Friday, June 18, 2010

Fitting In/Being Shy- Advice For Overcoming

A friend sent me this advice presented (on a public dating forum- click HERE for original post) to someone who is shy and having trouble making friends because she's way more cerebral than most kids. I thought it might help fellow Aspies (whether or not you're dating). Please note, the website this came from is not Christian and you will find a LOT of expletives and rather graphic stuff. But not in this particular shyness post:

if you really want to "fit in" and have more friends, I think you need to try and tap into the energy of your peers a little more. You operate at a completely different level to what they do. Your thought processes are much more complex, so in order to relate and affiliate with them you need to bring yourself back. If it is really what you want then emulate those that you would like to become friends with, while adding a touch of the sophisticated you. As you penetrate a friendship group they will be more accepting of your eccentricities.

My advice however is to be yourself and don't put so much value on having loads of friends. I have had the copious amount of friends thing and find it can be extremely draining of time and energy. I too love to have "me" time and with too many friends that consider you too be one of their "bestees" (my daughters terminology) then it becomes almost impossible to keep everyone happy as you spread your time among many.

How to develop confidence and get on with any complete stranger: Use their name in the conversation; comment on something unusual they are wearing (or appealing facial features etc) or that you know they are passionate about (ie., sport, music, cars, dancing, hair, make-up, fashion etc), allow them to lead the conversation and throw in paraphrasing and jokes that you know will appeal to their level of maturity. With experience and maturity comes confidence Chelse........... but also know, trying too hard can come across as nerdy Grin I hope that might have helped a little. Wink

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let's All Be Secret Millionaires!

Boldfaced stealing of my best friend's blog post. It's so good I'm not even going ot comment, except that you ought to check out these books. Even if you don't buy them, the amazon reviews alone tell you a LOT about money:

Check out this article about Grace Groner, a woman who lived frugally and then surprised everyone by donating $7 Million to her alma mater.

The tried-and-true tips featured in the article include:

1. Live below your means

Groner lived in a tiny one-bedroom cottage she inherited from a friend. She didn’t own a car and bought her clothes at rummage sales. Mr. Buffett lives in the same Omaha, Neb., home he purchased in 1958 for $31,500.

2. Let it ride

Groner let her investment – three shares of Abbott stock – grow untouched, a strategy of investing often touted by Buffett. While most stocks won’t see the type of returns that Groner saw, “value investing” – which Buffett has come to define as “finding an outstanding company at a sensible price" ­– and reinvesting the dividends will let you take advantage of the power of compound interest.

3. Discretion

Groner was more circumspect than the megabillionaire. While Buffett’s wealth is well known due to the public nature of his position, only Groner’s attorney knew about her vast reserves until she passed away recently, giving her $7 million estate to her alma mater.

As Thomas Stanley and William Danko write in The Millionaire Next Door:

Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and you spend it all, you are not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.

I highly recommend both "The Millionaire Next Door" and "Your Money or Your Life." "Your Money or Your Life" is really great for illustrating the point called "Enough" (as in, I have ENOUGH money to live the life I want to live. It teaches you how to get there and how to devote your life to what really matters... in my case, serving the LORD! I'm not sure about their specific investment recommendations, but this book changed my mindset on money a few years ago. "The Millionaire Next Door" amazed me and let me know that "I can do it!" I hope it will encourage you too.

Again, please click on the links above an read about the books, even if you're (like me) too cheap to buy them, LOL!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

School of Hard Knocks- Letter to My Friend

I just wrote this letter to an acquaintance, and thought I'd share parts of it with you (some minor edits for privacy's sake). It's neat to see how my perspective has changed over the last 9 months of being single (and the last 15 of being on my own). I've bolded some "life lessons" I've learned from all this. What do you think?

The single mom thing does get tiresome, but these days I'm realizing how much easier my life is! I think the last six weeks are the first time I actually had fun just living since I got married.

It's a long sob story, so I'll try not to bore you with every little detail, but basically I married the guy I was dating when you and I met. He changed instantly- even at our reception his dad tried to get him to dance with me, kiss me, etc but he would have none of it. He got what he wanted, and didn't have to work anymore. He knew with my religious conviction (and, at the time, low self esteem) I wouldn't leave. And he was right.

He turned out to be one of those guys who is used to mom/auntie/girlfriend taking care of him. He got kicked out of the AF, had a couple jobs, but eventually quit and wouldn't work. I put up with it for a long time (we'll do anything for someone we think loves us, won't we?) but once I began to resolve some issues from childhood, I become stronger and more confident, and also angry at having to work my primary job as well as two side businesses to pay his bills. I make good money. I really shouldn't have had to work so hard! After enough of my complaining that he needed to get a job he gave me an ultimatum: accept him as he is or leave. Well, he didn't actually plan on me leaving, but I did.

I was really hurt for awhile after all this, because after leaving I saw a side of him I never saw before. It scared me, and also strengthened my resolve to press for the divorce last year. He's very unstable, I'm glad we got out when we did. One thing that has helped me recover is now (almost a year after I left) most of our friends (who supported him, not me) are now seeing how erratic his behavior has become, because it's spilled over into his public life. It's a shame, but you can't fix people. They have to fix themselves.

The weird part is, most of my hurt and pain was not from having left him or missing him (I don't) but somewhat selfish pain of realizing all that time I thought we were in love and he was just looking for a meal ticket. And for most of my friends kicking me to the curb and supporting him (he's a well-known minister). And for not leaving that first year, when he first started getting abusive toward me (I almost did, but our counsel convinced me to stay- ugh).

The other weird thing is all this helped me realize that I have (inside) my own ability to be happy, no matter the situation. I'm not dependent on another person to make me happy. Not that I don't want to eventually find someone special, but I'm not sure you can ever know if someone is perfect for you. Some people are more compatible, which makes it easier to have a good relationship, but you just can't know if someone will go crazy 10 years from now.

This month and last were a lot of fun, and I'm amazed at how much easier it is to just have me and the boy to take care of. We've done a lot of "fun things" and also just sitting around watching movies- something I NEVER had time for before because I was too busy finding more ways to make money. I'm actually enjoying stuff rather than stressing about how much it costs (or how much I could have made if I had been out hustling instead of spending time with the boy).

I'm also enjoying being in charge of my life- though that comes at a bit of a cost: I can't blame anyone else anymore. I'm studying people (and couples especially) and I'm noticing good people attract good people. Folks with problems attract folks with problems. People who look (like I did), for someone to make their life complete and/or make them happy and/or take care of them, tend to end up with guys who promise all that in order to manipulate, use, and/or abuse them. People who are confident and maintain respectful boundaries run the risk of not having someone by their side all the time, but on the other hand are in charge of their lives and able to attract good people into their lives.

I guess that's why I say "I hope you find what you are looking for." I wonder if what you really need isn't where you moved to, but inside *you.*