Author Archives: Mr Bashful

Key 1. Label it!

To improve my public speaking skills I became a soapbox speaker: a person who stands in a public place and talks. The practice began millennia ago when about the only way to impart ideas to the public was to stand … Continue reading

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Key 2. Be specific when you describe an emotion.

There are thousands of colours. Paint charts describe just a few. We have navy blue, royal blue, baby blue, cobalt blue and so on, but most of the time we just say ‘blue’. That’s fair enough, because most of the … Continue reading

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Key 3. Don’t catastrophise.

Another way to be specific is to avoid catastrophising. Resist making statements such as, ‘This is terrible’ and ‘I’m devastated’ when it’s not terrible and you aren’t devastated. When we accurately state how we feel, people appreciate the honesty and … Continue reading

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Key 4. Are you feeling other emotions?

Apparently, leprechauns hide their pots of gold at the end of a rainbow. When I see a rainbow I estimate its coordinates and go looking. I don’t intend to steal the gold, just borrow it for a while. A rainbow has … Continue reading

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Key 5. Distinguish between thoughts and feelings.

 Think back to the lesson my Uncle Geoff taught me, described in the introduction to Part 2. He asked me how I felt about circus lions being caged and how I felt about my football team losing. I had given … Continue reading

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Key 6. Don’t talk like a zombie.

I once asked an acquaintance – let’s call him ‘Oscar’ – how he felt about losing custody of his dog. He shrugged and replied, ‘These things happen.’ Oscar had given me his opinion, not an expression of how he felt, … Continue reading

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Key 7. Alice and the creatures of the Dark Forest.

Once upon a time, a young girl called Alice stood in a paddock throwing pine cones at Farmer Brown’s beehives. Alongside the paddock was the scary Dark Forest. Out from the Dark Forest strode Anger. Anger was a ferocious looking … Continue reading

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