Posts Tagged With: Selling

Day 90: How I got back to sleep last night (featuring selling and sound effects)

Good morning!

Even though I often wake up feeling uneasy, this morning I woke up feeling pretty centered, relaxed, and optimistic.

I woke up in the  middle of the night, too.  (I’ve posted about mid-night awakenings and other sleep challenges,  like here, here, and here).  And I came up with some ideas, after waking up,  about how to get back to sleep.  I liked those ideas, to the extent that I thought, “I’d like to blog about that tomorrow.”

(Hmmmm.  It’s a weekend blog; therefore, I feel a digression coming on.  And what I would LOVE, right now, is  a sound effect for digression.  How about a quick day-dream-y harp?)

Digression about Selling

I’m STM (Smiling to Myself) right now, because I’ve noticed that the first few paragraphs of this post sound like I might be trying to sell you something. The language reminds me of the beginnings of advertising pitches: “I USED to have THIS PROBLEM. And then, I TRIED THIS.”

And just yesterday, I wrote about selling, fears about being taken advantage of, and how that can screw up  interpersonal connection.

But let’s face it, I try to sell people things, too.  We all do, don’t we?  Passing on advice or ideas is a kind of selling, even though the focus of giving advice (and of this blog) is not generating money.  Here’s a definition of “selling”, from the Free Dictionary:

1. To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent.

2. To offer for sale, as for one’s business or livelihood: The partners sell textiles.

3. To give up or surrender in exchange for a price or reward: sell one’s soul to the devil.

4. To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of: a book that sold a million copies.

5. a. To bring about or encourage sales of; promote: Good publicity sold the product. b. To cause to be accepted; advocate successfully: We sold the proposal to the school committee.

6. To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something: They sold me on the idea.

I’m focusing on that last definition, which fits best.

As much as I think of myself as a Person Who Does Not Like To Give Advice (even though I’m a therapist!), I do like to persuade people — especially if it’s about something valuable I’ve learned.  So even if I do lose my investment  in the results of my persuasion — whether it actually helps somebody or not —   it’s still a kind of selling (according to Definition #6).

I mean, geesh!  Even linking to another blog post (as I have, several times, in this post) is an attempt at persuading you. When I link like that, I am essentially saying, “This is something else you might find helpful.”

So, in conclusion, Ladies and Gentleman of the Blog-o-Sphere, I am selling, too (according to Definition #6), even if it’s just Something That Might Help.

(Okay, now I want a sound effect to indicate the end of a digression, and a return to the point before the digression.)  (How about a gong?)

End of Digression About Selling

So here’s what helped me last night, when I woke up in the middle of the night.

I asked myself these questions (and gave brief responses!):

(1)  Is anything worrying you?

(2) If there is, what is it?

(3) Is it really something to worry about? That is, might you be safer than you think?

(4) Is it something that could be attended to right now?

(5) If so, could you do something quickly, as a next step?

(6) If not, could you make a quick note about it?

I didn’t have a pad of paper by my bed (or my cell phone) to make a note (which seemed like an important part of the process to me). Nevertheless, I got back to sleep pretty quickly.

And I woke up feeling pretty centered, relaxed, and optimistic.

That’s the data, folks.

I’m going to put my cell phone within reach tonight, before I go to sleep, and try this (one weird trick) again.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 89: Is somebody trying to sell me something?

(Note: This post was inspired by recent encounters with people — in the Blog-o-Sphere and elsewhere — who seem to be selling something.)

Is somebody trying to sell me something?  The answer to this question — no matter when I’m asking it — is undoubtably “Yes.”

Somebody  IS trying to sell me (and you) something, at any particular moment.

Why?  Because people have to survive, economically.  They have to make money.  And in order to make money, they have to sell something.

So when people are interacting with each other, sometimes $$$ is a major factor.  And that affects the communication, doesn’t it?

How could it not?

How important is it that we figure out HOW MUCH that is affecting the interaction?

It can feel very important to me.

If I am not aware of how money — the attempt to sell — is an aspect of an interaction, I might be taken advantage of. I might misinterpret what is happening in the communication.  I might assume I’m being seen in some way other than this:


When I  start with a different assumption — a belief that an interaction is based on a non-monetary wish to connect — and then realize that money is at the heart of the transaction,  I can feel naive, like a fool.

I might feel the DTOS (Dreaded Thud of Shame).


Then, I might start asking questions like, “Who can I trust?”

The answer might become extreme:


That’s not just a visual quote from the “X-Files.”  It’s also some serious  All-Or-Nothing Thinking (yep, another cognitive distortion):

All-or-Nothing thinking (also known as “Black-and-White thinking”).
Things are either all good or all bad, people are either perfect or failures, something new will either fix everything or be worthless. There is no middle ground; we place people and situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray, or allowing for complexities.  Watch out for absolute words like “always”, “never,” “totally,” etc. as indications of this kind of distortion.

It’s not helpful for me to think about trusting other people in all-or-nothing terms, or in any kind of extreme or rigid way.

It’s not  helpful for me to be less trusting, just because selling IS everywhere.  So what if  most of the e-mails, snail mails, and messages surrounding me ARE trying to sell me something? That doesn’t have to seep into my general experience of connection in the world.

Sometimes,  all the selling out there — and my  fears about my ability to accurately see and negotiate that —  can affect my experience of relationships.  I can become hyper-aware of people’s self-interest, and even wonder how much room there is for anything else.

But focusing on self-interest in relationships is  a distortion, too.  Self-interest is there, of course.  It has to be.  But there is  ALSO room for empathy, connection, and all the other human emotions and impulses that exist besides self-interest.


So if I start to think that I am

  • naive
  • too trusting
  • in danger of being taken advantage of, or
  • in need of putting my guard up  (including with people I know)

it’s time to back off on those All or Nothing thoughts about trust.

It’s also time to back off from labels like “naive.” Hey!  I’m actually not naive.  I may make mistakes. Who doesn’t?  I’d have to be a mind reader to know people’s intentions, all the time.   Labeling myself as “naive” or “too trusting” ignores and downplays my experience — what I’ve learned in negotiating interpersonal issues in the past.

And, really, I’ve done all right so far.  I’ve managed to retain — in  the face of all those people selling things out there —  what I need, to keep going (like the computer I’m typing this post on, for example).

And  if somebody does “rip me off” in some way in the future, I’ll learn from that and survive it, probably quite nicely.

All those things are helpful to remember.  Very helpful.

THE CLOSE* (one more time)

So the answer to the question


is not an all-or-nothing one.  It’s neither “everybody” nor “no one.”

Trust, like most things, can vary. I can choose how much I trust and whom, and adjust that based on new and changing information.  And, I probably have more personal power in any interaction — involving $$$ or not — than I  may think.

Ta da!

Thanks for reading (and for trusting, in some degree or another).


*  A sales term for wrapping up and ending.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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