Posts Tagged With: dealing with toxic people

Day 1017: Just one

Yesterday, because there’s just one of me and I had so many things to do, I took just one photo.


I shall take just one moment to explain just one photo:  Asking just one question beginning with “What was your intent when …?” can be a helpful and effective way to respond, when just one person says just one thing you find puzzling, upsetting, or concerning.

I will give just one example of that:

Somebody: You look terrible.

Response:  What was your intent when you said that?

Before  I thought of that just one example,  I visited just one website titled “Random Rude Things People Say.”

I shall now allow my just one brain to free-associate about “Just one.” I have more than just one association:

  • I have just one child, a 17-year old son, who is just one year away from leaving for just one college.
  • I have just one of myself, so I like to take as good care of myself as possible.
  • I have just one boyfriend, because I’m monogamous.
  • I have just one heart, which I take care of with the help of more than just one doctor, so I can see my just one son blossom and grow.
  • I publish just one post every day.
  • I have just one life to live, so I don’t like wasting just one minute on toxic people or experiences.
  • If I make just one mistake, I tend to judge myself harshly, which is just one of the many unhelpful ways of thinking I’m trying to change.
  • Just one person in just one of my therapy groups yesterday said, “Attending this group has helped me a lot.”
  • I have just one song to share with you today.

I made just one mistake there — I remembered the title of “Just a Song Before I Go” as “Just One Song Before I Go.”

It took me just one second to forgive myself for that.

Just one comment from YouTube about that song:

“The Crosby, Stills, and Nash song “Just a Song Before I Go” was written on a dare by their limo driver that they couldn’t write a song before getting to the airport. It went on to become one of their biggest hits.”

Just one quote from that song:

Travelling twice the speed of sound
It’s easy to get burned

Because Crosby Still and Nash sing just one verse more than just one time, I think that’s just one piece of advice I’m going to take today.

What’s that just one piece of advice I’m going to take? Just two words:

Slow down

What’s just one thing you’d like to say about this post?  If you leave just one comment, I’ll leave just one response later in the day.

Just one person I’d like to thank today — YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 826: The difference between tragedy and comedy

I got a paper-cut on my finger three days ago  at work, and it’s been hurting me ever since.

I don’t know if Oscar — or you — can see that cut, but it’s reminding me of this definition of the difference between tragedy  and comedy, from Mel Brooks as The 2000 Year Old Man:

Tragedy is when I get a paper-cut on my finger. It hurts, I’ll run around, I’ll cry, and I’ll go to the hospital.

Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

Even though I can’t find that particular tragedy/comedy clip right now,  that’s no tragedy, since there’s lots more comedy where that came from :

You can find Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner performing the amazing comedy of The 2000 Year Old Man on YouTube and — I hope — many other places.  It would be a tragedy if those jewels of improvisational comedy ever disappear.

Sometimes, I find it hard to decide what’s tragic and what’s comic, in my life. Sometimes, I laugh to keep from crying or find it all so funny, I cry.

Am I alone in this tragicomedy?

Whatever your thoughts about that or anything else in this post, it wouldn’t be a tragedy if you leave them in a comment, you know.

Here are some photos I took last night, when I was thinking about tragedy and comedy at our local supermarket.


I am hoping that nobody’s so tragically alone that they need a talking mouse like that, just to hear the words, “I like you.”

Here’s a tragedy for me (which may be comical to you):

My most favorite Skinny Cow dessert has tragically  disappeared from the freezer section of my supermarket.   I fear the yummy and low calorie chocolate mousse ganache cones I love  will never, ever return.

If my thoughts turn tragic about that loss or about anything else (like the upcoming surgery for my unusual heart), I’ll just remember this:

Yes, I have survived disco, so I’ll probably survive a whole lot more.

There’s a specific personal tragedy I’d like to transform here, before I end this post. Last week, a doctor I met for the first time said things I found negative, frightening, and tragically hope-diminishing. As I’ve oft written in this blog, negative words and thoughts  can tragically push out the positive.

In the here and now, I resolve to turn that tragedy into comedy.


Well, as I’ve found in individual and group psychotherapy, it’s possible to reduce the power of toxic people by changing your thoughts about them. For example, I could picture that cardiologist as a clown  or as a standup comedian, delivering a routine (rather than delivering dire predictions about my health).

Also, I could turn that personal tragedy into comedy here,  with some jokes about doctors:

“Doctor, you have to help me out!” “Certainly, which way did you come in?”

“Doctor, you’ve taken out my tonsils, my adenoids, my gall bladder, and my appendix, but I still don’t feel well.” “That’s enough out of you!”

“Doctor, my leg hurts! What can I do?” “Limp.”

“Doctor, I’ve hurt my arm in several places.” “Don’t go there any more.”

What’s the difference between God and a doctor?
God doesn’t think He’s a doctor. 

As that last joke reminds me, that doomsday doctor I saw last week is not God. No human being, doctor or otherwise, is psychic about the future. We all have to wait and see what really happens, with all of us.

Maybe I’ll run into this doctor years from now, still looking as good as I do now, and give him some sort of comic gesture.

What do you think that gesture should be?

When you have about 25 minutes for some great comedy, watch this episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show for a perfect suggestion:

(Note: that episode is no longer available on YouTube, perhaps because of the tragedy of Mary Tyler Moore’s death.  The gesture, in “The Critic” episode,  was  a pie in the face.)

Well! I have to go to the hospital now, not because of my paper-cut or any other tragedy, but because I need to get to work.

Here’s what it looks like outside, right now:

Is that a tragedy or a comedy? It might depend on how close it is, to you.

Tragically sincere thanks to Mel Brooks, to Carl Reiner, to the wonderful writers and actors from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to people who live a thousand years or less,  to good doctors, to bunnies of all colors, to skinny cows, and to you — of course! —  for sharing my comedies and tragedies, here and now.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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