Tag Archives: kindness

Oh! The Humanity!

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Happy Hump Day people!

Just getting back from a week of vacation in sunny California and what a pure joy it is to be back, grinding away.

Just a quick post on my first day back to share a video that I found quite moving.

Sometimes we get so flooded by negative news, stories and scandals that we forget, most of the time, we humans are good and look out for one another.

If this video doesn’t restore at least a little of your faith in humanity then you are too far gone sir!  Hope you enjoy!  Grab the tissues, no seriously, SHUT UP and grab the tissues.

Click here to get started.

How Can You Tell If Someone Needs Help?

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Earlier this week we discussed the difficulties that men have when it comes to asking for help.  If you read the blog then you know one of the examples we looked at was Junior Seau.  At the time I wrote the post I had yet to pick up my copy of the GQ this month.  I was surprised to find an article about Junior in its pages.  If you are a man there might be a lot of emotions that run through your body as you read it.  Two of the most prominent should be sadness and anger.

I was sad and angry for several reasons.  First, the man died way too young and still had so much to offer people.  Up until the point when he passed away he was an inspiring man.  Someone who had made it out of the slums of San Diego to an ocean front view and a lively foundation to help kids just like him escape poverty.  Second, there were people (especially men) who thought something wasn’t right and suspected something bad might or could happen.  I wouldn’t say they did nothing but at least from the article it certainly sounds like they could have done more.  If you ask your friend if they are okay and they say yes, but you know they are lying why would you just drop it?  Why wouldn’t you follow-up with them?  Organize other friends to intervene and talk openly with him about what is going on.

I would be the first to agree that Junior had to want help.  According to the story he asked for it but it doesn’t seem his friends offered any solutions.  When a person’s life is on the line sometimes we have to be more concerned about their health and safety than fearing we might offend them or lose their friendship.  Maybe they were afraid Junior would stop paying for things when they went out?  Who knows.  Regardless of the reasons more should have been done (again at least based on what was in the magazine.)

“He made terrible business decisions. He abused pills. He drank. He gambled away terrifying sums. It was clear to those who knew him well that he was struggling, but no one foresaw his suicide on the morning of May 2, 2012.” 

A  real friend doesn’t let that other bullshit stand in the way of getting things done and trying to help his friends.  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17  A true friend will accept whatever adversity comes his way if it means he is looking out for a friend.  The challenge is trying to decide when a friend needs help, even more as men because we aren’t likely to come out and say “Bro I am really having a hard time and need help.”

I am not a professional when it comes to dealing with issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts and similar afflictions.  Anyone who is dealing with those and similar issues is strongly encouraged to seek professional help.  However, as a caring and compassionate person it is important we try to figure out what are some of the indicators that a person (especially a guy) is in trouble without him telling us.  As a lawyer, lay pastor and friend I have had plenty of opportunities to minister to and give counsel to many men over the course of my life.  While I haven’t seen it all, I have seen a lot.  I can say without a doubt what follows are the key things I have missed, overlooked or caught just in time when men I have cared about were in a bad spot.

1. Withdraws From Life or Activity

“But after retiring as a very wealthy man in 2010—he earned more than $50 million over the course of his long career—he began to behave uncharacteristically.  He withdrew from family and friends.”

It is human nature that we live our life in certain patterns.  Back in high school I used to work at Tom Thumb (which we lovingly called “The Finger”.)  After only a short time working there it was easy to see that my “regulars” always came in and bought the same thing every day.  It got to the point when I would see them pull up and I would have their lottery ticket and pack of smokes ready for them.  They always acted surprised that I knew what they would be purchasing, as if they had no idea they had bought the same thing every day for the last 6 months.  The truth is we often don’t realize the patterns we create in our daily lives.  It is done subconsciously because despite a desire for spontaneity we also find comfort in doing the same thing, the same way day in and day out.

Perhaps one of the most, if not THE most obvious signs that a guy is struggling with something in his life is when he withdraws from his normal patterns in life.  If he regularly attends church (other examples, softball, bowling, poker night or golfing) and then suddenly he hasn’t shown up in two or three weeks in a row something is almost guaranteed to not be right.  It might not be as serious as depression or suicide but it is a safe bet something is has gone haywire in his life.

We as men withdraw because we don’t want other men to know we are struggling and sure as hell don’t want to let them think we have a weakness or aren’t perfect.  Also, we have the idea in our heads if we show up to softball every guy is going to just figure out what happened or where we screwed up and then we have to add being embarrassed to the list.

One of my mentors as a young man was Joe Warfield who we loving referred to as “Pops.”  Sadly he passed away a few years ago after losing a long time battle with cancer.  Pops used to always refer to this as “going off into the weeds” and it is an abt description.  The idea being once a man gets too far into the weeds you can’t see him anymore as the weeds completely hide him.  I have seen it happen so many times and I am telling you the first sign is ALWAYS a withdrawal from normal activities but especially withdrawing from doing things with his guys friends.  This is why it is essential a man has guy friends he can hang out with.  Guys will hold other guys accountable in a way that women just can’t.

2. Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse – Other Addictive Behaviors

There is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying some beer or having a scotch and cigar.  Nor is there much harm in heading to the track to bet on the ponies.  That isn’t what I am trying to say.  However, many people (not just men) try to use alcohol, drugs and other addictive behavior (i.e. gambling) as a way to escape the pressure they feel in their heads.  Men chase that high from  those activities as a brief and enjoyable break from the stress, depression or other problems plaguing us.  However, most of the times those very things that give us a “break” come back and haunt us making our complicated situation now untenable and usually with few alternatives for a way out.

“We landed in Vegas one time and immediately, within hours, he won 800-something thousand dollars.  I said, “Let’s go home, surf, chill, pay some bills.” But after dinner a whale-watcher [a casino handler charged with roping in big-money gamblers] comes up to the room. Not even two hours later, he comes back up and hits the table with a glass and starts cussing.  He had lost it all. He’s lying on his bed looking at the ceiling, and I go, “Buddy, you gotta stop this, man.” He goes, “We got this. We’ll get ’em tomorrow.” The next morning the whale-watchers show up. June got another half-million dollars, and he goes back down and loses the whole thing.”

You don’t need to blow that kind of money that quickly for your friends to be concerned.  Clearly this is an unlikely situation for most anyone who reads this blog.  It just illustrates not only a potential addiction problem but also that your friend has quit caring what happens to him (i.e. his money.)  I doubt you have many friends that make the kind of cheddar where they can walk away from dropping $1000 (or whatever amount) and NOT care.  Which leads into our third point.

3. Careless or Reckless Behaviorjunior-seau-gq-magazine-september-2013-sports-05

Granted drug and alcohol abuse could fit into this section but there are other signs your friend might be in trouble even without the drug and alcohol abuse or gambling.  I am not talking about a friend suddenly deciding he wants to go skydiving when he has never done so in the past.  Unless of course he wants to go alone and without a parachute.  That should probably tell you something is not quite kosher.

Several months before he ultimately killed himself Seau drove off a seaside cliff and somehow managed to survive the crash.  He claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and drove off by accident but to do so without cranking the wheel intentionally is just not possible at that part on the highway.

I have had several friends who, when struggling with depression and other things have behaved in extremely careless ways.  One friend in particular purposely would drive recklessly just hoping he would get into an accident whereby he would be killed.  He purposely didn’t wear a seatbelt while doing so and often had been drinking too much.  How he never died in a crash and rarely even managed to get into an accident is a miracle (and I don’t use that phrase lightly.)  Another friend started picking fights with the wrong kind of guys when we would be out somewhere.  Eventually one night while out alone he finally picked the right guy and almost had his head caved in.  He was in a coma for two days, broke an arm, a few ribs and a lot of brain cells.  When his friends (including me) found out we got him help – once he finally was released from the hospital.  He didn’t like it and cursed us out like a sailor for forcing him to get help but it was the right call.  He managed to pull his life together, got married and even has a few kids and has stayed on the straight and narrow ever since.  Fortunately, both of those stories have a happy ending but many more do not.

4. Sometimes You Just Know

Sometimes you just know that something isn’t right.  You might not be able to point at any particular set of circumstances or activity but there is just something in your gut that tells a person their friend is in some kind of trouble.  Don’t ignore that feeling.  If you have it, it likely means you are on to something, especially if that feeling doesn’t go away.

So if you have that feeling what should you do?  First, be sure you are taking time to really observe your friend’s behavior.  I don’t mean stalking them I simply mean try to be more observant about the things they say and what they do when you hang out.  If they are the kind of person who returns calls or texts, are they doing that?  Or have they stopped?  Or has it been infrequent with no real reason for the delays.  Second, you have to discuss your concern with them and don’t simply take “everything is fine” for an answer right away.  Finally, I know I mentioned it before but you can’t be afraid to upset your friend with your concern.  If you have to be a jack ass and really force them to open up to you about their life than do that.  True friendships with deep roots can survive any storm and getting in a friends face about their behavior is the kind of thing that a friend is supposed to do.

We are our brother’s keeper and it is important we take that role seriously.  Everyone needs a hand up at some point in their life even if they never realize it.

Here is hoping you have a great weekend!  Until Monday make it a better day!

Andrew

Part II – Important Lessons Learned in My First Year of Marriage

Happy Newlyweds in Front of Mansion

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with hundreds of motivational and passionate bloggers. To learn more and join us, click here! 

Today is Part II from my blog yesterday.  Again this was a blog I had shared back in November when my wife and I were celebrating our first year of marriage together.  I welcome all your comments and feedback either above, below or via twitter: @ACSloss @BetterMenNow

6. Spend Time Together

This might seem like an obvious thing for someone to “learn” about being married.  However, I have learned that some of the most basic lessons are also the easiest to forget after a while.  I mean on the honeymoon you get all of this time just the two of you and that is so awesome.  Even more so if you are able to go to a nice relaxing locale for your honeymoon.

When you come home from your honeymoon (or if you have postponed your honeymoon, right after the wedding) reality sets in and suddenly there is work, deadlines, social activities, thank you cards etc., that all have to get done.  Leaving openings during your week to spend time together can be difficult.  If you aren’t careful a month (or more) has gone by and you realize you haven’t spent as much time as you would like together.1450764_10151739769662544_846577224_n

It wasn’t quite so drastic for Sharlay and I but there was a point where we really weren’t spending as much time together as we wanted.  She would work late (and far from home) and so we would get maybe two hours a night for 5 days at a time to spend together.  At least thirty minutes of that would be making and eating dinner and that generally left only a little time to talk about our days, have sex or whatever.

Eventually we had to be sure to carve out time for just the two of us.  If that meant sleeping in on a Sunday and not going to church one week we did that.  If it meant I would go to work an hour later than usual I would be sure I communicated I was coming in late to my supervisor.  It also just meant we needed to prioritize ourselves over our families during that first year.  We agreed (Sharlay did so reluctantly) that all the major holidays would just be shared between her and I.  No family, no friends, just her and I.  It was beautiful and just what I needed to start my marriage.  The families weren’t too happy, especially hers but as we will learn tomorrow sometimes you have to tell your family “no.”  The rest of our lives we would have to share holidays with family and friends but that first year we simply wanted to share those moments with each other.  A kid, family and friend free holiday was awesome.

Everyone is different and how you and your wife spend time together will also be different.  However, I believe for every couple you cannot forget the importance of spending time together AFTER the honeymoon.  No matter how long you have been together something changes when the marriage becomes official and making time for one another is important.

7. Set Yearly Goals

This was something totally new for Sharlay.  While she in the past had “set goals” she had done so mostly in her head and by the end of the year had forgotten most of them anyway (no offense babe!).  Instead what we did is we created a vision board (still trying to come up with a more manly name for it) using clippings from magazines, newspapers etc., from around the house.  We purchased a cardboard display board from Michael’s and then spent one entire day (New Year’s Day I believe) working in it.

Start-ups-Vision-740The idea was to cut out images, words and the like which represented things we wanted to accomplish for 2013.  We then pasted them to the board, talked about what they represented and prayed about them.  We then left the vision board up in our apartment where we could see it for about 6 months until we had to make room for other things.

During the course of the year we have pulled it out to look at it and chart our progress.  Something things we have accomplished, some are still in progress and others will likely be on our board again in 2014.  You don’t have to use this model for setting your goals but you should at least spend time discussing (and recording) them, both individual and family goals.

It helps you feel like a team and encourages you during the course of the year as you slowly see those goals become a reality.  It also serves as a good kick in the ass if you aren’t moving as quickly as you would like towards those goals.  It is never a matter of determining at the end of the year if you were or weren’t successful during the prior 12 months.  Rather it is all about casting a vision for you and your family to pursue and go after.

 8.  Communicate

I realize most of you are thinking this is a stupid thing to learn during your first year of marriage.  Granted everyone should realize the importance of communication before you get married.  However, now that a year has passed, I have realized there were 9191213some areas that require communication because I took for granted Sharlay and I would be on the same page.

Everyone has different experiences in relationships.  Some people never date mean people.  Other people never date nice people.  Some men don’t feel comfortable talking about finances with their wives and some wives have no problem discussing finances with their husband.  Even more people find it weird that a couple would ever have to communicate anything as it relates to sex.

The bottom-line is you need to communicate about everything in a marriage.  This is especially true with two people who have had completely different experiences and thus two completely different set of expectations.  In order to have a successful relationship we have to be willing to discuss every area of our life and relationship if necessary.  I am not saying every little thing requires a sit down meeting with an agenda and a slide show presentation.  What I am saying is that if one of you is feeling frustrated, angry or like you aren’t getting what you want out of the relationship or a certain aspect of the relationship the only way you will ever get it fixed is to talk about it.

It might make you (or your spouse/partner) feel uncomfortable, weird and even nervous to discuss but if the goal is to have a successful relationship you both have to be willing to get things out in the open.  Life and relationships are about compromises and only through communication with each other can those compromises be reached.  Don’t be embarrassed.  Don’t feel disrespected or insecure.  Just be an adult and talk things through.

9.  Walk The Line

Yes this is a Johnny Cash reference.  I am a tremendous fan of the Man in Black, his music and even his bumpy journey in life.  He was a man who had plenty of demons when he was younger and paid the price for many of them.  Yet, he did the best he could after making a lot of mistakes to straighten his life out and get right with God.  He even managed to fall in love with his dream girl and have the fortune to share a career with her.  I would never defend the things he did earlier in his life including cheating on his wife, drug and alcohol abuse and at times being a celebrity diva to the max.  Yet despite all those things Johnny tried to do a lot of good in this world especially later in life.wedding_1214854c

I am not writing about Johnny Cash though.

There is something about getting engaged and later getting married that seems to set off a chain reaction in this universe.  Temptation will always come our way as men but there is a Tsunami-like wave that is generated around the time of our engagement and wedding.  Women you never thought you would ever hear from again (some you don’t even remember dating or talking to even) suddenly are blowing up your phone.  The bizarre thing is they don’t even know you are engaged or married!  I know this because they aren’t friends with any of my friends.  They aren’t on Facebook as my friend or with any of my other “friends.”  I have no other social media connections to them.  Just out of the blue they call and say “Hey Andrew! It’s ‘Sally.’ Long time no talk, do you want to meet up and get drinks?”

Sally who?  Didn’t we have one date three years ago and you never called ME back?  Why do you still have my phone number?  That is just an example of the “clean” version of random messages, texts or emails I received as I got closer to getting married.  It’s like somehow all these women knew without knowing they had a short window to try to re-connect with me.  I know Sharlay also experienced the same phenomenon.  Her and I were both shocked and said the same thing one day “Where are all you people coming from?!”  Is there a database people subscribe to or what?

My point is this men, be careful.  You have to keep your head on a swivel.  Keep your heart protected (and your penis in your pants.)  You will be tested.  You will be tried.  Do NOT be found wanting.  Weird shit is going to go down and I promise you at least one of those women who come from out of nowhere are going to know EXACTLY what buttons to push to tempt you.

Ladies, don’t get all crazy if this happens to your man.  It probably will happen to you as well.  There is an 80% chance that your guy did nothing to bring this on himself.

10.  Do Nice Things

This one is pretty simple.  Don’t stop doing nice things for each other.  They don’t have to be super romantic or over the top (although they can be!) focus on doing things your wife will enjoy and that make her smile.  Sharlay loves it when I send her a video message (usually innocent but not always) or leave her a note before I go off to work in the morning.

couple-happy-kiss-love-married-Favim_com-256932_largeI have found it is the simple things like this that make me think more often about my wife during the day and keeps me motivated on those days when work and life is more challenging than usual.  Your wife will appreciate knowing she is top of your mind most of the time and it will make her feel loved.  In return she will help make you feel respected.  In both situations batteries are recharged, life goes on and people are having fantastic sex.  Who doesn’t like fantastic sex?  So do nice things and don’t make it complicated!

That is it for today’s blog!  I hope, as always, you were able to find something helpful on this page to help you just a bit better today than you were yesterday.  The goal is never perfection, only improvement.  Don’t forget that if today you weren’t better, you can be tomorrow so don’t give up!

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy here.

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A Lesson Learned from Watching “Rudy”

 

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“Not only do I think being nice and kind is easy but being kind, in my opinion, is important.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

If you haven’t seen the movie Rudy (1993) by now you cannot complain if anything below contains spoilers.

I don’t know any men who have watched the movie “Rudy” and not cried towards the end of it, although there is likely a large population of men who will deny such an event ever took place.  If you are not familiar with the story of Rudy I suggest you check it out on Crackle or NetFlix.

My wife and I recently started watching Newsroom (on HBO) and are almost done with the first season.  The last episode we watched involved continual references to the movie Rudy, culminating in a Rudyesque ending for the main character played by Jeff Daniels (who is a surprisingly good actor in this show.) .  Yes I actually teared up a bit watching that episode of Newsroom simply because I was imagining I was watching the similar scene from Rudy.

 My wife never saw the movie so the last scene in the show was kind of lost on her.  When the episode was over I tried to explain the scene in Rudy and finally gave up.  Instead, I made my wife watch the last 30 minutes of Rudy with me.  By the end of that 30 minutes my wife was in tears.

There are a number of moving scenes: his family showing up for his last game, Rudy running out of the tunnel and also when his teammates carry him off the field.  My favorite scene is when Coach Devine is sitting in his office and one by one players come into his office prior to the last game of the season (Rudy’s final game as a senior).  Each player comes in and lays his jersey on the coach’s desk and says “I want Rudy to take my place, Coach.”

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie you can read about the real life Rudy here.  In short, Rudy was a walk on at Notre Dame but never dressed, let alone played in a game, until his last game.  In real life the jersey scene in the coaches office never happened.  Coach Devine was not nearly as big of a jack ass as the movie portrays him and it was actually his own decision to allow Rudy to dress and play in the final game.

You need to know NONE of that matters here. 

There is something very powerful and moving when a person or group of people go out of their way to do something nice for another person or group of people.  This is even more true when they have no extra motivation for doing so.  It happens so rarely (and is reported on even less) that when you see it happen, even in a fictional story, it is hard not to be moved by the generosity and selfless actions.

Despite how moving and life changing these types of events can be, it is unfortunate people aren’t more generous towards others nor do we go out of our way to do something meaningful for someone else.  It becomes even more of a mystery because so many of us have been blessed with many great opportunities in life, you would think it is second nature to want to “pay it forward.”  It not only makes us and others feel good but also comes with a whole host of health benefits.  There are multiple studies indicating as much and the Bible also talks of the benefits to living generouslyHere is another blog about its benefits.  Keep in mind generosity doesn’t always mean you have to give money.  Many people would prefer having your time over your money so keep that in mind.  Please note I am talking about something more significant than holding the door for another person or saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes.  Everyone does that (for the most part.)

So how can we be more generous with our resources?  Well here are a few tips and helpful suggestions.

1. Quit Being Selfish

As men this is one of our biggest issues.  I am always surprised when I talk to men, how selfish they are about being kind to others (including their wives) and how stubborn they can be about sacrificing their own needs for the sake of their relationships.  If you have the power, ability and resources to be kind to another person why would you withhold that kindness?  The only reasonable response is: because I am selfish.

2625134349_34A6249834_answer_1_xlargeIt is not always easy of course but unless you make a conscious effort to work on it you won’t ever be able to set aside your selfish ways.  Here is a perfect example.

This past Friday, my wife had a very stressful and emotional day.  She spent the better part of Friday morning and afternoon being very upset about a situation that was beyond her control and it interfered with her accomplishing a goal she set for herself that week.  Her and I spoke around 11am and it was clear she had been crying.  I am fortunate that I work close to my apartment (8 minute subway ride) so I came home on my lunch break so she wouldn’t have to be home alone and miserable at least not all day.  I didn’t buy her flowers or chocolate or anything else.  I just came home and hung out with her for 20 minutes and then returned to work.

Later that night she was craving several unique food combinations and I had no problem running to the store to pick up a few things.  Would I have preferred to stay home?  Yes.  Could I have stayed home and she would be okay?  Yes.  Did she make me go? No.  I was even feeling selfish about it to be honest “no one does nice things for me blah blah blah.”  What else was I doing that was so important? Nothing, just watching baseball.  So I left the apartment, bought her stuff and came home.  Maybe 20 minutes round trip and $12 spent. 

All those things took a terrible day for her, one she thought was not redeemable and turned it into a great day for her.  She was happy.  I was happy and it ended up kicking off a great weekend together.  I would have done that three times that night if it meant it would make her life, even if just for one hour, a little bit better.

2. Pay Attention & Listen

Here are two other issues men seem unable to grasp.  If you are unsure in what ways you can be generous with your time, resources and/or money than either you never leave the house or you don’t pay any attention to what people are doing or saying around you.  Just the other day I was asking God for more opportunities to do nice things for strangers here in New York.  The next day on my way to work I blew right by a young mother who was struggling to get her stroller down the subway stairs.  I didn’t even give her a second notice as I was hurrying to get to work (I am such a dedicated EY employee after all!)

It wasn’t until I got to work that I realized I had missed a chance to help her and her kids get down into the subway.  I felt terrible for not noticing and kicked myself all day about the missed opportunity.

Most people have no problem telling others about what would make their life better, they just rarely do so directly.  The example above with my wife she didn’t say she wanted me to run out and get her something.  She simply mentioned how badly she was craving it.  I could just ignore her and what she was really saying (like a typical jackass husband would do) or I could go get it for her because I was actually listening.

Authors Note: For those of you who claim that I am whipped or a trained puppy, please see the above referenced jack ass comment because it applies to you.  You don’t have the balls to be a blessing to your wife I am sure another man will.  Better get your shit together.

The truth is people all around you are giving off clues about the needs they have in their lives.  You can’t meet all of their needs nor can you meet even some of the needs of everyone in your life.  However, there are some very basic needs that you can help with if you just pay attention and listen.  Many of them won’t even cost you a dime, only your time (insert phat beat here.)

3.  Getting Credit is for School, Not Lifetumblr_mnexmcWK0i1sqqg60o1_500

I am a huge Seinfeld fan and this clip (please forgive the subtitles it was the only version I could find) is a good example of my point.

If you haven’t gotten over #1 above you will probably always struggle with this one too.  Who cares who, if anyone, gets credit for your generosity? If the real goal is to do something nice for someone than who cares if they ever know it is you?

The best way to avoid this scenario is to try to do whatever it is without anyone knowing it was you.  Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t.  The point is trying to do it not because you want people to think you are so amazing but because you truly want to try to do something nice for someone who has a need.

4. Don’t Expect Anything In Return

Do I really need to explain this? 

As guys we can be the worst when we do “nice” things for our wives or significant other only because we are trying to get laid or receive permission (seriously, permission?) to hang out with the boys.  First, if you have to manipulate her into having sex with you then you have some much more serious problems in your relationship.  Second, if applying for parole is required to hang out with your boys this means one of three things: a) you are knucklehead who can’t be trusted to act like an adult when your wife isn’t around; b) you need to dump her (unless you are married, in which case you are just screwed…but not the kind you want.); or c) find whatever she has done with your testicles and reattach them.

Ladies- don’t get cocky, you are just as bad about this as men are.

I am not wasting any more time on this.

5. What’s The Worst That Will Happen?

The worse thing is someone is not going to be grateful and/or you might become a target for people to take advantage of your generosity.  I can think of a dozen things much worse than those and I am pretty sure you can manage those easily enough.

You might even find that what goes around comes around (in the good meaning of that phrase) and you also will be the recipient of someone else’s generosity and favor.  Again this isn’t a reason for being generous but if it happens as a result all the better for you!

There is really no downside in being generous and going out of your way to make someone else’s day better or helping someone accomplish a dream or goal for their life.  Put your personal hangups and selfishness to the side and whoknows, maybe one day they will make a movie about you!

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Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

Andrew

Four Easy Ways to Make Someone Happy

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Happy Tuesday afternoon everyone!  It has been a crazy day so I am a little behind getting this blog out!  It is going to be tough to keep up once school starts up again in four weeks but I will continue to do my best to bring you high quality material (questionable I know) that is sure to entertain (maybe) or anger/offend you (for sure!)

This post is somewhat related to my post last week about being more romantic and yet it isn’t really about being romantic.  Everyone enjoys having people do nice and meaningful things for them.  While many of those might cross the line into romantic, the following items are things you could do for your friends, family and even co-workers to make them feel special if they are having a challenging day or simply for no reason at all.

These are all tried and true and work great!  Don’t judge if you haven’t tried them yourself.

1. Do Something Nice

Wait.  Don’t panic.  I can already tell you are over thinking this one.  Doing something nice isn’t rocket science.  It might be a foreign concept here in the Northeast but as long as you have a heart (even a small one) being nice to someone is easy.  Yes it might take “some” effort but generally the payoff is always worth it.  I mean who doesn’t like putting a smile on someone’s face or making another person feel better.

Often times my wife works late and doesn’t get home from work until after 9pm.  Every so often she has a week where she gets home that late or even later.  I always know she hates those weeks and dreads them when they show up.  I can’t change her schedule or get her home any sooner.  However, I can do things so she doesn’t feel any pressure on the home front.  It is actually pretty easy.

When she has those weeks I make sure that dinner is ready every night when she gets home.  Sometimes that means I cook and other nights it means we order out.  She appreciates both equally.  I make sure there is wine in the house in case she wants a glass with dinner.  I also make sure there is nothing else that needs to be done when she gets home.  If that means I have to do laundry then I do it.  If I have to pick up the apartment for 30 minutes to make it presentable when she comes home I do it.  I do this without any expectations other than I want to help make her stressful work week easier.  If she doesn’t have to think about cooking, cleaning and doing dishes it will be one less thing she has weighing her down on her way home from work.

Too much for you?  If so I feel bad for you and the people you care about but rest assured there are other options!  Buy them their favorite kind of ice cream (my wife loves when that happens!) or treat etc.  Very simple and always appreciated.  Nothing is better than seeing someone get excited over something as simple as ice cream!  Don’t make it complicated being nice is easy!

2. Make a Card

Is this a bit corny? Absolutely.  Does it work like magic?  Guaranteed.  Who doesn’t love getting a card?  It’s even better when its a handmade card!

Now before you claim you cannot draw or that you lack any creativity whatsoever you can stop right there!  I am one of the most creatively challenged people you will find.  We aren’t looking for the Mona Lisa of cards here.  If you want to go basic all you need is a sheet of paper (any color will do except black).  Fold it in half.  On the front page draw something…anything.  Maybe go with a smiling sun, a tree or perhaps you draw something that reminds you both of an inside joke you share together. Now open the card and write a few kind words on both sides of the page and maybe add a few more drawings if you want.  They can be stick people or more advanced.  Trust me it won’t really matter.  Tell the person how great you think they are and why.  Scribble your name at the bottom of the right side.  If you are feeling froggy you can flip it over and draw something clever, funny or ridiculous on the back page.

Boom! Done.  Whoever you give it to will love it and put a smile on their face.  Your job is now done.  Sit back and bask in your own brilliance and thoughtfulness.

3.  Make a video gram and send to their phone

Look you are all adults so I will let you use your own discretion here.  The kind of video gram I am talking about are of the more innocent variety (although the other kind are just as entertaining and ummm…rewarding) since this is written not specifically for dating/married relationships.  However, be free.  Just don’t send inappropriate videos to people who aren’t actually asking for them (here’s looking at your Anthony Weiner.)  If you have to ask if an inappropriate video is appropriate in a given situation the answer is always “No.”

There are so many video sharing applications that there really is no excuse for not being able to send a quick video.  The more ridiculous your video the better.  The goal is to make someone laugh out loud and to do so in such a way that the people around them will wonder if they are mentally unstable or delusional.

For any of you who are reading this and are in a serious relationship or are married (because marriage isn’t serious or anything) I cannot recommend enough the “Couple App” for your phone.  It is a great application that allows you to send messages, drawings, videos and the like just between you and a significant other.  Sharlay and I really dig it and we are always working on ways to get more out of the application.

For any guys who rolled their eyes at the idea don’t dismiss it!  You want to score some brownie points you should be the one to recommend checking it out.  It might sound “dumb” but it is actually a lot of fun.  Fellas you are going to have to just trust me on this one.  My wife just loves to Thumb Kiss.  It makes her smile every time.  If having your woman smile at you doesn’t make your day better than there is something wrong with you.

4. Compliment them in front of others

I don’t need to spend much time on this one.  Look, it is one thing to say nice things about someone when it’s just the two of you together but completely different when you can praise them in front of others.  Whether it is co-workers, mutual friends, family membimagesCA4MQDXUers etc.  Praising someone for something they have done or just for being who they are will melt the hardest of hearts.

Guys – don’t be a jack ass about this though.  Don’t try to manipulate people by using compliments.  It is only worthwhile if you mean it.  It is a small world and if you aren’t sincere people talk and no one will trust anything you say.  It’s about being nice, not getting what you want.  Go read GQ or Maxim if that is the kind of advice you want.

 

 

Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

Andrew

@ACSloss

@BetterMenNow