him up.. 2) I call my mother by her first name ... In the end it gets stranger and weirdo ... This Dale guy his books suck... nothing more than false done by the right guy. What is the Stress Response? Stress is a biological and psychological response experienced on encountering a threat that we feel we do not have the resources to deal with. A stressor is the stimulus (or threat) that causes stress, e.g. exam, divorce, death of loved one, moving house, loss of job. Sudden and severe stress generally produces: Increase in heart rate


Increase in breathing (lungs dilate) Decrease in digestive activity (don’t feel hungry) Liver released glucose for energy Firstly, our body judges a situation and decides whether or not it is stressful. This decision is made based on sensory input and processing (i.e. the things we see and hear in the situation) and also on stored memories (i.e. what happened the last time we were in a similar situation). If the situation is judged as being stressful, the hypothalamus (at the base of the brain) is activated. The hypothalamus in the brain is in charge of the stress response. When a stress response is triggered, it sends signals to two other structures: the pituitary gland, and the adrenal medulla. These short term responses are produced by The Fight or Flight Response via the Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM). Long term stress is regulated by the Hypothalamic Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) system. The Hypothalamic Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) System

The stressor activates the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis


The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland The pituitary gland secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to produce the hormone corticosteroid Cortisol enables the body to maintain steady supplies of blood sugar Adequate and steady blood sugar levels help person to cope with prolonged stressor, and helps the body to return to normal The adrenal cortex releases stress hormones called cortisol. This have a number of functions including releasing stored glucose from the liver (for energy) and controlling swelling after injury. The immune system is suppressed while this happens. Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM)

The hypothalamus also activates the adrenal medulla. The adrenal medulla is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system, maintaining homeostasis in the body. These activities are generally performed without conscious control. The adrenal medulla secretes the hormone adrenaline. This hormone gets the body ready for a fight or flight response. Physiological reaction includes increased heart rate. Adrenaline lead to the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system and


reduced activity in the parasympathetic nervous system. Adrenaline creates changes in the body such as decreases (in digestion) and increases (sweating, increased pulse and blood pressure). Once the ‘threat’ is over the parasympathetic branch takes control and brings the body back into a balanced state. No ill effects are experienced from the short-term response to stress and it further has survival value in an evolutionary context. Evaluation Strengths Measuring stress hormones gives an objective measure of stress. Fight/flight response can be seen in all mammals in response to threats. Weakness There is considerable variation in level and type of hormones released by different people and in response to different stressors – not a simple physiological process. People without adrenal glands need hormonal supplements to survive stress. Symington (1955) found that conscious dying patients showed different stress reactions to unconscious ones. Suggests that psychological factors play a role. Signs of a Cheating Partner - Body Language Giveaways That Expose Infidelity


Cheating hurts! What's even more hurtful is finding late in the game fact that you have been cheated on. All cheaters lie. Lying is part of the very nature of a cheater. So wouldn't it make sense to find out all you can about lying and body language if you suspect your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating? Of course it would! Well there are certain movements or actions you can look for in your partners' body language that will signal if they are lying through their teeth. Here are a few pr oven mistakes your partner will make that will alert you to cheating: Trouble maintaining eye contact. A Lot of liars cannot look you straight in the eye. Their eyes wander everywhere. If they are good at lying (and most repeat cheaters are), it may seem they are looking you in the eye when in fact; they are looking at your forehead. So even a good liar will often give themselves away by the eyes darting around and not looking you in your eyes. Is you honey having trouble looking you in the eye? A lot of blinking of the eyes can also be significant too. The cheater is fidgety or nervous. He or she is not at ease or relaxed. Even with the slickest smooth talker in the world, if you look carefully at what they are doing more so than what they are saying, you will have important clues as to what is really going on inside them. It is hard to keep up the appearance of everything is fine if in fact that person has been cheating on you and is trying to cover it up with lies. You may think they are just in need of a message because of a rough day - maybe or maybe not! Could it be your partner is tense because they have something to hide? In most people, the body language will tell the true story. Strange and unusual behaviors. Does your partner suddenly want to take a shower alone? Has to leave the room to make phone calls that are usually done in front of you? Is there a loss of appetite? When you ask, "what's wrong?" does your partner become uneasy or restless? Perhaps their body language is trying to tell you all is not well in paradise.


Watch the hands. Very often what we do with our hands tells the story. Watch what your partner does with their hands at the same time you are listening to what they are saying. Are they fidgeting with their hands? Palms sweaty? All of these could be signs of dishonesty. One big sign to watch out for is if a person is talking and covers their mouth with their hands or starts rubbing their nose. Dealing with cheating is not easy. It is a very emotional and personal issue. Not everyone handles it well. If your spouse is cheating, you will have many things to consider before choosing a plan of actions. You have to learn to see the entire forest and not just the trees by reading the undeniable signals our bodies give off. If you suspect an unfaithful boyfriend or girlfriend, you can learn to make better choices for your future relationships. by BJ Moorer Note: The truth is just forget all stuff which you have learn from your parents and church... religion... just clean up your mind.

...

No need for to obey to some kinda of principles... which your parents tell to you. 1) Like don't speak loud 2) Don't talk now 3) Be Nice 4) Don't be Badass


... And fucked up shit like this... put it aside... and start with a new mindset... while you read Juniour talker


Chapter 1.2. - Hidden (Part 2) Note: Yeah you... you fucking condescending fuck! Taking Offense An epidemic that seems to be spreading faster than Ebola. It seems that people are getting offended more easily. Perhaps that’s a good thing. For example, there’s ever less tolerance for a statement or action that could even vaguely be considered racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist, or ageist. Some would say zero tolerance, even for a mild joke in that area, is the best approach to eradicating it. On the other hand, hypersensitivity to such offenses has potential downsides. For example, it could encourage making such claims even when illegitimate or trivial as a way to deflect attention from the true issue. For example, an older worker overhears his boss saying, “This place needs fresh blood.” In fact, the older worker may not be pulling his weight but to avoid getting fired, he files a grievance claiming a hostile work environment for older workers. He does that to help insulate himself from getting fired—If he is terminated, he could claim it was retaliation. Another example: People seem ever more likely to take offense at being criticized. A poor employee evaluation is as likely to yield a defensive reaction as an introspective one. Perhaps we've taken too far the exhortations to use praise over criticism and to build people’s selfesteem. People also seem more easily offended by an ideological deviation from The Orthodoxy. Ironic in that we’re taught to celebrate diversity,


people seem ever more intolerant of ideological diversity. Today, in most educated circles, there’s little risk of offending anyone if you call for more redistribution of resources from society’s haves to its have-nots: for example, more attention to closing the achievement gap, singlepayer health care, more efforts to help the long-term unemployed. In contrast, you're at serious risk of offending if you're against redistribution, for example, against redistributing school funds from high-ability students to low achievers. Another example: At a party recently, someone decried the accelerating federal disparate impact lawsuits, which pressure school districts to suspend students proportionately by race and for employers to treat felon and non-felon job applicants equally. She opined that was unfair to employers, to law-abiding job applicants, and to children who happened to be of the wrong race. A guy immediately ridiculed her as insensitive to “privilege,” whereupon everyone remained silent. The celebration of diversity now seems to stop as soon as one veers right of center. It’s ironic that the Left continues to focus on the evils of McCarthyite censorship of 60 years ago, yet today firmly wields the censorship/censureship scythe when it comes to judging, let alone publishing thought counter to The Orthodoxy. It’s like the citizenry in Orwell’s Animal Farm who unquestioningly mouthed: “Four legs good, two legs bad” until the Powers deemed, “Four legs good, two legs better.” Also ironic, we seem less likely to be offended by things that are unarguably offensive. For example, we now accept as normal that people don’t respond to our emails or phone messages, even if it’s a job seeker who worked hard on an application. We don’t get offended at drug-company commercials designed to scare us into buying drugs that, if were so good, would require only a journal article read by physicians, not millions of dollars of advertising to the easily duped general public, the cost of which get added to what we pay for medicine. Not to mention, no one wants their TV recreation interrupted by long lists of side-effects, from diarrhea to death. In sum, we’re getting offended by the wrong things. Especially important, society would be better if we appreciated rather than got offended by criticism and if we were offended that we’re made to feel scared to be politically incorrect. Not only does that stifle our freedom of expression, the censoring of the free marketplace of ideas encourages societal stasis rather than progress.


5 Ways to Overcome Adversity Bad news? Difficult situation? When adversity strikes, how do you handle it? And, more importantly, how can you deal with it better than you ever have in the past? Here are five big ideas on managing and leveraging adversity: 1. Have confidence. Real, genuine, authentic confidence simply refers to a belief in your ability to figure things out. Acknowledge that the situation is difficult, but also trust that you will survive and overcome it. Rather than getting sucked into negativity or sadness, remember that you’ve figured things out in the past that were equally difficult or even harder. 2. Keep perspective. Out of 7 billion people and thousands of collected years of recorded human history, none of us are facing a particular adversity that’s completely unique. Keep perspective — other people have gone through what you’re going through and can help you. Also, remember that you’ve survived hardship before and you’ve come out okay. 3. Schedule action. There are only two things that have the potential to change your life: either something new comes into your life, or something new emerges from within. Rather than waiting and hoping for things to get better, or taking sporadic and inconsistent action, make sure to schedule actions to deal with the issue. Even if the actions are simple, and especially when the issue is difficult, schedule actions each day to handle it. Avoidance will only lead to suffering. 4. Ask for help. As soon as adversity strikes, ask for help. Asking for help can take the form of approaching your spouse, partner, business colleagues or a professional in the fields of medicine, therapy or psychology. Openly communicating, whether it entails talking about the issue and possible solutions, or listening to other people talk about how they’ve dealt with a similar issue, can truly serve you. Remember: you’re not alone.


5. Honor the struggle. Honoring the struggle is a critical mindset to sustaining success in life. Accept the fact that we can’t change or influence everything, but we can change and influence our attitude and our actions each day. We can move forward by facing the issue and accepting the adversity as a necessary component in our overall growth.


Chapter 1.3. - What To Do When You Feel Lost? Has a recent situation made you do some soul searching? Maybe your passions changed, the kids have left the house, you experienced a breakup or got laid off. Perhaps some bad news came from a doctor’s visit, leaving you feeling completely lost in life. You don’t know where you’re going, you feel like you’re in the abyss of nothing, and things just aren’t going well for you. We’ve all been there before.The good news is that you can find yourself again, and you can find vibrancy, joy, passion and health again. Here are four ways to move past this feeling and find some clarity: 1. Engage friends and family. Sometimes, when we’re lost we want to withdraw from the world. But in silence there is suffering. And so one of the best ways to find ourselves and our footing in life is by gaining perspective from others. Go sit down with a trusted friend or family member, and tell them how you’re feeling. Don’t think you need to know the answer or have an agenda for the conversation. Just go to lunch and open up. In talking it through you’ll start to see the way through. 2. Volunteer. When we feel lost, it’s often because we’re so focused on ourselves or a major issue in our lives. That’s the perfect time to switch it up and go serve others. Go give some time and energy to good causes or people in need. You’ll never meet a more positive network of people than volunteers. Their heart, positivity and spirit will give you hope and a new group of people to bounce ideas off of. And the service in itself will inspire you and relight your flame. 3. Read. People spend too much time searching social media for answers. Instead, put the phone down and go read a great book. Reading is the best laid path to gaining clarity. Reading has the power to spark ideas about living a better quality of life. It can give you the ambition and will for something better. So, pick up a few personal development or spiritual books, and get reading! 4. Gain momentum. You can gain shift your feelings by gaining momentum. Jus try accomplishing a few more small daily


goals. These goals don’t have to be attached to your life purpose; maybe you haven’t figured everything out just yet. But it’s in living life that we start to find what’s meaningful in life. It’s in moving forward that we find confidence, that our eyes open, that the next path reveals itself.


Chapter 1.4. - Hidden (Part 3) Jordan Peterson’s Flimsy Philosophy of Life Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life is on the bestseller lists, despite the commonplace nature of his rules, which boil down to: stand up for yourself, take care of yourself, make friends, don’t compare yourself to others, mind your children, set your house in order, pursue meaning, tell the truth, listen to people, be precise, give children freedom, and enjoy pets. Part of Peterson’s appeal comes through lively stories from the Bible, fairy tales, his personal life, and his practice as a clinical psychologist. But many people take Peterson to be wise, not just entertaining, with profound things to say about the nature of morality, reality, and life. These are philosophical topics, so we can ask how well Peterson’s views stand up to philosophical scrutiny. MORALITY Peterson’s rules for life are intended to tell people what they ought to do, not just what people actually do. They concern morality, which raises the important philosophical question of the basis of ethics. Peterson’s answer looks to religion, in particular Christianity, as shown in these quotes: “Even older and deeper than ethics, however, is religion. Religion concerns itself not with (mere) right and wrong but with good and evil themselves—with the archetypes of right and wrong. Religion concerns itself with the domain of value, ultimate value. That is not the scientific domain. It’s not the territory of empirical description.” “The Bible is, for better or worse, the foundational document of


Western civilization (of Western values, Western morality, and Western conceptions of good and evil). …The Bible has been thrown up, out of the deep, by the collective human imagination, which is itself a product of unimaginable forces operating over unfathomable spans of time. Its careful, respectful study can reveal things to us about what we believe and how we do and should act that can be discovered in almost no other manner.” This connection of morality with religion justifies his frequent use of Bible stories such as Adam and Eve in his discussions of how to act. But philosophers since Plato have recognized many problems with basing ethics on religion. First, different religions have different prescriptions, and Peterson gives no argument why Christianity is morally superior to Islam, Hinduism, or dozens of alternatives. Even within Christianity, there is much disagreement among Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons. For morality to be based on religion, you need to be able to make a reasonable decision concerning which religion to choose. Second, even if one religion could be recognized as superior, it is still legitimate to ask whether its rules are moral or simply arbitrary and odious, like the rule in the Bible’s book of Leviticus that children who curse their parents should be put to death. The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) trace their origins to the horrible story of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham could reasonably have inferred that God is evil, or that he himself was hallucinating. Peterson seems to assume that the only alternatives to religious morality are totalitarian atrocities or despondent nihilism. But secular ethics has flourished since the eighteenth century, with competing approaches such as David Hume’s appreciation of sympathy, Immanuel Kant’s emphasis on rights and duties, and Jeremy Bentham’s recommendation to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. My own preferred basis of ethics is human needs, including both biological needs (food, water, shelter, healthcare) and psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness, competence - Ryan & Deci, 2017). Such vital needs are much more crucial to life than subjective wants, and you can be moral by acting to meet the vital needs of yourself and others. You don’t require religion to be a good person.


INDIVIDUALISM Moral behavior in a social context demands adjudicating between the rights of individuals and the pressures of groups and organizations such as families and nations. Peterson consistently emphasizes the individual: “It is possible to transcend slavish adherence to the group and its doctrines and, simultaneously, to avoid the pitfalls of its opposite extreme, nihilism. It is possible, instead, to find sufficient meaning in individual consciousness and experience.” His second rule, “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping”, inverts the Golden Rule in many cultures, which advocates treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. Peterson’s individualism was evident in the actions that first brought him fame in September, 2016, when he posted a video to YouTube complaining that a new Canadian law would force him to use special pronouns for transgendered people. Bill C-16, which was passed in June, 2017, added the terms “gender identity or expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Code. As a result, hate speech directed at trans and gender non-binary people can be treated in the same way as hate speech concerning race, religion, and sexual orientation. Legal experts reply that not using preferred pronouns does not constitute hate speech, so Peterson’s objection that his individual freedom of speech was being restricted by Bill C-16 was ill-founded. More threateningly for Peterson, the Ontario Human Rights Commission does say that refusing to refer to a trans person by a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity will likely be discrimination when it takes place in employment, housing and services like education. The justification is that the words people use to describe themselves can affirm identities and challenge discriminatory attitudes. The deeper issue here is the general question of limitations on free speech. Since the nineteenth century, law and society have recognized that one person’s freedom ends where another’s freedom begins. You do not have the freedom to infringe someone else’s human rights by harassing, threatening, or discriminating against them. Bill C-16 acknowledges that gender identity is as wrong a basis for hateful


treatment as race, religion, and sexual preference. Where do human rights come from? Early views took human rights to be God-given, but the American and French revolutions tied them to human nature. Brian Orend (2002) makes the plausible connection of human rights to the vital needs that people require to function as human beings. Looking after the needs of others sometimes requires people to limit their own, individual freedoms of speech and action. Peterson’s protests about political correctness make it sound that critiques of gender-based mistreatment are artifacts of postmodernism and neoMarxism. But expanding equal treatment to larger and larger circles has been a valuable part of philosophical and social thought since the eighteenth century. Recognition that transgender people have been subject to harassment and violence justifies extension of human rights protections to them. A major part of Peterson’s defense of the individual is an argument that inequality and dominance hierarchies are rooted in biological differences, from lobsters up to human men and women. But humans have much bigger brains than lobsters, with 86 billion neurons rather than 100 thousand. In recent centuries, people have been able to recognize that human rights apply across all people, not just to one’s own self, family, race, sex, or nation. Equality does not have to be across all dimensions such as talents, but should cover vital needs, so that everyone has the capability to flourish. Restrictions of individual freedoms in the form of taxation and limitations on harmful speech are then justifiable. REALITY Peterson’s three major metaphysical categories are Being, Order, and Chaos, all glorified with capital letters. By “Being” he does not mean existence, but rather the “lived experience” of existence. He is less interested in the objective world of things studied by science than in the subjective world of experiences and meanings that he thinks is the province of literature, religion, and mythology. Although he cites scientific studies when they support his views of gender, he draws most of his conclusions about the experience of existence from literary sources such as poetry and the Bible.


Peterson says he got his idea of Being as the totality of human experience from Heidegger, but Heidegger did not confuse Being with his more subjective concepts of “Being-there” and “Being-in-the world” (Dreyfus, 1991). Peterson’s use of the term “Being” for the subjective experience of existence causes much confusion, for example when he says that “cats are a manifestation of nature, of Being, in an almost pure form.” Nature has been around for at least 13.5 billion years, since the Big Bang, but subjective experience has only been around for less than a billion, when animals with nervous systems evolved. Peterson follows anti-science philosophers in assuming that subjective experience can never be explained by objective methods, but progress is being made on developing neuroscientific theories of consciousness. Hence the gap between what exists and people’s experience of it is starting to close. Peterson’s subtitle is “An Antidote to Chaos”, and the point of his rules is to help people to achieve order. “Order is where the people around you act according to well-understood social norms, and remain predictable and cooperative.” It is “explored territory.” “Chaos, by contrast, is where—or when—something unexpected happens.” It is “all those things and situations we neither know nor understand.” Without justification, he says that order is symbolically masculine while chaos is feminine. Both chaos and order are part of Being in his subjective sense, so they belong to experience of reality rather than to reality itself. Peterson’s emphasis on order might be taken as part of the traditional conservative emphasis on social order and hierarchy, but he insists he is a classic liberal. His message on order is more personal, that people can benefit by organizing their lives so they are less stressed and anxious. Use of deceptively deep categories of Order and Chaos provides only the illusion of profundity. LIFE The meaning of life is another central philosophical question that Peterson addresses implausibly. He draws on religious sources to insist that “life is suffering”. Even if he were correct that this claim is a tenet of every major religion, it is still implausible. Suffering is unavoidably part of


life, because we all have to deal with sickness, loss, and eventually death. But most people also have an abundance of positive experiences such as joy, love, gratitude, pride, serenity, excitement, hope, inspiration, amusement, wonder, and awe. The major sources of good experiences are love, work, and play, so I would rather identify these as the meaning of life than suffering. These three activities feed directly into satisfying basic psychological needs for relatedness, competence and autonomy, as I argue in my book on The Brain and the Meaning of Life. Peterson follows the existentialist philosopher Kierkegaard in insisting that the only way to make your life intelligible and avoid chaos is the “act of faith” that “Being can be corrected by becoming”. But there are much better ideas to be gained from philosophy and positive psychology about how to live a valuable life, based on evidence and good theories rather than faith. Peterson’s allusive style makes critiquing him like trying to nail jelly to a cloud, but I have tried to indicate alternatives to his assumptions about morality, individualism, reality, and the meaning of life. If you go for Christian mythology, narrow-minded individualism, obscure metaphysics, and existentialist angst, then Jordan Peterson is the philosopher for you. But if you prefer evidence and reason, look elsewhere.


Chapter 1.5. - Depression Many people in this world deny depression they are saying: - "Grow up...!" - "Don't think about it..." - "Just try something else..." - "Don't fuck around..." - "Forget it..." - "Don't bother..." - "Leave it..." - "You are man... you can't allow yourself to be in that state..." Note: The problem is putting it for later and later... it gets more and more... it gets in pile... and one moment it's going to be like a domino. .... So the real problem is that you grow and grow with emotional pain you don't go and talk about it... you don't try to fix it... you don't try to solve the problems... you just leave it... then again... then again... Then action comes like: - Agression - Anger ... Too much depression puts you into anxiety levels... and feeling not worthy human being... and this happens then it goes further... you stay home and you are lazy... but in fact you ain't lazy.. . you just emotionally paralyzed...


and WHY DO YOU DENIAL THE FACTS?


Chapter 2 - Already In The Oven You hear me right, you are already in the oven


Look ... I am showing you reality... not something from a scumbag


film or a movie... of Romance... Most romance movies show happiness and freedom... but in reality life isn't like this. 1) People kill in the name of religion 2) People use religion as a excuse of killing love one or even a friend ... And all this is in the world happening.. believers do crime,... and thinking that their doing good by this acts. Then it comes virus and what your food contains... you google it or do a search you gonna get mind fucked and once you got enough knowledge and take it up to serious level... you are fucking damn fucked.... you are double and tripple fucked... Because one moment you gonna find out that what you know about it... which is ON THE SURFACE... is not fuccking true and you need new reality to build around it. ... People watch porn which is soft one and even hardcore... some people say that pornography teaches you how to deal sex... but let's be honest... porn is a material to fuck younger also known and as Millennials and Boomer generation into build the prospect... - NO NEED FOR REAL SEX - NO NEED TO FUCK - NO NEED TO KISS - NO NEED TO GET SOMEBODY AROUND YOU ...


YOU GOT PORN ... COME HERE AND DO YOURSELF FAVOR... PUT ONE HAND AROUND YOUR MIDDLE AREA AND THE ANOTHER HAND USE IT TO SCROLL DOWN THE MATERIAL. OHHHHHH... OHH.... OBLIGATORY ACTION... to be honest... this whole thing is people think that they are going to stop soon enough porn... but they are not there... they are no near to close to it... (THe problem with porn is that isolates you from society... once done that... you can't have healthy relationships or communications with another human being...) - I have went into great details about the whole topic in my books "Brain On Porn (Social #1,2,3)" ... the #3 one is comming this year or probably after a while... I found myself into some deep shit and I will try to put all what's happening into the third book... so in other words keep in touch with me and soon enough ... I am going to publish it... as for now I am working on it (And that's the most important thing...). (Note: If I kill myself does it mean my priciples about life... really work?... or they just fuck me up and now another human being is going to get fucked!?) All people on this world are dealing with all types of addictions... some people in a day masturbate twice even 4-5 times... others do it once a week others...spend scrolling around the content for hours and after that they find the best video or picture and they start the bad habbit process. Addictions are... symbol of bad habbits... Drugs - Is bad habbit Staying home - Is a bad habbit Watching porn - Is a Bad habbit and the list goes on and on and on and what people do... they don't work on int they say


OKAYYYYYYYYY... THE NEXT DAY I WILL STOP... OKAY... AFTER A WEEK I AM GOING TO START.... SO... LIFE ENDS AND THEY FIND THEMSELF... OF ENDLESS LOOPS OF SAYING THAT THEIR GOING TO GET BETTER... BUT THEY NEVER WENT TO THAT PATH....


Chapter 3 - Face It (Part 1) Once I made a book which was called "No need to live..." - Just kill yourself now... and let's end the whole pain thing. I wrote it in a moment in my life when I found cool stuff on the internet,... I was depressed and stressed.. and I compiled some shit and made up soemething... After this story... the site banned me... for such type of content... ... It was fucked up thing!


Everything here is from the world from the reality... movies don't show it... or let's say the good once... and people skip this horror... and in the end... they never face what they need to face... ...


Constant trauma is going to slave people... but this is going to happen with the peole who don't see the reality... religion is an excuse of killing people, religion is a way of mass control and it goes on and on....


What type of god is this who in the first Tastement is shown as a monster in the second is lovely and so generous and even going first to get killed... and what type of satanic bible is this... why so many sacrafices are done... we are modern people we don't need to obey a book which fullfilled with sacrafices... God creates so much suffering on this planet that this faith fuckers think that they know the answers... but they don't know everything... IT'S JUST MORE AROGANT PART OF THE RELIGION OF THINKING THAT YOU KNOW EVERYTHING! So some faith fuck is telling me that he is wiser... I don't see myself as wiser and this fuck is seeing himself as wiser? ... oh god...


... Nobody is really wiser... from the religious people... always showing examples and obeying god because thinking that they are going to go to heaven. ... The world needs more people like: - Sam Harris - Lewis Black - Jim Norton - Ricky Gervais - Rchard Dawkins and all people from the atheist community.... we need shit more from that... no religious self wised fucks.


Chapter 4 - Face It (Part 2) People watch porn and get into bad habits because they don't have closure to humans... COME ON... COME ON THIS FUCKED UP THING HAS BEEN PROOVEN THOUSAND OF TIMES. The more I deep go the more angry and mad I get... !


Bad habits are the stuff which your mind has gotten used to... and you can't just remove them... or just say ... I WILL STOP FROM NOW TO THE FUTURE... - YOU JUST CAN'T DO THAT... ...


People laugh at your problems... you got stress or anxiety some bad habbits get created into your mind and you start building a coping mechanism when you get stressed and depressed.... ... People come and redicluled your way of coping and once that happens you are FUCKINGGGGGGGGG..... gotten judge and now you ask yourself what next "should I do?"


There are all types of categories... if you are not really a man ... a grown up... man ... a woman who exectures your is going to be the best recipe which you need in your life. There is dominant porn, disgusting porn, fucked up porn... the categories go and go...

Girl start in the porn industry because they have beautiful face and they can get more money than any other job... ...


Because of desprate males... the males who have money... are desparate into fucking and to cheat... everything is fucking prooven... what i am saying;.... is based upon books, audiobooks and articles.

Pornography industry is a place where everyone is having sex and a world of sex... all concepts can be put into sex. What I am saying is from experience and assumptions after consuming pleny of material... Pornography is a vicious circle you start and you gonna get into so much deep content that in the end of the process you gonna feel guilt. ....

We just get mentally fucked... bad habbits ... Stress ...


Depression ..... IS just getting sides of many people


Chapter 5 - Notes (1) Note: Destroy your fucking ego... CONSTANT BOMBARD IT WITH TRUTH AND FEAR... Note: The ego is your biggest obstacle in your conversation. - Excuses - What If (Scenarios) ... More Note: People... will just not get your point. P.S.: I am interested in killing my mom... Note: And fuck him... It's enough to seeing myself "victim".. Note: Everything starts from victimhood... overprotective parents... and the world is getting worser than before. P.S. - It's not the problem that we can't solve all this problems.... but each year and each day in life there is a create a whole new life... + a new whole group and millions and billions data have been throw out. How do you imagine swallowing all this shit? IT"S DOUBLE-FUCK


Note: To whole problem with can't talking to others... can't expressing yourself to others and having tons of problems... goes backs to your childhood... constant trauma and getting punished... and once you got that in brain... it's like creating WALL-Blocks... which blocks you from doing any type of action if you go against the rules which have been already written.


Chapter 5.1. - Notes (2) Note: The whole thing is very fucking damn deep... it's very well explained a part of the argument Jonathan Haidt, but after him we need to go back to Jordan Peterson (Who talks about moral and parents... anxiety and all sorts of fucked up stuff), but once there we shouldn't forget the guy Paul Bloom (Who is against empathy...) and then go up to Sam Harris. ... And that's how the whole process is going to go... Constant behavior of accumulating data! Note: In the end we ... end up with the conclusion that we are not going around dating world and how to get a girl and how to get social in this world ... we are going into what's going around the world and constant creating problems and problems and trying to solve them...

- Oh god... this is really killing the whole idea of the whole thing ... And "Why do we like to do what we do?" Note: What "You" know about this world is from stories and films and books... and what happens if today I tell you... that everything which you know is wrong? ... is fucking damn wrong... the whole idea is based upon 729 (books I have read... for 3 years)...


... - So the feeling is something like a ... shaking and asking yourself what to do next? ... Here is the thing... you can't get rid of the mistakes and what you know like that... the best way you can do is ... to optimizate... the whole thing! P.S. - Let this quotes to bother aroudn your mind “Yet GenX'er teens didn't slow down--they were just as likely to drive, drink alcohol, and date as their Boomer peers and more likely to have sex and get pregnant as teens. But then they waited longer to reach full adulthood with careers and children. So GenX'ers managed to lengthen adolescence beyond all previous limits: they started becoming adults earlier and finished becoming adults later.” ― Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

“Wanting to feel safe all of the time can also lead to wanting to protect against emotional upset—the concern with “emotional safety” somewhat unique to iGen. That can include preventing bad experiences, sidestepping situations that might be uncomfortable, and avoiding people with ideas different from your own. That’s where things get dicey—both for iGen and for the older generations struggling to understand them.” ― Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

“iGen is on the verge of the most severe mental health crisis for young


people in decades. On the surface, though, everything is fine.” ― Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

“Kids need to learn that you need to feel bad sometimes. We learn through experience, and we learn especially through bad experiences.” ― Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

“We protect children from danger, real and imaginary, and are then surprised when they go to college and create safe spaces designed to repel the real world.” ― Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us Note: I am on this topic more deeper than ever... the porography was just the beginning of my deep look... now going more deeper around other variety of topics.

(Deeper Level is everywhere...)


Chapter 6 - Where? - My problem is more likely coming from adaptable ENVIROMENT. I adapt stuff... I can't just see them a picture... and act like a copy cat... I want to see them and feel them.

Life is seeing... feeling and words to mouth.

... Shhhhh

..

Shhh ...

And this here is the silent jerk-off... Throwing one and another and then fuckin around... Masturbating... I don't do it because of sleep back feeling... but because anxiety and depression... Getting constantly abandoned... It doesn't motivate you to go to somewhere... Jerk-Off... is a stuck of behavior... YOU JUST NEVER GOING TO GET OUT FROM THIS LOOP HOLE.


"As a result of much therapy and study, and by admitting my infidelities and apologizing for them, attempting to understand them and forgive myself, I came to realize one important fact: When one spouse cheats on another, it’s rarely because of some deficiency in the one cheated upon. Almost always, infidelity occurs because the cheater has lost integrity in his sense of self and fears either death or abandonment. Due to that person’s inauthenticity in dealing with those fears within the context of the relationship, the person reaches to others for validation of viability and self-worth.

The irony is that the one who cheats still may love the spouse, but, because of years of a fractured integrity due to an inauthentic sense of self, there is no communication within the relationship."

"Unity of the duality in the race problem doesn’t mean that the world must be viewed as colorless or color blind. That would be inauthentic and dishonest. Racial differences exist, and that can’t be denied. The problem, pain, conflicts, and violence result when individuals don’t emotionally accept other races as equal, coexisting, and possessed of the same human motivations, drives, and desires. It’s not that we should celebrate the difference and embrace diversity, as some have expressed. True emotional unity results when people accept fundamentally there are no differences between the races."

"After constantly changing the dynamic of my own family through my addictions and self-destructive behavior, I experience that challenger often when dealing with family members. It would be easy to recall the pain we once shared and fall back into a position of guilt, shame, and resentment, bringing with them the need to win in whatever discussion is at hand.


When that happens, and it does often, I consciously work to get beyond the duality of right/wrong, good/bad, black/white and accept the entire emotional spectrum." "For many years, I lived with a longing I couldn’t explain and never gave myself permission to express. I soldiered on, heading down a spiral into oblivion. With the help of Wayne Dyer and others, I have learned that the longing I felt was because I was disconnected from intention, or what I have come to realize was my true self. By existing in an inauthentic place, I nearly destroyed myself and those around me. Even though the Titanic of my misdirected life couldn’t avoid the iceberg, it was able to right itself and plug the leaks before it sank. Unlike the actual ship, it continued its journey with an even-stronger hull. The future remains to be seen, but I am fully confident my ship will reach port in a better, moreexotic, and life-affirming destination."

"The main reason my relationships and marriages fell apart was because I lost touch with my sense of self, my purpose, and my connection to the universe. I tried to fill the longing I felt over my lost sense of self with my relationships, which smothered them and ultimately disappointed me. My partners were left used up and rejected, and I was left with an even stronger sense of longing and sadness." "One particular lady who has become important in my life taught me, “You’re right where you’re meant to be, exactly at the moment you’re supposed to be there.” She repeats that to me often.

She means that all of us are connected to the flow of the energy in the universe when we’re in touch with our truest selves and accept our universal purpose." How To Increase Your Verbal Fluency


Have you ever wished that you could come up with the right words to say on command, but you rarely can? Don’t you hate it when the right words don’t seem to come to you when you need them most? If so, you will want to learn how to increase your “verbal fluency” so that you can become more eloquent and never face these issues again. At The Art of Verbal War, we are all about helping people EXCEL in verbal skills. If verbal skills were an automobile, instead of driving the car around (i.e. talking about WHAT to say/HOW to say it) like we usually do on this blog, in this article we are going to look under the hood. By “looking under the hood”, what I mean is that we will explore the “engine” behind excellent verbal skills, i.e. the brain, where words are produced and then uttered through your mouth. And in this article, more specifically, we will discuss the “horsepower” behind the brain, which is the concept of “verbal fluency”.

Knowing what to say or how to say it is useless if our brain fails to rev up the engine when you step on the gas pedal. This is where verbal fluency comes into play. What Is Verbal Fluency? Before we get to how to increase your verbal fluency, let’s first get definitions out of the way. “Verbal fluency” is a cognitive function that facilitates information retrieval from memory. In the field of speech-language pathology, they will describe people


who stutter as being “verbally dysfluent” or as having a “verbal fluency disorder”. In the realm of neurology, they find that patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s as having low or impaired verbal fluency. We’re getting way too technical already, and here at The Art of Verbal War, we are all about making things simpler and less complicated, so let’s do that. Verbal fluency, simply put, is the ability to find the right words at the right time or in the right situation. And, it’s a great thing to have in abundance. The more horsepower a car has, the faster it can go 0 to 60. So, just like a car, the more verbally fluent you are, the faster your brain can find the right words to speak. A few examples of the types of situations you need high verbal fluency in would be answering job interview questions, flirting smoothly with a girl, sitting up on stage in a press conference and answering questions from the press, or standing in front of a jury and crossexamining a hostile witness.

A person in any of these situations, and many other situations, will need to call on his/her verbal fluency in order to succeed in them. If your verbal fluency is not up to par, you will not kick ass in these situations. Even More On Verbal Fluency Verbal fluency is a collection of various cognitive processes, and not


just one discrete process. Various studies have shown verbal fluency to be connected to working memory, switching ability, response suppression, and fluid intelligence, among other cognitive processes. It makes intuitive sense that many different cognitive processes are involved in helping you be verbally fluent. Again, let’s look at this at a more layperson level: When you have a high level of verbal fluency, you will have an easier time translating your thoughts into spoken words. So, if you want to become more eloquent and verbally skilled, among other things, it is vitally important that you learn how to maximize your verbal fluency. A Framework For Increasing Verbal Fluency Now, let’s get this out of the way. I am not a medical professional or scientist, so everything you will learn in this article should be read with that in mind. Please seek professional advice as you deem necessary. Having said that, now let me share with you the framework/thinking behind the tips I am about to share with you which have worked for me to develop and enhance my own verbal fluency. Here’s the framework: From a neurological standpoint, you are looking for ways to decrease your cognitive load and to increase your working memory. Anything that helps support these two goals should, in theory, enhance your verbal fluency. Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory. In other words, “cognitive load” is the total amount of mental activity imposed on working memory in any one instant. And, “working memory” is the part of short-term memory that is concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing. In other words, the ability to remember and use relevant information while in the middle of an activity…like speaking. Distractions, age, level of knowledge about a subject, difficulty/complexity of a subject, the way information is conveyed, the sheer amount of information being conveyed, and other things (many of


which we don’t even know yet) affect the amount of cognitive load that is put on the working memory. For example, an audio-visual presentation format imposes a lower cognitive load than a visual plus text format, because in the former case, working memory has less information to process. Now that you understand the framework and the goals we are trying to achieve, let’s move on to my ideas that you can try to enhance your own verbal fluency. Ideas To Increase Verbal Fluency When I was in my third year of law school, I took a trial advocacy class. I was extremely excited to conduct my first mock trial ever. Visions of becoming the next Johnny Cochran filled my mind. I didn’t prepare as well as I should have so when I was in the middle of that first trial, I encountered some difficulties with the crossexamination and I panicked. I stumbled my way to the end of the trial and the verdict was delivered. I had lost my first “trial”. That day, I learned that that in the heat of the moment, the right words eluded me in a way that they didn’t when I was merely practicing. This revelation led me to consciously work on this weakness of mine, and after many years of trying to improve on this weakness, here are some ideas for you to try if you want to increase your verbal fluency: 1. Control Your Emotions As I found out in my mock trial back in law school, I let my emotions get the better of me. What I have found out is that when I get emotional, my verbal fluency decreases. Remember back to last time you were verbally insulted. It probably made you extremely upset, and then you couldn’t come up with a comeback at all, right? Let me tell you why. It was because your emotions completely took over, and as a result, your verbal fluency went to zero. After you’ve calmed down, but way after the person who insulted you was no longer there, you had no problem coming up with a zippy comeback. Does that sound vaguely familiar?


This makes sense because emotions cause an increase in cognitive load on your brain, and so there is less horsepower available to use for verbal tasks. In fact, a 2014 study by Buchanan showed that high stress can negatively impact word retrieval, leading to less fluent speech. Another 2005 study by Gardner showed that “communication apprehension” (also known as communication anxiety) also has an impact on verbal fluency. So, anything that you can do to train yourself to stay calm and detached, such as meditation or heart rate variability training, will help with verbal fluency. Of course, these two methods are a longer-term plan for helping your verbal fluency.

Heartmath emWave2 – Heart Rate Variability Trainer In a specific, short-term situation, anything you can do to limit negative emotions and putting yourself into a relaxed state will help with verbal fluency in that particular situation. Removing, eliminating, reducing, or managing acute stressors in these situations will also help with your verbal fluency in the moment. 2. Eliminate Multi-tasking Even though a lot of people love to multi-task, researchers have found that multi-tasking behaviors increase cognitive load and can affect your verbal fluency. Again, this makes a lot of sense intuitively. It’s much more complex to


perform more than one task at a time, so the cognitive load is greater on your brain. 3. Check For Underlying Conditions A number of medical or psychological conditions may adversely affect your cognitive functioning (and therefore your verbal fluency), such as depression, low testosterone, ADD/ADHD, among others. If you think you suffer from any of these conditions, I strongly encourage you to get them checked and managed, and you may find your verbal fluency improving along with the underlying condition. It may also be possible for you to work with a psychologist to get your verbal fluency tested directly if you think you are suffering from abnormal levels of verbal fluency. 4. “Know Your Shit” This may seem quite obvious. I alluded to it earlier. When talking about a specific subject, you have to “know your shit”. The less knowledge you have about a subject, the more cognitive load there is on your brain when you’re talking about that subject. Let’s say you are going to give a talk about turtles. If you don’t know much about turtles, how verbally fluent can you hope to be in your talk? Probably not very much! The more you know about a topic, the more verbally fluent you will be when talking about that topic. Simple, but of course, not easy. 5. Beat Gestures A 2007 study by Hostetter and Alibali found that the use of “beat gestures” is correlated with higher verbal fluency. “Beat gestures” are small, rhythmic movements that emphasize certain words or phrases without conveying specific information about the meaning of those words or phrases. A 1996 study by Rauscher, Krauss, and Chen showed that hand gestures “facilitate access to the mental lexicon”. These two studies were not the only studies in the literature that showed the same thing.


In other words, using hand gestures (especially rhythmic ones, i.e. beat gestures) when you speak should increase your verbal fluency. 6. Working Memory Enhancement If verbal fluency is the “engine” behind verbal skills, then working memory is like the spark plugs. Of course, verbal fluency is the collection of all the engine elements, but without the spark plugs, the entire engine is useless and will not run. As such, it stands to reason that if we improve our working memory, then verbal fluency should increase. The main way to train working memory is using brain training/brain games. I use them daily in order to maintain and hopefully enhance my working memory. by Min Liu How To Deal With Putdowns – Verbal Self Defense Using the owner of the San Francisco 49ers as an extremely poor example, you will learn how to deftly and skillfully deal with putdownsand putdown questions in this article and video, which is a key part of learning verbal self defense. Two weeks ago, the owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Jed York, dismissed the head coach and general manager of the team. He announced this news at a press conference, where the press, sensing his lack of confidence and competence, subsequently ripped him to shreds like a bunch of savages. What are “Putdown Questions”? Look at these brutal questions he was asked (and note that they just call him “Jed” and not “Mr. York”):


Reporter: “Jed, why are you competent to lead a search for a general manager and a head coach? Reporter: “Jed why shouldn’t YOU be dismissed or reassigned?” How he answered wasn’t important, because frankly, it was painful to watch, but let’s just say the 49er faithful were not reassured.

These questions are what I call “putdown questions”. They’re not just idle questions, they’re questions meant to question your competence, your abilities, your skills, and to put you on the defensive. Putdown questions are meant to make you justify yourself to the other person, and they are very difficult questions to answer. Why Should You Learn How To Deal With Putdown Questions? However, these are questions you cannot avoid in life. You will encounter putdowns in job interviews. In business, you will always get putdown questions. Even with your friends and family, you will also get putdowns and putdown questions. They are a fact of life, and they happen more often than we would like. So, if you want to thrive in life, especially in high-stakes situations, you must learn how to handle putdowns and putdown questions skillfully. Learning how to deal with putdown and putdown questions are a key component of verbal self defense. Two Ways To Crush Putdowns and Putdown Questions: Verbal Self Defense Here are two ways to crush these types of insidious questions, taken from my book ” The New Art of Being Right: 38 Ways To Win An Argument In Today’s World “.


#1: Setting The Table The first technique is called “setting the table”, which is reshaping the frame of the question from one that disfavors you to one that favors you. In particular, for the question “Jed, why are you competent to lead a search for a general manager and a head coach?”, the best way to handle it is to reframe or change the frame of the question from an OBJECTIVE frame to a SUBJECTIVE frame. Reframing is a key tactic in verbal self defense. What I mean by this is that instead of answering the question by giving a laundry list of reasons why you are competent and letting the press answer (which is an extremely stupid way to answer this type of question), you will answer it by defining “competence” from your OWN perspective. So, this is how I would answer this putdown question: “TO ME, competence is about knowing when to cut your losses and learning from your mistakes, and that is what I’m doing.” Once you have defined competence according to YOUR own definition, then your answer becomes bulletproof and it becomes much harder for someone to argue against. That makes for outstanding verbal self defense! #2: Find One Instance To The Contrary The second technique is called “find one instance to the contrary”, which means finding just one situation or exception to the argument laid


out by the other person. So, for the question “Jed, why shouldn’t YOU be dismissed or reassigned?”, the best way to handle it is to find one exception. Fortunately, there are a million exceptions since Jed York is the owner of the team, and there has never been an owner that has ever been dismissed from his team. So, here’s how I would answer this question: “Tell me this. Was the owner of the LA Rams dismissed when he fired their head coach recently? That’s right he wasn’t. And this time is no different.”


Chapter 7 - Why? Note: NoOne, really answers the "Why" question! How To Develop Impactful Metaphors Everyone knows by now that metaphors and figurative speech are tools to expand your verbal skills, persuasive abilities, influence, and even your charm. In this article and video, you will learn three steps to take a mediocre metaphor and transform it into a great metaphor. The Power of Metaphor For my holidays, I took a short vacation to Los Angeles. While on my vacation, I met up with one of my closest friends of mine from law school who is now an equity partner at one of the most prestigious and largest law firms in the world. Over dinner, she invited me to go back to Los Angeles next month to give a talk to her law firm’s associates, numbering a couple hundred associates just here in the United States.

Of course, I told her I would love to and would be honored to do that. Being someone who’s always looking for a competitive edge, she asked me to develop a presentation to teach her associates how to radically improve their use of metaphor to become more influential with


judges and juries. Researchers have shown that metaphors allow you to make an end run around the obstacles, walls, and mental blocks that people put up against your arguments and persuasive attempts. My law firm partner friend knows this and wants all of her associates to have this verbal superpower in their back pockets so they can kick more ass than they already do. Even if you’re not a lawyer, becoming masterful with metaphor will allow you to become more influential, persuasive, and charming to the people in your life. So, here is a preview of the talk that I’ll be giving to my friend’s law firm’s associates next month, called “How To Develop Impactful Metaphors”: How To Develop Impactful Metaphors Over dinner, my friend kept talking about how her “law firm was full of sharks”, complaining about the internal politics of her law firm and how stressful it is for her to deal with the various personalities, agendas, and backstabbers in her law firm. This metaphor of a “law firm full of sharks” is one we’ve all heard before a thousand times.

Believe it nor not, even a top law firm partner like my friend easily reverts to uncreative speech frequently. And this is from someone who chews on and spits out other lawyers and their arguments daily. Now, the metaphor she used is a little better than saying “my law firm is full of lawyers who will eat you for lunch”, but ultimately, it’s not much better because the metaphor is a cliche and nothing special. So, how do we take this mundane and commonplace metaphor and make it special and memorable?


Step One: Make The Metaphor More Vivid/Detailed The first step in reworking any mundane metaphor is to just make the metaphor more vivid and detailed. Most people just refuse to put any brainpower to the metaphors they use, so no excuses! So, instead of “My law firm is full of sharks“, you can say “My law firm is a cesspool of sharks“. Now, add the word “cesspool” makes the metaphor a little more descriptive and visual. But, the metaphor is still fairly weak, and nowhere near great. Step Two: Make The Metaphor Even More Vivid (and Exaggerated) The next step towards metaphor greatness is to take what you’ve got and make it EVEN MORE vivid and exaggerated. Sometimes all this takes is to add more detail to what you already have. So, instead of “My law firm is a cesspool of sharks“, you can say “My law firm is a cesspool of sharks walking upright, wearing suits, and carrying briefcases.”

Or you can use the “Rule of Three” here as a technique and make the last item more absurd or exaggerated. Instead of “My law firm is a cesspool of sharks walking upright, wearing suits, and carrying briefcases“, you can say “My law firm is a cesspool of sharks walking upright, wearing suits, and needing


alcohol rehab badly“. Now, the metaphor is starting to gain momentum towards greatness, but we’re still not done. Most people who are good at metaphor stop here, and that’s okay if you want to be merely good, but if you want to be a “master of metaphor” and become great, you need to take it at least one step further. Step Three: “Put The Metaphor Into Action” The final step towards creating a tasty metaphor sausage from mere ground meat (see what I did there?) is to “put the metaphor into action”.

Instead of referring to a law firm as a static thing, restructure the entire metaphor by making it active. Here’s what I mean by active: “Everyday at the law firm, I feel like a surfer being lowered into a cesspool of sharks who haven’t eaten in days, except instead of eating me, they eat my profits, my dignity, and suck my soul.” Making it “active” means adding ACTION to the metaphor. “Being lowered into a cesspool” and “eating profits, dignity, and sucking my soul” are the actions that this newly structured metaphor refers to. By putting my friend as a character or actor within the metaphor and having things happen to her makes this metaphor much more dynamic. Now we finally have a great metaphor! Introducing “Master of Metaphor” If you enjoyed seeing how the sausage is made, and you want to learn even more about making your own tasty “sausage”, then check out my course on figurative speaking/language, Master of Metaphor.


In Master of Metaphor, the only course of its kind that I know of and much more interesting than any English class you ever took in your life, you will learn advanced techniques to create amazing metaphors from mundane metaphors, and much much more. When you become a “master of metaphor�, people will come to see you as a verbal god, much more charming, influential, memorable, and persuasive than the Average Joe.


Chapter 8 - What's wrong with you? Note: First you need to see yourself that... it's great the person who you are and no need for outside happiness... if you need something from outside your circle to make you happy... this means that you are never going to happy. "The harder, the more miserable, and crazy it becomes, the stronger I get. No matter what happens, I'm getting stronger, not weaker." “Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count of motivation. Count on discipline. You know what you have to do. So: MAKE YOURSELF DO IT.”— Jocko Willink Fear is normal. Every person feels fear at some point. What should you do? Step. Step. Take the step. Step aggressively toward your fear — that is the step into bravery. We are scared of what we don’t know, and there is but one way to confront that fear: Step. GO. And that simple action, this simple attitude answers so many questions. How do you get to the gym every day? Step. GO.


How do you change your diet? Step. GO. How do you overcome fear of failure or fear of success or fear of fear itself? Step. GO. How do you face the fear of the unknown? Step. GO. Don’t wait anymore. Don’t think anymore.Don’t plan anymore. Don’t contemplate anymore. Don’t make any more excuses or justifications. Don’t rationalize anything else. No. No. No. NO. Instead: Be aggressive. Take action. Now. And the first action you need to take? The first step you need to take? The first step you need to take is just that: Step. Step. Go. Now. P.S.: What you really need is a strong mindset... if you can't get friends in 12 hours on the place where you work... so it goes like this... you got 12 hours... there 30 strangers in your work... if you don't get few friends this means that there is something screw up thing in your head... the best case is just to re-wire your brain.


This book should help you to change your filters and also if you gonna do something don't think too much on it... just go and do it... this is what comedians do so... follow the flow!


Part 2 Deep inside shit!


Chapter 1 - "Wow" Anxiety Attacks vs. Panic Attacks Differences include intensity and how long the attack lasts By Sheryl Ankrom You might hear the terms anxiety attack and panic attack used interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. In fact, panic and anxiety have different features, and behavioral health professionals use the terms for specific symptoms and disorders. Panic attacks are often associated with sudden fear and anxiety with high-stress levels or excessive worrying. Some of the symptoms are similar, including a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Each also has other symptoms that are unique. Everyone can experience panic attacks and anxiety, they are part of the emotional and protective responses hardwired into the human body. Its when either occurs frequently that there is cause for concern. No matter which you experience, it's important to understand their definitions, symptoms, and treatments. Illustration by Joshua Seong. Š Verywell, 2018. Clinical Differences Professionals who treat mental health conditions base a diagnosis on definitions found in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition," known as the DSM-5. Though anxiety and panic attacks may feel the same at times, the subtle differences outlined in this handbook help identify each. The DSM-5 uses the term panic attack to describe the hallmark features associated with the condition known as panic disorder. However,


panic attacks may occur in other psychiatric disorders and it is possible to have a panic attack if you have no disorder. The term “anxiety attack� is not defined in the DSM-5. Rather, "anxiety" is used to describe a core feature of several illnesses identified under the headings of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Some of the most common disorders under these three headings include: Panic disorder Agoraphobia without history of panic disorder Specific phobia Social anxiety disorder Separation anxiety disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) The differences between panic and anxiety are best described in terms of the intensity of the symptoms and length of time the main symptoms occur. The in-depth definitions in the DSM-5 guide your health provider to make a diagnosis and classify your condition. Panic Attack A panic attack is an intense and sudden feeling of fear, terror, nervousness, or apprehension. The symptoms are often so extreme that they cause a severe disruption in your day. Panic attacks usually occur out of the blue without an obvious, immediate trigger. In some cases, they are "expected" because the fear is caused by a known stressor, such as a phobia. Panic attack symptoms peak within 10 minutes and then subside. However, some attacks may last longer or may occur in succession, making it difficult to determine when one attack ends and another begins. Following an attack, it is not unusual to feel stressed, worried, out-ofsorts, or "keyed up" for the remainder of the day. According to the DSM-5, a panic attack is characterized by four


or more of the following symptoms: Heart palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate Excessive sweating Trembling or shaking Sensations of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or smothering Feeling of choking Chest pain or discomfort Nausea or abdominal distress Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint Feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization) Fear of losing control or going crazy Fear of dying Numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias) Chills or hot flashes Anxiety In contrast, anxiety generally intensifies over a period of time and is highly correlated to excessive worry about some potential "danger"— whether real or perceived. If the anticipation of something builds up and the high amount of stress reaches a level where it becomes overwhelming, it may feel like an "attack." The symptoms of anxiety may include: Muscle tension Disturbed sleep Difficulty concentrating Fatigue Restlessness Irritability Increased startle response Increased heart rate Shortness of breath


Dizziness While some of these symptoms are similar to those associated with panic attacks, they are generally less intense. Unlike a panic attack, the symptoms of anxiety may be persistent and very long-lasting—days, weeks, or even months. Treatment Whether you’re dealing with panic, persistent anxiety, or both, effective treatment is available. Some of the most common treatment options include therapy, prescription medications, and self-help strategies. You may decide to try one or any combination of these methods. Therapy can help you develop ways to manage your symptoms, work through past pain, determine your path for the future, and gain a clearer perspective that will allow for a more positive outlook. Medications can assist you in reducing the most severe symptoms. They may only be needed for a short period of time to control symptoms while you work on the other strategies. Self-help techniques, such as breathing exercises and desensitization, can be beneficial in allowing you to work through symptom management at your own pace. A Word From Verywell Anxiety and panic attacks can disrupt your everyday life. Whether you experience them or you want to understand what a friend or loved one goes through, know that help is available. Talking to your doctor about your symptoms and how often they occur is the first step to finding relief. Differences Between Panic and Anger Attacks


By Sheryl Ankrom It’s not unusual for people who have panic disorder, agoraphobia, or another anxiety disorder to experience frustration because of their condition. You may blame yourself or others for your condition, further escalating your sense of anger and resentment. Sometimes this frustration can develop into anger—anger toward yourself, anger at your situation or anger toward others. Researchers have conducted studies on what they term “anger attacks” in depressed and anxious individuals. They conclude that there are certain similarities between anger attacks and panic attacks. The following describes the symptoms of anger attacks and panic attacks, followed by an explanation of the differences between the two. Symptoms of Anger Attacks According to researchers, anger attacks are characterized by the occurrence of at least 4 of the following symptoms: heart pounding or racing chest pains, tightening, or discomfort excessive sweating shaking or trembling shortness of breath dizziness or lightheadedness tingling or itching skin fear of losing control intense fear or anxiety hot or cold flashes feeling like attacking others actually attacking others throwing or destroying objects Symptoms of Panic Attacks


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition is a handbook used by treatment providers in determining one's diagnosis. Shortened to the DSM 5, this manual contains valuable definitions of symptoms and disorders. According to the DSM 5, a panic attack is characterized by four or more of the following symptoms: heart palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate excessive sweating trembling or shaking sensations of shortness of breath or smothering the feeling of choking chest pain or discomfort nausea or abdominal distress feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization) fear of losing control or going crazy fear of dying numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias) chills or hot flushes The Difference Between Anger Attacks and Panic Attacks It’s clear to see the similarities between the symptoms of an anger attack and a panic attack. Researchers point out that both produce many of the same sudden and intense physical and emotional sensations. But, they also note some differences. These researchers propose that anger attacks typically occur in situations in which an individual feels emotionally trapped rather than as the result of fear and anxiety that is often associated with panic attacks. In addition, the criteria for anger attacks also include: Irritable feelings in the past 6 months Angry overreaction to small irritations 1 or more anger attacks experienced in past month Inappropriate anger directed towards others


If you feel you are experiencing anger attacks, talk to your doctor or mental healthcare provider. In addition to developing an anger management plan, your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduces your symptoms. Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can be used to effectively treat panic attacks also work for managing anger attacks. Attending ongoing therapy can is also another viable option. Through therapy, you can learn to better control your anger and cope with your panic attacks in a healthy way. By following through with treatment, you can expect to have both issues in check.


Chapter 2 - "Wow" (Part 2) 5 Interesting and Surprising Facts About Panic Disorder Did you know panic attacks can even occur in your sleep? By Katharina Star, PhD Panic attacks, the main symptom of panic disorder, are often misunderstood, but there are many interesting facts about this experience. Unfortunately, prevalent myths about panic disorder have contributed to the confusion about these attacks. For example, a number of people believe panic attacks are just an overreaction to a feared event or an inability to control one’s reactions to stress. Such misconceptions only add to the stigma of having panic disorder. If you have been diagnosed with panic disorder, you may have a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to have panic attacks. But even you may be unaware of some characteristics of these attacks. This list outlines commonly overlooked facts about panic attacks. 1. Panic Attacks Can Occur While You're Asleep People Images Getty Images As strange as it may sound, it is possible to have a panic attack while you are sound asleep. Nocturnal panic attacks occur when you experience panic attack symptoms that startle you out of your sleep. The symptoms of these attacks can be similar to those of daytime attacks, such as shaking, excessive sweating, and chest pain. When a nocturnal attack occurs, the person may experience shortness of breath or gasping for air upon awakening. Nocturnal panic attacks are also characterized by intense fears and


feelings of dread. It is not uncommon for the person to feel as though he is losing control of himself or having a medical emergency. Symptoms of depersonalization and derealization are also typical, as the panic sufferer may have feelings of numbness and fogginess. He may have a strange sense that he is disconnecting from his surroundings, feeling as though he is dreaming or watching himself from a distance. Nighttime attacks can impact your life by potentially making you feel fatigued throughout your day, causing additional anxiety and leading to sleep disturbances. If nocturnal panic attacks are disrupting your ability to get a good night’s rest, it may be time to seek professional help. A doctor can work with you to treat your panic attacks and any possible sleep disorders. 2. Panic Attacks Don't Just Occur With Panic Disorder Dougal Waters Getty Images Panic attacks are the hallmark symptom of panic disorder, but panic attacks can also occur with other mental health disorders. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the reference guide mental health specialists use to make accurate diagnoses, panic attacks present in a variety of conditions. Panic attacks are often linked to other mood and anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and bipolar disorder. Panic attacks can be similarly associated with other mental health conditions, including eating disorders, personality disorders, and substance-related conditions. In some cases, panic attacks can be a part of certain medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and sleep disorders. 3. The Effect of Diet and Exercise Daniel Sambraus/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images


Regular exercise and proper nutrition have countless benefits, but did you know that your lifestyle choices can have a profound impact on your experience with panic attacks? Research has found that participating in a regular exercise program can decrease your feelings of stress, anxietyrelated tension, and tightness throughout the body. It may lessen the frequency of panic attacks as well. Your diet can also influence your experience with panic attacks. Studies have revealed that certain foods and substances can trigger anxiety and other panic attack symptoms. For example, consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, alcohol, or monosodium glutamate (MSG) can potentially increase anxiety and panic attacks. 4. Panic Attacks Can Occur Expectedly or Suddenly Christoph Hetzmannseder Getty The DSM-5 describes two types of panic attacks: expected, or cued, and unexpected. Expected panic attacks occur when the person is provoked by certain cues or triggers. For instance, a person who has a fear of heights (acrophobia) is likely to have a panic attack when on a high floor in a building or on an airplane. Unexpected panic attacks, on the other hand, occur suddenly without any obvious cues. Anxious and fearful thoughts or external triggers, such as specific phobias or a traumatic event, can bring them on. Unexpected panic attacks are the type most commonly associated with a diagnosis of panic disorder. 5. Avoiding Phobias Can Increase Your Fears Robert Llewellyn Getty Images Many panic attack sufferers develop avoidance behaviors by steering clear of situations they believe lead to panic attacks. For example, a person with panic disorder may avoid being in busy shopping malls out of


fear that others will witness her having a panic attack. Similarly, a person with a fear of flying (aerophobia) may never travel by plane, knowing that he will have a panic attack on the plane. Avoidance behaviors may seem logical at first, but they can prevent you from enjoying many different experiences in life. Panic and avoidance may keep you from attending social gatherings or traveling far distances. Plus, avoidance behaviors often strengthen your anxiety, further increasing your fears of certain places or situations. Instead of avoiding panic-inducing situations, try to breathe through them. The next time you feel a panic attack coming on, bring your attention to your breath. During a panic attack, you may notice that your breath has become quick and shallow. Take control by breathing slowly and purposely. Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your lungs to their capacity. Exhale out of your mouth, expelling all of the air out of your body. Continue to repeat this deep breathing pattern until you feel more relaxed. If deep breathing exercises and other self-help strategies are not working, you may want to consider finding professional help. Such assistance can help you receive the right diagnosis and develop ways to manage your anxiety and panic attacks. Also, a qualified mental health specialist can provide clear explanations and additional information about panic disorder. Note: When we talk about irrational thoughts and anxiety and panic disorders... the main problem is that most people are wired in and they have this state... I call it "constantly running". Irrational Beliefs and Panic Disorder By Sheryl Ankrom Panic disorder sufferers often struggle with irrational beliefs. Having a faulty belief system may escalating your experience with anxiety, panic attacks, and other panic-related symptoms. Read ahead to learn more about irrational beliefs and what you can do to overcome them. Where Does Your Belief System Come From?


One theory of how we perceive the world and act within it is a result of our underlying belief system. This belief system develops from early childhood, based on input from significant others in our lives and our own life experiences. However, developing a belief system is not always a rational process because our assumptions are often based on both logical and illogical input. Illogical and Self-Defeating Beliefs Albert Ellis, an American psychologist who is considered the grandfather of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), identified three basic irrational beliefs that lead to self-defeat: “I must do well and win the approval of others or else I am no good.” “Other people must treat me considerately and fairly, or else they are not good and deserve to be condemned and punished.” “I must get what I want, when I want it. If I don’t get what I want, it’s terrible and intolerable.” Let’s say you experience emotions such as sadness, depression or even anger at your inability to attend a social function because you fear having a panic attack. Your fears of having a panic attack at a social gathering may go something like this: “If I have a panic attack and have to leave, people will think I’m crazy.” "I can’t let anyone find out I have panic disorder. I have to keep my panic secret or people will think less of me.” “If I had a panic attack while at the event, I would be so embarrassed I would never be able to face anyone again.” Perhaps it is not the anticipation of panic that is causing your inner turmoil, but rather your underlying belief system about rejection or failure. For example: “I must always have other’s approval or else I am worthless.” “If someone rejects me, I am a failure.” “I have to be perfect in order for other people to like me.”


“I must be successful.” “I should never show weakness or people will think less of me.” “I have to get the things I want or else I feel worthless.” Changing Irrational Beliefs Before we can change our irrational beliefs, we first have to discover what they are. Detecting irrational beliefs is not an easy task because they have been internalized. In order to dispute and change irrational beliefs, we must journey through a process of detecting and debating. Detecting – It is common for underlying belief systems to have rather rigid boundaries. Often the irrational belief is held in the form of “should,” “must” and “ought” demands that we place on ourselves or others. For example: Debating – Now that you’ve identified your beliefs, it’s time to debate them. Are they logical? Does it make sense that you must always be successful? Are they realistic? How do you know people will think less of you if they know about your struggles with panic disorder? A New Way of Thinking Changing your irrational beliefs leads to a new way of thinking about yourself, others and your environment. These changes in your thoughts will lead to changes in your behaviors and feelings. Your new way of thinking allows you reach a level of acceptance of those imperfections that were once so troubling. As you continue to challenge and debate your irrational beliefs, they lose strength, and you become free of their emotional consequences. P.S.: The mind can't think clearly while it's in this state. Maladaptive Behaviors in Panic Disorder


by Sheryl Ankrom If you experience frequent panic (anxiety) attacks and have been diagnosed with panic disorder or another anxiety disorder, you may have inadvertently developed maladaptive, or poor, patterns of behavior to cope with your situation. Understanding Maladaptive Behaviors Maladaptive behaviors inhibit your ability to adjust healthily to particular situations. In essence, they prevent you from adapting or coping well with the demands and stresses of life. Often used to reduce anxiety, maladaptive behaviors result in dysfunctional and non-productive outcomes—in other words, they are more harmful than helpful. Maladaptive behaviors are classified here as dysfunctional because they tend to provide only short-term relief from anxiety—they don't help you cope with your anxiety in the long run. These behaviors are nonproductive because they do nothing to alleviate the root of your problem and may, in fact, serve as reinforcers of the underlying problem. Maladaptive Behaviors Associated With Panic Disorder Some common maladaptive behaviors that are related to panic disorder include: Avoidance: For many people, the symptoms of panic disorder often trigger an array of avoidant behaviors. This can result in agoraphobia, a common complication that occurs in 25 percent to 50 percent of people with panic disorder. Agoraphobia can take a little time to develop, or it can come on rather quickly. Some sufferers believe their agoraphobic symptoms began after their first panic attack. Once agoraphobia takes root, avoidance behaviors often multiply quickly.


Substance misuse: People with anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and agoraphobia, sometimes use alcohol or other substances as a means of coping with fear and anxiety. Studies show that people with anxiety disorders are more likely to have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder than those without an anxiety disorder. Abusing alcohol or other drugs to control stress and anxiety is classified as a maladaptive behavior because it provides only temporary relief from anxiety and actually may create more long-term problems. Substance abuse does not fix the underlying problem and long-term alcohol or drug use or misuse can lead to tolerance, dependence, and for some, addiction. Withdrawing: Many challenges in life require ongoing action—both behaviorally and mentally. Sometimes we struggle and succeed. Sometimes we struggle and fail. When the latter occurs, we can try again, or we can withdraw from the conflict with a resigned acceptance of our situation. When it comes to panic disorder or other anxiety disorders, withdrawing is incompatible with recovery. It is a maladaptive behavior because it means we submit to the illness and become unable to meet the demands of life. In essence, withdrawing in this sense is like giving up. Converting anxiety to anger: It's normal for people who have panic disorder, agoraphobia, or another anxiety disorder to experience frustration because of their condition. Sometimes this frustration can develop into anger—anger toward yourself, anger at your situation, or anger toward others. This type of anger is rooted in anxiety. Anger is a powerful feeling that is a normal part of the human experience. Everyone has felt angry at one time or another, and anger itself is not a bad thing. But if you express your anger in unhealthy ways, it can become a problem. Plus, anger can intensify your anxiety and worsen your panic symptoms. The good news is that anger management programs can help you find more adaptive ways to deal with anxiety. A Word From Verywell For many people, the recovery process from anxiety disorders is slow and filled with setbacks. Recovery is accomplished with diligence and a


strong resolve to not accept the control that panic attacks and other anxiety-related symptoms have over our lives.


Chapter 3 - Anxiety and More Note: Calling Bullshit On Big Data lectures are great in showing that

- "We all have opinion" - "BULLSHIT can be BULLSHIT" ... Maladaptive Behaviors to Relieve Anxiety Often used to reduce anxiety, maladaptive behaviors often result in dysfunctional and non-productive outcomes. If you experience frequent panic (anxiety) attacks and have been diagnosed with panic disorder or another anxiety disorder, you may have inadvertently developed maladaptive patterns of behavior to cope with your situation. People with anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and alcohol or other substances as a means of coping with fear and anxiety. Some studies show that people with anxiety disorders are up to three times more likely to have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder than those without an anxiety disorder. Abusing alcohol or other drugs to control stress and anxiety is classified as a maladaptive behavior because it provides only temporary relief from anxiety and actually may create more long-term problems. Substance abuse does not fix the underlying problem, and long-term alcohol or drug abuse can lead to tolerance, dependence, and for some, addiction. Tolerance can result from using a drug over an extended period of time. The result of tolerance is that the drug does not produce the desired effect or the effect is diminished. Tolerance may mean increasing the amount of the drug to produce the desired effect. Physical dependence to a drug often includes tolerance and can be identified by withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped or decreased. Common withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol or


other drug dependence may include: Anxiety Diarrhea/stomach upset Insomnia Muscle cramps Headache Decreased concentration Rapid breathing Tremors Seizures Drug addiction is a brain disease identified by components of physical and psychological dependence. Detoxification can result in the end of physical dependence, but the psychological component maintains a steadfast hold on the addict. It is this component that makes maintaining sobriety so difficult for sufferers. There is no cure for addiction and maintaining sobriety is usually an ongoing quest for those afflicted. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug addiction differs from drug dependence and drug tolerance. Not all people who develop tolerance or physical dependence to a drug will go on to develop an addiction. It is believed that certain individuals are predisposed or vulnerable to addiction based on biological, psychological and social influences. Getting Help for Substance Abuse Maladaptive behaviors refer to types of behaviors that inhibit a person’s ability to adjust to particular situations. Maladaptive behaviors are never good because they prevent people from adapting to the demands of life. Initially, excessive use of alcohol or other drugs may seem to provide relief from anxiety. Unfortunately, long-term effects of substance abuse are not so pleasant. If you have an anxiety disorder and are abusing alcohol or other drugs, you should talk to your doctor or therapist. Although this abuse may be the result of a self-medicating measure, it is likely that it will cause you far more distress in the long run. A professional who treats


anxiety disorders will also be able to assist you in working through your issues with alcohol and/or drugs. Note: I am not fucked up... it's part of the broader topic... People deny depression...! Loneliness and Panic Disorder Ways to Manage Your Feelings of Isolation and Overwhelming Loneliness By Katharina Star, PhD Loneliness can be described as a sense of isolation and feelings of emptiness. When experiencing loneliness, you may feel separated from the world or believe others don’t accept you. At the same time, you may yearn to participate more in life and enjoy the company of others who support and understand you. Most people experience loneliness from time to time. However, feelings of loneliness are very typical for people who have been diagnosed with panic disorder and/or agoraphobia. Additionally, loneliness is also associated with depression, a common co-occurring mental health disorder. Loneliness frequently occurs with mood and anxiety disorders. Many people with panic disorder distance themselves, fearing others won’t understand. They may be embarrassed by their panic attacks or other


anxiety symptoms. There are also many myths about panic disorder that may contribute to a panic sufferer's feelings of shame. Even though people with panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia are prone to feelings of loneliness, there are ways to get past these feelings and become more connected to others. The following are some steps you can take: Take Care of Yourself Self-care strategies are any activities that you can do to enhance your overall health and wellness. For example, self-care practices can help improve your physical, mental, spiritual, relational and emotional well being. Addressing your self-care needs can be a great way to improve your self-esteem and confidence. Many self-care activities can help combat feelings of loneliness and reduce panic disorder symptoms. For instance, physical exercise for panic disorder can help reduce stress hormones and decrease muscle tension. Listening to music you like can improve your mood and keep you from dwelling on negative-thinking patterns. Practicing relaxation techniques can help limit your anxious feelings. You may even find that by taking care of yourself, your feelings of loneliness have lifted. Be an Active Participant in Life Another way to overcome your feelings of isolation is to put yourself out there by getting involved in classes, groups, clubs or organizations. Do you enjoy any specific activities, such as hiking, reading or photography? There are social events and meetings for just about any interest. To get more involved, consider joining a book club at your local library, taking a fitness class at a gym, going to an art class in a craft store or attending a religious meeting. Group activities can also be found by searching online for specific interest groups, such as walking, knitting, or rock climbing. You may even find some online interest groups that connect you to people throughout the world through forums, email, and chat. Virtual


groups are a great option if you are feeling shy about meeting others or are isolated because of other mental health conditions, such as agoraphobia or social anxiety disorder. By seeking out and engaging in groups or classes, you are proactively working on getting past your feelings of loneliness. A group setting can help you learn a new skill or share a passion with other like-minded people. Groups and clubs provide a sense of belonging and community and can be a fun way to keep from being so alone. Be of Service to Others To feel more connected to the world around you, consider volunteering for a cause. You may find that there are a variety of local opportunities. They may include assisting at a food bank, caring for animals or aiding in local charity fundraising events. Through volunteering, you may feel distracted from your symptoms and feelings of loneliness, while connecting to others. You can also be of service to others by teaching them what you know. You may have a talent or skill that others would like to learn. Whether you are skilled at painting, gardening or another passion, there may be people who want to learn from you. By teaching others what you know, you can keep from feeling isolated, build your self-esteem and help another person learn a new skill. Assisting others doesn’t need to involve going far from home. For people with frequent panic attacks or agoraphobia, the thought of reaching out to others can seem unbearable, if not impossible. However, there are opportunities to be of service while close to home. Notice if you have any neighbors who may need some assistance with lawn maintenance or who just want to talk. You may be surprised to find out that other people in your neighborhood—older adults, stay-at-home moms or single parents—are also experiencing loneliness. Additionally, a pet can be a great way for an isolated person to gain a sense of companionship. Consider helping out by adopting a cat or dog. Your pet can provide you with a sense of love and compassion. Plus, walking a dog can help you meet others in your neighborhood.


Build a Panic Disorder Support Network Finding supportive and understanding people can help eliminate loneliness and assist you on your road to recovery. A support network can be made up of professionals, understanding loved ones and others who relate to your experience with panic disorder. Your doctors and other professionals who treat panic disorder are already a part of your network, as they help you with coping and treatment planning. Trusted friends and family can have a positive impact on your growth. There are also many others dealing with the same condition who understand your feelings of loneliness, and they may be able to share in the experience. This type of support can be found through group therapy or even virtually, through online support forums. There are others who understand and can be a part of your support system. A diagnosis of panic disorder does not mean that you have to live with loneliness and isolation. What Not To Say to Someone with Panic Disorder The 5 Worst Things to Say to Someone With Panic Disorder By Katharina Star, PhD It can be difficult to understand what it is like to live with panic disorder. You may find it hard to relate to anxiety and panic attacks if you have never experienced these feelings yourself. However, it is important that you try to speak thoughtfully and sensitively before you inadvertently say something that may hurt, frustrate, and otherwise upset a person with panic disorder. Listed below some of the worst things you can say to someone who is having a panic attack or other panic-related symptoms. These statements are followed by suggestions for better ways to approach someone with panic disorder. 1


"It's all in your mind." Businesswoman frustrated at work What not to say to someone with panic disorder. Jamie Grill / Getty Images There are many myths about panic disorder that unfairly stereotype those struggling with this condition. One of the most common misconceptions is the idea that feelings of panic and anxiety are only the results of the person's imagination. The truth is that panic disorder is a real and diagnosable condition that often involves intense physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. These symptoms can be extremely difficult to manage and are not a sign of a weak-minded person. Better response: “I am here for you.” Telling a panic sufferer that it’s all her mind, suggests that she is to blame for her symptoms. Such statements can contribute to issues such as feelings of loneliness, increased stress, and lowered self-esteem, that people with panic disorder are already prone to experiencing. Instead of blaming the person, try to convey the message that you are there for him if he needs you. Sometimes just letting the person know you are available can make him feel more safe and secure when he is faced with panic and anxiety. Additionally, such positive and supportive statements can give the panic sufferer the extra boost in confidence needed in order to cope with panic symptoms. 2 "Control yourself and calm down." This is probably one of the most insensitive statements to make to someone with panic disorder. If a person with an anxiety disorder could simply “just calm down,” believe me, he or she would. Managing fear, anxiety, and panic attacks is not that easy. It may seem irrational to an outsider, but a person experiencing severe anxiety or going through a panic attack is dealing with a lot of challenging symptoms that are difficult to control. Better response: “Can I help you?” Telling the person to calm down implies that you are embarrassed by her. If you are with a person who is having a panic attack or experiencing


high levels of anxiety, the best thing to do is be supportive. Let the person know that you are there to help if needed, but that you are also willing to provide him with any desired space. Showing your willingness to be of assistance may be all that is necessary to calm the panic sufferer down. The person may just need some time alone to utilize her coping skills to calm the panic and anxiety. 3 "You are overreacting." Imagine for a moment what it would be like to suddenly experience a sense of overwhelming anxiety. Your heart races as you begin to excessively sweat. Your body shakes and trembles as you find it difficult to breathe. Your chest tightens and you start to feel nauseous. You are embarrassed that others will notice your symptoms. You begin to fear that you will completely lose control of yourself. You wonder if you are having a heart attack or if you are possibly going insane. Better response: “You are doing the best you can.” As someone who is not experiencing these symptoms, it may appear as if the person is just overacting. However, this imaginary scenario is the reality for many people with panic disorder. If you are ever around someone who is experiencing overwhelming anxiety or a panic attack, one of the most helpful things you can do is remain encouraging. Let the person know that you believe in his or her ability to work through the panic. 4 "You need to just face you fears to get over them." It is not uncommon to mistakenly believe that a person with panic disorder should force themselves into feared situations. However, making panic sufferers unwillingly face his or her fears is rarely effective. Contrary to this false belief, pushing a person into a feared situation often backfires. Facing fears when unprepared to deal with them can actually lead to increased anxiety and avoidance behaviors. Better response: “Take it at your own pace.” Many people with panic disorder develop a phobia known as agoraphobia. This separate mental health condition involves a fear of


having panic attacks in places that it would be difficult and/or humiliating to escape from. When it comes to facing feared situations, a person with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia should practice gradual exposure. By slowly learning to deal with anxiety-provoking situations, the person can build his or her sense of self-reliance and learn how to effectively cope with fears one step at a time. 5 "You are ruining things." If your loved one has a panic attack that impacts your plans, you may feel understandably upset. However, shaming the person for his or her panic symptoms will only cause more feelings of hurt and embarrassment. People with panic disorder are already prone to feeling ashamed about their symptoms. The person will only experience added stress and guilt if you point this out to him or her. Better response: “I know this is difficult.� Instead of insulting and attacking your loved one, try to respond to her empathetically. Express that you understand how challenging it must be for him to get through these panic attacks. Even if you are feeling disappointed, saying hurtful statements will not make the situation better. Try to remain empathetic and understanding to the panic sufferer’s struggle. Whether intentional or not, your words can hurt, aggravate, and cause a great deal of stress to a person with panic disorder. If you are around someone who is having a panic attack, you can be helpful by remaining positive, understanding, and supportive. Try to choose your words wisely and think compassionately when speaking to someone with panic disorder.


Chapter 4 - Harsh Enviroment Note: The nation is not stable... just not fucking stable!

... Dead of comedy! Is the snowflake generation really about to kill off comedy? Political correctness is forcing more comics to delicately tiptoe around issues of race, class and sexuality. But is self-censoring and avoiding offensive topics the answer to keeping a career in laughs? Integral to every society, comedy is there to ridicule the powerful and relieve the rest of us. But rapid social change can act as a divide between comedians and audiences, begging the question: can comedy only evolve alongside society’s attitude shifts for so long? The debate was once whether racist, homophobic and sexist jokes were okay. And while that has long been shut down with a resounding “no”, social change is causing a new divide between those who think that comedy shouldn’t offend, and those who insist offending is at the heart of good comedy – alongside the argument that comedians are too offensive, versus audiences being too easily upset. Both comedians and their audiences are reflecting recent cultural shifts society has made towards a more inclusive society, including improved attitudes towards gender equality and LGBT rights. May’s MTV Movie and Film Awards’ acting trophies, for example, were no longer categorised by gender, but given to the “Best Actor in a


Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show”, in a move to modernise and reflect younger generations’ views of gender as a spectrum. And last month, the New York subway announced it will use genderneutral pronouns instead of “ladies and gentlemen”. Just like comedy routines about predictive texting might as well be from the Stone Age now, these milestones society has made to become more inclusive are rapidly dating some of the UK’s most loved comedies. For example, it’s hard to believe that as recently as 2006 comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams dressed as transvestites and wore fat suits on their sitcom Little Britain. But more recently, Lucas said dressing as a “rubbish transvestite” now seems “extremely insensitive”. Even family friendly Peter Kay and his character, Britain’s Got The Pop Factor winner Geraldine, would struggle to get the laughs it once did.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas as Little Britain characters Desiree and Bubbles Devere (BBC/Little Britain) We’ve surpassed the point where we’d question whether a man


clumsily dressed as a woman is funny. Jen Lavery, spokesperson for comedy club The Stand, says, “Previously a comedian may have been able to get away with a sexist comment; you can see audiences are now generally less comfortable with that type of rhetoric,” she says. “People are also far more aware of trans issues now too, and certain jokes which may have got a laugh even a couple of years ago would now be viewed very differently.” Now, the PC argument has moved on to whether comedians should address all genders at the expense of brevity, give audiences trigger warnings and avoid any controversial topics, despite coming at them from a liberal angle. Lavery says she has seen a rise in the number of audience complaints from its comedy venues across Edinburgh over the past few years. Some of these, she says, are “knee-jerk reactions” to a specific word or phrase, without paying attention to the context, like when someone complained about a comedian making jokes about epilepsy, “despite the fact the act had made clear that they themselves were epileptic”. Speaking to the BBC, journalist Jon Ronson said that audiences no longer pick up on the nuances of jokes: “Nobody seems to be able to tell the difference between a racist joke and a liberal joke that comments on racism.” And social media, some argue, only exacerbates the issue. Comedian Andrew Doyle noted in an article for Spiked that he’s seen an increase in people taking stand-up comedy at face value. He wrote, “Many comedians I’ve spoken to agree that this kind of entitled, moralistic response is more commonplace than ever before. Perhaps it’s related to what psychologists have identified as a general escalation of narcissistic behaviour. Or maybe it’s an inevitable byproduct of social media, through which offence-seeking has turned into a kind of amateur sport.” British comedian Gina Yashere now lives and works in the US, but began her career in the UK, and recently argued on BBC radio that there’s been a “big shift in everybody getting offended about everything”. She said social media has amplified how audiences respond when they hear something they don’t like. “Usually, when people were offended they walked out and told their friends and family and that was the end of it. Now, everybody has an opinion and everybody has to let everybody


else know what this opinion is and something has to be done about it.”

Gina Yashere worries that social media has amplified people’s offended responses (Getty) And this is affecting comedians, according to Doyle. He says, “Easily offended audiences aren’t necessarily a threat to comedy insofar as the best comedians will always say whatever they want irrespective of societal pressures to tone down. That said, for economic reasons more and more comedians are self-censoring. “Comics who make controversial decisions in their writing tend not to make the transition to television, for obvious reasons. And comedy club promoters are unlikely to rebook acts if they are perceived to be divisive.” But not all comedians are noticing a shift towards more easily offended audiences, and say this could come down to demographics. Jenny Éclair said on BBC radio that her audience doesn’t mind being addressed within the constraints of traditional male and female genders. She said they aren’t “particularly petty” because they’re middle-aged women with “real issues” to deal with, such as dying parents and


redundancies. “They have bigger fish to fry … they aren’t actually sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, they called us ladies and gentlemen, I don’t like that’,” she said. Doyle agrees that comedians shouldn’t have to change how they address their audience, or refer to men and women. He says, “I’d only laugh if anyone made the suggestion. It sounds like the sort of thing the Daily Mail invent to show how ‘PC has gone mad’. The only time I’d ever use the phrase ‘person with male sexual organs’ instead of ‘man’ is if I were ridiculing the absurd excesses of the liberal-left. “Anyway, with that kind of convoluted phrase you’d totally mess up your timing.” Comedian Sofie Hagen hosts the podcast Made of Human, where she often discusses activism and social issues including body positivity and feminism, and tries to always have gender neutral toilets at her gigs. And she believes it’s easy for comedians to accommodate everyone. She says, “I think comedians can positively contribute to the world by being politically correct, which is simply a term that covers ‘not being toxic’. It is so easy saying ‘all genders’ instead of ‘men and women’.” Hagen is so serious about being politically correct that she pays activists to approve her work before it’s performed, but she insists the joke always comes before semantics. “A joke is funnier if the sentences and words are short,” she says. “So a lot of this depends on where this word-you-shouldn’t-say is placed within the joke. If it is part of the setup to the joke and you can easily say ‘a person with male sexual organs’ instead of ‘man’, then by all means, do it. “But if the punchline ends with the word ‘man’, the laugh would be demolished by ‘a person with male sexual organs’.” Hagen also admits that, while staunchly believing in not offending or alienating her audience, her writing process relies on her not censoring herself. “It is difficult being a comedian and also be constantly aware of all the words that come out of your mouth. I have to make rules for myself. When I’m writing material and working out what to say, I can’t make any promises,” she says.


“It will all be stream-of-consciousness and it might be awful, because it is just my thoughts unedited. I have to access that part of my brain that makes all of the mistakes, because that is also where the jokes are: among all the problematic stuff that I have been conditioned to think by society.” And being culturally sensitive doesn’t need to threaten a comedian’s success, according to James Woroniecki, director of the London comedy venue The 99 Club. He says he’s noticed comedians becoming more politically aware in the past couple of years, and increasingly aware of how language is shifting. “Sometimes that may mean changing certain phrases so they’re more inclusive, or challenging current assumptions and finding the absurd in the new debates that society is grappling with,” he says, and insists that this hasn’t dulled their work. “Comedy clubs are a bastion of free speech, where skilled comics are free to explore difficult issues,” he says. “A good comedian can track how an audience is feeling about a subject and make their jokes as clear and effective as possible.”


Peter Kay as Geraldine McQueen, one of his most beloved characters (Rex) All a comedian needs to do to avoid offending people, Woroniecki says, is to be very funny. “A highly capable comic such as those we book can address difficult and challenging subjects with such a level of hilarity that no offence is taken.” Some may argue that changing language to this degree and avoiding offensive topics is pandering to audiences poised to take down a comedian on social media for a joke they only half listened to, but Hagen is resolute: being politically aware isn’t personal, and being non-offensive doesn’t mean a comedian is nice. “A comedian colleague of mine recently said to me, ‘Your brand is ‘being nice’ and it terrified me,” she says. “I’d hate it if people assumed that I am nice, just because I try to be inclusive. It’s making the political too personal. I said to her, startled, ‘I will fight to my death for your right to feel safe, but I’ll be a f*cking c**t to your face.’” Easily offended hecklers are ruining comedy Note: There is even a specific term about this type of behavior. Hecklers are a curious breed. They enjoy nothing better than shouting at stand-up comedians, presumably under the impression that they are somehow helping. This can be motivated by a number of factors, although it’s usually just a combination of excessive drinking and poor social skills. But there’s a type of heckle that is becoming increasingly familiar in comedy clubs, one fuelled by moral indignation rather than cheap lager. These disciples of Mary Whitehouse appear to be proliferating at an alarming rate, poised to erupt at any moment if a performer dares utter anything that could conceivably be interpreted as offensive. Such creatures tend to be humourless by nature, so it’s odd that they should


settle on comedy criticism for a hobby. Those who feel duty-bound to vocalise their dissatisfaction during a live performance should beware. For one thing, hecklers never win. Comedians make their living by taking the piss, and those with sufficient experience are unlikely to be fazed by loud declarations of fusty selfrighteousness. Moreover, by taking stand-up at face value, these hecklers have already revealed that they lack the ability to judge its merits. Stand-up comedy is a form of theatre. Getting worked up over a comedian’s viewpoint makes about as much sense as interrupting a production of Oedipus Rex because you disapprove of incest. During the run of my new show, Thought Crimes, at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I was on the receiving end of two almost identical heckles on different nights. In each case I was branded a ‘misogynist’ for referring to Theresa May as a ‘venomous hag’, and for suggesting that she is starting to resemble an NHS poster warning about the dangers of dehydration. The word ‘misogyny’ means ‘hatred of women’. I mention this only because so many are now using it to describe any remark that denigrates any woman in any way. No doubt by pointing this out I am leaving myself open to accusations of ‘mansplaining’ – the neologism of choice for the truly inane. But quite what my biological sex has to do with the contents of the dictionary isn’t immediately apparent to me. For the record, I don’t hate women. I don’t even hate Theresa May. I consider her a minor irritation, like sunburn or low-fat coleslaw. My onstage persona certainly hates her, although this does not extend to a feeling of contempt for women in general. On reflection, perhaps this would be an interesting approach to adopt for comedic purposes, especially given the tendency among many fourth-wave feminists to seek out misogyny where it does not exist. And in any case, some of the very best routines in the history of stand-up have been able to accommodate varying degrees of moral ambiguity. Thought Crimes is largely concerned with the rise of offence culture, so I found it remarkable to see these hecklers inadvertently proving my point. These were rare instances in which the hecklers proved to be helpful, because they embodied everything that I had been ridiculing. One critic even speculated that I might have arranged a plant, given how well it served the show’s objective.


What strikes me most of all about this kind of heckle is the sheer sense of entitlement that it involves. I’ve often found myself sitting through shows that I cannot abide, but I prefer to keep quiet about it until it’s over, or discreetly slip away during the interval. I don’t assume that my opinion is so important that I should immediately declare it to everyone within earshot. The audience has paid to see the performer, not me. Yet many comedians I’ve spoken to agree that this kind of entitled, moralistic response is more commonplace than ever before. Perhaps it’s related to what psychologists have identified as a general escalation of narcissistic behaviour. Or maybe it’s an inevitable by-product of social media, through which offence-seeking has turned into a kind of amateur sport. I blame JK Rowling. The comedian Scott Capurro puts it down to economic privilege. ‘Stand-up audiences are mostly middle-class these days, so of course they’re more entitled. Comedy is like yoga or leather; it’s an expensive fetish.’ Capurro is well known for his scathing routines and politically incorrect humour. At a recent show in London, one punter pushed her way into the green room to let him know that his act was ‘vulgar’ and that he should modify his material. This is what entitlement does to people: it prevents them from appreciating just how preposterous they appear to others. This new Puritanism isn’t simply confined to audiences. More and more critics are taking the view that stand-up comics have a responsibility to stay within ‘morally acceptable’ parameters. But to judge art by how effectively it reinforces contemporary ethical trends is entirely to misapprehend its purpose. I’m reminded of Oscar Wilde’s observation in his preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray: ‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.’ Throughout history, clowns have occupied the privileged position of being able to speak provocatively, whether they believe what they say or not. King Lear’s fool can openly criticise his master because he entertains him in the process. As Salman Rushdie puts it in his short story ‘Yorick’, a court jester was empowered ‘to tell the truth, yet keep his head, jingling as it was with silly bells’. Likewise, some of the most effective stand-up is able to challenge our certainties by making us laugh. This is how we should judge its success, not by whether or not it accords


with any particular moral standards. As Sam Kinison once said, ‘When has stand-up comedy been kind to anyone? Comedy attacks.’ So at the risk of sounding like a bitter comedian who is fed up with being shouted at, I’ll end with some friendly advice. If you feel inclined to heckle because something you have heard has offended you, take a moment to consider whether you might have missed the point. Believe me, there aren’t many more embarrassing sights than an outraged audience member who doesn’t get the joke.


Chapter 4.1 - Harsh Enviroment (Part 2) Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Scott Capurro Scott Capurro should put "causing controversy since 1994" on his posters. Ever since the San Francisco comedian won the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer prize that year he has been known for taking no prisoners when it comes to his subject matter. Whether talking about AIDS or the holocaust or anything else really he has a distinctive, witty take on the subject. This year he is talking about rich friends, worthy yoga and the miseries of home ownership. The subjects might sound like he is mellowing, but this is a man who could start WW3 with a remark about the downward dog. Go see but stand well back and wear a tin helmet. The Trouble with Scott Capurro: 2 – 26 August (not 14th or 21st), 9.20pm, Heroes @ Boteco – 47 Lothian St. Buy a £5 ticket in advance to guarantee entry or Pay What You Want at the venue. Picture: Steve Best 1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)? I peruse the front row for friendly, focused faces. It’s to those peeps I’ll direct my vitriol. 2. What irritates you? Sour talk about other comedians. We’re all our own toughest critics, so let’s leave our colleagues (and our parents) out of this constant internal conversation.


3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done? I went on Grindr in Doha. Everyone warned me it was a government plot and they’d chop off my head. But I’m still here. 4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done? Aside from supporting the Green Party and taking growth hormone? Must’ve been when I asked an ageing audience member, who was on her own, “Are all your friends dead?” She said, “No, but my son is. I’m attending his funeral in the morning. He died of AIDS.” Hard to win the crowd back after that. 5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy? That I have a career in comedy. I trained as an actor, so I agreed to do a solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1994 because I thought Scottish men were pretty. Had no intention of spending most of my adult life at a Travelodge. Am now addicted to cheap biscuits. 6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job? My father thinks he’s the funnier one, and tells me mildly bigoted jokes he’s sure will make me a star. He suggests I do TV, and when I do, wear a tie. My mother is dead, so we’re closer. 7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian? Waiting to go on stage in Lincolnshire. 8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?


I’m different, in that I don’t apologise for what I say. Humour makes unpalatable subject matter easier to swallow, and the sooner I can approach a tragedy, the less cowardly I feel. I like the immediacy of my act, it draws attention to peoples’ own hypocrisy and that makes me laugh. 9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn? I do ok. But money is power in my biz, so it would be nice to make buckets-full so I can call the shots. Meaning, I want a Netflix series where I travel to all my fave places and eat a lot. 10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks? Luck and timing have a lot to do with success I guess, otherwise we’d all be huge. Have had some luck, and some I've squandered. When I was younger, I took criticism so personally. Wish I’d been more myopic, but I prefer intimacy and reaction to owning lots of cars. 11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category? Probably I’m a bit of both. I avoid stressful situations and practice yoga daily so I don’t put my fist through a wall; I also enjoy seeing fear in the eyes of those in the front row as I approach my Grenfell Tower material. Just wondering which category Alan falls into. He has a lovely, warm presence on stage, but let’s face it: comedians are attention grabbers, and enjoy humour as an aphrodisiac, which immediately makes us contentious. Good stand up is vocational, the high from the crowd’s approving response is addictive, and chasing that dragon is never easy. 12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?


Dead: Gore Vidal. I’m in awe of his brain and envious of his lifestyle. Alive: Gary Lineker. He really seems to enjoy everything about his life, and he has youthful hands. 13. Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response). I’m very tidy, to the point of argument with the cleaner. In fact both my homes had an infestation of various sorts recently, and large bags of drawer stuffing (old phones, ugly candles, character glasses) were tossed. I love love love throwing things away which might explain my being single for so long. My husband is a Virgo, he’s like velcro, and no matter how many times I ask him to sleep in the park he always comes home. Lucky me. Festival joke on Holocaust provokes outrage An emotional row has broken out at the Edinburgh Festival over whether comedians should be allowed to make jokes about the Holocaust. Nearly a quarter of the audience walked out of a show by the gay American comedian Scott Capurro on Tuesday night after he caused uproar with a gag that finished, "Holocaust Schmolocaust, can't they find something else to whine about?" Last night he refused to withdraw the remark and said that because the "reaction has been so good ... I'm going to write more of this material". Tension had begun to build right from the start of his performance in the Pleasance theatre as the San Francisco-based stand-up, known for pushing the boundaries, attacked the festival's organisers for not allowing a Jewish comedian to call his show A Little Piece of Kike because it was


likely to cause offence. Capurro, whose great grandmother was Jewish, had been rattling through a typically hard hitting routine which questioned why it was "OK to laugh at blacks and homos like me, but not OK to joke about Jews". "I am Jewish, and I want to be a buried in a Jewish graveyard, but they won't let me because I have tattoos. "Not the right kind of tattoo, eh?" he said, pointing to his arm. He then dropped the "Holocaust, Schmolocaust" line. Several women in the front row walked out in protest. When a man in the audience told him he was not funny, Capurro tore into him, with the parting rebuke: "I hope you die of Aids." Further walkouts followed, and a teenage girl started crying. Last night Capurro, who has previously got himself into hot water by questioning the cult of Anne Frank, was unrepentant: "OK, so I made a 15-year-old girl cry? What was she doing in my show anyway? I am an iconoclast, that is my job. I am paid to have no discretion. "I have obviously hit on something here; I've hit a goldmine, and I'll have to write more of this material." He claimed that a Jewish man who had been in the audience at the Pleasance, and who had lost all but two members of his family in the Holocaust, had come backstage to offer his support. "I consider Aids to be a kind of Holocaust," said Capurro. "Our thinking has got warped, the pink triangle [the symbol the Nazis forced gays to wear in the camps] has now become a fashion accessory." Ian Stone, the Jewish comic whose show title has been amended to A Little Piece of K*** in the festival programme, defended Capurro's right to "walk that fine line". He said: "I know Scott and he is a compassionate guy, and people should understand that this is comedy. "His comedy is about challenging prejudices. He sees himself as an outsider and thinks Jews should reclaim words that have been used against them, as gays have done. "The 'Schmolocaust' line will be offensive to a lot of people, although I would have laughed because of the shock. No one has ever really said that on stage before; it's off limits even for Jews." Stone, whose own routine is much gentler in tone, has still run into


problems for joking about the need of Jews to "marry out" for the sake of their looks. His aunt, Irene, has refused to speak to him since. "Who needs antisemites when you're around?" she told him. Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our reporting as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. We do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our Editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. Scott Capurro on political correctness in comedy The controversial comic examines pushing the boundaries What can and can’t be said on stage? Fearless London-based US comic Scott Capurro has been asking that question on- and off-stage for years, performing challenging, shockingly funny stand-up. Here, he shares his thoughts on political correctness in comedy. Many years ago, when I was a legitimate actor in San Francisco, I got the idea that audiences weren't listening. Maybe it was the tired tourist trade for which I was performing, or perhaps I, at the tender age of 28,


was disillusioned, but theatregoers seemed detached. I wanted to test audiences and see if words could change their perceptions, and the first opinion I was eager to alter was that homosexuals are all camp, limp-wristed, foppish clowns. I wanted to make people think differently about gay men. This had to begin, obviously, in straight comedy clubs. I'd already successfully played the one and only gay club in San Francisco. Josie's, the vegan juice joint I called my performance home, had allowed my comedy skills to grow among likeminded homos, but I wanted to hone my craft in a wider world. The US seemed, especially then, obsessed with butch arrogance, so I flew to the Edinburgh Fringe and was nice on stage for three years while I searched for my true comic voice. I felt I was funnier, more clever and cunning off-stage than on. I had to transfer my guile from backstage to the fore. Eventually, and oddly, I finally found the one item that audiences wouldn't tolerate, and that was making fun of Anne Frank. Women rule comedy rooms, and Anne is no exception. Let's take another example... Two years ago I was in Covent Garden telling a joke about a girl who's missing. Her parents are Brits and she's probably dead, but one person's hope is another's punchline. An audience member stood up, lifted the collar of her tweedy overcoat and announced to her workmates, 'I don't have to put up with this from some sad fucking queer.' No one wants to see a gay man abusing a woman, but the bitch was coming at me so I punched her in the side of her head. Now, I know I sound sad, but that's mostly the fat talking. The woman 'came at me', meaning she passed too closely to the stage and I took a swing at her with the palm of my hand. I batted her right temple, enough to make her head bob. 'Oi,' she barked, 'I just had head surgery.' 'Well it didn't fucking work,' was my response. I should've won the argument earlier with words, but I'd had lots of coffee that day and verbal abuse all my life. I've got a blind spot where the word 'queer' is concerned (unless I'm paying someone ÂŁ50 to whisper it into my ear). When my sexuality is


used as a weapon, the comedy club becomes a schoolyard and I'm 14 again, tall and skinny and mouthy, a huge ego and a low self-esteem the constitution of a serial killer or hairdresser or yoga teacher or brain surgeon. To hide my attraction to my male friends I was funnier and smarter than everyone else. I dressed well as camouflage. I hated myself for hiding, the way a comic hates himself for brutally putting down a heckler. Bigotry sets me off, so I beat the crowds to the punch by being outrageous. In Amsterdam I reminded the Dutch of their complacency in 1939, and their responsibility for little Anne's death. I was not invited back to Amsterdam for 12 years. When I did my Frank shtick in Edinburgh, Cambridge Footlights members stormed out, in tears. I was upset too: Surely, by 2001, someone had covered Anne Frank in their act!? However, it seemed Anne remained virgin territory, and as the walkouts increased, so did the number of subjects one could discuss onstage. I received death threats, and when several comics stopped talking to me I knew I was doing something right. Taboos kept getting smashed because I had less left to lose. I saw the confusion and angst in the front row's eyes. Finally, we were getting somewhere - the audience didn't know what was coming. How exciting for them! I fed off their sweat and steam. In central London, a few years later, a comedy club booker - an old hippy with a Jewish wife - threatened to ban me for being a Holocaust denier. My response, on stage: 'What Holocaust?' Oops. That club closed eventually anyway. Sorry, it was purged. Cleansed? Whatever. In Australia, I was asked to do a set on live television to promote the Melbourne Comedy Festival. I sent them the set in outline form. When, during my performance, I eroticised the Christ figure, complaints were lodged. Who knew Jesus could still cause a buzz? I was accused of improvising, of varying from my script. I'd like to say, in a revolutionary sort of way, that I had, but I hadn't. Still, my Festival show was banned by the Catholic Church on Easter, although one wonders what an Orthodox Catholic is doing at my show, especially during Christ's erection, other than procuring among my younger fans... TV producers were apparently fired for letting me


experience the joys of freedom of speech, and the Festival, in feigned outrage, removed their support from my show. Though it's been made clear to me many times, even within the last few days, that I'm not invited back to work in Australia, I've become a showbiz myth, and 'Don't pull a Capurro', meaning 'don't go rogue and do relevant material', is the warning given to most comics before stepping in front of an Antipodean TV camera. Not too long ago, in the cellar of a Soho gay club, when I diplomatically suggested to a Chinese-American woman that her driving might suffer because of a lack of periphery, a lesbian chucked ice at my temple. In self-defence, I flipped the lesbo table, then other tables were turned. Later the Chinese woman apologised, and stated, in quirky grammar, she didn't require the 'lesbian's aids'. I said, 'If only lesbians did get Aids, we'd all be equal.' That joke suffers in print... For telling incest jokes about my own father the Daily Mirror stated I was evil and should be forced to leave the country. For telling jokes about the Daily Mail's slobbering coverage of Goebbels's - sorry, the Queen's Jubilee, a promoter told me I was evil and should return to the US. For telling jokes about Obama to a middle-class, white, cross-armed crowd in my hometown of San Francisco, I was told by a 'fan' that I was autistic and practically British. Comedy clubs have, for a long time, been a female's safe space. Not on-stage, because of the pure misogyny of stand-up, but off it. A husband won't win that fight about offensiveness, so he keeps quiet, while women determine what's appropriate. And even more than 'queer', the word 'inappropriate' rushes me into a rage. I mistrust authority, and anyway who draws the boundaries? After all, not every comic wants to be a hackneyed TV presenter. If I'm not worried about taste and decency on the BBC, then why be limited by arcane rules at a live performance? Because most people have no sense of humour, stand-up comedy is cultish. It's also cheap to produce and, relative to other live performance like Shakespeare and all that made-up garbage, inexpensive to attend. The masses are gathering, stumbling like zombies towards comedy clubs. Online bookings are more prevalent, shouldering out loyal locals and enticing lazy hen parties and other terrorists that travel in packs and


have seen McIntyre, so they know what comedy is, mate. But I don't want me to be liked by a pack of strangers. If they want a clown they can afford, they should storm a children's party. And tolerating a comic is demeaning. If an audience member has an idea they want to share, then bring it, but griping about one's feelings? I'm not wearing a white coat and I have a husband, so one's feelings should be saved for lucky friends. Just last weekend a woman barked 'racist' at me in a room of 200 otherwise well-behaving audience members. I was joking about the Koran and the bigotry of radical Muslim fundamentalism, so her remark might've been welcomed had it not been directed at me. The crowd, already a bit tense over my mentioning the Koran and Big Mo, grew quiet, nervous, which made my loins twitch with excitement. What might happen next? The beauty of live performance is anticipation. 'All Americans are racist,' she then stupidly continued, ruining both her argument and the room's anxiety. Two hundred laughed at her expense, and I was reminded how tenuous is a comic's grip of control on that tiny, wooden stage. The heckler approached after the show and asked me if I'd like to discuss the misogyny of my act with her female friends, gathered like a coven in the back of the club. 'You mentioned rape. We're uncomfortable.' I had mentioned rape, but my husband's rape of me, which I then said was impossible because you cannot rape a gay. 'You're married. Don't you want to have children?' She asked this with true concern. 'No, not all gay men are paedophiles,' I responded, then removed her hand from my knee, ushered her away and suggested she try to have fun. 'I'm too drunk,' was her response. 'But I know comedy. I used to work in a comedy club!' One shudders. 'Your moral compass is just right,' a man told me after my set last month, privately, at the bar of a lovely, sprawling comedy room near Leicester Square, while his girlfriend visited the ladies. That made me uncomfortable. I don't ever want the audience to know what side I'm on. I've got no sides. I'm trying to deliver more than one argument. I'm like the US Army: I don't take a position, I'm just there to help clear up this mess of confusion about political correctness, because there is none. Everyone's boundaries are different, thank Goddess. If we all agreed, nothing would be funny. If at least parts of the crowd aren't shaking or angry by the end of my set, they haven't got their money's worth and I feel a bit dirty, like I've let


down the contingency of cantankerous, crabby, clarifying comics by smothering myself in sticky, gooey kindness. Yech! There's a threshold I must pass, even in a brief 30-minute set, where the crowd realises 'queers' can be something other than lonely, sexless, mincing, prissy, overweight, wall-eyed elves with one joke and no friends. We can also be varied, like any ambitious voice on the comedy circuit. So I'm argumentative, disagreeable, miserly, confrontational, sexual, manipulative, affable, frank and self-abusive. I'm also fast, so those with reservations have little time to ponder. I'm not just a cocksucker; I'm a grinning idiot with barbs. I'm a comic who reveals hypocrisy and helps tragedies fade. Comics shed light. We're as necessary as a lightbulb, yet harder to replace. Anatomy of a Successful Rape Joke Yes, jokes about rape can be funny. Daniel Tosh’s wasn’t. elieve it or not, jokes about rape can be funny. (Yes, even feminists think so.) But Daniel Tosh’s hotly debated “joke” aimed at a female heckler was far from humorous—in fact, it was a perfect example of how not to joke about rape. Tosh has come under fire this week after a woman blogged about her experience seeing Tosh at a comedy club. According to her, Tosh was talking about how rape jokes were always “hilarious.” She called out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!” After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” Her post has since gone viral, prompting Tosh to write a tepid apology on his Twitter account: all the out of context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely


apologize j.mp/PJ8bNs — daniel tosh (@danieltosh) July 10, 2012 In the meantime, hordes of fans and other comedianshave come to his defense, some in the most violentlymisogynist way possible. Elissa Bassist at The Daily Beast gets to the heart of why what Tosh said wasn’t funny—in fact, why it wasn’t a joke at all. Tosh says he was joking. Comedians make rape jokes every day, so why is this one getting so much attention? Because Tosh was more than “just kidding.” He was angry. His “joke” was reactive to the so-called heckler who called him out in front of an audience. He used humor to cut her down, to remind her of own vulnerability, to emphasize who was in control. The “joke” ignited a backlash because it was not a joke; it was vastly different from other jokes about rape. Jokes about rape that work—those that subvert rather than terrify—do exist. Sarah Silverman has one about being raped by a doctor: “…so bittersweet for a Jewish girl,” she says. And Wanda Sykes has an amazing routine (you can watch the video at the bottom of this post) about having a “detachable pussy.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our pussies were detachable? Just think about it. You get home from work, it’s getting a little dark outside, and you’re like, ‘I’d like to go for a jog…but it’s getting too dark, oh! I’ll just leave it at home!’… [There’s] just so much freedom—you could do anything. You could go visit a professional ball player’s hotel room at two in the morning. Sex? My pussy’s not even in the building! George Carlin actually explained quite well why jokes about rape can be funny: Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. See, hey why do you think they call him “Porky,” eh? I know what you’re going to say. “Elmer was asking for it. Elmer was coming on to Porky. Porky couldn’t help himself, he got a hard-on, he got horny, he lost control, he went out of his mind.” A lot of men talk like that. A lot of men think that way. They think it’s the woman’s fault. They like to blame the rape on the woman. Say, “she had it coming, she was wearing a short skirt.” These guys think women ought to go to prison for being cock teasers. Don’t seem fair to me. These jokes point out absurdity, they shed light on what’s wrong with rape—what they don’t do is threaten. And that’s what Tosh did. Just because it was uttered by a comedian doesn’t make it any less of a verbal assault. Indeed, that’s exactly how this woman felt:


[H]aving to basically flee while Tosh was enthusing about how hilarious it would be if I was gang-raped in that small, claustrophic [sic] room was pretty viscerally terrifying and threatening all the same, even if the actual scenario was unlikely to take place. The suggestion of it is violent enough and was meant to put me in my place. Those supporting Tosh are outraged that anyone would dare tell a comedian how to be funny. (There’s also been a lot of “if you can’t take the heat” sentiment aimed at this woman, given that she heckled Tosh.) Many of his defenders insist that his joke—and other jokes about rape— are simply edgy and controversial, which is what a comedian is supposed to be. But here’s the thing: threatening women with rape, making light of rape, and suggesting that women who speak up be raped is not edgy or controversial. It’s the norm. This is what women deal with every day. Maintaining the status quo around violence against women isn’t exactly revolutionary. It’s also telling that the vast majority of people defending Tosh’s comments are men—and that they’re being incredibly sexist in their responses to boot. I’d ask these guys why it is they’re so virulently fighting for the right to tell rape jokes. Why is it so important to them that Tosh be able to “joke” about a woman who loudly criticized him being gang raped? (Video blogger Jay Smooth asked a similar question about Gwyneth Paltrow’s using the “n-word.”) If you are this attached to jokes about raping women—if they mean this much to you—it’s time to look inward and think about why that is. Because at the end of the day, the misogynist fervor behind the defense of Tosh doesn’t isn’t an impassioned debate over free speech or the nature of humor. It’s men who feel entitled to say whatever they want —no matter how violent—to women, and who are angry to have that long standing privilege challenged. I guess they don’t find that funny. Well, neither do I.


Chapter 5 - Harsh Enviroment (Part 3) How To Make A Girl Think About You Non-Stop (And Fall In Love With You) By John Alex Clark Want to know how to make a girl think about you? To the point where she becomes obsessed with you? And can’t help but feel drawn to you emotionally? Let’s suppose I met you on a bus one day and we got talking. During the course of our conversation together we began talking about the other people on the bus and I began telling you that I could read their minds. I then proceed to prove this by pointing out to you the people that were most likely to press the signal button to get off at the next stop … and, sure enough, each one I point out gets off on cue as we proceed along the route. Now, what would be going through your mind at this? Most likely you would be intrigued by my ability to read minds. You’d begin wondering if I had some kind of magic powers …and the result is that I would stick in your mind afterward. You would keep thinking about me. So what just happened? Well, let’s just back up a second. I can’t really read minds. I was just pretending to for fun. What I didn’t tell you was that I am a body language expert. And all I was doing was analyzing each person’s body posture to judge their state of mind …and what they were most likely to do next. For example, you can tell with a fair degree of accuracy the people on a bus that are most likely to get off at the next stop by analyzing their body posture. People who:


Are seated upright Intently looking ahead Slightly leaning forward Have their body slightly angled towards the signal button Or a combination of these …are all people that are likely to be looking to get off at the next stop or two. It becomes easier to tell who is most likely to get off next by eliminating the people who are least likely to get off next (such as those looking out the windows or those who are sitting slouched on their seat). But you wouldn’t have known this. From your perspective, it would have looked like I was reading the people’s minds …and this would have set up a sense of mystery in your mind about me and make you think about me afterward. Simply Don’t Explain If you can display a trait, quality or skill to the woman you like … without explaining how you have that particular trait, quality or skill, it sets up a sense of mystery in that woman’s mind about you. And this is powerful. Humans have a natural desire to figure things out. If something perplexes us, we look for an answer to it. We don’t like loose ends. When you can leave the woman you like wondering something about you, her imagination naturally kicks in and begins trying to figure out that thing about you. The side-effect of this is that if she is unable to figure out that thing about you …you will stick in their mind. And sticking in a woman’s mind is a key way to making that woman fall in love with you. A woman can’t fall in love with you if she never thinks about you. She can only fall in love if you are on her mind. So you need to find a way of achieving this …and mystery is one way of achieving this goal. Build Mystery While You Can When a woman doesn’t know certain things about you …you will appear more mysterious. As soon as she knows those things about you …you immediately revert back to being just an ordinary person. Obviously, eventually, this woman is going to figure out these things


about you (after all, if you get into a relationship together she’s going to get to know more and more about you). The key here is to keep her in a sense of mystery about you UNTIL she has fallen for you. After that, having a sense of mystery about you is not as important as in the early stages of building attraction in her for you. 20 True Facts About The Harsh Realities Of Being A Girl By Lindsey Dee Being a girl definitely has its pros and cons. We have the tools to enhance our appearance and trick other people into thinking we are good looking. We have an undeniable power over men that is best described as “having boobs.” We get into the bars/clubs for free and rarely need to open our wallet. However, being a girl takes a lot of hard work. We are expected to perform the same jobs for less money. We are viewed as the weaker sex even when we prove our strength time and time again, and then ya know, there’s always the small task of GROWING A TINY HUMAN inside of us and then pushing it out of our bodies and taking care of it for the rest of forever. These pros and cons are just the tip of the girly iceberg. Below I have listed what I feel are the most important things people should know about what it’s like to be a girl. My fellow females can relate, and men, take notes. 1. We hate getting ready more than you hate waiting for us to get ready. The process of “getting ready” is the absolute bane of my existence. Until I have showered, blow-dried, straightened/curled, applied makeup, and gotten dressed…I am a prisoner in my own home. This does not apply to ALL women (damn you, naturally beautiful demons) but it does apply to most. If you are an average looking human like myself, there are so many steps that must be taken before you can take on the world feeling confident and fully prepared to run into your ex and his new girlfriend.


Men usually complain about having to wait around for their girlfriend or wife to get ready, and they should know that we are equally pained over the process. The thing that bothers me the most about getting ready is all the time I have wasted in my life just trying to look presentable. If my hair was naturally straight or wavy instead of a tangled knot from hell, I could have probably solved world hunger by now. Or better yet, I could get an extra hour of sleep per day. The truth about the female obsession with our appearance, aside from societal pressure to look sexually appealing, is that we do it mainly for ourselves and for other females. As long as my boobs haven’t fallen off, a guy who finds me attractive will continue to do so no matter what I wear or how I do my hair, but other women aren’t as easy to pull one over on. It sounds vain and maybe it is, but most women just don’t feel comfortable or beautiful in their natural state. Also, yes I’d LOVE to go in the pool, but it took me an hour and a half to look this mediocre so I cannot get my hair/face wet. #thestruggle 2. So…. many…. appointments. In order to maintain our appearance, we spend our precious time and money in various salons: hair, nails, tanning, waxing, etc. I actually don’t mind getting my hair done because it is relaxing and I enjoy catching up with my friend/hairstylist, but it is always difficult to block off the three hours necessary to color and cut my hair. “Well then don’t color your hair, wear it natural.” I would do that if my natural hair color combined with my complexion didn’t make me look like a member of the Addams family. I personally don’t go tanning due to the health risks, so my least favorite beauty appointment is a tie between nails and waxing my eyebrows (I try to do this as infrequently as possible). Every time I walk into a nail salon, I curse the evil witch who decided women should have their nails painted. It is painfully boring and awkward as you sit uncomfortably close to a woman you don’t know and watch her massage your hands. One hour of record low brain activity and trying desperately to find something to focus your eyes so you don’t make eye contact later, you go home only to find that you smudged your polish while fishing your keys out of your purse. And then, there is waxing. Every time I am lying down on a table waiting for someone to rip out my eyebrows, I stare at the ceiling and think, “I am voluntarily paying a small Asian woman to torture me. This is


so fucked.” Many people make the snap judgment that women who partake in such beauty routines are “high maintenance.” I understand why it can appear that way, but the way I see it, if I need to sacrifice some time and money to avoid looking like something that just crawled out of a sewer, I’m game. 3. If we put out immediately, we are slutty. If we don’t, we are prude. This is always a lose/lose situation. Girls who give it up too quickly are viewed as promiscuous while girls who want to wait to get to know a guy before sleeping with him are prude and “stand-offish.” I’ve had guys tell me they got the vibe I wasn’t interested in them just because I wouldn’t sleep with them immediately. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it makes dating even more complicated than it already is. Do you want a girl who has standards when it comes to who she sleeps with or a girl who is down to sleep with whoever comes her way? Either one is fine, but make up your minds. 4. We are funnier than society gives us credit for. We live in a culture where it is assumed that men are the funnier gender, and it is simply not true. Most of my friends who make me laugh to the point of tears are girls. I also know many men who are extremely clever and funny as well, my point being that humor is not gender exclusive. It troubles me that people are always shocked when women are funny. 5. We make love a top priority. Girls will do just about anything for love. If you don’t believe me, ask any one of those train wrecks from The Bachelor. I believe this is our biggest downfall and also what makes us so brave. There is nothing more courageous than allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Some of the time, this vulnerability blows up in our faces and leaves us broken hearted, but we are always willing to get back on the horse when the next guy comes around…even when that first horse bucked us off into a barbed wire fence. When it comes to love, girls are definitely the more


resilient gender. We get hurt time and time again but we never stop hoping that next time will be better. We know it’s always worth another try. On the contrary, some guys never get over the rejection and trust issues they developed from the time in 4th grade when Sarah circled “no” on the “Will you be my girlfriend?” note. They will use that hurt to fuel a 20-year cycle of emotionally unavailability and destructive behavior. The whole “Hello sweet and kind girl, I got hurt one time a few years ago so I’m basically going to fuck your shit up” attitude is getting a bit played out. One other downside to this fact is that once your girlfriends do find love, they will most likely fall off the face of the earth. Major shout out to girls who can balance love and friendship, you are the Michael Jordan of sisterhood (I think he was like named MVP and he was good at basketball and Space Jam and stuff, you get the point). 6. If you don’t LOVE Beyoncé, you must not tell a soul. ………I mean I obviously love Beyoncé, just saying this for…uh..a friend. 7. We constantly have to think about our safety. Girls actually have to plan their activities based around the likelihood of getting abducted, raped or murdered. We know not to walk around town, run errands or take out the trash late at night by ourselves. It sounds extremely paranoid but the casualness of this concept is frightening. It’s not something I worry about; it’s just a part of every day life. Much like a colonial family in the 1700’s, I plan my life around the sun. If I’m by myself, my nighttime activities only consist of visiting populated areas and well-lit parking lots. All girls who have been walking through a parking garage late at night have thought, “Well, this is it. This is where it ends. I hope my parents give CNN a flattering photo of me for the news. I hope Nancy Grace says kind words about me.” My friends and I have actual preplanned text codes that mean “I’m currently in a strangers trunk and there’s a shovel back here which can’t be good so…help.” Also, going for a jog in wooded areas never seems to end well for young women. This is why I don’t jog….among other reasons.


8. Sometimes we receive special treatment and can get what we want solely because we are women. We get into most bars for free. We can attempt to flirt our way out of a speeding ticket. True story, I once made a joke about being on my way to a terrorist support group and he let me off the hook for my “charm.” If a man tried that, he would be in handcuffs faster than you can say “sexism.” Men just come up to us and ask to buy us drinks basically for no other reason than that we have a vagina. Sorry buddy but a vodka sprite isn’t going to gain you access…mozzarella sticks might though. Bitches love mozzarella sticks. 9. It’s freaking expensive. Clothes, pants, leggings, tights, skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters, blouses, blazers, jackets, coats, daily underwear, “this will be seen by another human being who I want to find me attractive” underwear, high boots, low boots, heeled boots, snow boots, casual boots, sandals, flip flops, high heels, sneakers, hair products, jewelry, makeup, hair spray, nail polish, perfumes, Bobbi pins, hair ties, straighteners, blow-dryers, curling irons, other various girl products… IT JUST NEVER ENDS. Every time I go to the mall and am reminded of all of these things I am supposed to buy, I’m at risk of a brain aneurysm (shout out to spell check). 11. We shed. I lose at least 20 strands of hair every time I blow-dry or straighten it. Between my roommate and me, there are legit tumbleweeds of hair currently blowing around my apartment floor. It’s like the desert in there minus the cacti. 12. We’d be lost without our mom. Whether we are crying over skinned knees at 5, dealing with backstabbing friends at 15 or getting our hearts broken at 25, we never stop needing our mom. No one cares about you or understands your problems quite like your mom. I recently called my mom asking how to make scrambled eggs, solidifying the fact that I would actually die without


her. If we have a good relationship with our mom, we take her opinion very seriously. Make a good impression on a girl’s mother, and you’ll be set. 13. Our boobs and backs constantly hurt. Our backs hurt from carrying our boobs around all day and our boobs hurt for no goddamn reason at all. 14. We probably enjoy food more than you. Girls are always being pegged as birdlike eaters, ordering something low in calories like a salad or sushi. The Hunger Games is nothing compared to a table of five hungry girls trying to share nachos or a Dominos pizza. 15. If we are single, we are supposed to feel bad about it. If we are in a relationship, we are persistently asked when we might get married or have babies. Somewhere in the fucked up course of history, society decided that a woman’s happiness is determined by whether or not she is in a relationship with a man. When I tell someone I am single, they act like I just told them I’m HIV positive. Being single does not mean you are sad and lonely, it just means you haven’t found the right person yet. The only times I feel bad about being single are when I feel the societal pressure to be in a relationship, when I have to kill a spider or when my groceries are too heavy. I’m confident that the right guy will come along, and when he does, he will have been worth the wait. If you ARE in a relationship, everyone asks you when he’s going to pop the question. Once you’re engaged, all people can talk to you about is the wedding. When you’re married, everyone wants to know when you will be having babies. It’s a merry go round of personal invasive questions that women can’t seem to get off of. BRIEF GUIDE for the people who feel the need to inquire about these personal topics on the reg. When she has a ring on her finger, he popped the question. The wedding planning is going great and when you notice a large bump has grown where her flat stomach used to be, it’s probably because there’s a baby in there. No irritating questioning necessary.


16. The overwhelming consensus of the male population is that girls are “crazy.” This is a difficult stigma to break. I will start out by saying yes; some women are completely bat shit crazy but you can’t let a few bad eggs (unintentional pun) ruin it for the rest of us. Whenever a guy tells me his “ex is crazy,” I always see this as a red flag. They throw the term around so frequently, I can’t determine whether they are full of shit or not. If she is so crazy, why would you date her for so long? Maybe you’re a little crazy, too. What exactly constitutes one as being crazy anyway? Did she slash your tires or did she just express a human feeling? Did she try to burn your house to the ground or simply ask you where the relationship was headed? Guys send mixed signals then stamp a girl with the title of “crazy” when she just did something as insane as trust that you meant the things you said or did. I have held my feelings back in several relationships in an attempt to not appear crazy, and looking back, I regret it. The problems you’ve had with a girl in the past shouldn’t carry over to another person. I do believe women should learn to take things slow, back off when necessary and get control over their feelings, but it isn’t right to decide an entire gender is insane. 17. Girls are quick to turn on each other. I have lost count how many times I’ve heard a girl rip apart another woman for getting in between her and her boyfriend, when he’s the actual one to blame. Unless that other woman is your friend or relative, it’s really a waste of energy to be angry with a complete stranger. 90% of the time, she isn’t even aware of your existence. Place the blame where it belongs. And girls, just stop sleeping with other people’s boyfriends, it’s tacky. 18. We are judged based on our appearance. “You can’t be a history teacher. You’re blonde.” – a real thing a real person actually said to me one time 19. We can barely make it through a day without being sexually harassed.


The next man in a coffee shop or grocery store who tells me I should smile, is walking out of there with a broken limb. I’ll smile when I feel like it, DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. 20. We are not nearly as complicated as men think we are. Women have earned the reputation of being complicated and in reality, we are simpler than one might realize. We want what everyone wants: to be loved and appreciated, to be treated with respect, to be told the truth, to have a solid group of friends, to have good hair days and to not get roofied and murdered in a back alley somewhere. It’s really that simple. Beyoncé said it best, “Who runs the world? GIRLS.” We work, we raise babies, we take care of our families, we arrange all vacation plans, and we make the time to look good doing it. Women are often underestimated but one time Mia Hamm told me in a Nike commercial that anything men can do, we can do better, so that’s how I know it’s true. We have way more on our minds than pumpkin spice lattes, Ryan Gosling without a shirt on and the Kardashians. As Cyndi Lauper once said in a song, “Girls just wanna have equal pay, a decent man to love, a boss that doesn’t sexually harass her, not to get abducted by a stranger while on a jog and then maybe some fun, too” or something like that. Girl Powah. Should anything be ‘beyond a joke’? The new comedy code of intolerant conformism is no laughing matter.


Comedy, it seems, is no laughing matter these days, caught up in one controversy after another over the acceptable limits of humour. Last week it was the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that was in the firing line again, accused of racism by everybody from the Queen of Jordan to radical US cartoonists for publishing jokes involving dead refugees. This week another serial offender, British comedian Jimmy Carr, is back in the headlines after being found guilty by the UK’s broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom, of causing ‘considerable offence’ after he cracked a joke about dwarves on BBC TV last November. Comedy is suffering under a stifling atmosphere of conformism and intolerance. It appears that any joke judged to have crossed a line must be not just ignored, but condemned, censured and, if possible, censored. That, in turn, has given rise to a pathetic backlash of comedians and provocateurs trying to be offensive for the sake of it. The rest of us risk being left with the worst of both unfunny worlds. Good jokes are generally in bad taste. They tend to mock the respectable rules and morals of society. By its nature comedy is always controversial, pushing as it must at the limits of what passes for taste and decency in any era. It is hard to think of a good joke that would not offend somebody. That is why there have long been attempts to control what is deemed ‘acceptable’ humour and to censor what is not. And why many writers and comedians have tried to subvert the rules. However, as with other issues in the free-speech wars, the terrain has shifted. Once the complaints were about blasphemous and indecent comedy, and the censors were conservative politicians, policemen and priests. Now the protests are more often against comedians accused of breaking the new taboos – racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the other usual suspects. And the demands to shut them down tend to be led not by old-fashioned prudes but by radical online activists, the liberal media and even other comedians. Backed up in the UK by broadcast regulators, politicians and the newly PC police. We have come a long way since the upsurge of modern radical


comedy in the 1960s, when the Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce could be arrested in the US and barred from Britain for using the word ‘cocksucker’ on stage. In 1964 in New York, Bruce was found guilty of performing a routine that was ‘obscene, indecent, immoral and impure’, in which ‘words such as “ass”, “balls”, “cocksucker”, “cunt”, “fuck”, “motherfucker”, “piss”, “screw”, “shit” and “tits” were used about one hundred times in utter obscenity’. Three New York judges sentenced him, in what now sounds like a bad Dickensian joke, to four months in the workhouse. Bruce was released on bail pending appeals, but died before the legal process was complete. He was posthumously pardoned in 2003 by Republican New York governor George Pataki. ‘Freedom of speech is one of the greatest American liberties’, Pataki said, ‘and I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve’. These days Lenny Bruce is revered as a pioneering comedy hero. Yet if the young Lenny were magically to appear on the New York stage today, what reception might he get? His routine about a psychopathic rapist meeting up with a nymphomaniac after they each escape from their respective institutions, or his suggestion that he enjoyed sex with a chicken, or description of his audience as ‘seven niggers, six spics, five micks, four kykes, three guineas and one wop’, might not get him arrested for obscenity in the US or barred from entering Britain. But it surely would see him accused of racism and sexism and possibly the abuse of animals and the mentally ill by the outraged illiberal-liberal lobby, who would try to have him banned from campuses. Nor would Bruce’s insistence that he used the n-word and other offensive epithets ‘just to make a point’, that ‘it’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness’, wash with the new comedy censors, who claim the right to decide what jokes others should be allowed to tell or to laugh at, what points they should be permitted to make. The ‘alternative’ comedy scene of the 1980s in the UK and the US began partly as a punkish reaction against the older school of what was seen as one-note racist, sexist and homophobic humour. These


alternative comedians soon became the new establishment, creating an alternative comedic conformism of their own. This fresh generation of comedians, including feminist stars, broke many old taboos about sex, sexuality or race. They were also, however, helping to create new taboos. Today the shrillest voices condemning Charlie Hebdo or Jimmy Carr are not simply objecting to a comedian’s shtick or saying that it’s not funny – which anybody has the right to do. They are denying the offensive performer’s right to say it. This sort of censoriousness can only have severe consequences both for comedy and wider issues of free speech. Those seeking to draw a new line between acceptable and offensive comedy will often try to distinguish between noble jokes and satire which ‘punches up’, by lampooning the rich and powerful, and that which is guilty of ‘punching down’, by poking fun at the disadvantaged and powerless. This might sound a worthy argument. At root, however, it is just a comedic version of the ‘I believe in free speech, but…’ line, which seeks to preserve freedom of expression for opinions and gags which are to your own personal taste. In comedy, as in politics, if we are serious about free speech it has to be defended for all as an indivisible liberty. Of course, nobody has to approve of offensive humour, and anybody is free to heckle or hit back in kind. We have witnessed the rise of a new wave of comedians or deliberate provocateurs whose aim is to appear as offensive as possible. This is best understood as the flipside of the campaign to sanitise humour, an attempted backlash against those stultifying trends. It is regrettable that the only way some seem able to take a stand for free speech these days is by becoming an offenceseeking caricature of themselves. But they are only a side-effect of the bigger problem. Jimmy Carr is sometimes guilty of being offensive for the sake of it. Yet the bit that got him into trouble with Ofcom this time was arguably slightly more thoughtful than that. Carr offended the Ofcom watchdogs, and attracted all of 11 complaints from viewers, by telling the BBC’s anodyne 7pm magazine programme The One Show what he explained


was his ‘shortest joke possible: Dwarf shortage’. He then added: ‘If you’re a dwarf, and you’re offended by that: Grow up!’ Just before delivering that line, however, Carr told the presenters that he had been thinking about ‘my favourite all-time joke which might work on this show’. Then he told a gag about ‘a Welsh friend of mine. I asked him how many partners he had in his life. And he started to count and he fell asleep.’ Amid laughter in the studio, Carr immediately turned to the camera, asking ‘That’s just about all right, isn’t it?’. This sounded like a joke about the new taboos in comedy as much as it was about Welsh sheep-shaggers or dwarves. It was certainly inviting the offended responses, but also asking a question about how far he could go today. Carr got his humourless You Can’t Say That answer from Ofcom this week, and indeed from the BBC, which said it had tightened the rules for One Show guests in response to his offence. There is a question that often appears to have been forgotten in all this: is it funny? The attempt to impose codes of conduct on comedy reflects the idea that you can somehow apply a political and moral judgement to humour. That you can, in short, stop yourself laughing at something offensive or controversial. Good luck with that, and with preventing yourself sneezing at the same time. The history of comedy surely shows that, as with old-time British comedians such as Bernard Manning (motto: ‘They can’t stop us laughing!’), it is perfectly possible to talk like a bigot and yet be hilarious. That’s life. Comedy is a messy business, and people can laugh at the most outrageous things. To attempt to impose order on it, by removing what is not to the taste of the moment, is to risk killing it. We are faced with a situation where what is considered acceptable in comedy could be every bit as one-note and conformist as in the bad old days, except that it now has to comply with different codes and taboos. Of course, nobody is against free speech for comedians. Until, that is, they decide somebody has gone too far in offending their own views and hurting their feelings. It might be hard to get excited about defending free speech for those you consider to be sexist, disablist, Islamophobic or anti-Semitic comedians. There are few heroes in the battle for comedy’s soul. Yet it remains as important to defend freedom of speech and thought here as


in any other corner of Western culture. The most bitter free-speech battles these days can often be fought in the muddy lowlands of football or comedy, far from the cultural high ground. And the wish to dictate not just what jokes a comedian should tell, but also what we should laugh at, is the clearest conceivable attempt at thought control. What could be more intrusive than the attempt to police something as reflexive as a snort of laughter? The tortured efforts to patrol what is and is not acceptably funny have created a fraught situation where comedy is in danger of becoming a more staid and safe affair, certainly in colleges and on TV, interrupted only by silly look-at-me acts where the main aim appears to be controversy rather than comedy. The pulling of comedy’s teeth and the treatment of laughter as a serious case for censorship should be no laughing matter. Nothing ought to be beyond a joke. If comedians are not allowed to upset and offend, what chance have the rest of us got?


Chapter 5.1. - Harsh Enviroment (Part 4) 8 Weird Things Women Do To Push Guys Away By Jason Treu, February 19th 2015 It may seem that “men are from Mars” and “women are from Venus,” and as a man with many female friends and many women clients, I’m here to share both sides of the conversation. What a woman may think is proper behavior in dating and relationships, a man might believe is way off-base and a deal breaker. Here are some of the major ways women sabotage their own relationships. (Oh, and men do this as well.) Before you read it ask yourself, “How many of these am I doing or have I done?” 1. Overanalyzing Every Word (Or Close To it!) Typically, a man can say or do something without much thought. On the other hand, women tend to spend hours discussing the nuances in what a man said or did with a girlfriends. They will break down every part of the communication. Was it a text? Did it have a smiley face? What time did you text? How many texts that day? etc. I know it’s hard not to overthink things when you’re dating since you don’t always know where a man stands, especially since some of them aren’t good at communicating their feelings and emotions. If he didn’t contact you today or didn’t make plans far enough in advance, just go with the flow. He’s probably busy or having a bad day or week. You don’t know. Obsessing with your girlfriends won’t get you any closer to the solution. You’ll end up confronting him with your overdrawn conclusions, getting mad and driving him towards the nearest exit. 2. Not Having Your Own Life


I see way too many people getting involved in relationships too quickly and investing emotions too quickly when they don’t yet know the person fully. Don’t start having your life revolve around someone you met a month ago. You’ve lived a long time on your own just fine, so don’t keep yourself from doing what you desire. When you over invest you give your power away. It’s easy to start the habit of placing yourself second to others and not setting the proper boundaries. Live your own life with your own friends, career, dinners and events, etc. A man who is really interested in you will be open to compromising on doing things you enjoy. 3. Reeking Of Desperation Neediness is a major turnoff. It shows that you’re insecure, have low self-esteem and that you’ll need constant reinforcement. If he’s out with friends, leave him be. Don’t go around checking social media to see what’s going on. 4. Thinking Negatively This isn’t referring to genuine concerns about your relationship or sharing how you feel; it refers to the negative questions and statements that try to elicit a response. For example: “Why don’t you tell me you love me anymore?” or “I bet you are going to break up with me.” Instead of trying to “fish” for information, just ask him. If you want a man to be straightforward, honest and transparent, then act the same way. 5. Trying To Change Him Trying to change someone is not recipe for a happy and healthy longterm relationship. There is nothing wrong with encouraging someone to be the best they can be or helping them see other options. But no guy wants to have his “mom” tell him what to do and what he’s doing wrong. Acting like this mother makes him feel like he’s not good enough.


If you need to nag and criticize someone for not living up to your expectations, you are with the wrong person. Would you want someone else to do that to you? 6. Expecting (Or Giving) Too Much Way TOO Soon Stop trying to make a one-month relationship mean more than it is. The pressure of getting clingy or emotional too soon pushes people away. It’s great to be excited about being with someone, but you don’t need to talk marriage and kids on the second date. 7. Looking For Problems If you look for problems, chances are you are going to find them. For example, if you are afraid of being rejected, you may misinterpret things and try to reject him first. If you have a negative mindset, you’re going to create a negative reality. Sure, you’ve had some bad relationship experiences in the past, but you need to work on those issues before dating again. Remember: You make your past your present when you keep carrying that baggage forward. 8. Talking About The Ex If you bring up your exes or your past relationships, you are on the road to driving a man away. There is no reason to bring them up early on in a relationship. If you need to vent, go talk to your friends! Conclusion Ladies … men make a lot of mistakes too, and they commit many of the same ones as you do (and different ones). No one is perfect, but you can take steps to prevent sabotaging your current and future relationships. You deserve happy, healthy, and extraordinary relationships. The first step is to love and like yourself. If you can’t do that, you won’t be able to sustain the types of relationships you want in all area of your life! Do you have anything to add or comment on? Let me know.


18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With By Christopher Hudspeth, April 5th 2014 1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested. 2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun. 3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two. 4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options. 5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table. 6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles. 7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all. 8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay.


9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory. 10. The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services. 11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together. 12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening. 13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family. 14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced. 15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts. 16. When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblresque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you. 17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in


everyone. 18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. People can cut ties over the phone and avoid seeing the tears stream down your face or end things via text and avoid hearing the pain in your cracking voice and sniffling nose. Send a lengthy text and voilà, relationship over. The easy way out is far from the most considerate. How to Make Her Think About You It doesn’t matter if you’re in a new relationship or have been going steady for years – the feeling of knowing that she’s thinking about you is simply out of this world. However as is often the case, you seldom get what you want. Sometimes it’s because of your actions, sometimes it’s because of someone else’s actions and sometimes it’s something totally out of your control. But what if we told you that making her think about you is not as difficult as you think it is? Does that leave your excited, knowing that you can make your woman think and day dream about you like you've always wanted? Then read on!


Spend some time apart This is an especially good piece of advice for couples who have been together or even living together for many years. The thing is that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Plus, being completely emotionally dependent on your partner isn’t healthy for you. Take some time out to explore things that you like to do, and do them with your friends, family or even yourself.


2. Don’t go overboard with communication In today’s time with so many different ways of communicating with your loved ones, it’s next to impossible not to be in touch with each other 24x7. But here’s the thing – the sooner you limit the time you interact with her, the better it is for you. Avoid long phone or text conversations, more so if this is something you’re doing on a daily basis. If you are this available to her constantly, her chances of missing you are zero. 3. Take it nice and easy There’s no need to rush into things; you will most likely crash and burn. Get to know each other at a slower pace. It also allows you to maintain an air of mystery. And if you’re a little bit mysterious to her, then you don’t have to worry about how to make her think about you because she’s already spending her time trying to understand you. 4. Surprise her You need to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship or start a


spark in a new relationship. Either way, the best way to go about it is to surprise her. And these surprises don’t have to be something expensive or elaborate. Give her flowers for no reason or the latest edition of her fav comic book series. It’s the little things that count.

5. Give her something that reminds her of you Now this could be something as cute as the ticket stubs of the first film you two watched together, your cap or tie that you left at her place the first time you spent the night at her house, or just something that only you know about her like her secret collection of frog statues. If you’re too broke to buy her stuff, then just say some kind words to her every now and then. 6. Treat her like a human when complimenting her Don’t view her as a piece of meat. Compliments like “Baby, you got a hot ass” or “Those tits are to die for” are not only cheap, but also tell her you don’t think of her more than just another piece of ass. You have to go the extra mile if you want to work on how to make her think about you. Compliment her smile, her eyes, her laugh, or the way she tilts her head when she kisses you or how easy it is to make her blush. Focus on things she may have not noticed about herself; that’s where you’ll have her immediate attention. And once you leave, she’ll be left swooning over


the compliments you give her.

7. Do something personal for her If you’re too shy or awkward to express your feelings through words, then don’t worry. You can easily show her how you feel via your actions. Always be there for her, be her shoulder to lean on, and be reliable, faithful and trustworthy. You can also go the extra mile to do stuff for her that nobody else would do, like buying tickets to that hipster band she loves so much but never has enough money to go to their concert. 8. Break your rituals from time to time Want to know how to make her think about you by this method? Let me illustrate this with an example. Let’s say you call or text her every night before going to sleep, tell her that you love her, or simply wish her a good night. From time to time, just don’t call or text her. That will immediately make her think about you, wondering why you didn’t call or text. The worst case scenario is that you tell her a fib like that you were too exhausted to remember, where she will still end up thinking about you. The best case scenario is that she will be the one to call or text you and wish you a good night because she has been thinking about you. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for you.


How to Seduce a Woman with Touch Sure, when seducing a woman, you should say the right thing at the right time. However, so many men focus on what to say or what not to say that they often forget to focus on what they should do. Sometimes, seducing a woman isn’t about your words – it’s about your actions and how they make her feel. This is why this article will focus on seducing a woman with touch, one of the most underrated forms of seduction. So sit back and enjoy the ride. Try the Casual Touch


So you’re talking and you guys are having fun. In fact, you’re having so much fun that both of you are laughing. So the next time you throw your head back and laugh, try and very lightly touch her shoulder with one hand while wiping your tear away with the other. Immediately look away so that she thinks this first touch from your side to be subconscious or genuine instead of being fake or forced.

2. Sit Smartly And when I say smartly, I mean in a manner that lets you touch her, not in a creepy ass way. So what’s the easiest way to do that? Well, you sit right next to her. Never make the mistake of sitting opposite to her, because in this way you might get a good look at her face, but seducing her with touches will become that much harder. This is one of the most important pointers to keep in mind when working on how to seduce a woman with touch.


3. Play With Her Stuff If you’ve never noticed a woman’s jewellery before, then now’s the time. Earrings, bracelets or rings – they provide a perfect opportunity for you. Lightly touch them and compliment on her choice. Tell her how they suit her attire and how gorgeous she’s looking. She spared no effort to look good for the date, so you better make her feel good!


4. Get a Shot with Emotional Hand Holding Be a gentleman and ask her to tell you more about herself. And then be a sly little fox and encourage her to talk about topics she’s passionate or emotional about. She’s sure to get emotional while discussing those topics, which it could be her pet dog who died or starving kids in Africa – doesn’t matter. And when she gets emotional, be there to comfort her. No, don’t hug her. That’s too soon unless she starts crying. Hold her hand and tell her it’s gonna be okay. She’s gonna remember that one. If she is hesitant to share personal stories, then go ahead and share a story close to your heart. That will make her trust you enough to share one of her stories with you.


5. Try the Phone number touch This one is a genius hack for how to seduce a woman with touch. So now your date is about to finish and you’re confident she wants to meet up for a second date. Instead of asking her to give you her number so that you can note it down, give her your phone and ask her to save her number there herself. When you hand over the phone, touch her hands ever so little, and do the same when she returns it to you.


6. Walk Hand in Hand So now the date has ended and it’s time to walk her home. Remember to always opt for walking her home, until and unless she lives really far away. This way you not only get to talk to her and know more about her, but you can hold her hands with her permission while doing so.


7. Hugging Really Matters Now that you’ve reached her apartment, tell her, "We should do this again" and then lean forward to hug her. And the "hello again� hug. Do hug her when you meet her again for the second date. Duh.

8. Never Forget the Kiss


And now that she’s responded positively to all your physical moves, it’s obvious she’s comfortable being in close proximity to you. So go ahead, and kiss her. No tongue, please. Be a gentle man. And don’t linger on her lips for too long – you don’t wanna come off as a desperate person. This is a very obvious thing that most men sadly often forget, and thus need to be told when working on how to seduce a woman with touch.

9. Use Your Arm I’d suggest not trying this manoeuvre the first time around, but keep it for the second or third date. So when you’re on your next date with her and are sitting beside, not in front of, her, casually slide your arm around her shoulder, resting it on the head of the sofa you guys are sitting on, and let it stay there. She’s sure to notice it and in all probability she’s gonna let it stay there, because if you people are on your 2nd date, then she obviously is attracted to you.


10. Gently Touch Her Leg Well, come on. You guys have kissed, you’ve hugged, and you’ve hugged again. She’s obviously into you so why not make a move? But first, create an emotional connection with her and win her trust. Bear in mind that the more she opens up to you, the more she’ll trust you. The more her brain tells her to trust you, the easier it will be to seduce her with your touches. So go ahead, and ever so gently rub your hand on her thigh. But be careful – some women assess this move to be too intimate and it may backfire. So if you’re not confident of her reaction, then keep this aside for the 3rd date. 10 Quick Ways to Impress a Stranger Girl Impressing a girl that you know is easier than impressing a girl you know nothing about, because with the former, you have at least bare minimum knowledge of her likes and dislikes, right? But when it comes to how to impress a stranger girl, you don’t know where to begin because


you know basically nothing about her. But here’s the thing – even with zero knowledge, you can actually end up impressing said girl. How?

10 Ways to Impress a Stranger Girl 1. Grab her attention If she’s young and pretty, then you can be sure that she already has a line of guys just waiting to date her. So if you think you can impress her just with your good looks, you may be right. But if you really were that good looking, you wouldn’t be looking up articles on how to impress a stranger girl on the net, right? Know that eye contact is essential. If she catches you looking at her, make eye contact for 1-2 seconds, look away, then look at the ground and smile shyly. Remember: Girls love confident, guys, but we love awkward guys even more. 2. Babies are instant chick magnets If you have a niece or nephew you can borrow for a day, great! Take


them to the place your mystery girl frequents, and then be the good little uncle that you are. Play with them, give them attention and make them smile. OR you can just as easily pinch the cheeks of any cute children that you come across (who are with their parents, of course), baby talk with them for a couple of seconds, and be on your way. Such actions will not only make you stand out in a crowd of guys, but will also instantly make her notice you as well. If this is not possible for you, then know that. 3. Dogs work just as perfectly Any man who is kind to pets (cats and dogs) is seen as instant dating material by most women, because it shows that you are a caring and sensitive man (a rarity these days). Do with your dog what you would do with your niece or nephew as mentioned above, and see the magic work on your future girlfriend.

4. Hygiene is important When it comes to how to impress a stranger girl, this one goes without saying. But we still have to say it because of just how many boys don’t give importance to their hygiene. Guys, no girl on this planet is ever gonna be attracted to someone who reeks of body odor and bad breath. Oh, and using deodorants excessively cannot be used as a substitute for showering. They just can’t. That’s disgusting, until and unless you’re


planning on attracting a female troll. 5. And so is appearance Shave your face, get rid of douche hats, hoodies, vests and v-necks, crocs, sandals, no old and tattered clothes and definitely no wearing your jeans lower than your hips. To be on the safer side, simply opt for a pair of regular jeans (not the torn ones), and a plain/casual t-shirt. For shoes, canvas or gym shoes would be your best bet. 6. Be by yourself A guy who is alone in a crowd appears to be way less intimidating than a group of guys laughing and talking to each other. It also makes you easier to approach (if she chooses to do so), so make sure you’re always alone when you’re frequenting her place. The only acceptable companies are babies or pets. 7. Be regular If you know places where she hangs out regularly, make sure you visit those places frequently, and at the time that she visits them. If she works at an establishment, then you should focus on how to impress a stranger girl by capturing her attention. And the best way to do so is to become a regular client there. 8. Approach her at the right time The key to approaching her is when she’s free, not feeling rushed and has time to relax. So for example, if she’s a waitress at a coffee shop, wait for either her lunch break, or for her shift to get over. If you’re going to approach her when she’s serving other customers, cleaning tables or making coffee, you are not only going to catch her off guard, but are going to be a hurdle in her professional chores. 9. Do something different that catches her attention Now this is where your creativity and talent are put to good use. If you’re a painter, choose a good spot where she can easily see you from


her work place, and start painting still life. If you play musical instruments, then play them to entertain bystanders! Help old people cross the road, or simply collect the trash that people have thrown on the streets, and throw it in a garbage bin. Whatever it is, make sure it’s an unusual activity which will catch her eye. 10. Talk to the people around her This is one of the more convenient ways on how to impress a stranger girl. It could be her friends, colleagues or coworkers. Chat with them, especially if they are dudes – because it’s just easier for you to talk to men than to girls, right? And when they are comfortable with you, broach the topic of the girl in question, and very subtly get to know as much as you can about her through her acquaintances. This will definitely help you decide better if you want to pursue her, or not. But be careful – people can often be poor judges of other people, and tend to believe negative rumors easily. So keep that in mind when your new acquaintances talk to you about her. 10 Indicating Signs That a Girl Is Single So you have had your eyes on a girl for some time now, and you like her. But the problem is this – you don’t know if she’s single, or if she’s in a relationship. I mean, she’s nice and friendly to you, but that could simply mean she sees you as a good friend or companion, and has no romantic interest in you, right? So then how to know if a girl is single? By checking out the following 10 signs, of course. But do keep in mind that just by themselves, these signs are not 100% indicative of her relationship status. She may or may not be doing these things when she’s single or committed, so please don’t forget to use your common sense when coming to your conclusion.


How to Know If a Girl Is Single 1. She isn’t stuck to her phone The two biggest reasons girls use their phones is to either communicate with their friends, or their boyfriends. Sometimes, it’s the boyfriends that want to be in constant contact with their girlfriends (esp. if their relationship is in the honeymoon period). So if she doesn’t check her phone often, keeps it on silent when with you and has her complete attention focused on you, her chances of being single are high. 2. She maintains a respectful distance from guys Now of course, she might be the kinda gal that doesn’t socialize with guys much because she isn’t comfortable with them, or she simply maintains a distance in order to avoid unnecessary drama. However, it could also mean that she’s in a relationship and she’s respecting her boyfriend’s wishes by maintaining a distance from guys who aren’t her friends.


3. Push her to reveal her status How to know if a girl is single? Simple. Trick her into telling you. Just once, text her something random or funny late at night, and when she responds, reply with “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t look at the time. I hope your boyfriend doesn’t mind me messaging you this late!” And this is where she tells you whether she’s single or not. 4. Have a discussion on relationships IF you seldom hangout alone with her, then whenever you’re with your mutual friends and her, then casually drop the topic of relationships. Encourage people to discuss their ideal partners and what the best qualities of their current partners are. To make the conversation go, begin with yourself. And when her turn comes, make sure you listen carefully. Conversely you can have 5. A discussion on being single Start the conversation by discussing the merits of being single and how you’re enjoying your days being single, but how you wouldn’t mind a


relationship if you find the right girl. Let everybody have their turn – those who are single will happily declare so, while those in a relationship will make their stance clear. This is a very smart way for how to know if a girl is single. 6. Your conversations aren’t short/quick Now she might consider you an acquaintance or even a casual friend, but that’s where the relationship will end for her. She will not go out of her way to sustain conversations with you or discuss random topics with you. And this is because she is trying to maintain a healthy distance from you. However, if her actions are exactly the opposite, then she’s either single, or is one of those women who never lets go of her male friends after getting into a relationship.

7. Observe the way she dresses when she meets you Does she dress casually? Has little to no makeup on? No heels, no hair style? Well, then she’s either deliberately dressing down in order to not give you the wrong signals, or is among those women who don’t


bother with how they look in public. If on the other hand, she wears pretty dresses, high heels, little to lots of makeup etc. when she meets you, it’s entirely possible that she’s not only single, but is also looking for a guy to have a relationship with. 8. Look up her social media accounts The easiest way for how to know if a girl is single is to simply log on to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and check her relationship status. Most people happily declare their commitment on the internet. If you see “single” on her profile, then you’re good to go. But if her status is hidden, then you can get clues about her status by simply going through her images. Does she post pictures with one guy more than the other guys she hangs out with? And how do her friends react and comment on such photos of her? Are her friends commenting on how pretty she is, or how good the two of them look together? If it’s the latter, then the chances are she’s either in a relationship or very interested in that guy. 9. She hangs out often with her girlfriends If a girl has a boyfriend, she usually divides the time she spends with her friends, and her boyfriend. However, if you only see her with her girlfriends and nobody else, she’s most likely single. But it could also mean: Her boyfriend is usually out of town due to work. He doesn’t like to socialize much. The girl actually is free enough to hang out frequently with both her friends, and her BF. 10. She eyes other dudes when she’s with you Well, it could easily mean she’s appreciative of the beauty she is surrounded by, and there’s no harm in that. However, when clubbed with the point above (dressing attractively when she meets you), it would indicate that she’s single and ready to mingle. Of course, it could also mean that “just because she’s on a diet doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the menu”, but the chances of her being single simply become


higher.

7 Ways That Media Can Kill Your Relationships Social media has certainly changed our lives in many ways, but failing to use it sensibly can create all sorts of problems. Learning how social media can kill your relationships can make it possible to take necessary steps to avoid serious conflicts. Statistics have shown that social media is playing a big role in breaking up couples, and it is also making breakups more drawn out, more painful, and more public. A simple post can make you look like an idiot and affect your relationships in a big way. 1. Social Media Can Distract You from Your Partner By giving all your free time to social media, you are missing the opportunity to spend some quality time with your partner and this can lead to relationship problems. Things can get worse when both partners


spend time on their phones, completely ignoring each other. Many experts believe that people are so addicted to their phones that it is possible that they would soon forget how to socialize in real life. 2. Social Media Can Make You Share Private Stuff In an effort to receive appreciation from others, many people do not mind sharing private stuff on social media. The truth is that over-sharing can kill your relationship by encouraging outrageous fights. Sometimes, both partners can involve in "over-sharing" fights through social media where they try to beat the other one by sharing more. Yes, you have friends and family on your friend's list, but they are not that interested in hearing every tiny thing happening in your life. 3. Social Media Can Trigger Mistrust If you are very active on social media and have many guys on your friend's list, it is natural for your partner to feel insecure and even start to doubt your commitment. Things can take a nosedive when those male friends leave flirtatious or sexual comments on your pictures.Moreover, you can do nothing about who sends friends requests, and this can make your partner or boyfriend feel insecure and even annoyed. Eventually, that mistrust will lead to a fight and you will find your relationship in trouble. 4. Social Media Allows Direct Messaging It is actually a good feature, but it can sometimes work against your relationship, especially when you are secretly direct messaging someone you should not be messaging. If your partner finds out about it, you will surely be having relationship problems. Even when your intentions are not bad, it is common to take a random message out of its context and develop mistrust. Similarly, if you try to be flirtatious on social media and sends private messages to different girls, your partner is surely going to feel cheated when she finds out about it. Even though engaging on social media by sharing, liking, or commenting does not always mean malice was intended, it is usually difficult to explain your real intentions when someone finds out about it, and that is exactly how social media can kill your relationships.


5. Social Media Can Make You Envious Many couples end up having fights when they see other couples enjoying their lives to the fullest. They see collages of romantic photos and posts about being close to their friends and start to question why they cannot have the same lifestyle. Those pictures do not share the other side of the story, as every relationship has the drama, arguments, and troubles. If your partner sees such pictures and starts wondering that their relationship is not that prim and pristine, you will soon experience some serious relationship blues. 6. Social Media Makes You Conscious of Yourself After being on Skype and other messengers all the time, it is so easy to become narcissistic. You may become too conscious about your appearance and this can be a bit frustrating to your partner. Moreover, many couples end up experiencing serious relationship problems when one of them feels superior because they have more likes and followers. Once you become self-involved, it becomes difficult to see exactly what your relationship actually needs to grow stronger. 7. Social Media Can Make You Feel Less Important When your partner shares an important change in their life on social media even before breaking that news to you, it will certainly make you feel less important. Ideally, your partner should come to you and share important achievements and setbacks with you first. If they turn to social media just to get more attention, it is naturally going to hit your relationship in a bad way.


Chapter 6 - Read Fast Note: Ugh, great more time to read shit... Wanna Get a Girl to Kiss You? 11 Ways That Work! Getting a girl to kiss you can be tough, especially if it’s your or her first time. What should you say to her? What should you do? What shouldn’t you do? Will she like it? Will she be offended? Will you lose her forever? See, when it comes to over thinking, there’s just no limit to it. So we’d suggest you begin by casting all your doubts aside because they really aren’t doing you any good. And now that you have read carefully the points mentioned below, in no way are we saying that they are a guarantee for you to get her to kiss you. What we are saying is that these merely increase your chances of that happening.

11 Quick Tips to Get a Girl to Kiss You1Go beyond the usual BS chats


How to get a girl to kiss you? Do away with your regular BS of discussing your classes, jobs, the weather or movies. Discuss something that will move her – most likely a cause close to her hart or something she’s passionate about. This will not only loosen her up in front of you but will also allow her mind to create a very positive impression of you, something which would not have been possible with ordinary discussion topics. Be careful of steering away from controversial topics like politics or religion, especially if you don’t know about her thoughts on such subjects. 2. Share personal information Who do we share personal info with? With people we trust! So when you share stuff with her that most people don’t know about you, that’ll show her you trust her. Your placing your trust in her will automatically trigger a response in her brain, making her trust you more. The easiest way to do so is to share an embarrassing secret, a secret passion or something dorky that only the ones closest to you know about. 3. Genuinely compliment her Unlike what most boys think, the average girl is smart enough to understand when you’re being fake with your compliments, and when you’re being genuine. So when it comes to how to get a girl to kiss you, don’t compliment on her looks, clothes, appearance or shoes. Everybody does that. Compliment her about something meaningful, like her work, her activities, stuff she’s passionate about, her writing, her oratory skills – anything that she’s good at, basically. 4. Confidence is key Let’s face it – there’s no woman out there who would want a man lacking in confidence. Relax, don’t be nervous and definitely don’t stutter when you talk to her. If you think that’s too much effort from your side, then maybe kissing a girl shouldn’t be on your mind right now. 5. Groom yourself


Let’s face it – appearances are important. And if you aren’t gifted in the looks or confidence department, you can compensate by being immaculately groomed when meeting your lady friend. Take a bath, brush your hair and teeth, iron your clothes, wear clothes worn by men (and not boys), apply just a hint of perfume, clean your nails, wear proper shoes… You know the drill! 6. Chap-stick How to get a girl to kiss you? Simple: Apply just a little bit of chapstick on your lips, especially if you can find a flavored one. Not only will it moisturize your lips, but it will make them appear more luscious and plumper, and thus, more ‘kissable’. 7. Wear something that stands out Maybe a suave faux leather jacket, a statement watch, a bright tie – basically any accessory you’re comfortable wearing, and one that is flashy/bright enough to make you stand out. This will immediately increase your recall value in her mind and make you stand out among all the other guys that are trying to hit on her. 8. The right place and time The biggest secret behind how to get a girl to kiss you lies in the setting/ambience of the place you’re in and the mood it creates. If you think she’s gonna kiss you on a date at a soccer stadium where, right in front of thousands of eyes, you’re wrong. More so because she would possibly be too pumped seeing her fav team in action to even think of kissing you. Instead, opt for a more secluded place like a cute little café or a picnic at an excluded park. Choose night time as it’s more romantic than day time, and make sure there are little to no disturbances between you two. 9. Get a little physical with her This works only when you’re either on a date with her, or alone with her. And of course she’s comfortable in your presence, otherwise you’re


just gonna creep her out. If this is the first time you’re alone with her, I’d suggest waiting till the second or third time before getting ‘physical’ with her, because most women appreciate guys taking things slow. Now, there are two types of flirting – verbal, and physical. If you’re sitting next to her, put your arm around her shoulder or on her knee (NOT her thigh). If you’re sitting in front of her, then brush her hair behind her ear or clean something off her face with your finger. Hold her hands and keep your fingers interlocked with hers for two seconds, and then let go. Little actions like these help you test the field. Then keep an eye out for 10. Her reaction How did she react? Did she smile? Did she blush? Was she taken aback? Disgusted? Shocked? Her reaction is gonna tell if you if she’s ready to kiss you. A smile, a blush or averting her gaze means she’s into you. Anything else basically means you should back off. 11. Kiss her on the cheek Or on her hand. This will serve as a warm up for your actual kiss. As stated above, test by her reaction if she wants to take things further, or is simply not comfortable going so fast. And if the girl isn’t comfortable, do NOT make any moves on her for the rest of the night. It’ll show her you’re willing to wait till she’s ready to make a move, and showing her this level of respect is one of the most sure shot ways of how to get a girl to kiss you.


Chapter 7 - Anxiety YOU AREN’T DYING. IT’S JUST ANXIETY By Robert Duff

PICTURE THIS… You are lying down to go to sleep. Things are progressing well. You close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. You try to think of happy things instead of the stressful things that you need to take care of tomorrow. After a few minutes, you’re just about to slip off into happytime dreamland and BAM. Suddenly your whole body jolts for no reason. Well that was weird. Why did that happen? You start scanning your body for signs of trouble, because that’s too weird to ignore. Sure enough, there’s some weird shit going on. You notice your heart feels like it’s beating faster and faster. Uh oh. But wait, now it skipped a beat. Oh god… Now your breathing is starting to catch up with your heart, but no matter how hard your breathe, you can’t seem to get enough oxygen. Your fingers and toes feel tingly and you are getting weird random pains. Putting two and two together you think that it has got to be a heart attack, right? Hurry, take an aspirin and call 911! Whoa whoa whoa… slow down. You aren’t dying. You also aren’t the only one who has gone through this sort of progression before.


THERE’S A NAME FOR IT Technically what you are experiencing is called “misattribution of interoceptive cues” and it’s not something that only happens during sleep. That’s a bunch of psychobabble mumbo jumbo B.S., so let me break that down for you piece by piece. Interoceptive means that it’s a physical sensation within your body. Cues imply that they clue you in to something else going on. Put them both together and you have particular physical sensations in your body that tell you what is happening. Or at least they are supposed to. When we know what to make of interoceptive cues, the process is easy. When you look too close to the sun and you get those prickly tingling feelings in your nose, you know that a sneeze is coming. When you aren’t sure what to make of them or they feel similar to cues that imply scary shit like heart attacks, you run into trouble. If you aren’t actually having a cardiac event, that’s what we call misattribution. This is a big contributor to anxiety and panic attacks for many people. If you live with anxiety, it’s in your nature to get “in your head” and turn little deals into huge catastrophes. The bitch about it is that even if you were wrong about whatever crazy health concerns you concocted in that brain of yours, getting so worked up about it can still throw you into a panic attack that sucks majorly in its own right.


Chapter 8 - Wow Level (Part 1) How Men and Women Communicate Differently Now there’s no denying that there are remarkable differences between male and female when communicating. And contrary to what you may believe, they actually more have to do with how society dictates each gender should and shouldn’t behave, than with the biological makeup of both genders. Even so, while some differences between male and female communication are very clear, there are some so subtle that it’s nearly impossible to catch a hold of them. So, what are those differences? Differences You May Be Interested In 1. When asking for help There’s no denying that the average man would die than ask for help, especially when in the presence of another woman. Why? Ego. They don’t want us to look at them as lesser beings, because apparently, men believe women expect them to be these perfect creatures that know everything that there is to know in the world. Of course, that’s patriarchy at play. When it comes to women, they seldom hesitate asking for help. That’s because they have been brought up to believe that they are seldom good enough, confident, powerful, assertive etc. etc. as men and that they should accept their roles as playing second fiddle to men. Which brings us to our second (and a similar) point: 2. Seeking advice Whenever a woman approaches a man, especially in an office environment, the man automatically assumes she needs help. Because, you know, how weak and incapable all woman kind is. Sarcasm aside, if


you do end up asking a man for help, be precise. Men don’t prefer long winded communications, especially if you’re not on friendly terms with them. They’re also not very patient when a woman asks them for help. That’s because instead of viewing it as an opportunity to help a fellow human being, most men tend to view it as a favor to those women. Women often seek advice to improve the situation at hand. Whether or not it helps them achieve their end goal, is often secondary for them. A lot of women often lack the necessary confidence to ask for help (to both men and women) because they believe they’re being an unnecessary burden on them. 3. Purpose for communication One of the differences between male and female communication is when you understand the reason behind their wanting to communicate. For men, talks need to have a purpose or an end goal. They try to discuss and solve problems when communicating, and doing so in as little time as possible. They seldom indulge in idle talks outside of formal environments. For women, communication is a form of expressing their emotions, as well as a way of increasing the intimacy between those that they love. More communication among women is also often used to solidify their bonds with each other, as well as with their partners. 4. Body language Men seldom give off a variety of facial expressions in day to day conversations. They tend to avoid face to face conversations, often avoid eye contact, fold their arms and maintain an aggressive stance when talking. Men also nod to show agreement. On the other hand, women tend to maintain eye contact, are comfortable with physical proximity, are comfortable having face to face conversations and often maintain a lot of eye contact. They also tend to smile/laugh more and use their hands to express themselves. Women nod to show understanding.


5. Talking to the opposite sex When talking to women, men like to assert themselves, show that they are confident and know what they’re doing. This aligns perfectly with their being so resistant to asking for help (point #1). They don’t like being seen as weak, and will often interrupt the point a woman is making in order to share their thoughts. They are also more likely to dismiss a woman’s opinions for no other reason than the fact that they come from a woman. Men are also pretty incapable of sustaining conversations that have long points or sentences in them, which is why whenever you send them long texts, they often reply to the last 1-2 points you mention, instead of the entire text itself. One of the differences between male and female communication is that women like to express themselves when they’re talking to men. This is because for them, communicating is the best way to help a man understand what kind of a person they (the women) really are. They also often do not convey their most intimate thoughts directly, instead opting for men to magically guess what’s going on in their minds. 6. When they’re upset When men are upset, they often keep their thoughts to themselves. Not because they don’t trust their partners or because they have trouble communicating their emotions (which a lot of men do, by the way) but because they’ve been taught patriarchal BS like “real men don’t cry” or “learn to bottle up your emotions” or best of all “Don’t be such a girl. Man up.” Women, on the other hand, have no such social restrictions on them. Expressing your emotions or crying is often perceived as a sign of weakness (even though it’s the opposite), and women are thus encouraged to be “weak”. When distressed, women often seek comfort and solace in the arms of their loved ones and want nothing but someone to listen to their woes as they pour their hearts out. 7. Speech patterns Differences between male and female communication also emerge once you begin analyzing the different words and terms both genders use. As already mentioned, men don’t like to talk more than necessary


(except when it’s on topics that excite them). This is why when you’re talking to a man, you’ll often find your conversations short, to the point and focused – they will sit quietly and listen to what you have to say. It’s the opposite with women. When you’re talking to them (or vice versa), you will often find them using filler words like “Okay”, “uh-huh”, “guess what?”, “like”, “whatever” etc. They often use these words to show you (subconsciously) that they’re not only listening to you, but participating as much as they can without interrupting you. However, when they get too excited, they will often interrupt what you’re saying in order to share their own experience. Men are often annoyed by such behavior, which they tend to tune out and pay the price for, later on. Signs of a Coward Guy Cowardice in men can be traced back to time immemorial. Men have always been expected to be brave in order to defend their countries, homes and families in general and anybody who did not do this was branded a coward. However, cowardice in the modern day cannot be classified under the same umbrella. Men are not expected to fight with other men in order to prove their worth. But this does not mean that cowards do not exist amidst them. There are a few signs of a coward guy which will help you stay clear of them.


Signs of a Coward Guy If you believe you’re in a relationship with a coward, or simply want to steer clear of such people, then don’t worry. There are clear signs that can help you make up your mind!1He’s almost always dishonest 1. This is the first sign that you are dealing with a coward. Such a man will never be honest about anything, especially when confronted. He tends to dance around the truth and go round in circles other than being straight forward and honest. He will always try to change the subject when you bring up questions that make him uncomfortable.


2. He puts up a false bravado This is one of those signs of a coward guy that can be difficult to ascertain in the beginning, but become clearer with time. A coward will always pretend to be something he is not and more often than not will always brag about how strong and macho he can be. In all likelihood, such a guy will run for the hills in time of danger, leaving you wondering how fast he can run away from danger, rather than defend himself and those around him.


3. He is constantly apologizing Sometimes, a coward takes the exact opposite approach of putting up a false bravado. Such a guy apologizes constantly and consistently even for the smallest mistake. Apologizing is a sign of humility but one can only do it so much. For instance, he will quickly apologize when someone steps on him accidentally instead of the other way round. There are situations where you need a man to step up and not constantly apologize like a loser. You obviously do not want to be in a relationship with a man who has no spine and cannot stand up for himself, let alone stand up for you.


4. He can sometimes be‌ delusional Looking for signs of a coward guy? Then take note of this one. A coward lives in his own world, where reality is merely a passing phenomenon. He rationalizes other people’s mistakes towards him and is never in touch with reality. He takes in information and processes it in a way that only makes sense to him.


5. His every move is calculated A coward is always self-conscious of all his actions and second guesses everything he does. Besides, every single move he makes is calculated and he constantly worries about who is watching him and what others think about his actions. For example, he will always dress in a way that makes him feel accepted and do everything in regard of the standard that people place no him. Such a man will never speak his mind or express himself in fear of how he will be judged by others.


6. Shy away from confrontation This is one of the sure signs of a coward guy for a coward will never be the recipient of confrontation. Instead, he will do everything in his power to shy away from it even when he rightfully deserves it. Confronting someone who has wronged you is never easy but it relives you of emotional stress that comes with it. A man who chooses to bottle his emotions when wronged and runs away from confrontation displays a cowardly trait. What's more, bottling up emotions can be dangerous and even causes harm to yourself and others.


7. He cannot face his fears Different people go through different traumatizing experiences in their lives. Although it is easy for some to get through these experiences, learn from their mistakes and move on, others take a longer time. Some, however, do not really move on and overcome the pain and trauma they went through. They sadly end up being cowards and cannot be around anything or anyone who reminds them of their past trauma. Although coward might be a word harshly used for such people, it is a known reality.


8. He always plays safe This is one of the easiest signs of a coward guy to notice. Everybody knows that the greatest minds in the world have achieved a lot by taking risks and believing in themselves. A coward is a person who will always choose to play safe in any situation and is never bold enough to take any risk. Always wanting to do things the right way and by the book is a cowardly move. There’s only so long that one can play safe, you know.


Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships? The answer is more complicated than you think. During one of my breaks last week, I received an email from a colleague. The subject: "Another Know Nothing." Included was a link to the evolving story about New Hampshire state legislator Mark Warden's recent comments. I scanned down the page, and just below the header, next to Warden's innocently beaming face, I found his offending remarks: "Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It's a love-hate relationship. It's very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her." Warden was attending a state HouseCriminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting on legislation designed to reduce a charge of simple assault from a misdemeanor to a violation. Apparently he'd argued that victims can leave at any time, so more legislation isn't the answer. Later, he trotted out an explanation for his gaffe that's become


popular among many politicians: his words had been taken out of context. He's right in one respect: More legislation isn't enough to end domestic violence. Many domestic violence specialists agree that the problem is much broader, requiring widespread cultural, institutional, and psychological education and intervention (the Battered Women's Movement of the '70s is the first instance of just such a concerted, grassroots effort). But you won't find a single expert familiar with domestic violence who agrees that victims like being in an abusive relationship. It would be easy, then, to dismiss Warden's remarks as those of someone shockingly ill-informed -- the insipid ramblings of an idiot. We could call him vapid or simple-minded or hopelessly out of touch. And doing all that might be gratifying. But he's hardly an isolated example.

In pondering this post, my mind flashed at once to a client I saw decades ago: a tall, brooding woman with firmly-sculpted arms -- the result of years of working out -- whose rolled-up sleeves revealed several


fading bruises on her forearms, courtesy of her boyfriend. "I love him," she told me resolutely. "I know he can do better." She was an impressive, thoughtful, strong woman -- not at all the type I expected to be a target of domestic violence. Yet she'd become trapped in a dangerous relationship, a prisoner of her own hope, waiting for the day the assaults would end. Her friends' words to her? If you don't stay, he can't hurt you. She seemed so powerful that surely she had the strength to leave. The reality is the abused, like my client, aren't always fragile or powerless. They come from all walks of life -- rich, poor, strong, weak -and from both genders, female and male. My client's friends loved and cared about her, that much was clear. But here they were, guilty of the same thinking as Warden. "You must be choosing to stay with an abuser for some reason," they told her. They couldn't reconcile their vision of her as strong and powerful with her apparent powerlessness to leave. So they blamed her for the choice. But let's be honest, Warden's comments -- and those of my client's friends -- reflect our shared confusion and impatience as a society. It doesn't matter whether we're conservatives or liberals, Republicans or Democrats, ignorant or well-informed, we all have an instant negative reaction when we see people return to or stay in abusive relationships. We think it's all so clear, even if we're not guilty, like Warden, of saying it out loud. Just leave! But the truth is that we have yet, as a society, to come to terms with the dynamics of abuse. Here's the reality. Take a look at the chilling photo essay by photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz (it appeared nearby the story on Warden). In serial images, she captures a relationship as it escalates into violence. The danger grows, subtly, insidiously, through each successive image, but you'll also notice, if you look closely, moments of enormous tenderness and vulnerability between the man and woman. Those snapshots are poignant reminders of what abuse victims hold onto in staying with their abuser. They don't stay for the pain. Their desperate, often palpable hope, if you sit in the room with them, is that the abuse will go away. And


they tend to block out all evidence to the contrary. In point of fact, they stay for love. Many abuse survivors cling to the positive traits in their partners -- like being affectionate and reliable. In one study, more than half of the abuse survivors saw their partners as "highly dependable." Many others suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, one symptom of which is dissociation, which often creates such profound detachment from the reality of the abuse that sufferers scarcely remember being hurt at all. Dissociating victims can't leave the abuse because they aren't psychologically present enough to recall the pain of what happened. There are other, well-documented hurdles to victims leaving their abusive partner. For one, the abused are often cut off from friends and financial supports. For another, they're often afraid to leave, and with good reason (more than 70 percent of domestic violence injuries and murders happen after the victim has left). One can't escape a dangerous situation if it feels safer to stay. But perhaps one of the most formidable and dangerous obstacles abuse victims face is their own searing guilt and shame; they're incredibly adept at blaming themselves for the abuse (see here for more about the dynamics of self-blame). Which brings us back to Warden -- and anyone who's ever wondered what an abuse victim derives from staying. It's giving into this very thought -- they must like this -- that creates one more barrier to the abused being able to leave. It makes the world simpler, no doubt, for us to indulge this theory. We feel safer. "That couldn't happen to me," we can say. "I'd never put up with it." But the research proves anyone can end up abused. And blaming the victims in this way is a huge part of the problem. It reinforces their shame. Victim-blaming is dangerous enough that, in summarizing the conclusions of hundreds of studies on domestic violence, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cites, as a barrier to ending domestic violence, the brute fact that "peers, family members, and others in the community (e.g., coworkers, social service-providers, police, or clergy) minimize or ignore the abuse and fail to provide consequences." Instead of condemning the abuse, people around the victims often simply admonish them with "What do you expect if you choose to stay?"


While Warden's right that legislation alone isn't the answer, reducing consequences to the perpetrator certainly isn't, either. Minimizing the nature of the crime sends the wrong message to everyone: It's no big deal. It wouldn't happen if you didn't stay. It makes the abused want to hide their pain, and when that happens -- when their plight remains invisible -- they have no hope at all of leaving.

Source: HarperCollins The reality of abuse is far more complex. As a culture, we must grapple with the fact that many of us agree with some version of what Warden says -- that the victim is to blame for their abuse when they choose to stay. Sadly, even the abused can start to believe the explanation. But making Warden a scapegoat for our own ignorance won't change any of this. Only educating ourselves will.


Note: I like the more you click the more this fucked up faggot gets violent... Photographer as Witness: A Portrait of Domestic Violence


Maggie had two children, Memphis, age 2, and Kayden, age 4. Maggie


had separated from their father several months prior to beginning her relationship with Shane. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz3 of 46One month into their courtship, Shane had Maggie's name tattooed on his neck in large black letters. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz4 of 46Shane had been trying to make a career as a singer in a Christian rock band while providing for Maggie and her children. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz5 of 46While Shane's relationship with Memphis was decidedly less confrontational than his relationship with Kayden, he still found his new role as a caregiver to two small children to be challenge to his patience. "I'm just trying to do the right thing by them," he said of Maggie and her children. "I'm trying to be a father to them." Sara Naomi Lewkowicz6 of 46Shane's relationship with Memphis was far less conflicted than his relationship with her brother, Kayden. He would constantly lavish attention and affection on Memphis, while his interactions with Kayden were decidedly more ambivalent. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz7 of 46Within a few months of their relationship, Shane moved Maggie and her children to a trailer park in Somerset, Ohio. The location was farther away than Maggie had ever been from her family and friends before, and she said her feelings of isolation only increased over time. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz8 of 46Kayden lifted a chair and a toy truck over his head to show how strong he was. His relationship with Shane was contentious at best, and at times he displayed open mistrust and hostility toward his mother's boyfriend. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz9 of 46A trip to the barbershop designed to provide a moment of male bonding for Shane and Kayden could not dissolve the tension between them. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz10 of 46Shane and Kayden had a strained relationship from the beginning, with Shane trying to exert a strong parental presence and Kayden resisting the authoritative efforts of a man he knew was not his father. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz11 of 46Maggie would often say that she could sense the competition between Kayden and Shane, and often felt that she was caught between their separate demands for her affection and attention. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz12 of 46Shane attepts to restrain Kayden so the barber could cut the back of his hair. "He needs a male role model. I'm


trying to be that," Shane said. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz13 of 46The stress of Shane's unemployment and raising two young children on very little money often took its toll on the relationship. As the newness of their relationship wore off, they began to argue more frequently, usually about money or how Maggie focused most of her energy on the children rather than her relationship. "Why can't I be the most important one, for once?" Shane asked. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz14 of 46One night, after an early birthday celebration for Memphis at a local fast food restaurant, the two began to argue. Shane said his main source of frustration stemmed from the fact that Maggie paid more attention to the children than she did to him. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz15 of 46Shane and Maggie argued in their car. Maggie's inability to devote as much attention to Shane as she devoted to her children became a constant source of strife between the two. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz16 of 46Maggie and Shane took a rare night out alone together, singing karaoke at a local bar. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz17 of 46After a night out at a local bar, Maggie left after becoming jealous of when another woman flirted with Shane. Upon arriving home, Shane flew into a rage, angry that Maggie had "abandoned him" at the bar and then drove home with his friend, whose house they were staying at for the week. Maggie told him to get out of the house, that he was too angry and that he would wake the children. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz18 of 46Rather than subsiding, Shane's anger began to grow, and he screamed that Maggie had betrayed him, at one point accusing his friend (not pictured) of trying to pursue her sexually. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz19 of 46At one point, Shane picked Maggie up and flung her back into the kitchen as she tried to run out of the room. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz20 of 46As the fight continued to rage, Shane told Maggie that she could choose between getting beaten in the kitchen, or going with him to the basement so they could talk privately. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz21 of 46When Maggie refused, Shane began grabbing her by the face and neck, choking her. "You can either get beat up here, or we can go talk alone," he said. "Your choice." Sara Naomi Lewkowicz22 of 46As Shane and Maggie continued to fight, Memphis ran into the room and refused to leave Maggie's side. She witnessed the majority of the assault on her mother. As the two fought, Memphis began to scream and stomp her feet. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz23 of 46Shane continued to scream in Maggie's


face as Memphis wedged herself between them. At some point, the toddler had stopped crying and began trying to soothe her weeping mother. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz24 of 46Around half past midnight, the police arrived after receiving a call from a resident in the house (pictured at right). Maggie cried and smoked a cigarette as an officer from the Lancaster Police Department tried to keep her separated from Shane and coax out the truth about the assault. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz25 of 46Shane hugged Memphis goodbye before being arrested. He insisted he wasn't a bad person and that Maggie had been trying to leave the house and drive drunk with the children in the car. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz26 of 46Shane pled with Maggie not to let the police take him into custody, crying out, "Please, Maggie, I love you, don't let them take me, tell them I didn't do this!" Sara Naomi Lewkowicz27 of 46An officer from the Lancaster Police Department photographed the bruises on Maggie's neck from where Shane had choked her. "You know, he's not going to stop," the officer told Maggie as she wept. "They never stop. They usually stop when they kill you." Sara Naomi Lewkowicz28 of 46Convincing Maggie to be examined and sign a protection order took a great deal of coaxing from the officer. "I don't want to get him in trouble," she wept. "You aren't getting him into trouble. He got himself into trouble. I know Shane. He's a good guy, but he knows better than to do this," the officer replied. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz29 of 46Overwhelmed by her nerves and the shock of the abuse she suffered, Maggie became sick to her stomach. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz


Maggie tried to pull herself together as she prepared to drive with her children to her best friend's house for the night. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz31 of 46Kayden, who had slept through the assault, was disoriented and began to cry when he awoke. Memphis remained calm and seemed mostly concerned with comforting her mother. "Don't cry mommy, I love you," she said over and over.


Sara Naomi Lewkowicz32 of 46 Maggie wept on her best friend Amy's sofa after the attack. "I hate him so much," she whispered. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz33 of 46The day following the attack, Maggie had to grapple with what would come next for her and her children. She had no source of income, no childcare, and was afraid to return to the home she and Shane shared to retrieve her possessions. She expressed intense fear that Shane would be let out on bail and come after her, and called the jail several times to make sure he hadn't been released. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz34 of 46Maggie sat in front of her best friend Amy's house and smoked the morning after the assault, while Kayden and Amy's daughter Olivia, age 3, played in the window. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz35 of 46Memphis sat on the floor of her aunt's home crying for Maggie after having woken up from a nap. She witnessed most of the attack on her mother. "I want her to know that it's


not okay for someone to treat you that way, that you don't ever deserve to be treated that way," Maggie said. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz36 of 46In the days following the attack, Maggie had time to reflect on what had occurred and decided to make an official statement to the police. She said she had resumed communications with her estranged husband and the father of her children, and was considering moving with her children to Alaska, where he is stationed with the Army. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz37 of 46Overwhelmed by frustration at a long flight delay, as well as by the prospect of transporting two small children all the way to Anchorage, Maggie closed her eyes and tried to calm herself down. Her grandfather had been given special permission by the airport to come to the gate to help her care for Memphis and Kayden. After a flight delay that lasted several hours, they were told the flight had been cancelled and were sent home. They flew to Anchorage the following day. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz38 of 46Memphis stood in front of an illuminated advertisement at the Port Columbus International Airport, waiting to fly to Alaska with her mother and brother to be with her father. Memphis' father is a soldier who is currently stationed in Anchorage. "I want us to be a family again," Maggie said. "[He] has been so understanding about everything, he wants to take care of us. I'm really lucky." Sara Naomi Lewkowicz39 of 46Maggie and Memphis, March 3, 2013. More than three months since the assault, Maggie has moved her family to Alaska to try to repair her marriage and give the children a chance to be closer to their father. Maggie and her husband met at 14. She said theyÕd been on and off since eighth grade, yet they always seem to find their way back to one another. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz40 of 46Maggie and Kayden, four, share a moment in the apartment they now share with Maggie's husband, Zane. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz41 of 46Because of his deployment and his period of separation from Maggie, Zane had only met his daughter Memphis once before she moved into his home in Alaska. He has embraced his new responsibilities as a father. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz42 of 46Kayden’s relationship with his father was diametrically opposed to his relationship with Shane. The two acted like playmates, but Zane had very few problems getting Kayden to respect his role as a parental figure. “He just respects Zane,” Maggie said of


Kayden. “He didn’t respect Shane. He never really liked him.” Sara Naomi Lewkowicz43 of 46Maggie sat on the bathroom floor and cried after arguing with Zane. The two had fought with some regularity over her relationship with Shane, and although he had said he forgave her, Zane often had a difficult time letting go of his resentment. “I’m tired of apologizing,” Maggie said. “[Zane] cheated on me, I left him. It was a mistake. But when does it get easier?” Sara Naomi Lewkowicz44 of 46The couple had argued the previous evening, and in an apparent attempt to make amends, Zane had offered to paint Maggie's toenails. They didn't exchange many words, and they didn't discuss the argument or offer apologies or excuses — they simply sat together as a movie played in the background. Sara Naomi Lewkowiczi Lewkowicz—Sara Lewkowicz45 of 46The morning after their argument, Maggie and Zane embraced in bed. The two have a host of trust issues to work through, as well as their own traumas to move past. "We've been together since we were 14," Maggie said. "It's hard not to have baggage after six years." Maggie is hopeful that she and Zane will be able to move past their problems, saying that somehow, they've always managed to find their way back to each other. Sara Naomi Lewkowicz (On June 25, 2013, Sara Naomi Lewkowicz won the 2013 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award for her work documenting Domestic Violence, to be awarded later this year at Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan. Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz has continued to document the story of Maggie and her life since November 2012, when she was the victim of a violent attack by her now ex-boyfriend Shane. In an assignment for TIME in March 2013, Lewkowicz visited Maggie and her family in Alaska to document their life as they continue to move on from the incident. Click here to jump to the newest images added to the story and here to see a new multimedia video produced by Lewkowicz for TIME.


Domestic violence is often shielded from public view. Usually, we only hear it muffled through walls or see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who “walked into a wall” or “fell down the stairs.” Despite a movement to increase awareness of domestic violence, we still treat it as a private crime, as if it is none of our business. PORTFOLIOThe Small Town Police Force Behind the Viral Photo of an Overdose During my time as a freelance photojournalist and as a Master's candidate at Ohio University, one of the biggest challenges of my career came in November of 2012, while working on a project about the stigma associated with being an ex-convict. Suddenly, an incident of domestic violence unexpectedly became my business. I had met Shane and Maggie two-and-a-half months before. Southeastern Ohio was still warm that time of year and brimming with small regional festivals. I had gone to the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival to shoot my first assignment for an editorial photography class. Almost immediately, I spotted a man covered in tattoos, including an enormous piece on his neck that read, “Maggie Mae.” He was holding a beautiful little girl with blonde curls. His gentle manner with her belied his intimidating ink, and I approached them to ask if I could take their portrait. I ended up spending my entire time at the fair with Shane, 31, and his girlfriend Maggie, 19. Maggie’s two children, Kayden, four, and Memphis, nearly two, were not Shane’s, but from her then-estranged husband. Shane and Maggie had started dating a month prior to meeting me, and Shane told me about his struggles with addiction and that he had spent much of his life in prison. Maggie shared her experience losing her mother to a drug overdose at the age of eight, and having the challenges of raising two small children alone while their father, who was in the Army, was stationed in Afghanistan. Before they drove home, I asked if I could continue to document them, and they agreed. I intended to paint a portrait of the catch-22 of being a released exconvict: even though they are physically free, the metaphorical prison of stigma doesn't allow them to truly escape. That story changed dramatically one night, after a visit to a bar. In a nearby town where Shane had found temporary work, they stayed with the kids at a friend's house. That night, at a bar, Maggie had become incensed when another woman had flirted with Shane, and left. Back at the house, Maggie and Shane began fighting. Before long, their


yelling escalated into physical violence. Shane attacked Maggie, throwing her into chairs, pushing her up against the wall and choking her in front of her daughter, Memphis. After I confirmed one of the housemates had called the police, I then continued to document the abuse — my instincts as a photojournalist began kicking in. If Maggie couldn't leave, neither could I. Eventually, the police arrived. I was fortunate that the responding officers were well educated on First Amendment laws and did not try to stop me from taking pictures. At first, Maggie did not want to cooperate with the officers who led Shane away in handcuffs, but soon after, she changed her mind and gave a statement about the incident. Shane pled guilty to a domestic violence felony and is currently in prison in Ohio. The incident raised a number of ethical questions. I’ve been castigated by a number of anonymous internet commenters who have said that I should have somehow physically intervened between the two. Their criticism counters what actual law enforcement officers have told me — that physically intervening would have likely only made the situation worse, endangering me, and further endangering Maggie. I have continued to follow Maggie since the abuse, and I've also begun working closely with photographer Donna Ferrato, who first began documenting domestic violence 30 years ago. Since that November night, Maggie has moved to Alaska to be with the father of her two children, who is stationed in Anchorage. In March, I will travel to Alaska to document Maggie as she tries to put the pieces of her family and life back together. My goal is to examine the long-term effects of this incident on her current relationship, her children, and her own sense of self. Devoted to revealing these hidden stories of domestic abuse, Maggie asked me to move forward with this project and to tell her story, because she feels the photographs might be able to help someone else. "Women need to understand this can happen to them. I never thought it could happen to me, but it could," she told me. "Shane was like a fast car. When you're driving it, you think 'I might get pulled over and get a ticket.' You never think that you're going to crash." The Violence Against Women Act, which provides funding to help victims of domestic violence, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and is now up for re-authorization. Read more about the law and why it's currently stuck in Congress.)


P.S.: I call this an edgy game... dumb enough... not smart enough and sometimes harder than ever talking to a stranger.... The Protection Paradox: Why Overprotective Parents May be Doing More Harm Than Good Kids aren't playing enough outside, and when they do, they tend to be over-supervised by over-protective parents. WHEN THE DOORBELL RINGS at your house, is it a UPS delivery or neighborhood kids calling on their friends to come outside and play? According to a recent Canadian report, it's most likely a delivery from Amazon. The 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card of Physical Activity for Children and Youth takes a landmark position on active outdoor play revealing that kids are not playing enough outside, and when they do play outside they tend to be over-supervised by over-protective parents. I'm sure it's no surprise that outdoor play is healthy for kids. But wanting our kids to be safe outdoors, parents may over-supervise their outdoor play, or worse – keep them indoors. According to this report, this limits kids' opportunities for physical activity, sets them up to be less resilient and negatively affects their long-term health. This is called the protection paradox. According to the Report Card, with less than 10 percent of children and youth getting the 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day, we need to let kids go outside and simply be kids. Kids are more physically active when they play outside and have some freedom to wander unsupervised, independently test their abilities and take some risks. And figuring out how to solve conflicts with their friends, without parents and teachers constantly intervening, should be a requirement. I'm sure we all agree our children's safety is of the highest


importance. But the report also argues that many of us have taken our kids' safety too far. A common belief is that children are safer sitting on the couch and watching television and playing video games than actively playing outside. In fact, many parents cite safety as a main reason for restricting the independent outdoor play of their children. According to the Department of Transportation, the percentage of elementary and middle schoolers who either walked or biked to school dropped from 48 to 13 percent between 1969 and 2009. Not surprisingly, children whose parents perceive their neighborhoods as unsafe watch more television and participate in less physical activity. However, according to statistics cited in the ParticipACTION Report Card, the odds of total stranger abduction are about 1 in 14 million. The solution is obvious, although difficult for many of today's overprotective parents to deliver. It consists of simply standing back, exposing children and youth to more independent outdoor play and letting kids be kids. Our youth need more active outdoor play, such as exploring the woods, climbing fences and playing neighborhood manhunt games – all with less adult supervision. And a few scrapes, dumps and bruises may be a good start. Let's not make outdoor play extinct. Note: THERE ARE rules for comedy... How Do I Know If I Have Depression? The types and symptoms of depression vary, so here’s what to look for. By David Levine, Contributor


EVERYONE FEELS SAD sometimes. We all go through periods of doubt, despair and emotional pain. That's part of a normal and healthy life, and these feelings typically fade over time. But when they linger, or begin to interfere with your everyday life, they could signal depression. Depression is more than just "feeling the blues." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it s "a serious medical illness and an important public health issue." Depression is a leading cause of disease, disability and injury for both men and women. It not only causes pain and suffering for those with depression, it can burden their families, friends and co-workers. The CDC estimates the economic costs of depression, including workplace costs, direct costs and suiciderelated costs, to be more than $200 billion. Because depression is a medical condition, it can be diagnosed, treated and, in the vast majority of cases, managed successfully – even cured. Too many people, however, still don't understand that basic fact. "There is still a lot of stigma around psychiatric issues, including depression, that makes people think that [the] way they are feeling is somehow their fault or their parent's fault," says Dr. James Potash, chair of the psychiatry department at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. "The truth is that depression is a treatable medical illness. Although it can be hard to recognize and has some invisible qualities, it is a disease process of the brain, and as a disease, it is nobody's fault, just as it is no one's fault they get cancer or asthma." The key to successful treatment is often getting it early, before the condition worsens, so knowing what to look for can help patients recognize something is amiss and seek help. Types of Depression Depression, which is also referred to as clinical depression or a depressive disorder, can be broken into certain types, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:


Major depression is defined as having symptoms of depression most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. These symptoms disrupt your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy life. Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia, is diagnosed when the patient experiences symptoms of depression for at least two years. In addition to these classifications, there are other forms of depression that develop under specific circumstances: Perinatal depression is major depression that afflicts women during pregnancy or after delivery. This is also known as postpartum depression. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a depressive state tied to changes of season. It typically begins in the late fall and early winter, and lasts until spring or early summer. Psychotic depression is severe depression combined with some form of psychosis, such as delusional thinking or visual or aural hallucinations. There are more examples of depressive disorders, such as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (which typically occurs in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. And depression can be one phase of bipolar disorder, in which the person experiences alternating, extreme modes of euphoria and depression. Symptoms of Depression Not everyone experiences depression in the same way. Indeed, depression is often a vague, hard-to-pin-down collection of symptoms that vary from person to person, gender to gender and age group to age group. Nevertheless, there are common signs of depression that everyone should learn to recognize. The American Psychiatric Association lists the following symptoms in its diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder. For a diagnosis of major depression, a patient must experience five or more of these symptoms for a continuous period of at least two weeks. These symptoms must be present every day or nearly every day, and they must


cause significant distress or problems in day-to-day functioning: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, depressed mood. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable. Change in weight or appetite (either increase or decrease). Change in activity: being more – or less – active than usual. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much. Feeling tired or not having any energy. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Difficulties concentrating and paying attention. Thoughts of death or suicide. Depression Symptoms in Certain Groups of People That list is the official diagnostic model of depression. But it doesn't really get at all the various ways depression can present itself. In fact, certain groups of people may experience different symptoms. Take children and teens, for example. Younger children may exhibit bouts of sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry or aches and pains. They may also refuse to go to school or be underweight. Teenagers may also feel sad and irritable, worthless or angry, or exhibit poor school performance. They may also sleep too much, lose interest in activities like sports or music, begin harming themselves or abuse drugs, alcohol or food. Young adults ages 18 to 25 are 60 percent more likely to have depression than people ages 50 or older, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, or NAMI. Older adults may experience memory difficulties, personality changes, physical aches and pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, loss of interest in socializing and suicidal thoughts, especially in older men. There is still a belief that depression is a normal part of growing older. It is not, and should be taken seriously by loved ones who notice these behaviors. In general, men and women are different regarding depression. Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression,


according to NAMI. Their symptoms are more likely to include sadness, worthlessness and guilt. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to feel tired, irritable and sometimes angry. They may underperform at work, lose interest in outside activities, suffer sleep disruption and engage in reckless behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse, erratic driving or dangerous sports. Men are also far more likely to miss these signs of depression and suffer silently, without seeking professional help. What's more, they are somewhere between four and eight times more likely to complete suicide, according to Dr. William Pollack, an associate professor of psychology in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, and a consultant at Cambridge Hospital and McLean Hospital in Boston. While females are more likely to attempt suicide, "When you interview them, most females admit [their suicide attempt] is a cry for help," Pollack says. "Males use more violent means of suicide, and my argument is they actually want to die. It is not a cry for help, it is a sense of failure that is so intolerable to their self-esteem, they want to be dead. As one patient who failed to commit suicide said to me, 'I failed at this as well.'" The message for males, and indeed for everyone, he says, is that "there is no shame in being depressed. The shame is letting it go too far, and you lose your life and hurt those around you."


Chapter 8.2 - Wow Level (Part 2) Understanding the Link Between Stressful Occupations and Addiction And how to cope. IT'S A RITUAL THAT takes place at 5 p.m. on Fridays across the country: happy hour. Employees loosen their ties and their attitudes at the end of a stressful work week. Unfortunately, in some cases, the link between a stressful job and imbibing goes beyond the weekly happy hour. The National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence gives some disturbing statistics: Twenty-four percent of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year. Of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, 70 percent are employed at least part-time. Twenty percent of workers and managers report that a coworker's drinking – either on or off the job – put their own safety in jeopardy. Workers who have alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely than non-drinkers to experience injury-related absences. The truth of the matter is, drug and alcohol abuse affects all industries and employment levels, leading to lost productivity, injuries, theft, absenteeism and even death. And one of the issues that fuels substance abuse is work-related stress. What's the Link Between a Stressful Job and Substance Abuse? There are a few factors that cause someone in a stressful job to be at increased risk for a drug or alcohol problem. They include the following: Work pressure: When an individual feels pressure to meet


deadlines and perform in a hostile or unusually fast-paced environment, he or she may turn to a substance like cocaine or Adderall to be more energetic and focused. Or, an employee may use more "relaxing" substances like alcohol or opiates to unwind after a hectic day. Peer pressure: "Hey, John and I are going to grab a drink after work – why don't you join us?" At the end of a tiring shift, it is all too tempting to say "yes." Plus, an employee may feel obligated to go out with co-workers for a drink – or a few – in order to strengthen his or her working relationships and/or to fit in. The job: All types of jobs can be stressful, but there are some careers that are more highly correlated with drug and alcohol abuse. These include mining and construction, first response (police officers, EMTs, firefighters and emergency room personnel), management, real estate, transportation, food service and nursing. These careers are linked with substance abuse for various reasons. For example, food service workers tend to work around alcohol and use it to decompress when their shifts are through. Some nurses turn to drugs and/or alcohol to cope with the high stress and long hours, and their close proximity to controlled prescription drugs increases the chances of becoming addicted. And the volatility of the real estate market means 10 percent of agents report having abused drugs or alcohol in the past 30 days. Shortage of good coping skills: An individual who lacks effective ways to deal with stress, such as a regular exercise routine or relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, may be more likely to cope with work pressures by drinking too much or taking drugs. A vicious cycle: As a person uses more and more of a substance – be it alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine or a combination – that person will become less able to deal with work stress. As a result, the person will become increasingly more apt to turn to substances to cope, making addiction all the more probable. Fighting Back Against Stress-Fueled Substance Abuse With the link between job stress and addiction in mind, what's a


stressed out employee to do to prevent over-indulging after a tough day or to get help if an addiction is already in the works? 1. Reduce stress in healthy ways. There are lots of different stress relievers that do not involve drugs or alcohol, including the following: Exercise: Studies show people who engage in three 30-minute exercise sessions per week are less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than people who do not work out. Healthful eating: Research also shows a healthy diet can help ward off anxiety and depression. More specifically, a stress-relieving diet includes omega-3 fatty acids (found in nuts and haddock, salmon and other oily fish), which are good for brain health; selenium (found in poultry, Brazil nuts, walnuts and cod), which decreases depression; and vitamin B12 (found in almonds, spinach, chicken and fish), which can help prevent mood disorders and depression. Mindful meditation: The art of grounding oneself in the present, mindful meditation has been shown to reduce stress and improve productivity. Employees can practice mindful meditation in short minute-long spurts at their desks. 2. Consider a career change. Over time, stress can do significant damage to the body and mind. When a job becomes so stressful that it negatively affects physical and psychological health, it may be time to think about switching to a different position or career. 3. Take an honest look. When an employee suspects his or her drinking or drug use could be spiraling out of control, he or she should ask him or herself the following questions: Do I want to use drugs or alcohol when I feel stressed or upset? Do I daydream about using when I'm bored? Is my drug or alcohol habit causing me to fail to meet responsibilities at work or home? Am I withdrawing from friends or coworkers because of drug or alcohol abuse?


Am I spending more money on drugs or alcohol? Am I spending increasingly more time doing drugs or drinking alcohol? A "yes" answer to one or more of the above questions means it may be time to get some help. 4. Seek treatment. When work stress leads an employee down a path of addiction, in many cases, it's time to seek professional help. Unfortunately, too many employees avoid recovery treatment because they fear they will lose their jobs. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act include provisions that make it illegal for employers to fire or discriminate against employees for undergoing addiction treatment.


Chapter 9 - Not Funny Enough (Part 1) Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves by David Wong You ever have that funny friend, the class-clown type, who one day just stopped being funny around you? Did it make you think they were depressed? Because it's far more likely that, in reality, that was the first time they were comfortable enough around you to drop the act. The ones who kill themselves, well, they're funny right up to the end. By now you know that Robin Williams has committed suicide, but I'm not here to talk about him. He's gone, and you're still here, and suicidal thoughts are so common among our readers and writers that our message board has a hidden section where moderators can coordinate responses to suicide threats. And in case you're wondering, no, that's not a joke -- I remember the first time John tracked down a guy's location and got an ambulance dispatched to his house. Then we all sat there, at 4 in the morning, waiting to hear if they got there in time (they did). Because Cracked is driven by an army of aspiring comedy writer freelancers, the message boards are full of a certain personality type. And while I don't know what percentage of funny people suffer from depression, from a rough survey of the ones I know and work with, I'd say it's approximately "all of them." So when I hear some naive soul say, "Wow, how could a wacky guy like [insert famous dead comedian here] just [insert method of early self-destruction here]? He was always joking around and having a great time!" my only response is a blank stare. That's honestly the equivalent of "How can that cow be dead? She had to be healthy, because these hamburgers we made from her are delicious!" So I don't know Robin Williams' situation, and I don't need to -- I can go scoop up an armload of examples without leaving my chair. As one of the head guys at Cracked, I'm surrounded by literally hundreds of comedy writers, and I inhabit the body of one. Kristi Harrison recently


wrote about the psychological dark side of being funny, and was speaking from experience. Or, here's John Cheese talking about his recent adventures on antidepressants. Here's Mark Hill on his depression, here's Dan O'Brien on his social anxiety, here's Tom Reimann on his, and here's C. Coville on the same. Here's Mara Wilson on having an anxiety disorder, here's Felix Clay on regret, here's Gladstone on emotional trauma, and Adam Brown on almost dying from cough syrup addiction. Those are just the ones off the top of my head. You get the idea. Now do you want me to tell you how many messages/comments/emails we get from fans telling a writer to "kill yourself" because said writer wrote a joke they didn't like? When I ban them, they always act confused as to why. "What, you're saying Cracked writers are a bunch of tortured literary geniuses? You write boner jokes in list form, for Christ's sake!" Yeah, and Chris Farley just made wacky slapstick movies about a fat guy who falls down a lot, right up until he stopped his own heart with a drug cocktail. The medium has nothing to do with it -- comedy, of any sort, is usually a byproduct of a tumor that grows on the human soul. If you know a really funny person who isn't tortured and broken inside, I'd say A) they've just successfully hidden it from you, B) their fuckeduppedness is buried so deep down that even they're in denial about it, or C) they're just some kind of a mystical creature I can't begin to understand. I'm not saying anything science doesn't already know, by the way. Find a comedian, and you'll usually find somebody who had a shitty childhood. Here's how it works for most of us, as far as I can tell. I'll even put it in list form, because who gives a fuck at this point: 1. At an early age, you start hating yourself. Often it's because you were abused, or just grew up in a broken home, or were rejected socially, or maybe you were just weird or fat or ... whatever. You're not like the other kids, the other kids don't seem to like you, and you can usually detect that by age 5 or so. 2. At some point, usually at a very young age, you did something that


got a laugh from the room. You made a joke or fell down or farted, and you realized for the first time that you could get a positive reaction that way. Not genuine love or affection, mind you, just a reaction -- one that is a step up from hatred and a thousand steps up from invisibility. One you could control. 3. You soon learned that being funny builds a perfect, impenetrable wall around you -- a buffer that keeps anyone from getting too close and realizing how much you suck. The more you hate yourself, the stronger you need to make the barrier and the further you have to push people away. In other words, the better you have to be at comedy. 4. In your formative years, you wind up creating a second, false you -a clown that can go out and represent you, outside the barrier. The clown is always joking, always "on," always drawing all of the attention in order to prevent anyone from poking away at the barrier and finding the real person behind it. The clown is the life of the party, the classroom joker, the guy up on stage -- as different from the "real" you as possible. Again, the goal is to create distance. You do it because if people hate the clown, who cares? That's not the real you. So you're protected. But the side effect is that if people love the clown ... well, you know the truth. You know how different it'd be if they met the real you.

I get a dozen messages a week from people telling me they love me, I


get a few a month from people saying they want to meet me in person. You know, kind of like how they watch an episode of The Walking Dead and decide they want to live in a zombie apocalypse. Trust me, kid, you wouldn't like it. But there's more. The jokes that keep the crowd happy -- and keep the people around you at bay -- come from inside you, and are dug painfully out of your own guts. You expose and examine your own insecurities, flaws, fears -- all of that stuff makes the best fuel. So, Robin Williams joked about addiction -- you know, the same addiction that pretty much killed him. Chris Farley's whole act was based on how fat he was -the thing that had tortured and humiliated him since childhood. So think of my clown analogy above, only imagine the clown feeds on your blood. (Jesus, that's going to give me nightmares, and I have a side job writing horror.) I keep mentioning Chris Farley for a reason -- in the end, he was so alone that he was hiring prostitutes just to hang out with him. Here's an account of how his last days played out: "Farley partied for four straight days, smoked crack and snorted heroin with a call girl, then took her back to his apartment. When they argued about money, she got up to leave. He tried to follow but collapsed on the living room floor, struggling to breathe. His final words were 'Don't leave me.' She took pictures of him, stole his watch, wrote a note saying she'd had a lot of fun, and left. He died alone." In this case, the clown was a hilarious fat guy playing a Beverly Hills Ninja. Back behind the wall, the real person was a scared, lonely, awkward fat kid who couldn't even pay someone to hold his hand when he died. "Don't leave me." So, yeah, if you're out there and are feeling down, here's the national suicide hotline. I've been told it's great, by the numerous people I know who've called it. But I guess my larger point is that if you know somebody who might be at risk but you've been denying it because they're always smiling and joking around, for the love of God, wake the fuck up. They don't know how to ask for help because they don't know how to relate, because when you've lived behind that wall long enough, you completely lose the ability. "Well, I tried to help him, but he was kind of a dick about it." Right, that's what it looks like. "But I don't know how to do a suicide intervention!" Nobody is asking you to. How about this: Be there when they need you, and keep being there even when they stop being funny. Every time they make a joke around you, they're doing


it because they instinctively and reflexively think that's what they need to do to make you like them. They're afraid that the moment the laughter stops, all that's left is that gross, awkward kid everyone hated on the playground, the one they've been hiding behind bricks all their adult life. If they come to you wanting to have a boring-ass conversation about their problems, don't drop hints that you wish they'd "lighten up." It's really easy to hear that as "Man, what happened to the clown? I liked him better." As for me, I haven't thought about suicide in a long time, not since high school, when a guy talked me out of it, though to this day I doubt he realizes it. So, I lived on to wind up with a job where one of my tasks is to ban people who follow him from one comment section to another telling him he's not funny and should kill himself. Is that ... irony? Shit, I don't think English has a word for what that is. Anyway. Rest in peace, Robin. You've given us a chance to talk about this, and to prove that this has nothing to do with life circumstances -- you were rich and accomplished and respected and beloved by friends and family, and in the end it meant jack fucking shit. REAL TALK FROM COMEDIANS ABOUT DEPRESSION AND MENTAL ILLNESS The suicide of Robin Williams, devastating as it was not just for his family and closest friends but also to millions of us fans around the world, has brought a new wave of attention to how we treat depression and mental illness. It’s not about sad clowns, either. We all get sad. No matter what your profession or vocation may be. As Dana Gould points out in a heartfelt column in Rolling Stone: Charles Darwin suffered clinical depression, yet he managed to come up with the theory of evolution. Mozart, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway all lived in prisons of their own thought. The roll call of contemporary artists who have suffered a depressive disorder is so long, they could save time by just printing up the list of those who haven’t. Some of that list makes sense. It’s easy to believe that Elliot


Smith suffered from depression. Or Bob Dylan. Or Anthony Hopkins. But David Letterman? Jim Carrey? Or, as we so recently and tragically learned, Robin Williams? Really, Robin Williams? And that leads us to The Other Big Thing. Being funny is not the same as being happy. And later… Those of us whose emotional states are stable and manageable, and who haven’t condemned ourselves to the hell of addiction in our clumsy attempts at self-medicating, do the best we can, by trial and error, to live a regular life. We try our hardest, every day, to masquerade as a normal person. A civilian. All the while poring over our faults and failings through our work. For money! It’s a symbiotic system that can really pay off if you play your cards right. I cannot help but recall a 2009 interview the late Greg Giraldo gave with Psychology Today a year before his death from drug addiction. Even in the face of failure, Giraldo knew enough to advise balancing that with a healthy sense of gratitude: “Staying grateful and even sometimes being so fucking corny as making a mental list of what I have to be grateful for. That definitely helps, when I’m feeling positive. I don’t know if it’s the chicken or egg. When I’m feeling in a darker place, my perception is that everything sucks and even though I’ve done this, it seems I should have done more. Trying to stay grateful helps.” Dylan Brody dealt with his own depression by writing about it, humorously. His book, “The Modern Depression Guidebook,” was reissued last weekend by Autharium. Brody said that like many artists, “For a long time I romanticised my depression as being necessary to my creative process. Similarly, I believed that my creative process was the only way to purge the depression. I genuinely hoped that by fully exploring the cycle of depression through the lens of humour I might cure myself. I was completely wrong, but I got a really fun book out of it.” His book pokes fun at the self-help industry. “I think the epitome of irony is going into a book store and asking someone to point out the selfhelp section,” Brody said. “The subtext of most self-help literature is that our circumstances in life – poverty, insecurity, loneliness, what-have-you – can all be changed through some simple trick of the mind that can be learned in chapter nine or whatever. I think the self-help industry is


dedicated to the notion that there are easy answers to complex questions. I really think of The Modern Depression Guidebook as satirising that industry.” Ultimately, Brody found he needed outside help and therapy to work through his issues and his illness. Maria Bamford also sought help, both through medication and through institutionalization. Bamford describes her continuing struggles with mental illness in an insightful new episode of Scott Moran’s “Modern Comedian” documentary series. Bamford’s episode hit YouTube via PBS Digital Studios last week. Anthony Jeselnik on How to Be Funny By Being Mean There are plenty of ways to be mean. Anthony Jeselnik uses them all. Here, the creator and star of Comedy Central’s The Jeselnik Offensive talks about finding the funny in everything. BY JOE BERKOWITZ Most mothers suggest that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. The more modern advice, however, might be: If you don’t have anything nice to say, at least be funny when you’re saying it. Anthony Jeselnik has nothing nice to say about anything. His persona is that of an arrogant prick, constantly airing grievances and confessing evil deeds. Frequent targets of abuse include family members, small children, and any woman with the misfortune of being one of his girlfriends. Through sheer commitment to character, though, and a deep respect for old-school joke crafting, Jeselnik has elevated “being a dick” to an art. While the comic mostly sticks it to those in his own sphere during


stand-up shows–and fellow comics in his beloved appearances on roasts–he takes out his animosity toward the world at large in his Comedy Central show, The Jeselnik Offensive, which has just been renewed for a second season. The former Late Night With Jimmy Fallonwriter chafed against the kind of news-based jokes he had to write on that show. Now, he has his own outlet dedicated to rants about the horrible things he finds most interesting. Of course, nobody gets laughs merely by saying horrible things. There’s a certain finesse to it–a strategy built on misanthropy–of which Jeselnik is the undisputed master. The cranky comedian recently shared with Co.Create the tricks to cracking jokes by being a jerk. APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE’S DARK SIDE. I found it was tough to get people to laugh at the kind of absurd oneliners I was telling when I first started out. But once I’d written a joke where the twist at the end was mean, the reaction was so much bigger. It was just guttural. That was a lightbulb moment for me, and I thought everything should have a mean twist. I think the biggest laugh is when someone laughs at something they don’t think they should be laughing at. It’s just a different kind of laugh, and that’s the only laugh I want from an audience. DESENSITIZE THROUGH QUANTITY. Everything I say is mean, so that makes everything less mean. If I’m up there talking about relationships and making fun of milkshakes and then all of a sudden I have a rape joke, it would make it seem that much more awful. If everything is rape and death, then it takes the pressure off of those things. People can feel a little better about laughing at something awful when it’s surrounded by other horrible things.


SMUGGLE MEAN IN WITH THE HUMOROUSLY TRAGIC. When I wrote for Fallon, my favorite stories were the more tragic ones that people could still make fun of. Like when the inventor of the Frisbee dies. It’s a chance to make a funny, silly joke about that, but it was also making fun of someone who just died. Those things were great to me. Somebody dies in Florida because they drank too much bleach? That’s the kind of stuff that I love. GO AHEAD AND OFFEND PEOPLE; THEY’LL GET OVER IT. People always say “Oh, that offends me,” like it’s something that matters. Being offended doesn’t hurt you. Nobody’s ever gotten hurt by being offended–they’re just offended for a little bit, and then they get over it. There’s a guy from New Zealand who was demanding an apology from me for this shark bit I did on the show recently. And I couldn’t care less. I would never apologize for anything. He’ll forget about it in a week. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t know who I am. The criticism was “How can you make fun of New Zealand sharks when you wouldn’t make fun of 9/11 or Newtown?” I’ve made fun of both of those things a few times on the show.


BE MEAN FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. I don’t feel bad making fun of a tragedy because it already happened. It’s over, so why not joke about it now? People might even appreciate it. Laughing after a tragedy takes the power away from it. And that power always goes away. Any tragedy is tragic forever, but one day it suddenly becomes okay to make an Aurora joke or a joke about Gabby Giffords. It depends on why you’re making the joke. Are you trying to get attention for yourself? Or are you really trying to make people laugh at something. I think one is more noble than the other. PEOPLE LIKE BEING INSULTED…. SOMETIMES. I like being insulted, if it’s a good insult. There’s something about not taking yourself seriously that’s really fun. Especially if someone’s good at it. When Jeff Ross makes fun of me, I laugh every single time. It’s almost like a badge of our friendship. If I know that he worked hard on a joke for me, it makes me love him. When some idiot on the street makes fun of me, I don’t appreciate it as much.


USE “THIRD THOUGHT” TO MAKE MEAN TWISTS SURPRISING. If I give you the setup of a joke, a punch line might pop in your head right away. That’s the first thought. But if your punch line is the first thought, nobody’s going to laugh at it because they’ve all already thought of it. If you sit there and think about what else might happen–the second thought–that could be an okay joke. But the third thought is where you really blow people away, because it’s something that they would have put together eventually, but it takes a while. When you look at a premise, just think about what the smartest take on it would be. Ask yourself, “What haven’t I heard before?” THE BIGGER THE TENSION, THE BIGGER THE RELEASE Being shocking is like working with a different kind of canvas. I’m painting, just like everybody else, but there’s something about having that shocking or taboo word in there that amps up the tension. Sometimes the punch line is something offensive, sometimes the setup is offensive— where it just makes people uncomfortable. That’s when you can really pull the rug out–because they’re looking one way. You build up the tension and then release the tension, and everybody laughs. I just think you get a bigger laugh when you’re talking about offensive subjects. There’s shock comedy where all you’re really doing is saying AIDS at the end of a joke. And then there’s comedy that’s talking about AIDS but


has a smarter twist to it and that helps me get away with a lot. The joke would stand on its own, even if it wasn’t talking about abortion or something.

PRETEND THERE’S NO LINE (BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE). There’s no line. Comedy can go anywhere, as long as you can make it funny. There’s a Laurence Olivier quote: “There’s no such thing as overacting.” You can go as big as you want; you just have to fill up the space—you have to see the character get to that moment. So you can talk about anything horrible, you just have to build to it, or put it in a context that makes sense. Where people might say, “Oh, you definitely can’t make fun of that,” all that interests me is trying to make those things funny. People probably have their own lines, but my job is to push that line as far as I can or obliterate it completely and make somebody laugh at something they never thought they’d be able to laugh at. I’m not trying to give the audience what they want; I’m trying to give the audience what I want, and make it palatable. Dara Ó Briain: ‘I’d like to maintain this plateau’


The comedian has reached an enviable point in his career where he is happy to continue doing what he’s been doing. But he’s no less irritable or interesting for that

Dara Ó Briain is hungover. Sitting in a hotel room in Dublin, the previous night was spent at the premiere of Noble. “I would characterise this interview as being slightly hungover. Not quite as coherent, or as on the nail. Eh, there’s a struggling for the words here and there. So, sorry about that.” Despite the woolly head, he’s animated and full of chat. His upcoming stand-up show, Crowd Tickler, is bound to be another success. There’s something very solid about Ó Briain. He’s smart. There’s an edge to his opinions, a quickness, and a dexterity of intelligence that suggests you could throw any topic at him and he would probably form an enlightening and enlightened point of view on it. The narrative is well-known now: from Coláiste Eoin on the Stillorgan


dual carriageway, he went up the road to UCD, excelled at debating and eventually veered towards comedy. Like the best comedians, Ó Briain isn’t just about the gags. If he was in a journalist’s contacts book, you could call him for a line on a bunch of topics: science, maths, Irish manin-London syndrome, video games, the Irish language, and, oh yeah, comedy. Running away with the circusWhen did he realise that performance was a thing? “That’s a very good way of putting that question,” he says, poking fun at the inevitability of it. “The traditional way of asking it is: when did you first realise you were funny? A version of that question gets asked so often that Ardal [O’Hanlon] had a standard answer, which was, ‘The government sent me a letter when I was 11’, which I think is a fantastic stock response.” His actual answer is: in university, attending debates and admiring that skill, “envy being a great driver at times”. He came up with some gags for a debate about the presidential election in 1990 and they got a huge round of applause. “This weird spike went off in a part of me I didn’t even know was waiting to receive that jolt. Bloody hell.” He considered being a barrister, that being the more traditional path given the notion of doing stand-up in Ireland in the 1990s was a bit outthere. “It was as exotic as: I will run away to the circus.” He goes on a tangent about people on unicycles, and acts out people flinging knives at a woman rotating on a board. Being at the helm of Mock the Week probably gives him a better perspective on the tropes and trends that come and go in comedy. He’s not a fan of cliches, like the one about comedians and depression, which gets asked all the time, “much as I’m sure if you’re a female comedian you get asked: what’s it like being a female comedian? We all get asked about depression. But we all know people who have actually had depression. Do you see them do many gigs? Do you see them going, ‘I want to go on stage and tell jokes or write jokes’? Nobody ever goes, ‘Your teeth look fantastic’. ‘Well, the best dentistry comes from a very dark place . . .’ ” Another thing that bores him are stand-up routines about the song Blurred Lines, “because now this is the badge that people are quick to assert, their feminist credentials at the moment – male comedians, by the way,” he clarifies, quick to say that female comedians doing great


feminist routines are totally separate to this. It happened with science too, when that became a common stand-up topic. “I don’t do it [the feminist stand up cliche] because I felt it’s slightly irritating. When science was the kind of thing for people to drop in, I was slightly, ‘Well, where were you all when I was in UCD actually doing this stuff?’ I’ll spare the patronising male attempts at doing a feminist routine now, out of the sheer professional courtesy that I found frustrating when people suddenly all decided they were into science.” Last year, Ó Briain said something quite nuanced about the issue of gender balance on the type of panel shows comedians get invited to take part in. His point of view, given to Radio Times, was that perhaps the BBC shouldn’t have announced that it was going to do more to have women on panel shows, because it then ran the risk of women regarding their booking on these shows as the result of an edict or a version of tokenism. Mob rule on TwitterIt was a point well made, but the quote was taken out of context in the interview, and Ó Briain was met with an avalanche of criticism on Twitter. “I was getting tweets from people going, ‘Oh Dara, I used to like you but you can f*** off now.’ And you’re going, ‘Eh, I was misquoted’. ‘Oh, sorry, okay’. Really? I’d almost prefer if you dug in and stuck with it. It’s unbelievable irritating. “Somebody from here [Ireland] got very angry about it and used phrases like, ‘As one of the gatekeepers it behoves you to speak more clearly.’ I said I was misquoted, and she said, ‘It’s your fault if you’re misquoted’. No, you just want to have the argument. I am on the same side as you. But people click into a mode of ‘no’.” The mob rule of Twitter, the endless circular arguments, the frustrating clarifications, can be summed up by a quote Ó Briain gives from Stephen Colbert: “Who would have thought a medium based on 140 characters could lead to misunderstanding?” Eighty per cent of online arguments, he says, can be concluded by saying “it’s ‘you’re’ not ‘your’. Goodbye.” Enda Kenny is on the radio talking about the possibility of diaspora voting. As someone potentially affected by it, how does Ó Briain feel? “I’m not in favour of diaspora voting, particularly for parliamentary elections. Possibly for presidential elections. But for a parliamentary election, I don’t think that I, living in London, should have a say in the economic policies that affect how you all live here. Whatever your level of


interest, if you’re paying your taxes to a different exchequer, then you don’t get to decide the direction. A parliamentary election is: do we go left or right? Do we go austerity or not? I shouldn’t be sitting in London, looking over at Ireland going [he adopts a faintly evil voice], ‘I think you should have austerity. I think you need to knuckle down’.” Writing, freestyleÓ Briain lives in London with his wife – Susan, a urology surgeon – and their two children. He says he goes to bed at about 3am or 4am, writing his shows in headings, not the full text. I point out that Jay-Z doesn’t write his lyrics down. “Oh yes, I flow like Jay-Z, it’s often been said,” he says, laughing. Shows usually come once every two years. This one took three. “I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do,” he concludes. There has to be something else that he really wants to do? “I’d really like to carry on doing this, weirdly. This will stop. I don’t have a sitcom I really want to do. I don’t want to drift into movies. [I want] to remain sufficiently relevant and [for] people to come along and see me carrying on doing live shows. It’s unusual in a showbiz career to say I’ve reached a lovely plateau and I’d like to maintain this plateau as long as I could. “Certainly there’s other TV stuff, and a couple of science projects, that would be grand. But the priority would be being able to come back and still get an audience. There’s an awkward part of your career, which is in the next five or 10 years, where people go, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen him, I get the gist of that’. And then you have to disappear for 15 or 20 years and then you re-emerge. Quietly disappear and then return ironically. And people go, ‘What a trooper’, and you get a second burst of it.” Like Take That? “Exactly like Take That. It guts me that in the time I’ve been doing this, Take That have come and gone twice. It feels like an inordinately long period. Stand-up careers are very long in comparison to most other careers. They’ve had it and lost it two separate times. . . I met Howard [Donald, of Take That] outside a hotel the day after that story broke,” he says, the story being Take That’s tax affairs. “I just said, ‘Hey Howard, how are you, how’s your week been?’.” Ó Briain asked the question very pointedly, “and he just went, ‘I’ve a bit of a flu, actually’, and I just stopped and went, ‘Really?’ and he went, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah.’ I don’t know Howard that well that he would open up to me, but nonetheless. No, Howard, it’s not the flu.”


Crowd Tickler runs at Vicar Street from October 15 to November 29 QUICK QUESTIONS: WHAT MAKES Ó BRIAIN TICK? Earliest childhood memory? Being given a red train on my birthday. I recently mentioned this to my parents, and they said: “You were never given a red train.” Funniest Irish comedian? Dave Allen. Although there would be moments of transcendence from Tommy [Tiernan], I have to say. Last time you cried? Watching the end of White House Down. I was on a plane in a heightened state of emotionality. Biggest fear? There are unspeakable fears you have when you have children. Even now I can’t articulate them. Do Comedians Possess Bipolar Traits? Stand-up comedians and bipolar disorder I previously discussed the unique personality traits of comedians. A new study looked at the issue from a different angle. Research on other creative people has shown that there is a connection between creativity and psychotic traits related to schizophrenia and mania (half of bipolar disorder). The new study wanted to check if the connection is true for stand-up comedians as well.


Source:The study included 523 comedians (404 men, 119 women, mean age of 31 years), who were recruited through comedy societies, websites, social media and personal invitations by the researchers. As a control group, 364 actors (153 men and 211 women, mean age of 30 years) were also recruited in a similar way to the comedians. Both samples were taken from UK, USA and Australia. The majority of them (57% of the comedians and 73% of the actors) were amateurs. As an additional control, 831 ordinary people (246 men and 585 women, mean age of 31 years) who constitute the average norms in the population for the scales used in this study. The subjects completed a questionnaire measuring four different aspects of psychoticism (not to be confused with psychopaths). Here are the descriptions of the scales used in the study from the study itself (with a few changes to simplify): “a) Unusual Experiences, measuring magical thinking, belief in telepathy and other paranormal events, and a tendency to experience perceptual aberrations b) Cognitive Disorganisation, measuring distractibility and difficulty in focusing thoughts c) Introvertive Anhedonia, measuring a reduced ability to feel social and physical pleasure, including an avoidance of intimacy d) Impulsive Non-conformity, measuring a tendency towards impulsive, antisocial behavior, often suggesting a lack of moodrelated self-control� What the researchers found was the following: 1) Both actors and comedians scored higher than the norms on all four scales, except for actors scoring equal to the norm on Introvertive Anhedonia. 2) Actors were lower than the comedians on Cognitive Disorganisation, Introvertive Anhedonia, Impulsive Non-conformity but equal on Unusual Experiences. 3) Female comedians and actors scored higher than male comedians on all scales except for Introvertive Anhedonia, where they were actually lower than the males. The study supports the notion that comedians, like other creative people, are high on psychosis traits. The high scores of comedians in all psychotic traits do not mean that comedians (or actors) are psychotic or


have mental problems. This is just a survey and not a clinical diagnosis. However, the results might suggest that psychotic characteristics are the basis of stand-up comedy, or that people who pursue comedy as a career (remember, most of the subjects in this study were amateurs) have some characteristics of people suffering from schizophrenia or mania. What is perhaps surprising is the very high scores comedians achieved on these scales compared to other creative people. The authors interpret the results as showing a strong tendency toward being bipolar. On one hand, the comedians scored high on antisocial and depressive traits, but on the other hand, they scored high on the manic trait, which if true, does characterize people suffering from bipolar. It is important to note that the traits described “represent healthy equivalents of cognitive and temperamental variations which, in pathological form, predispose to and mediate the symptoms of psychotic illness” as the authors put it. The authors also mention that two of the scales, Unusual Experiences, and Cognitive Disorganisation are associated with creative thinking and generating unusual ideas, traits important for a successful stand-up comedian. To me, the results of the study illustrate the unique lifestyle of comedians that I discussedpreviously. On one hand, they have to work hard and travel, mostly alone. This part can be very depressive and lonely. On the other hand, being on stage can be a manic experience if the comedian is successful. If he or she fails, or if the performance is sometimes good and other times bad, the changes in mood are reasonable (though again, not necessarily to the extreme of a person clinically diagnosed with bipolar). Note: So here is the truth... pleny of people are becoming comedians and that's what happens... when comedy faces reality God Fucks you over with Anxiety, Depression, Stress and so on and so on... The 12 Ways Narcissists Make You Think They’re Important New research shows how people high in narcissism use the “sandbagging” strategy.


Have you ever noticed that some people you work with or interact with socially underplay their chances of succeeding? Perhaps they go into a situation in which their abilities will be put to the test, such as a entering a contest to get the most sales in the upcoming month, or putting together a meal for an important family gathering. Maybe they announce they have a first date with a match made through an online dating site. Rather than predict a positive outcome in these situations, they put on a show of looking ill-prepared or incompetent. They claim that they're doomed to fail, because they lack the necessary skills, people or otherwise, to achieve a positive outcome. Yet, you also have suspected for a while that these individuals seem to be quite self-centered and love to grab the limelight. Whey, then, would they go out of their way to seem ill-equipped to handle a challenge? New research by University of North Texas psychologist Michael Barnett and colleagues (2018) suggests that people high in narcissism engage in this self-handicapping presentation strategy as a twisted way of getting you to think that they truly are terrific. Their study, which was conducted on a college student sample of 818 participants, was based on the idea that self-handicapping, or what they call “sandbagging,” is just one more way that people high in narcissism manipulate how others regard them. Although testing this concept on a college student sample might seem to limit its applicability to the broader population, it is consistent with some of the earliest theories of personality. By underplaying their strengths, according to theorists such as Alfred Adler and Karen Horney, narcissists can’t possibly fail. If they don’t win at a situation, they can show that they didn’t expect to anyhow. If they do win, then they look all that much more amazing to those who witness their glory. The concept of sandbagging as a psychological self-presentation strategy was tested by Central Michigan University’s Brian Gibson and Minnesota State University (Mankato)’s Daniel Sachau in a 2000 study that described and validated a 12-item measure. Gibson and Sachau define sandbagging as “a self-presentational strategy involving the false claim or feigned demonstration of inability used to create artificially low


expectations for the sandbagger’s performance” (p. 56). Although the origins of the term are unclear (possibly related to building dams, horseracing, or acts of physical aggression), it’s a concept familiar in the world of “coaches and card-players.” In a press conference prior to a big game, a head coach will talk down, instead of up, the team's chances of victory. Like the coach playing mind games on the opponent, by pretending to be less competent than you are, you can lull those who might oppose you into complacency. However, as Gibson and Sachau note, sandbagging can be used in situations involving evaluation rather than competition. A student who’s actually studied hard tells a professor not to expect much out of the upcoming exam performance. By reducing expectations, the individual either looks better after succeeding at the task or has a reason to explain low performance, should that be the outcome. People can also reduce the pressure on them if they predict poor performance to others, because they’ve now got nothing to lose should this occur. Barnett et al., examining the relationship between narcissism and sandbagging, used the 12-item Sandbagging Scale developed in that 2000 study by Gibson and Sachau. The North Texas researchers note that people use this strategy primarily as a way of protecting their selfesteem, as shown in previous research establishing a relationship between low self-esteem and sandbagging. People high in narcissism, the researchers maintain, are attempting to protect a fragile self-esteem reflected in feelings of vulnerability that they may cover up with grandiosity. As they note, “the high explicit self-esteem observed in narcissists is an attempt to cover up underlying low self-esteem and vulnerability” (p. 2). Not all psychologists agree that vulnerability and grandiosity are two sides of the same narcissistic coin, but for the purpose of studying sandbagging, such an assumption seems warranted. Going back to the theories of Adler and Horney, downplaying their abilities is a tactic that narcissists use to guarantee that they can’t fail, suggesting that their self-esteem indeed has a precarious basis. The Barnett et al. findings supported the roles of both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in explaining scores on the sandbagging measure above and beyond the effects of self-esteem. Thus, people high in narcissism attempt to look good by predicting bad. They use sandbagging, the authors conclude “to resolve the dissonance that stems from viewing themselves as superior yet potentially being negatively


evaluated” (p. 5). This helps them manage their self-esteem by pretending that nothing’s at stake should they either succeed or fail. Before examining the implications of these findings, let’s turn next to the Sandbagging Scale. If Barnett and his collaborators are correct, the items on this scale should provide a novel way to test people’s levels of narcissism, because those high in narcissism should score high on this measure. To test yourself, indicate your agreement with these items on a 6-point scale from disagree very much to agree very much: 1. It’s better for people to expect less of you even if you know you can perform well. 2. The less others expect of me, the better I like it. 3. If I tell others my true ability, I feel added pressure to perform well. 4. The less others expect of me, the more comfortable I feel. 5. I may understate my abilities to take some of the pressure off. 6. When someone has high expectations of me, I feel uncomfortable. 7. I try to perform above others’ expectations. 8. It’s important that I surpass people’s expectations for my performance. 9. I like others to be surprised by my performance. 10. I enjoy seeing others surprised by my abilities. 11. I will understate my abilities in front of my opponent(s). 12. I understate my skills, ability, or knowledge. In looking at your responses, flip your ratings of 7 and 8, which are the opposite of sandbagging. The 12 items divide into three sub-scales: Pressure (1-6), Exceeding Expectations (7-10), and Behavior (11 and 12). The average scores were in the higher end of the 6-point scale, with most people scoring between about 3 and 5, but the highest scores were in items 7-10, the Exceeding Expectations scale. It appears, then, that most people engage in some management of their self-esteem through sandbagging. As indicated by Barnett and his coauthors, those people who are highest in narcissism should be particularly likely to do so. Hearing an individual expressing false modesty about an upcoming evaluation, as the Sandbagging Scale would seem to reflect, can provide you with cues that the individual is trying to protect a fragile sense of self.


Rather than project an outward show of bravado, then, people high in narcissism can use the reverse strategy. The audience might be fooled by all of this down-regulation of expectations and not recognize that they are actually watching the self-preservation tactics of the narcissist. To sum up, be on the lookout for sandbagging when you suspect that you’re witnessing false modesty. Fulfillment in life comes from being able to engage in situations involving competition or evaluation with a reasonable sense of inner self-confidence. People high in narcissism view every evaluative situation as a threat to their own fallibility, and as a result, cannot experience this sense of fulfillment. Comedy and Mental Illness Is bipolar disease funny? How about thoughts of suicide or obsessive worries of harming others? Mental illness typically is not considered a topic that is funny. Certainly people who have a mental illness have been victims of ridicule or the butt of jokes, but can talking about mental illness be funny? And can it be done without demeaning or negatively targeting people who suffer with a mental illness? Mental illness plays a central role in comedy for comedian Maria Bamford. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and has a history of suicidal thoughts. She’s has several comic CD’s, performs live stand-up and has been praised by stars, such as Judd Apatow. And what makes her comedy so powerful and, yes, funny, is that she doesn’t skirt or apologize for they symptoms of her mental illness. Her humor is self-deprecating, but not self-demeaning. Through comedy she explores her real life struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD. She was named one of the years 50 funniest people by Rolling Stone Magazine in part for a bit in which she imagines what it would be like if people dismissed physical illness in the same way that they do mental illness. Bamford, of course, is not the only comedian who is diagnosed with a mental illness and who uses it in her routine. Comedian Joshua Walters,


who has bipolar disease, explores creativity and mental illness in his comedy. As a co-founder of the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance Young Adults chapter in San Francisco, Walters has developed humor as a way to address the topic of mental illness and reframe it as positive. “Everyone is just a little bit mad,” says Walters. “How much depends on where you fall in the spectrum. How much depends on how lucky you are.” The combination of comedy and mental illness may not be so controversial as it sounds at first. Instability can make for great comedy. And audiences often can relate to a comic’s vulnerabilities when they are up on stage. Comic Eddie Pepitone, who suffered a nervous breakdown at age thirty-five, panic attacks and claustrophobia says comedy can help you get through some of the toughest symptoms of a mental illness. On the podcast, Mental Illness Happy Hour, Paul Gilmartin interviews comedians, as well as friends, artists and doctors about mental illness, trauma, addiction and negative thinking. He talks with people such as Chris Hardwick, a podcaster, comic and writer about his history of panic attacks, drinking issues and middle-school humiliations and Kerri Kenney-Silver, comedienne, actress and musician, about her history of substance abuse. When it’s done well, as it is by many of the comedians mentioned above and many more who are unmentioned, comedy about mental illness can create a space for us to laugh and let down our guard in a safe environment. When we do this, we just might find that barriers and stigma also relent, maybe just a bit or just for a moment, while we laugh.


Chapter 9.1 - Not Funny Enough (Part 2) Believe me... if I am telling you that you gonna die... it's not false evidence it's just a itchy bitch right in your butt hole. Comedians and Mental Illness

Source Not all great comedians derive their skill from personal pain but many do. Russell Brand was molested at the age of seven, became bulimic at 14, left home at 16 and began taking drugs. Art Buchwald lost his mother to mental illness as a child and was


raised in seven foster homes. Bill Cosby had an alcoholic, neglectful, and abusive father. There are many others with equally miserable backgrounds who take to the stand-up circuits. In her 2011 book, Humor’s Hidden Power: Weapon, Shield and Psychological Salve, Nichole Force writes that “The comedian’s sensitivity to their own pain makes them especially sensitive to the pain of others; and the relief of that pain in others helps to relieve their own pain. In this way, bringing their audience joy literally brings them joy.” Robin Williams The rapid-fire improvisational genius went silent in August 2014. There were no horrific stories of abuse and deprivation in Robin Williams’s background. He grew up in an affluent household; his father was a senior executive with the Ford Motor Company. His education was conventional and he was a classically trained actor. He became hugely successful after his television debut as an alien in the 1970s hit Mork & Mindy. However, mental illness is no respecter of talent and good fortune; psychiatric problems dogged Williams for most of his life. According to Julie Cerel, a psychologist and board chair of the American Association of Suicidology, Williams was known to have bipolar disorder and severe depression.


Source As with many people suffering from these ailments, Williams turned to self-medication. He became addicted to cocaine and alcohol and sought treatment for both problems. He went on drug binges with his friend and fellow comedian John Belushi. When Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982, Robin Williams quit the habit. Of Belushi’s death he said “Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too.” He also quipped that “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you make too much money.” Twenty years later, he started drinking again and checked himself into a rehabilitation centre. Following his death his publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said “He has been battling severe depression of late.” But Robin Williams knew as well as anybody how people with mental health issues try to conceal them: “All it takes,” he said, “is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are.” Robin Williams in a Manic PhaseYou opted out of youtubeRichard Pryor


Jerry Seinfeld called him “the Picasso of our profession.” Richard Pryor’s mother was a prostitute, his father was a pimp, and he was raised in a brothel in Peoria, Illinois. He was sexually abused as a child and regularly beaten by his violent grandmother. It was the sort of upbringing that pretty much guaranteed a life of bad choices and incarceration, but it didn’t work out that way for Pryor. He began performing in school, usually as the class clown. By the early 1960s he was working in African-American clubs in the mid-west, honing the craft that would later make him a massively popular entertainer. By the mid-1960s he was making guest appearances on top television shows, performing a gentle, observations-on-life humour in the styles of Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory.

Source In the late 1960s, he developed his own technique – hard-edged, profanity-laden, and filled with the n-word. He confronted racism head on and performed character-driven comedy rather than just telling jokes. This, says the BBC, places Pryor among “a handful of ground-breaking comedians who have changed the rules of the game.” Despite his enormous success, the seeds of the demons planted in his childhood were growing vigorously. He self-medicated with cocaine, massive amounts of it. During one drug-induced haze in 1980 he doused himself with rum and set himself on fire in what he later admitted was a


suicide attempt. He survived but his health deteriorated and he died of a heart attack in December 2005 at the age of 65. Carry-On Star Kenneth Williams Kenneth Williams played the camp and effeminate gay to the hilt, but underneath this theatrical persona was a man who felt deep shame over his homosexuality.

Source His father, Charlie, was bitterly homophobic and Kenneth hated him. There was great tension between Charlie and his son that seemed to cast a shadow over Kenneth’s life. In 1962, Charlie Williams died in mysterious circumstances, having drunk from a bottle that carried the label of a cough mixture but in fact contained a cleaning fluid, carbon tetrachloride. The verdict was accidental death, but police always suspected Kenneth had a hand in switching the contents of the bottle. Despite his huge successes he lived alone in shabby apartments and struggled to come to terms with his sexual orientation; it was a struggle he never resolved. His personal diaries reveal a man often close to despair and entertaining suicidal thoughts. The last entry in his diary reads “Oh - what’s the bloody point?” He died in April 1988 from an overdose of barbiturates. The coroner could not decide whether his death was suicide or an accident.


Williams once said “I certainly wouldn’t call myself a happy human being. All the comedians I’ve known have been deeply depressive people, manic depressive ... They kept it at bay with this facade.” The Death of Kenneth WilliamsYou opted out of youtubeTony Hancock Tony Hancock was the grand master of situation comedy. He starred in the eponymous show Hancock’s Half Hour on radio and television in Britain in the 1950s and early ‘60s. In the show, written by the brilliant team of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, he played the character of Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock, an out of work actor. Each episode dealt with some self-inflicted travail triggered by the loser personality of the character.

Source


Despite the portrayal of the often pompous, snobbish, and egotistical person, Hancock became one of Britain’s best-loved comedians. The Queen Mother once told him “In our house we all stop when Hancock’s Half Hour comes on.” But, he was highly self-critical and lacked confidence in his abilities. He gradually broke away from friends and colleagues; a separation made easier for them as his drinking became heavier and heavier. By the mid1960s he had fallen into a self-destructive spiral of depression after several failed attempts at new shows. His life came to end in June 1968 at the age of 44. Along with an empty vodka bottle and a scattering of the few amylo-barbitone tablets he hadn’t taken was a suicide note that read in part “Things just seemed to go wrong too many times.” The Death of Tony HancockYou opted out of youtubeOthers Pursued by Demons Sadly, the four tormented people briefly profiled above are not alone. It’s a cliché, of course, the clown who weeps on the inside – Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, Pagliacci, Archie Rice as portrayed by Lawrence Olivier. But many comedians have battled depression – Dick Cavett, John Cleese, Peter Cook, Jima Carey, Rosie O’Donnell, Spike Milligan, and Andy Dick a friend of Robin Williams who says he’s “been in rehab 17 times.” Stephen Fry has bipolar disorder. In 2006 he hosted a TV documentary titled The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. In 2013, he revealed that he had tried to take his own life a year earlier: “I took a huge number of pills and a huge [amount] of vodka.” This produced convulsions so violent he broke four ribs. Jonathan Winters spent some time in a psychiatric hospital and Dick Van Dyke confessed that he was “mostly drunk for 15 years.” Ray Combs was a stand-up comedian who came to fame as host of the game show Family Feud. A car accident, divorce, and financial ruin plunged him into depression. He hanged himself in a psychiatric ward while under evaluation. Swedish comedian Micke Dubois chose the same exit route in 2005. American stand-up and Tonight Show regular Richard Jeni suffered from depression and psychotic paranoia. He ended his life by gunshot in


March 2007. Freddie Prinze, star of Chico and the Man, was yet another depressed comedian who took his own life in 1977. None of this surprises Mark Breslin, the founder of a chain of comedy clubs called Yuk Yuk’s. He’s worked with thousands of stand-up comics over the years and says “Nobody gets into the comedy world because they’re happy people. Nobody – including myself.” Bonus Factoids Let’s let Discovery News sum up “While reasons for connections between occupation and suicide are speculative, suicide researcher Steven Stack of Wayne State University [says] statistics show that suicides make up three percent of deaths of artists and performers, including comedians (suicides account for 1.5% of all deaths in the U.S.).” The story is that a man went to see a doctor and told him “I’m lonely and depressed.” The doctor advises to “Go to the circus. The clown will make you laugh and you’ll feel better.” The man replies “I am the clown.” Note: After all we don't have what to say... so let's put this shit down... there... The demons that drove Richard Pryor to make us laugh By Chris Summers It is eight years since comedian Richard Pryor died, aged 65. A new documentary sheds light on his life, his bizarre childhood and the demons that tormented him and may also be responsible for his genius. There are a handful of groundbreaking comedians who have changed the rules of the game. Lenny Bruce, Tony Hancock, Monty Python, Andy Kaufman perhaps. Richard Pryor was one of those comedy iconoclasts. He was not the first black stand-up comic. Bill Cosby, Redd Foxx and


Dick Gregory came before him. But Pryor was a "game-changer" whose on-stage style would make him the most influential comedian of his generation, especially for black comics such as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. The Emmy Award-winning Marina Zenovich, who made the Storyville documentary Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic, tells the BBC: "He broke the barriers about talking about race and sex. "When you hear him do those routines they are making it easier for people of different races to talk to each other and laugh with each other. It was groundbreaking." Her film shows how Pryor started out in the 1960s and was all set for mainstream success until he realised one night on stage in Las Vegas that he was not being true to himself. Pryor dropped out for a couple of years and when he returned he introduced a sharper, more foul-mouthed style that was more "street". His delivery, littered with the n-word, hit a nerve with black audiences and with those who caught his act through his hugely popular live albums. After Pryor's death in 2005, British comedian Lenny Henry told the BBC: "I started listening to him in 1977, when a guy in a record shop had this album called That Nigger's Crazy. He showed it to me and I was going to punch him, but he said: 'Listen to it, that guy's really funny.' "Apart from the use of the word 'nigger', apart from the prodigious swearing, I thought, 'This guy's a genius.' He documented every pain, every abuse he'd ever suffered in his life, and he made it funny." In 1979 Pryor visited Africa for the first time. When he returned to the US from Kenya, he vowed never to use the n-word again. Zenovich says: "Imagine what that moment was like for him. No-one knew who he was. It was like going back to your land. He decided to stop using the n-word. He had this epiphany."


Among those interviewed for the film were actors and comedians Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin and Mel Brooks as well as a number of the women in his life. Williams recalls the thrill of seeing Pryor live on stage: "It was like saying you saw [saxophonist John] Coltrane." But Zenovich says several key individuals refused to be interviewed Murphy, Cosby and actress Pam Grier. Grier was one of many women in Pryor's life. He was married seven times to a total of five women. The film tells how he dated Grier - star of many blaxploitation films in the 1970s - for 18 months but ended up marrying another woman whom he had got pregnant. The son of a prostitute and a pimp, Pryor grew up in a brothel in the town of Peoria, Illinois, and later made wisecracks on stage about his bizarre upbringing. He would also joke about his sex life, his marriages, his relationship with cocaine and even about having a heart attack. But the quips on the surface masked a sensitivity that led to him "selfmedicating" with alcohol and drugs. Actor Stan Shaw, who starred with him in Harlem Nights, says: "Success doesn't change you. It just magnifies who you are." Pryor's friend and producer, David Banks, said the comedian had about 13 personalities and while you could deal with nine of them, the other four were a nightmare. Jennifer Lee, who was wife number four and seven and became his widow, recalls the time he discovered freebasing cocaine. She says: "After two weeks of watching him getting addicted to this stuff I moved out. It was clear the drug had moved in and it had become his lover and everything. I did not exist." The drugs may have helped to obliterate memories of his childhood, during which he was also abused by a neighbour. Michael Schultz, who directed Pryor in the film Which Way Is Up?, says: "His sensitivity made him so brilliant as a comedian but some things were so painful that he wanted to be somewhere else." His grandmother Marie Carter was a brothel madam and a dominant matriarch whom he loved, feared and possibly loathed.


Image caption Pryor's film career was not wildly successful, despite movies like Stir Crazy with Gene Wilder Zenovich, who has made award-winning documentaries about filmmaker Roman Polanski and disgraced French tycoon Bernard Tapie, says: "If his grandmother was alive, I would have done that interview in a heartbeat. But we went to Peoria and it didn't work." So none of the Peoria footage made it into the final edit. Pryor's grandmother's death arguably tipped him over the edge. In 1980 he almost died after apparently dousing himself in rum and setting himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. Pryor's doctors thought he was unlikely to survive the severe burns he suffered, but within a year he was back on stage making self-deprecatory gags about the incident. He would light a match, wave it in the air and joke: "What's that? Richard Pryor running down the street." Pryor bounced back with such success that he was offered a $40m (ÂŁ25m) deal to make seven films for Columbia Pictures. But apart from the occasional gem, such as Stir Crazy with Gene Wilder, his movie career was not a great success.


Zenovich, who admits being a huge Richard Pryor fan, says the Storyville film came about after Pryor's widow Jennifer offered access to his archives. She says: "I thought it might be an issue that I was not AfricanAmerican, but it wasn't. They hired me more for my heart and soul than for the colour of my skin." The first edit of the film focused heavily on the fire incident and Zenovich says the audience at test screenings did not like it. She says: "They said it needed to be more funny, not so depressing. He was such an icon we needed to deliver what the people wanted and they wanted to laugh more." The finished film is set to be nominated for awards and Zenovich says she has heard there are plans for a Hollywood biopic of Pryor's life, with Michael B Jordan - who played Wallace in The Wire and recently starred in Fruitvale Station - playing the comedian. Asked why Murphy, Cosby and Wilder declined to be in the film, she says: "People are more interested in their own story and they don't necessarily want to talk about public figures unless it suits them. "They don't have to do it and they don't know how it's going to be done." Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986 and his health deteriorated severely during the 1990s. One of the most touching moments of the film is when his former lawyer Skip Brittenham wells up with tears as he recalls Pryor's last years. Zenovich says: "It was never my goal to get him to cry. Jennifer didn't think he would talk but he said yes. He loved Richard so much. When he started tearing up he said, 'I didn't know I had this in me.'" For her documentary Zenovich dug out some footage of Pryor being asked how he wanted to be remembered after he died. In a rare moment of straight-faced candour, he said: "I'd like the people to see my picture and laugh and have stories to tell, tell some lies on me... just to bring joy."


Comedians both extrovert and introvert, shows study Comedians have personality types linked with psychosis, a study by Oxford University researchers suggests. They score highly on characteristics that in extreme cases are associated with mental illness. Professor Gordon Claridge, who conducted the research, told the Today programme's Mishal Husain that comedians have a "peculiar combination" of impulsive extroversion and introversion. He explained that the findings give credence to the idea that there is a link between madness and creativity. Comedian Susan Murray described comics as "naturally shy people that have a creative outlet" Robin Williams and the link between comedy and depression By Ian Youngs Robin Williams was one of many comedians who made people laugh while simultaneously struggling with a personal darkness. Are comics more prone to depression - and if so, why? "It doesn't take a genius to work out that comedians are a little bit nuts." Those were the words of comedian Susan Murray earlier this year, responding to an academic study that suggested comedians had unusual psychological traits linked with psychosis. It takes a certain type of person to stand up and make a fool of themselves in public. But there is a difference between being a bit zany and suffering mental health problems. However, the image of comedians as tortured souls who tell jokes in an attempt to dispel their inner demons has become common over the years. Kenneth Williams once said: "I certainly wouldn't call myself a happy human being. All the comedians I've known have been deeply depressive people, manic depressive... They kept it at bay with this facade."


Image caption Spike Milligan published a book titled Depression And How To Survive It


Image caption Stephen Fry presented a TV documentary titled The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive Tony Hancock took his own life. Spike Milligan suffered profound depression and published a book titled Depression And How To Survive It. Peter Cook, John Cleese, Ruby Wax, Jack Dee, Caroline Aherne and David Walliams are among the others who have spoken about their inner turmoil. Stephen Fry, who has bipolar disorder, presented a TV documentary titled The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive in 2006. Last year, he revealed he had tried to kill himself in 2012. Fry said: "There are times when I'm doing QI and I'm going, 'ha ha, yeah, yeah' and inside I'm going, 'I want to die.'" Robin Williams was also reported to have had bipolar disorder, which seriously affects the mood, with people swinging between phases of extreme happiness and creativity to severe, crushing depression. "Among the creative professions, it's very, very common," says comedy producer and performer John Lloyd, who made the TV series QI and Blackadder. "There's a very, very high incidence of bipolar disorder. It's because


stable people think the world's fine as it is. They don't see any particular need to change it. "Creative people don't feel like that. People who want to change the world tend to suffer a lot for it." Comedians, Lloyd adds, are more likely to have extremes of personality because they are "more extreme people". "Robin Williams was a complete genius and did an enormous body of work. You can't do that if you're just depressed. You're more likely to do that if you're bipolar and you have terrific bursts of creative activity. "And there's a price for everything. Often, and I know this as a television producer, if you've finished a series and you've been on a high with pumping adrenalin every day, when you come down from it you're really low. It's punishing."

John Lloyd (second right) produced shows including Not the Nine O'Clock News'Unusual' personalities In January, academics from the University of Oxford published the results of research into comedians' psychological traits (this is the report Susan Murray was responding to above). Professor Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford's Department of Experimental Psychology, studied personality questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US and Australia. "We found that comedians had a rather unusual personality profile,


which was rather contradictory," Prof Claridge says. "On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic. "That was a rather unusual profile. The actors we compared them with didn't show that, and this was highly significantly different from the norms on the test. "Possibly the comedy - the extroverted side - is a way of dealing with the depressive side. Of course, this is not true of all comedians." Laughing to cope It is not. Not every comedian has difficulties, and depression is far from particular to creative personalities. Depression is the single biggest killer of men aged 20-49 in the UK, according to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm). It touches all corners of society. Dr Nick Maguire, a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Southampton, says there may be a connection between depression and comedy - but "it's certainly not a very strong one". However, he says different people have different ways of coping. "People often isolate themselves," he explains. "Another way of temporarily reducing the impact of those emotions is to make people laugh, to make people like you. "Unfortunately, the release can sometimes be very temporary. It's fine as long as it's happening, but when you go home again, what do you do?"


Terry Gilliam (right) said Robin Williams' comedic talent had been 'a miracle' but there was 'a price to pay' In public, Robin Williams always seemed to be performing, always the wise-cracking firecracker who wanted to make people laugh. He made no secret of his problems with alcohol and marriage breakdowns, but spoke more guardedly about his bouts of anxiety in interviews, usually attempting to look on the bright side. "Every time you get depressed, comedy will be there to drag your ass out of it," he told The Guardian in 1996. Terry Gilliam, who directed Williams in the Golden Globe-winning film The Fisher King, said the star's comedic talent had been "a miracle", but such a gift "doesn't come from nothing". "When the gods gift you with the kind of talent Robin had, there's a price to pay," the Monty Python star told the BBC. "It comes from deep problems inside. A concern, all sorts of fears. Yet he could always channel those things and turn them into gold. "I think that comes with the territory."


Chapter 9.2 - Not Funny Enough (Part 3) Steve Martin conquered Hollywood despite his anxiety attacks Often we can look at people who are in the public eye who appear to be very confident performers without knowing what is going on underneath what we see. I help so many people to end panic attacks and anxiety and so many of the clients who work with me do feel that perhaps they are the only person who experiences the intensity of what happens during a panic attack. Whilst was reading the book “Born standing up” by Steve Martin, Hollywood star and writer, I came across a passage where he talked about his own anxiety attacks and his description may well ring a bell if you feel you have suffered and no one can explain how it feels...

“In the car on the way to the theatre, I felt my mind being torn from its present location and lifted into the ether. My discomfort intensified, and I


experienced an eerie distancing from my own self that crystallized into morbid doom. I mutely waited for the feeling to pass. It didn’t, and I finally said, “I feel strange.” We got out of the car, and John, George, and Carole walked me along Sunset Boulevard in the night. I decided to go into the theatre, thinking it might be distracting. During the film, I sat in stoic silence as my heart began to race above two hundred beats per minute and the saliva drained from my mouth so completely that I could not move my tongue. I assumed this was the heart attack I had been waiting for, though I wasn’t feeling pain. I was, however, experiencing extreme fear; I thought I was dying, and I can’t explain to you why I just sat there. After the movie, I considered checking myself in to a hospital. But if I went to the hospital, I would miss work the next day, which might make me expendable at CBS, where my career was just launching. My friends walked me along Sunset again, and I remember humming, “Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune” from The King and I. I spent the night on George and Carole’s couch in absolute terror. I kept wondering, “Am I dying?” but was more concerned with the question “Do I have to quit my job?” I survived the night and struggled in to work the next morning. I was not relieved, but I was calmer; I confessed to Bob Einstein what had happened and found that as soon as I discussed the symptoms, they arose again with full intensity. However, I somehow maintained my implacable façade. The cycle was unbreakable. Any relief was followed by the worry of recurrence, which itself provoked the symptoms. After a few weeks, a list of triggers developed. I couldn’t go back into a movie theatre, and I didn’t for at least ten years. I never smoked pot again, or got involved in the era’s preoccupation with illicit substances (I’m sure this event helped me avoid the scourge of cocaine). However, the worst trigger was a certain event that, cruelly, happened every day. It was night. Eventually, I could find my way through the daytime, but as I left work, winding my way up the canyon streets as the sun set, I imagined feeling the slight rise in elevation and the air getting thinner. Nuts, I know. As a teenager, I had mixed a sombre home life with a jubilant life away from the house. Now I could be funny, alert, and involved while nursing internal chaos, believing that death was inching nearer with each eroding episode of terror. I learned over the next months that I could do several things at once: be a


comedy writer, be a stand-up comedian, and endure private mortal fear. Thankfully, after a difficult year, my specific dread of nightfall faded. I suppose I was too practical to have such an inconvenient phobia. I discovered there was a name for what was happening to me. Reading medical and psychology books, I found my symptoms exactly described and named as an anxiety attack. I felt a sense of relief from the simple understanding that I was not alone. I read that these panic attacks were not dangerous, just gravely unpleasant. The symptoms were comparable to the biological changes the body experiences when put in danger, as if you were standing in front of an object of fear, such as an unleashed lion. In an anxiety attack you have all the symptoms of fear, yet there is no lion. I could not let self-doubt or lack of talent cause me to fail at this new writing job—this lion—which was the gateway to my next life as an entertainer. I carefully buried this fear; I was in over my head, but my conscious mind wouldn’t allow that thought to exist, and my body rebelled that night at the movie theatre. At least this is my ten-cent diagnosis. I continued to suffer the attacks while I went on with my work, refusing to let this inner nightmare affect my performing or writing career. Though panic attacks are gone from my life now—they receded as slowly as the ice around Greenland—they were woven throughout two decades of my life. When I think of the moments of elation I have experienced over some of my successes, I am astounded at the number of times they have been accompanied by elation’s hellish opposite." By working through the panic attacks Steve Martin has been able to move on but it took him 20 years and he still feels some of the anxiety. There are so many techniques that you can be taught that can help you to end that anxious feeling and stop panic attacks once and for all. Stephen Fry reveals he attempted suicide in 2012 Stephen Fry has revealed he had to be brought back to the UK to be "looked after" last year after attempting suicide while filming abroad.


In an interview for Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Fry said: "I took a huge number of pills and a huge [amount] of vodka." The actor revealed his producer found him in an "unconscious state". Fry, who has bipolar disorder, has discussed his struggle with mental health issues in the past. During the recording with Herring, in front of a live audience at the central London theatre, Fry said it was the first time he had said in public that he is "not always happy". "I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don't get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide." Convulsions Fry was filming a two-part BBC Two documentary at the time, which sees him confronting anti-gay campaigners in Russia and Uganda. Due to be broadcast later this year, Stephen Fry - Out There also features him meeting campaigners in the US who claim to be able to "cure" homosexuality. Fry revealed the incident took place in a hotel room, adding the mixture of drugs and alcohol "made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs". "It was a close-run thing," he said. "Fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after." Fry told the audience that in light of his role as president of the mental health charity, Mind, he wanted to be open about his feelings. "The whole point in my role, as I see it, is not to be shy and forthcoming about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people with certain mood disorders." He said there is "no reason" for someone wanting to take their own life. "There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life," he said.


The actor and comedian attempted suicide after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates in 1995 - an event he recounted in a documentary for BBC Two called The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. The actor made his return to the West End stage in November 2012 as Malvolio in Twelfth Night. He will feature in the Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as Mayor of Laketown, due for release in December. P.S. - I don't agree into "Shy" and "Introvert" termonology... it sounds damn wrong... (ABOUT COMEDY) Manic thinking: independent effects of thought speed and thought content on mood. his experiment found that the speed of thought affects mood. Thought speed was manipulated via participants' paced reading of statements designed to induce either an elated or a depressed mood. Participants not only experienced more positive mood in response to elation than in response to depression statements, but also experienced an independent increase in positive mood when they had been thinking fast rather than slow--for both elation and depression statements. This effect of thought speed extended beyond mood to other experiences often associated with mania (i.e., feelings of power, feelings of creativity, a heightened sense of energy, and inflated self-esteem or grandiosity).


Comedians have ‘high levels of psychotic traits’ Comedians have personality types linked with psychosis, like many other creative types, which might explain why they can entertain, researchers claim. They score highly on characteristics that in extreme cases are associated with mental illness, a study by Oxford University researchers suggests. Unusually, they have high levels of both introversion and extroversion. The team says the creative elements needed for humour are similar to traits seen in people with psychosis. The idea that creativity in art and science is connected with mental health problems has long captured the public imagination. However, there has been little research on whether comedians have some of the traits - in a healthy form - associated with psychosis (delusions or hallucinations that can be present in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Unusually introverted Researchers from the University of Oxford and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust studied 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US and Australia. The comedians were asked to complete an online questionnaire designed to measure psychotic traits in healthy people. The four aspects measured were: Unusual experiences (belief in telepathy and paranormal events) Cognitive disorganisation (distractibility and difficulty in focusing thoughts) Introvertive anhedonia (reduced ability to feel social and physical pleasure, including an avoidance of intimacy) Impulsive non-conformity (tendency towards impulsive, antisocial behaviour).


The questionnaire was also completed by 364 actors - another profession used to performing - as a control group, and by a group of 831 people who worked in non-creative areas. The researchers found that comedians scored significantly higher on all four types of psychotic personality traits than the general group, with particularly high scores for both extroverted and introverted personality traits. The actors scored higher than the general group on three types - but not on the introverted personality aspect. The researchers believe this unusual personality structure may help explain the ability of comedians to entertain. Thinking 'outside box' Professor Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford's Department of Experimental Psychology, said: "The creative elements needed to produce humour are strikingly similar to those characterising the cognitive style of people with psychosis - both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder." He said although schizophrenic psychosis itself could be detrimental to humour, in a lesser form it could increase people's ability to associate odd or unusual things or to think "outside the box". Manic thinking, which is found in those with bipolar disorder, may help people combine ideas to form new, original and humorous connections, he added. Prof Claridge told BBC News: "Comedians tend to be slightly withdrawn, introverted people who may not always want to socialise, and their comedy is almost an outlet for that. It's a kind of self-medication." Dr James MacCabe, of the Institute of Psychiatry, at King's College, London, said: "Psychosis is not a problem with personality, it's a more severe disorder than that. "People with psychosis and schizophrenia have a very impaired ability to appreciate humorous material. "This study tells us some interesting things about the differences between comedians and actors but not about the link with psychosis." Paul Jenkins, CEO of the charity Rethink Mental Illness said these were interesting findings, but we must guard against the "mad creative genius stereotype".


"Mental illnesses like schizophrenia can affect anyone, whether they are creative or not. Our knowledge and understanding of mental illness still lags far behind our understanding of physical illnesses, and what we really need is much more research in this area." How 'Manic' Thinking Makes Us Happy, Energized And Selfconfident Note: False charges dear fuck... false allegations it depends on what people focus and how much they focus "-" negative circle... ends up in depression and stress and... "+" in other hand creates an illusion that life better than it is. Date: September 27, 2006 Source: Association for Psychological Science Summary: Fast thinking, or "racing thoughts," is most commonly known as a symptom of the clinical psychiatric disorder of mania (and of the manic part of bipolar disorder or "manic-depression"). But, according to Princeton University psychologist Emily Pronin, most healthy people also have experienced racing thoughts at some point in time -- perhaps when they are excited about a new idea they have just learned, or when they are brainstorming with a group of people, or even when they lie in bed unable to fall asleep. When people are made to think quickly, they report feeling happier as a result. They also say they are more energetic, more creative, more powerful, and more self-assured. In short, they reported a whole set of experiences associated with being "manic." Fast thinking, or "racing thoughts," is most commonly known as a symptom of the clinical psychiatric disorder of mania (and of the manic part of bipolar disorder or "manic-depression"). But, according to Princeton University psychologist Emily Pronin, most healthy people also


have experienced racing thoughts at some point in time--perhaps when they are excited about a new idea they have just learned, or when they are brainstorming with a group of people, or even when they lie in bed unable to fall asleep. Pronin and her Harvard colleague Daniel Wegner decided to explore whether inducing people to think fast might lead them to feel some of the other experiences also associated with the manic experience. To examine this question, they experimentally manipulated the pace at which participants read a series of statements. Half of participants read the statements at a fast pace (about twice as fast as normal reading speed) and the other half read the statements at a slow pace (about twice as slow as normal reading speed). They then completed a questionnaire assessing their mood, energy level, self-esteem, etc., using standard psychological measures. As an added twist, some of the participants read statements that were very depressing in content (e.g., I want to go to sleep and never wake up) while others read statements that were very elating in content (e.g., Wow! I feel great!). The researchers found that regardless of the content of the statements, people felt happier, more energetic, more creative, more powerful, and more grandiose when they read the statements at a fast rather than a slow pace. In fact, the effect of thought speed was just as powerful as the effect of the content of the thoughts. In other words, the speed of people's cognitive processing was just as important as what they processed in determining their mood. Even thinking sad thoughts at a fast pace made people relatively happy. The article, titled "Manic Thinking: Independent Effects of Thought Speed and Thought Content on Mood" appears in the September issue of Psychological Science, and was co-authored by Emily Pronin of Princeton University and Daniel Wegner of Harvard University. The reported effect of fast thinking on mood could have important applications in both clinical (psychiatric) and normal populations. The authors note that simple manipulations of thought speed could perhaps be used to improve individuals' mood, self-esteem, feelings of creativity, feelings of power, and energy level. Such manipulations could be useful in everyday situations, where people would like a quick mood, energy, or self-esteem boost on a day they are feeling tired or downcast. Manipulations of thought speed might also prove useful as part of treating


depression, which is characterized by slow thinking, and also by the absence of things like positive mood, energy, feelings of power, and selfesteem. The authors note that: "The results of our experiment suggest the intriguing possibility that even during moments when people feel stuck having depressed thoughts, interventions that accelerate the speed of such thoughts may serve to boost feelings of positive affect and energy." Childhood Trauma Linked to Poor Impulse Control in Adulthood Adults with a history of childhood trauma tend to respond less accurately and more impulsively in situations that require quick thinking, such as emergencies or driving, according to a new study led by a neurologist at the University of Michigan Medical School. The new findings add to a growing body of evidence showing the damaging long-term effects of traumatic childhood experiences. For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Heinz C. Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder based at the UM Depression Center. They wanted to determine whether patients with bipolar disorder had more impulsive and inaccurate responses on a quick task than those without the disorder. Much to their surprise, they found no differences between the two groups. Instead, when they looked closer, they found a common thread running through nearly every participant with more impulsive responses: childhood trauma. Among the more than 320 participants in the study, 134 reported a history of childhood trauma. This included physical abuse or neglect, emotional abuse or neglect, and sexual abuse. It did not include one-time traumatic events. None of the participants were drug abusers, and the participants without bipolar disorder did not have other mental health conditions. Participants with bipolar disorder and a history of trauma performed significantly worse on the quick-acting task, than those with bipolar alone.


Those without bipolar disorder who had a history of trauma performed just as poorly. The task, called the “Go/No-Go” test, measures how well a person can stop himself or herself from reacting incorrectly to rapid prompts that sometimes require a “go” response and sometime require a person to hold back the impulse to respond (“no-go”). “Past research has looked at mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, and even at memory function in people with childhood trauma, but few have looked at inhibitory control, or what some people call impulse control,” said lead author David Marshall, Ph.D. “Having the data from the Prechter research effort allowed us to see that a history of childhood trauma can impact the development of this key aspect of executive functioning that we need more of as we become adults, where we are required to engage in self-monitoring and goaldirected behavior.” Marshall got the idea for the study after discovering that a good portion of the bipolar participants discussed problematic childhoods in the required study questionnaires. “What is intriguing about this research is that childhood trauma had an effect on impulse control that was in both groups, meaning that it is independent of bipolar illness and more strongly related to adverse childhood experiences,” Marshall said. “This substantially changes the way we think of how trauma increases risk for illnesses. There may be brain changes after trauma that act as a risk marker for development of later illnesses, including bipolar disorder. These processes are much more fluid than we previously thought.” The findings highlight the importance of early detection and continuous treatment for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as well as paying attention to the effects of childhood trauma. “By finding early those who may be at risk of long-term mental health effects from childhood abuse and neglect, we may be able to guide them to treatments that can mitigate these effects,” Marshall said. While treatment recommendations vary, cognitive behavioral therapy can help even those whose childhood issues haven’t been addressed formally for years, Marshall said. The self-control and self-talk that are key to CBT can help people develop problem-solving techniques to assist their thinking and analytic abilities. The findings are published in the journal Psychiatry Research.


Chapter 10 - Too Far Bipolar Disorder and Grappling With Obsessive Thinking Note: The Biggest problem is that people give them excuses like... they have 2 projects they add few more other projects they come 20 projects... then from 1 book to 3 then 4 and 5... now 45 and films.... films to watch... music... music for now... music for later... THis is too much... THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH PEOPLE SHOULD STOP THIS DAILY BULLSHIT AND TRY TO FOLLOW THEIR PATH... IT'S TIME TO DO THE THINGS WHICH THEY SHOULD DO... TODAY TO FINISH THE BOOK WHICH THEY ARE SUPPOSSED TO BE FINISHING... TO DO THE THING WHICH THEIR SUPPOSSED TO DO... AND NO MORE PROCRASTIONATION NO MORE EXCUSES NO MORE EXCUSES LIKE NO ENOUGH TIME TOMORROW LATER Obsessive thinking is a fairly common but rarely discussed symptom of bipolar. We look at ways you can take charge when intrusive thoughts take hold.


Getting something stuck in your head—the catchy chorus of a song, a gruesome image from the news—can be annoying for anyone. But annoying segues to alarming when intrusive thoughts, worries or even enthusiasms turn obsessive. For at least a fifth of people who live with bipolar disorder, that scenario happens all too often. And when it does, the consequences can be troublesome. Michelle O. of Florida recalls how one obsessive bout injected a septic ooze into her marriage. When demonstrating an app called Find My iPhone to her mother-inlaw, Michelle decided to use her husband’s cell number to show that his phone was with him at the grocery store where he works. Instead, the app pinpointed a location five miles away from where she thought her husband would be. Already off-balance because of mood symptoms, Michelle became obsessed with proving her husband was having an affair. She started checking his cell phone when he was in the shower, and his computer and iPad when he was at work. If he came home tired, she took it as a sign he had spent his energy on another woman. If he was on his phone, she would want to know why. One day, after seeing a number on his screen that she didn’t recognize, she grabbed her wallet and left the house, unsure whether she would return home. She drove around for a while before calling the suspicious number. “It was a Walmart,” Michelle reports. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’” That was the moment Michelle realized she needed help. She called her psychiatrist and asked to be seen right away. She had her medication adjusted and began cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped her learn to be shift back to more realistic thinking when she’s getting obsessive. “There’s a lot of repeating the rational thought just to get me to hear it sometimes,” says Michelle, who has a bipolar II diagnosis and co-existing anxiety disorders. “It’s almost as though I have a person on each


shoulder—one funneling in the bad stuff and one fighting to funnel in the rational thoughts.” A Hamster Wheel Having intrusive thoughts, images and impulses appears to be a nearly universal constant of the human condition. Concordia University and 15 other universities worldwide found that a whopping 94 percent of people experience them in some form at some time, according to research published in the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in 2014. The problem comes when they do more than intrude—they won’t go away. In the absence of evasive measures, the invaders take control and start to keep you awake at night, disturb your focus during the day, and direct your behavior into counterproductive channels. Obsessive thinking is like a hamster wheel in the brain, with different animals parading in and out over time, according to psychologist Bruce Hubbard, PhD, president of the New York City Cognitive Behavior Therapy Association and a visiting scholar at Columbia University Teacher’s College. “People with bipolar disorder often report that there’s an obsession of the day or the week, and as one problem gets resolved, it can easily be replaced by another problem,” Hubbard says. “There’s something in the brain that needs to ruminate and worry and obsess about different topics. It could be a real problem or a completely irrational problem—it almost doesn’t matter what the topic is.” Psychiatry draws a distinction between obsessive thinking—fixating on fears and anxieties in a way that stirs you up—and the type of rumination common in depressions, when the mind tracks around and around some personal problem or past distress in a way that drags you down. Real life, of course, is not quite so clear-cut. For example, a 2015 review of previous studies by two Brazilian researchers concluded that rumination is present in all bipolar phases and may reflect a hitch in the brain’s executive function (a set of processes relating to planning, organizing, and self-regulation).


Plus, those medical definitions don’t take into account the kind of obsessive thoughts and behaviors that can sweep in with mania or hypomania, when some particular enthusiasm gets taken to extremes. As an illustration, say you come up with an idea for a new home business. It feels good to have a project you’re passionate about, and you spend more and more time thinking about how to get it off the ground. Pretty soon it’s all you’re thinking about. You neglect current commitments because of the inordinate amount of time and money you’re funneling into finding just the right supplies and designing a website. You may periodically feel ashamed or guilty about being so distracted—but your mind keeps going back to your obsession regardless. Then the enthusiasm wanes and you’re left with a load of debt and a life in disarray. “It’s almost like people … grab the shovel and start digging and can’t wait to see what they find, but they wind up getting entrenched in their thoughts, and before they know it, they’re deep in a pit of nothing,” says psychiatrist Helen Farrell, MD, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and staff psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “All the stuff they were originally excited about is just not there.” Stepping Back A big part of learning how to deal with this tiring parade is accepting that this is how your brain is wired, says Felisa Shizgal, MEd, RP, a registered psychotherapist in Toronto. Shizgal suggests reminding yourself that obsessive thoughts “are a part of me, not all of me,” as a healthy way to recognize their presence in your life without getting overwhelmed. “That doesn’t mean the worry has to be with you all the time or drive the bus,” she adds, “but it does mean becoming really expert at recognizing it and learning ways to slow yourself down physically and cognitively and emotionally.” One way to become an authority is to track patterns in a log and be curious about them. What are you feeling insecure or upset about? Would it be a sensible concern to a neutral observer? Was there a


trigger? Are there certain times of the day when your thoughts tend to be more intense? With more self-knowledge in hand, it’s time to deploy distraction and defusion—a label for distancing and disconnecting your mind from whatever idea is consuming you. If your thoughts tend to be more intense in the morning, for instance, you might plan to go for a regular run before breakfast. The key is to decide in advance on some options for distracting yourself. “It could be some relaxation exercises, physical exercise like yoga or going for a walk, watching TV, calling a friend, or getting to work on some project you’ve been avoiding,” says Hubbard. “Anything that’s meaningful and valuable and gives you something concrete to shift your attention toward.” Farrell suggests identifying the obsessive thought, then scheduling a brief block of time later in the day to pay attention to it—allowing you to be more present for the work or people in front of you. “More often than not, that time never comes because the problem has been defused,” she adds. Mind & Body Another approach is to ground yourself in the physical. Retreat to a space that feels safe and comfortable and engage the body’s senses by cuddling in a cozy blanket, lighting scented candles, drinking ice water, and so on. It’s also important to check in on how your body is unconsciously reacting. Breathing can become shallow (so take a deep breath). Shoulders can migrate toward the ears (drop them back into place). Muscles can tighten (consciously relax them). Mike W. of Michigan feels tension throughout his entire body when he can’t free his mind from the dark thoughts that have plagued him lately, making it difficult to focus on everyday tasks long enough to complete them. He doesn’t eat well or get much sleep. “It’s like every muscle in my body wants to go somewhere. I feel like I could run a thousand miles,” he says.


The things that keep him most centered are solo walks in nature and listening to loud music while wearing headphones. Even so, there are times when his mind latches onto a notion so strongly that he can’t access the strategies he has learned in therapy. “It’s like none of that stuff ever existed,” he says. “I can think of them at other times when somebody asks me, but in those moments, it’s not something I can grab out of my brain.” The ultimate aim of cognitive defusion techniques is to get some perspective and see obsessive thoughts for what they are (temporary sensations) instead of what your mind insists they are (permanent facts). What you don’t want to do is try to control or suppress the obsessive thoughts, because they tend to intensify when resisted. Learning Healthy Responses You may benefit from working with a therapist to learn ways to fend off obsessive thoughts. Psychotherapy is helping Lisa C. get past a devouring inner narrative that makes it difficult for her to trust others. When she was a girl, her father ridiculed her freckles and poked fun at her for being heavy-chested. She was teased about her weight by her brother and bullied by a classmate. As a result, she has thoughts “every single day, all day long, about the past, about things that have happened to me, how people looked at me,” says Lisa, who lives in Ontario, Canada. “I’m always afraid somebody’s going to hurt me emotionally in some way.” She can also feel consumed by unwarranted guilt because three of her four children also have bipolar disorder. Or she will get into a repetitive loop after she accepts some demand on her time that she’d rather refuse, second-guessing her decision. (Setting boundaries is another topic for her and her therapist.) “It’s very difficult to separate the logical thought and the feeling,” she explains. “It takes a long time to be honest with yourself about it. But I need to be patient with myself no matter what anybody says. I need to do this on my time, not on their time.” Olivia H. of Texas obsesses over feeling inadequate at her job. Surrounded by well-educated and more experienced co-workers, she feels like an imposter. She tries to keep those kinds of thoughts at bay by watching Netflix or talking to friends, along with techniques she’s learned from her psychiatrist and therapist.


“It gets really exhausting to talk back to, and correct, irrational thoughts, but you have to try,” Olivia says. “I give myself positive affirmations to remind myself who I am and hopefully prevent those thoughts from happening in the first place.” She uses the analogy of being chronically late to class when encouraging herself to stick with it. “If you knew the teacher was going to lock the door and mark you absent, you would do whatever is necessary to be on time, right?” she says. “You’d pack your bags, lay out your clothes and shower the night before, make sure you have a ride, and so on to make sure you aren’t late again. “If I don’t want obsessive thoughts to take over, I have to use my coping skills like planning out my day, making checklists, and making sure I’m surrounded by people to keep my mind focused and occupied.” * * * * * STOPPING REPETITIVE THOUGHT LOOPS Obsessive thoughts often revolve around irrational or exaggerated worries. The repetitive loops can make it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand, disrupt sleep, and affect daily behavior as you start to avoid certain activities or pursue others to an extreme. Psychologist Bruce Hubbard, PhD, offers these countermeasures: Switch your focus. In what Hubbard calls “the premier cognitive defusion strategy,” you choose a target of attention (usually the breath) to laser in on when intrusive thoughts take over. With practice, this mindfulness technique exercises your “letting go” muscle, allowing you to release the thoughts that were absorbing you. Look at the end game. Quiz yourself about the function of your obsessive thoughts. Do they serve some purpose? Are they helpful or harmful? Do they bring you closer to your goals or put you further away? Label the thoughts. Describe your thoughts in simple, objective, terms. You can say something like, “I just had a thought about X,” or use the one-word shorthand, “Thinking.” Or for more of a sense of distance and passive observation, use phrases like, “A feeling of X is present,” or, “The concern X is present.” Write it out. Getting the thoughts out of your head and onto a document (paper or electronic) may be helpful since the words then are


outside your head. Use ridicule. Give your thoughts a silly voice. Imagine them narrated by a popular media character such as Donald Duck, Big Bird or Chewbacca, or something non-threatening like a cuddly teddy bear. YOU’RE NOT ALONE Statistics dating back to the 1990s suggest that anywhere from 20 percent to 35 percent of people with a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder have comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The U.S. National Comorbidity Survey of 2001-02 found rates of 0CD among people with bipolar were 10 times greater than in the general population, the Psychiatric Timesreports. And those figures may not even include individuals whose symptoms ride in with mood episodes of either kind and disperse during periods of stability, or whose obsessions don’t take the classic forms found in OCD. In any event, the crossover is seen so often that some scientists are arguing bipolar with OCD represents a specific subtype of bipolar illness. Note: We live in a world where there is too much data... if you want to succeed in life you should have goals... Today to watch that movies Today to play this game Today to do that Today to train TOday to go out Today to have fun Today to read something Today to finish this book Today Getting it done (P.S. - I am no working on a book about motivation... I know the days in which it's a real nighmare... outside is raining nothing much is happening in life... lonly... not sure where to go? when... to go?... not sure how to do it?... should you do it?


I know the days of depression... the days ... of anxiety it's horrible... now I am trying to immerse myself in this shit and try to figure out way... A way out of masturbation... a way out of... depression... So Yeah... you got healthy habbits... going around... doing it... and doing it... but once you stop this healthy habbits... the bad ones come... they come and they fuck you over... Your mom could be angry it ruins your day Somebody fuck you over and it ruin your day One moment in your life you can go throw life without habbits and after a week you got the masturbating thing back.... depression... anxiety and that's awful... fucking awful....) Parents Who ‘Overvalue’ Kids May Be Fostering Narcissism New research finds that when a parent believes their child is better than other kids and can do no wrong, they may be fostering unhealthy narcissism in their children. In an effort to find the origins of narcissism, researchers surveyed parents and their children four times over one and a half years to see if they could identify which factors led children to have inflated views of themselves. Investigators found that parents who “overvalued” their children when the study began ended up with children who scored higher on tests of narcissism later on. Overvalued children were described by their parents in surveys as “more special than other children” and as kids who “deserve something extra in life,” for example.


“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society,” said Dr. Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University. Bushman conducted the study with lead author Dr. Eddie Brummelman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The study appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Parents often innocently provide exaggerated support in an effort to ensure that their child will develop enhanced self-confidence. Brummelman said that parents with the best of intentions may overvalue their children, thinking that will help boost their self-esteem. “Rather than raising self-esteem, overvaluing practices may inadvertently raise levels of narcissism,” Brummelman said. While the dangers of narcissism are well known, its origins are not, according to Bushman. This is the first prospective study to see how narcissism develops over time. The study involved 565 children in the Netherlands who were seven to 11 years old when the study began, and their parents. They completed surveys four times, each six months apart. All the surveys used in the study are well established in psychology research. Parental overvaluation of children was measured with a scale that asked moms and dads how much they agreed with statements such as “My child is a great example for other children to follow.” Both children and parents reported how much emotional warmth parents showed, with participants indicating how much they agreed with statements like “I let my child know I love him/her” (or “My father/mother lets me know he/she loves me”). Children were measured for levels of both narcissism and selfesteem. While many people believe narcissism is just self-esteem accentuated, that is not true, according to the researchers. In this study, children with high self-esteem, rather than seeing themselves as more special than others, agreed with statements that suggested they were happy with themselves as a person and liked the


kind of person they were. “People with high self-esteem think they’re as good as others, whereas narcissists think they’re better than others,” Bushman said. Self-esteem and narcissism also develop in different ways, the study found. While parental overvaluation was associated with higher levels of child narcissism over time, it was not associated with more self-esteem. In contrast, parents who showed more emotional warmth did have children with higher self-esteem over time. Parental warmth was not associated with narcissism. “Overvaluation predicted narcissism, not self-esteem, whereas warmth predicted self-esteem, not narcissism,” Bushman said. Parental overvaluation was connected to narcissism even after the researchers took into account the narcissism levels of the parents. In other words, it is not just that narcissistic parents have narcissistic children — the parental overvaluation played a key role. A previous study by Brummelman, Bushman and several colleagues showed just how much some parents overvalue their children. In this study, parents were presented with topics that their eight to 12year-old children should be familiar with, such as the astronaut “Neil Armstrong” and the book “Animal Farm.” The parents were asked how familiar they believed their children were with those items. But the researchers also included items that did not exist, such as “Queen Alberta” and “The Tale of Benson Bunny.” “Overvaluing parents tended to claim that their child had knowledge of many different topics — even these nonexistent ones,” Brummelman said. But the researchers noted that parental overvaluation is not the only cause of narcissism in children. Like other personality traits, it is partly the result of genetics and the temperamental traits of the children themselves. “Some children may be more likely than others to become narcissistic when their parents overvalue them,” Bushman said. Bushman, who is a father of three children, said his research on narcissism “has changed my parenting style.” “When I first started doing this research in the 1990s, I used to think my children should be treated like they were extra-special. I’m careful not


to do that now,” he said. “It is important to express warmth to your children because that may promote self-esteem, but overvaluing them may promote higher narcissism.” Brummelman said these results suggest a practical way to help parents. “Parent training interventions can, for example, teach parents to express affection and appreciation toward children without telling children that they are superior to others or entitled to privileges,” he said. “Future studies should test whether this can work.” Obsessive Thoughts: Watching My Garden Grow By Dave Mowry The lucky among us recognize obsessive behavior early. Many of us, however, get stuck in the obsessive brain. We know that something is not right, but rational thought seems to be pushed aside. Obsessive thoughts and behavior can come with balanced mood, but especially with hypomania and mania. We have energy to do things, and this one thing we are doing makes us feel good. Since it feels good we want to do more of it. Soon we are thinking of nothing else. Normal daily activities get left by the wayside. From here it is not pretty. We think about this one thing when we go to bed. Obsessing keeps us from falling asleep. We wake up tired in the morning—and still thinking about our obsession. We know there are other things that need to be done at home, at work, and with friends and family. We try to think about these things. But our minds keep going back to the obsession. This happened to me this spring with gardening. I was gardening and enjoying it. Then it was all I was thinking about and all I was doing. I know I am obsessing when I keep having the same thoughts over and over again. I will go from one thing to another and then come full circle. I will do this over and over, circling through the same ideas


because I want to keep gardening (or what- ever I’m obsessing over) even though on a practical level, there is nothing left to do. Here’s what it looks like when I obsess: I find myself just sitting looking at the plants in my garden for long stretches. I see a stem that needs trimming and do that. Then I look for more stems that need trimming. Then I check whether any- thing needs watering—for the fourth time. I am looking at plants for the 10th time today. At this point, the obsession doesn’t feel good. I am being pulled to stay there. So I sit. I try to distract myself. I go inside and pick up that book I started reading six months earlier. I can’t concentrate. My mind drifts back to the garden. I am drawn to it again. I like watching basketball on TV. Usually I have no problem sitting down to watch a game. And when the game comes on, I am into it. At least, until the commercial break. Then my mind goes back to the garden. At half-time I am back out in the garden. I am looking at plants for the 10th time today. At this point, the obsession doesn’t feel good. It feels like a flaw. I feel guilty for the other things I’m neglecting. But still, I don’t do those things. It feels impossible to switch tracks. Then comes a day when I have a writing deadline. I set my alarm with two reminders. The first reminder goes off. I’m staring at plants. I know I’m wasting time, but I can’t stop. After the second reminder, I push myself to get started. By writing I am accomplishing something. It feels good. But I still have that gnawing, negative feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I work, I wonder what will happen when I am done. Will I be drawn back to the garden, or will I put in that load of laundry that I have been putting off for three days? I know I need to do more than watch plants grow. I know I will feel guilty if I continue to ignore important parts of my life for the sake of an obsession. I’m good at feeling guilty. I have lots of experience with it. But for all the guilt, there is good news: I have the best garden in town, and my neighbors never run out of tomatoes.


Bipolar Disorder, The Urge to Overshare, and Avoiding Rejection While sharing your experiences is a great way to break the stigma of mental health conditions, it’s important to remember some people may become overwhelmed. For most of us, it is beneficial to talk about our bipolar disorder with close family, peers, with friends, and with counselors and doctors. But for many people, the urge to overshare at the wrong time and place leads to a bad experience, rejection and isolation. Many of the comments to my past posts have been from people who live with bipolar disorder and find themselves at a social or family function. When someone comes up and says,”Hi, how are you doing? What’s going on with you?” instead of talking about the latest book we have read or a recent movie or what they have been up to, we start talking about our meds, our latest trip to the hospital, and our government’s poor policies on mental health. Unfortunately, we don’t know the person we are talking to very well, and they don’t know our past history. All of a sudden, they are overwhelmed with too much information and with our intensity. This is a good way to bring people down and leave them with nothing to say. They get uncomfortable and soon they excuse themselves and leave us standing there alone, feeling rejected. We end up leaning against a wall or hiding in the corner counting the minutes until we can quietly escape and go home where it is safe. Our bipolar disorder is often a main part of our lives. We live it every day and it takes most of our time and energy. We are born advocates for


breaking stigma and converting people to see mental health conditions in a different light. Too often it comes across as too much information and us making a hard sell. I think we have all been in a situation, at a social function, where someone pins us in a corner and drones on about something we don’t particularly care about. As mental health advocates, we think we need to self-disclose and educate everyone we talk to. Again, there is a time and a place for this. At the end of the social function, we go home flustered and alone. We wonder if we will ever be able to go to a social function and be able to fit in and be someone other people find interesting. The answer is yes, we can. Is Bipolar Disorder’s Obsessive Thinking and Behavior Affecting Your Life? Bipolar disorder is recognized by mania, depression and usually anxiety. One area of bipolar not usually talked about is obsessive thoughts and behavior. The lucky ones recognize obsessive behavior early and identify what it is that makes us obsessive. Most of us, however, get stuck in obsessive brains. We know that something is not right but we don’t know what. Rational thought seems to be pushed aside. The obsession comes with balance and/or mania or hypomania. We have energy and are doing things. Hopefully we are accomplishing things that need to be done. But then there is trouble. One thing we are doing makes us feel good at first. Since it feels good we want to do more of it. Soon we are thinking of nothing else. Our normal daily activities get left by the wayside and soon all we are thinking about is the one thing we want to do. From here it is not pretty. We think about it when we go to bed. Obsessing about it at night keeps us from falling asleep. We wake up tired and thinking about our obsession in the morning. We know there are other things that need to be done at home, at work and with friends and family. We try to think about these things. But our minds keep going back


to the obsession. This is happening to me now. I recently started gardening. I enjoy it until it is all I am thinking about and all that I am doing. This is the toughest blog I have written. I usually look forward to writing and sharing my experiences with you. But today my mind is in another place. I know I am obsessing in the garden when I keep having the same thoughts over and over again. I will go from one thing to another and then come full circle. I will do this over and over because I want to keep “gardening” even though there is nothing left to do. I find myself just sitting looking at the plants for a long while. Then I see a stem that needs trimmed and I do it. Then I look for more stems. Then I check the water for the fourth time. I am being pulled to stay there. So I sit. This is the toughest blog I have written. I usually look forward to writing and sharing my experiences with you. But today my mind is in another place. I try to distract myself and pick up that book that I started reading six months ago and am only on chapter 3. However I can’t concentrate. My mind drifts back to the garden and I am drawn to it again. I like watching basketball on TV. Usually I have no problem sitting down to watch a game. After the game starts I am into it—until the first time out and commercial. Then my mind goes back to the garden. It is not that I have to do something specific. It is just that I can’t stop thinking about it. At this point the obsession doesn’t feel good. It feels like a flaw and I feel guilty for the things I have neglected. But still I can’t do these things. At half time of the game I am back in the garden. I am looking at plants for the tenth time today. Today is my blog day so I set my alarm with two reminders. I wanted to ignore them and keep staring at plants. I knew I was wasting my time but I could not stop. After the second reminder I knew that I needed to start the blog in order to meet my deadline. By writing I am accomplishing something. It feels good but I still have that gnawing negative feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wonder what will happen when I am done. Will I be drawn back to the garden or will I put in that load of laundry that I have been putting off for three days?


I know I need to do more than watch plants grow. I know I will feel guilty if I continue to ignore important parts of my life for the sake of an obsession. I’m good at feeling guilty. I have lots of experience with it. So as I sign off I don’t know what is going to happen. Will the good feeling from writing carry over so I can do other things that need doing and that I will feel good if I do them? Or will these obsessive thoughts and actions win out? Now is the time to get control of my thoughts. I hope I can. Robin Williams: The man beyond the screen (CNN) -- Who was Robin Williams? In the wake of his death from an apparent suicide, that question looms large as fans and friends try to grasp how someone who brought so much happiness to the world could leave it under a cloud of such despair. It's the dichotomy of fame in that while a celebrity can be so wellknown there are parts of their lives and selves they never share with the public. And while only his loved ones truly knew the private aspects of the Oscar-winning actor whose performances could elicit tears as easily as they could giggles, Williams did allow us to see how multifaceted he could be. These are just some of them: The devoted dad The last image Williams left for the world on his Instagram was a poignant one: a black and white image of the actor holding his then toddler daughter with the caption "#tbt and Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl.


Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!" He posted a similar image earlier in honor of his son Zachary's birthday. He often spoke lovingly of being father to the pair and another son, Cody. "My children give me a great sense of wonder," Williams said."Just to see them develop into these extraordinary human beings."

Williams once visited a San Francisco sex shop dressed as "Mrs. Doubtfire."20TH CENTURY FOX/GETTY IMAGES The prankster Sure he was funny on-screen, but Williams also liked to pull a leg or two in real life. He told fans during a 2013 Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session that he once walked into a San Francisco sex shop in full Mrs. Doubtfire make-up and tried to buy a sex toy. "And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me -Robin Williams -- not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large [sex toy] and a jar of lube," Williams said. "He just laughed and said "what are you doing here" and I left."


Susan Schneider married the actor in 2011.JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES The husband The actor was married three times. His union with Valerie Velardi from 1978 to 1988 produced his son Zachary. Williams was married to Marsha Garces from 1989 to 2010, with whom he had Zelda and Cody. In 2011, he married graphic designer Susan Schneider. The breakups were costly for Williams, he told Parade magazine. "Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it 'all the money,' but they changed it to 'alimony.' It's ripping your heart out through your wallet. Are things good with my exes? Yes. But do I need that lifestyle? No."


Williams appears on the first season of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 1992.MARGARET NORTON/NBC/GETTY IMAGES The friend There was a good reason Williams has been so deeply mourned by his show business colleagues. He showed himself to be incredibly loyal to friends such as Jay Leno and the late Christopher Reeve, who came to love Williams before he was famous. After Williams' death, Leno said, "I saw him on stage that very first time he auditioned at the Improv in Los Angeles, and we have been friends ever since. It's a very sad day." Gilbert Gottfried: Robin Williams' generous heart It was while students at Juilliard in New York City that Williams and Reeve -- who would find fame in the role as Superman in the '70s and '80s -- cemented a bond. In fact, after Reeve was paralyzed in a riding accident, he credited Williams with making him laugh again. Reeve was about to undergo a serious operation when Williams showed up dressed in surgical scrubs and speaking in a Russian accent, saying he needed to do a rectal exam. "For the first time since the


accident, I laughed," Reeve said. "My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be OK."

Comedic actor Jonathan Winters was a hero and mentor to Williams.MICHAEL SCHWARTZ/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES The mentee While so many younger actors looked to Williams for inspiration, he was a a huge fan of the late comedian Jonathan Winters, whom Williams discovered as a child while watching Jack Paar on "The Tonight Show" with his father. Years later, an adult Williams would share the "Tonight Show" stage with Winters and cast Winters to play his son on his hit show "Mork & Mindy." When Winters died in 2013, Williams wrote a moving appreciation of his mentor for The New York Times. "No audience was too small for Jonathan," Williams wrote. "I once saw him do a hissing cat for a lone beagle."


Williams played an obsessive photo technician in the 2002 thriller "One Hour Photo."REX FEATURES/AP The edgy actor His skills as a zany funny man were legendary, but Williams could also deliver riveting dramatic performances. 2002 was especially a break-out year for him as he played a killer in the film "Insomnia" and a stalker photo technician in "One Hour Photo." Williams not only changed his look for the latter to play Seymour "Sy" Parrish but he said in an interview that to prepare, he "watched some interviews with serial killers -- 'Psychotics Through the Ages.' It's a collectible tape from Time-Life Books. But basically, it was using the material and extrapolating from there." It's a role that still astonishes. "Williams' finely calibrated performance was utterly free of the tics and affectations that are so tempting to someone who has come to count on and crave the audience's love," Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday writes. "Rather than seek his fans' approval with the actorly equivalent of ingratiating winks, Williams was willing to completely inhabit a character


who was somehow terrifying, pathetic, creepy and vulnerable all at once."

Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Williams hosted Comic Relief.LUCIAN PERKINS/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES The philanthropist As one of the co-hosts for Comic Relief's debut in 1986, he helped raise both funding for and awareness about the homeless. But that was just one of the many charities to which Williams gave his time and resources. Robin Williams' legacy: A big heart for charity "Robin came from a family with money -- he was brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth, and I think he felt so blessed that he wanted to do something for people who weren't brought up like that," Comic Relief founder Bob Zmuda told The Los Angeles Times.


The sports enthusiast Williams involvement with sports went beyond that time he dressed up a as Denver Broncos' cheerleader for an episode of "Mork & Mindy." Robin Williams: His passion for cycling Die-hard fans remember his hilarious stand-up routine about the origins of golf, and he would often end up on the cam at various sporting events. The actor was a close personal friend of then-professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, who he would join in training.


The actor found fame portraying Mork, the loveable alien from the planet of Ork.JIM BRITT/ABC/GETTY IMAGES The sci-fi geek Perhaps it was playing an alien that did it. It turns out that Williams was a bit of a sci-fi geek who when asked his favorite book said, "Oh my God, Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. It's one of the greatest books of all time, and the greatest character is The Mule."


Beloved around the world, Williams' comedy had a global reach.TRACEY NEARMY/EPA/LANDOV The man who struggled As shocking as his death has been, Williams was open about his issues with substance abuse and stints in rehab. He blamed his relapse into drinking for helping to end his second marriage. "You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that's hard to recover from," Williams told The Guardian in 2010. "You can say, 'I forgive you' and all that stuff, but it's not the same as recovering from it. It's not coming back." Robin Williams and the dark side of comedy Even then it seemed that Williams was trying to find his way. Asked whether he was happier in his life, he responded "I think so. And not afraid to be unhappy. That's OK too. And then you can be like, all is good. And that is the thing, that is the gift."


When You Feel Empty: What It Means & What to Do If you’re feeling empty, you’re not alone. Many of us feel empty in different ways. For instance, you might feel empty because something is missing in your life, said Kaitlyn Slight, a marriage and family therapist in Raleigh, N.C. This might be emptiness from a loved one moving or passing away, she said. Or the emptiness might stem from “slowly abandon[ing] ourselves, not listening to our own hopes and desires.” You might abandon yourself unintentionally or unknowingly because you’re striving for perfection or others’ approval, she said. You might stop caring for yourself while focusing on your career. For instance, you might stop moving your body or getting enough sleep. Abandoning ourselves can spark anxiety, depression, guilt and shame, she said. Slight’s clients also mention feeling numb or alone. They mention that work is unsatisfying, they feel unsuccessful, their relationships are unfulfilling or nothing is exciting. Many of Ashley Eder’s clients who struggle with depression report feeling empty (instead of sad). “This kind of empty feeling comes with not caring about much, not being interested in things, not feeling fueled by anything in particular.” If you’re feeling empty, seeing a therapist can help. In particular, it’s important to get screened for depression. How you handle your emptiness depends on what’s causing it. Here are several suggestions from Eder and Slight. 1. Gently acknowledge the emptiness. If you’re experiencing emptiness that’s more like a gaping hole, acknowledge it, and be gentle with yourself, said Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colo. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling this


way. Don’t try to dismiss or change your feelings. If this emptiness is because of a loved one’s passing, don’t get angry with yourself for grieving years later. “Because it is agonizing to lose a loved one, and though the loss changes shape over time, it never becomes ‘OK’ that the person died… In that case you learn to live life alongside that hole of missing that person.” Sometimes, the hole forms because you missed out on love while you were growing up, Eder said. This doesn’t mean you didn’t have a loving family. “[T]here are just certain kinds of love or caring that can be missed, and then feel somewhat impossible to catch up on.” Eder suggested speaking to yourself with compassion. For instance, you might say: “It’s hard to feel so lonely” or “You’re right; you did need more love.” 2. Spend time with yourself every day. “[F]ight the urge to turn to the outside world for fulfillment,” Slight said. Instead of trying to fill the void with drugs, alcohol, TV, computer games or anything else, look within and spend time with yourself, she said. Slight suggested carving out time to explore your own desires, fears, hopes and dreams. This helps you create “more meaning in your daily life and your future.” Because different activities work for different people, you might find that meditation, writing or exercise helps you refocus on yourself. “It may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice devoting time and energy to yourself and caring for yourself, the less present those empty feelings will be.” 3. Explore your current feelings. Eder suggested setting a timer for five minutes and noticing what you’re feeling right now. “It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering.” You might write “bored” or “distracted” or “curious,” she said. If you’re having a hard time naming your feelings, Google “feelings list,” she said. It also can help to pick one part of your body, such as your hand or head, and “scan for various categories of sensation like temperature, tension or movement.” “As you practice short intervals of allowing feelings, you will gradually broaden your window of tolerance to include bigger feelings for longer


times.” 4. Explore your feelings of emptiness. Slight suggested exploring the below questions. We can do this while journaling, taking a walk or drinking a cup of tea, she said. Have I been judging myself or comparing myself to others? Do I tell myself positive things? Or do I tend to notice failures or call myself ugly or stupid? Are my feelings being considered in my relationships, or am I minimizing what I am feeling? Am I actively tending to my physical and health needs? Have I turned toward behaviors or addictions to avoid my feelings? Am I focusing solely on the needs of another person or people? What am I trying to prove or win? Am I blaming myself or feeling guilt about things that are out of my control? Am I showing myself compassion like I would with a close friend or family member? Am I asserting myself in my decisions and respecting my personal opinions? 5. Commend yourself. As kids, some of us used our lack of feelings to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed, Eder said. “In that case, give yourself credit for coming up with a solution that worked when you were small and powerless.” Today, take your time letting in your feelings, she said. “You have some catching up to do. And you don’t need to rush to override your old way of survival.” Feelings of emptiness can lead to distressing thoughts, such as “life is not worth living,” or “there is no hope,” Slight said. Again, therapy can help. It can help you explore the underlying causes of your feelings and “empower you to make your own decisions about how to implement positive changes.” It’s important to acknowledge and accept your feelings of emptiness.


It’s important to be self-compassionate. “Whether you are experiencing difficult relationships, losses or feeling a lack of purpose or meaning, you are worthy of living a fulfilling and meaningful life,” Slight said.


Chapter 10.1. - Example (Amy Schumer) How to express? How to talk? Fuck, yeah! This is such a big night for you. but I’m celebrating. I finally just slept with my high-school crush. Right? Thank you. Thank you, but I swear, now he, like, expects me to go to his graduation. Like I know where I’m gonna be in three years, right? I’m like, “Whoa!” Slow it down. Fucking kids, right? Fucking small kids. You look, like, upset. Like, I don’t fuck kids. That’s a joke. Like, I would never… I shouldn’t say never. That’s like… you don’t know… I feel like I just painted myself in a corner there. But… that’s not a good way to start. This is a beautiful theater. I should be really grateful. I worked at a fish restaurant last week. Like, I did stand-up at a fish restaurant, just so you guys know. That’s not a joke. People were, like, eating mussels, and they were just like, “Check”. And I was like, “Can you just let me try and pursue my dream?” And this place is so beautiful. I should have started off with something other than kid fucking. You guys are right. Start over. Class it up. My mom’s a cunt. Hear me out. Go with me on this, you guys. I know, like, not everyone’s comfortable with that word. Half of you were like, “Ugh,” right? “No, don’t say that”. And the other half of you were like, “Oh, my God. What a coincidence”. “That cunt should meet my cunt mom”. I just… I brought her to a soccer game ’cause I wanted her to see what boundaries looked like, you know? I was like, “Look, stop wearing my clothes”. Ugh. She’s always bragging about the dumbest stuff. The other day she was telling me, she was like, “You know, I can still fit in my wedding dress,” I was like, “Oh, my God. Who cares?” Right? I mean, it is weird that she’s the same size now as she was when she was eight months pregnant, but I just… I don’t think bragging’s cool. Are you okay? You’re, like, choking. No? Are you allergic to talent? Hi. Hi. I’m just kidding. Are you okay, really? You need anything? Okay. Oh, God. I don’t need another death under my belt.


Speaking of me taking Plan “B” last week, I… I did. You know… you know what it is? There are some people here… it’s the morning-after pill. I take it the night before ’cause I’m smart. But… some people like to… I’m with you good people. I believe birth begins at conception. So I just, like, beat that shit. Plan Bizzle. Who’s taken it? Who’s taken it? Thank you. Oh, sorry, a room of heroes. Everyone’s like, “Eh” This place is old. There’s probably… you’re probably being inseminated by the seats right now, let’s be real. I did, I took it. It’s over the… I went to my normal pharmacy. I walk in. The pharmacist is like, “Hey, Ame”. I’m like, “Please don’t call me a nickname”. He’s like, “What do you want, Ambien?” I’m like, “No, I’m not addicted to that. “You guys know that. I only take that when I’m drinking”. They’re like, “What do you want?” I was like, “Plan and they were like… they didn’t even hide it. They were like, “Ew, you whore”. I was like, “You can’t… you can’t say that”. They’re like, “You’re gonna feel nauseous”. I was like, “Ugh”. I took it, I felt fine. I went to yoga. I’m like, “Can these people tell “I’m, like, midaborsh right now? This is…” This is not good. It was easy. They should call it Plan That’s how I used it. It’s a great plan. Let’s start with this one. I… I don’t… I don’t think that’s, like, adorable that I just took Plan I’m 31. Like, that’s not cute at all. That’s cute when you’re, like… you’re, like, 21, right? You go, you sit on your mom’s bed, you cry, you’re like, “Oh, the condom broke”. I’m like, “The what broke?” “What now? What’s this you speak of?” I do, I still think I’m 20. It’s so gross. Like, every bar I go to, I show my I.D. They’re like, “No, that’s okay”. Like, “Wow, they’re really relaxed here. “I hope they don’t get raided. This place, I don’t know”.


Chapter 11 - Tricks P.S.: This is Genius Wanna Know Ways to Make a Guy Go Away? 11 Ways Help! Girls, let’s face it. Guys suck at taking hints. I mean, how often has casually hinting him that you like him (or don’t like him) actually worked? Especially if you’re stuck with a guy who you thought was amazing, but turned out to be a dud later one. But here’s the thing – no matter what you do, you simply can’t make him go away. I’d say you should simply say so to his face, but here are your responses: 1. I tried that. It didn’t work. 2. I really can’t be that heartless. In either case, you’re desperate to know some helpful ways to make a guy go away. Well, you’ve come to the right place! How to Make a Guy Go Away, Really? 1. Drama Queen You what guys can’t stand? Women who create unnecessary drama. And of course, women who include guys in that drama. Behave like a drama queen whenever you’re with him. Cry, shout, create a scene and blame him for the entire scenario whenever possible. 2. Dump all your problems on him


Another thing that most people dislike is being the dumping ground of someone’s worriers. Whenever he calls you and asks how your day was, just start wining about how your boss is a dick, your colleagues are always stealing credit, how you’re overworked and underpaid…and, you know the drill. Exaggerate all your life’s problems and when he tries to be ‘nice’ to you, scold him for not understanding your problems, and slam the phone down. 3. Tell him about your promiscuous past It doesn’t matter how many guys you had sex with – multiply that number with 10 and time and again, discuss their sexual escapades with your guy. Tell him how you were in a relationship with half of them just because of how hot they were and how unbelievable the sex was. He’s sure to feel like half a man when you continuously drill into his head what an awesome sex life you’ve had. Or he might distance himself from you, thinking he’s better off without a slut. It’s a very subtle, but powerful way of how to make a guy go away. 4. Be obnoxious Act like a bitch, be self centered, make him do all your work for you (including carrying your shopping bags), shop for only the most expensive stuff, make him pay for everything and of course, flirt with guys right in front of him to make him feel not only humiliated, but unwanted by you. You know, everything that a basic bitch does. Think Regina George. 5. Be boring Whenever you’re with him, act disinterested, constantly check your phone, have little to no conversations with him. And when you do talk, make sure he’s the one initiating the conversation, and you’re the one ending it. I mean, there’s only so much effort even the world’s most patient guy can put into a girl, before realizing he’s wasting his time on her, right? 6. Set him up!


When it comes to how to make a guy go away, this might prove to be difficult, but if you have a solid bestie by your side, then you’re good to go. Especially if you’re uncomfortable dragging this dude yourself through the mud. Convince him that you’re not a good fit for him, but your bestie is. And once he’s convinced, let your bestie act like a bitch in order to get rid of him from your life. He may be a quality guy, but not right for you. 7. Diss his favs Go to his social media accounts and check out his fav bands, musicians, soccer teams, actors and what not. And whenever you meet him, diss not only his favs, but call the fans of those actors and artists losers for having such poor taste. It’s sure to humiliate him, or anger him, or both. If an argument erupts, even better. Keep insisting that such fans are losers with no lives, and you’ll basically be ending the relationship right there and then. 8. Bring in the ex How to make a guy go away? Say something like, “OMG my ex contacted me yesterday. We had the best relationship ever but I dumped him because he wasn’t ready to commit. He told me that after being away from me, he realized he truly loves me and that he wants to pop the question to me! I think I might say yes.” Yeah, no guy’s gonna stay with you after hearing that. 9. Bring in marriage The average guy won’t commit if he’s given the chance not to, so do the opposite. If you’ve had a few dates, tell him you wanna get married and have his babies. Do it out of the blue. Scare the bejeezus out of him. Talk about buying a big ass engagement ring, a lavish wedding and a huge house (from his money of course), and watch him run in the other direction. 10. Lie constantly…and blame him


Tell him on Monday that you love flowers, and on Wednesday when he brings you some, throw them in his face and tell him you’re allergic to pollen. Tell him that you’re a foodie and when you go to a fancy restaurant on a date, accuse him of fattening you up so that you could never get another guy. Of course, you have to also not admit that you lied (when he point that out), so be ready to bring out your poker face. 11. Be a slob Dress like a hobo. Wear your PJs to dates, don’t comb your hair, never put on any makeup, wear crocs, have bad breath, have terrible table manners, burp and fart in his presence and do basically whatever you can think of which might embarrass him to be in your company. P.S: My favourite is Mama boy 7 Deadly Signs That He's Immature When you get into a relationship, it is natural to take some time to get to know each other better. That adjustment period helps you understand how your relationship is going to change over the years. While dating someone, it is important to pay attention to how your man treats you. It is fine to do a little nudging to get your boyfriend learn about your needs, but you have to understand that sometimes your efforts are not going to bear any fruit because you are dating an immature man. These men would never grow up, and in some cases it is even better to think of walking out of a relationship to avoid serious troubles later. Here are 7 deadly signs of an immature man. Be sure to consider them to judge where you stand in your relationship.


7. Signs to Watch Out For 1. He Does Not Want You to Depend on Him You should know that you are dating an immature guy if you cannot depend on him in difficult times. It means that your man is not going to be around when things go wrong for you. They are basically 'men-boys' and do not want others to depend on them. They just do not like to take responsibilities and only hope that things will get better on their own. 2. He Is Extremely Impulsive You may find it extremely difficult to maintain a relationship with someone who is recklessly impulsive, and that is one of the 7 deadly signs of an immature man. These men can be extremely spontaneous and make big decisions in an instant second. You may find them make big purchases without giving a second thought to their budget or you may find them seeing someone else just to make it more exciting. An immature man usually does not have the ability to think about the consequences of his action, and that is the reason why you will find him doing stupid things as teenagers. 3. He Makes It Difficult to Have a Serious Conversation Another sign of an immature man is that he just cannot hold a serious conversation. It shows that he has not grown up yet and finds it impossible to hold a meaningful conversation. He will not have the ability to connect with others on a deeper level, and that is why you will often find him talk about surface-level stuff only. You should understand that if he cannot talk about his fears, life, past and other things that help couples connect he would not be able to bond with you in the future. 4. He Is Unclear about the Future If you are in a relationship with an immature man, you will soon realize that he is not serious about his future. In fact, these types of people do not have the ability to plan beyond tomorrow. The idea of living in present may seem interesting, but an immature man will not have any idea of what kind of future he wants for you or for himself. It is just like


children who do not think about their future and never plan for it. Even if he is doing something, he is likely to be unhappy in his career. You may see him complain a lot about his career but notice him do nothing to make things better. Even when he is not serious about his future or career, he would want a partner who would stroke his ego all the time. 5. He Is Spiteful One of the 7 deadly signs of an immature man is that he is going to be very spiteful and cruel. He never accepts his mistakes and responds in a reckless and cruel way. The thing is that these types of people are not mature enough to realize that their behavior is cruel or hurtful. 6. He Ignores Your Family and Friends If you want your relationship to work, you need to be with a man who cares for your family and friends. An immature man, however, is going to brush off your friends and family members, which can be quite disturbing. As a man-child, he would always be out of the house doing reckless things. He may even refuse to meet your parents. If you notice this sign, know that it is next to impossible to have a thriving romantic relationship with that person. 7. He Is the Mama's Boy You should stop your man from caring for his mother, but if his relationship with his mother has gone wrong in any way, that is going to hurt your relationship. He might want you to be exactly like his mother or the complete opposite. Whatever the case, you have to understand that the comparison is going to hurt you in the future. The Mama's Boy will always compare every woman to his mother and that can keep you from achieving your relationship goals. You have to realize that you cannot have a thriving romantic relationship with a man who wants you to care for him like his mother.


How to Deal with a Heckler

PARKING INSPECTORS AND COMEDIANS have one thing in common – abuse from the general public. No matter how good your jokes, no matter how many friends you have in the audience, one day you will receive a heckle. Hecklers fall into two categories – they criticise your joke, or they get personal, and criticise you. But be warned, regardless of their level of rudeness, shutting down a heckler too early may lead to alienating the rest of the audience. But, when it’s time to shut them down, here’s seven ways to do just that. Ignore Them All too often your audience will be drunk. While this can make your jokes funnier, some drunks become angry and heckle. If an audience member is drunk and heckling you, it’s often best to ignore them, since reason and logic, witty retorts, or embarrassing the drunk may be useless, or even dangerous. But if they continue, use one of the following techniques.


Be Quick Stand-up comedians aren’t just funny, they should also be witty – and that means being fast and inventive. Once it is time to shoot a heckler down, be quick. Turn the Tables Some comedians ignore their hecklers. Others invite them on stage and show them how difficult it is! Let the heckler embarrass themselves, and then boot them off stage. Agree with Them The infamous Bill Cosby was once heckled by an audience members, screaming out, “I hate those shoes.” Rather than attack or embarrass the heckler, he simply stated, “Madame, you are very fortunate, because these shoes will not be performing.” Remain Grateful Remember that your audience probably paid to see you. So rather than get angry, thank them for their money and time, and make them feel bad for heckling you in the first place. Become a ‘Heckler’ Therapist Larry Seinfeld offers advice to dealing with hecklers – become sympathetic and help them with their problem. “You seem so upset, and I know that’s not what you wanted to have happen tonight. Let’s talk about your problem, and the audience will find it funny,” says Larry. Encourage Them If you feel brave, and want your audience to generate material for you, ask them to heckle you more. Jimmy Carr, with some help with profanity, uses a paper fortune teller, also called a cootie catcher. One of his lines, said in a gentleman’s tone, “If you wanted your come back, you’ll have to scrap it off your mum’s teeth!” But be warned, this type of


shutdown is not child friendly.


Chaper 11.1. - Bonus (Material) How “nice” are you when it comes to talking to women...

by Patrick James

The other day I was talking to a client of mine, and he told me how he used to immediately reject most dating advice because the humor didn’t seem “female friendly”…

You see, the exact thing that this man thought would attract girls to him is the exact thing that keeps him OFF of their sexual radar.

Think about it like this:

I want you to imagine the last time you went out to eat at a restaurant…

Imagine the people sitting around you…

Imagine about the servers walking around taking orders from all the people sitting at the tables…

Now let me ask you… What did the person at the table right next to you order off of the menu?


If you answered, “Patrick, how on earth would I know that?!”

Then you answered exactly how I expected you to!

You most likely have NO CLUE what the person sitting at the table next to you order because it wasn’t emotionally relevant to you.

If you remember anything from this article, remember this…

Women are very intuitive. They are constantly moving through the world by how they FEEL.

Women don’t remember men for the “lines he used” on them.

They remember the way he made them FEEL, and the vibe they got from him.

So if you’re reading this, and have ever toned yourself down just to have “safe” or “female friendly” humor around women, then STOP right now.


“Safe” is boring.

“Safe” is forgettable.

And “safe” is a one-way ticket to the dreaded friend-zone.

“So what’s the solution, Patrick?”

You’ve got to BRING OUT the natural sexual tension that already exists between us men and women.

And the way you do this is by injecting little emotional spikes into a conversation.

So bust out your pen and notepad because I’m about to give you the absolute easiest way to pop onto a girl’s sexual radar without being offensive or boring…

Teasing her in a playful way.

Do you remember back in the day, when boys used to tease girls about having cooties? And would try to keep the girls away so that they would catch the cooties themselves…


Well THAT’S exactly the same way I want you to start playfully teasing girls today.

And this is a lot easier than you think.

Here are a few of the ways you can start using today…

Playful Teasing Example #1: Accusing Her of Hitting On You/Trying To Get You Into Bed

Let’s pretend you’re at a coffee shop, sitting on your computer, and there is a girl sitting at the table next to you…

If you have to go to the bathroom, or temporarily leave your stuff for any period of time, lean over to the girl and ask her if she can watch over your stuff while you’re gone…

Most likely she’ll be happy to. Which is perfect because all you have to do is add in a little comment like:

“Awesome. And you better not roofie my drink while I’m gone. I know how you women work.”


Of course, you say this with a joking tone, and a sly smile.

While you’re gone, she won’t be able to stop thinking about you and your playful little comment.

And when you come back, she’s completely open to talking to you, and you’ll be starting off with a foundation of sexual tension and playfulness.

Or if a girl is telling you about a movie she liked, you can say:

“Ok fine, I’ll go to the movies with you. Just promise you won't try to take advantage of me in that dark movie theater.”

Have fun with this.

Playful Teasing Example #1: Typecasting Her

One of the easiest ways to playfully tease a girl is by making guesses about her personality based on facts about her.


For example, if she’s from Texas, you can say:

“You’re from Texas? Omg please tell me you’re not one of those girls who thinks you’re always right and that the world revolves around you…”

Or if you and her are at a bar and she orders vodka, you can say:

“Vodka? Question, how many frat parties a week did you go to when you were in college? Has Kesha always been your favorite pop artist? Are you one of those girls who starts yelling “WOO!” after a few shots?”

Just make sure you say these with a joking tone, and a sly smile on your face.

Playful Teasing Example #3: Teasing her when she messes up

If you’re on a date with a girl and she accidentally spills part of her drink, just say:

“Gosh, this is why we can’t have nice things!”

Or if she accidentally stutters, or loses her train of thought while talking say something like:


“It’s ok. Just be yourself. You don’t have to be nervous around me.”

So why do these techniques work so well?

Simple.

Because all of these ways spike a small emotional response out of women.

And any time you can playfully tease a girl, she'll no longer categorize you into the same group as those guys who are safe, predictable, and boring...

You’re now one of those intriguing, and exciting guys. The type of guy who she can imagine taking her on an wild and fun adventure.

A.K.A. the guy who girls just can’t get enough of!

And if playfully teasing doesn’t seem completely natural to you right now…


With a little bit of practice you’ll find your conversations that used to be “safe” boring are now charged with sexual tension.

Trust me. As a dating coach who has coached tens of 1000's of guys and been with.... A LOT of women.

I can confidently say that women LOVE when a guy can do this the right way…

Take action on this, and I'll see you at the top!


Chapter 12 - Bundle (Of Data) Why Do Comedians Become Comedians? Childhood experiences of comedians There is a widely held belief that professional comedians and clowns are sad or depressed. Opinions vary on the reasons for this alleged glumness but many think that its roots have to do with an unhappy childhood or troubled relationships with parents. According to this view, comedians’ performances on stage serve as a coping mechanism, enabling them to escape from their daily troubles. Early research showed that comedians are likely to come from a low socioeconomic stratum with approximately 80-85% of comedians coming from low socioeconomic homes. The harsh conditions at home may explain why comedians went on to pursue their career. One of the commentators on my previous post explains why this might happen. Basically, because the competition is so hard, and the chances of succeeding in this business are very low, high status individuals should better look for other, more likely to yield a good career, jobs first, while low status individuals have nothing to lose and hence can gamble on a career in comedy. One study that have been conducted 30 years ago found that compared to a control group of professional actors and other entertainers, comedians were more preoccupied with themes of good and evil in their responses to interviews and projective tests. The authors of the study attributed this finding to the fact that the parents of future comedians placed much responsibility on their shoulders early in childhood, requiring them to take on an adult role at an early age. They had to take care not only of themselves, but also of their siblings, and many of them worked as teens to support their parents. These untimely demands and heavy expectations put pressure on the comedians while


growing up and drove them to seek approval, hence trying to be as “good” as their parents wanted them to be. Falling short of parents’ expectations produced different responses from their parents. Fathers usually were disappointed that the comedians did not reach their high expectations; thus the comedians felt they were “bad” from their fathers’ perspective. Many of the comedians’ mothers expected them to fail, just waiting for this to happen. One of the main reasons why these comedians pursued a comic career was to prove that they are not bad, and they are doing “good.” Compared to the actors, comedians typically described their fathers in much more positive terms, such as “good,” “nice,” and “respected.” On the other hand, they describe their mothers as being rule enforcers, disciplinarians, punishers, and aggressive critics. Many comedians acknowledged that they were spanked, hit, and punished when they violated their mothers’ rules. In contrast, other study found that male comedians overwhelmingly reported being closer to their mothers, indicating that mothers played a more active role in their lives than did their fathers. Mothers were seen as more accepting figures than fathers, spending more time with them, encouraging them to pursue a comic career, and better understanding their need to become a comedian. Fathers were often absent during their childhood, or generally uninterested in their career and even discouraging them from pursuing it. Fathers also failed in many cases to support their families, forcing the mothers to go to work. The fathers were also resentful of the close bond between the mothers and the aspiring comedians. But wait, a subsequent study with female comedians found an opposite trend. Female comedians felt closer to their fathers, and several of them reported being raised without a mother, who died at an early age. Fathers were role models for the comediennes, and they grew up admiring them. Similar to the male comedians, fathers were generally described as poor providers, and the comediennes felt they needed to support and encourage them. Their mothers were described as unsuccessful, struggling, and unhappy, and most of them lived the traditional role of a housewife. Relationships with their siblings were good, overall, and interestingly, 55% of comediennes were the youngest child in the family. These early studies found that comedians reported having good


relationships with peers and siblings, though they often felt misunderstood, being picked on and disparaged. Comedians’ childhood experiences were marked by isolation, suffering, and deprivation feelings. In this view, being funny serves as a defense mechanism against panic and anxiety. Only when on stage could comedians enjoy a short period of relief from their fears. The conclusion of some researchers is that comedians are sad, depressed, suspicious, and angry. All these experiences with their parents, suggest that comedians become what they are in an effort to seek control, get approval from friends and family, and prove that they are good and worthy. Comedians’ performance on stage, in this view, comes as a defense or compensation mechanism for their melancholy lives, whereby they attempt to channel feelings of anger and anxiety into their comedy act and seek the love of the audiences. Using humor as a coping mechanism is not unique to professional comedians; humor has long been viewed as a healthy defense mechanism or coping strategy for adults as well as children. But previous studies were largely based on projective tests and took a psychoanalytical approach that is now dated. Moreover, the comedy scene has changed dramatically since the time of these studies, and comedians today may be quite different from the ones studied in the past. Today there are many more professional comedians and aspiring comics, and many more comedy clubs that host several performances each week. Thus, a career in comedy may be less unusual and peripheral than it once was. To better understand what is going on, I used more modern tools to assess comedians’ relationships with their parents. Specifically, I wanted to try answer two questions: 1) Do professional comedians have unique relationships with parents compared to others? 2) What were their experiences in school and the nature of the relationships they had with peers? The results could shed light on what factors influence the pursuit of comedy as a career choice. I gave them two questionnaires. One is called Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and measures parental styles as perceived by the participant in retrospect. Twelve items measure the parent’s “care” (e.g. “Was affectionate to me”), and 13 measure “overprotection” (e.g. “Tried to control everything I did”). The comedians completed one such


questionnaire about their fathers, and one about their mothers. The second measure I used was relationship with peers. Comedians had to answer questions about friends in school, and about how much they used or engaged in humor related activities back then. Here are the main findings: Overall, there were no differences in the way comedians describe how their parents treated them, compared to the students’ sample. This means that there is no support to the claim that parents were overprotecting comedians or didn’t give them enough care.

Source: Major differences emerged in respect to the way comedians report having used humor with their peers during adolescence. Comedians scored significantly higher on each of the questions that pertain to humor activities with peers. Comedians reported making fun of themselves more than the students, they were more likely being the class clown, they were also more likely to be the butt of jokes and make fun of other people, compared to students. Comedians did rate themselves as popular as other students, and also reported having similar number of friends as students during the school years. The results suggest that the interactions of comedians-to-be with people within the same age group are important to their development as comedians. This is consistent with the fact that humor is a social phenomenon. There is abundant evidence showing that people engage in humor and laugh more frequently when they are with other people than alone, and that humor plays an important role in peer bonding and attracting mates. Making fun of others and being the class clown allow individuals to connect with others. Granted, not all class clowns become professional comedians, but those who do might observe how others enjoy their humor, and decide to advance their skills toward the pursuit of a comic career. Comedians’ use of different types of humor growing up might have built their confidence, provided important experiences and


contributed to the development of their personality. Consistent with previous studies, I found that being the class clown was related to being popular in general, and was also associated with having more friends from both sexes. These relationships are stronger for comedians than for students, suggesting that comedians might use humor as a tool for social approval. So the results give no support to the common view that comedians had especially difficult relationships with their parents (as indexed by the care and over-protectiveness scales of the PBI) or their adolescent peers. The main difference between professional comedians and ordinary college students is that the comedians recalled being funnier during adolescence. Humor is a social activity, and as such, we expect that the motivation to be a comedian and actual humor ability are shaped in response to peers, not parents. Comedians’ Smarts, Humor, and Creativity How intelligent are stand-up comedians? In this post, I would like to discuss two traits that are somewhat related to each other: intelligence and sense of humor. One might wonder, why should I write about comedians’ humor; after all, it is clear they are funny. But as you will see, there is much more to it. Let’s start with intelligence, though.


Source:Comedians have the opportunity to demonstrate different kinds of intelligence that are relevant to their lives and performances, for example, emotional and social intelligence. These are the kinds of smarts that give you the advantage when interacting with other people. Both of these intelligences are crucial to comedians’ success on and off stage. Off stage, comedians need to deal with bookers, club managers, and fellow comedians all the time. If a comedian does not know how to behave well, clubs will not invite him or her to perform. In order to succeed in comedy, you need to have the maturity and courtesy to engage with strangers, show up on time, and so on. There are a few comedians that lack the emotional and social intelligence needed in the business of comedy, and quite frankly, act like jerks at times. No club managers would like to hire them. On stage, comedians need to know how to respond to the audience. The ability to fine tune an act and tailor it to a specific audience is largely related to emotional intelligence. Comedians need to be sensitive to how their act is perceived, and this sensitivity is essential to their success. Of course, being generally intelligent could take a comedian a long way. I have studied this kind of intelligence with stand-up comedians. Let me share with you some of the findings. The most widely used measure of intelligence is the Wechsler test, known as an IQ test. This test is comprised of 10 different subsets that together give a measure of general intelligence. (It contains verbal, reasoning, perceptual and memory tests to name a few. You can read more about it here). This test takes hours to complete and is the most common assessment of intelligence. It gives a numeric score where an average intelligence measures at 100 exactly. Mental retardation scores are 70 and below, and if you score above 130, you are in the top 2% of the population and can join Mensa. Samuel Janus conducted two studies almost 40 years ago that


measured the intelligence of nationally famous comedians who had worked as full time comedians for at least 5 years. The first study, which included a sample of 55 male comedians, found they had well above average IQs, ranging from 115 to 160, with an average of 138. In a subsequent study with 14 female comedians, IQ scores were also high, ranging from 112 to 144, with an average of 126. I do not possess the expertise to administer a full IQ test, so instead, I used one subset of the test. It’s a 46-item vocabulary test that requires the respondent to choose a word with the nearest meaning to the word given. This test is known to correlate well with overall intelligence. Comedians significantly outperformed students on this task, giving indirect evidence to their superior intelligence. In addition to testing their intelligence, I also gave them a humor production test. I used the famous cartoon caption task that The New Yorker publishes every week. In essence, comedians (and students) were given three cartoons without captions and were instructed to write as many funny captions as they could think of, for all cartoons, in 10 minutes. Independent judges that did not know the identity of the subjects rated all cartoons on a scale from 1-7. This is a good measure of spontaneous humor that is used as a method that separates individuals with a creative sense of humor from others. The results showed that, as expected, comedians produced funnier captions than the students and also generated higher numbers of captions. It might not be surprising that comedians were considered funnier and have better verbal skills, since their job is to be funny using verbal humor, but it is important to remember that their performances on stage require different humor qualities than the caption creation task. Creating humor that is performed in front of an audience requires a large investment in time and includes endless practice and tuning in to the audiences’ reactions. It is not necessarily the same skill as producing humor in response to an ambiguous stimulus, though both tasks probably share the same talent to some extent. The ability to be funny can manifest itself in different ways, even if comedians are not particularly familiar with this type of humor creation task. Also, I found a strong positive correlation between intelligence and humor production ability. The smarter a comedian is, the better he or she are in producing high quality humor. Next, I wanted to assess other dimensions of humor among comedians. Recently, Rod Martin developed a new self-report questionnaire to measure both positive and negative uses of humor. The


questionnaire measures two positive uses of humor in everyday life (affiliative and self-enhancing) and two negative uses (aggressive and self-defeating). Affiliative humor promotes social bonds and puts others at ease through telling jokes, saying funny things, and not taking oneself too seriously. Self-enhancing humor is the ability to see the funny side of life even in adverse and stressful times, and to use humor as a coping mechanism. Aggressive humor aims to tease and ridicule others through putdowns, mockery, and ridicule, typically to enhance one’s social status at the expense of the victimized individual (as in other-deprecating humor) or group (as in sexist or racist humor). Self-defeating humor amuses others at one’s own expense through making oneself the “butt” of jokes and laughing with others after being disparaged, although it can also be valued as self-deprecating humor. Professional stand-up comedians use a mix of humor styles, both positive and negative. Many use aggressive humor on stage, including sexual and ethnic humor, which is often popular with audiences, even if it does not reflect comedians’ personal views or private humor use. As I mentioned in my previous post, comedians’ personalities off stage could be markedly different than on. Comedians tend to display an extraverted personality on stage, but are quite introverted in real life. This discrepancy suggests that their everyday styles of humor might be different not only compared to other people, but also compared to their on-stage persona. What I found was quite interesting. Comedians scored higher than students on each of the four dimensions of humor. But the overall pattern of use across humor styles was similar for comedians and students, with affiliative humor the most often used, followed by self-enhancing humor, aggressive humor, and self-defeating humor. One interesting difference between the professional comedians and students is that all four of the humor styles tended to be correlated with various Big Five personality traits among students, whereas only affiliative humor was significantly correlated with any of the Big Five traits for comedians. This finding suggests that, for students, their everyday styles of humor reflect their personality traits more clearly. For example, high levels of conscientiousness in students are revealed by lower use of aggressive and self-defeating humor. In contrast, comedians’ Big Five personality traits seem less manifest in their everyday humor styles, apart from affiliative humor. This suggests that, because of their constant immersion in many types of humor, the everyday humor styles of


comedians may become less closely tied to their personality traits. For example, their tendency to use an aggressive style of humor is less clearly a reflection of low agreeableness or low conscientiousness than it would be in the general population. Affiliative humor plays an important role in comedians’ social lives and is crucial to their professional success. Comedians’ affiliative humor is the only style with strong correlations with their Big Five personality traits, including openness, extraversion, and agreeableness. Openness to experience and agreeableness probably promote comedians to engage with other people in social situations, and the resulting pleasant atmosphere could help facilitate humor. It is not surprising that professional stand-up comedians scored higher than college students on each of the humor scales. Comedians surround themselves with humor and devote their careers to observing, analyzing, creating, practicing, and performing humor. They think about new material every day, write jokes for their act, perform on stage with clear feedback from audiences, and watch other comedians, with whom they discuss their work. What might be surprising are comedians’ relatively low scores on the negative humor styles (aggressive and self-defeating) compared to the two positive styles. This is a striking difference from their on-stage use of humor, which is often hostile and aggressive, making fun of the audience, telling sexist and racist jokes, and using foul language. This discrepancy in humor styles epitomizes the difference between comedians’ apparent on-stage personas (aggressive, extraverted) and their private personas (generally nice, and surprisingly introverted, compared to both comedy writers and college students). On the other hand, comedians’ scores on negative humor styles were substantially higher than those of college students. I also wanted to see if humor styles can predict comedians’ success. I used a proximate measure success by asking comedians what was the number of weeks they performed in the previous year (more weeks = more successful). I found that success was predicted positively by affiliative humor and negatively by self-defeating humor, meaning that higher scores on affiliative humor and lower scores on self-defeating humor predict their on-stage success. The ability to laugh with other people, share humorous stories, and put others at ease by using humor is no doubt an important role of a successful comedian, and hence explains why affiliative humor was a


significant predictor of their on-stage success. Comedians must be sensitive to audience reaction and tune their act accordingly. Even if they use aggressive humor in their performance, they still have to take into account what a specific audience finds funny. Those who are high on affiliative humor may have an advantage since they can bring their own social experience to the stage. Comedians who score low on this scale may be more likely to “lose” the audience, and not know how to adjust their act properly. Comedy club patrons may prefer booking comedians who are friendly and confident as measured by affiliative humor style. By contrast, the use of self-defeating humor in everyday life negatively predicted comedians’ professional success. Clearly, selfdefeating humor is a negative humor style that could have a harmful effect on an individual’s well-being. Self-defeating humor is usually regarded as a destructive humor style, a style that individuals use to make fun of themselves and let others make jokes at their expense. Of all humor styles, this is the type that is used least often by comedians and others. Comedians who score high on self-defeating humor are perceived to be weaker, having a lower status, less dominant, and even more pathetic, and hence less funny. It is also possible that self-defeating humor impairs relationships with club managers, agents, and other comedians, and thereby reduces comedy club bookings in a business that relies heavily on good social skills. Previous research has consistently shown that self-defeating humor is associated with low selfesteem, lack of self-confidence, anxiety, and depression. Consequently, comedians who often use self-defeating remarks might be viewed as insecure, low status, and destined for failure. My previous research showed that low-status individuals who use self-deprecating humor are perceived as less attractive by people of the opposite sex, and this effect might apply to professional relationships as well. Comedians also need to be savvy to succeed in the comedy business, both on and off stage. As mentioned above, comedians appear to have higher than average intelligence and intelligent comedians scored lower in self-defeating humor in this study. This implies that smarter comedians know when selfdeprecating humor shades over into self-defeating humor. Overall, the results of this study suggest that professional stand-up comedians are a distinct vocational group: they score higher on all humor styles, on humor ability, and on verbal intelligence than college students, but they also show different patterns of correlations between Big Five personality traits and humor styles, and a discrepancy between on-stage


persona and private personality. Comedians’ professional success depends not just on their short-term spontaneous humor production ability, but also on their long-term skill, dedication, and ambition in crafting and refining an effective act that can be modulated for different audiences in different cities with different tastes, traits, backgrounds, and levels of inebriation. It also depends upon their fluent, strategic use of affiliative humor and self-deprecating humor when interacting with club managers, booking agents, and other comedians. Vitamin D and Depression Over the past decade there have been numerous scientific studies touting vitamin D as the wonder vitamin, finding it capable of fighting everything from cancer to depression. But do vitamin D levels really affect mental health? Actually, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a variety psychiatric conditions, most notably depressive disorders, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is most likely due to the fact that vitamin D activates genes that release neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and serotonin) that affect brain function and development. Additionally, studies have located vitamin D receptors in specific areas of the brain that are associated with depression. There are several clinical trials that have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and mental illness. According to these studies, low levels of vitamin D are thought to be involved in anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, learning, memory, and social behavior. Much of this research has offered evidence that supplementing low levels of vitamin D can improve psychological well-being in many cases. One type of depression that appears to be strongly associated with vitamin D is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood disorder characterized by depressive symptoms during times of the year when there is relatively little sunshine. Research has found that the symptoms


of SAD coincide with a reduction in vitamin D3, which in turn affects serotonin levels in the brain. For years, vitamin D blood levels of 20 ng/mL – which stands for nanograms per milliliter – were considered within the normal range. These measurements are attained with a blood test measuring something called “25-hydroxy-vitamin D” or “OHD” for short. Recently, this figure has been adjusted and normal is now a level greater than 30 ng/mL. Additionally, researchers and clinicians suggest that the appropriate range is between 50 and 75 ng/mL. For people who test in the low range, the new recommendations for supplementation fall between 2,000 IU to 10,000 IU, with monitoring by blood testing every few months. A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition in October suggested that low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of depression in mid-life. The study, from the University College London in the UK, found that participants with vitamin D levels of at least 75 ng/mL had a 43% lower risk of depression, compared to people with vitamin D levels lower than 25 ng/mL. The researchers also found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a 67% lower risk of panic, compared to the lower levels. The current study is one of a number that have found an association between vitamin D status and symptoms of depression. In 2010, the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people with vitamin D deficiency were at an 85% increased risk of having depression as compared with those with sufficient levels. In the case of vitamin D, getting it from sunshine is the best source, however this can present a challenge. Some people have difficulty synthesizing vitamin D from the sun and many live in climates where there is relatively little sun for long periods of time. This is particularly problematic for people prone to seasonal effective disorder as lack of sun is thought to trigger episodes. As far as diet goes, most nutritionists concur that it is generally not possible to get enough amounts of vitamin D through food alone. The best source of vitamin D is found in food from fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Cod liver oil is also a good source.


However, because a lot fish has high levels of contaminants like mercury, the amount of fish you would have to eat to get enough Vitamin D could be hazardous to your health. If you’re going to consume fortified foods like milk and breakfast cereals, you’re probably better off taking a supplement. In most cases, it’s better to get your nutrition from foods instead of supplements, but there are exceptions to this. For one thing, it can be hard to get large doses of nutrients from food. If you are treating a medical or mental health condition with high amounts of a particular nutrient, you will need to use supplements. Of course, vitamin D supplementation is only a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for depression. Any plan – whether based on pharmaceuticals or natural methods – should include psychotherapy. However, low levels of certain vitamins, such as vitamin D, can impair and prolong recovery from depression. What Is Boredom? We all know the feeling. Time becomes slowed down. Nothing seems interesting. There is a feeling of yearning, but for what? This is what we call bored. We tell ourselves that we are bored! What does this mean? One meaning we give to our boredom is that the book we are reading is not interesting. Another meaning might be that a class we are taking is a total bore. In other words, we look to something external to blame. Boredom, when chronic, is very stressful and that has serious consequences for health. For example, we might be waiting room of a doctor’s office. The time seems eternally long. Feelings of irritability and anxiety set in. This is where we start to feel very stressed. It seems as though the solution is to be seen by the doctor. Another example might be that, boredom might cause someone from losing focus at work and getting injured because of the lack of attention. How many times have you been driving for a long period of time, become


bored with the road and lose attention. My guess is that a good number of traffic accidents are caused this way. Boredom is not trivial. It is out of boredom that some people turn to addiction, gambling, over-eating and alcohol abuse. These are examples of blaming the boredom on something external. Perhaps it is not. Perhaps boredom is internal in nature. Up until now, little research has been done on the phenomenon of boredom. Some have seen it as a variation of depression. None of the explanations are satisfactory, now, empirical research has been done on the state we call boredom. Psychological scientist John Eastwood of York University (Ontario, Canada) and colleagues at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo wanted to understand the mental processes that underlie our feelings of boredom in order to create a precise definition of boredom that can be applied across a variety of theoretical frameworks. Their new article, which brings together existing research on attention and boredom, is published in the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. According to the website, ScienceDaily, and quoting from the Sep. 26, 2012 issue of the journal: “Drawing from research across many areas of psychological science and neuroscience, John Eastwood and colleagues define boredom as ‘an aversive state of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity,’ which arises from failures in one of the brain’s attention networks. Specifically, we’re bored when: 1. We have difficulty paying attention to the internal information (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external information (e.g., environmental stimuli) required for participating in satisfying activity 2. We’re aware of the fact that we’re having difficulty paying attention 3. We believe that the environment is responsible for our aversive state such as, “this task is boring,” “there is nothing to do.'” Alex Lickerman, MD, a physician and practicing Nichiren Buddhist put it, there is nothing that is intrinsically boring. There are examples of prisoners of war, sitting in complete isolation, who are able to focus their minds and find interesting things to prevent boredom. What he does to reduce the experience of boredom is to: “Whenever I’m bored, I try to ask myself three questions:


1. How can my current circumstances help me develop myself? 2. How can my current circumstances help me contribute to the happiness of someone else? 3. How would the wisest person on earth look at my current circumstances and what would he or she do in my stead?� Lickerman’s effort is to make all of life interesting. The point is that research indicates that there is a relationship between boredom and lack of attention to what is happening inside of ourselves as well as what is external. We need to refocus our attention to what we are thinking and feeling and to the stimuli in the environment instead of over looking both. Ultimately, if boredom is something that becomes chronic and cannot be changed by any effort at refocusing attention, cognitive behavior therapy is an excellent way to overcome this painful state of being. Your comments are questions are encouraged. Allan N. Schwartz, PhD


Chapter 13 - Bundle (Of Data) (Part 2) Treating Alcohol and Depression Email: “My husband and I have been together for 28 years, married for 21. Throughout our relationship he has been a binge drinker with some mild to intense mood swings… He retired from the military in 07, we moved to a new state and he started a job he hated. He became increasingly agitated and angry, very depressed and seemed to be drinking more often, losing control and yelling…I just don’t know what to do. I feel he is bipolar and his lack of feelings for me are associated with that but I can’t get him to see this…” A recent article in the Psychiatric Times discusses the problem presented by the wife in the email above. Alcohol abuse and depression are often comorbid disorders, meaning that they happen at the same time. In the past, psychiatrists would not prescribe anti-depressant medications for alcohol abusers out of concern for the health consequences from mixing medications and alcohol. As the article points out, psychiatry has a new way of looking at this problem. Studies show that the newer SSRI anti-depressants can be used to reduce depression while treating the alcohol abuse with another medication. That other medication is Naltrexone. This medication reduces the craving for alcohol and can be used with an SSRI to reduce depression. This is an exciting development for the following reason: Some people drink in an attempt to medicate their depression. The result is that the depression worsens as a result of the alcohol. When psychotherapy is used in an effort to get them to stop drinking the depression worsens and they relapse into drinking again. If psychotherapy is used to help them with their depression but the depression but the biggest problem is drinking, not depression, they continue to drink. In other words, the disorders reinforce one another. Now, with the use of anti depressants and Naltrexone, both conditions are treated with the hope that the chances of relapse are reduced.


It must be emphasized that psychotherapy remains a vital and necessary part of treatment for both conditions. Medication cannot do everything and people drink and get depressed for many personal reasons that are best dealt with in psychotherapy. Here, too, there was once a belief that psychotherapy cannot work while someone is drinking, even if they are depressed. Now, psychotherapy is used while people are drinking and this can be sharply reduced with Naltrexone medication. While much research will continue to be done in the area of this comorbid condition, at least this is a good start. At this point it is unknow how many people will be helped by this but at least there is great hope. In addition, it is a positive thing that alcohol abuse and depression are seen as disorders that can be dealt with at the same time. Your comments are encouraged. Allan N. Schwartz, PhD Men, Women and Dysfunctional Relating “When this couple entered therapy they were clearly alienated and angry. There was little doubt that they were headed for divorce. The husband was silent and brooding and the wife was seething with sarcasm and resentment. They had been married for twenty years, had two kids and were financially secure. From the outside, most people would have said they were a successful and happy couple. Obviously, this was far from the truth. Their sexual lives had ended and they barely talked to one another at home. Their marriage was typical of what happens in many marriages across the country. One of her major complaints was that whenever she tried to confront him with her dissatisfactions, he withdrew into silence.�


Did you ever notice that men and women often communicate across a canyon of misunderstanding? I am a fan of the books by psychotherapist and well known author Terence Real. In particular his book “How Can I Get Through To You?� presents a helpful discussion of what goes wrong between men and women and how to fix it. From his experience and point of view, men and women relate differently because of the ways they were raised. Boys are taught to suppress their emotions and to focus instead on being aggressive, competitive and independent. In other words, they are raised to be masculine and that translates into being unemotional and strong. On the other hand, women, according to Terence Real, are taught to put their needs aside and to nurture others. Instead of being aggressive they are taught to be compliant. This is the definition of being feminine. While a lot of this seems to have changed since the women’s liberation movement of the late twentieth century, it still shows up in the ways couples relate to one another. In fact, according to Real, this difference is at the core of why there is divorce rate of over 50%. As a result of suppressing their emotions, men lose their connection with their families and wives and become vulnerable to addiction to drugs and alcohol. Women become depressed because they feel taken advantage of by husbands who do not supply their needs. Of course, they are part of the problem because they suppress their needs and wants in favor of children and husbands. They do not ask for what they want only what others want. Because of the fact that men learned, early on in their childhoods, that they must be aggressive to be masculine, they become arrogant, especially at home. It becomes easy for them to view their wives as weak. The relationship between men and women becomes one of the man believes he must be in control while expecting compliance from their wives. What husbands view as compliance is that, when they come home from work, the dinner table is set and the wife is warm and nurturing. If this is not fulfilled then he becomes verbally loud and verbally abusive. On the other hand, too many women give in to this scenario until they grow so depressed and unhappy with things that they fall out of love with their husbands. Then, husband and wife become silent, withdrawing from one another and becoming more distant. One example of this type of dynamic is that when the wife starts to assert her needs her husband


withdraws into silence. Her frustration results in her, once again becoming silent. The road to divorce is then well paved. Part of the work of marriage counseling for these couples is to help men and women change in the way they interact. In other words, men must learn to give expression to their emotions rather than suppressing feelings until they become explosive and women must give voice to what they want and need rather than suppressing those things. According to Real men and women must move closer to one another because each has the ability to recognize both the masculinity and femininity in each other. What are your experiences in your relationship like? Your comments and experiences are welcome and encouraged. The Elderly, Terminally Sick and Assisted Suicide Last month, the daughter of a 93 year old father, who was dying and in extreme pain and saw no reason to prolong the agony, apparently carried out his wishes that he be helped commit suicide by over dosing on morphine. This occurred in Philadelphia where she was arrested and charged with a felony. Her lawyers are arguing that the overdose of his medication was an accident and not deliberate. However, the ethical question here is not whether she deliberately or accidentally administered the medication but whether a terminal patient should be permitted to either commit suicide or have a loved one assist in that act if they are not able? Should assisted suicide in a terminal patient be legalized? There are strong arguments for and against legalizing assisted suicide. Against it is the opinion that society has a moral duty to protect


and to preserve all life. To allow people to assist others in destroying their lives violates a fundamental duty we have to respect human life. A society committed to preserving and protecting life should not permit people to destroy it. In addition, those who oppose assisted suicide point out that family members might urge the terminal patient to commit suicide because they cannot tolerate the slow death of a loved one or who just want to get them out of the way to suit there own needs. In other words, legalizing assisted suicide could threaten the safety of innocent people. Finally, it is argued that permitting assisted suicide could violate the rights of others. Doctors, nurses and loved ones might find themselves pressured or forced to cooperate in a patient’s suicide. In order to satisfy the desires of a patient wanting to die, it’s unjust to demand that others go against their own deeply held convictions. Those who favor assisted suicide have a powerful argument of their own. They appeal to our capacity for compassion and an obligation to support individual choice and self determination. In other words, if a person is of sound mind, can no longer tolerate their suffering and pain and choose suicide, they should be allowed to have their wishes carried out. Further, it is important to respect the dignity and will of terminal patients who make a sane decision of how they want to die. What is your opinion about this deeply important issue? Your comments are strongly encouraged. Allan N. Schwartz, PhD Note: I am cleaning some stash... archive... Enough Already! Making Sense of Senseless Loss The past year has been one of tremendous loss for my family. Seven people in our circle of family and friends have passed away. Some were expected (inevitable due to illness), others unexpected, but each one


filled us full of deep grief and loss. Some were close friends, others family members, and still others colleagues. We’ve attended five out of the seven memorials. Having testified as expert witnesses in homicide cases for the past thirty years, death has not been something foreign or abstract to either one of us. We have also experienced the death of all four of our parents in our lifetime, as well as some very close friends in recent years, and yet we wondered if these experiences prepared us for the cumulative effect of grief that we felt in the past twelve months. A few months ago, several days after experiencing the loss of a dear friend, we were sitting at breakfast and I said to my wife, “Haven’t we had enough death in our lives this year? Why is this happening to us?” In her usual kind and loving voice, she said, “I know, I wonder about that too. But we didn’t do anything to create these losses, but perhaps there is something in the experience for us to learn. The trick is figuring that out.” I kept asking myself, what was in all this loss for me to learn? I remembered when I was in training, reading that Carl Jung said that he kept death on his shoulder. This awareness constantly reminded him of the fragility of life. Doing so helped him appreciate each day. The loss of my parents and two very close friends, in the past six years, taught me that important life lesson. As I sat there and contemplated this question, I was aware of feeling angry that the big L “Life” was making my little L “life” more difficult. But I was still left with the question, why all these loses now? As my frustration started to rise, I opened up the New Times on my computer and saw the link to a two-month-old article entitled, On the Road to Recovery, Past Adversity Provides a Map. It peeked my curiosity. Perhaps the universe was providing me an answer to my question. In it, the author writes about the latest psychological findings on trauma, loss and resilience. One study in particular caught my eye. Mark Seery, a psychologist at the University of Buffalo,and colleagues, published a paper on the effects of adverse events on mental health. I was immediately intrigued by the title of the article; Whatever Does Not Kill Us: Cumulative Lifetime Adversity, Vulnerability and Resilience. The conventional wisdom is the more misfortune we experience, the more problems such as anxiety and depression may develop. However, his research showed that a certain amount of difficulty actually helps to foster resilience and a stronger ability to face setbacks in the future. The


study included three groups of individuals: those with a high history of adversity, those will no history, and people in-between. What he found was very interesting. The people who recalled a very high history of adversity (up to 12 negative events) scored very low on a number of measures of well-being. This makes intuitive sense. At some point (and that point is different for different people) the growing stress of multiple negative events can eventually lead to psychological overload. This may not only cause difficulty coping with extreme stress, but may also make it hard to deal with the hassle of everyday living. This dynamic is particularly visible with people who live in war-torn countries or who are experiencing ethnic cleansing or genocide. Holocaust survivors are another group who have experienced countless deaths. For people who have experienced many losses, especially over a short period of time, feelings of depression and hopelessness can set in and affect a person’s outlook on life. It can make the burdens of daily living overwhelming, resulting in chronic feelings of negativity and a lack of well-being. Additionally, there is research that suggests that people who have experienced many personal losses tend to have intrusive memories of prior losses with each new loss.As a result today’s grief is intensified by yesterday’s grief. What he found with the other two groups (no adversity and moderate amount of adversity) was the most surprising to me. The people with no prior adversity, or only one recalled adverse event, also scored quite low on the measure of well-being, just like the people with many negative events. This wasn’t what I expected. One would think that if you didn’t have prior adversity you would be a happier person. As I read on, I discovered that the people who were the happiest subjects were those who experienced two to six adverse events. This I found the most unexpected. When asked why they got those results, the researchers hypothesized that perhaps we need a certain amount of adversity in our lives to learn something about life. And when we learn those lessons, we are happier. For some that might be appreciating all they have such as good health, a job and friendship. For others it may be appreciating their partner and children. Adversity has the potential of teaching us, as Jung said, that life is fragile; everything can turn on a moment’s notice, so gratitude is key. People who have never had setbacks or personal adversity may not have had the opportunity to learn that important lesson.


As I finished reading the study, I noticed that I felt a sense of serenity. The anger disappeared and was replaced by gratitude, sadness and compassion. Gratitude for what I had in my life, sadness for the loss of such wonderful people, and compassion for the loved ones of those who passed. I thought, “Ok Life, maybe this is a time for me to learn how to get better at loss.� I could always improve my skill at acknowledging my feelings of vulnerability, appreciating all the gifts I have in my life, and feeling and expressing more compassion towards others. Call it a rationalization or a mind-game or turning lemons into lemonade, but whatever happened that morning definitely created a stronger feeling of well-being within me as I packed up to go to work. Note: There is a psychological way to apply the same behavior and principles of another human being it's called NLP, as for now I am going to throw positive mindsets... and motivations... it's very useful for selfsabotaging behavior and negative thoughts.... depression, anxiety... all this shitty stuff needs to be clean out. HOW TO MANAGE ANXIETY WHEN THE NEWS IS TRAUMATIZING


A few weekends ago, I was out with my wife and a few friends without the kids. All was great until my wife looked at her phone and just said “Holy shit, the Oaks.� Without her saying another word, I knew there was a shooting. Just a few cities away from us, at the other big mall in the area, there was a murder and attempted suicide by firearm. That made the evening take on a little different tone.

It got me thinking about how frequently we hear about shootings at schools and public gatherings and how difficult that must be for someone


with anxiety. It’s hard for me because I can’t just tell someone with anxiety that everything is going to be okay because I don’t know that for sure. So here are some tips on how to manage anxiety when the news is traumatizing.


1. It’s absolutely okay to be anxious and scared. That’s normal. You should feel some degree of anxiety when you hear about a shooting, especially if it is near you or someone that you love. That


is simply a natural instinct that should be there to help you be appropriately cautious. Anxiety heightens your senses and prepares your for action. Don’t beat yourself up about being anxious in the first place. Of course we want you to be able to bring your anxiety to a manageable level, which is why I have some other tips here. 2. Understand that there is a risk to everything and living life isn’t about denying that risk, it’s about acknowledging the risk and making an active choice to move forward. You could make an endless list of the things that could possibly harm you every time you walk out the door. However, people are still moving about the world, living their lives. As humans, we never feel 100% certain about our safety and we never feel 100% secure in the decisions that we make. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t good decisions. That’s just human nature. We make a choice and go with it. It’s just what we do. 3. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it’s also important to recognize that it is still statistically very unlikely that you will be involved in a mass shooting. I will 10000% agree that it happens way to frequently and there is work to be done to change that fact, but it still stands that the statistics are on your side. 4. Remember that the media has biased coverage. Very rarely does the media (or social media for that matter) cover the random good stuff that happens all day everyday. If they do, they surely only devote about 1% of their coverage to the good things. Scary and dramatic events are more alluring and make people feel like they are getting the most important information. This is very similar to the “mental filter” thinking trap that we often fall into where we see all of the negative aspects of a scenario and filter out all of the positive, leading to feelings of sadness or anxiety. 5. No matter how much you think about a potential shooting or how often you see people tweet about shootings that have happened, that does not increase the likelihood of it happening to you. We often feel that if we think about something too much or it is heavy on our minds, it is more likely to happen. Unfortunately (or


fortunately) we don’t actually have that much power over the universe. 6. You don’t need to feel guilty about not knowing every single detail at the exact moment that it happens. It’s definitely important to check and understand what is unfolding and make sure that you and your loved ones are not at risk, but if you can’t handle every nitty gritty detail while you are at your kid’s soccer match, there is nothing wrong with catching up on the news a little later. There is this strange sense of guilt that we seem to place on ourselves when we are not constantly jacked in and aware of every single thing happening in the world. You knowing every detail does not change anything about the event that has actually happened. It only changes when you know about it. 7. Do something productive with the sense of unease. I’m not going to get overtly political here, but if you feel that there is something that can be done to affect change on a systemic level, write a letter, make a phone call, or write something that you feel contributes to that. Even though you have no control over the event that has occurred, feeling like you can play some sort of an active role may help alleviate some of the hopelessness. Note: Grow you sick fucks... "infantilization"... parents! Why Narcissistic Parents Treat Their Children Like Babies


New research shows how the narcissistic parenting style affects children. Treating an adult like a child, or infantilization, creates a cycle of dependence in which the adult constantly needs to be told what to do and how to do it. The negative effects of infantilization on older adults, as when younger healthcare workers call them “cute” or “honey,” are welldocumented as involving an accelerated loss of functioning. Infantilization also causes resentment in the target. You probably know this feeling quite well if you’ve been treated in a patronizing manner by someone younger than you, if not in a medical setting, then perhaps at a store counter. “Let me show you this, sweetie,” would be such an example. In additional to feeling less than competent, you probably also feel insulted and resentful. Even in children, infantilization can have negative consequences. Imagine you have a young daughter who’s just learned to tie the laces on her sneaker. She definitely takes longer to do this than it takes you. You’re in a rush to get her out the door, though, so you continue to tie her shoelaces in the morning just to save those precious moments. By taking over this task that she now is able to complete on her own, you’re reducing her sense of autonomy, even though you’re doing so for a perfectly legitimate reason. Eventually, with enough practice when you’re not rushed, she will become an accomplished shoelace-tier, and this will no longer be an issue. Now that you’ve imagined this scenario, consider what happens with parents who are high in narcissism. They need their children to stay dependent on them long past when the childhood days are over, so that they can continue to feel important in their lives. New research by University of Southern Mississippi’s Nathan Winner and Bonnie Nicholson (2018) explored the role of overparenting, popularly known as “helicopter parenting,” and its influences on young adults. This popular term is a bit misleading, because it assumes that all parents of current young adults constantly hover over their children in order to see what they’re up to. Apart from the overgeneralization factor, it's not the


hovering that's the issue. Instead, overparenting involves the continued treatment of children as children, and therefore seems more accurately represented as infantilization. According to Winner and Nicholson, overparenting involves both “over-involvement and intrusiveness,” paired with “warmth and responsiveness.” Parents who overparent, the authors argue, can “impede on appropriate development of young adult independence” (p. 3650). Unfortunately, the use of the term helicopter parent has caught on to the point where all parents of millennials (those born in the late 20th century particularly) are regarded as having these qualities and, in turn, of having created an entire generation of selfie-taking and self-obsessed narcissists. We know that this is not true. Some millennials are narcissists, but so are individuals from each generation. Instead of lamenting the ubiquity of overparenting by an entire generation of narcissistic parents, it is more accurate to regard the narcissistic parenting style as a function of a trait that varies across individuals. Furthermore, its damaging effects may be best thought of as restriction of a child’s autonomy by needing to maintain parental dependence, which in turn leads the individual to be less able to live an adult life. Indeed, the research conducted by Winner and Nicholson is based on the characterization of overparenting as “oversolicitous parenting observed in parents of younger children, where parents display high levels of warmth and involvement in situations where children do not need assistance or reassurance.” Its most damaging effects, they go on to argue, are most “troubling for the psychological development of young adult children” (p. 3651). The Southern Mississippi researchers believe that it’s the excessive control involved in overparenting that is at the heart of the difficulties that children of narcissistic parents can experience. Winner and Nicholson define “parental psychological control” (PPC) as emotional intrusion, not just the attempts to limit the child from becoming a grownup. Using a sample of 380 young adult college students (79 percent female), the authors measured overparenting by asking participants to report on how they perceived the parenting they were receiving, as well as their own levels of narcissism. Unfortunately, because it was the children responding and not the parents, it wasn’t possible to determine


the levels of narcissism of their parents. The undergraduates in the study reported perceived parental overintrusiveness with the Helicopter Parenting Scale (e.g., “My parent solves any problem or crisis I might have”) and the Psychological Control Scale (e.g., “My parent is a person who brings up my past mistakes when he/she criticizes me”). Students reported on their own levels of narcissism with a standard personalityinventory that assessed the two facets of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. All of the analyses were correlational, a fact that should be taken into account when interpreting the results, along with the fact that no parents were actually assessed. Moving on to the findings, those correlations were fed through a statistical model that allowed Winner and Nicholson to arrive at some insights into the possible direction of relationships between parental behavior and child narcissism. In this model, PPC scores indeed proved to affect the relationship between overparenting and child narcissism, and slightly more so for the vulnerable rather than the grandiose narcissism scores. In other words, children whose narcissism reflects an attempt to deal with feelings of weakness and inferiority were more likely to be exposed to overly intrusive parents who tried to control them. Even so, the statistical results led the authors to maintain that they found general support for the overparenting-PPC-narcissism relationship rather than just for the impact of parenting style on vulnerable narcissism. As the authors conclude, “The potential for parents to go too far in their desire to remain prominent and involved within their children’s lives appears to be linked to the development of narcissistic traits” (p. 3655). Again, we do not know what their parents were actually like, but the existence of this relationship suggests how narcissism can be passed on from generation to generation. Parents who dig around in the emotional lives of their children will produce children who may, in turn, feel that this is the best way to raise a child. The Winner and Nicholson study sheds light on one step in the process: the recollection by children of how their parents treat them. It's also important to note that, as the authors suggest, those overcontrolling parents actually use a great deal of warmth and affection as they pamper their children and give them everything, or more than everything, they need. In the process, their children feel they will be loved


if they accede to their parent's wishes, further eroding their sense of autonomy. To sum up, having narcissistic parents doesn’t doom people to becoming narcissists themselves. Being treated as a child doesn’t mean you have to be one forever once you recognize your own potential to be a grown-up. The Long-Term Impact of Child Abuse: In my psychotherapy practice, I work with adult women recovering from abuse including childhood emotional, physical, sexual abuse, and neglect. Many of these women are mothers seeking therapy out of a desire to protect their children from the abuses they themselves have experienced. My clients describe having difficulties caring for and meeting the needs of their children, and although they want to mother in more loving and appropriate ways, they express feelings of inadequacy in their mothering. They speak of an inability to feel spontaneous, to laugh and play, or to show affection to their children, and they grieve that their past experiences are impacting their ability to be effective mothers. I also work with women who have made a conscious decision not to become mothers. Even though many of these women have stated that they love children, they have vowed not to have any. They say they do not believe that they are emotionally capable of being “a good mother” and that having a child would be a selfish act. They speak of being terrified of “messing up” or “screwing up” their children, and are fearful of passing down their pain to the next generation. They do not want to bring children into the world, only to have them experience the same hurts they had experienced when young. Finally, they express the fear that they may not be able to protect their children from abuse or keep them safe. This group of women mourn not having children and deeply feel the loss of not having a mothering experience during their lifetime. Clients have stated that they felt the existence of emotional barriers that reduced their capacity to be loved and to express love in healthy


ways. They felt overwhelmed and did not know how to set healthy boundaries, seeing themselves vacillating between being overly rigid and/or overly permissive with others. Even more important, they did not know how to protect themselves or their children. Some women talked about feeling numb or “zombie like.” Many felt they were minimally functioning and struggled with caring for their own basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Some women expressed feeling dead inside and unable to feel joy, to laugh or smile, or to feel positive for long enough to penetrate their numbed existence and to give life meaning. For a child, feeling numb is a defense, used to cope with dysfunctional dynamics at home. Going emotionally numb helps to screen out the yelling, hurtful comments, scenes of domestic violence, abuse, and/or manage the experiences associated with poverty. Yet, for an adult, continuing to use defense mechanisms such as numbness, denial, and dissociation is unhealthy and interferes with day-to-day functioning. On the first night of one sexual abuse survivor’s group, a woman said that her goal for therapy was to “feel something, to feel anything.” She did not care if it was sadness or fear or anger; she just wanted to feel. She was tired of her numbness, which she felt separated her from others and from the world. One mother in the group said her numbed state was impacting her ability to care for her children. She was unable to play, laugh, join in games, and be spontaneous or to hug and kiss her children without images of her own abuse coming to the surface. When I facilitate a sexual abuse survivor’s group, on the first night we meet, the women introduce themselves and I ask the question, "How did the sexual abuse impact your life?” Participants are asked to brainstorm words that best describe how they believe the child sexual abuse has affected them. The list is always quite long and for many women, this is the first time they have had an opportunity to speak about and reveal long-held secrets while in an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance. Below is a list of words and phrases generated by group members that describes and captures the ways in which child sexual abuse has impacted their adult lives: low self-esteem - self-hatred - problems with intimacy mistrustful - uncomfortable in their bodies - worthless - uncomfortable being visible - emotionally needy - anxiety - problems with boundaries


- depression - alcohol addiction - drug addiction - problems with anger - fearful - unlovable - dirty - damaged goods - easily irritated problems with setting limits - unprotected - gullible - people pleasers - put others first - fearful of authority - intimidated easily socially awkward My clients chose to go into therapy because they were struggling from the consequences and symptoms associated with the long-term impact of abuse. They believed that their past had followed them into their current lives and was negatively impacting their ability to function in their families, friendships, and work environments. The women wanted to break negative behaviors, thought patterns, and defenses that at one time had helped them manage the dysfunction and violence they experienced as children but no longer worked for them as adults. Many of my clients endured their child abuse alone and as adults they are reaching out for support in order to heal. The Unconscious Mind Perpetuates "Us vs. Them" Bias Noninvasive brain stimulation sheds light on implicit bias. Note: "Outsider" - Thats' what I call this studies (non-invasive) A new review of noninvasive brainstimulation (NBS) by Harvard researchers offers fresh clues about specific brain regions that may be associated with holding stereotypical “implicit bias” towards members of outside groups beneath the level of conscious awareness. The paper, “Studying Implicit Social Cognition with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation,”


was recently published online ahead of print in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. In a statement, the researchers said: “The tendency to be suspicious of people we perceive as strangers or 'not like us' probably evolved early in our ancestry, when small groups of humans competed against each other for precious resources like food and water.” Their review sheds light on the neurobiology of “us vs. them” stereotypes and could lead to new behavioral interventions designed to minimize the divisiveness of implicit bias. In 1998, “Project Implicit” was founded by a trio of social psychological scientists that included Tony Greenwald, who is currently a professor of psychology at University of Washington; Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard University's Psychology Department; and Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, who is also co-founder and director of the Center for Open Science. Project Implicit is a non-profit organization that brings together a collaborative network of researchers from around the globe to investigate “implicit social cognition,” which refers to the thoughts and feelings we have towards others that tend to occur on an unconscious level beyond the realm of conscious awareness and cognitive control. The primary goal of this organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide an online “virtual laboratory” for collecting data about implicit social cognition. One of the primary tools used by the group is called an “Implicit Association Test” (IAT). These tests measure unconscious “not like us” attitudes that people are often unwilling or unable to consciously selfreport when filling out a questionnaire due to political correctness and the subliminal nature of these biases, respectively. Oftentimes, implicit bias occurs so far under the radar of explicit awareness that your conscious mind may not even “know” you unconsciously hold a negative stereotype. As an example, you might firmly believe in your rational, conscious mind that women and men are equally qualified to be airline pilots. Then out-of-the-blue one day, you find yourself on a plane with two female pilots and no men in the cockpit. Suddenly, you have a gut feeling of panic and realize in this split-


second of unease that you'd actually feel more comfortable if a man was flying the plane. This type of gender-based implicit bias is typical when women have careers in male-dominated professions. Modulation of the Prefrontal Cortex May Influence the Expression of Implicit Stereotypes The latest multidisciplinary review on NBS and implicit social cognition was conducted by lead author Maddalena Marini, formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, along with Project Implicit co-founder Banaji and senior author Alvaro PascualLeone of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). "Unlike traditional brain imaging techniques, noninvasive brain stimulation can directly impact brain activity and provide powerful evidence that specific brain regions are linked to specific social behaviors —in this case, we applied it to attitudes and stereotypes towards groups that vary in social characteristics, such as race and ethnicity," PascualLeone said in a statement. "Modulating the brain activity in these regions can yield insights relevant to our modern, more diverse societies—in which our primitive group allegiances can be in conflict even with one's own standards of equal opportunity, fairness, and justice." Their review suggests that the anterior temporal lobe may be a central player involved in how the brain creates implicit bias by linking stereotypical attributes to a category of people. This review also found that processing implicit attitudes (e.g., religious beliefs) activates the inferior parietal lobe. Previous research has found this brain area to be involved in theory of mind (e.g., putting yourself in someone else's shoes) and making moral decisions. Notably, the review of NBS and implicit social cognition concludes: "Modulation of the medial prefrontal cortex can change the expression of implicit stereotypes and attitudes by operating on its control and regulation mechanisms." I have a personal, anecdotal example of implicit bias and "us vs. them" stereotyping. I know from first-hand experience as a gay man and “Ironman” triathlete that onlookers and fellow competitors were often consciously and unconsciously surprised that I wasn’t straight. The prevalence of "sissy boy" stereotypes was especially apparent when I beat a hyper-masculine heterosexual in a grueling "balls-to-the-wall" triathlon. Based on the conclusions by Marini et al., it seems that the


anterior temporal lobe might play a subliminal role in the implicit assumption by some people that “gay men are sissies.”

In the early 2000s, Christopher Bergland won the longest non-stop triathlon in the world three years in a row (2001-2003) with a record-breaking time of 38 hours and 46 minutes. The “Triple Ironman” consists of a 7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike and, 78.6-mile run done consecutively without sleep. As a gay triathlete who was sponsored by the skincare company “Kiehl’s,” Bergland embraced the moniker “Ironman Barbie” as a way to consciously address implicit bias and break stereotypes about gender, sexual orientation, and athleticism.Source: Dawn Mann, used with permission As an openly gay Ironman triathlete, I began competing on the international circuit in the early 1990s, at a time when very few athletes were out of the closet. The look on people’s faces when they realized I was "homosexual," along with random comments I’d overhear from the


sidelines, was a constant reminder of the implicit bias surrounding male homosexuality and excelling in sports competition. As a way to consciously address this implicit bias with a wink and a nod, I’d jokingly refer to myself as “Ironman Barbie.” This term may seem politically incorrect, but it served as a tongue-in-cheek way to take ownership of being treated like a second-class citizen in certain situations and to speak about the elephant in the room at award ceremonies. Observationally, it often seemed to me that somewhere in the back of their minds, men who were part of a heterosexual group of triathletes implicitly and explicitly thought, “He’s not like us.” Luckily, I had no desire to be a part of their clique and thrived on being an underdog and outsider. That said, to my surprise, even people who weren't the least bit homophobic seemed to subconsciously hold an implicit bias that being a “gay Ironman” was an oxymoron. Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Offers Fresh Insights into "Us vs. Them" Implicit Bias "Social beliefs reflect associations that are strongly ingrained in our brains, and changing them will likely entail the reconfiguration of their underlying biological processes," Maddalena Marini said in a statement. "No behavioral interventions designed to shift social beliefs so far—such as empathy training—have produced robust and long-lasting effects. Noninvasive brain stimulation techniques can provide insights that may help meet the urgent need in our society to better understand our intergroup social behavior." The authors conclude, "NBS methods, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), can interfere with ongoing brain activity in targeted brain areas and distributed networks, and thus offer unique insights into the mechanisms underlying how we perceive, understand, and make decisions about others. NBS represents a promising tool to promote knowledge about the social minds of humans."


Chapter 14 - Bundle (Of Data) (Part 3) “You Suck!” and “Show Me Your Jugs!” The difficult life of female comedians One of the most intriguing, and controversial, questions regarding comedy is why are there so few female comedians? While there is no agreement on why that is, I would like to provide some explanations that have been proposed, and also offer some of my thoughts on this subject. I would be happy to hear what others think, so everyone is welcome to chime in on this interesting topic. There is no doubt that female comedians are a minority. How many male comedians exist for every female comedian? We do not have an answer to that since no official registry of comedians exists. Even if we did have something like a comedy guild, the answer might depend on who we count as a comedian. Do we include amateur comedians and open mics, or do we just focus on professional comedians? Nonetheless, all indications are that there are overwhelmingly more male than female comedians. Past studies seem to indicate that the percentage of female comedians hovers around 10-15%. In my own study of professional stand-up comedians, over half a year I recruited 31 comedians, only 3 were women, almost 10%. The disproportionally low number of women in comedy is only one example where there are fewer women in a humor related profession. A comprehensive study of professional cartoonists, where researchers made every effort to include as many female cartoonists as possible, searching magazines, books, journals, special volumes, internet


databases and personal contacts, found that out of a total of 1519 cartoonists from 61 countries, only 9% were women.

Source: Why is it then, that there are so few women working in stand-up comedy? There are certain stereotypes and cultural barriers that no doubt affect women in comedy. Christophe Hitchens famously expressed one prevalent and persistent stereotype that “women are not funny”, a sentiment shared by many people, mostly men. This is clearly not true as evidenced by the many funny and successful female comedians such as Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Joan Rivers, Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes, and the list goes on and on. So obviously, women could and certainly do become successful comedians but not anywhere close to the number of men in the business. Why? Cultural Factors and Sexism There are certain factors in the business of comedy that work against women and create obstacles that most men do not have to worry about. George Carlin put it nicely: “Specifically, an individual woman is as funny as any specific individual man. The difference is in the enculturation and conditioning that people go through, and for a long time there weren’t many female stand-up because it was somehow too masculine a job, too aggressive job” (all quotes on this post are from the documentary “History of the joke”). Aisha Tyler said it more blatantly: “Women are not


socialized to be aggressive. We are very much kind of told by culture to be precious, be pretty, be cute, and comedy is not precious, or pretty, or cute.” These are some observations from comedians regarding how society might deal differently with men and women, ways that can affect how they perform but also how they are perceived by the audience. If our culture discourages women from being aggressive but rewards aggressive humor, then women are placed at a disadvantage. It is important to note that men are naturally more aggressive than women on average, which can increase the bias. But even if men use more aggressive humor compared to women, not all comedians follow their gender typecast. The problem is that there seems to be different reactions and consequences for a man using a clean act, compared to a woman telling dirty jokes. Women who turn into what is perceived as a more masculine act, using sexual and more aggressive types of humor, may not succeed as much as their male counterparts. It is considered less appropriate for women to behave like “alpha males”, where they are perceived to be out of line, while male comedians can do whatever they want and no one will question their choices. In fact, a profane act is sometimes considered edgy for male comedians. Compare for example, Jerry Seinfeld with his very clean act that doesn’t seem to hurt his popularity, to Sarah Silverman who uses profanity in most her acts. Lately, her use of foul language landed her in the hot seat. After watching her latest HBO special “We Are Miracles”, critic Brian Lowry expressed his concerns that by trying to imitate men’s humor using vulgarities and crude humor, Sarah Silverman was hurting her career. I think that the view that there are styles of humor that are appropriate to use by men but not women is quite sexist and preposterous. For me, a comedian is either funny or not, regardless of whether he or she curses or tells dirty jokes. You can be very funny with an R-rated program or you can bomb, and you can have a clean show that is funny or boring, and that has nothing to do with your sex. This is not to say that there aren’t some styles of humor that might appeal more to men than women and vice versa. Women audiences might prefer cleaner and less aggressive shows, but in most cases it has nothing to


do with the sex of the performer. This is also related to a claim I heard from numerous comedians that women’s humor might appeal only to women while men’s humor appeals to both sexes. I am not sure how much truth there is to it. The concept that female comedians should not curse is just one example of sexist attitudes and double standards in the world of comedy. Female comedians are also perceived to represent all women while male comedians represent only themselves. If a female comedian is not funny, people might say that women are not funny. But if a male comedian is really bad, people would tend to say that John Doe isn’t funny and not that all men are not funny. As Kathy Griffin uttered: “When you get heckled as a woman, it’s never just ‘you suck’, it’s ‘you suck’ and ‘show me your jugs’ combined. And that just doesn’t happen to guys. No one is going to heckle them and say ‘show me your balls’, because nobody wants to see them”. Problems with Comedians’ Lifestyle Beside sexism and cultural factors, there are also other, more objective obstacles that hamper women’s road to success in comedy. One of the biggest problems with a comedy career that affects women more than men is the constant travel. In order to be a good and a successful comedian, one must travel constantly. Performing in front of diverse crowds helps comedians to furbish their comedy act. This is especially important early in the career, when comedians want to establish themselves in the business. Many female comedians do not like to go on the road, or the road doesn’t like them, as traveling poses certain risks and costs for women that are not much of a problem for men. For instance, traveling alone raises the risk of sexual harassment and sexual assault, a problem faced almost entirely by women. Most weeks, comedians live in a condo owned by the manager of the club in which they are performing. Living in a condo can be very uncomfortable for a female comedian, especially considering that in most cases there are two male comedians staying with her. Then there is the issue of family. Generally speaking, it is much easier for men to travel when they have a family. Both culture and biology limit the amount of time a woman can travel with a baby, while a man can often rely on the help of his partner at home to take care of the baby. This


creates an unequal opportunity for mothers to succeed in comedy. The end result of all these constraints is that more women than men prefer performing in local clubs and not to go on the road, something that impedes the development of a comedian’s career. Kathy Griffin summarized it well: “It’s definitely harder for a woman on the road, and guys will never admit this, but what do they know? “ Evolved Sex Differences and Comedy I think we all can agree that there are obvious societal barriers and stereotypes that prevent women form getting into or succeeding as stand-up comedians. Nonetheless, the overwhelming skewed disproportional number of men and women suggests that there might be something more than just culture involved. As mentioned earlier, there seems to be a very low number of women in all humor professions. Estimates of the percentage of female cartoonists and comedians are eerily similar, about 10%. Can something other than culture explain this? Evolutionary psychology is the field of study that explains human behaviors, preferences, and emotions based on known evolutionary mechanisms. Some of the most egregious sex differences in comedy fit well with the most important evolutionary force known to shape sex specific behaviors and preferences, sexual selection theory. According to sexual selection theory, different life histories for males and females helped shape their mate preferences and behaviors and resulted in some disparities in the way they enjoy and use humor today. These differences arise from asymmetry in their reproductive costs and the amount of time and energy devoted to parental investment. In humans, as with most other mammals, women bear the heavier costs of reproduction, such as pregnancy and child rearing, while having a shorter reproductive span. This leads women to become choosier in selecting a mate, since the consequences of selecting the wrong partner could be much more costly (e.g., raising a child alone). Thus, women should be more attentive to cues that indicate high mate value, while men would try to signal that they are high quality mates. Sometimes, mate quality can be directly observed, as in the cases of masculinity in men, youth in women and symmetry in the face and the


body of both sexes – all direct indicators of reproductive value and health. Other times, assessing mate quality of another individual cannot be attained directly and has to rely on advertisement. Humor might be such an indirect fitness indicator, a signal for underlying individual genetic quality. This is similar to the peacock’s tail which is a very heavy, colorful ornament that requires much energy to develop and support and is easy for predators to spot. Peacocks with the bigger and more colorful tails, ones that are more symmetrical and costly, attract peahens because the tails are an honest, hard-to-fake indicator of fitness. The same mechanism might manifest itself with humor. Humor can be a good way to advertise intelligence and mate quality. Because women are choosier than men, we should expect men to use humor more often and more creatively to signal their mate quality and attract women, while women should be more sensitive to men producing high quality humor when choosing a mate. Numerous studies on humor support this tendency of men to try and be funny as an honest advertisement and women to choose men who are funny. In regular conversations, men are much more likely to crack jokes, especially when women are present, while women tend to laugh more especially in response to male speakers. If you check personal ads on dating sites for example, you will see that men show a proclivity to advertise their humor ability by the sheer number of ads containing humor compared to those of women. Men also put more effort into producing high quality humor in their ads, while women recognize that humor creativity is important, and seek men who offer it. Evidence also shows that men who used humor in their ads were more likely to be successful in finding a date, but it made no difference for women using humor, as men do not particularly care if a woman is funny (though they would like her to laugh at their jokes). The emphasis that both sexes put on the humor production abilities of men, and the reverse role it plays in mate choice, is a recognition of the significance of humor creation in signaling mate quality and the fact that women are choosier than men. My own research, described in detail here, shows that on average, men had slightly higher humor production abilities than women, humor is correlated with intelligence, and people with a great sense of humor


enjoy better mating success. All these findings point to the same conclusion: that humor might be a vehicle for mating success, mostly for men but not for women. Males’ greater tendency to use humor to make others laugh also seems to begin in childhood and adolescence, as more men than women report being the class clowns. Now, let’s go back to comedy. What in the comedy world can suggest that men are more prepared by evolution for the path to success? For one, men might use comedy to enhance their mating success. This can be done either directly or indirectly. I don’t have data on the frequency of sex in the comedy world, but from what I have heard, male comedians enjoy quite an active sex life, especially on the road where there are no strings attached. In fact, casual sex with many different partners fits well into men’s evolved psychology. For women, the cost of casual sex could be big, and they have to be careful who they go to bed with. This is why women comedians are much less likely to have sex on the road or casual sex in general. In fact, one female comedian once told me that if a comedienne sleeps with other comedians, rumors about it spread quickly and would give her a bad reputation. Male comedians do not have to worry about this and sometimes even compete for who gets more sex. Another way that comedy fits into male evolved psychology is that being a successful comedian can enhance one’s status. Male comedians are more likely to be interested in gaining higher status through comedy, which indirectly can lead to more sexual partners, as high status men are more desirable for sex. In light of sexual selection theory, high status is favored by women when choosing a mate because it gives them access to resources which are valuable for survival, food and health, and can help raise future offspring. Thus, men’s pursuit of high status and women’s desire for such men as mates could motivate more men to look for a career in stand-up comedy, while for women, being a professional comedian may not enhance their mate value by much. It is worth noting that humor itself can increase mate desirability just because it is associated with another, sexually dimorphic trait, such as status. One of my own studies found that individuals with higher status increased their attractiveness by using humor but the effect did not work for lower status individuals (it was especially strong when using self-deprecating humor, which can be seen as a form of handicap, similar to the peacock’s tail). This is another evolutionary mechanism that favors men in comedy, because the motivation for getting high status is stronger for men.


Men are also known to be more competitive than women, again, partially because of biological tendencies. Stand-up comedy is a very competitive profession and not everyone is willing to put all the effort into succeeding in it. Women might show less desire to pursue such a competitive job, while men’s ambition for high status would drive them to seek what is considered to be a highly sought-after profession. This competitive nature in men might often lead them to take more risks compared to women. Men might be more willing to sustain the bumps in the road to glory. More men than women might be inclined to live an uncomfortable life with little job security for a long period of time, while traveling from place to place endlessly. The large uncertainties of comedy, the low pay, the competitiveness of the profession, the long wait to breakthrough – all of these seem to better suite men’s psychological adaptations. Another issue that men might be better suited for, or at least more willing to embrace, is the long and lonely hours a comedian needs to spend alone. Writing is a solitary process, as is practicing the routine. Women are more social creatures than men, preferring to be around other people, either at work or in social situations. Comedy does not offer much time for human interaction, with one big exception, the night of the show. It is possible that fewer women are willing to pay this price to succeed. Lastly, there is the issue of men’s superior humor ability at the extremely high end of the spectrum. If the average man does have slightly better humor production ability than the average woman, it might be plausible to think that when we look at the highest level of humor production, i.e., stand-up comedians, we should find more men. This is also due to the fact that the distribution of humor ability is likely not the same for men and women. In math, for example, many studies have shown that at the top 1% of math ability, we find 8 men to one woman. This is exactly the same ratio we find among comedians. It’s not that women are not funny, but that in the very extreme level of humor production there are more men than women. If we look at the highest possible level of humor production, the one that includes the greatest comedians of all time, the picture is exactly the same. For example, on the list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians published by Comedy


Central a few years ago, only nine were women. Overall, comedy life seems to better fit with male psychology than that of women, but there are a couple of things to also consider. Even if men are better suited for comedy life, and more men succeed in comedy than women, that does not mean that women cannot be successful comedians as evidenced by the many great women in comedy. If we make comedy life easier for everyone, maybe more women will turn to this profession. On the other hand, we should not expect that the number of women will equal that of men anytime soon, and that shouldn’t necessarily be a problem. Also we should remember the number of failures in comedy. Most people who try comedy do not become famous and should expect moderate success at best. Only a few can become very successful and famous, and that’s the nature of every profession. But just as more men succeed in comedy compared to women, so there are many more men who fail. Just because men tend to be risk takers, have higher motivation that is relevant to comedy, have an easier time to travel and so on, does not guarantee that they will succeed. In the end, many more men fail than the one that makes it big. There are also some possible benefits for being a female comedian. Because women are quite a rare breed in comedy, they are sometimes paid more. Since the audience is usually divided equally between men and women, and women want to see more female comedians, owners try to supply this demand by booking more female comedians. I don’t know how prevalent this practice is, but I heard it from a several comedians. In sum, there are probably many reasons why there are disproportionally fewer women in comedy. Simply put by Lewis Black “Female comics have a harder job than male comics”. Some of the problems lie in cultural barriers and sexist attitudes, but other factors might be more related to different evolutionary mechanisms that shaped men’s and women’s lives. In my view, this is a good case where culture and biology interact. There is no doubt that more research is needed on this topic, and I hope to be able to contribute to it soon. This is my last post in this series on stand-up comedians and comedy. I have always been impressed by stand-up comedians and their work


and know how hard it is to succeed in the profession. I would like to thank all the comedians who participated in my study, shared their experiences, and provided me with valuable information that I was happy to share with you all. Special thanks to all the comedians and lay people who read and responded to my posts. Note: Start Jogging.... YOU SICK FUCK!


Publication Date: December 5th 2018 https://www.bookrix.com/-amd935e35df1e85

DeYtH Banger How to Talk to Anyone (Junior Talker #5)  

So here in this book series I am going to try to show the comic way. If you have seen comics make Stand Up shows aka Comedy Specials and the...

DeYtH Banger How to Talk to Anyone (Junior Talker #5)  

So here in this book series I am going to try to show the comic way. If you have seen comics make Stand Up shows aka Comedy Specials and the...

Advertisement