Let’s talk politics and why they are polarizing

What’s going on Trainwrecks? Let’s all take a moment and be thankful for the life we have and the opportunity to experience another day. I hope you are all doing as well as can be expected despite the oddities and frustrations we are facing on a global scale. Previously I wrote about The quandary of social media and Toxic Politics.

No, I’m NOT interested in hosting a debate so please keep your political opinion to yourself.

In this video I discuss my observations of how polarizing politics have become through my time in the military to the point I became a retired veteran. One of my deepest desires to understand in my pursuit of psychology is why we as a people polarize ourselves within our viewpoints. The simple answer of why? Because we just do. I attempt to explain the more definitive answer within this video and to sum it up, we categorize and even polarize ourselves to feel important. People specify their desires, marginalize the experiences of others and even ignore what they feel is not important to satisfy the need of belonging (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs). We behave this way based on our perceived membership to in-groups (groups we belong to based on who we are) and out-groups (groups we do not directly belong to but still associate with).

That first Facebook Live session was way cool, and I cannot express enough how excited I am to be learning all of these new skills and stuff! I’ll be starting to schedule more frequent Live sessions as I assemble discussion topics. I’d like to shoot for twice a month if possible. I won’t know till we try. I am currently learning “how to Youtube” which is way beyond what that even entails. I am participating in some online training provided by a couple experts that is designed to allow me to create my content in a more “people will be interested” way, if that makes any sense. I’ve been slowly figuring out how to better integrate the three platforms I am focusing on which are my website, Youtube and Facebook. There are tools that bring it all together and save me a lot of work once I learn how to use them. Within a couple sessions I plan on streaming to Facebook as well as Youtube. I’m also looking for a web designer to assist me with redesigning my site with some ideas I just can’t seem to integrate on my own.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

I got really into Limp Bizkit in the 90s. Yeah, I know. . . =)

The cycle

Be appreciative of victory, but never impressed. Victory will not satisfy our desire. Failure will humble us.

I realize each new day as the sun rises, I am doing as an adult what I did as a kid. What I mean by this is as children we often begin our social imprinting through reference experiences to direct our future behaviors between ages 3-6. As a kid I was very violent toward others and in the military, I found a controlled outlet for my violence. Once I understood what anger and violence “actually” was and it’s place in my life, I was finally able to control it. I could even use anger to my advantage. I understood why I was angry. I understood why I enjoyed the violence of war and the chaos it brought into my life. It was exciting and it was a rush. It wasn’t war I desired. Before I retired, I realized it was that rush that I desired the most.

This week, on Tuesday I will be releasing a video about politics and why they are polarizing. Plus you get to go for a drive with me! On Thursday I will discuss an epiphany (I think that’s the right word) I have recently experienced and the awesome things that activity has brought. I’m soliciting for people interested in participating in a LIVE discussion with me on Youtube or Facebook so I can make that a more regular thing, plus I really want to learn more about others! Be looking for all of that soon.

After I retired, I began eliminating bad behaviors and subtleties in my life that prevented me from properly communicating with others and prevented me from pursuing that rush I missed. I discovered behaviors are often cyclic and we have opportunities to identify as well as eliminate behaviors causing undesirable conditions in our lives. But only if we try.

Because we can often make changes to our situation by changing our own perspective and our behaviors, I realized almost everything occurring now is cyclic as well. As the sun rises every day, I have an opportunity to fail once again in a controlled manner, to learn and to change. Just like when I was in the service, eventually I’ll find that action that grants the success I desire and redirect my push into that direction. Like early in my military career, I’m once again willing to try new things and suffer the consequences of being an amateur or even make a fool of myself. I’m making some adjustments to my Blog and Youtube channel this week so let’s see what that brings us. This is a cycle of action and feedback. Nothing more.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Beautiful Trainwreck 1st Facebook Live!

What’s going on Trainwrecks? I’m just learning all kinds of new stuff from the friends I’ve recently made! I’ve really been trying hard with this Youtube thing and I think I’m finally starting to get it. I’ve been learning how to manipulate algorithms and modify my content to make it easier to find on the world wide webs as well. I’m excited to say I appear pretty regularly on people’s searches now (search: 10-7-5 principle on Youtube)! Although I don’t think I make great media content yet, I show up ready to work and I think that is the most important part of the experience. I work with several mentors some of whom were assigned and some I have chosen. Recently I’ve been challenged to shift some of my focus off my “hard tasks” and take on a couple “impossible tasks.”

For most of my life I viewed people who expressed themselves in public and spoke in front of crowds as these all-powerful superhumans blessed with these abilities I simply did not possess. But I wanted them. I often wondered who it was that “gave them permission” or what “great accomplishment they achieved” that gave them the courage to turn on a camera or stand in front of a crowd. I didn’t realize my low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness were the biggest culprit of my self-deprecating views on my potential. I told myself I could not do something or if I tried, I would likely fail and that would be embarrassing and that sucks. I did whatever I could to avoid failure.

My mentor asked me to describe a time in my life I failed at something and later went back and succeeded. He asked me why I failed the first time and why I succeeded the second time.

September, 1997 Newark, Delaware

As an anorexic pimple-faced teenager with very low self-esteem, one of the hottest girls in my High School, Hodgson Vo-Tech in Newark Delaware once smiled at me and said hello after I dropped my book at her feet in the hallway. I thought I was gonna suffocate I was so shocked. I immediately started sweating as she waited for me to say something. She had dark hair, light freckles that spotted across her nose and huge brown eyes. Her hair was long and poofy. She dressed in heels, black stockings and a mini-skirt. She hung out with the popular kids. All I could choke out was “I’m a huge klutz” and immediately stared down at the ground. I thought for sure her boyfriend would crawl out of the ceiling tiles any moment and beat me into a coma for talking to his girl. I’ll never forget the smile she gave me as she handed me my book and for a moment our eyes met, and I couldn’t look away. She held my gaze and I was in a trance. I panicked and ran to the bathroom. I felt like my heart was going to pound it’s way through my chest and I couldn’t understand the feelings I had.

June, 2004 Newark, Delaware

After the invasion of Iraq I returned to Delaware on leave. I had gained fifty pounds, been living on my own for seven years and was finishing my undergrad degree. That very same girl and I ran into each-other at a popular bar on Newark Main street near the college she was attending. She was so hot she took my breath away. Her dark hair was up in pigtails and she wore bright red lipstick accenting her heavy eyeliner. She put her hand on my chest as our bodies touched and mine crept to her small waist. We got lost in each-other’s eyes as we smiled and it was like fireworks went off in my mind so I just went for it and kissed her. We hooked up all weekend and when it was time for me to return to my base, we kissed goodbye one last time and never talked again. It was before social media was huge and I had just gotten my first cell phone. As I drove my Dodge Dakota back toward my duty station I pondered what happened the past few days. I never planned on running into her. I never planned anything. I just couldn’t understand it. I didn’t line my ducks in a row, I didn’t even know she still lived in the area. I just saw her one night and we talked and we kissed. That second night as I lay next to her listening to her breathing as she slept, I didn’t understand why all of a sudden she had acted this way toward me. It was like I was in another universe all of a sudden where other people liked me and I knew I had to figure out why I was so clueless when it came to interacting with other people.

After years of studying psychology and people I have concluded the main variable was me. When I began to take myself serious so did other people. When I began to live my life for me and chase after what I wanted, I became confident and dedicated to something. I began to believe in myself. My confidence and belief in myself was the most dedicated contributing factor. When we believe in ourselves it shows, and others like to be a part of that if it brings value into their life. I had two completely different experiences with the same person because I stopped letting my fear of failure get in the way of what I wanted. I stopped seeing this girl as an impossible option in my life. Trainwrecks, if you’re scared to go after and kiss the pretty girl, I am telling you right now you are a fool if you don’t try. Chances are, she wants you to.

Every time I try something new it’s like I’m reliving that feeling, that rush. Those fears we overcome fade in their ferocity and instead become reinforcers. We begin to know what to expect when we build confidence and believe in ourselves. Before I kissed that girl I swore she was going to slap me and instead she smiled. When I made my Facebook Live video yesterday I knew I was going to mess some stuff up and possibly say something stupid. I thought a million disasters could occur and I thought of excuses I could use not to “show up” at noon. I believed for a moment I was going to fail and make a fool of myself but I also believe the only way to make those things not happen would be to keep plugging away and learn how to do what I’m doing. So once again, I’m going for it.

I have learned a lot the past year. I feel like I am learning more about myself and the world around me once again every day. I can’t wait to try the next exciting yet feasible task. Go for it, Trainwrecks. We can’t succeed if we don’t try.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Our lives are lived by how we view ourselves

Student woes during the Covid craze

I swear to paint-by-number Jesus sometimes I talk myself into a corner when I go after what I want the most and know is the hardest. Take for example, my PhD program. So yeah, this whole learning disability thing sucks because ever since my bonk on the head, brand new things often have to be explained to me like I’m a 5 year old but then once I catch on, I can often assimilate most things pretty quick. My frustrated karate teachers can attest to that. I’ve always been a little slow on the jump but these days it gets frustrating because one minute I’m in the zone and grinding away. Then for a brief second I’m staring at a blank wall trying to remember where I even am. It gets even worse when I’m having anxiety so think of it as a self-imposed spiral of defeat I’m trying to overcome. And I will. Good times!

Tomorrow, on the 20th of April at 12 PM CST I will be hosting my first Beautiful Trainwreck Facebook Live event. I’m looking forward to learning a lot tomorrow.

In all honesty, I think it’s the things like my martial arts and my regular visits in town being amongst happy people again every week that I rely on and has been lacking lately, that has affected my work. I know it is, I study human behavior and I really like being around random people.

Nevertheless, I have been pressing through because you know what? EVERY instructor has told me it doesn’t matter what your GPA is when you finish your Doctorate. It just doesn’t. Tonight I focused on finishing rather than focusing on getting it perfect. Tonight I made things work and I can’t wait to see what happens next week. I can’t believe how much I rule!

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Been kickin it old school today

Trainwreck Update 17 April 2020

What’s going on Trainwrecks? I hope you are all staying safe and healthy and not doing anything stupid. . . Well at least nothing that stupid. Welcome to another week of a covidially quarantined proportions – lets be nice to each other, we need each other. Many people take Social Media as a personal opportunity to jump onto a grandstanding platform I know because I did this very thing and I not only made a fool of myself but I insulted very good people whom I truly enjoyed in my life. The biggest problem with grandstanding on social media is it only boxes others in and makes them feel marginalized – people on your friend’s list, and no one else. Understand our “Innocent grandstanding” becomes our “personal message.” That’s bad, please don’t do that.

This Monday on 20 April 2020 at 12 PM CST I will be doing my first “Beautiful Trainwreck” live event. I’m nervous, I expect things to go wrong (like dang near anything new I’ve ever tried), but it should be a lot of fun, I look forward to seeing the one or two of you that actually tune in! WOW I’m getting a lot of traffic on my website which is really cool, well to me. Keep in mind that’s only like 30-50 people a day on my site with a peak of 400 so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves now, I have a WHOLE LOT of work to do. I encourage you all to visit my blog and Youtube channel and hit those subscribe buttons to show your support and help me grow this project. Your support is much appreciated!

Over the past year I have really been exploring myself, the website I began and the direction I’m moving. I am slowly getting more and more comfortable with my camera and producing content. I’m going to try and clarify things on my website and youtube channel which should bring some awesome updates. I’m going to post some of my previous videos/updates and I have to admit I believe I’ve come a long way.

Question: So where are we going?

Answer: On an adventure together! Beautiful Trainwreck started over a year ago as a simple dumping ground for my mismatched thoughts. When I started Beautiful Trainwreck I was in the final stages of withdrawl from my chemical dependence. I was a drug addict, Trainwrecks. I had overcome my drinking and together with my Psychiatrist we eliminated ALL of my meds. Well except for Humira and stuff – can’t stop treatments. I mean I’m still a lil bit of a Pothead, but My Doc and I have our reasons for that.

Carol Baskin Killed Her Husband

I continue to churn out pages that are turning into chapters of this first book. I am totally gonna write this thing man, I’m getting more and more excited. I think the advantage of writing this book right now is it is helping me learn a lot of skills I am going to need to complete my dissertation. As I continue to re-emerge from my chemical coma, so much more of my awareness as a Psychologist re-awakens as well. I have spent my life trying to understand what makes people like having you around because I’ve been a very unliked person. I’ve had others stare into my eyes with the most intense hatred I’ve ever thought possible. Lawyers and prison guards know what I’m talking about. Were it not for those chain link fences, those people would have ripped us to pieces.

Well, I decided to find purpose in all of that and try my damnest to focus on what makes people get along and work together. I realize more and more everyday my military career wasn’t my only option in life like I once believed. I finally understand like every shitty relationship, I loved Mother Air Force and the power she gave me. Like most of the relationships I’ve had it was a wild ride while it lasted. Yet another reminder of why I believe what I believe about relationships; because of what I’ve experienced and not what I’ve been told. I encourage others to question what they’ve been told. So, it’s been great sharing this journey with you all so far and I can’t wait to see what is next in store for us.

I have been told by the time I upload my 100th Youtube video I will finally start to “get it.” Below you will find some of my early videos and I dig looking back at how far I’ve come the past year. I hope you do as well. Enjoy!

You’re Welcome. Internet.

What I learned from reading my son’s report card
The 10 7 5 principle and how to use it
My story about why I almost committed suicide
The science of awkwardness and how to overcome it

Another day at Camp Bucca IRAQ

               There was a time early in my military career I could create my own earthquake. I could make the earth shake. When I was a young troop, I quickly realized it was easy to feel “cool and liked” when you’re the big guy carrying around an M4 Carbine/M-203 grenade launcher armed with M433 high explosive dual purpose (HEDP) rounds. Suddenly my self-esteem wasn’t so low and other people began to treat me differently. At first, I really didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until I began to study psychology shortly after I was armed with this thing that I understood people were viewing me based on how I viewed myself and what I presented to others. I’m going to brag because I earned it: I was a big dude and I was carrying a big gun. To most people it’s like some magic boom stick that makes things “over there” no longer continue being “over there,” now those things are either all over the place in pieces or they’re just “not there.” To myself, it was a heavy hunk of metal and plastic I knew almost everything about (right down to how much it weighs, cycle of operations and the twist ratio) and often consider it the bane of my existence. I learned in training you do a lot of running as a grenadier, and everyone is happy to see you when you finally get to where you need to be. During training I once saw someone shatter their lower jaw when they misfired their M-203, deploying a round prematurely and sending the launcher hurtling toward their face. It gave me an understanding of how real this thing was. That feeling of 40 millimeters slamming into the ground as the round detonated would steal your breath away and send shivers up your spine knowing you just made the earth shake and everyone felt it.

Today the earth shook back. Today she was pissed.

The invasion of Iraq, 2003

September, 2007

               Part of my duties while assigned to Camp Bucca, Iraq was working with contractors addressing the infrastructure of our perimeter defense. My goodness it was hot. The humid evenings are always preferred over day and the slight cool breeze that would creep in from the nearby port city of Umm Qasr was welcome and refreshing. The Takfiri were pretty pissed off lately at the local population because they felt employment by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) showed support for the American cause. To be quite honest, these people could care less about the priorities and desires of Americans or the American Government. They were often contractors and laborers living in a war-torn country, just looking for a means to survive. When we removed Saddam, the country of Iraq went from barely stable to Mad Max. Employees are often only as loyal as the paycheck they are receiving (or being offered by someone else) so it often went without saying I tried to treat my contractors as well as I could. Plus, I really liked having to worry about the locals and third country nationals (TCNs) trying to kill me as little as possible if I could arrange it.

               What is a Takfir? Or the groups who commonly attacked us Takfiri? Well, just like how us Christians have our embarrassing religious purists and zealots so do the Muslim people. Trainwrecks, forget the Bullshit you were (and still are) being fed by CNN, FOX News, your bible-humping uncle, MSNBC etc. The majority of Americans don’t know what to think or even how to understand Muslim culture simply because we don’t try. I am neither an apologist nor am I an expert, I’m simply an observer. Much like us Christians, only a fraction of Muslims desire violence. A Takfir is a part of that fraction of Muslims who desire violence because of their beliefs. The Takfiri widely believed any Muslim who acted in a manner against the solidarity of the people were declared Apostate and deserving of death. The Takfiri believed anyone who cooperated during their internment was an Apostate. Finally, the Takfiri believed us, the Americans were a threat to their way of life. It was during my time at Camp Bucca I saw the rise of ISIS spread like wildfire. The local defiant population wanted that place destroyed at all costs and ordered any American to be shot on site. Many former residents of Camp Bucca would go on to participate in attacks against the compound after their release.

               The Theater Internment Facility (TIF) was home to over 20,000 pissed off detainees who were suspected of terrorist activities against United States and allied resources. But here’s the thing, these people are almost all considered “pre-trial.” That means they haven’t been convicted of anything by a formal trial. For many of these people, they were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we had repeat offenders who were referred to as “frequent flyers.” These were usually intelligence gatherers. However, the majority of these people were simply scooped up for questioning en-masse during bombings and shootings. Were you involved in planning or carrying out an attack on a convoy in Baghdad? Don’t fucking care, you’re looking and acting suspicious and your story doesn’t add up so you’re coming with us. You’ll get your chance to explain your side of the story one year from now at your hearing, till then I hope you enjoy the color yellow and the scent of hot ass and cheese.

               As the sun rose that morning, I got off work and went about my routine like most days. Eat, sleep, work and spend time in the gym. That’s how you make a deployment go by, establish a routine and stick to it. I read a lot while I’m deployed. Many troops will sneak in booze, even take advantage of the fact there are no drug tests in a combat zone, just to break up the monotony. Of course, it’s always the most monotonous days that turn to shit the quickest. The most peaceful mornings seem to erupt into chaos when we least expect it. This day was no different as I abruptly awoke in my bunk having to go to the bathroom so hard, I immediately bent over in pain. One of the luxuries of “going on vacation” at Camp Bucca was your chances of getting food poisoning are pretty fair, so I really got the opportunity to watch my girlish figure through regular evacuation. I would hurl my guts out at least once a month and occasionally it felt like an alien was about to rip through my stomach when I’d move my bowels.

               I arose from my bunk and slid into my sandals, peering over at my armor vest, ammunition and helmet. My interceptor body armor (IBA) weighed a LOT.  The armor plates alone weighed close to twenty pounds, add one hundred eighty bullets loaded in magazines, my hydration system, radio, GPS, helmet blah blah blah. I decided this time my hastened desire to go potty outweighed the luxury of taking my “office” with me. I let out a loose sigh as I rolled my eyes, grabbed my rifle and quickly walked to the bathroom trailers. The short walk was less than a minute before I arrived at my throne room, ready to perform some royal action. I breathed a long sigh as the putrid latrine smell wafted through my nose. No sooner had I dropped my drawers and settled onto the toilet; the first attack of the morning commenced.

               Suddenly the realization of the predicament I’d suddenly found myself in came to fruition and my breath froze in my throat and I began to tremble. I heard the high-pitch scream of turbo-charged diesel engines that power our gun-trucks roar into action. Suddenly just how vulnerable I found myself became all too apparent. My life was now at risk and I was half-naked; I was armed with my rifle and the one magazine holding thirty rounds in it. I had no gear, no radio, no armor and no coffee. Hell, I was barely even awake for that matter before the first round slammed into the ground close-by, shaking the earth around it like a small earthquake. It was mortar Monday, ladies and gentlemen and today the Takfiri were in a rather festive mood.

               Now to be fair, it wasn’t unusual to get your day disrupted by indirect fire (IDF) at Camp Bucca. I mean I’ll be honest; it often didn’t feel like a proper week in Iraq unless some Asshole disrupted it by launching artillery your way to let you know he was thinking about you. Today however, they apparently brought a shit-ton of them and I think they decided to use every single one. Today some of the rounds were landing close to the shitter I was currently sitting in and I could neither get myself together enough to run for a bunker or assemble a better plan that did not involve sitting helpless in an aluminum and plywood trailer as a rocket exploded through a building close-by, spraying gravel and dust through the air. I really wished I had brought my armor loadout and helmet.

               As the rounds slammed into the rocky earth, sharp cracks would split the air, echoing the percussive wave for miles. When a rocket commonly used by the Takfiri was employed, it never sounded as cool as the movies do. Rockets would whistle like an angry Nerf football as the stabilizing fins spiraled through the air around it. When a mortar strikes the earth, it does not sound like the movies. Trainwrecks, only the movies sound like the movies. When a round hits a target in real life it is strangely unimpressive yet fearsome sounding afterward. If you’ve ever heard someone bang a wooden bat against a slab of concrete, I guess that would be an accurate comparison, just multiplied by about 100x in intensity.

               So, this was the predicament I found myself in today. I let out a slow breath as I slowly crept toward the door several times, peeking out at the concrete bunker a short sprint away. “GET YOUR ASS MOVING SGT JULIANO!” The words echoed through my brain as I tried to muster the courage, I would need to expose myself long enough to make it to that bunker I could see a short distance from me. I froze in fear and my legs refused to move. Safety was right in front of me and yet it seemed like every time I would gather my wits and pop the door open, another round would detonate nearby, sending me into another fear-stricken panic. On the one hand, if I remained in that trailer, I didn’t have to directly deal with the fear of dying. On the other hand, if artillery hit the trailer I was in, I’d likely never feel it as the plywood and aluminum would give way to the horrible explosion. Christ, what a dichotomy to find yourself in. Suddenly I looked down at my feet and I asked myself, was this really the way I wanted to die? I was wearing cheap sandals.

               As those mortars landed over and over one thing became clear to me. That is, one thing became as clear as mud to me. Something I believed but wasn’t exactly the case. My sense of reality was warped by the fear I experienced. This asshole, whoever he was, he wanted me dead. This person I never met before was intent on taking my life, I was sure of it. I had experienced several close calls lately and I began to take it personal. Through my fear I was convinced this random insurgent had made it personal and absolutely would not stop until he knew I was dead. As crazy as it sounds, this person who had never seen me, knew what I looked like or that I was even in this toilet personally wanted me dead. I hated him and I hated the world. Sitting in that plywood building and listening to mortars rain down while smelling other people’s bodily waste fueled my anger, my arrogance and incorrect observations of my present situation. While I understand there was a very real threat of death I was facing, it was ultimately myself that controlled how I chose to react.

               In all honesty, if it were not me stuck in that bathroom it could have very well been someone else, anyone else. This asshole didn’t even know I was there. Insurgents do not care who you are and why should they? It’s just war, it’s nothing personal. Trainwrecks as fucked up as it is to say, just because someone is trying to kill you does not mean it’s personal. War sucks so get over it and yourself. Just because we get caught in each other’s web of activity, it still does not make things personal. We cannot control the actions of others and it is only “US” that can make things personal. Sometimes people just want to kill someone or something and you cannot let that shit bother you. When we take things personal, we seek to control the actions of others.

I began to take things personal.

               There was nothing personal about it. The reality was, I didn’t give a crap about this Asshole launching artillery in my direction and he didn’t give a crap about me. Things would have been no different had we been standing in an open field twenty feet apart, aiming rifles at each other’s faces. It was the ugliness of the situation at Camp Bucca. We are taught as combatants we are not supposed to care about each other on any level as human beings during engagement, just want to rip each other’s throats out. I didn’t realize it but after weeks of mortars falling from the sky onto us, I finally resolved if I was going to die, it was just going to happen. I was, for the most part coming to grips with the reality of my situation.

The mission requirements at Camp Bucca had been underestimated and we were losing the initiative. These bouts of fear were the flaw in my courage. After months of rocket attacks, my once-iron nerve was beginning to crumble and fall. During some moments of the attacks I felt like I was once again back in Delaware as a small child and John Lachette, my first rapist was holding me down and using me until I cried like he did for years. I felt powerless and unable to move. At other times I would spring into action the moment the first blast of an attack would rock the compound. I know this shit is crazy to read but at times I even strangely believed since I wasn’t dead yet, I was somehow invincible, immortal. I often took notes when I spoke to others who were involved in attacks on the compound and our convoys.

“It was as if I became the master of my gun turret like no one else ever has and I would become so laser focused as our truck barely missed getting pounded by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), it was unreal.” Days later I wrote this quote in my journal spoken to me by a young NCO who was attacked on a convoy. I recognized the young man entered his flow state when he transcended his fears and accepted reality for what it was. Quite a few of us entertained this insanity. This same insanity led to me thrill-seeking back at home on motorcycles and doing other stupid shit like running red-lights in Springfield, Illinois that will be discussed at another time. I’m ashamed of the things I’ve done which makes it even more important that I talk about them.

As another artillery round slammed into the ground nearby, I felt the force deep in my unarmored chest as I sat back down on a bench just inside the bathroom. I held my rifle against my face in a white-knuckled grip as I began to laugh, and tears welled in my eyes. I was losing it; I know I was. All the indicators were there, and I especially knew what to look for. Looking up and realizing how deep the gravity of my situation, my laughter rose to a loud audible roar. Yep, there I was losing my shit. I wasn’t laughing because I thought anything was funny. Quite the contrary, I was laughing because I found myself in yet another fucked up situation that put my life at risk. No matter what I did, I just kept getting into trouble everywhere I went and now here I was and all I could do was sit there and just take it. I spent my whole adult life trying to become this tough soldier, yet once again, another person was trying to hurt me, and I was powerless. No amount of training or preparation would save me if I was struck. As I sat there, I laughed, and I wept until the all-clear sirens sounded their call. I don’t know how long I sat there to be honest. I knew I had gotten through the event in one piece despite finding myself at times unable to accept the harsh reality surrounding me. As one of my favorite authors, Ayn Rand pointed out, we can ignore the consequences of reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality, so it is best to embrace our difficulties. I was reminded once again the only way out is through.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Stop feeling like crap | Quit feeling like shit

I feel like crap and I don’t want to. Have you ever had a day where you just didn’t feel motivated or you just felt like crap and didn’t want to do anything? I have, Hell I think we all have and to be honest, it’s perfectly normal. That is, it is perfectly normal to have a day where we simply feel like crap. It is not normal however, to have days where we cannot remember a time where we didn’t feel like crap, which is more severe and likely has to do with one or more serious issues including depression. For instances this is the case, I strongly encourage seeking help from a professional counselor. It worked for me.

Why are we feeling this way? For the majority of us, feeling like crap can be a nuisance more than anything else as it seems we have difficulty focusing and accomplishing our goals. Let’s ask ourselves for a moment WHY are we feeling like crap? Asking ourselves why we are feeling this way can be one of the most important ways we seek to deal with it because we often cannot decide on what exactly is making us feel the way we do. Sometimes doing something as simple as understanding what is making us feel less than awesome is a major step in reversing that feeling.

Hello, my name is Dominick Juliano and I am a Beautiful-Trainwreck. Thank you all for LIKING and SUBSCRIBING to my Blog and my Youtube channel for updates on future content! Make sure you ring that bell on Youtube to stay on top of my latest videos. Be sure to check back on Tuesdays for my regular uploads as well as throughout the week for my spontaneous ones.

Small goals lead to big success. One of the ways we can change the way we feel is to introduce another feeling, such as success over a small goal. Setting and accomplishing a small incremental goal such as taking out the trash, rearranging your desk or even cleaning the bathroom gives us a sense of accomplishment, which will in turn establish a positive reference experience leading to the accomplishment of longer-term goals. The successful completion of small incremental goals not only gives us a way to focus on what needs to be done but it has a chance of changing our state from one of apathy to one of focus now, that we have achieved momentum. Trainwrecks, the successful completion of a goal is successful completion no matter what the goal is. Once we embrace small victories, we can set our sights to loftier ones. We can achieve only what we aspire.

Is it our environment that is making us feel this way? Oftentimes our environment (work, personal life, etc.) can have an effect upon us. One important question we can ask ourselves is: “are we happy with our current environmental conditions and is there anything we can do to make it even better?” We frequently make excuses for the behaviors of others as well as external stimuli and this forces us to sacrifice our values to allow those behaviors or stimuli to continue. We often allow people in our lives simply because we desire them, regardless of what they might actually provide to us. If something is making us unhappy or uncomfortable with no positive return on the investment of our time, is this a wise investment? That answer is no, Trainwrecks. It’s time to make a change.

Identify what is keeping us from moving forward. We often blame external stimuli (work, relationships, the A-hole that cut us off from traffic) for making us feel a certain way. What if it wasn’t external stimuli preventing us from forward momentum and instead it was “US” preventing ourselves from moving forward? I’m gonna honest, it is almost always “US” responsible for own behaviors because “WE” choose how to react to stimuli. An example of this would be someone who cuts us off in traffic. We can choose to get angry toward the event and even seek an explanation for someone else’s behavior.  But really, what will that solve? What do we gain by justifying the actions of someone else through the application of our own logic? NOTHING. Forget about the thoughts and actions of others and let’s think about what is most important for us.

Stop giving a fuck what other people think about you

Prioritize our time and eliminate the unnecessary. If someone or something else is making us feel like crap and it goes against our desires, should we be allowing it to happen? If the car we are driving is no longer reliable and adding to our stress, perhaps prioritizing work towards getting a new vehicle can assist in alleviating our stress. Perhaps a narcissistic family member has targeted us to satisfy their neediness? Trainwrecks, NO ONE is entitled to our time but US.

Ventilate before the heat becomes too much. Have we ever noticed how much better it feels after we have vented about something? Ever notice how much more clear headed we feel once we get it all out? Trainwrecks, this has little do with the other person and everything to do with us. We often blow up on others through expressions of emotion because we “just want someone to listen to us.” In reality, as human beings we are trying to justify our inability to process events the way we prefer and often desire validation what we are feeling is not correct. Ventilating about our problems and the way it has made us feel has more about being heard, understood and acknowledged by another person than it does about the issue itself.

Start making changes right now. This very moment. A common issue with feeling like crap is we sometimes feel like we don’t know where to begin to make a change or when to try. It’s simple Trainwrecks, the time is always now. If we feel like crap, it’s time to make a change. Make a list of your happiest songs and create a happy list. Make a category of your favorite activities and choose one that you can enjoy. If we do not engage in regular physical activity, that is a great way to start as there is overwhelming scientific evidence which supports regular physical activity promotes good physical and psychological health.

Be okay with yourself. You are individual and awesome. If we do not have the mindset that we are unique and special we will not believe it, plain and simple. What makes each of us unique and special? What are the positive attributes we believe about ourselves that we wish others knew? What are some accomplishments we have achieved and are proud of? We are often our greatest critic and consequently, often give ourselves the least amount of credit we deserve for our hard work. One way to develop a positive mental outlook is to temporarily ignore our list of requirements for happiness and instead make a list of our accomplishments. Reviewing our accomplishments and what it took to achieve them gives us a chance to remember we are winner. We can accomplish our goals if we try.

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Not feeling like crap can really look like a chore when we’re feeling down in the dumps. Understanding why we are feeling this way and what we can do about it is vital to initiating a change in the way we feel. Before the world can ever accept us and who we are, we must first accept ourselves.

That is most important step when we want to stop feeling like crap. Accept yourself, Trainwreck. You are perfectly imperfect the way you are. You are awesome.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Get your day moving with some DJ Snake

Motorcycles and Addiction

And now for a message from our sponsor:

If you’re reading this, welcome to the great Covidial event of 2020. Welcome to quarantine. If you’re not adhering to the public health mandates, you need to.

Trainwrecks, a whole lot more people will be affected by this Covidial event than the percentage who will develop symptoms. There are two sequences to an outbreak on a population: the infection & the aftermath. The infection is the virus doing it’s thing. The aftermath is people doing their thing. Both are destructive.

This aftermath is going to suck so lets all stick together.

Track machine

There was a time I used to ride motorcycles really hard. Now, when I say I used to “ride motorcycles,” I understand there are many philosophies of riding out there. By many standards I still ride my sport-touring bike very well and to be fair, after several years of riding it I know that heavy motorcycle like the back of my hand.

I will never ride another motorcycle as hard as I used to ride Sport-bikes.

Street machine

In the early 2010s, when I would “go for a ride,” I would be gone for half the day deep into Missouri double-lettered roads hanging off the side of my street machine, hitting triple digits, bouncing the plastic knee-slider of my leather suit off public asphalt and spraying gravel everywhere. I was trying to chase an emotional desire I couldn’t understand. I was “that guy” who came home from a deployment overseas with a fist full of cash and wanted the fastest thing on two wheels. I will always have a deep passion for motorcycles.

Back when I pretended I knew how to ride a motorcycle
Music credit: The Glitch Mob

For years, when I would return to the states from a deployment overseas I would disappear into my fantasy world. I spent many weekends travelling the country with my friends and trailer in-tow. We’d stay at cheap motels, eating stale pizza and drinking cold coffee. We’d spend hundreds per day on tires, race track fees and fuel. We’d spend hours setting up the track, inflating the air-fences and having our machines inspected for safety. By evening everyone would be covered in mud and hay, smiling and drinking a Bud Light while talking about our “normal lives.”

Early the next morning we’d be on our machines gridded out at the starting line. We came from all walks of life, although to be fair, I would say at least half the people on that race-track were mechanics by trade. We would ride in the rain and heat over 100 degrees. It was neither cheap nor easy to be there. Only the ones who truly love riding motorcycles will do this sort of thing.

Only the ones who become truly connected with their machines will understand what I am talking about when I say a motorcycle can take away your hurt and make you feel free.

I was trying to escape my pain and my guilt. I failed.

On the weekends, we were living out our greatest fantasy. It was like being in your own movie and everyone is in a co-star role. Our own 48 hour adrenaline filled private movie. I’ve had some of the greatest times of my life ripping around a racetrack or a back-road on a motorcycle with my friends.

On Sundays we would clean up the race track and return to our normal boring lives. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, but I understand it now. I don’t think my obsession with motorcycles has necessarily been a bad thing at any point in my life. After all, it is my personal belief most people develop an obsession with something.

When we allow an obsession to control our life, our obsession can then become addiction. Just like with hard drugs, I allowed addiction itself to enter my life when I allowed my escape to become my reality.

I think the way I handled my vices and my obsessions was what became a problem. What I mean by this is, it’s perfectly fine to have an obsession. It’s perfectly okay to have outlets and vices. After my return from Iraq in early 2008, my obsessions slowly became destructive. My vices became true addictions and I no longer rode a motorcycle to release. I rode to escape. I no longer drank to release. I drank to escape. I no longer took pain medication and sleeping pills to “take the edge off,” I took pain medication and sleeping pills to escape.

Not long before I was assigned to Springfield, Illinois my motorcycle riding was getting out of control. My ego inflated and I was no longer being realistic about my ability as a rider. I began developing reckless habits and my demeanor changed significantly as I struggled to understand emerging limitations in my mind. I was scared shitless of what I couldn’t remember or understand when I would have a phase-shift and I took it out on everyone. I later learned this behavior was common for people who have had a brain injury like myself.

Around 2011 my riding, my drinking and even the way I was handling daily issues had become a liability. Two years after the attacks at Camp Bucca, Iraq my short term memory had gone completely to shit. I developed a short-fuse again. My bad temper from my childhood returned. Even things I wrote down seemed to evade me because I would sometimes forget I wrote something down. Sometimes I would forget where I was or why I was there. I was crashing. Friends were crashing. Permanent injuries were becoming a regular discussion; something we laughed about and showed off proudly just as I did with my injuries in the military. Destroying my body became a joke. I did it to laugh.

Several of my friends were riding so fearlessly and crashing their motorcycles so hard they would develop a permanent limp in their walk or a crippled limb. In the service, we were currently losing more troops due to deaths from motorcycle accidents than we were losing in combat overseas. It was a VERY popular trend in the military around this time to ride a motorcycle.

After one of my closest friends, X crashed his bike on a ride myself and others asked him not to attend, that was it. I was done.

My friend changed not only his own life but the life of his family when he went down that day. I was furious at the world when X went down. That kid was my fucking hero because he was a computer genius and he had begun an amazing life with someone special. She was a fellow ground-pounder and I was her brother from another mother. I embarrassed myself at their wedding.

X went down hard. Part of his motorcycle went through his body. He smashed his face so violently when he crashed, it compressed the foam inside his helmet and left a massive dent. His brain swelled and bled. I would drive 200 miles from Springfield, IL to visit X whenever I could.

Even though his body continued to function, I lost my friend.

My decision to give up riding fast bikes wasn’t an easy one but it was a necessary one. I miss my friends and I miss that life but I don’t see myself ever returning. There is a lot more to this story. And in time I will explore the topic of motorcycles and tragedy further.

My current machine. I LOVE this motorcycle.

These days I’ve slowed down and honestly, I LOVE IT! When I retired, I bought a good friend’s well-maintained Honda ST1300 touring motorcycle and I have never looked back! This bike is comfortable, has all the power I’ll ever need and has room for several days of my crap if I travel. I could barely fit a ball-cap under the seat of my crotch-rockets and here I am wondering if I could ride my motorcycle out to my next academic residency.

Ask ANY of my peers about their decision to pursue their Doctorate and they will tell you just about the same thing. “One day, out of the blue I decided I was going to get my Ph.D in Psychology.” This answer will be pretty standard, but there will also be something called your “why.” I finally found my “why.” I’d gotten clean since my retirement and it was time to move forward. I decided I was going to share what I have learned so far. I decided I was going to write a book. A little over a year later, I’m well along in my Ph.D journey and I’m almost finished a draft of the first book.

The title of my second book is going to be called Beautiful Trainwreck: Back on Track and focus on my journey, post-retirement and everything through my PhD Program. Last time I saw Chief, he told me things would make sense if I let them. Things are now making sense to me once again and although I still don’t know my path I at least have a general bead on my target.

If you’re reading this blog post on the day I publish it, you are witnessing me beginning my second book. Tell you what, I’ll keep sharing my journey and when I graduate with my PhD, I’ll just take all this stuff I’ve been writing and cram it into book two. Sounds like a Juliano plan to me!

When I made the decision to start my Doctorate program, I knew I would need to give up a lot of my activities. I still had several motorcycles in storage and a couple “project bikes” in my barn across the street that I needed to let go.

When I decided to pursue my PhD I sold my motorcycles. It took months and it was a pain in the ass but I got rid of everything. I sold it all but my Honda ST & my dirtbike. I sold my trailer. I sold my tire warmers, my generator, my track tools. I sold my leathers & my bike stands. I gave away gear and boots and gloves. I sold boxes of parts and exhaust and fiberglass fairings. I even got rid of my truck. My beautiful paid off truck. I LOVED that truck.

I decided I wanted to get my PhD.

When my wife and son and I moved out on our property, we found a place to heal. We spend long evenings grilling and playing in our pool. Our son jumps on his trampoline, teases the dog and rides his ATV when our land isn’t too muddy as we approach the rainy season out here in the Midwest.

I often spend time in the evenings sitting next to a small fire and reading a book on my tablet while enjoying bong rips. I keep a large portion of my land clear so I can feel breeze sweeping through my wooded areas and the pasture.

This quarantine stuff sucks ass but it is what it is. I think the important thing we get out of this is what we learn from our experiences during the Covidial Quarantine events of 2020.

Since moving so far out into the country, I’ve learned a lot about self-sufficiency and the joys of finally being left alone. No one calls me about stressful things anymore. People don’t really call me. I’m free to play on my tractor or go target shooting after I work out in the mornings. I spend most of my time reading, writing and pursuing my purpose.

It’s a total bummer I can’t make my normal rounds throughout the week. I like to visit local businesses and read as well as socialize. My town of Waterloo, IL has the best coffee shop in the universe. No big deal.

Sometimes when I’m studying or writing, my dog and I will play games with my studio lights. We find the littlest things to entertain ourselves during quarantine don’t we? My son just gave me a tour of his freshly organized room. When I think about it, aside from not being permitted to cough in public and around others, quarantine really isn’t that much different from being retired.

I’ve been studying motivation in organizational behavior and I love it. I have long been interested in individual behaviors of motivation and execution. Through experience I’ve developed an understanding of what motivates the individual. Now I’m learning how that affects individuals at the organizational level. My PhD journey is another part of my life that is back on track. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited and determined about something in my life.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Today calls for some LL

Trainwreck Update 27 March 2020

What’s going on Trainwrecks! Hope you’re all doing well in these strange times. Please do not panic and freak out your neighbors. It’s NOT time to panic yet. I’ll let you know when it is. Speaking of panicking, I am pushing myself harder now and am attempting to produce loosely edited content. I’m sure it is evident in this video how nervous I am, realizing I committed myself to stop relying on the comforts of technology to smooth out my mistakes. Put simply, I’d like to edit less and publish more. I think this approach will help me develop myself for when I finish school like, a thousand years from now.

I’d like to give a shout out to my friends in my doctoral peer mentoring group I’ve been keeping in touch with almost every day, Rebekah, Dionne, Larry, Bridgette and Rachel as well as everyone else I met at my residency in Atlanta. I’ve learned so much from them and keeping in touch with others is important to me.

So, what is this blog? Well, it honestly took me a while to figure that out. This blog is about a few specific things: My life – My Journey – PhD Adventure that I am trying to put into words to one day finish a book that explains not only some really weird crap that occurred in my life and how I learned to move forward but how I am trying to encourage others to do so as well. I firmly believe we are capable of accomplishing anything we apply ourselves to.

I guess more than anything, this blog is about the extraordinarily odd experiences I have had thus far and continue to learn from. I’m having a LOT of fun with life now and I can[t wait to see what tomorrow brings each new day. Speaking of learning, I’m learning more about Youtube & Social Media. I’m following one of my Doctoral peers, Bridgette who has a Youtube channel as well – B BE Scratchin – and she scratches lottery tickets. What I enjoy about her videos (she has a TON), is her relaxed and personable she gets with her audience and I’m hoping I can assimilate some of those behaviors she exhibits. So when you get a chance, check out Bridegette’s channel, B BE Scratchin to be entertained.

I’m learning a lot about acting and redirecting my emotions to help me with my role in an upcoming film project. I haven’t discussed enough with the director for me to talk about the project yet (I like to run things by people), but I can’t wait till we begin filming as it’s a huge opportunity for me to learn from some really experienced people! People who have a lot of talent and have already taught me so much. It is my hope as I get the swing of this and participate in more projects, I will be able to build my IMDB credentials and that will prolly come in handy. I think.

I do a lot of learning by emulating. An example of things I try to emulate is the work of Kyle A Lee, on his Youtube channel, “Kyle A. Lee.” I met him at an audition and noticed right away he had an interesting personality. I stumbled across his Youtube channel in group for actors and producers I follow and I really dig his comedy relief and ability to only give the audience as much as they can handle, while leaving them wanting more. He creates some really unique comedy bits that I though were funny and you should check it out.

Big news, I am at 34 subscribers on Youtube! You might be thinking no big deal. Well, I started with 0 and I’m learning more every day. My subscribers and views and crap help me gauge what interests’ people who visit my work have the most. Obviously, topics like my time in the military, my childhood & my addiction are topics I get a lot of interest and I’m looking for more. So, make sure you’re smashing that LIKE button like it’s the Covid cure. I’m always looking for requests & suggestions for content so send those over to djbeautifultrainwreck@gmail.com. I have decided to adjust formats again to embrace a better schedule that will work with school. I have decided I will try to slowly target Tuesdays and Thursdays for content. I’ll focus Tuesdays for personal posts and Thursdays for my more professional ones to give myself more time to refine the content throughout the week. This includes the references & even the artwork (I gotta get permission for some stuff).

That’s all I’ve got. I hope you have a great weekend despite the current Covidial madness. Be safe.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

People Pleasing And How To Stop It!

Author’s Message: Trainwrecks, thank you for being a part of this Blog. Recently I released a blog post about Camp Bucca, Iraq that was difficult for me write and took almost a year but I finally did it. Sharing my story morphed into sharing the stories of others who were still struggling, which then morphed into closure for some and that is just awesome. Thank you for the support I have received since opening up about a life I tried to forget but have found true purpose within. I have found the courage to move forward.

People pleasing. If you’ve ever heard of dangerous behavior, then you have likely heard someone mention the trouble with trying to please others:

  • I used to think it was my responsibility for everyone to be happy
  • I used to think it was my fault if someone was unhappy
  • I used to allow others to control my happiness by chasing their validation
  • I used to care what other people thought about me

Well Trainwrecks, people liking us is something others ultimately decide, not us. I used to engage in the behaviors above because I wanted people to like me and I didn’t know the mistakes I was making. People who genuinely like and trust us will do so because of the person we are and not what they believe we can provide to them. What this means is we can’t do things to make others prefer our company such as wave a magic wand or chant a magic spell. In all honesty there is very little we can do to “make” someone prefer our company or our point of view (although we often fantasize about it). We cannot buy something for someone or shower them with attention to create an interpersonal relationship.

However, there are plenty of things we can do that will make people NOT like us or want to be around us, such as mistakenly believing whatever it is we want is the same thing everyone else wants as well (usually a common case with narcissists). This causes us to turn others off and prevents us from achieving our goals. We should do absolutely everything in our power to avoid narcissistic people, especially narcissistic family. That is a topic we will explore further another time.

Thank you all for LIKING and SUBSCRIBING to my Blog and my Youtube channel for updates on future content! Make sure you ring that bell on Youtube to stay on top of my latest videos. Be sure to check back on Tuesdays for my regular uploads as well as throughout the week for my spontaneous ones as well.

So what does this mean to the average person? Well Trainwrecks, people make decisions based off the information they have decided is best for THEM, not US. The issue with this is we often desire validation and acceptance to assure us the actions we are taking are best. As a result of this desire for acceptance we may seek the approval of others as a means of achieving validation. As human beings who love one another we often turn to our friends and our family to give us that validation because they are both familiar and comfortable to us. We trust the opinions of others because it’s comforting to know another person has validated our response (told us we are correct or good), and no one would ever lead us astray, right? Wrong. So, what REALLY happens when we turn to others to give us the confidence we would do better displaying on our own?

Well Trainwrecks, the problem with seeking validation from others is we may unintentionally inflate the other person’s ego (person believes their opinion and validation is now more valuable to us then our own opinion) which ultimately creates a phantom social contract no one ever wanted. Or maybe this person wants to be honest with us but not hurt our feelings because they fear it might jeopardize our friendship? Again, we are creating a phantom social contract by trying to do things to please others rather than simply being honest with ourselves and others. I like to use the term “phantom social contract” because I feel it truly embodies the essence of what is taking place. Erroneously, our phantom social contracts often attempt to dictate we are entitled to receive what it is we desire from the other person once we have been “nice” to them. Trainwrecks, that is not how this works at all.

Another example of this is when a man buys a woman a drink at a bar when he first meets her. Technically, he has been “nice” to her by providing something she might want; but this does not obligate the woman to reciprocate or even to pay attention to him despite what his logical processing tells him. She may not have wanted a drink. She may not have wanted to talk to him. He simply didn’t give her what she wanted because he didn’t ask or try. The more appropriate action would have been for the man to instead focus on what kind of fun adventure or interesting conversation he could engage in with her to create that mutual environment both the man and woman were looking for to begin with. After all, they are both in a bar and that is literally why people go to a bar. To engage in conversation.

So how do we stop incorrect activity? First, we must identify the people-pleasing behavior and understand where it is coming from. Then we can identify what it is we actually want and begin to implement those behavior patterns instead. In order to identify people-pleasing behavior, lets ask ourselves three questions:

  1. What is the difference between what we want and what we allow? What are we accepting in our lives thinking if we “tolerate” something now, we will be rewarded with something else eventually?
  2. What are we trying to get? What are we attempting to introduce into our lives without being upfront and honestly asking for? A lack of honesty is often due to the fear of upsetting the other person. Unfortunately, this lack of honesty can introduce artificial viewpoints and phantom social contracts which only make the problem worse due to misdirection and dishonesty.
  3. What is leading us toward our goals and desires? What is pulling us away from our goals and desires? As human beings we have a strong connection to others we feel are both like us and to people we would like to be more like. When we marginalize our own desires and instead pursue things that only please others, we move away from what it is we want and toward what others want.

 Once we have identified behavior that is not congruent with what we truly want, we can adjust it and even eliminate it. Breaking people-pleasing behavior is not something that occurs overnight, but it is possible and is something that can be done through deliberate adjustments to our future actions. Typically, people-pleasing behaviors are habit based and may be a result of years of social conditioning through environmental factors such as a dysfunctional family or relationship, depression and even a fear of failure that remains to be overcome. Eliminating these people-pleasing and often self-deprecating behaviors can ultimately raise the level of our self-esteem and awareness.

  1. Breath and slow down. Often, we get overwhelmed when we try to muscle our way through an uncomfortable situation. What we really need most often is to pause momentarily, take a deep breath and decide if the action we are taking is designed to satisfy us or someone else.
  2. STOP GIVING A FUCK WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU. When we look in the mirror it us looking back. When we receive our paycheck, it is our name on the pay stub. When we put our pants on in the morning, it is our butt that looks big in the mirror. When we realize we cannot control what others think or do, we have so much freedom to concentrate on what we want most. I will never get tired of telling people my most valuable piece of advice: “Stop giving a fuck what others think about you.” I really should get a plaque made at some point.
  3. Think about how the honest you, the real you would react to situations. Do you really want to feel like a slave or a doormat? No, but just like I have, many individuals will make excuses for other people to reframe their own inadequacies or inability to say no. What this means is the sooner we learn to stop being a doormat and allowing others to walk all over us, the sooner it will cease if it is occurring. We don’t owe another person anything. The least of all, our valuable time.
  4. Be honest with ourselves and others. In concert with understanding how to be honest with ourselves, we must develop honest responses when we interact with others. A part of that is understanding what is “actually” socially acceptable regarding honesty. While it’s important to be honest and let a friend know they may have had too much to drink and might need a ride home, it’s probably not as good an idea to be as honest when asked “do these jeans make my butt look big?” Situational awareness is something that is developed through time and conditioning.
  5. Be more accepting of others around us. When we people-please we tend to want something from someone and do not always provide them the opportunity to decide if we should have it. This could be asking our boss for a raise, making new friends, even asking a girl out on a date. Rather than focusing on what we want to “get from another person,” it is easier and more advantageous to focus on what we can “do-with or-make with another person.” Rather than trying to convince others our journey is better; we can create the ultimate journey by brainstorming with others about what is best for us both and going from there.

Eliminating people-pleasing behavior is often difficult but it can be done with some patience and the willingness to please ourselves before anyone else. When we can stop our people-pleasing behaviors we are able to become a more honest person. A more authentic person with nothing to hide and that is ultimately who people like having in their lives. We should never be “nice.” No one gets respect by being nice. We should instead focus on being polite and being respectful. We can do this.

You’re Welcome. Internet.

Believe in yourselves, Trainwrecks. You are powerful