Posts

,

Is Your Big Ego Stopping You From Finding A Healthy Relationship?

“Wow! That guy’s got an ego the size of Texas! Who does he think he is?”

Ever heard someone described that way? Sure you have. But throwing shade at someone by accusing them of having a big “ego” (not to be confused with egotism) isn’t really an accurate sentiment. In truth, someone who has a well-developed ego is more likely to be thoughtful and reasonable — not, as we’ve come to believe, a self-important asshat.

Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of the ego — one of three separate but interacting systems that drive human behaviors. The other two are the id and the superego. Briefly, here’s how it all works:

Id: Your id is all impulse. It demands immediate gratification of your needs. According to Freud, all infants are born with an id which ensures our basic needs of food and comfort are met.

The id says: I want this candy bar and I will steal to have it.

Superego: Your superego is the “right or wrong” component of your personality. It’s in place to control the id’s impulses. The superego is often equated with your conscience.

The superego says: It is completely wrong to steal this candy bar.

Ego: Your ego is the decision-making part of your personality. Although it seeks pleasure, it does so with realistic strategies. It’s the part of you that drives conscious decision making.

The ego says: I’m tempted to steal this candy bar but that would be wrong. Instead, I will find a lawful way to get it.

So, how does all this fit in when it comes to selecting a mate?

Many clients come to therapy with this burning question: “Why do I keep choosing the wrong kind of partner?”

If you’re also stumped by this frustrating conundrum, there may be a simple(ish) reason for it: You may be picking these partners from a part of your personality that isn’t designed to make the best relationship choices. 

Here’s how it works:

Let’s take the prototype of the “bad boy.” Many folks are attracted to this type. He’s irreverent and incorrigible. He may also live his life slightly outside of the law. In essence, he’s exciting.

Bad boys light up our ids like Roman candles on the 4th of July. Our association with a bad boy may even allow us to flex our id muscle more freely than we normally would — even if it’s only vicariously. The bad boy says, “Life with me will be thrilling, wild, and unpredictable!” And, oh boy, does our id love the sound of that.

Unfortunately, the bad boy likely has an overdeveloped id (or underdeveloped ego) from which he makes his decisions. And, in the long (or short) run — you’re going to discover his impulsiveness and irresponsibility do not a solid, long-term relationship make.

So, if every partner you choose lives life driven by his id — and/or who activates yours — you’re going to be in for some repetitive relationship disappointments.

So, instead, why not choose a partner from your superego? After all, it clearly knows good from bad. At first blush, that might seem like a reasonable move. But our superego operates from an ideal of perfection — not one of true intimacy. You’ve heard the term, “He (or she) looks good on paper. The superego recognizes there are enough good qualities about this person to consider him/her as a potential partner. It confirms your standards are being met — especially during the falling in love stage.

There are a couple of red flags to watch out for here. The first is whether or not someone who “looks good on paper” is actually that terrific. Lots of folks hide behind good jobs, great educations, and social dexterity to belie the dysfunction within. And, hopefully, you’ll figure that out pretty darn quick. Second, if you’re simply checking the boxes — making your choice based on a person’s resume — how long do you think that relationship will be satisfying for you? A couple of years? Tops?

That’s why choosing a partner from our ego — the moderator of both our id and superego — is the healthiest approach. The best relationships will always be those with a functional balance of spark and practicality. A passionate friendship, if you will. When it comes to relationships, our ego will always steer us in the right direction. Why? Because it carefully takes into account the messages from both our id and superego.

The id says: I must be with this person no matter what.

The superego says: This relationship is a disaster waiting to happen.

The ego says: All this excitement feels good. But I need to carefully consider the pitfalls — and  if a relationship with this person would really be optimal for me.

I realize the title of this article is misleading. It’s not your ego that’s getting in the way of finding a healthy relationship, more likely it’s your id or superego. Because the bigger your ego, the better your chances of finding a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship.

Next time you’re choosing to partner with someone, stop and ask yourself where in your personality this decision is coming from. If it’s not from your trustworthy and well-developed ego, it may be wise to take a huge step back.

, ,

Are You Invisibly Divorced? *PODCAST*

 

 

Do you feel your marriage is coming undone? Are you still living with your spouse but the relationship is unhappy at best? Perhaps you’ve joined the ranks of the invisibly divorced.  Psychotherapist Abby Rodman clarifies what invisible divorce is — and how to know if you’re in one. Invisible divorce isn’t victimless — and it may have dire effects on your health and well-being. Listen in!

,

Pre-Thanksgiving Plummet: Dreading The Holidays?

New England winters provide the backdrop for what the quintessential holiday season should look like: the colorful majesty of turning leaves, the beauty of the first snow, and crackling fires on chilly nights. Cue the pine trees with snow-dusted branches, apple-picking, and skating on ponds — and you’ve got the whole shebang.

It all seems so idyllic when you envision it, but for many it’s a challenging time of year. Think about it: When someone tells you to smile, it’s really the last thing you want to do. The holidays “tell” us to be joyful, but sometimes that’s the last thing we’re feeling. Even those who go through the motions — putting up the tree, cooking for multitudes — may be filled with a generalized dread that starts at the beginning of November. It’s what I call the Pre-Thanksgiving Plummet.

The Pre-Thanksgiving Plummet sneaks up on you. You’re still flying high on warm memories of summer, while enjoying the relief of cooler temps. Then, without warning, a heaviness takes root in your chest. The holidays are around the corner. You may feel overwhelmed — there’s so much to do! — or inexplicably sad. While others seem excited for the next couple of months, you’d rather pull up the covers and set your alarm for January 2nd.

Are you experiencing the Pre-Thanksgiving Plummet? Here are some of the reasons why, and what you can do about it:

1. Grief. Nothing spells holiday like family and friends. If you’ve lost someone close to you since last holiday season, enjoying this year’s may prove challenging.

What to do: Honor your sadness and your loved one. It’s okay to say, “You know, I’m just not ‘feeling’ the holidays this year. I really miss Mom…” Come up with ways to remember the person who’s passed. Light a candle for them or ask those at your table to share a positive memory of that person. Just because they’re gone, doesn’t mean you can’t include them.

2.  Alcohol. Sorry, folks. Alcohol is a depressant. Unfortunately, it tends to flow quite freely around the holidays. If you’re already feeling down, adding booze to the mix is not going to help.

What to do: If cutting out liquid cheer for the whole season feels unrealistic, decide instead to limit your intake. Choose the way you enjoy alcohol the most, and let that be your bye. Perhaps you like a nice red with dinner, or you can’t pass on Grandma’s eggnog. Choose one and stick to it. And don’t go to holiday events thirsty. Hydration is your friend.

3. Loneliness. Loads of family gathered around the tree? Huge crowd around your Thanksgiving table? For many, that’s just a fantasy. If you’re lonely this holiday season, you’re not alone on that front. Simply being around other people is not the answer. Sometimes we’re loneliest in a crowd. The only real cure for loneliness is connection.

What to do: Do good. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Deliver a meal to an infirm person. Hand out gifts to kids who otherwise wouldn’t get any. When we do good for others, we feel connected to them and something much bigger than ourselves. Bonus: You’ll be connecting to your best self as well.

4. Relationship woes. If your primary relationship isn’t good, nothing’s good. That’s a fact. And it’s especially true around the holidays. Not only is the season touted as the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also sold (by endless advertising) as the most romantic time of the year. If your relationship is suffering, so are you — and there’s nothing merry about that.

What to do: If your relationship is stormy and volatile, agree with your partner to put your differences on ice for a few weeks. You may not be smooching under the mistletoe, but at least you won’t be throwing daggers. If your relationship is quietly miserable, find ways to celebrate that don’t include your partner. Whatever the case, ask yourself how many more unhappy holidays you’re willing to spend with this person. 

5. Sun and Exercise. Lots of us get plenty of both in the summer months. But now daylight hours are waning. We wake up in the dark and spend our days indoors. As the weather grows frightful, we’re also not so eager to go for that early morning walk or jog.

What to do: If lack of daylight is getting to you, a therapy light box may help. If less exercise is making you sluggish, work in some time at the gym or take up that new winter sport you’ve always wanted to try. And keep reminding yourself: Summer’s coming.

6. Stop Doing the Thing. Whether it’s putting up outdoor lights, making Christmas cookies for your neighbors, or throwing the New Year’s Eve party everyone counts on — and you dread it with all of your being — give yourself the gift of not doing it. The world isn’t going to stop if you don’t bring homemade latkes into your office, or you don’t send handmade Christmas cards.

What to do: Stop. Just stop.

,

Dear Sexual Assault Guy: I Want To Be You

Dear Sexual Assault Guy:

Just for today, I want to be you. Come on, don’t by shy. You know who you are — you’re the guy who violates women’s bodies. Why do I want to be you today? Because I’m a woman and a therapist and there are things I need to know. And, because you’re not exactly known for owning your actions, I need an answer to a seriously burning question.

Millions of women have come forward this week — on Kelly Oxford’s #NotOkay Twitter feed, on their Facebook pages, in private conversations — to bravely reveal their experiences with sexual assault of all stripes.

Some of their perpetrators were strangers, some friends, some relatives. Many women described violations beginning in their early childhoods. Some were heinously violent, some subtly deplorable. I doubt I have to do the math for you, but if millions of women are coming forward, that means nearly just as many men are violating them.

So, here’s my burning question for you:

WTF?

I’m pretty sure you won’t give me a satisfactory answer and that’s why, just for today, I want to be you. So I can know, truly know, what makes you tick. What thoughts you have before you touch a woman who doesn’t want to be touched by you. What faulty wiring prevents you from making a better decision. And what, exactly, you tell yourself after your dirty deed.

Am I overthinking this? I imagine you fight the urge to be sexually aggressive and exploitative. Am I wrong? I assume you’re consumed with self-loathing and guilt. Aren’t you?

What goes through your mind in the moments before you grab a stranger’s breast on the street? Or while you rub your crotch against a woman in a crowded subway train? How do you rationalize “grabbing the pussy” of a pre-adolescent girl in a dark hallway, while her parents sit ten feet away in the kitchen?

I want to be you so I can explain to society who I am and why. So I can ask for help. So I can warn women to stay away from me at block parties, on buses, at corporate retreats. So I can feel what it feels like to be an ultimate piece of human garbage, while going on with my day — and my life — peacefully. (Only after I’ve robbed the peace of those I’ve violated, of course.)

I do so want to be you. So I can talk to other men like me and tell them what they’re doing is so wrong it defies comprehension. So I can realize the damage I’ve done and live my life out trying to correct for it.

There are so many, many good men. Men who don’t grab the privates of women who don’t consent to it, who don’t whisper crudities into the ears of prepubescent girls, who don’t inappropriately comment on the body parts of their own daughters.

But to you, I must ask again, WTF?

The accepted definition of rape — that it’s an act of violence, not sex — has long angered me. Stabbing someone is an act of violence. Forcing your penis into someone’s vagina against her will is a depraved sexual act. When you stab someone, you’re hoping to wound or kill them. When you rape someone, your goal is to demean them while getting off in the process. When you touch a woman’s body without her consent, you’re doing the same.

What talent or success do you use to hide your true persona — that of a sexual deviant? Are you the music teacher, the bar manager, the real estate tycoon, who feels it’s your right to grope any girl or woman who crosses your path? (And, just between you and me, do you ever privately suspect you’re a monster inhabiting the form of a human being?)

Years ago, I worked as a social worker in a hospital. One day, I was showing a male family member of a patient something I had written in the patient’s chart. He was standing next to me as I pointed to the note I wanted him to see. “Oh, that note there?” he asked, as he raised his hand to point at the chart, deliberately brushing my breast with the back of his hand in the process. It was so unexpected, it took me a couple of hours to realize what he’d done.

When I told my supervisor, he said, “Find me that guy so I can knock his lights out.” My supervisor was a good, decent man — an actual human being — who couldn’t bear the thought of someone getting away with that behavior. Because — newsflash! — good men don’t tolerate that shit.

And just so there’s no confusion, you’re not one of the good guys. I don’t want to hear about your selfless deeds, your charitable givings, your churchgoing ways. I don’t care about your rescued dog, your recycling, your sobriety. Because none of those things matter when you walk this earth as a sexual predator.

On second thought, I don’t want to be you — not for a day, not for a minute. And you shouldn’t want to be you, either. Because you’re depraved, your behavior is criminal — and you need help. You need a support group, or medication, or a shack in the woods far from female humans.

If you don’t stop or get help, know you’re ruining lives. (Say it: “I’m ruining lives.”) While you’re giving in to your basest instincts, you’re stealing part of a woman’s soul. While you’re eyeing your next victim, you’re potentially destroying her ability to ever trust men. While you’re touching a child in the way only consenting adults should touch, you’re compromising her chance of ever having healthy relationships. So, seriously, WTF?

I know you won’t answer, so, instead, I’m giving you permission to make my burning question your own. Please, next time you’re tempted to sexually assault, stop and ask yourself: WTF?

And then, for the love of God, do something about it.

 

 

,

Dear Sons: Please Don’t Vote For Donald Trump

Dear Sons,

Please don’t vote for Donald Trump.

Now that all five of you are of age, you have the beautiful right to vote in this beautiful country. If it’s true that every vote counts, please don’t squander yours.

Donald Trump is the face of everything I’ve taught you not to be: a hater and a blamer. Not convinced? Need I remind you about his revolting suggestions which include: 1) building a wall dividing us from our old friend, Mexico, 2) prosecuting and punishing women who have abortions, and 3) deporting millions who’ve lived peaceably and industriously in the US for years?

Should I also mention his newly-revealed defenseless comments about assaulting women, and the narcissistic non-apology that followed? His unforgivable imitation of a disabled reporter? His deplorable critique of the parents of a Muslim soldier who lost his life in defense of this country? His well-documented, never-ending misogynistic commentary?

What’s that? Don’t like your other choice?

Hillary Clinton is a liar, you say? Great. Find me a politician who isn’t. When you locate that needle, I’ll be all ears. For whatever secrets she’s kept, for whatever untruths she’s told, there’s nothing truer now than Clinton has become the new whipping girl of an old guard. Steeped to their own politically padded knees in lies and duplicity, her finger-pointing detractors and colleagues are hardly beating their own paths to the pearly gates of truth and transparency.

And Benghazi? Please, let it rest. For God’s sakes, if Ambassador Stevens’s family doesn’t blame Hillary, what’s your skin in the game? Think you know more about what happened there than they do? You don’t.

Save your breath arguing that Lester Holt was biased during the debate. I watched it, and I agree. And good on him for being that brave. Maybe things would’ve turned out differently for Germany in the 1930s if more journalists had been free to speak and write about the disastrous turn their country was poised to take. So, let’s take pause and be doubly thankful for our First Amendment. Because every day it protects the dozens of well-respected news outlets dismissing Trump as a viable, sane choice for the presidency.

In a few short weeks, this will be over and done and the people will have chosen their next president. But, in the end, what will we have learned? As the rest of the world watches this election slack-jawed with disbelief, we’ve pulled back the curtain on a not-so-pretty revelation: We’re a nation of angry folks.

Several weeks ago, talk show host John Oliver made a brilliant suggestion. He proposed Donald Trump step down and admit he’d entered the race simply to expose the flaws in the political system…and in us. Oliver would have Trump say, “I openly ran on a platform of impossibly ignorant proposals steeped in racial bigotry and nobody stopped me. In fact, you embraced me for it. What the f*ck was that about?”

Ah, now wouldn’t that be great?

If the voters in this country are so disgruntled that they’ll support a politically inexperienced megalomaniac in his bid for the presidency, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves why? There are clearly things that need fixing. But I’m guessing The Donald isn’t the one for that job seeing that the ideology he’s selling depends more on fanning flames than addressing the cause of the fire.

Boys, you and your generation are our future. With the right outcome in this election, we’ll resume our imperfect quest to make good on the freedoms and rights promised to all Americans. Are we there yet? No. But what good can come of time-traveling back to shameful eras in American history marked by hate, fear, and prejudice? And that’s exactly where Trump would have us go.

We don’t need Trump to make America great again. It’s already great. Do your part to keep it that way.

I have faith you will do the right thing on November 8th. That the values and ideals you’ve grown up with will prevail. That the acceptance of those who look, or sound, or dress differently than you will triumph in your hearts and in the voting booth. That you’ll recognize a dangerous choice when you see it. That you will not confuse true patriotism — now or ever — with exclusion or xenophobia.

And that you’ll seek to uphold all that is good and right with these United States of America — one vote at a time.

 

,

Are You Ready For A Kid Because You Have A Dog?

I’m crazy about my dog. So much so that it embarrasses my kids. “Please don’t talk to the dog in that voice while our friends are here,” they plead. That voice is the reserved-only-for-him, baby talk-ish language I’ve (purportedly) annoyingly developed when talking to Spike.

My husband ranks himself #3 on my list of importance. My kids, he claims, own the #1 spot and Spike captures #2. He may or may not be right. I’m not at liberty to say.

But as much as this dog owns a huge piece of my heart, I’m also a mother to human children. If you have a dog — but don’t have kids — I’m gently suggesting that as much as you may love or dote on him, having a dog is not like having a child. Your dog is a wonderful, beloved addition to your family but, again, not a child or even like a child. If you have a dog and you’re thinking about having a child, please don’t delude yourself that raising a human baby will be anything remotely like life with your pup.

Here’s why:

1) Ownership. Brace yourself for this one: You don’t own your children. Your dog, however, is your property. Your children are simply loaned to you on a temporary (but sometimes seemingly endless) basis. Your children belong to themselves. You may be their instructor or role model, but you will never be their master.

2) Sacrifice. Yes, taking care of a dog requires some sacrifice. You may lose a few nights’ sleep when he’s a puppy or when she’s sick. But the sacrifices you make for your children, although done willingly, are countless. You may sacrifice your career goals or hobbies. You will, inarguably, sacrifice the overall freedom to live and do as you please. You may sacrifice the bloom of youthful escapades. But your dog will never require you take a huge chunk of your pay and stash it in a college fund. Your dog will never necessitate a move to a bigger home or safer neighborhood with a better school system.

3) Care. Before you walked out the door this morning, you gave your dog a pat on the head or a quick hug. Then, seamlessly, you walked out the door. Perhaps you went to work for the next ten hours or just ran out to do a few errands. With kids, there’s at least a decade before you can do anything like that. Small children (and some teens) require constant supervision. All eyes on deck all the time. Reflect for a moment on how this would or will change your life.

4) Unconditional love. Your dog gives it to you. Your kids can’t and won’t and shouldn’t. I’ve never walked in the door when Spike hasn’t been ecstatic to see me whether I’ve been gone five minutes or five hours. Your dog thinks you’re your best self every minute of every day. Your kids will never see you that way no matter how many brownies you bake or how much spending money you provide.

5) Communication. I know when Spike is hungry or needs to go out. I know when he’s tired or when he wants to play. I know because we’ve developed our own way of communicating. But Spike will never tell me hates me because I won’t let him stay out past midnight. He’ll never get in trouble at school or fight with his siblings. He’ll never throw a tantrum in Target. He’ll never petulantly inform me that he didn’t ask to be born. Conversely, he’ll also never tell me he loves me (aloud) or acknowledge the sacrifices (see above) I’ve made for him. He’ll also never make me as proud, delighted, and humbled as I am watching my sons grow into young adulthood. #schleppingnachas

6) Legalities. You can leave your dog for a few minutes alone in a cool car with the windows open. You can put your dog behind a gate when company’s over. You can send him out to the yard unsupervised while you vacuum. I do not condone doing any of these things with young kids. The law doesn’t either.

7) Training. Kids can be taught and guided. Dogs can be trained. And never the twain shall meet.

8) Grief preparation. Spike will be 13 years old in the spring. If life continues in a normal trajectory, I will lose him in the next couple of years and I have to prepare for that. Yes, parents lose children. That’s unquestionably the worst thing that can happen in this life. But although we worry about our kids’ safety, we don’t anticipate that kind of loss and we pray fervently we never have to. Just getting a dog is brave because, when you do, you’re knowingly signing up for losing him. But every joyful day with your dog is well worth the journey to whatever sadness or challenge awaits you. And, as it turns out, that also holds true for having kids.

 

,

5 Ways To Stop Fighting About The Same Old Thing *PODCAST*

5 Ways To Stop Fighting About The Same Old Thing

stop-fighting-about-the-same-old-thing-twitter

Not again! Having the same argument you’ve had with your partner a dozen times before? You’re not alone. Relationship researcher John Gottman reports 69 percent of marital conflicts are never resolved. That adds up to a whole lot of repeat disagreements.

You know better than anyone the hot topics in your relationship. Many couples argue about extended family (in-laws, usually), money, and parenting styles. Common issues may also include jealousy, substance use, and negotiating the right amount of time to spend together.

You may be sick of hearing your partner’s same list of complaints and you may even be tired of your own. You both realize there’s got to be a better way, but how do you go about it?

,

Secrets and Lies: How They’re Toxic To Your Relationship *PODCAST*

 

secrets

Secrets? We’ve all kept them. Lies? We’ve all told them. But what are the consequences of keeping secrets from — or lying to — your partner?

Join psychotherapist and relationship strategist Abby Rodman as she discusses how secrets and lies affect us in more ways than we think.

If you’re convinced that keeping the truth from your partner is better than coming clean, you may not be considering the cost of what that could be doing to the well-being of your partner and relationship…and, yes, even your health.

Ready to tell the truth? Committed to keeping that secret or perpetuating that lie? Join Abby as she explores what both options really mean for you, your partner, and the future of your relationship.

,

Everything I Write, I Write It For You

It’s possible I’m mildly obsessed with Facebook. Scrolling through my feed, I am often — in equal parts — admiring, envious, and glad. I truly enjoy the “last-one-I-promise!” shots of vacation sunsets, successful kids, and sparkly cocktails — of folks I care about. But I do know — as I desperately hope you do as well — that Facebook hasn’t earned the nickname Fakebook for nothing.

Where are the pictures of us watching eight hours straight of Hannibal on Netflix? (This may or may not have been how I spent the holiday weekend). We don’t boast about our shrinking bank balance or that day we stayed in bed because depression got the best of us. When our Facebook friends do share their shadow-lives, it takes us aback. It’s like, “Don’t you know Facebook is reserved for our TV-ready selves? Get with the program, people!”

In the past few years, I’ve blogged a ton and written three books. I’m currently working on a novel which may or may not become a bestseller. (Who’s to say? Could happen.) When I tell people I’m a writer (which took a long time for me to say aloud, btw), they have some combination of these responses:

  1. That’s cool. I really admire you for doing that.
  2. I wish I could write, but I can’t because (fill in the excuse here)…
  3. Do you make any money at it?
  4. I would never put myself out there like that. Why would you do that?

Question #4 is a really good one. Why in the heck would I put myself out there for all the world to read? The plain answer is: I don’t write for me, I write for you. Before you fake gag, hear me out. I write for you because I hope one turn of phrase, one personal story, one emotion I invoke in you, will set you on the path to positive life changes.

Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Great advice but…what other choice do we have? I’ve strolled through those flames more times than I’d like — the mega-bonfire of my divorce, for one. Divorce, if you don’t know, is one of hell’s guests of honor. Heck, it has its own presidential suite. Divorcing was one of the toughest experiences of my life, but honestly…so what? That doesn’t make me any different from you or your neighbor.

But here’s what happened: In the ashes of my post-divorce life, the lessons left behind kind of started following me around. And they were kind of yelling, “Share us! People need to hear this stuff!” So, I started writing those lessons down — sharing what I wish I’d known sooner. That, and I wanted those lessons to shut up and leave me alone. Turns out, they’re still hanging around and new ones are popping up all the time. Because of their tenaciousness, many of those lessons about divorce are in my books, Without This Ring and From Bitter To Better.

If I could have a few superpowers, one of them would certainly be preventing folks from marrying the wrong people for the wrong reasons. How great would it be to be able to swoop in and save people from years of marital misery? Answer: Pretty, pretty great.

But, without that particular superpower, my choices are limited. I knew I could help people one-on-one in my psychotherapy practice. But I realized, by writing, I could also get my message out to thousands of people at a time. That’s one reason I wrote Should You Marry Him? — to share lessons about what to look (out) for when you’re choosing your Mr. Right.

Writing isn’t a superpower, but sometimes its the next best thing.

Any blogger will tell you there’s little money in it. A couple of viral articles won’t make you famous or land you a book deal with an elite publishing house. I can’t tell you why others write, but I can tell you that whatever the topic, my message is always the same: Please learn from my very real mistakes, professional expertise, and life experience. Please.

But I’m also guilty of perpetuating the Fakebook persona which doesn’t feel very real at all.  I have a sparkly website. I display professional photos of myself wearing things I never would in my everyday life. And — surprise! — many of them have been retouched.

I love Gary Vaynerchuk. I love his blunt messaging. I’m pretty sure he rolls out of bed, brushes his hair (or not), and jumps in front of the camera. Vaynerchuk is the anti-Fakebook and I’m jealous of the freedoms that allows him. But although his love-me-or-leave-me approach works for him, it probably wouldn’t stand a chance for most of us trying to catch the public’s eye.

I want you to read my work. I want you to be touched by it, moved to action by it, comforted by it. And if a glam, Fakebook shot of me makes you click the link, then I’m all for it. Go ahead, perk me up and slim me down. If that gets your attention, good on me. Because it ain’t about me. It’s about your journey through hell — and my commitment to helping you to keep going.