Archive for March, 2011

March 28, 2011

Five Powerful Ways to Respond to Criticism

by Dandy

I’d like you all to give a warm welcome to my guest blogger, M. Farouk Radwan.  He is the creator and author of the incrediable website  I encourage you all to take a look at his large selection of articles that offer smart, confident, and thought provoking articles.  I love this article he wrote on criticism and I’m thrilled to have it on The Reflective Self. 

Five powerful ways to respond to criticism

Criticism whether its constructive or destructive can changes our moods and make us feel down for few days. Since many people criticize others harshly these days learning how to deal and respond with criticism has became an essential life skill that everyone is in need of.

In this post I will tell you about five powerful ways that can help you handle criticism.

How to handle criticism:

1)     Never reply right away: If someone criticized you through an Email , a blog comment or any other method that gave you the choice when to respond then don’t reply right away because: I) by replying quickly you show the person how he managed to stir up your emotions and disturb your balance II) because emotional responses will always be wrong as your mind wont be in a clear mental state.

Instead wait some time and allow yourself to do the rest of the these points before you take actions.

2)     Understand the intention behind the critical comment: If your parent criticized you then most probably he wants to see you a better person but what about people who criticize you because they are feeling jealous? What about others who were criticized as children thus grew up having a negative voice that lets them criticize everyone.  Certainly replying to these different categories of people the same way is a wrong thing to do.  That’s why you must first take your time to analyze the intention before you respond back to the person

3)     Never be defensive: One you turn to the defensive side you are I) admitting what the person said and II) you are allowing him to attack you even more.  Instead you should politely shift the focus on the person himself.  For example if you got a message such as “Your blog is worthless”  (apparently that’s someone with bad intention) you could reply saying “don’t let jealousy motivate you to attack people who never harmed you”

While your reply was very polite it will shock the other person because I) it will let him think about himself instead of attacking you further II) it will frighten him as it will show him that you understand the dynamics of his behavior.

4)     Smile :  Again if the person has bad intentions just smiling back to him will show him that you are confident enough and that you aren’t giving any weight to what he said about you.

5)     Ask yourself, what if the person is right: What if the one who criticized you was a good person who wanted your best? What if you were really wrong or if you needed to change something about yourself? Don’t let your ego stop you from first analyzing the comment and finding it whether its really true or weather it makes no sense. One final point to put into consideration is that even constructive criticism that is given in a harsh way is a sign of envy, jealousy or even hatred so treat it as if you treat non constructive criticism.

Written by M.Farouk Radwan

Founder of, The ultimate source for understanding yourself and others

March 21, 2011

Boundary Lessons

by Dandy

Hello wonderful readers!  This past week I was going through some old journals and notebooks.  I found a particular entry that I’d like to share.  This was written during a time of great anxiety.  I was recognizing that I was being mistreated and taken advantage of.  I was angry and resentful.  Angry at those who had trespassed against me and angry at myself for not having a better understanding of my boundaries sooner.  Even though this entry has an undertone of anger to it, I remember feeling great empowerment at the time of writing this, because I was finally getting it.  It was my Eureka moment! 

When I started this blog it was my strong intention that there would never be anything negative in my posts.  So I hope you can see where I was reaching from to get to these discoveries.  It was a breakthrough for me and really, really positive things came from it. 

1.  No really does mean no.  I don’t have to  explain myself.  I don’t have to answer anyone’s questions.  I don’t even have to debate my position.  NO!

2.  I don’t have to make or keep peace with people who blatantly take advantage of me time and time again.

3. I don’t have to be helpful or accommodating to those who have a complete disregard to my feelings and well-being.

4.  I have a right to ask questions about the things that have a potential negative effect on my life, or could cause me great distress.  Even if people think I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong or if they think I’m crossing their boundaries – I have a right to be protective of my own happiness and wellness.

5.  I can object to potentially hurtful things before I actually become hurt. 

6.  I don’t have to explain myself when somebody objects to my independence.

7.  I don’t always have to be the one who apologizes first.

8.  There’s a difference between having a sense of entitlement and rightfully sticking up for what is mine.

9.  Even though I don’t have a sense of entitlement doesn’t mean I’m less deserving of anyone else of good things.

10.  I am not obligated to help out people who choose not to have their shit together.

11.  I am not obligated to be sweet and nice to those who are intrusive and imposing.

12.  I don’t always have to be the one to “figure it out” for someone who falls short.

13.  I will no longer feel ashamed for having moments of insecurity.  It’s normal.

14.  I don’t have to apologize for not meeting someone elses expectations, especially when those expectations are so high it’s cruel. 

15.  I have a right to my anger.

If you know of anyone who struggles with boundaries I hope you pass this on to them.  What do you think of setting boundries and maintaining them?

March 14, 2011

How to Survive Adversity and Yes, Even Thrive!

by Dandy

Hello wonderful blog friends!  Today I’d like to introduce you to Debbie Bills.  She is the creator and author of the fantastic blog Happy Maker Now.   I love Debbie’s no-nonsense advice and her tell it like it is approach.  Her life experience makes her a pro when it comes to giving advice on how to live a happier life.  Please check out her blog at as soon as you can and subscribe!  So please welcome my guest author, Debbie Bills!


How to Survive Adversity and Yes, Even Thrive!

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be”

 by John Heywood.


Have you ever wished for a world with no problems, no worries, everything just went on day after day with nothing new happening?

Have you every stopped to think the only way that is going to happen is if you are dead?  Dead people don’t have any more problems, worries or adversity in their lives.  So before your start wishing for something you need to stop and think, ‘Is this really what I want.”

Life is a play ground if you look at it from the positive side.  I know you’re saying, “Lady you have no idea how bad it can get.  Yes I do know how bad it can get.  Let me make a list of things that can go wrong and have gone wrong for me.

  1. Growing up my parents didn’t have much money.  Lived from pay check to pay check. (One pair of shoes at a time)
  2. Lived in a house with no running water until I was in the 7th grade.
  3. Was engaged to a man that dumped me without any explain. (He was in the Navy)
  4. Married a child molester, only for 1 ½ years.  (That’s another blog post.)
  5. Remarried someone that was described to me as a husband and wife lying on a slap in a mortuary.
  6. While married the second time, my house was sold right before it was to be foreclosed on.
  7. File bankruptcy also in that marriage.
  8. Divorced with an ex that thought he didn’t need to pay child support for 3 children.  He went 4 years without a job.
  9. Supported and raised 3 children on my own.

There is more I could add, but I don’t want to bore you.  Yes, I do know what adversity is, you do get through it with the right attitude.  Learn to bend in the wind like a tree!

 We all have this in common. That is…at some point in our life, we all face adversity. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”. The difference between success and failure comes down to choice. When adversity strikes, it’s not what happens that will determine our destiny; it’s how we react to what happens.

 If you drew a picture of your day, you would find that some days the line is pretty straight with few hills and curves in it.  Then there are those days and sometimes weeks where all you have is curves, hills and very low valleys. 

Now if you take a look at a dead person’s day, it is just one straight line all the time.  Day after day, night after night.  Not a good alternative.

How I overcome adversity?

  1.  Prayed a lot.  My heart does go out to you if you aren’t a believer, because I do not believe I would have survived without knowing that God was and still is on my side.
  2. Being raise with little, I did know how to make do.
  3. As for making wrong choice when it came to marriage, that was on my shoulders to figure out what I was doing wrong.  Why all the bad choice.  And I am here to tell you I finally figured it out and I am now very happily married to the right guy for the right reasons.
  4. I learned that you are what you think you are.  If you think you have troubles and problems they are going to come and probably pick up speed as they come.
  5. Regardless of what is going on the sun is going to come up in the morning, so don’t let it go to waste; you can always find a way to have some fun.
  6. Take time out to act like a kid and laugh, because hard times will pass.
  7. Take it one day at a time and at the end of that day, just be thankful for all the little things and you survived with a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your tummy.
  8. Never give up, remember life is a class room and you are always learning new things.
  9. Learn what is really important, like the people you love and love you.
  10. This too shall end and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Take those adversities and see life as a challenge and meet them head on.  Be grateful for those crooked lines in your life it means you are alive and still in the ball game.  Think of an Alzheimer patient, they are not in any pain and have no problems. Isn’t it much better to be aware with pain, than be mindless!

Are you handling the adversities in your life or are you struggling to stay in the ball game of life?

Here are your 3 choices:  1. Give up and be dead.

                                          2. Pray for Alzheimer’s.

                                           3. Except the adversity and learn from it.

Love to know which one of the 3 choice’s you pick.  Just insert it in the comment box.  Thank you and have wonderful life!


March 7, 2011

I need a hero!

by Dandy

We all need someone we can look at with total amazement. A hero. For me that person is Jesse Owens. Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in 1936 during the Berlin Olympics, which was known as Hitler’s Olympics. This was Hitler’s chance to prove to the world of Aryan superiority, or so he thought.   Along comes Jesse Owens, son  of a sharecropper, and grandson to a slave.  Jesse had every reason in life to fail.  But there was something inside him that was fearless and valiant.   He showed Hitler – the most feared man in the world at that time, how wrong he was about his superior race theory, and he did so with a smile on his face.  Please watch the following clip to see for yourselves why Jesse Owens is my hereo. 

Who is your hero or heroine?

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