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The first day I was in second grade, I came to school and noticed that there was a new, very pretty girl in the class—someone who hadn’t been there the previous two years. The news quickly got back to Alana herself, who stayed as far away from me as possible for days after. This horrifying experience taught me a critical life lesson—it can be mortally dangerous to be yourself, and you should exercise extreme social caution at all times. Evolution does everything for a reason, and to understand the origin of this particular insanity, let’s back up for a minute to 50,000BC in Ethiopia, where your Great2,000 Grandfather lived as part of a small tribe. Because of this, humans evolved an over-the-top obsession with what others thought of them—a craving for social approval and admiration, and a paralyzing fear of being disliked. Your Great2,000 Grandfather’s Social Survival Mammoth was central to his ability to endure and thrive.
Our bodies and minds are built to live in a tribe in 50,000BC, which leaves modern humans with a number of unfortunate traits, one of which is a fixation with tribal-style social survival in a world where social survival is no longer a real concept. Why else would you try on four outfits and still not be sure what to wear before going out? And while keeping your highly insecure Social Survival Mammoth feeling calm and safe takes a lot of work, that’s only one half of your responsibilities. Society has evolved to accommodate this mammoth-feeding frenzy, inventing things like accolades and titles and the concept of prestige in order to keep our mammoths satisfied—and often to incentivize people to do meaningless jobs and live unfulfilling lives they wouldn’t otherwise consider taking part in. With so much thought and energy dedicated to the mammoth’s needs, you often end up neglecting someone else in your brain, someone all the way at the center—your Authentic Voice.
And while the mammoth looks only to the outside world in its decision-making process, your Authentic Voice uses the outside world to learn and gather information, but when it’s time for a decision, it has all the tools it needs right there in the core of your brain.
And since our 50,000-year-old brains are wired to give the mammoth a whole lot of sway in things, your Authentic Voice starts to feel like it’s irrelevant.
In tribal times, AVs often spent their lives in quiet obscurity, and this was largely okay. But in today’s large, complex world of varying cultures and personalities and opportunities and options, losing touch with your AV is dangerous. Losing touch with your AV also makes you fragile, because when your identity is built on the approval of others, being criticized or rejected by others really hurts. Likewise, you know those people who react to being criticized by coming back with a nasty low-blow? At this point, the mission should be clear—we need to figure out a way to override the wiring of our brain and tame the mammoth. Some people are born with a reasonably tame mammoth or raised with parenting that helps keep the mammoth in check.
Most of the time a mammoth is in control of a person, the person’s not really aware of it.
The most obvious way to find the mammoth is to figure out where your fear is—where are you most susceptible to shame or embarrassment? The second place a mammoth hides is in the way-too-good feelings you get from feeling accepted or on a pedestal over other people. Real Woolly Mammoths were unimpressive enough to go extinct, and Social Survival Mammoths aren’t any better. When people shit-talk, they set up a category division of which they’re always on the right side. Being the material a judgy person uses to feel good about themselves is a fairly infuriating thought—but it has no actual consequences and it’s clearly all much more about the judgy person and their mammoth problem than it is about you.
The irony of the whole thing is that the obsessive lumbering mammoth isn’t even good at his job. This also holds among friends or colleagues, where AV-run people are more respected and more magnetic—not because there’s necessarily anything extraordinary about them, but because people respect someone with the strength of character to have tamed their mammoth. Absorbing this thought will diminish the fear that you feel, and without fear, the mammoth loses some power.
With a weakened mammoth, it becomes possible to begin standing up for who you are and even making some bold changes—and when you watch those changes turn out well for you with few negative consequences and no regrets, it reinforces the epiphany and an empowered AV becomes a habit.
I’ve always been a person who believes it is important to form your own, well founded opinion, but especially when it came to (dating) women I would be obsessed about what they might think of me etc.
You keep saying how small we are compared to time and the universe, and I keep saying you could totally be alive for the next billion years.
This is obviously a topic of debate but it’s probably safe to assume that you, when given the change, will always prefer some things over others. Well, along with teaching people to be themselves we need to teach people to accept other people being themselves. But your comment is definitely something that was missing from the original post so thank you also for adding that! We've all been there: You're newly single, still reeling from the sting of being dumped by your ex -- and desperately trying to avoid texting him or her. But let the texts in the slideshow below be a warning to you -- though it's tempting to text, those post-split conversations never go as planned. WordsOnImages is where users Discover & Share Inspiring Pictures & Famous quotes about Life, Love, Friendship, Success, Happiness and various other topics. I felt angry because I have always struggled with saying no, and this was exactly the type of uncomfortable encounter I generally aim to avoid. I felt angry because I felt misunderstood and judged, and I wanted him to realize that he was wrong about me. I felt angry because I assumed he intended to be hurtful, and I didn’t feel like I deserved that. I ended up responding to his email fairly quickly with a little bit of defensiveness, albeit with restraint. It’s inevitable that I’ll feel that way again—and many times, with people I know well and love.
Oftentimes when I’m angry I feel the need to act on it, but later I generally wish I’d waited. You can get yourself all revved-up, stewing in righteousness and mentally rehashing all the ways you were wronged. Is it really what someone else did, or are you feeling angry because of what you’re interpreting their actions to mean? If you’re angry with someone for doing something that you’ve done many times before, your feelings may be magnified by seeing a behavior of your own that you’re not proud of.
Now that you know more clearly what part the other person played in your anger and which part is more about you, write a letter to him or her. You could also send the letter you wrote, but it will be easier to clarify parts the other person doesn’t understand if you’re having a direct back-and-forth exchange. So instead of saying, “You didn’t show up so you obviously don’t care about me,” say, “When you forget about the things that are important to me, I feel hurt.” In this way, you’re not assuming the other person meant to make you feel bad—you’re just explaining how it makes you feel so they can understand how their actions impact you.
Sometimes one annoyance can open the floodgates to a laundry list of complaints—but no one responds well to a barrage of criticism.
If your goal is to get the other person to admit that they’re wrong, you’ll probably end up in a power struggle. This situation taught you something useful about what you value in the people you choose to be friends with—maybe directness, humility, or loyalty. It might be something you need to improve your relationship, or it might be that you need to end a relationship because you know it doesn’t serve you. This experience was an exercise in expressing yourself in the best way to be heard and understood. Maybe you reacted too quickly, so now you’ve learned to put more space between your feelings and your response.
You probably realized somewhere along this journey that you played some role in the situation. If that’s likely what you’ll feel when you realize time is running out, why not express it now, while you can still enjoy the peace it will give you?
About Lori DescheneLori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Breathing deeply and counting to ten, just trying to de-escalate the situation really helps me. If we can refrain from lashing out and instead seek to understand and help, usually the situation will solve itself.
I struggle with saying no and struggle with asking for a favour also, so much so that I avoid people, have become completely self-sufficient and quite a boring person!
Thank you for your article, it is going to be a valuable resource for me in the very near future! This was a great piece, Lori.  I can only imagine how many emails you get asking for help, support, money, etc.
What wonderful suggestions – thank you for creating such a thoughtful and caring site. Also, after reading the intro, I realized that your situation was pretty similar to what my friend faced recently.
A big part of who you become in life has to do with who you choose to surround yourself with.  Sometimes luck controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let stay, who you pursue, and who you let walk back out. It’s obvious, but any relationship without regular interaction and communication is going to have problems, especially when there’s a lack of commitment.
Don’t waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them.  You shouldn’t have to force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you they will gladly create space for you.
Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today.  If someone continuously judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to repair your future by leaving them behind. When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unloving to you!
Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people.  Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. A little bit of envy is OK, but when someone is excessively envious of what you have, there’s a good chance what they really want is to take it from you.


If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are.  It is amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do. Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are.  Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway. What would you add to the list?  What’s one big warning sign you’re in the presence of bad company?  Please leave a comment below and let us know. If they make you feel unwanted, stupid or worthless then stay away from them because you can’t constantly stay around someone who is making you feel this way. BEWARE of the Messenger who tells you of the ill that’s been spoken about you from other people. Because nine times out of ten the alleged bad mouthers weren’t talking about you at all.
The comment about a partner wanting you to do what THEY want you to do reminded me of something i watched on T.V the other day.
I grew up with two parents that did and still do have an extremely dysfunctional, toxic relationship.
I have spent half of my time here on earth wasted in careers I hate, second guessing my own judgment and ability to think. I now am extremely careful who I let into my inner circle, and have made a concerted effort to steer my own children in a very different direction – I have realized that its up to me to break the cycle.
This is coming from someone who has fulfilled the educational requirements to become a certified addiction counsellor. As well, many people still have an old school mentality that substance abuse is a character or personality flaw, which is like saying a person with clinical depression is weak of character. On the other hand, you must be realistic and understand that someone who has a substance abuse disorder will be skilled at hiding it. It is important to know that people do not have personality flaws, they have character flaws. Watch out for this energy vampire: they may suffocate you with barely veiled passive aggression and betray your confidence to the next person they want to impress! The simple fact that I read this article and agreed to most of it, backs up what I’ve been second guessing and lying to myself about. Grateful to have stumble on this blog – the Universe has a way of providing just what we need to hear when we need to hear it. This article touches on a lot of issues I am aware of but it really take courage especially if it is not one person who benefit from having me continuing on a bad relationship. It was simple—keep the mammoth well fed with social approval and pay close attention to its overwhelming fears of nonacceptance, and you’ll be fine. The mammoth also needs to be fed regularly and robustly—with praise, approval, and the feeling of being on the right side of any social or moral dichotomy.
Mammoths look around at society to figure out what they’re supposed to do, and when it becomes clear, they jump right in. A Puppet Master is a person or group of people whose opinion matters so much to you that they’re essentially running your life. When we get to this toxic state in our relationship with a Puppet Master, that person’s presence hangs over our entire decision-making process and pulls the strings of our opinions and our moral voice. In contrast to the black-and-white simplicity of the Social Survival Mammoth, your Authentic Voice is complex, sometimes hazy, constantly evolving, and unafraid.
Life was simple, and conformity was the goal—and the mammoth had conformity covered just fine. A bad break-up is painful for everyone, but it stings in a much deeper place for a mammoth-run person than for a person with a strong AV. Those tend to be severely mammoth-run people, and criticism makes them so mad because mammoths cannot handle criticism. Others die without ever reining their mammoth in at all, spending their whole lives at its whim. It takes some serious reflection to sift through the webs of other people’s thoughts and opinions and figure out who the real you actually is.
Maybe you can reflect on this from whatever chair you’re sitting in right now or from some other part of your normal life—or maybe you need to go somewhere far away, by yourself, and step out of your life in order to effectively examine it.
What parts of your life do you think about and a dreadful, sinking feeling washes over you?
The thing we all need to do is carve out certain sacred areas of our lives that must be in the hands of the AV and free of mammoth influence. Despite the fact that they haunt us so, our mammoths are dumb, primitive creatures who have no understanding of the modern world. It’s a classic mammoth mistake to fabricate a vision of future social consequences that is way worse than what actually ends up happening—which is usually nothing at all.
If you find yourself making decisions partially based on not being talked badly about by a judgy person, think hard about what’s actually going on and stop. His methods of winning approval may have been effective in simpler times, but today, they’re transparent and off-putting.
The only time a mammoth-crazed person is appealing on a first date is when they’re on the date with another mammoth-crazed person. You can start to relish the feeling of being viewed as weird or inappropriate or confusing to people, and society becomes your playground and blank canvas, not something to grovel before and hope for acceptance from.
Your Authentic Voice has been given one life—and it’s your job to make sure it gets the opportunity to live it. Last year I decided I would at least try to stop giving a damn about what anyone thinks of me – and it has been trully liberating. What if we all have endless ‘voices’ in our head, constantly shaping our identity through dialogues?
Iv’e seen this idea from Tim articulated by someone else, a very old and dead psychologist called Kazimier Dabrowski. I first heard of him aproximately a year ago and there was definetly a lot of recognition going on just like now with this superbly written article.
This 100%… Sometimes people get so lost in OTHER people accepting them as they are, that we forget to also extend the same thoughtful courtesy to others.
Thanks for viewing "Secret love quotes ".You can also find us on popular social media sites including Facbook, Pinterest, Google+ & Tumblr. The people pleaser in me wants to say yes to everyone, but the reality is that there is only so much time in the day—and we all have a right to allocate our time as best supports our intentions, needs, and goals. Decide that you’re not going to do anything until the feeling has less of a grip on you.
Look for all areas where you may be projecting your own traits onto someone else to get closer to root of your feelings. Now that you’re clear about the role you played in your anger, initiate a verbal conversation about what bothered you. It’s also possible that there isn’t a right or wrong, but rather two people who see things differently and need to see each other’s point of view. Focus instead on what you’d like to change in the future—for example, you’d appreciate it if she would come straight to you next time instead of complaining about you behind your back. This will help you decide which people you might want to spend more or less time with going forward. There will definitely be more situations like this in the future, so this is good practice for misunderstandings and struggles to come. Maybe you got defensive, and the other person shut down, so you’ve learned to be less accusatory in the future. To strengthen your relationships, get her new book, Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. The fact that someone says no to my request doesn’t mean I should not have asked in the first place.
I may want to please people I care about, but I don’t have to please them all the time.
If I say no to people and they get angry, that doesn’t mean that I should have said yes. This is quite helpful as a way to see what others are doing that might even be similar to some one that angers us. The hermit theory sounds attractive but having tried it has only resulted in teaching more. I find that when I write out a letter like this, I often include way more detail than I really need to communicate to the other person.
I’ve been through my share of those, and I know how difficult it can be to stay centered and find peace when there are challenges and unknowns. I’ve had a lot of anger (or irritation, annoyance) that comes around quite a bit for me around one person. People are used to getting their way when they ask a woman to go that extra mile and we’re taught to submit and so it. When we are able to self-soothe, usually our thinking about the situation and empathy toward others and the situation changes immediately. Tariq and I was really angry at someone last night and we found it SO hard to control our anger.
Sitting with feelings has never been my strong suit, but I know that when I resist the urge to act on them, they seem to have less power. Sometimes it’s social pressure which forces you to continue living like that no matter how hard it is for you.
In any relationship, both people are supposed to boost each other up, not bring each other down!
Maybe you were too caught up in them and yourself to see that person for who they are, and just accept a few common interests for the same reason. And after a while, you become physically ill, or you begin to manifest physical symptoms of illness (brain fog, fatigue, chest pains, etc) yet your physician can’t find anything technically wrong with you. Have you ever found yourself listening to someone gripe about one thing or another and then offering your constructive, unbiased opinion from an outsiders point of view only to find that when you feel the need to vent the same person whose problems you were polite enough to listen to, basically says they don’t want here you complain.
I couldn’t understand the why I was feeling stupid, insecure, and unimportant around them until one day I decided to go back to school and their response to this was- you are too old for that! I needed to be confident for the career I chose and to strengthen my ability to NOT second guess my decisions at work, so while working on acquiring confidence and self-love, I find out that these people (so call family) did not have had my best interest, love, respect, and appreciation; therefore, I do not talk to them and ever since I made this decision, I have been happier, more confident, and motivated to achieve my goals and dreams without having to feel inadequate because of their opinion.


And it is not only about a significant other but also at work or any situation that involve people. So for your Great2,000 Grandfather, almost nothing in the world was more important than being accepted by his fellow tribe members, especially those in positions of authority. A Puppet Master is often a parent, or maybe your significant other, or sometimes an alpha member of your group of friends.
Your AV has its own, nuanced moral code, formed by experience, reflection, and its own personal take on compassion and integrity. When it comes to the most personal questions, instead of digging deep into the foggy center of what you really believe in to find clarity, you’ll look to others for the answers. A strong AV makes a stable core, and after a break-up, that core is still holding firm—but since the acceptance of others is all a mammoth-run person has, being dumped by a person who knows you well is a far more shattering experience. Most of us are somewhere in the middle—we’ve got control of our mammoth in certain areas of our lives while it wreaks havoc in others. Either way, you’ve got to figure out what actually matters to you and start being proud of whoever your Authentic Voice is. Are you terrified of disappointing your parents and do you choose making them proud over aiming to gratify yourself? There are obvious areas that need to be made part of the AV’s domain like your choice of life partner, your career path, and the way you raise your kids. This is one of those simple things—if they truly selflessly love you, they will for sure come around and accept everything once they see that you’re happy. The modern world is an AV’s world, and if the mammoth wants to thrive socially, he should do the thing that scares him most—let the AV take over. Leadership is natural for most AVs, because they draw their thoughts and opinions from an original place, which gives them an original angle. The last thing a mammoth is going to do is change the status quo because it’s trying so hard to be the status quo.
People with a strong AV see through mammoth-controlled people and aren’t attracted to them. But actually doing something after you finish reading this article is a whole different thing. He basicaly held the position that to tame your mammoth and actually listen to your AV you would need some sort of disintegrating experience (usually some event followed by a depression) to actually start down that scary path. We’ll all have lots of misunderstandings and annoyances, and lots of opportunities to practice responding to anger calmly and productively.
In the end, we’re the only ones responsible for our mental states, so this is a great opportunity to practice regulating yours. It could be that someone’s actions were the straw that broke the camel’s back, but not fully responsible for creating these feelings. This is to help you clarify what exactly you’d like that person to know, understand, or change. You can help facilitate this by owning some responsibility—that you will listen if he comes to you instead of getting emotional.
Once you own your part, now you can use that knowledge to create more peaceful relationships going forward. When something happens that doesn’t mirror back who we think we are, our ego scrambles to realign us. Sometimes I feel such instinctive resistance to saying no, as if I need to overextend myself or I won’t be loved.
The more I’ve looked at it, I see that the anger is a symptom of other things in life .
After talking about it together and realizing that the culprit was the one having problems, not us or anyone else in the room, things started to mellow down. Just FYI, I linked this article to it to help my readers take action in controlling their anger. Hyde, attitude more frequently, then you know it is time to take a step back and plan for another adventure anywhere else but the place one called home ! A lot of times what they say that draws you in turns out to be the opposite of whatever they said or displayed.
You can show him what a woman will and won’t tolerate by taking a stand for yourself. It seems that whatever the adult kids require of him is top priory even after ripping their own stepfather off.
I have noticed people don’t (98% of the time) come into my space (unless I have to meet them for study or shopping) until I am in a certain mood. This is someone who is terrified of not being popular or liked by everyone and will say and do conflicting things depending on who they are sharing a cup of tea with. Fitting in with those around him and pleasing those above him meant he could stay in the tribe, and about the worst nightmare he could imagine would be people in the tribe starting to whisper about how annoying or unproductive or weird he was—because if enough people disapproved of him, his ranking within the tribe would drop, and if it got really bad, he’d be kicked out altogether and left for dead. But something funny has happened for humans in the last 10,000 years—their civilization has dramatically changed. It knows how you feel deep down about things like money and family and marriage, and it knows which kinds of people, topics of interest, and types of activities you truly enjoy, and which you don’t. Do you get too excited about being associated with prestigious things or care too much about status? So obsessing over fitting in with any one group is illogical, especially if that group isn’t really who you are. And if they’re smart and innovative enough, they can change things in the world and invent things that disrupt the status quo.
When you give someone a paintbrush and canvas, but the paint is the same exact color as the canvas, they can paint all they want, but they won’t change anything.
A friend of mine was dating a great on-paper guy awhile back but broke things off because she couldn’t quite fall for him. I don’t preach to be a selfish dick, but it is important to know that if you expect others to make you happy, it will never happen, not for the long term anyway! Thank you for sharing and turning your negative experience into positive energy by using it as an example for others to learn from. Just knowing that a moms love can never replace a wife’s love an vice versa is a good start. Often times the seeds of bad opinions are sowed when a person leaks an issue out of their marriage. A real friend is authentic in their ups and downs on this roller coaster of life and doesn’t feel the need to hide their human faults or moments of darkness from you.
It’s unsettling to me how little consideration some can have, and its unfortunate but the last thing anyone needs is to give their positive energy to some one who, not only gives none back, but actually gives off negative vibes. He also knew that if he ever embarrassed himself by pursuing a girl in the tribe and being rejected, she’d tell the other girls about it—not only would he have blown his chance with that girl, but he might never have a mate at all now because every girl that would ever be in his life knew about his lame, failed attempt. Sudden, quick change is something civilization has the ability to do, and the reason that can be awkward is that our evolutionary biology can’t move nearly as fast. Your AV knows that it doesn’t know how your life will or should play out, but it tends to have a strong hunch about the right step to take next. You might not even be aware that you have a mammoth at all or of the extent to which your Authentic Voice has been silenced. Is there anything you regularly spend money on that you don’t feel that comfortable with? If you were giving advice to yourself, which parts of your life would clearly need a change that you’re avoiding acting on right now? You’ll do all that work, and meanwhile, your actual favorite people are off being friends with each other somewhere else.
They’re allowing their mammoth to override their love for you, and they should be adamantly ignored. If you give someone a paintbrush and an empty canvas, they might not paint something good—but they’ll change the canvas in one way or another.
Recognize the sensations in your body and breathe into those areas to clear the blockages that are keeping you feeling stuck.
Why was it OK for others to talk bad about you in their presence, and they did not defend you? Now the in-law or person outside of the marriage has a negative opinion of your marriage and this adds to the chaos! So while for most of history, both our social structure and our biology evolved and adjusted at a snail’s pace together, civilization has recently developed the speed capabilities of a hare while our biology has continued snailing along. Good job for sticking to your guns and for letting the rest of us in on how to overcome the anger, either with ourselves or with someone else.
Why can’t they disclose the sources (the people and their names) where this information came from? My brother moved out and even though he’s having a tough time, he refuses to come home. But I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned and the devotion to myself that I now have. As you say, the remedy is to accept what it is that we are feeling, take responsibility for creating it and remember, nothing is personal.
But most of the time I try to reflect about my own behaviors and how I can improve myself despite what others do or say. I continue to be optimistic despite everything that have set me back by these people who wants to move ahead at my expense. Needless to say, they have taken over and lately, I’m feeling too much like a little kid. Do you secretly have an opinion on a political or moral issue you don’t ever voice because people you know will be outraged?
You have to give it some time but if you take note of things and watch the warning signs you can save yourself some time.
The only one out of 7 siblings in my family that likes him is one of my brothers and my mom.



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