Author Archives: Mr Bashful

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.’   I could have pointed out that he had given me an opinion, … Continue reading

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Charlotte and the Creatures of the Dark Forest

Once upon a time, young Charlotte was in a paddock warming herself in the sun and throwing pine cones at Farmer Brown’s beehives. Alongside the paddock was the spooky Dark Forest.   Out from the Dark Forest strode Anger. Anger … Continue reading

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Ignore the dills in the peanut gallery.

In the 1800s theatre audiences were noisy. If the entertainment was deemed poor the patrons would express their displeasure by heckling, or by throwing peanuts at the actors. The biggest nuisances were the less sophisticated patrons sitting in the cheap … Continue reading

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The Adventures of Sir Thrustalot.

‘. . . there is a tendency among some men to convert any and all emotional experiences into anger. Feeling anxious, jealous, sad, embarrassed, or ashamed, these men tend to display nothing but anger. You see the justification of this … Continue reading

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Find the hidden concerns.

How often have you snapped at someone for something trivial? Or felt uneasy while travelling, until you finally realise you have left the stove on?   Sometimes we feel unsettled, or grumpy, or anxious, or stressed, and don’t know why. … Continue reading

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Be aware of your emotional beliefs

Water diviners believe that if they hold a switch a certain way (a switch is a flexible shoot cut from a tree) they believe they can find underground water. If there is water below where they stand, their switch supposedly … Continue reading

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The Tyranny of the Should – our expectations of the world.

In the sentence, ‘I should study if I want to pass the test.’ the word ‘should’ is appropriate. It’s commonsense. However, we sometimes we adopt beliefs based not on common sense, but on values, and those beliefs can be unrealistic and … Continue reading

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The Tyranny of the Should – our expectations of ourselves.

The chapter is also based on Karen Horney’s ‘Tyranny of the Should’. In the last chapter I suggested we drop our ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘musts’ of other people, and replace those words with suggestions or preferences. I said the sooner we … Continue reading

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Be angry!

Anger is a wonderful emotion to have. It helps subjugated people revolt, it gave women the vote, it can help you stick up for yourself when you are bullied. It can energise us. It’s a good motivator for when change … Continue reading

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What makes you angry? Wrong answer!

 Years ago my uncle Geoff and I were walking in his orchard. Taking a bite out of a big Satsuma plum he asked me casually, ‘What makes you angry?’   I knew I was being set up for something but … Continue reading

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