The importance of friends to our lives


FriendsFriends are the family you choose. ~Jess C. Scott

Were you a fan of that wonderful American, television sitcom Friends? Wouldn’t it have been great to share their company and all the fun they had in Central Perk?

For me that show highlighted the important role our friends play in our lives.

It is a fact that we don’t get to choose our relatives but the good news is that we do get to choose our friends.

Friends is a relationship of equals.

Friends are the people whose company we enjoy; people with whom we feel a real sense of connection and with whom we share common interests. They are also people we’d be willing to go out of our way to help if we thought they were in trouble.

Family and loyalty go together of course. You can’t really have one without the other. And a relative can be a friend too. As were Ross and Monica in Friends.

However just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you’ll like them or that they’ll like you. Being related is no guarantee you’ll enjoy their company.

Friends are different; friends are special.

If you have a small number of really close friends then you’re very lucky indeed.

Appreciate your friends because they’re the people that make life worth living. They’re the people that add a sparkle to a life that could otherwise be quite dull.

Let me know what you think:

Well I’ve given you my opinion but what about yours?

Do you have any experiences of friends, either the people you like to hang out with or the sitcom, that you’d like to share with other readers?

I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment.

Friends the sitcom:

Friends the sitcom is still available on DVD of course should you want to re-live the memories of this peerless classic. You can check it out on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.

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Disclosure: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will receive a modest commission should you make a purchase from Amazon via one of the links included in the text. However there would be no additional cost to you in making any purchase. These commissions serve only to help with the cost of maintaining and operating this website. Your understanding in this matter is truly appreciated. Thank you.

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

How to deal with criticism in the workplace

How to deal with criticism in the workplaceHave you ever had a problem dealing with criticism in the workplace dear reader?

If you have, you’re not alone.

Most of us can be a little sensitive when we’re criticised by other people, particularly in the workplace. That’s natural and I struggle with it just as much as the next person.

However over the years I’ve learned that criticism comes in two types, as follows:-

  1. Constructive criticism; and
  2. Destructive criticism

What’s the difference?

People who offer constructive criticism are genuinely trying to help, even if that isn’t immediately obvious.

However just because they’re trying to help doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right in what they’re saying. I’ll get back to that point shortly.

When you’re being subjected to destructive criticism then someone is just having a go at you.

That may be to bolster their own ego or they may not like you very much and so can’t resist the temptation to belittle you or just generally make you feel uncomfortable.

Remember there are people who get off on other peoples’ discomfort and having a go a people. These are the haters and the trolls. They exist in the workplace, as well as on social media.

How to deal with constructive criticism:

When you’re on the receiving end of criticism, don’t take any of it personally. Remember you’re bigger than that.

Just remain calm; listen to what’s being said; consider the person saying it; and of course the rationale behind their comment.

As you absorb what has been said to you, ask yourself this question “Is this person being constructive or destructive?

If you feel they’re being constructive in offering their comment then the next question to ask yourself is, “Do they have a fair point?

In answering that question you must be really honest with yourself.

Remember it’s a sign of maturity when you can acknowledge your own inexperience and mistakes.

And you can’t learn from your mistakes unless you recognise them first.

So if after careful reflection you feel that they do have a fair point then take it on-board and use it as a learning opportunity.

At this point thank your critic for the feedback and decide how you might use it to improve and be better at what you do.

You might even ask your critic for suggestions if you think they can help you.

Even constructive critics are not always right:

Not every self-appointed critic has a universal monopoly on knowhow and common sense, however well-intentioned they may be. Even so-called experts get stuff wrong occasionally.

So in reflecting on any constructive criticism offered, your judgement might be that they don’t have a fair point. And as long as you’re being really honest with yourself, it’s perfectly reasonable to say, “You know what? I think they’re wrong.

If that’s the case then be polite, thank them for their feedback and agree to disagree if necessary.

Accept that they offered their comment in good faith and their intentions were honourable but just move on, without any sense of feeling hurt just because someone had the temerity to question your approach.

They’re entitled to their opinion but you don’t have to accept it.

How to deal with destructive criticism:

If someone is attempting to be destructive in their criticism then don’t rise to the bait. Just smile politely and move on.

Do not give anyone the satisfaction of a reaction or signs that they’ve got to you. That’s the oxygen on which they feed. It’s the dopamine hit which they crave.

You’re better than that so don’t allow yourself to get drawn into their game. They’re unworthy of a reaction or any of your emotional energy.

And never allow such people to chip away at your self-esteem.

That’s what they’re trying to do, so know that and as you’re smiling just say to yourself, “I’m better than you and your attempt to have a go at me won’t get you anywhere. So stop wasting your time and mine.

Conclusion:

Recognise that criticism has two forms. Either way never take any of it personally, even if you suspect your critic is being personal.

If your critic is being constructive, then be honest with yourself and question whether your critic has a point. If they do have a point then you must learn from it.

If your critic is being destructive then do not give then the satisfaction of a reaction. Just smile and move on.

And if you’re not sure whether they’re being constructive or destructive? Give them the benefit of the doubt, assume they’re being constructive and act accordingly.

Your experiences:

Dear reader, I’m sure you have your own experience of being criticised. It would be surprising if you didn’t.

I’d love to hear how you dealt with it and whether you found it all difficult to deal with.

Please share your experiences with my readers.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

The secret to happiness

Secret to HappinessIf you want to be happy with money, first, be happy without money! ~Author Unknown

When you hear news of someone winning big on a lottery, do you ever think that you’d be so much happier if only you could win big too? You’d be happy, if only you had loads of money?

Certainly having money can make life comfortable. It can allow you to do all sorts of things you couldn’t do otherwise. Live in a nice house; wear the finest clothes; drive a nice car; and travel to exotic places.

However there’s one thing money cannot do and that’s make you happy. It’s a fact, having loads of money by itself will never make you happy.

If you weren’t happy without money, then suddenly gaining a substantial amount money will not change the way you feel. If anything it’s impact on your life will probably make you even less happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. It’s the capacity to appreciate life for what it is and not what you think you’d like it to be. It’s being content with what you have, whatever it is.

Happiness is a positive mental attitude; a willingness to see the good side of every situation, regardless of how bad it might actually be in reality; a determination to enjoy the moment; whilst being comfortable in your own skin.

You can work towards creating your own pot of gold by all means but in doing so never lose sight of what matters most.

A lifetime is short and it all goes by in the blink of an eye. Yesterday has gone and you may never know tomorrow. The here and now is the only certainty you have. This moment is your life, so find a way to enjoy it. Get the most out of it.

Enjoy the simple, inexpensive pleasures like having a laugh or a coffee with a friend. That’s when you’ll be happiest. That’s how memories are made too.

Accept that your life will be full of challenges, which is what makes it all interesting. And recognise that in having to respond to challenges you are growing as a person. So it makes sense to respond to every challenge with enthusiasm because you can only win, ultimately. Either you’ll succeed or you’ll learn a lesson.

And remember this; as your life passes, you won’t remember expensive clothes you bought but you will remember experiences you had with the people who mattered most to you.

Enjoy life for what it is and don’t fret about what it isn’t. The secret to happiness is contentment.

If you can be happy without money then having money is just a bonus.

Now that’s what I think dear reader but do you have any suggestions as to what you believe is the secret of happiness?

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If you found this article useful then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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